Browsed by
Category: Authority and Women

What God intended at Creation – ruler or ruled?

What God intended at Creation – ruler or ruled?

Ruler or ruled? Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

What did God intend at creation?

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

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

Read More Read More

Ephesians 5 infected with the mindset of the world

Ephesians 5 infected with the mindset of the world

Worldly infection on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

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

Read More Read More

1 Timothy 2:12 prohibitions revisited

1 Timothy 2:12 prohibitions revisited

1-timothy-2-12-prohibitions

I started a post months ago and then life became so complicated I had to set my blog aside to cope.  This post will now be the new “home” on the discussion on whether 1 Timothy 2:12 has two prohibitions or one.  As a review here is what I originally wrote:

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

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

As I have been reading through Philip B. Payne’s book, I have been paying special attention to his process of reasoning.

Read More Read More

1 Timothy 2:12 two prohibitions or one?

1 Timothy 2:12 two prohibitions or one?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sign on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

Newsflash July 24, 2010

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

Read More Read More

Complementarians, why let women lead Bible studies?

Complementarians, why let women lead Bible studies?

Woman Bible Teacher from Women in Ministry - Cheryl Schatz

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

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

Read More Read More

Common objections to women in ministry – authority of the husband

Common objections to women in ministry – authority of the husband

husband-authority on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In our continuing topic of common objections to women in ministry, the objection is raised that women cannot have authority in the church since wives are under their husband’s authority. The concern is that if women had leadership roles in the church, then their leadership role would be in submission to their own husbands. So instead of women making individual decisions, their husbands would be the ones making the decisions for them and the wives would be obligated to obey.

The objection comes from the theory that the husband is the ruler of the wife so that any decision she would make in a leadership role outside the home would come under his control. In essence it is believed that women’s leadership in the church would result in their own husbands leading through their wives and how would that look if he was an unbeliever? 

Read More Read More

Women in Christian school stifled while men fire school principal

Women in Christian school stifled while men fire school principal

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

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

Read More Read More

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

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

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

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

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

Read More Read More

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

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

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

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

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

Read More Read More

Equal in value and worth = in whose eyes?

Equal in value and worth = in whose eyes?

Equal in whose eyes? on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

 

One of the problems with complementarian definitions is that they aren’t complete enough on the surface to reveal the underlying nature of their hierarchical disposition.  However when one pushes to get the answers to some difficult questions, the picture becomes a lot clearer that actually shows the complementarian stand to be male bias in the pretty package of complementarian wording.  However when the veil is pulled back, a contradictory view is shown which reviews an inequality in God’s design of humanity, but also a man-made restriction placed on God Himself in how He is allowed to express Himself through half of humanity.  Let me give a few of examples of the pretty package and then we will dissect the statements.  The examples are all from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).

Read More Read More

Can a wife's authority be overruled?

Can a wife's authority be overruled?

Couple on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

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

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

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

Read More Read More

Julie Pennington-Russell talks about the Georgia State Convention

Julie Pennington-Russell talks about the Georgia State Convention

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

julie_pennington-russell

Read More Read More

Does a woman need a spiritual covering?

Does a woman need a spiritual covering?

umbrella2 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Does a woman need a human spiritual “covering”?

Submission and authority are a big issue in the church today.  Closely tied into the issue of authority is the teaching that women need a spiritual “covering.”  Men, we are told, are to be the spiritual “covering” to provide protection and to allow the man to have the accountability. But is a human “covering” a Biblical teaching?  There is no New Testament concept of a human “covering” and only one clear human “covering” in the Old Testament. Please note that part 2 of this article is now up at my new blog at https://mmoutreach.org/wim/2018/02/13/christian-woman-spiritual-covering/

There was a tradition in the Old Testament of the kinsman redeemer who would “redeem” a widow by marrying the widow of a deceased relative.

Ruth 3:9  He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.”

Ruth 3:10  Then he said, “May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.

Ruth 3:11  “Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.

Ruth 3:12  “Now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I.

Ruth 3:13  “Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the LORD lives. Lie down until morning.”

Read More Read More

Do the genders have different functions?

Do the genders have different functions?

I am creating a new post to continue the great discussion that we have been having on a previous post while I am out of the country.  The original discussion is on this post http://mmoutreach.org/wim/2009/07/05/wayne-grudem-part-2/ and since we have grown to over 240 comments, I would ask that we continue our discussions with Mark the complementarian here.

Evaluating the Schatz/Seaver debate

Evaluating the Schatz/Seaver debate

Evaluating the Schatz/Seaver debate

 

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

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

Read More Read More

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 10

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 10

Whose commands are women to obey? Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz debate women in ministry

Responses to question #5

In the last blog post Cheryl Schatz posed her fifth set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their discussion/debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post.  This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #5 and Mike’s rejoinder.  Mike’s matching blog post is here

Read More Read More

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 9

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 9

Does God Contradict Himself?  Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry

This is question #5 of a 10 question discussion/debate between Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry.  The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz.  Each question and answer session will be followed up in the next post by one response each from both Mike and Cheryl.  Links to the questions and the responses will be at the bottom of this post.

