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Adam and Eve, the sin nature through the man, and women in ministry

Adam and Eve, the sin nature through the man, and women in ministry

Hung out to dry on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The question has come up on this blog whether Adam had a sin nature at the fall that would have been passed on to all of us and if this is an issue that is important regarding women in ministry.  After all we need to know why it is that only Adam would bring sin into the world and if all of us have something “hanging” onto us from just on man, why is that? We need to know why sin didn’t come into the world through the woman.  Is this because she was “under” the man so that anything she did was not placed on her account but on his account?  These questions and more will be answered in this post. 

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Does God prefer men?

Does God prefer men?

Does God Prefer Men? Women in Ministry blog Cheryl Schatz

Recently I had a woman write me who was troubled by some Bible texts that seemed to indicate that God preferred men.  I felt that the questions she posed and the answers I provided would be good to put on line in case there are other women out there who also have been troubled by these same questions.

Question: I have been struggling with a question for the past several weeks.  Do I as a woman, have less worth in God’s eyes than a man does?  Given that Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law…I was (and still am) struggling with several scriptures where women are concerned and the seemingly “double-standard.” I could not fathom why in Leviticus there is a law that states that women who give birth to male children would only be unclean for 33 days, but if they give birth to female children they would be unclean for 66 days.

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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.

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Cheryl’s response:

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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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Women in ministry – asking the right questions

Women in ministry – asking the right questions

Have you ever found that your discussions with hierarchists goes nowhere fast because they say they have heard the egalitarian arguments before and they are not willing to listen to what you have to say? Perhaps we are missing an opportunity to engage them because we are wanting to teach them first instead of letting them teach us. What would happen if we let them teach us by asking them the “right” questions?

Those who believe in the hierarchical view which has restrictions on women that forbid women from teaching the bible to men, base their belief primarily on one verse – 1 Timothy 2:12. Instead of debating with them what this verse means, why not take one step back and ask them two important questions? First of all ask them if 1 Timothy 2:12 is a law of God that forbids godly women from teaching biblical doctrine to men? When you have established that 1 Timothy 2:12 is a law of God forbidding this activity, ask them when this “law” came into existence? Did it come into existence before Paul wrote it to Timothy or did it come into existence at the time that Paul wrote 1 Timothy 2?

Let’s consider the ways that this question could be answered.

1. If they say that this “law” came into existence at the time that Paul wrote 1 Timothy 2, then it means that there was no “law” prior to the its creation with Paul. This means that women prior to New Testament times had no restrictions on teaching the bible to men. Does this make sense? Is it possible for Old Testament women to have more freedom than those women who became believers in Christ through Paul’s ministry? This doesn’t seem logical. Why would God allow women for thousands of years the freedom to teach the bible to anyone without regard to gender and then suddenly this bible teaching becomes a sin? If it was a sin, how would the women believers who were there before Paul wrote the “law” in 1 Timothy know that it was a sin? Priscilla apparently had no idea that her teaching the bible to Apollos and her correcting his doctrine was a wrong thing to do. Priscilla taught the bible with authority by correcting error.

2. If they say that the “law” that stopped women from teaching the bible to men was created before Paul wrote it down in 1 Timothy 2, and Paul was merely referring back to a “law” that already existed, where is this “law” written down? There is no such “law” in the Old Testament that could possibly be linked back to. If they try to say that the “law” was recorded in Genesis 3:16 with the phrase “he will rule over you”, remind them that this could not possibly be a “law” that forbids women from teaching the bible to men. After all if Genesis 3:16 was really God’s will that wives were to be ruled by their husbands, then women would have to obey their husband’s command to teach the bible to men.  My husband, for example, has been very strong in encouraging me to teach men and women alike with the gifts that God has given me. If I am to obey my husband I will teach men the bible instead of turning them away.

So instead of quibbling about whether there is a “law” that forbids women from teaching the bible with authority, why not ask them when this “law” started? See if they can figure it out.

Today I had the opportunity to read a blog where Bob Cleveland posted a comment that I really appreciated. It is located here.

Bob commented:

If a woman has the gift of teaching she oughtta teach; to anybody who wants and needs to benefit from her God-given gift.

This really touched me. It puts the onus on the one who wants and needs to benefit from her God-given ability. I believe that this is why scripture tells us to submit to one another. We cannot take authority over someone else and force them to listen to us. The power is in the hands of the one who submits. The submission is not so that we can be under someone’s thumb. The submission is so we can benefit from what God has given as a gift to them for our benefit. When God has given his precious gifts of teaching and insight on the scriptures to a woman, we should honor God by submitting to learn. Do you want to benefit? Don’t accuse a godly Christian woman of being in sin because she has been given insight into the bible. This gift from God through her is given freely to anyone who is willing to receive it. If you want it, you should be able to freely receive.

