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Can Women Be Gifted To Serve And Lead In The Church?

March 22, 2013

Greetings,

“There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty four.  She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.  Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”  Luke 2: 36-38

Here we have New Testament biblical evidence of a female prophet.    

“He (Apollos) began to speak boldly in the synagogue.  When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.”  Acts 18: 26

“Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.  They risked their lives for me.  Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.”  Romans 16: 3-4

Right here in the text again, as plain as day, Priscilla taught and instructed Apollos in the ways of the Lord.  Paul also says right out front that Priscilla was his fellow worker in Christ Jesus.  The scriptural evidence points to this fact…Priscilla was a pastor/teacher.  I have also read somewhere that Priscilla might perhaps be the author of the book of Hebrews.

“Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who have been in prison with me.  They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.”  Romans 16: 7

Right there in black and white is Junia…yes a female apostle.  Paul was in prison for sharing the Gospel and it is likely that Junia was there with him for the same reason.

To me it is extremely clear that God gifts, places and uses women to serve and lead in His Church.  This truth is confirmed both in scripture and also in my 35 years of serving Jesus in totally free and open, Spirit led, relational fellowships.  To me, if you deny women their God -given right to total equality in the Church, even in regards to that thing some call leadership… you sin against not only women, but also The Lord Himself.  Any hierarchy in the Church is wrong and sinful, including the one that always places men over women.

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3: 26-28

In Christ we are now all one.  This means we no longer are to be divided by nationality, working or social class,  gender or anything else.  To say one group is superior than another goes directly against our oneness in Him.  In Christ we are all equals and Jesus can use ANY one of us to lead whenever He desires.  Why disqualify 50% of the Body from service?  Because men only ministry is the tradition of most of the “church”.  It is one of the traditions that nullifies the Word and cripples the Body.  I strongly believe in following those who follow the Lord, even if that person is a woman.  I thank God for female leaders in my life.  I would not be who I am in Christ without them.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

P.s. Everyone shares and serves in our relational fellowships..so this is rarely an issue among us.

 

 

 

 

 

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60 Comments
  1. Mickey Merrie permalink

    How can she be the husband of one wife as per Titus? 🙂
    (Just for the sake of the discussion. LOL)

  2. Mickey, I believe the key to that verse is having only one spouse. “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

    • "BK" permalink

      Indeed, Chris, you are correct. The word used for deacon being the husband of one wife is the same word used Rom 16:1, referring to a woman (just translated differently). One spouse, yes.
      “BK”

  3. Ladies and Gentleman, this is my 2nd post and last concerning this issue.

    First off, I’d like to thank Christopher for stimulating some quality interaction with many excellent posts as of late. Those are valued by all as are your own comments as well Chris. You’re probably a little surprised that I’ve come out as apparently opposed to your position herein, though likely not to the extent you may have surmised.

    I want to say from the outset that although I have considered this issue previously, I still consider myself in the learning process as many of God’s truths are worked out in relationship. This is by no means my final word on this subject despite this being my present position.

    Secondly, I want to thank everyone who contributed or will contribute to this vital topic. I’m grateful to each of you regardless of which position you believe to be proper before God.

    Due to the nature of this subject matter, I would like to make these comments about how I came to the conclusions I have today and what I believe will cloud the discovery of God’s heart about this issue.

    1. The fact that women have in the past or are now frequently taking upon themselves leadership roles in God’s service has nothing to do with whether it is proper before God. There are many “good things” and “good results” that derive from very sinful people and that often have religious origins. The fact that some individual or a group of individuals consider something to be of value does not make it so. The issue is only and always, “What has God said?” This is what I hope each of us aims to discover through this study.

    2. As previously mentioned, the fact that women are prohibited from performing various functions in the ekklesia or taking upon certain leadership roles has nothing to do with equality with men. That’s the manner this world and its patrons view equality- if women are in any way prohibited from doing what men do then they think they are being denied some fundamental right. This is not the manner in which God views equality, nor is it the manner in which it is practiced within the body of Christ. Just as God’s love, peace, security- indeed all things are not defined nor practiced like this world sytem, so is the definition and practice of equality miles apart from how this world would attempt to convince us.

    3. In order to answer the question properly, “Can women be gifted to serve and lead in the Church (Ekklesia) it is imperative to define properly what the ekklesia is. Furthermore, the question isn’t really whether they can lead (they can and do in many ways already) but this question remains, “Can they lead men or exercise authority over them?” And this too: “In what capacity should women lead and in what circumstances?”

