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Three spheres of subordination shrinks to two

Three spheres of subordination shrinks to two

In my last post I pointed to USA Today’s editorial that challenged complementarians who are willing to accept a woman as the Vice President of the country, that they should admit that they are full fledged egalitarians in the realm of society, the workplace and public life.

Doug Phillips of Vision Forum, an organization that believes the bible forbids women from voting, has taken CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) to task saying that Dr. Gushee is right in his USA Today challenge that people like CBMW have experienced an historic change in their theological position.  He writes:

Dr. Gushee’s point was essentially this: Christians must formally acknowledge that a historic change has occurred in their theological commitments and policy objectives, or reasonable observers must conclude that that their position lacks intellectual integrity.

While I do not agree with Doug Phillips at all regarding his very legalistic interpretation of women’s “roles”, he is right in pointing out that if one interprets the distinctions between male and female as rooted in the creation order itself, then it is inconsistent to not apply that principle to all three realms – marriage (home), church and society – instead of just in marriage and the church.  If we are going to remove the realm of society and civil government, then we need to rethink our interpretation of Paul.

CBMW states that they are being consistent and that:

God’s design for male headship in the home and the church does not require the exclusion of women from leadership in public life, where spiritual headship is not involved. Such extrapolation carries the biblical teaching about the role of women beyond the Bible’s own application.

The apparent inconsistency according to CBMW only comes when one overlooks the priority of the church:

Complementarians only seem to be inconsistent if one overlooks the priority of the church and misses the distinction between the church and and civil government.  This confusion is resolved when one understands that complementarians simultaneously hold a high view of Scripture, a high view of women, and a high view of the church.

I think it is time that we test CBMW’s claim to consistency and see what they have taught in the past regarding the role of men and women in Society.

In 1987 CBMW formed as a concerned group of individuals and in that year they created the Danver’s Statement which is a list of CBMW’s core beliefs.

Point 1 under Rationale, CBMW lists a concern:

The widespread uncertainty and confusion in our culture regarding the complementary differences between masculinity and femininity;

Note that the concern is not just about the home and the church but about “our culture”.  Did CBMW believe in 1987 that the difference between masculinity and femininity would necessitate different roles in society?  Their Danver Statement affirmations make it clear that they believe the “created order” that was ordained by God and it goes past an application to Christians because it is to be found within every human heart:

Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart (Gen 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor 11:7-9; 1 Tim 2:12-14).

We find in CBMW’s 1991 book “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” that there is a “breaking point” of femininity that makes some “roles” for women inappropriate, unproductive and unhealthy:

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Questions of faith for semi-egalitarians

Questions of faith for semi-egalitarians

USA Today has an editorial written by David P Gushee in which Mr. Gushee challenges complementarians that they are actually semi-egalitarians and they should be willing to openly acknowledge this.  Gushee says that he writes about this issue as a moderate evangelical Christian.

Gushee writes that there are many theologically conservative Christians who accept Sarah Palin as the Republical vice presidential nominee.  Yet at the same time:

…at the local church level many congregations would not accept Palin or any other woman even as associate pastor, or deacon, or youth minister or Sunday school teacher in a gender-mixed classroom.  The most conservative would not consider it appropriate for her to stand behind a pulpit and preach a sermon, or teach from the Bible, or lead a praise chorus, or offer a prayer, unless her audience consisted entirely of women or children.

He notes that even CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) who Gushee calls “an influential advocacy group” and who are against women teaching men in the church, have no problem in allowing for a woman to serve as vice president of the country.  CBMW has replied to the article welcoming Gushee’s questions:

Dr. Gushee is the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University and challenges complementarians with many questions in the September 15, 2008 issue of USA Today.

CBMW writes:

While we are honored that Dr. Gushee considers CBMW “an influential advocacy group” on gender issues, we don’t claim to represent the “evangelical voting base,” or even all complementarians.

It certainly is a fact that CBMW does not represent all complementarians.  There is a group called Vision Forum who were formerly associated with CBMW from its beginning, but who have since separated themselves from CBMW now calling CBMW in actuality semi-egalitarians.  Vision Forum has written that Dr. Gushee is “spot on”.  In an article regarding USA Today’s editorial, Doug Phillips writes this about CBMW:

It is our view, however, that they have erred by overtly embracing an egalitarian perspective of the roles of men and women in the public arena.

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Is Complementarianism merely personal conviction?

Is Complementarianism merely personal conviction?

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

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

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

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

1.  The authority of scripture is at stake.

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

2.  The health of the home is at stake.

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

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

This hinders the sanctification of married couple…

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

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

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

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

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

3.  The health of the church is at stake.

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

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

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

4.  Our worship is at stake.

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

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

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

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

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

5.  Bible translations are at stake.

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

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

6.  The advance of the Gospel is at stake.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eve and God

Eve and God

One’s world view can cause one to have presuppositions that bring set patterns of reasoning that have nothing to do with the text of scripture. One of these areas is with Eve’s relationship with God and whether God placed the man in charge of her basic knowledge. Some think that God created the woman to be led by Adam so that Adam was given the responsibility to tell the woman God’s prohibition. Hierarchists (or complementarians as many call them) start with the world view that God gave Adam authority over the woman and this gets factored into their view. Let’s take one step away from our presuppositions and look at a question that many have not pondered before. The question is “Who instructed the woman on what she could eat”? Note this is not a question on what she could not eat, but regarding what she could eat.

