Women Are Free to Serve Without Any Restrictions at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship

"We long to be a community of faith committed to conservative theology and a community where women gifted by the Holy Spirit experience no limits or restrictions on their service."

Bent Tree Bible Fellowship

https://vimeo.com/benttree

Bent Tree Bible Fellowship Logo

I have been hearing Dee talk glowingly about her former pastor, Pete Briscoe, since I first met her in 2001, when she and her family moved from Dallas to Raleigh.  It became clear to me that her wonderful church family was one of the precious things she left behind.  Pete has been the senior pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship (BTBF) for over 25 years.  Here is some biographical information.

Pete Briscoe was born in a small town in North England into the ministry family of Stuart and Jill Briscoe. While his father traveled for months at a time with Torchbearers, an international ministry, his mother was very involved in sharing the gospel with local kids through her street ministry. Pete grew up immersed in his parents' faith and evangelism.  

In 1970, the family moved to America when Stuart accepted the job as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Pete was just seven years old and spent much of his young life in the bustling and growing church. It wasn't until 1982, after a mission trip to the Philippines, that Pete realized God was calling him to ministry.

Pete has been the senior Pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, a multi-site church based in north Dallas, since 1991 after completing his seminary training at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Bent Tree is an authentic Body of believers who are committed to making sure that no one misses the grace of God. While Pete and his wife, Libby, were leading Bent Tree, God grabbed their hearts for His grace.

When Dee and her family began attending Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, Pete Briscoe had been pastoring there for about a year, and attendance numbers hovered around 400.  BTBF has grow considerably, having several campuses in the Dallas area.

As we are just now discovering, in the Spring of 2015 the BTBF Board of Elders resolved to study the biblical treatment of women in leadership.  Each elder studied on his own, relying on God's Word as well as articles and books with varying points of view and arguments.  Occasionally, the elders would come together to share with each other what they were learning.  According to a statement recently released to members of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, this is how the elders arrived at the decision to allow women to serve their church without any restrictions.  (see excerpt below)

Late in 2015 the elders came together, curious to see how the Spirit would lead. After months of reading, prayer and discussion, each one read his prepared statement. As the decisions were read around the table, a growing sense of anticipation filled the room. As each statement was read, enthusiastic support for women elders was declared until a unanimous decision had been made on the subject of opening the Board of Elders to women. It was a defining moment for our church and a precious moment of unity for our elders. The elders did not make this decision quickly or take it lightly.

The Elders' statement entitled The Future Leadership at Bent Tree has been distributed to everyone at the church and is also available on the church website.  You can read the 24-page statement here.  With complementarianism being elevated to one of the essentials of the faith in some conservative circles of Christendom, it is refreshing to see a group of strong Christian men who are secure enough in their faith to share leadership responsibilities with their sisters in Christ.  No longer is there a barrier preventing women at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship from using their God-given gifts of leadership in the kingdom of God.

Yesterday I listened to Pete Briscoe's sermon — The Future of Leadership at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship — and now I understand why Dee has such great admiration and respect for her former pastor.  This was the first time I have ever heard Pete speak, and it brought refreshment to my soul.  For so long I have felt oppressed as a Christian woman.  Now I am overwhelmed that another conservative pastor (besides Wade Burleson) holds his sisters in Christ in high esteem.

Here are some of Pete began his message:

This announcement isn't really actually about women elders.  It's about women becoming completely free to exercise their gifts.  Sisters of this church, please hear me… I speak for all the elders when I say:  We believe in you.  We value you.  We need you.  And we long to share leadership with you.  This was not my decision.  You need to know that.  It was not my decision to make.  If it was my decision to make, it would have been made twenty-four years ago, but this is not the kind of decision one person makes.  This is the kind of decision a unified group of leaders make together and you wait for the Spirit to do that before you make a decision like this.