    4. Where does a mature female saint (Priscilla) helping others to learn of God make her a leader in any ekklesia? It doesn’t. Not only, but the function of a shepherd (not the imaginary gift of pastor) is equivalent with elders who serve where and among whom? Answer: Within a local ekklesia. Many, many times I’ve had awesome conversations with women who have taught me things about God and His Word and I cherish those times and people. I have never been threatened by such and in most cases welcome and initiate those conversations. This said, that doesn’t make these women elders, though they may often carry out leadership responsibilities through various gifts God’s given them in the appropriate contexts. Priscilla teaching Apollos or anyone else outside of a local ekklesia about God does not break the prohibition for a woman to not exercise authority over a man which is why it is permissable, nor does it break the prohibition for a woman to remain silent within the gathering of a local ekklesia- further showing the need to properly denote what an ekklesia actually is.

    5. Even if Junia is a woman (I don’t know) and an apostle (seems legit) this only means they we’re sent one’s, nothing more. Even in our day women are sent all over the world in God’s service to carry out a variety of responsibilities. Being sent does not in any way garner some special authority as an overseer. In fact, who are you overseeing if you are sent somewhere to preach? Exactly, no one. Paul and the 12 were unique in that Jesus gave them delegated authority that no believer has since possessed. I’m glad Junia was sent, probably with her husband or a male friend no doubt (Andronicus?)

    6. Whatever our individual or corporate experiences may be in Christ, those experiences must be tested and validated by The Word of God- not the other way around. In your latest two posts Chris I hear you buffeting your arguments with your experiences. That can only help if you can prove your argument which lacks in the least that which we would all love to hear you address if you’re willing:

    Please address at least some of the scriptures which oppose your position, or appear to do so. Such as (1 Corinthians 11:1, 3) (1 Corinthians 14:34-37) (Ephesians 5:22-24) (1 Timothy 2:11-14) (1 Timothy 3:1-13) (Titus 2:1)

    Frankly, I find your position impossible to substantiate without interjecting the verses above. These verses state clear commands, those you quote do not clearly prove your points. Your experiences to me arn’t in the least bit relevant until you do.

    Instead of carrying out this discussion here any longer I’ve decided to write my own post on this issue upon my own site. Having just gotten started here, the tension has already risen to the extent that one of us has chosen to declare God’s judgment upon all who disagree with him. In other words, contempt prior to a thorough investigation.

    One last thing. Before any of us attempts to use Galatians 3:28 as a proof text in an attempt to prove (not equality, which does exist) but rather women as equal elders in God’s ekklesia, they might want to pay a little closer attention to the context of Galatians. Nowhere in this book is that issue ever addressed, nor does the context allow for females to assume or usurp the roles of males that God established from creation on into eternity.

    • "BK" permalink

      Indeed, Chris, you are correct. The word used for deacon being the husband of one wife is the same word used Rom 16:1, referring to a woman (just translated differently). One spouse, yes.
      Michael, (among the forgotten) I wondered why you would only make ‘your second a final’ comment? Is this how you discuss in person? Two responses in a conversation and then you are done? I don’t mean this as in a smart aleck way….it’s just that in on line discussions there needs to ongoing dialogue. You sound like you are giving the final say and authority and ‘that’s that.” Just hoping I can help you relate online a little better.
      Lastly, when one doesn’t believe giftings are positions or titles or right to perform, then none of this really matters. It’s like the bumblebee. Science says he can’t fly but he does because someone forgot to tell him he can’t. When one just walks in the Spirit, flowing Christ as He desires to flow, it takes the ‘nico’ out of it; the need to justify why I can or can’t……we just do. As has been said before, it will be known by its fruit. “BK”

  4. Hey Michael, or among the forgotten, You made some good points. Seems like you are saying that it is alright for women to teach/lead in informal situations like homes, but not in a formal “church” setting. Since I avoid formal settings like the plague all my experiences of having a female teach or lead me have been informal. Interesting stance you present, but a servant who leads is still a servant who leads regardless of the location. I will wait for others to weigh in before I comment here again.

  5. Okay, Cap’n, here I come to the rescue.

    For those who still view the scriptures from the flesh (carnal, logical, mental reasoning), instead from the Spirit (symbolic, invisible things), likely nothing I say will change your mind, because you are still of the mind that it’s all about externals. HOWEVER….the mystery of Christ and the Church is hidden in allegory. I think I can clear this up without doing damage to ANY of the scriptures (including the ones that say for women to be quiet and not lead, or teach men), and still FREE…totally free up women to do and be all that God gifted them to do and be.

    Men and women, male and female, are analogous to Christ and the Church, or…Spirit (man, Christ, Adam) and Soul (female, church, Eve).
    As long as your “internal man” (The Spirit of Christ, which is 3-part, consisting of the NATURE or CHARACTER of God, the INTENTION OR MOTIVATION, and the PURPOSE or GOAL) is RULING, LEADING, COVERING your “internal female” (the “woman or wife, or the church, consisting of your mind, you heart and your will), then Galatians 3:28 is true….THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE IN CHRIST JESUS.

    I will prove to you that every single person born on earth has a “female” inside, both male and female.

    At the turn of the 20th century, the sex chromosomes were discovered. You probably learned about these in science class…the female consists of TWO “XX” factors, and the male has ONE “X” factor, and one “Y” factor. The Y is what determines that one is male…in this symbolic sense, it means “a SON”, or the “offspring” of Yah….How convenient/coincidental that “Y” was the factor that determines we are “sons of the living God”.

    Every person on earth, saved or not, has a “soul” (mind heart will)…males…and females…everyone. Not everyone yet has been born from above, and the ‘new creation man’, that fruit of the Spirit (male seed) coupled with the “seed of the woman” (SOUL), brought together in UNION, produces Christ in us. The Christ nature is born from the soul’s submission to the Spirit’s guidance, protection, leading and covering.

    I submit to all of you, this day, that there are (literal, penis-touting) “MEN” in churches everywhere, who are allowing their “inner woman”….their disobedient, rebellious and DECEIVED minds and hearts and wills that are going their own way, and not submitted to Christ internally (some even externally), who have allowed their inner woman to usurp the authority of the Spirit of Christ every time they take the pulpit and “lead” and “teach”.

    I also submit that there are literal (vagina-sporting) women who, having Christ alone as their “head” (authority, husband, covering) are being led by the Spirit, and are more in conformity with scripture than many men out there today. I dare you to tell me that I’m wrong.

    The bible has much to say about this very thing, but substitute the word “soul” for woman/female/wife/church/Eve, and substitute the word “Spirit” for man/male/husband/Christ/Adam. Understand the marrriage relationship between the His Spirit and your soul, to produce the new Christ creation in you to be birthed by your souls (“SHE” will be “saved” in child-bearing, remember?) every time you read it, and then see if ALL scripture doesn’t flow smoothly and allow freedom and grace and truth to ring through it in every word. No contradictions when you see it from above.

    Ye carnal minded, keep stumbling along, but those who have ears to hear, be HEALED and blessed in Jesus’ name (nature/character).
    It just so happens that next weekend, I…a “woman” in the flesh, will be SPEAKING and TEACHING men in a local gathering in Denton Texas next weekend…on this very topic. Timely that Kirk brought it up now, right? Father is right on time with everything.

    Be blessed as you move into present truth, and let that day old manna slip right outta yer hands…it’s full of maggots, ya know?

    • Debi, oh my goodness! Flabbergasted…

      From one who has supported ‘women in ministry’ for 44 years…

  6. Mickey Merrie permalink

    So Chris, did she help or hurt the cause? I’m interested in your take on her explanation of the inner male and inner female from both of your inner perspectives!

    • "BK" permalink

      That was an excellent explanation of the relationship of soul and Spirit. I would add when Gal 5 says the flesh and Spirit war that it is the soul who is the battleground. The spirit of the flesh wanting to express through her; the Spirit of God also so desiring. The longer we walk with Him the more our soul avails to Him. Psalms 34:2 David said, “My soul makes HER boast in the Lord”. David? Indeed, David. “BK”

  7. Wow Debi! Thanks for sharing! That is a lot to absorb and to take into consideration. My initial thought is that what you have shared rings at least mostly true in my Spirit. However, I am also the guy who made and wears a bright pink tee-shirt that says “BRIDE OF CHRIST” on the front and “GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR FEMININE SIDE” on the back. As part of the Bride of Christ I often feel Spiritually female. However, we are all (both males and females) also called sons of God in the bible too. I sure hope that this particular blog gets some more people sharing here today.

  8. I would also like to state that I have known Debi online for over 12 years and we also met face to face on two occasions, once in Texas and once in California. I recognize her gifting and the Lord has used her to speak into my life on a number of occasions. In my life she has functioned as an elder. Thanks again Debi!

  9. Erroll, was that “flabbergasted” good or “flabbergasted” bad?

    • Hi Christopher,

      I think I’ve said too much already. Feel constrained to hold my peace.

      Thanks,

      Erroll.

  10. Mickey Merrie permalink

    How about Y being Yhwh and X being man. Man being made in God’s image is both Y and X. Woman being made in man’s image is X and X. Thus woman is under man and he her covering, while man is under God who is his covering.
    Actually makes more sense, is more defendable scripturally, and goes further to establish Michael Ferguson’s position then Debi’s.
    Sorry, but I think I understand Errol’s flabberghastedness more then I understand Debi’s herminutics…In fact it is one of the damndest things I’ve ever read, and could perhaps set that case for women leading back nearly 7,000 years!

