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:

Mike, I am very happy that you admit that there is no verse that instructs elders to stop women from using their gifts.  In fact as the body of Christ we are to encourage one another in our gifts.  And we are told not to judge in these secondary areas.

Romans 14:4  Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

There is a faithful solution to women teaching the bible to men.  It is to encourage the women to teach and do not stop them from teaching.  We should allow those men whose bible-trained conscience does not stop them from accepting the good gifts that God gives through women, to stay and receive from the Lord.  Then let’s give those men whose conscience is weak and who do not believe it is right for a man to listen to a woman, the ability to leave quietly and respectfully.  But whatever we do, scripture does not say that a woman is not allowed to teach if she is teaching the truth.  Let her teach and encourage her by acting as one who values both the woman and her gifts because if you refuse to listen to her, she will most certainly receive the message that what she says has no value.

When we try to put limits on another fellow member of the body of Christ, and they do not accept our man-made limits, we may end up treating them with contempt, but the way of love shows that we need to let these women be responsible for their conscience before the Lord on these debatable matters.

Romans 14:10  But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

Romans 14:11  For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.”

Romans 14:12  So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

Romans 14:13  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this–not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

It is a godly thing not to be an obstacle in the path of our own brother or sister in the Lord.

Mike, you said that God has set parameters on His gifts.  However if you look closely at the restrictions in the Scripture, you will notice it is only the gifts that do not benefit all that are restricted and even these gifts are not completely restricted and they are never restricted by gender.  It is God’s intention that the gifts He gives benefits all.  Prophesy benefits all.  Teaching benefits all.  Tongues without interpretation benefits only one.  Men’s and women’s gifts benefit all.

Lastly we are told that we are not to allow our freedom to be spoken of as evil.

Romans 14:16  Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil;

A woman’s gift of teaching the Bible is not something that becomes evil when a man walks in the door.  Her gifts are also for the common good so that the entire body will grow together instead of growing apart and separated.

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Mike Seaver’s rejoinder:

Cheryl, once again, thanks for your response.  It is a joy communicating with you about this issue.

First off, you said, “There is a faithful solution to women teaching the bible to men.  It is to encourage the women to teach and do not stop them from teaching.  We should allow those men whose bible-trained conscience does not stop them from accepting the good gifts that God gives through women, to stay and receive from the Lord.”

Cheryl, I don’t think this is a conscience issue.  It is not like eating meat or not eating meat sacrificed to idols.  Paul says don’t allow it (1 Tim 2:12), and so we shouldn’t say that it is okay for those who have strong consciences.  I’m not saying that “women teaching men” is on the same level as those who are homosexual, but the same arguments you use of “conscience” and “don’t judge” is the very same argument I hear from homosexuals.  Anyone can say that some have strong consciences and some have weak consciences (and most of us always seem to think we have the strong consciences).  Homosexuals also say that anyone who says what they are doing is wrong is judging them.  Though I do not associate homosexuals and the gravity of that sin (Romans 1) with “woman teaching men”, they do both have some commonalities in their arguments.  They both dismiss Biblical passages that speak to an opposite view of what they hold.  They both hold their view in the name of Christian freedom.  They both say that the passages that speak against their view are culturally binding, but not binding for today.  They both say that God made them or gifted them in a certain way and that God would not do that if he did not intend them to live it out.  You see, Cheryl, your arguments are a slippery slope.  You do not have a passage that says, “Women should teach and exercise authority over a man,” but 1 Timothy 2:12 says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man….”  This is huge difference in our arguments.

The idea of women not teaching men is an instruction set in which to do it is to obey it and to not do it is to disobey it.

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Question #5 will go on-line on August 31st with the responses set for September 2, 2009.

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Links to previous segments of the debate:

Questi0n #1 and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #1

Question #2 and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #2

Question #3 by Cheryl and Mike’s answers

Responses to Question #3

Question #4 by Cheryl and Mike’s answers

39 thoughts on “Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 8

  1. Cheryl, thanks for emphasizing those verses in Romans 14. They certainly help add to the discussion, and I believe you are right on target.

    Now, Mike, all I can say to you is that your arguments are really nothing more than slander. You start out by saying, “I’m not saying that “women teaching men” is on the same level as those who are homosexual” and then develop your whole argument based on the assumption that they are, in fact, the same. When you add, “Though I do not associate homosexuals and the gravity of that sin (Romans 1) with “woman teaching men”,” you are saying that women teaching men is a sin. Yet you yourself do not have a passage that says, “Women teaching men is a sin.” Even the verse you use to support your point does not say, “women teaching men is a sin” but only that Paul says, “I do not allow.” That’s a pretty big difference.