Pete goes on to make several preliminary statements and a series of Biblical reasons why women are free to serve and lead at BTBF. (see below)

Three Preliminary Statements

(1) This is a complex Biblical conversation.  It is not cut and dry.  It is not black and white. (20:39 mark)  

(2)  Culture requires us to have new conversations, but culture does not define our policy. (25:29)

(3)  One must decide which passages control the discussion. (27:21)

as well as…

Six Biblical Reasons Why Women at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship Are Free to Serve and Lead

(1) The BTBF elders believe that men ruling over women is a result of the Fall, not the Creation Ideal. (28:46)

(2) They believe that Jesus was radical in his inclusion of women in His mission. (35:10)

(3) They believe the indwelling Christ by His spirit does ministry through redeemed people of both genders (aka the priesthood of all believers). (40:28)

(4) The BTBF elders believe that the New Testament writers opened the doors for women in increasing measure. (43:57)

(5) They believe they are called to continue the redemptive trajectory of the New Testament writers. (50:18)

(6) They believe the passages in the New Testament that restrict women in certain roles are context specific and not supercultural norms. (54:57)

If you haven't yet listened to Pete Briscoe's message (along with introductory statements by three of the elders at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship), we want to strongly encourage you to do so.  The length of the video is 1 hour and 11 minutes, but it will definitely be time well spent.  Can you imagine how the New Testament church would grow if all women were unleashed to exercise their spiritual gifts?  Praise God one church that embraces conservative theology has demonstrated tremendous courage in valuing the women in their fellowship.  No doubt there will be more to come on this topic. 🙂

Comments

Women Are Free to Serve Without Any Restrictions at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship — 492 Comments

  1. And as a serious comment…..I can no longer be associated witha denomination that treats half of their membership as second class individuals. ( SBC)
    And like this church, I believe that the women ( woman) discussed by Paul is taken out of context.

    The older I get the more I think the lack of women in positions of power has nothing to do with the theology, it’s all about power….and these men are afraid of losing that power….

  2. I’m not too keen on the “Bible Fellowship” naming convention; with my past, I associate that with independent shepherding splinter groups.

    But I am curious about the origin of the name “Bent Tree”. Never heard a church name like that before, and it sounds like there’s a story behind it.

  3. “5) They believe they are called to continue the redemptive trajectory of the New Testament writers. (50:18)”

    This is the part that thrilled me the most. Yet, is such a controversial topic within large swaths of Christendom.

    As Believers we must continue the “Redemptive trajectory” with truth transparency, compassion and justice.

    People who say that a Redemptive trajectory is heresy are the same people who would agree a “David” should be tried and convicted for polygamy, today. But they cannot connect those dots for some reason.

    Briscoe nailed it when he spoke of the larger “principals” we take from scripture.

  4. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I’m not too keen on the “Bible Fellowship” naming convention; with my past, I associate that with independent shepherding splinter groups.
    But I am curious about the origin of the name “Bent Tree”. Never heard a church name like that before, and it sounds like there’s a story behind it.

    I know what you mean about “Bible Fellowship” but you can’t always judge a church by its name. Can anyone fill us in on the background?

    Bent Tree appears to be a neighbourhood in Dallas – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_North_Dallas – perhaps it’s a bit like Lone Pine Mall 🙂

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    But I am curious about the origin of the name “Bent Tree”. Never heard a church name like that before, and it sounds like there’s a story behind it.

    I’ll bet that name is “one of them Texas thangs.” We all have our speshell colloquial thangs.

  6. I truly appreciate his position that these questions are best addressed by the body of Christ rather than through top-down authority. It’s heart-breaking that it takes two and a half decades, but I know a church in my town that has been wrestling with it for about the same length of time and seems just about ready to turn the corner finally. I welcome the change.

    On a more humorous note, here’s what it might look like in some of the more hidebound realms of patriarchy if they decided to drop their stance against women leaders and teachers: Mega-Pastors Abandon Patriarchy, Promote Women Leaders.

  7. Lydia wrote:

    “5) They believe they are called to continue the redemptive trajectory of the New Testament writers. (50:18)”
    This is the part that thrilled me the most. Yet, is such a controversial topic within large swaths of Christendom.
    As Believers we must continue the “Redemptive trajectory” with truth transparency, compassion and justice.

    I don’t have it right off the top of my head, but I believe there was a guest post at ‘Jesus Creed’ blog by a writer who said that even if a person wants to interpret the NT letters as limiting women, it was only for that era, and it was not intended to be that way for all women past the time frame / culture in which the NT letters were written.

    I might be able to find that page again if I look for it, if someone is really, really dying to see that (I’d have to hunt around for it). I think I left a link to that in a thread on this blog a couple of months ago, for Gram3, thinking she might find it interesting.

  8. If I understand #5 correctly they (the elders) are called (I suppose called by God and given the authority to do something) to (make decisions which) continue the redemptive *trajectory* of the NT.