    Tim, if you are still out there? I would request a membership packet to your church in a heartbeat over sitting under that type of leader. Sorry folks, just my inner people speaking out…

  11. Mickey, I don’t think we should sit “under” any type of leader except Christ Himself.

  12. It’s “hermeneutics” or “HER-‘Man-made’u-tricks”, of whom Hermes, the trickster god, (who LIES and deceives), the ‘god’ of communications, messages, etc. who was used to name this “method” of man-handling and twisting the scriptures. It (hermeneutics) is therefore damnable heresy created by those who would try to apprehend God through any means (carnal reasoning) other than via the Holy Spirit, Who it is promised would lead us into ALL truth.

    XX is FEMALE, XY is male, science proves it (second witness). Your “soul” woman is SUPPOSED to be “submitted” to Christ, your husband-man SPIRIT “head”…but the carnal-minded and religious will never understand the things of the Spirit, for it is FOOLISHNESS unto them. The “fruit” that comes forth from the WOMB (woman)is supposed to be a “son” spiritually speaking, in the image of Christ. Are “daughters” born (soulish ones)? YES. I think I’m replying to one.

    Chris, I know you are getting it somewhat, it’s hard to grasp, I know, but prove it out. Hang in there.

    How many times has your “soul” (carnal mind, emotionally carnal heart, and disobedient will) “strayed” and committed ‘idolatry’ with false ideas about God, false images, man’s traditions and religious rituals, that later proved to let you down so that you had to return to your true ‘husband’, Christ? We’ve all done it, because we walk out the pattern symbolically, spiritually, that Israel walked out.

    Who do we think that EVE is? Adam was not “deceived”, but Eve was, because she “intercoursed” (conversation) with the serpent (reasoned with the mind and heart that was separated out of Adam) and took the fruit off the forbidden tree (which contained knowledge not just of EVIL, but also of “good”), and gave to her husband (Spiritual “man” husband) to eat as well.

    If it is time for the spiritual eyes and ears to be healed, then accept it. If not, …whatever.

  13. Reformed by the Spirit permalink

    with the comment I also submit that there are literal (vagina-sporting) women who, having Christ alone as their “head” (authority, husband, covering) are being led by the Spirit, and are more in conformity with scripture than many men out there today. I dare you to tell me that I’m wrong.”….this became a feminist sided discussion. We have to agree and are “dared” to disagree.

    The fact is: men and women are different and may have different roles and strengths. Equal does not mean the same. (3+1=4 and 2+2=4……different and equal)

    I have very strong thoughts about the feminist movement and how it is in fact not of God….I am not going to push it without Chris’s permission…and if given permission, I am not holding back punches….

    • punching…wow. and your name is “reformed by the Spirit”, right? Just checking 🙂

      when I said I “dare you to disagree”, I did not mean disagree with the entire post, certainly anyone is free to do that…I meant “disagree” as per men in the pulpit today who are NOT being led by the Holy Spirit, but following the desires of their own souls/hearts…buildings, programs, tithing, other crap. Also, do you not know of ANY godly women who are being led totally by Christ?

      Seems I have touched a nerve here, so I ask all who are against “women teachers and leaders” to kindly explain Galatians 3:28 regarding neither male nor female?

      also explain to me how “women” will be “saved” through childbearing (I Tim 2:15). Please. I hate to think of all those single ladies, barren women, etc, who can’t be saved because they don’t have babies….

      I guess Michelle Duggar is going to be on the highest level of heaven, then, huh? (Jokes, I love that woman, if she doesn’t get all of it and is stuck in the Passover realm)

    • Actually, I agree..the feminist movement is not of God, for God did not intend for the “woman” to be a usurper of authority, and to rule over the “man”.

      The natural, literal things are here for examples to us to understand the deeper, invisible, spiritual things. sooooo…

      It is not fitting for one’s soul to usurp the authority of the Spirit, and yet it is done routinely in the church, and they perceive it not. Soulishness replaces the genuine leading and power of the Holy Spirit. It is a dog and pony show, not unlike the dancing, shouting prophets of Ba’al during the showdown with Elijah. They think by use of soulish manipulation that they can achieve spiritual results, but in the process, they lead many souls astray.

      did I get at least that part right? or I am completely ineligible to teach these the way, because Christ is only come in the flesh of an XY chromosome, genuine literal man? Or did Christ come in the flesh of everyone? I heard that the seed of Christ is in every man, so does that mean that only the literal penis-sprouted ones have that “seed” in them, or do the va-jay-jays get in on this marvelous work of redemption and rebirth, NEW CREATION “sons of God” as well?