    There are plenty of lists of sin in the New Testament, most of them written by Paul, and not one of them lists “women teaching men” as a sin. Slander, however, IS most definitely listed by Paul as a sin, in Col. 3:8 and Eph. 4:31. Peter lists it too in 1 Peter 2:1. And let’s not forget that Jesus himself spoke strongly against slander in Matt. 15:19 and Mark 7:22.

    This kind of argumentation is nothing more than trying to prove guilt by association. You are reasoning thus: Group A uses these arguments. Group A is clearly in sin. Group B uses the same arguments. Therefore Group B is clearly also in sin. Ridiculous!

    Mike, you are the one on the slippery slope here. Your argument has no merit, so you have to attack the people rather than the position.

  2. excuse me Cheryl, but I’m trying to find your posts in here where you quote Ware. I’m having a discussion elsewhere that I could use them and your points as well about them.

    you can email me if you like….

  3. WOW! M. Seaver. I’m really rather shocked to read you comparing women teaching men to be comparable to men having sexual relationships with one another.

    Would you please explain how women can teach truth and be in sin. Also, at what point does a woman become sinful in teaching this truth. How does that work? If you say it is when a man listens to her, then it is the man who is sinning by listening and not the woman who speaks truth. Then how does one judge what is being taught if it is sinful to hear a woman’s voice teaching. Or you could perhaps seek out a verse where it is sin for a woman to speak in the presence of men. After all if they learned something from her, they would be in sin as well as her …. IMO that is the confusion of this stance.

    This sounds very much like an old oral teaching of the Rabbi’s where they claimed that it was an abomination to hear a woman’s voice read the Torah. And that is just preferential bias at work.

    All in all , this is not good exegesis. Good exegesis starts with reading something in context. To find the context in the 1 Tim. 2 verse, one needs to read in chapter one where the foundation is laid. …. and so on. 🙂

  4. Mike wrote: “You do not have a passage that says, “Women should teach and exercise authority over a man,” but 1 Timothy 2:12 says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man….” This is huge difference in our arguments.”

    Yes, and there is also a huge difference between “women” plural, in Mike’s sentence and “a woman” in the verse 1 Tim. 2:12. How convenient to change from singular to plural to bolster one’s position.

    It appears that he does not understand 1 Tim 2:12 which says a woman should not ‘authenteo’ a man. The matter is, a man should not authenteo another man, either.

    This whole concept is, once again, man centered, as we can see by his position. Jesus taught that we are not to want to lord it over others.

  5. I was able to catch a few minutes on the internet while I am at church camp. Not sure how long the connection will last. I am sitting on the front steps with my sweater pulled over my head so that I can even see the computer screen. TL if you still need my help, by Saturday when I am home, I will see what I can do to find all the comments.

    Kay & TL good comments! I would also like to add that if we need a scripture to tell us that we may do something good then women will be very restricted indeed. For instance is there even one scripture that says that a woman is allowed to teach women the scriptures? I know of not a single verse that gives women permission to teach the bible to other women. They can teach women to keep house and to love their husbands but where does it directly say she has permission to teach the bible to adult women? If it doesn’t say so, should we be restricting women? Or should we see women as full members of the body of Christ who are allowed to use their gifts for the common good?

    What do you think?

    I am going off line again as the heat under this little tent is stifling. I should be back on line for sure Friday night or Saturday.

  6. You’re oh, so right, – not a single verse gives women permission to teach the Bible to other women. So, I suppose they overlook that fact the same way they overlook “a woman” in 1 Tim. 2:12 by turning it into “women.”

  7. Cheryl, I hate to say it, but it seems to me that as long as 1 Timothy 2:12 is understood by Mike as meaning that Paul prohibits the proper exercise of teaching authority, rather than the improper exercise of teaching authority; and then makes this one isolated text, understood in this peculiar way, the sole rule by which he measures every argument contrary to his own position, well, I think you will have a difficult time persuading him to see things differently.

    However, I wonder if it might be more profitable to challenge him as follows: Now, Mike, as one who believes that the prophets and apostles wrote the Scripture under the inspired guidance and supervision of the Holy Spirit, you would agree that there can be no contradictions in what it teaches regarding our ministerial duties and responsibilities in the Body of Christ, correct? And according to you, in 1 Tim. 2:12, Paul absolutely forbids women teaching in a mixed audience during worship, correct? Then how do you square that with the teaching Paul gives to the entire church in Colossians 3:15-17? The Apostles writes as follows:

    15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3:15-17, TNIV)

    In these three verses, we find a summary of the teaching Paul gave regarding prayer and prophesy in 1 Corinthians 12-14, with his focus here on the message of Christ being communicated in psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, with the purpose being to “teach and admonish one another with all wisdom” (v. 16). This text clearly indicates that in the NT congregations, psalms, hymns and songs not only expressed adoration towards God regarding our great redemption in Christ, but also served a didactic or teaching function for all involved in the worship service. Regarding these “prophecies,” THE EXPOSITOR’S GREEK TESTAMENT says, “The precise distinctions intended are not certain, and perhaps they should not be sharply drawn. The meaning is, whatever kind of song it may be, let it be made the vehicle of religious instruction and admonition” (Vol. 3, p.541). Like 1 Cor. 12-14, this text not only assumes that both men and women will proclaim the message of Christ together in worship, but to one another as well, so as to instruct and admonish one another so to make each other wiser in the mysteries of Christ and his Gospel.