    Well, I certainly agree with them, but this statement is very catholic, that the church can interpret scripture and make decisions/applications which are consistent with scripture but applicable to some current issue and which may be basically taking some trajectory a bit further along. They are saying that the church has the authority to do that. I certainly agree. I just don’t want it overlooked that this has been part of the understanding of church from way back when on the other side of the Tiber, if I understand correctly.

  9. The young Calvinists miss so much in seeing the Body of Christ work together for the glory of God because they suppress half of their members with holy testosterone.

  10. “They believe that Jesus was radical in his inclusion of women in His mission.”

    David Platt, New Calvinist celebrity, missed this point in his book “Radical.”

  11. Max wrote:

    “They believe that Jesus was radical in his inclusion of women in His mission.”
    David Platt, New Calvinist celebrity, missed this point in his book “Radical.”

    One of the grossest, and perhaps most infuriating things, I’ve read by a complementarian:

    A couple of weeks ago, some complementarian wrote a blog post or gave a lecture with a heading of something akin to “Our Pro-Woman, Complementarian Jesus.”

    There is so much wrong with that in so many ways. It is so obtuse.

    You would think the fact that Jesus Christ went against the sexist views of women in his religious circles (and the culture of his day), views which are very similar to what Christian complementarians today are espousing, would clue them in that Jesus was NOT complementarian, so they must be interpreting Paul’s letters incorrectly.

    But nooooo, this complementarian guy (DeYoung) actually has the audacity to claim that Jesus was complementarian.

    Response to Kevin DeYoung’s “Our Pro-Woman, Complementarian Jesus.”
    http://www.cbeinternational.org/resources/article/arise/response-kevin-deyoung%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cour-pro-woman-complementarian-jesus%E2%80%9D?page=show

  12. Daisy wrote:

    But nooooo, this complementarian guy (DeYoung) actually has the audacity to claim that Jesus was complementarian.

    He looks in the mirror and sees Jesus.

    What was that about when God agrees completely with yourself?

  13. Daisy wrote:

    even if a person wants to interpret the NT letters as limiting women, it was only for that era, and it was not intended to be that way for all women past the time frame / culture in which the NT letters were written.

    The more time passes I personally read Paul (for instance) as speaking to people where they are, telling them who to live within society, not saying how it should always be. Which is why he gives slaves instructions, that doesn’t mean he supports slavery.

    I read something the other talking about the bible translating the same word in male as ‘elder’ and for female ‘older woman’. I also have been thinking about the only one wife thing – this instruction would not have been needed for women as they would have only been allowed to take one husband!

  14. Daisy wrote:

    they must be interpreting Paul’s letters incorrectly

    New Calvinists have a habit of this! It’s as if the only Bible they have contains Paul’s epistles! They are masters at taking Paul’s writings out of context to fit their theology, particularly certain passages in Romans and Ephesians. When the opportunity presents itself, I tell young Calvinists this: If you read Paul first, you might read Jesus wrong. But if read Jesus first (the Gospels), the writings of Paul come into perspective.

  15. Daisy wrote:

    this complementarian guy (DeYoung) actually has the audacity to claim that Jesus was complementarian

    Yeah, and he probably also thinks that Jesus defeated Satan with holy testosterone! These guys really need to get things right before someone gives them a platform. Just because you are a Christian celebrity, doesn’t necessarily mean you have anything to say.

  16. ” …it is refreshing to see a group of strong Christian men who are secure enough in their faith to share leadership responsibilities with their sisters in Christ.”

    I would add that it is also refreshing to see men who are secure enough in their masculinity to recognize the dignity of ALL human persons who experience the call of the Lord to serve others in the Church. Strength is seen not in treating others poorly for any reason such as sex or race or position. Strength is able to recognize the full worth and dignity of all human persons in the community of faith.

  17. Daisy wrote:

    this complementarian guy (DeYoung) actually has the audacity to claim that Jesus was complementarian

    I suppose someone should remind DeYoung that Our Lord assigned a nurturing task to his male disciples when He asked them to distribute food to the five thousand, and then Our Lord assigned these men a tidying up task when He asked the men to collect the remains of what was not consumed by the crowds.
    And I suppose DeYoung would benefit from being reminded that even the Catholic Church realizes the honor paid to women when Our Lord sent Mary Magdalene as the ‘Apostle to the Apostles’ to announce the Resurrection to the men.

    Sometimes these proud men need to take another look at the Holy Gospels of Our Lord and hear and learn from the actual words and actions of Christ Who spoke in the very Person of God . . .

    returning to the Holy Gospels again and again, until they recognize the truth of Our Lord’s words and actions, and they remember that Our Lord spoke and acted in the very Person of God, and that this still has meaning for them today

  18. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    He looks in the mirror and sees Jesus.

    I would say many complementarian men, who hold to the ESS*, identify more with the image of the Father, and prefer to see His reflection in the mirror, since they believe Jesus is both functionally and eternally subordinate to the Father. And no complementarian man would like to be looking at himself in the mirror and see anything resembling subordination and submission looking back at him!

    “Some proponents of a hierarchical order between male and female attempt to use, as a divine model for their proposal at the human level, an alleged relationship of authority/subordination between Father and Son. Then a parallel is drawn between a hierarchical order that makes the Son subordinate to the Father to a hierarchical order that makes women subordinate to men, thus claiming theological legitimacy for the latter.”
    http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/40/40-1/40-1-pp057-068_JETS.pdf

    *Eternal Subordination of the Son

  19. Christiane wrote:

    And I suppose DeYoung would benefit from being reminded that even the Catholic Church realizes the honor paid to women when Our Lord sent Mary Magdalene as the ‘Apostle to the Apostles’ to announce the Resurrection to the men.

    Women were only allowed to instruct men just the once. Then they were supposed to shut up for the rest of eternity!

  20. Max wrote:

    The young Calvinists miss so much in seeing the Body of Christ work together for the glory of God because they suppress half of their members with holy testosterone.

    Agreed.

    One of these days, hopefully in the near future, guys are going to walk into the Yum! Center, expecting to see all the seats occupied. Where’d everyone go?

    Welcome to the experience of marginalization, boys.

  21. Lea wrote:

    Women were only allowed to instruct men just the once. Then they were supposed to shut up for the rest of eternity!

    Ah, it would be a great waste to order this from the women who were present in the Upper Room when the Holy Spirit descended on the Church gathered there . . .

    I imagine people could not shut those women up. So much so that many were likely eventually martyred for their witness to Christ. When people begin to look at the lives of the early martyrs of the first century of Christianity, they cannot avoid realizing that women were there, witnessing and shedding their blood witness for the sake of Christ.

    In my Church, at each mass we name many of the early Christian women martyrs as we have done for two thousand years, such is the Church’s recognition for their blood witness: Felicity, Perpetua, Agnes, Lucy, Agatha, Cecelia, Anastasia.

    For these women, even when a martyr’s death silenced their voices, their blood remained to speak for their complete trust in Christ. Shut them up for all eternity? I don’t think the ‘male headship’ guys have a chance to do this. No way. And I don’t think they have the courage either.

  22. I have trouble going to a church that steals the future from my kids by teaching we are in the end times, and we should rejoice as the world goes downhill. Or a church that teaches that my wife is a second-class citizen of the Kingdom who must remain silent.

    In our little corner of the world, that means we don’t go to church. It’s why we are Dones.

    We do “fellowship” with other Dones, other Refugees, even if we don’t use the christianeze word for it–we just call it conversation, or dinner. In fact, we have far deeper friendships than when we were “regular churchgoers.”

  23. @ Paula Rice:

    Someone on here raised a good point the other day (I can’t remember what thread it was in).

    When complementarians aren’t going on about the God the Father, they will sometimes market Jesus, the Son, as being a tough guy, to men.

    But then they turn around and tell women to emulate Jesus, but that is when complementarians go from depicting Jesus as a rough and tumble action hero figure (as they normally do with men) to a meek, mild, submissive, weak, doormat and tell women, “See, you’re supposed to be just like Jesus!”

    There was only one Jesus, but complementarians have two, depending on which gender they market to, men or women.

    If Jesus is being directed towards a female audience by complementarians, he’s the gentle, non-threatening, submissive weakling forever willing to take commands from someone higher in authority, but if he’s being directed at a male audience, he’s a karate expert Chuck Norris guy.

  24. Daisy wrote:

    I’ve lived all around the country, and around the south a lot. “Bent Tree” sounds like a very southern, or a very Texan, kind of name.