    • "BK" permalink

      While I wouldn’t use the terminology anymore as I find people don’t slam shut as quickly without the shocking language, the basic message Debi is saying really can be found in scripture. It doesn’t mean you are a feminist because you use rough language any more than it makes one effeminate by using soft, gushy language. Did you ever consider the verse in Galatians doesn’t just say there is no female in Christ? It says “male or female”. You see, flesh is flesh. If it is true that woman is ruled by her emotions and therefore cannot lead because this makes her soulish and apt to miss the Lord; then it would also be true a man who is more ‘logical’ is also apt to be soulish and miss the Lord because his mind is part of the soul. BOTH must get into the realm of SPIRIT where neither male nor female can be, in order to hear clearly past their emotions or their logical, carnal mind and THEN the Lord will be heard and the correct ‘leadership’ be given. “BK”

  14. Right or wrong I just love a totally free &open, Spirit led conversation. No one is 100% right all of the time. I love hearing from different perspectives and seeing from a number of angles. It sure beats the “good ole boy party line”. I look forward to hearing even more.

  15. Simply quoting scriptures at one another accomplishes very little. When we share it should be more conversational than that. I hope everyone understands what I am saying here.

  16. Okay, So I guess Lesbians are definitely out, huh? ; )

  17. timbushong permalink

    Chris- yes, free and open conversations are good… yup. Now, if Debi was to show up at Trinity with that, er, hermeneutic, I would definitely need to step in and protect the flock- wowsers…

    Sorry Debi- not to talk as if you’re not in the room here, but seriously- the view of interpretation that you just espoused could be used to support just about anything, and it’s certainly not the way that Christ (or Peter or Paul or Luke or…) handled the Scriptures.

    • Really, Tim…not at all how Christ handled the scriptures? If you will give me a specific example of what you are saying, please, I might better understand. Give me something I can see so I can understand what you meant exactly by how Christ “handled” the scriptures. Thank you in advance.

  18. timbushong permalink

    And PS- I’m with “among the forgotten” on this one…duh.

  19. Tim you wrote: ” Now, if Debi was to show up at Trinity with that, er, hermeneutic, I would definitely need to step in and protect the flock- wowsers” I know what Debi shared is different, but just what about it would “the flock” need to be protected from? That women are Spiritually equal to men? Just what about it was false doctrine? It did not take away from who Jesus is at all. And who are you to say that it was not the way Christ (or Peter or Paul or Luke, or..) handled the scriptures? Paul said many odd and difficult things. What about Deb’s sharing was anti-Christ?????

  20. Friends of Chris,

    What if all “Biblical” notions, as interpreted in our literalistic understanding is wrong? What if we, in our Biblical mindsets, have missed Christ and His spiritual kingdom by a million miles, just as the Pharisees did?

    Ah, Jesus told the Pharisees, you diligently study the Scriptures but…..

    I propose that all such elevation of Scriptures is for our, just as it was for the Pharisees, own person agendas. What if the Truth is, Jesus is not like church, nor the black and white literalistic interpretation of the Scriptures.

    How can we bring Christ down? By reducing Him to simple biblical text.

    WE say, is the Bible not God’s own book? Really? Would the Creator of the universe allow humans through copies of copies of copies of copies to actually endorse reduction of His mind and eternal purposes to be reduced to writing, and thereby be debated by carnal humans authoritatively…. really…are we really that simple?

    Stand in awe of God. Stop thinking like infants, with your arguments and carnal interpretations.

    If God is God., stand in awe.

    Stand back, and disregard your own thoughts, and count all of your own thoughts as nothing. Ask Christ to humble you, so you may reflect on His Way.

  21. All truth passes through three stages:

    First, it is ridiculed.
    Second, it is violently opposed.
    Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.“

    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860).

  22. timbushong permalink

    Chris (and Debi)-

    I think that Debi quoting a pagan like Schopenhauer is indicative where she is ‘coming from’ in her worldview, and of why elders can and should intervene between the flock and the wolves who seek to devour it.

    First of all, Debi’s entire analogous methodology is rife with pure speculation- there’s no possible way to arrive at those conclusions apart from ignoring context and authorial intent. X and Y chromosomes? Her radical bifurcation of the soul and the spirit? Substituting one word for another? That’s just irresponsible conjecture and wishful thinking.

    Debi wrote that “…the mystery of Christ and the Church is hidden in allegory.”

    So there goes the perspicuity of Scripture… and I ask you plainly: By what standard do you make these claims? How do you know? Doesn’t Paul tell us plainly what the mystery is?

    Yes, Chris- I would indeed refute all of the utter nonsense if it were to pop up in our fellowship- for sake of truth, for the sake of spiritual sanity, and for the glory of God alone. Anyone equates the use of logic with being carnal, or who takes Gal. 3:28 and interprets it to have something to do with “internal man” or “internal female” simply isn’t rightly handling the Word of Truth.

    • Tim, everyone,

      “Radical bifurcation”…if I could, refer you to Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the DIVIDING ASUNDER of SOUL and SPIRIT, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

      Perspicuity: (Merriam Webster) plain to the understanding especially because of clarity and precision of presentation.