Question #5 by Cheryl Schatz:

Read More Read More

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

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

Women in Ministry Blog Conference September 1 - 15 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Responses to question #4

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

Cheryl Schatz responds:

Read More Read More

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

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

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

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

#4 Question by Cheryl Schatz:

Read More Read More

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

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

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

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cheryl’s response:

Read More Read More

Ask John Piper – Do some complementarians deny women opportunities?

Ask John Piper – Do some complementarians deny women opportunities?

John Piper picture on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

On John Piper’s web site is posted a question that someone asked of him about the application of complementarianism that affects women.  The question is:

Do you think complementarianism is so important to some people that they deny women more opportunities than the Bible denies them?

I was shocked at John Piper’s response.  You really need to listen to it for yourself.  Click on the link above to hear an audio version or see the video clip. 

Read More Read More

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 2

Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz discuss/debate women in ministry 2

Judge on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Last post Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz started a discussion/debate on women in ministry.  Here is a link to Cheryl’s Question #1 given to Mike.  This post will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers and Mike’s response to Cheryl’s response.  Mike’s corresponding post on his Role Calling blog is here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cheryl responds to Mike’s answers:

Read More Read More

Wayne Grudem – answering part 5 of his “Open letter to Egalitarians”

Wayne Grudem – answering part 5 of his “Open letter to Egalitarians”

Wayne Grudem on Women in Ministry

This is the part 5 of answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” and his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”.  Today I am posting his fifth question, Suzanne McCarthy’s answer from the Greek and my own questions below that.  My blog does not yet have the ability for me to use the Greek fonts so I have included a link to Suzanne’s article that has the Greek.

Question #5 from Wayne Grudem:

Read More Read More

Round 8 Interview with the Apostle Paul on women pastors

Round 8 Interview with the Apostle Paul on women pastors

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

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

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

Read More Read More

Interview with the Apostle Paul

Interview with the Apostle Paul

paul on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

This post will be a simulated interview with the Apostle Paul taken from the position of what he might say if we could transport Paul from the New Testament account through a time tunnel into our present day.  We are interested in asking Paul his reasons for what he wrote about women and what he thinks about the present day church regarding women’s ministries.  However the interviewer that gets first “crack” at Paul will be a complementarian Christian who strongly believes that women are restricted from teaching men in the church.  The interviewer’s name will be “Doug”.

Read More Read More

Reaching unity in the faith without authoritarian control

Reaching unity in the faith without authoritarian control

Misty Bedwell bride restricted

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


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

Read More Read More

King Uzziah and women lepers?

King Uzziah and women lepers?

girl_cook on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In an interesting blog post on Pyromaniacs the February 10th post, author Dan Phillips tries to link the rebellion of King Uzziah and his punishment of leprosy with the “unfaithful” act of women who apparently are committing treachery against God by becoming pastors.  Is this really true?  Are women pastors committing treachery against God?  First let’s look at Dan Phillip’s article to see how he equates women pastors with illegally burning incense on the altar.   Taking the opposing view for effect he says:

Surely King Uzziah had every bit as much right to burn incense on the altar as… well, as women have to be pastors in our day!

No matter how wonderful it (women pastors) looks, treachery is still treachery.

Read More Read More

Who was the judge of Israel, Deborah or Barak?

Who was the judge of Israel, Deborah or Barak?

The story of Deborah and Barak in the book of Judges has caused many hierarchists to assign the God-given work of judge delivering the people of Israel to Barak while denying that God raised up Deborah as a deliverer.   By assigning a calling to Barak that scripture never assigns, it appears that the example of Deborah and Barak is a clear example of reading into the text the tradition of men and failing to identify in the text God’s own inspired words which give the calling to Deborah.  In the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s (CBMW) Journal article, Barbara K. Mouser writes concerning Barak:

Barak is a weak man who does the will of God when paired with a righteous and wise woman. He does the job of deliverer-judge, makes the roll call of faith, but suffers a loss of glory because of his lack of zeal and obedience.

Barbara Mouser also denies that Deborah is a God-given judge who is raised up by God to deliver Israel:

Deborah is Not a Judge

She is not a judge in the sense that the book of Judges defines a judge; she is not a military deliverer.17 Rather she is a prophetess, and as a prophetess, she commands and exhorts Barak with God’s own words and authority.

The amount of “reading into” the text is astounding in this article.  For example, where is Barak said in scripture to be “raised up” by God as a judge?  Barak is never called a judge but Deborah is and Judges chapter 2 makes it very clear that all the judges were raised up by God.

Judges 2:16  Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.

The raising up must include all of the judges and in this account of deliverance it is only Deborah that is identified as a judge, not Barak.

Next the CBMW article identifies women as a sign of degeneracy:

Isaiah tells us that the rule of women is a sign of degeneracy, not liberation (Isa 3:12).

Read More Read More

1 Timothy 2, authority and the magical pulpit

1 Timothy 2, authority and the magical pulpit

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

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

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

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

Read More Read More

Anne Graham Lotz and 800 pastors' shame

Anne Graham Lotz and 800 pastors' shame

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

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

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

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

Such a shameful event should have never happened.

…what action does he say should have happened?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anne Graham Lotz Just Give me Jesus

Pursuing More of Jesus with Anne Graham Lotz

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: