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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On the "Eve" of Error

Lately, it seems there has been a resurrgence of egalitarianism in different circles.
    Thabiti Anyabwile has an article about the Vineyard Churches shifting to allow women pastors.
    Jeff Robinson, from Gender-News.com has an interesting article about Rob Bell's Mar's Hill Church changing its position to egalitarian.
    Mark Driscoll listed complementarianism as one of the things we must contend for, during his presentation at Desiring God's recent conference.
    Steve Makofka asked in a blog post if our own Fellowship was begining to have second thoughts about complementarianism. (And according to one comment he received, it seems his suspicions are justified). As far as I know, however, Steve has not receieved any further comment.
This seems to be a big issue that is only going to get bigger. Proponents of egalitarianism typically come from a two sided attack. First, they claim a cultural distinction that allows for their perspetive. Second, they claim the issue is not that big a deal, and complementarianists should just back off and allow everyone to have their own opinion. However, no complementarian is allowed to argue that since it isn't a big deal, we should just leave things as is (for no change = no progress to most).

However, I hold to Mark Dever's observation:
As Lig the paedo-baptist has often said "If there were a verse in I Timothy saying 'I do not permit an infant to be baptized . . .' we wouldn't be having this conversation about baptism! There is such a verse about women serving as teacher/elders!"
Dever continues by saying:
Of course there are issues more central to the gospel than gender issues. However, there may be no way the authority of Scripture is being undermined more quickly or more thoroughly in our day than through the hermenuetics of egalitarian readings of the Bible. And when the authority of Scripture is undermined, the gospel will not long be acknowledged. Therefore, love for God, the gospel, and future generations, demands the careful presentation and pressing of the complementarian position.
It's not so much the error of turning "I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority" into "I do allow a woman to teach or exercise authority" that concerns me (though I find it greatly concerning). It is the question of what is next? What does this hermeneutic allow us to change in the future?

A quick look at many mainline denominations today shows the end results.


  • At 5:35 PM, Blogger H K Flynn said…

    As a homeschooling mom, I agree with you that this is an authority of Scripture issue. I suspect that's how Satan sees it as well.

    Also, I responded to your comment on Pyros.

    God bless.


  • At 8:33 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    thanks for stopping by jodie...and for the polite conversation on pyros.

  • At 3:41 PM, Blogger H K Flynn said…

    ..no prob...

  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger Sister Sarah said…

    Women were not allowed to preach in Biblical times because they were not allowed to be educated. These days there are women who have been given the wisdom and knowlege of God to preach effectively. It may not be for all women, but for those who are called and educated, who are we to say otherwise? Besides, Jesus saw all people as equal. Radical? Yes, in His day, but certainly not today.

  • At 8:20 PM, Blogger danny2 said…


    i'm so glad to see you one my blog and would love to get a better chance to talk theology with you...i certainly wish you guys lived closer.

    you are certainly right that women have not been afforded many of the same opportunities as men, when it comes to education and even employment abilities. yet, this does not seem to be paul's concern in 1 timothy 2.

    paul takes his line of reasoning back to creation. adam was created first, and then brings up the issues related to the fall. (don't ignore that the fall created the curse that a woman would desire leadership over the man...partly because man just became sinners and much harder to follow.) paul makes no argument to culture, but instead to creation (which we all share). the same can be said for peter when he addresses these issues.

    yes, Jesus did show women a respect that many others did not. (however, we do place a larger denegration on first century women than what is probably accurate because we project the current middle eastern views of women back to that day--views largely influenced by islam.) yet Jesus, for as radical as He was, did not call any woman to be one of His 12 disciples. we have to understand that Jesus was extremely diliberate in all He did. if He did not choose a woman, there had to be reason for it. (and to say society wasn't ready for that is not a valid argument...for Jesus did much that His "society wasn't ready for."

    your thoughts?

  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger Sister Sarah said…

    Galatians 4:4 states that sin came through Adam, but righteousness came through Mary who bore Jesus the ultimate Rightousness. Just as through one man (Adam) came sin to all men, so through Mary came righteousness to all men through Jesus. In I Timothy 2 :15 Paul states that women will be saved through child bearing. He mentions this after his litany of don'ts for women: No braided hair being one of them( that's something all of us miller girls have done-are we wrong for that or out of place? no). That is why I place this chapter in a cultural context.
    As to Jesus not asking women to be disciples, there it is again...the cultural taboo of women in leadership. Jesus didn't exactly get a warm welcome wherever he went and to have women (who some regarded as dogs) alongside him would have destroyed his credibility in their eyes altogether.