    Now, Mike, if Paul absolutely forbids women to proclaim or teach God’s Word to mixed audiences during worship in 1 Tim. 2:12, does this not contradict what he positively exhorts them to do in Col. 3:15-17? If one thinks about this critically and logically, one must come to one of these conclusions:
    1. Paul, when he wrote 1 Tim. 2:12, had forgotten what he wrote in Col. 3:15-17, and did not realize he had written two texts that contradicted each other. Well, a liberal might believe this could happen; but do we really think Paul was so irrational or forgetful that if someone had pointed this out to him, that he would not see the contradiction?
    2. Paul made a distinction between prophecy and teaching, one which he permitted women to do in the congregation, according to 1 Cor. 12-14 and Col. 3:15-17, but forbade the other, according to 1 Tim. 2:12. Well, as most readers of Cheryl’s blog will know, there have a number of NT scholars who have studied the subject , and demonstated that the NT does not make the rigid distinction between teaching and prophecy, or preaching, that we moderns do. After all, while Jesus is called a prophet, the NT mainly records his teaching and preaching, and even prophets like Silas and Judas preach and exhort on the basis of the previous word revealed to the church at Jerusalem (Acts 15), rather than on new revelations they themselves have received. So denying women the right to proclaim God’s Word in the congregation on the basis of this false distinction between teaching and prophecy is totally unwarranted.
    3. Paul’s instructions in 1 Cor. 12-14 and Col. 3:15-17 are the normal guidelines and regulations regarding how men and women are to instruct, encourage, and build one another up in the Lord during worship. But, as determined by its context, 1 Tim. 2:12 is a special ruling pertaining to an unusual or abnormal situation that existed in the Ephesian church, which situation Timothy was sent, by Paul, to correct.

    So, Mike, which of the three conclusions is the most biblical and logical for someone to hold who believes there can be no contradictions in Scripture?

  8. Frank,

    I have been thinking along the same lines and have posted comments on Mike’s blog accordingly –
    *Mike wrote: “You do not have a passage that says, “Women should teach and exercise authority over a man,” but 1 Timothy 2:12 says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man….” This is huge difference in our arguments.”

    Yes, and there is also a huge difference between “women” plural, in your sentence and “a woman” in the verse 1 Tim. 2:12. Why the change from singular to plural? 1 Tim 2:12 which says a woman should not ‘authenteo’ a man. The matter is, a man should not authenteo another man, either. This is only time authenteo is used in the New Testament. This whole concept is, once again, man centered, as we can see by your position. Jesus taught that we are not to lord it over others.
    Mike wrote: “Though I do not associate homosexuals and the gravity of that sin (Romans 1) with “woman teaching men”
    Why not? If it is sin then it is sin. If it is wrong then it is wrong.*

    I wish you would post your remarks and questions regarding Col. 3:15-17. It has been on mind to ask him if he believes women are allowed to sing in mixed gender worship services, given the fact that ministering in song is basically the same as singing a sermon or Bible lesson as you expressed

  9. I would also like to know what litmus test Christians give to determine the exact moment a boy turns into a man?? – I mean heaven forbid it should happen half way through some boy’s Sunday School class being taught by a woman or his mother.

  10. What Mike is doing is what I call helicopter theology or cut and paste. He is not reading Scripture in context or according to how it was written. He is lifting out these 8 Greek words and allowing them to mean whatever fits his thinking.

    But if we read in context following the flow of context of the author, we have to acknowledge first the whole thought in that instance which was that Timothy was to let the woman learn. Then we need to back up into chapter one and see that Paul was concerned about those who were trying to teach, but really didn’t know the Scriptures. They were involved in fables, endless geneologies, and debates instead of loving from a pure heart. They were likely legalists since Paul reprimanded them about the law being for sinners if used rightly. (which should give pause in this subject). He then goes on to admonish all to pray instead of fighting – inferred by lifting the hands without wrath)

    And so on……

    We also need to take into consideration the fact that within a very short time of this epistle Paul has said that women should consider whether to pray and prophesy (prophesy was also considered to include teaching – not mystical speaking only as we do today) with their head covered or not. He also praised Prisca for her teaching, Phoebe for her leading, and other women for their leadership.