      Do you mean like this:
      Matthew 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:

      Mark 4:3434 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

      And Nicodemus, asking how one could be “born again” and Jesus’s reponse to him to was speak not of the literal act of birth, but an invisible act allegorical to literal birth, but one that took place in internally, invisibly, spiritually?

      THAT kind of perspicuity?

      And Paul, Ephesians 5:32 “31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

      32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

      According to the literalist only faction, I should be eating the orange peeling ONLY, and throwing away the good inner fruit, and refusing to plant the seeds to become another orange tree…..

  23. Tim, Even Paul quoted a pagan philosopher. You then wrote: “. Anyone equates the use of logic with being carnal, or who takes Gal. 3:28 and interprets it to have something to do with “internal man” or “internal female” simply isn’t rightly handling the Word of Truth.” And that would be your opinion Tim and not fact…correct?

  24. timbushong permalink

    “Tim, Even Paul quoted a pagan philosopher.”

    Only to use their own words against them- he was, in essence, ‘hoisting them on their own petard’ by pointing out the inconsistency of their own idolatrous practices in comparison with what they claimed to believe. He didn’t quote Aratus and Homer (or whoever gets credit for the line in Acts 17) in order to agree with them or to arrive at a “truth conclusion”, which is what Debi did.

    “And that would be your opinion Tim and not fact…correct?”

    I think it’s pretty easy to demonstrate the self-refuting nature of Debi’s argument (and thereby remove this from mere opinion)

    a) She claims that the use of logic in interpreting the Bible is “carnal”
    b) She had to employ logic to make that claim, so therefore
    c) She is inconsistent with her use of logic, only using it when it suits her ends, and her “no logic” argument refutes itself.

    To say that in order to rightly understand the Bible we must ignore logic and reason is to deny very real and precious gifts that God has given us in order to do the very thing that He commands.

    “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
    Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
    And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:28b-30)

    We must love God with our “minds” as well as the rest. We should never surrender our important and critical thinking faculty in order to engage in fanciful conjecture.

  25. Chris, didn’t we one time tear down the word “theological” into the statement “trying to apprehend God with use of logic”?

    And what is that other scripture….wait, don’t tell me, hold on…ohhhhhhhhhhh yeah, here it is:

    I Corinthians 3:1 “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” Carnal means fleshly, earthly, L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y minded.

    Sorry for bringing a steak to an ice cream social, folks, my bad….no really, my bad. I’m sorry, had noooooooooo idea the kind of event it was. I seriously thought it was a BBQ, but I had no idea I was liable to be the main course…at least not like this, lmao.

    Romans 8 5-7 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

    6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

  26. function equality
    this is why women are not pressing men to be giving birth to children.

    If a man is failing to recognize the differences from person to person, man to woman. may God show mercy of wisdom upon him!

    It is better to be encouraging the participation of children in the ekklesia. Allowing a woman to make up her own mind (without our external influence or persuasion) remains honorable. Applying admonitions upon silent women, that they should speak up more, would itself be sin.

  27. timbushong permalink

    Debi- you wrote:

    “And Nicodemus, asking how one could be “born again” and Jesus’s reponse to him to was speak not of the literal act of birth, but an invisible act allegorical to literal birth, but one that took place in internally, invisibly, spiritually?”

    I didn’t say that Jesus didn’t use allegory- the Bible is full of literary devices- I said that we shouldn’t use allegory to interpret beyond the plain meaning of a text. And remember- Jesus used parables as judgment against the hard-hearted Jews

    (Matt 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children”)

    Not the same thing as the doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture…

    • So Tim, I need to ask this. What is, and WHERE IS IT WRITTEN in “the book”,
      this thing you speak of called

      “the doctrine of the perspecuity of Scripture”

      Chapter and verse, please? (you sound like you have been to semenary, am I right?)

    • And Tim…since YOU brought it up (quote)”And remember- Jesus used parables as judgment against the hard-hearted Jews”

      the Jews never once used allegory, or symbolism, they were VERY “literal-minded” only…sooooooo….

      Who is the Jew in this conversation?

      Just askin the hard questions…

  28. I believe that the best way to experience the truth in love is via the Spirit, unless He gives us enlightenment and revelation the intellect is a stumbling block. Knowledge puffs up. We do not come to know Jesus via our intellect, it first takes a Spiritual rebirth and after that we need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Our mind has little value, it is carnal, until it is renewed.

  29. Perhaps you misunderstood me, Tim….of course the “mind” and the “heart” are necessary components….but the “HEAD of a woman” is to be COVERED, and we aren’t talking dew-rags here, now are we?