Scripture also tells us that all of us are “needed”. God has placed his children into the body with a special gift given to each one for the benefit of the body. We are not allowed to say that some members are not needed for our benefit. Each one has been placed in the body and each one is to function for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you“; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

When a man turns away from learning the bible because it is being taught by a woman, he is not really rejecting her but God who gave her what is needed for the health of the body. He is saying that others may need her, “but I don’t need her”. By refusing the good gift, he is refusing to submit to receive from God and he is judging God because of the vessel that God has himself chosen to use. Such a one has broken a direct prohibition of God given in 1 Corinthians 12:21.

If there are any complementarians or hierarchists reading this who would like to answer these questions, please feel free to interact on this post. I believe in treating brothers in Christ with respect even if they disagree with me on these secondary issues. Each of us is a member of the same body, bought by the shed blood of our precious Lord and Savior and I desire to honor other members of the body of Christ who are not the same as myself.

Was Adam a type of Christ?

Was Adam a type of Christ?

Recently I received a request to post my ideas on why Adam chose to sin when he was not deceived. The writer went on to ask:

“Could it have been intentional (prophetically typical of Christ), and as sacrificially paying the cost to be with his beloved. Paul also then confirming that the redemption from that sacrificial love would ultimately come from progeny through their union? What were Adam’s choices? Would God have cast her out, and taken another of Adam’s ribs for Eve number 2? Would that have been the end to humanity?
Also—if Adam (even the first Adam) is a type of Christ, that puts Eve as the type of the Church, which is both male and female.”

There are a lot of questions here that deserve to be answered in a thoughtful and biblical way. I have heard pastors preach that Adam ate the fruit because he was acting in a sacrificial way to be with his wife. She had already sinned by eating first and so it is said that he lovingly stands by her side and chooses to die with her.

While this view of the events is very romantic and sounds good as a story, it has a problem in matching up with the actual facts recorded for our benefit. (1 Corinthians 10:11) Let’s start with what we know for sure and move to what we can rightly surmise from the events.

1. We know that Adam was with Eve while she was being deceived. (Genesis 3:6)

2. We know that Adam was not deceived. (1 Timothy 2:14)

3. We know that Adam did not take the blame for his wife or try to shield her from God’s charge. Instead of fighting for Eve, he blamed Eve for his own sin (Genesis 3:12)

4. God charges Adam with dealing treacherously with him and thus deliberately transgressing the covenant with God. (Hosea 6:7)

So here are the questions that we need to ask – if Adam ate the fruit because of his great love for his wife…

1. how come Adam waited until after she ate the fruit before he “gave himself up” for her?

2. how come Adam didn’t try to protect her from God’s anger and judgment?

3. how come Adam wasn’t showing his loving protection of her when he answered God by passing the blame on to Eve?

What the facts show is that Adam failed to show his love for his wife while she was being tempted. The facts also show that Adam was not deceived so he ate the fruit with his eyes wide open. Adam sinned without being deceived so his sin was deliberately disobeying God. Not only did Adam deliberately disobey God, but he did not give himself to save his wife before she ate the fruit. Unfortunately the facts show that Adam ate the fruit for reasons other than his sacrificial love for his wife. Adam’s sacrificial love would have been shown if he would have sacrificially saved Eve by bringing her out of her deception. That did not happen.

Is Adam considered a prophetic symbol of Christ, dying for his bride? No, not at all. Adam did not warn his bride about sin. Christ not only warned his bride but he died to save her from her sin. Only Jesus Christ sacrificed himself as a true godly husband. Where Adam failed his bride, Jesus did not. This next question brings up one of the most important truths of our Christian faith:

“Paul also then confirming that the redemption from that sacrificial love would ultimately come from progeny through their union?”

The truth is that the progeny that saved mankind did not come from the man or his union with the woman. The Messiah was promised to come through the woman alone. The Messiah was not to be tainted by the inherited sin of rebellion and God accomplished through the woman’s seed the destruction of the destroyer himself.

The Messiah is the only picture of the perfect husband. His sacrificial love for us was the true love story and Adam does not qualify to be a foreshadowing of Christ. The first Adam lost it all. The last Adam bought it all back. Adam was not a type of Christ, but Christ is a type of Adam. Christ became the “last” Adam, the one who lived a completely sinless life and was the one who did not abandon his wife but sacrificed for his own bride.