    To think that Paul flip flopped back and forth on the subject is sloppy thinking IMO.

    Also, we have to take into consideration the whole of Scripture. The whole of Scripture has Deborah teaching the Torah in the course of her administration of Judge over Israel, of which she was appointed by God. God does not flip flop back and forth over whether or not He will use women in speaking forth His Word.

    There is so much more to show that it simply is not feasible to think that Paul could possibly set down a new law that women cannot teach men or exercise authority over them. And then the really crazy part is when people interpret an order of creation (Adam was created before Eve) to mean men can teach/lead and women cannot. LOL besides being absolutely contrary to how God does things, to believe that, means that for 4000 years God forgot that’s what He meant by creating the male first and went ahead and used women to teach and lead. ?????

    All one has to do is to learn to read Scripture in context instead of helicoptering verses and pieces of verses out of their flow of thought and out of their relationship to the whole scheme of things.

    🙂

  11. It’s been my experience that the two biggest hurdles people have to get over in order to understand what Scripture teaches on this issue are the meanings of kephale and “a woman.” Because with that resolved, the “cherry picking” of verses out of context (helicoptering) totally breaks down.

  12. Good point. That is probably why those who promote gender hierarchalism flat out refuse to really consider what kephale actually means in context and ignore completely any meaning to Paul’s deliberate shift from plural to singular.

  13. Great suggestion Frank, I too concluded that 1 Tim 2 was all Mike had to hold onto (see my comment on his blog).

    The only prob with the argument you suggest is that he will probably go where Grudem goes (concerning Ephesians 5:21) and say “one another” does not mean “everyone to everyone”, but “some to others”. In other words, Colossians more accurately says “some should teach and admonish others”!

    Grudem, naturally, is wrong! My contribution to our Blog Conference starting in a few days deals with this if you are interested in checking it out (how was that for a plug!). I cannot speak so much for Mike, but it appears that some comps you cannot tie down with logic, because logic is not what is of greatest importance, maintaining the hierarchy is 🙁

  14. I fear you’re right, Dave. It seems that some men are so threatened by the idea of women in any sort of ministry (other than in the kitchen preparing/cleaning up after Communion or church suppers, or in children’s ministry, up to a certain age, of course) that they will do anything to keep that from happening. This includes intellectual sloth, dishonesty, insults, and deliberate divisiveness. Why can’t they just admit that for a lot of them, the real issue is that they’re afraid that the women will do a better job in leading than they will, and they’ll be replaced?

    Sorry for the rant, but that’s what crossed my mind. As far as Mike Seaver’s equating women teaching to homosexuality, that deserves a good BULL! I’m not following his logic, and I refuse to believe that the two can be equated. If he can, with solid intellectual integrity and spiritual grace, show me how, then maybe my BS detector will stop going off. But right now, it can probably be heard a (figurative) mile away. Grrrrrrr.

  15. #12 & 14 – Kay and Dave, (“I cannot speak so much for Mike, but it appears that some comps you cannot tie down with logic, because logic is not what is of greatest importance, maintaining the hierarchy is”) you guys made the points that I was going to make! 😛

  16. At the beginning of the debate, I really didn’t think Mike was someone who would go for the homosexual/slippery slope association lines, but, Oh well….

    I’m beginning to think you are right – logic is not what is of greatest importance, it’s maintaining their hierarchy. Why else would they want to make something as temporary as sexual gender so important?
    I posted this verse on another blog today:
    “Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.” Matt. 22:29-30
    it seems to fit here, too.

  17. Dave, I appreciate both your and Kay’s comments and suggestions on my last comment. Right now, I am expanding and editing my comments on Colossians 3:15-17, as suggested by Kay, which I hope to post to Mike’s website later today or tomorrow night. And thanks, Dave. for the reminder of how Mike is likely to follow Grudem’s view of mutual submission, or in this case, mutual ministry. That is something else I plan to incorporate in the revised version of my comments on Col. 3:15-17, using material from Alan F. Johnson’s article in the Priscilla Papers, “A Christian Understanding of Submission: A Nonhierarchical-Complementarian Viewpoint.”

    In the above article, Johnson discusses a book that I believe will prove troublesome for complementarians. It is by a British NT scholar, Gregory Dawes, entitled THE BODY IN QUESTION: METAPHOR AND MEANING IN THE INTERPRETATION OF EPHESIANS 5:21-33. Now as Johnson points out, egalitarians with find that they strongly disagree with some points of this author’s arguemts, but the book is still of great value.