    Don't get me wrong. I have no trouble with the idea of submission, but things are not like they were. When I was in school, one of my roomates believed that her calling was to be a minister/preacher for the Church (yes, a Vineyard Church). She received the highest academic honors from Lee (a denomination which had no women ministers) and a full ride to Princeton Theological Seminary. She of any woman I have personally known has a distinct call which God has made clear. Its not for me, but who are we to pass judgement on any woman who receives this call on their lives? There are many men out there who may not have such a strong calling, but go into ministry anyways....that's all I'm saying, bro.

  • At 3:09 PM, Blogger danny2 said…


    glad to see i didn't scare you away! i've wondered what you thought about these issues, so it's good to see your thoughts in writing.

    i know you are not remotely catholic, and i don't want this to be nitpicky...but i think you may be overemphasizing mary in galatians 4:4. "but when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law."

    this is not saying that righteousness came through Mary. this is saying all righteousness came through Christ...who was born of a woman (a statement to His humanity.) otherwise, we have to say righteousness comes through the Law as well, for Paul said Jesus was born under the Law.

    as for braided hair proving it is cultural. read a little closer and you will see it says "braided hair AND gold" OR "pearls" OR "costly garments." Paul's concern was not with braiding hair, but the custom that women had to show off their wealth and cause a distraction in church by being overly noticable. (and as far as i know, none of the "miller girls" violate that because i don't know that any of you have braided gold into your hair to display your excessive wealth...so you're safe there.)

    however, to use the languages properly, you must acknowledge that Paul does not make his argument that a woman is not allowed to teach or exercise authority because they've been braiding their hair or wearing nice clothes. again, he makes his argument in verse thirteen. FOR (because) it was adam who was first created, and then eve. if anything, paul seems to base his argument on something culture can not affect....the created order remains true regardless of the era or geography. (even for those who deny creation...it doesn't change its truth.)

    as for Jesus avoiding women disciples because it was culturally taboo...you said: Besides, Jesus saw all people as equal. Radical? in your first post, you were willing to present Jesus as this radical, who cared not what people thought but was faithful to God. in your second comment, you want to display Jesus as falling in line with status quo, not wanting to shake things up or give people what they can't handle. i'd argue you were more accurate with your first take in Jesus. He never seemed to hesitate to correct peoples incorrect thinking. i have a hard time imagining Jesus believing women could be elders in a church and not establishing some example of that with His ministry.

    a secondary question regarding your comment about submission. if you were a pastor (i know you are not suggesting you should be, just play along) yet anthony is to be the head of your home, how does that work when you are his overseer according to Scripture. i've talked to women pastors who claim their husband is the head, that their role is only "professional" and is only effected when they walk into the doors of a church. that is a fallicy, for shepherding is done more outside the doors for the church than within. how does the female elder tell her husband that she is to oversee (teach and exercise authority) over him yet he is the head?

    i am not saying women are not qualified for ministry. certainly they are. however, the office of an elder seems to be restricted by Scripture to men. yes, times have changed, but the created order has not, and that's what paul argued to.

    perhaps your friend has felt called to minister to women? and i certainly would love to have more people in my flock, regardless of gender, who were trained more in theology. just think of the things she can share with and train her children from! that should not be minimized.

    am i making sense?

  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger Sister Sarah said…

    I'm sure you made sense to people who agree with you. However, we can agree to disagree.

    When I say Jesus was radical in his treatment of women, he was. He treated them with respect and gave them a different perspective to society....take the whore who was going to be stoned. Jesus told the men to stone her if they were blameless themselves, that's all.

    As far as heads of households go....Anthony insisted on an equality between us when we got married. He didn't want to be the dictator and I didn't want to be the dictator and we've lived in peace and tranquility ever since. Well, not really, but equality has worked for us.
    I just don't feel like Jesus would place women in boxes to only minister to women. That seems boring schmoring. However, it is just my opinion but here's an interesting fact:
    I can't vouch for all Christian schools preparing students for ministry, but I can say that at Lee...
    Bible and Theology majors (men and women)had to take at least 2 years of Greek in order to complete the major. Pastoral majors (predominently men) never had to take Greek....AND THEY"RE THE ONES PREACHING TO US!!!!
    I would rather have my friend, a Bible and Theology major preach to a crowd than a Pastoral major when I knew they didn't have the depth of knowlege or understanding as we did.

    Also interesting, I've read several great articles by Protestants admitting that we tend to hide Mary until Christmas. She had a way more active role than that. She wasn't the Savior, only the vehicle.

    Just interesting. You can have the last word, I don't care. I'll submit. Muffin used to pee when he would submit. I won't do that. The end.


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