    WHAT (or perhaps I should say “Who”??) is to “cover her head”(mind)? HER HUSBAND….CHRIST….the MIND OF CHRIST, CHRIST OUR ‘HEAD’…not the unrenewed mind OF CARNAL ADAMIC FLESH. What in the world are they teaching you people at bible college these days????

    Good grief…..

  30. ‘Among the forgotten’ said something that warrants consideration: “What has GOD said?”
    Let me make it clear that while I uphold the scriptures for what they are–productive and valuable tools that are profitable for many things–by no means make the assumption that I believe that God is now mute, after having spoken for the second time in a written form. He still speaks today, to teach, clarify, direct, instruct, reveal, explain, etc., and that not in contradiction to what has BEEN written, either BC or AD. He may very well contradict OUR erroneous UNDERSTANDING of the written material, but not the Spirit/Intention/Meaning behind “the letter”. Who knows better what Someone means by what He says, save the One who spoke the words Himself? And we have been instructed to go, not to MEN, nor to METHODS, to the Holy Spirit, who the written has said WILL guide and teach us all truth. There is nowhere that is written that we are to rely on “schools of interpretation” or, as one Jesse Duplantis often says “Homilitical, Hermeneutical, Theological, Exegetical” ways to discern the meaning of the words and sayings of the most Holy One, our Father.
    So let’s have a look at Ephesians 4 for a moment? What indeed, has God “said” on this topic?
    7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
    8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
    9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
    10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
    11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
    12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
    13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
    14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive,
    15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
    Now, in verse 8, it very clearly and plainly…perspicuously, if I can use the term? (smile) says that Christ ascended, and gave gifts unto MEN.
    In verse 11, these “gifts” (the ‘doma’ gifts) are listed, 5 in all, and traditionally and doctrinally have been called the “leadership” gifts by the vast majority of Christendom.
    By looking at the whole “context” (after all, hermeneutics IS important, right? 😉 ), the text says that these gifts were given to “men”….not to women…not to children, not animals, but to whom? M-E-N.
    Sometimes, our dear translators oftentimes either transliterated or even added to the scriptures (those parenthetical words in your trusty KJV are ADDED to the text, supposedly for clarification only, but nonetheless are adding to the written word…very problematic sometimes, agreed?).
    In this case, the word “men” was correctly translated (Hallelujah!!), but HOLY SMOKES…it is Strong’s G 444, which means “anthropos”; which correctly translates to, and means, “mankind” or “human beings” and Strong’s clearly defines this word as one that disregards gender!!
    Now apostles especially, and particularly teachers and pastors, along with prophets and evangelists, are certainly considered traditionally to be “leaders” in the church, regardless of location, size, etc. But if Christ did indeed gift MANKIND, both genders, with these “office gifts”, then they are to be held by ANYONE who is qualified or gifted, called, prepared, equipped, etc.
    The word for “man” or “men” speaking to specifically a gender specific male entity is the word “aner” (Strongs G435), and is used in Ephesians 5:28 in regard to a husband:
    28 So ought MEN to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
    So, what has God said? In this case, in this text, He seems to be saying “I don’t really care how big YOUR deck is, there are enough seats for both men and women on MY deck.” (Tongue in cheek).

  31. timbushong permalink

    “We do not come to know Jesus via our intellect, it first takes a Spiritual rebirth and after that we need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Our mind has little value, it is carnal, until it is renewed.”

    Amen- 100%- spot-on (it’s one of the reasons why I’m a calvinist, BTW…). In fact, we can say that without the new birth occurring FIRST, faith and repentance are impossible.

    I’m with ya there, Chris!

  32. timbushong permalink

    “Chapter and verse, please? (you sound like you have been to seminary, am I right?)”

    You would be wrong there, Debi.

  33. timbushong permalink

    “Who is the Jew in this conversation?

    Just askin the hard questions…”

    Irrelevant- i was just pointing out one of the reasons Christ used parables, and how it’s totally unrelated to ‘perspicuity’.

    2 Pet. 3:15-16: “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”

    You see, it is the ignorant and unstable who “twist” the Scriptures, clearly inferring that there are non-ignorant (wise, discerning) and stable folks that “rightly handle” the Word.

    Do you believe that the “key” to understanding Scripture is found in the hidden and allegorical (below-the-surface) meanings? Or can normal, everyday Christians read it and understand it without delving into esoteric methodology?

    • do I believe that the key to understanding scripture is found in the hidden and allegorical (below the surface) meanings? Yes, I do, because the scribes and Pharisees showed us what happens to surface level understanding of scripture from a literal only viewpoint.

      can normal, everyday Christians read it and understand it without delving into esoteric methodology?