    The first thing Dawes does in this book is demonstrate is that in NT Greek, kephale is what is linguists describe as a “live metaphor,” which has a plurality of meanings that can only be determined by its contextual usage. So according to Dawes, because of its context, Col. 2:10 b is correctly translated, “[Christ] is the head over every power and authority,” while Eph. 4:15, because of its context, speaks of Christ as the unitary source from which the Church receives life and power for its growth and development, hence the translation, “we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ.” However, Dawes criticizes patriarchial-traditionalists for holding that kephale can only mean “authority over,” regardless of the context; and he criticizes egalitarians for refusing to see kephale as potentially meaning “authority over” in Eph. 5:21-33. But it is what Dawes argues about mutual subjection, contrary to Grudem and Piper, that I find most interesting and pertinent to what we are now discussing. Here I quote Johnson:

    Dawes also argues that while hypotasso “in itself is not quite synonymous with ‘obedience’ (hypakouo), the two terms are closely associated in 1 Peter 3:5-6…and in Titus 3:1” (p.212). What then, he asks, can be made of the peculiar expression in Eph. 5:21, “be subject to one another” (hypotasso allelois)? Dawes believes that this expression when correctly exegeted means, “mutual subordination,” and that “it helps to undermine the (apparently) ‘patriarchical’ ethic of the following verses” (p. 213)…Finally, is there any reason to restrict the meaning of the word “one another” (as meaning “everyone to everyone”) to mean “some to others” as Grudem and Piper advocate? Dawes argues that the context shows that the exhortation, beginning with Eph. 5:19, where we find a series of five participles (speaking, singing, making melody, giving thanks, and submitting to one another), are all dependent on the command to “be filled with the Spirit” (v.18) and give no reason to believe that any of the five participles are directed to only some Christians and not to others. Furthermore, verse 21, with its call to mutual submission (and from which verse 22 gets its verb), cannot be limited to the relationship between husband and wife, but it must be taken as a general Christian ethic addressed to every believer. Mutual submission applies to all Christians, and it can be applied to Christian married couples also because they too are members of Christ’s Body (Johnson, pp. 14-15).

    And I think this is a good reply to Grudem’s nonsense regarding mutual submission. But you know, the more I interact with complementarians, the more I am convinced that they regularly violate this principle of biblical interpretation: A text must always be understood, explained and applied within its proper context. Or as I like to say it, “Any text, explained and applied from its proper context, is nothing but a pretext!”

  18. Thanks for the info Frank…I wished I had read some of that before I prepared my post!

    You quote Dawes as referring to “mutual subordination”. I have also read debates before where the words “submission” and subordination” are seen as meaning the same thing or swapped with one another. I have not read Dawes except for what you just quoted, but it seems to me that submission and subordination are fundamentally different. One has to do with the “natural order”, the other has to do with how you “choose to relate” to someone. Would you agree? Because I think that we can submit to one another, but I do not think we can be subordinate to one another…especially in CHrist (Gal 3:28!). Perhaps I am pedantic?

    I like Dawes’ thinking on “one another”!

  19. Homosexuality was defined by God as a sin (punishable by death even).

    Women teaching men, however, is not described as a sin. The most you could selectively lift from the New Testament only (contrary to 1 Cor. 14:34-35) is that it is disgraceful. Sounds more like a cultural thing to me.

    The most that will happen is that we will once again have women like Pheobe, Prophetess Ana, Junia, Pricilla, the four daughters of Philip in Acts, Huldah, Deborah, Miriam (Micah 6:4 — “4 I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.”), and many others that I am forgetting off the top of my head or who were not named. If they weren’t punished or reprimanded for leading/prophesying to men nor were the men for listening, I don’t think we have much to worry about by following the example of those women now. So where’s the slippery slope again?

    ‘Nuff said.

  20. Dave, you asked an interesting question about “submission” and “subordination,” which I am not quite sure how to answer. I know that the first is usually understood as one “willingly deferring or yielding to another,” while the other is usually understood as one “willingly placing or ordering oneself under another,” and so are understood to be synonyms and so used interchangably in several articles I have read in the past. Until you brought it up, it did not occur to me that there might be a subtle difference in meaning between the two. So I’ll have to check my English dictionaries and thesaurus and see what I can find out. But, no, I don’t think you’re being pedantic.

  21. Frank,

    *”Dawes argues that the context shows that the exhortation, beginning with Eph. 5:19, where we find a series of five participles (speaking, singing, making melody, giving thanks, and submitting to one another), are all dependent on the command to “be filled with the Spirit” (v.18) and give no reason to believe that any of the five participles are directed to only some Christians and not to others. Furthermore, verse 21, with its call to mutual submission (and from which verse 22 gets its verb), cannot be limited to the relationship between husband and wife, but it must be taken as a general Christian ethic addressed to every believer.”*

    Excellent find!! I’m very glad you shared this. Do you recall where this article was published? I am interested to see what else Gregory Dawes may have that’s edifying.