So who instructed the woman on her diet? Was it God or was it Adam? Hierarchists normally assume that it was Adam. After all if God gave Adam authority over his wife, instructing her on the things that God had already spoken to Adam about, would seem to be obvious. But rather than assuming things, why don’t we look at scripture to see what God has revealed?

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Was the man given authority to rule the woman?

Was the man given authority to rule the woman?

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

Matt quotes Matthew Henry who said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lastly, Matt quotes K. Weust as saying:

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

Matt says:

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

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

Under “Objections answered” Matt writes that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did Paul claim to have a specific ordination?

Did Paul claim to have a specific ordination?

This post is a separation of the post called Is ordination a requirement for a female pastor? since it was brought to my attention that the two streams of thought were too much for one post. This post will deal with the ordination of Paul by Jesus as an apostle.

Paul was not ordained by any man yet he claimed to be an apostle ordained by Jesus Christ and chosen to be a witness to the resurrection just as the other eleven were chosen as witnesses of the resurrection.

Matthias was ordained by men, chosen as one of two candidates who were then presented to God for the final decision. God did not speak forth either by prophecy or word of knowledge or through the gifts of the Holy Spirit in choosing Matthias. Rather than a direct word of God, Matthias was chosen by the casting of lots. The question that I asked was whether the decision of men is involved in the gifting and calling of God?

It was disciple’s decision to chose two candidates and Paul was not a candidate put forth by the Apostles because they did not consider that the decision for the twelfth apostle was to be made in the far distant future or that they were not personally responsible for initiating the process. Rather they believed that a witness to the resurrection had to be someone who was among their midst from the beginning so that he could be a witness to the resurrection. Yet Paul was indeed chosen by Jesus to be a witness to the resurrection even though he had not been with the apostles from the beginning.

Let’s examine the ordination requirement of the replacement apostle to Judas. It is found in Psalm 109:8.

Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few; Let another take his office.

The inspired wording says “Let another take his office”. Notice it doesn’t say “Let a group of men give him his office.” The onus is on the successor to Judas to do the taking. When Barsabbas and Matthias were picked by the apostles as two possible replacements, did Matthias say that Jesus had picked him as a witness to the resurrection? Did Matthias give a testimony that he was the one to take the office? No, he did not.

The word in the Greek for “take” is lambánõ. According to the Complete Word Study Dictionary, in the NT, this Greek word means:

to actively take, and, partially in the pass. sense, to receive

So it is an action word that primarily means to “take” and this is why nearly every translation renders it as “take”. What was the “office” that the replacement was to take? It was the “office” of a legal witness to the resurrection. The disciples make this clear in Acts 1:22

…one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.

Judas failed to be a witness of Jesus’ resurrection because in his unfaithfulness he betrayed Jesus and because of his betrayal he committed suicide before the resurrection happened. The replacement for this “office” had to be one who would “take” it himself. The “taking” of the “office” would be a personal witness that one has been called by Jesus Christ as an official witness to the resurrection, and one “takes” the office by claiming and proving their ordination by Jesus.

Did Matthias “take” the office of official witness to the resurrection by his own testimony? It appears that he did not otherwise there would not have been a need to cast lots. Matthias’ testimony that he had been picked by Jesus as the witness to the resurrection would have made such an act of casting lots totally unnecessary. There is no record that Matthias ever claimed to be personally picked by Jesus nor is there any record that the eleven disciples received a witness from Matthias that he was the one who was to “take” the “office” of witness to the resurrection. Instead of Matthias taking the office at the stage where the choice was to be made, the disciples chose to cast lots as an act of their faith that God should be the one who makes the choice.

My question continues in asking did Paul take the “office” of witness to the resurrection? Yes, absolutely! Paul claimed to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, picked to be a witness to the resurrection by the very ordination of Jesus himself. Paul’s ordination was completely opposite to the ordination of Matthias whose ordination proves to be from men alone with no outward miracles or a witness by Matthias himself that he was picked by Jesus as the others had been.

Now how does all of this relate to the ordination of a women Pastors? I personally believe that a true God-ordained choice of Pastor should be only to ratify and recognize what God has already chosen. Man’s ordination cannot make one a Pastor nor can the failure of some to recognize God’s gifting take away one’s gifting and calling from God. Paul’s ordination as an apostle of Jesus was in no way lessened because he did not have the ordination of men. Paul’s proof of his ordination was in his signs and wonders and revelations that stood the test of a true apostle. It was his actions that proved his claims. No ordination of man was necessary.

Have you ever met a Pastor that was ordained but who did not have the fruits of the Spirit or the heart of a shepherd? Such a one is not a true Pastor gifted by Jesus himself. Jesus said that there would be hirelings who do not care for the sheep but who are there as shepherds for other reasons. These hirelings run away when the wolves come to make a meal of the sheep. The fact that they have been ordained by a church cannot truly make them a gift to the church. Only Jesus’ choice and gifting can do that.

Eph 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Eph 4:8 Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”

Eph 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

While there are apostles beyond the twelve who have been gifted by God for service to the church, there are only twelve apostles who formed the foundation of the church along with the cornerstone who is Jesus. Is Paul a member of that special foundation of the church, or is he only one of the other gifted apostles who have been gifted for the service of the body of Christ but not as special foundational apostles? While I believe, as many others do, that Paul was chosen by Jesus as the twelfth apostle, this is something that we can discuss and debate and see what we see in scripture to support our viewpoint. I will be moving the comments from the other post to this one so that we can keep the flow of our arguments.

Thoughts?

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