      I suppose that depends on what you mean by normal, everyday Christians….if that means the titty-babies who still suck from the breast, then NO. Isaiah 28: 9-11
      9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
      10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
      11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
      I believe that this describes “another tongue”, specifically the language of BIBLE SYMBOLS, to teach the deep things of God. Can I prove it? No, unless the “gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues” perhaps means much more than just baby-babble gibberish from the soul-realm.
      Does not Paul even say that things found in nature will show us God’s precepts and ways?
      Why are you so opposed to what I have put forth? Is it because your position is that women need to sit down, shut up, go barefoot, and get pregnant and get you another beer, and this threatens your kingdom? Or is it because I’m speaking in a language that you don’t understand, that threatens to topple your brick tower of literalism-only, and you will be left with nothing if what I said is true?

    • "BK" permalink

      Tim asks “Do you believe that the “key” to understanding Scripture is found in the hidden and allegorical (below-the-surface) meanings? Or can normal, everyday Christians read it and understand it without delving into esoteric methodology?”. It’s neither. It’s found in the Spirit….through both allegory and the simple everyday norm…..it is the Spirit that speaks to the hearer in both. “BK”

  34. Tim, let me ask you something…if the bible language is literal, clear, plain…perspicuous, then why do we have a scripture like this? Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the honor of kings to search it out”? Why does God used symbols, and types and shadows and allegories and parables and figures of speech and similies and metaphors and analogies and idioms so much throughout, from Genesis to Revelation, EVEN MORE SO than just everyday plain language?

    If it was clear, plain and literal to start with…why would we need the Holy Spirit to interpret it for us?

    Why didn’t Jesus speak plainly to the multitudes, if He was so wanting to have them repent and turn and be conceived again spiritually? It seems He took great pains to NOT let them know the hidden and secret things that belong to God.

    And you didn’t answer my previous post. Has God allowed women to lead, and if He has in that one part, then how can we expect them to lead, andteach and preach and oversee and administer if they aren’t allowed to speak and must ask their “husbands” at home?

    There has to be some explanation to reconcile all scripture on the topic, and so far, I’m the only one to offer any interpretation that reconciles all of the scriptures in harmony without damaging or ignoring a single one of them.

  35. timbushong permalink

    “I’m the only one to offer any interpretation that reconciles all of the scriptures in harmony without damaging or ignoring a single one of them.”

    Sorry, but that’s just grandiose. I believe that “among the forgotten” did a bang-up job on his first reply- you just don’t agree with his conclusions.

    You’re pretty quick to climb aboard the ‘judge the motives’ wagon, as if you have insight into the intents of the human heart. I never made any judgment regarding your “true” intentions or motives, so you may want to extend the same courtesy.

    I really have a lot of work to finish up, but let me just summarize my original statement: if you use an allegorical methodology, you can interpret Scripture in almost any way possible; reach almost any conclusion that you want; you can pour almost any meaning into any text you wish, and that, my friends, is a recipe for confusion.

  36. timbushong permalink

    Marshall wrote earlier: “It is better to be encouraging the participation of children in the ekklesia.”

    Amen- love it! We do it, and it is amazing to see the fruit that hangs from those little trees…

  37. timbushong permalink

    Sorry, Debi- you’ve posted so many things that I can’t address each one (where to start?) but this I’ll attempt- you wrote:

    “And you didn’t answer my previous post. Has God allowed women to lead, and if He has in that one part, then how can we expect them to lead, and teach and preach and oversee and administer if they aren’t allowed to speak and must ask their “husbands” at home?”

    Easy- your first conclusion is incorrect (“if He has in that one part”), so there’s nothing to reconcile here.

    Back to fruitful labor…

  38. Alrighty, then Tim…I’m wrong, and you’re right, and nothing I can say will make any difference. Just so you know…I used to be exactly where you are. Literalistic to the depths of my being, and men-only leading, and NOTHING was going to change my mind. But He did, so I at least have the experience of having lived and breathed on BOTH sides of the argument. Take care, and I did learn ONE thing from you–

    Never, ever, bring a vagina to a cock-fight. Peace Out.

  39. Pam Smith permalink

    I chose not to read all the comments before posting. This I know, the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. I also know that there is no distinction between male and female, Jew and Greek… yes, this is about redemption, but I don’t believe that God makes a distinction when he calls either. Personally, I know what the Lord has called me to. He put leadership qualities in me and put a burden on my heart to reach a certain people for a reason. I refuse to put God in a nice little box that fits my purposes, and my plans because that is what I have been traditionally taught and have been comfortable with. Unfortunately this is one of those subjects that has been debated for year, centuries and the problem is, nobody ends up winning with the debate. I won’t question your call because that is between you and the Lord. I won’t step in and try to stop you from fulfilling your call because I question your gender’s abitlity to do it. I just expect the same respect. I know that if God can use a donkey, a burning bush and a man running naked up and down a sea shore, then most likely, He will use my willling heart to win and disciple those that HE puts in my path.

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