  22. “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” Phil.1:15-18

    To me these verses also fully demonstrate that Paul was not nearly so concerned about >who< was preaching, so long as it was Christ that was being preached. He even rejoiced about it!

    “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
    “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly be rewarded.” Mark 9:38-41, TNIV

    I certainly think these verses may also apply. Someone correct me if I’m cherry picking here.

  23. I’ve been following this fascinating and enlightening discussion/debate all along and just want to say thank you to both Cheryl and Mike, and also to all the commentators who are also adding really great stuff to the conversation. I have to say, also, that it is so nice to have some men here fighting our corner!

  24. I had hoped to get to all the comments on this post, but I have run out of time. There was so much to catch up on after coming back from vacation. For tonight I will just comment on Karen’s comment…I too am grateful for the men that God has sent my way. To see a man fighting for his sister’s in Christ just fills my heart with joy. For those men who have been brave enough to comment here, let me once again express my heartfelt gratitude for your support and your great comments. In the days to come I will be commenting on the posts as I catch up with all that I have missed.

  25. Frank, I did a quick check and I can find consistant and fundamental differences between submit and subordinate. Submission has to do with the will of the person submitting, while subordination has to do with hierarchy. Subordination works on the principle of a natural order, strength, authority and power etc.

    It seems to me that this is fundamental stuff is we are going to understand what happens in the Trinity. I cannot see any evidence for subordination of the Son, only submission. Obviously this then comes back to how comps view hierarchy in the church and marriage. God created us all equal, and so we, like the Trinity can submit to each other. It is actually impossible for us to be subordinate to one another (in my understanding), because “order” does not allow for you to be “below” me while I am also “below” you. Can’t happen! I would be interested in knowing your conclusions!

    Cheryl and Karen, as one of the blokes, it is a joy.

  26. Dave,

    Are you an Aussie? I lived in Sale back in the early 70’s.

    Cheryl, please pardon this off-topic remark.

  27. Leaders? Hmmm?

    Is that a truth for “the body of Christ”
    which is not of this world?
    Or is that a tradition of men?
    Or a tradition of the worlds system?

    A movement or a corporation
    probable does need leaders.
    But “the body of Christ?”

    I thought Jesus already had the position locked up.
    Or does He need some help? Ishmael anyone?

    There seems to be this tremendous
    emphasis on leaders, five fold ministry,
    apostles and prophets and the rest.

    Where is the sitting at his feet movement?
    The forsaking all and serving Him movement?
    The entering to His rest movement?
    The ceasing from our own works movement?
    The letting God build His Church movement?

    I’ve tried a lot of the movements.
    Now when I’m looking for a movement
    I eat a box of prunes.

    I’m worn out with all the movements.
    I’d like to and am laboring to enter into his rest.
    Enter into His arms and hear how much
    He loves me just the way I am.
    Warts and character defects and all.

    What would happen if… ?
    we had no human leaders in the ekklesia?
    What would “the body of Christ” look like?
    Would there be a lot less abuse?
    A lot less confusion?
    A lot less division?

    Would Jesus still be the head?

    Over 2000 denominations? Hmmm?
    Who’s idea was that?

    Oh yea, how silly of me.
    Wasn’t it leaders? Who thought they had a better idea?

    Have you considered the ant?

    An ant is small and insignificant.
    Or is it?

    Go to the ant, thou sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise:
    Which having
    no guide,
    overseer,
    or ruler,
    Provideth her meat in the summer,
    and gathereth her food in the harvest.
    Proverbs 6:6-9

    Guide – 07101 qatsiyn from 07096
    KJV – ruler 4, prince 4, captain 3, guide 1
    1- chief, commander, dictator.
    2- ruler (of one in authority)

    Overseer – 07860 shoter {sho-tare’}
    KJV – officers 23, ruler 1, overseer 1; 25
    1- official, officer.

    Ruler – 04910 mashal {maw-shal’}
    KJV – rule 38, ruler 19, reign 8,
    dominion 7, governor 4, 81
    1-to rule, have dominion, reign
    2- to exercise dominion.

    Isaiah 3:12
    …O my people, they which lead thee
    cause thee to err,
    and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Isaiah 9:16
    For the leaders of this people
    cause them to err;
    and they that are led of them are destroyed.

    Jeremiah 50:6 My people hath been lost sheep:
    their shepherds have caused them to go astray…

    Jesus took the time to tell his disciples
    not to be called master/leader. Mt 23

    The Interlinear Bible-
    Nor be called leaders,
    for one is your leader the Christ.

    Phillips Modern English-
    you must not let people call you leaders,
    you have only one leader, Christ.

    Today’s English Version-
    nor should you be called leader.
    your one and only leader is the Messiah.

    The Amplified-
    you must not be called masters ( leaders )
    for you have one master ( leader )
    the Christ.