“What were Adam’s choices? Would God have cast her out…?”

God did not cast Eve out when Adam sinned with her. God knew that Eve was deceived and so he extended mercy to her. God judges the intentions of our heart and Eve was not in rebellion when she sinned. Eve fell into sin through deception (1 Timothy 2:14). Being kicked out of the garden was not the original punishment for sin. The punishment was death not removing their garden home. The reason that Adam was kicked out was his rebellion. He had already sinned once by disobeying God’s commandment with his eyes wide open. Would he refuse to listen again when God now withholds the tree of life from them? The fact that God kicks Adam out of the garden shows that God knew what was in Adam’s heart.

The next question is an interesting question.

“Would God have cast her out, and taken another of Adam’s ribs for Eve number 2? Would that have been the end to humanity?”

Adam and Eve both needed a Savior. God promised the Messiah through the woman. Eve did not have to leave the garden with Adam for the Savior to come. After all did Mary need to have a man to become pregnant with the Messiah? No. The promise of the Messiah was through a woman alone. If Eve had stayed in the garden, the Messiah could have come through her without the aid of any man. Eve left the garden not because she needed Adam to have the promised Messiah. She left because she wanted to be with her husband. There was no need for another Eve to be created. God knew that Eve would leave the garden with her husband because he prophesied that her desire (or turning) would be to her husband. He also prophesied that the man would rule over her. I believe that it is fairly clear that Eve left the garden because she wanted to be with her husband and he took his sinful rule over her by demanding that she come with him.

“Also—if Adam (even the first Adam) is a type of Christ, that puts Eve as the type of the Church, which is both male and female.”

Yes, men and women are all part of the “bride” of Christ. Men need to learn how to be part of that “bride” just as women need to learn how to be “sons” of God. All of us can learn from each other. Men need to learn how to submit as well and women also need to learn how to be “warriors” of the faith.

To Diane Sellner of CARM

To Diane Sellner of CARM

**October 2008 addition Note: A public statement regarding Diane Sellner’s role in the public attacks against me is at http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/09/06/public-statement-regarding-matt-slick**

To Diane Sellner,

I have invited you to my blog and provided a safe place for you to dialog with me. I thought this was thoughtful, kind and generous. What you have done is accuse me of teaching error and then you put posts up on CARM that say I haven’t answered the accusations yet you have blocked me from posting as you have my posts on moderation and they are not showing up.

Clearly we have two different standards.

Here is the new discussion board that Diane has delegated both for general discussions and the issue of women in ministry http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org/v/forumdisplay.php?f=91

If any visitor to my blog would like to see the side of hierarchy that regularly bans egalitarians who post in a respectful manner, and dominates and controls those who don’t agree with them, please do visit CARM’s discussion board and pay close attention to the attitude displayed there. The really old posts on “feminism” are downright scary when you consider the leadership at CARM are supposed to be fellow Christians.

Now I would like to ask a question to the visitors on my blog: why do you think that there is such a double standard with hierarchists? What might be some of the reasons that causes them to treat this secondary issue in the body of Christ as if it is a matter of salvation, thus causing them to be divisive towards their fellow brothers and sisters in the faith?

Also I would like to ask for wisdom from the posters here. What has helped you to keep a respectful attitude when you are being attacked? Are there points of wisdom that you can share with all of us that will keep our eyes focused on our Lord Jesus and less on the attacks coming from this hierarchical camp?

I would also like to bring attention to my previous post where I have answered some of the challenges posed to me but which to this point have not been allowed to appear on the CARM board to this point.

Apparently my wisdom in deciding that my own blog is the appropriate place to answer the challenges to my egalitarian argument by Matt Slick has been a good decision. It is the only place I can do this in a respectful manner without having my answers held back. I really appreciate the ability to be able to post here and to find such a respectful community of believers who take the challenge to heart about representing Jesus with a truly Christ-like attitude!

Also a quite note that I am still working hard on the Trinity DVD so my periods of absence here are for a good reason!

Blessings,

Cheryl

Where to next?

Where to next?

Hello all,

I should be done the verse-by-verse discussion on 1 Corinthians 11 (the head covering & hair issue verses) this week and I was thinking that I would move on to a discussion of God giving teachers to the body of Christ – are teachers part of the gifts of the Spirit or “offices” that must be filled by men?

While I am still considering my next set of posts, I thought I would open a post up for you to give some input.  What would you like to see discussed?  What questions do you have that could work into a post of their own?  What would you like to see me teach on?

God’s richest blessing to all, and thanks for popping in on my “Women in Ministry” blog!

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