    If Jesus told His disciples not to be called master/leader
    and someone calls them self a leader or thinks they are a leader;
    are they a disciple of Christ?

    If that is our options, “Disciple of Christ” or ‘leader”
    Which one do you choose?

    Titles become idols and
    pastors become masters.

    In His Service. By His Grace.

  28. @A. Amos Love

    Nice. Very insightful. It is foolish to be quibbling about who should and should not be a leader when we are all called to be disciples with one Leader.

    Though…., it is a worthy cause to quibble about who should be able to prophesy. I would postulate that there are already women prophesying and being apostles, even in patriarchal churches.
    I would postulate that Cheryl here is prophesying right now to a church with the rest of us able to contribute our own prophesies in comments.

    What is a church?
    What is a pastor?
    What is an apostle?

    Depends on what time period you live in, I guess. These days a church means either believers in Christ as a whole or a building; but the Bible says that the Church is the believers. It makes no mention of buildings being churches. Nor does it make mention of these buildings being “the house of God”. There was only one house of God in the past at a time. It was the Temple (whichever one was standing at the time) or the tabernacle.
    Now Jesus said that He lives in our hearts. Our bodies are His temple. Wherever His temples gather is a church body. And this is a gathering of God’s temple.
    And each of us, but especially Cheryl, is standing up and prophesying to this church. We have no “leader”. We only have an administrator named Cheryl who keeps order in the discourse, which makes her the overseer.

    So what is a pastor? You won’t find the role of pastor in the Bible. You won’t find a church in the Bible where only one man stands up and preaches from the Word, while the rest sit and listen. No, rather you find churches where anyone may stand up and speak a prophesy from Scripture as long as they do it in an orderly fashion.
    And I would propose that there are several women out there, even in patriarchal households, in a gathering of two or three believers who are prophesying to men and women alike. They just don’t have the high and mighty title of “pastor” or “leader”, only the function of one to the people listening at the moment, be it man or woman.

    What is an apostle? According to church “leaders”, apostles are leaders of churches. They direct the affairs of those churches. They have dominion over them. But let’s look at what the Bible shows an apostle doing? He goes out to lands preaching the Good Word to those who have not heard it. And helps shepherd the new churches that grow in those lands until they are able to stand on their own. So what is an apostle but a missionary? Are there not female missionaries out there?
    I would like to quote someone very witty that I have known by the name of James:
    “Woman are permitted to preach in open air under two conditions:

    a) the woman is in a foreign country or on an Indian Reservation;

    and,

    2) the listeners are at least two shades darker in skin color than the woman in question.”
    How very true. Though it is very sad that the names of Rachael Saint and Elisabeth Elliot are being blotted out on some Christian sites that I have seen in favor of their brothers/husbands who, contrary to those sites, did not share the gospel with the Auca Indians because they were martyred by the Auca’s before they could. Still, there are still women functioning as missionaries to those “lowly” dark-skinned people. That makes them apostles without the flowery, uplifted title.
    I was reading this article of Cheryl’s: http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/01/22/the-husband-as-king-over-the-wife/
    And I ran into the comments of “Happy” Promise Keeper. And I read his so-called proof that Junia wasn’t female located here: http://www.cbmw.org/Resources/Articles/A-Female-Apostle
    I will quote from that article: “I tentatively affirm that the second person was a man named Junias, although I cannot be certain about the matter.”
    Well, dear sir, there are other female apostles here in modern times. Shall you give them a sex change, too? No, I suppose you shall just do the best to wipe their names from history. Those female apostles perform the function without the title because they love God and wish to share that love with other people. That is more than I can say for you who seeks after titles of importance. And, in the process, seek to denigrate the work of one of these fine people with this quote: “Therefore, in light of this evidence, I conclude that Andronicus and Junias were two prominent messengers that served Paul and the early churches by delivering important instructions from the former to the latter, and by relaying questions and concerns from the latter to the former.”
    Man, they must have been some stupendously great messengers to get such high praise as that while still being stuck behind bars with Paul, meaning they are unable to deliver messages anymore. They were such great messengers that the Romans were bent on prosecuting these messengers but not the one delivering the book of Romans.
    Or MAYBE they were arrested because they were, yes, messengers but messengers of God’s Word to those who have not heard it, where the term “apostle” likely came from.

  29. Kay, yep I am an Aussie living in Sydney Australia (I wondered when I referred to myself as a “bloke” if I was being too Aussie).

  30. Dave, which dictionary/thesaurus did you check? I checked my Webster’s New School and Office Dictionary, which gave me the following definitions:

    Submit: 1. To yield to the authority, power, etc., of another. 2. To present (something) to the judgment, discretion, etc., of another. 3. To offer as a belief, evaluation, etc.; suggest.

    Subordinate: 1. Inferior in rank, value, power, importance, etc. 2. Subject to the authority of another. 3. In grammar, something that cannot stand alone.

    The main difference I perceive between the two is, to use the philosohical terms, one involves a voluntary or volitional choice, while the other, being a relation of inferior to superior, is one of necessity which negates any voluntary choice. So I think I agree with you.

    As regards the relationship of the Divine Persons of the Trinity, I agree with Athanasius, Kevin Giles, and Thomas F. Torrance: While they are distinct, none is prior to or greater than the other as regards their divine nature and attributes; all are fully and equally God. The submission of the Son to the Father, as our Redeemer and Mediator, applies primarily to the Incarnation. As far as I am concerned, the modern doctrine of the Eternal Subordination of the Son is nothing but an ancient heresy put into new packaging. But is heresy, nonetheless.

  31. Frank, trying to find the correct English word to represent the Grk. is not all that easy. In Grk. hupotassomai (passive) has nothing to do with yielding to authority. Rather it is about arranging oneself under another. Whether that arranging is done voluntarily depends upon whether one is doing so at one’s own discretion (passive) or at the requests of another. Even if at the request of another, it does not indicate the authority of the other. That must be supplied by other words.

  32. “As far as I am concerned, the modern doctrine of the Eternal Subordination of the Son is nothing but an ancient heresy put into new packaging. But is heresy, nonetheless.”

    I’ll second that!

  33. Kay, the partial quote from Gregory Dawes book was taken from Dr. Johnson’s article, “A Christian Understanding of Submission: A Nonhierarchical-Complementarian Viewpoint,” which appeared in Priscilla Papers, Vol. 17 Autumn 2003. And you’ll find some more of Dawes material in that article. I would be interested in getting a copy of Dawes’ book, but I find that English books, even when used, tend to be expensive. And TL, thanks for the futher clarification regarding how to translate hypatasso (“submit”) and its cognates

  34. Hi TL…you said,

    “In Grk. hupotassomai (passive) has nothing to do with yielding to authority. Rather it is about arranging oneself under another. Whether that arranging is done voluntarily depends upon whether one is doing so at one’s own discretion (passive) or at the requests of another. Even if at the request of another, it does not indicate the authority of the other.”

    I was thinking about this and was thinking, the whole thing can get very fuzzy. For starters, if we submit, and it is not voluntary submission, we might be submitting externally in action, but have we submitted internally – in our hearts? Also, if we are “forced” to submit, then does that not imply that the one who is forcing us is more powerful, has more athority etc…which surely leads us back to subordination!

    I guess I am just wondering, can submission really be something that is not done passively – at our own discretion?

    Frank, I have Webster’s, but I also used other dictionaries when I formulated my understanding of submission and subordination.

  35. Good ‘wonderings’ Frank. The difference is that submission is not obedience even though it can look like it at times. Submission chooses at ones own discretion, rather than another’s. Submission will take into consideration other considerations such as laws (laws are not perfect and can go against God’s Truths). When we choose to submit to a law we are obeying it. Obedience is about a required response. It doesn’t matter if it is willing or not, it is something we must do at another’s insistence.

    But even that has interesting nuances. When we choose to obey something we haven’t been commanded, we have (in the Greek & Hebrew thinking) heard and responded on the strength of what we have heard. IOW we have heard something so powerful or truthful that to our understanding it requires our positive response. Or we understand the consequences to be distasteful if we don’t obey or submit.

    The only thing that isn’t hazy about it all is the idea that wives should obey every request of their husbands. Such a powerful authority over another’s adult life should never ever been given. It is akin to absolute slavery to be wielded solely at the discretion of the holder. Some like the idea but will wield this power benignly. Others will use it to the hilt. To think that this creates a holy unity means one doesn’t understand holy and godly unity.

    But submission in the Grk. understanding is something that anyone can do and all should do. We should all have the attitude that we want to get under and lift one another up and profit one another’s life. In fact, this attitude should be the first requirement of those who want to serve in ministries.

    OK…. sorry for the rambling. I just got up. Not fully awake. :^)

  36. The whole issue I see with submission is that it must be from the heart – like every other aspect of the Christian life. Paul wouldn’t even need to mention it, if God was making us do this automatically in some way. No, it’s something we are told to do – it’s our choice – it’s not forced. O.K., well, maybe some Calvinists would see it that way. But, why bother to leave any Scriptures for us, if God makes us do everything by His Will anyway???

  37. “But, why bother to leave any Scriptures for us, if God makes us do everything by His Will anyway???”

    If women were created for submission and following men as some actually teach, they would as you say do it naturally.

    God gave us dogs for that. My dog (gone now) used to follow me every where and would have gone with me every where I went if I’d let him. He never tired of my company, nor of responding to my wishes. Great dog as far as dogs go. 🙂

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