    The most common tree in much of Texas is a “live oak”, so called because it is never leafless, as in the early Spring, the new leaves push the old ones out! These trees are anything but straight, bending in every direction from the ground up. So a bent live oak tree is very common. Some of them get very large and are notable, so I suspect that was the origin of the name in the Dallas suburbs.

  25. Lydia wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    Do you think there will ever be the possibility of women priests in Catholicism?

    Hi LYDIA,
    I do have that hope, and I cannot be discouraged even by present statements against that hope. One reason is that the Church in 1997 named Therese of Lisieux to become a ‘Doctor of the Church’. The strange thing is that Therese herself saw nothing in Christ’s love or teachings that would have prevented a woman from becoming an ordained priest. And the Church KNEW this, prior to naming her to the high position of ‘Doctor of the Church’. There was no one more humble than Therese, or who spoke more lovingly of Our Lord’s love for those who needed Him, so it was not from ‘pride’ that she longed for ordination. She died before she could have been ordained and she told her sister that she thought God was taking her early, so that she would not be so tormented by her longing to serve as a priest.

    My Church moves slowly, LYDIA. But Therese of Lisieux is recognized to be as much of a Doctor of the Church as the great Augustine and Aquinas. That recognition brings hope to many women that someday Therese’s dream will bear fruit. Stranger things have happened in my Church, LYDIA.
    The recognition of Therese’s gifts of insight into the great love of Christ for those in need of compassion, may also someday extend into examining these insights as meaningfully connected also to her deeply-felt calling to the priesthood.

  26. Lydia wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    Do you think there will ever be the possibility of women priests in Catholicism?

    I’m in the process of writing a future-set SF novel with a burned-out country preacher. Since one of the main viewpoint characters is a Catholic priest, I have postulated that at the time of the story the Church has ordains Permanent Deaconesses but not actual Priestesses. Including husband-wife Deacon teams (based on the current practice that a married man may be ordained a deacon but an ordained man cannot marry after ordainment). Married men may be ordained Priests (such as currently in the Eastern Rites) in certain rites (then incuding Anglican Rite) within the Church and/or on a case-by-case basis.

    Thing is, one of the standard ways in SF to show “This is the FUTURE” is to make mention of a female Pope and I wanted to avoid such an obvious shtick.

  27. Christiane wrote:

    One reason is that the Church in 1997 named Therese of Lisieux to become a ‘Doctor of the Church’.

    St Therese of Lisieux, “The Little Flower”.
    A Cloistered Carmelite nun from Normandy who died at age 24, leaving behind a journal of “The Little Way”, i.e. how to find Holiness and the presence of God in everyday routine — no need for elaborate/spectacular Damascus Road experiences of the Christianese Celebrity or uber-Saint.

    Her autobiography/journal was originally heavily edited to conform to the image of the Plaster Saint, but it was the original unedited version that made her a Doctor of the Church — only one of 31 men and 4 women in history who achieved that honor.

  28. Paula Rice wrote:

    I would say many complementarian men, who hold to the ESS*, identify more with the image of the Father, and prefer to see His reflection in the mirror…

    How about “They see their god every time they look in the mirror.”?

  29. This is exceedingly great news! These elders are conservatives and inerrantists who also believe that there is no hierarchy in the Kingdom! I hope that this is the breach in the dam of stopped-thought on this topic. That may be the reason that Tommy Nelson at Denton Bible was reduced to comparing the Bent Tree elders to the traditores. Where is the refutation of the Bent Tree elders from the text? I know that Tommy Nelson knows how to do that if he wants to do that. Denny Burk knows how to do it, too, but the ad hominems are so much more fun and not nearly so much work.

    I do not think that a trajectory is necessarily a slippery slope. Someone might get to B from A via different routes and for different reasons. Some of those reasons are consistent with a conservative viewpoint, and some are not, so it is simply false to claim that it is impossible to arrive at B from A unless one has slipped down the slippery slope of liberalism or capitulated to cultural pressure. There is a whole lot of argument missing.

  30. @ Gram3:
    Gram3 is back! Gram3 is back! Gram3 is back! Wooohooo, Gram3 is back!
    Good to have you back, Gram3. We missed you!

  31. K.D. wrote:

    And as a serious comment…..I can no longer be associated witha denomination that treats half of their membership as second class individuals. ( SBC)

    It’s funny because there are other denoms that only have male pastors and that don’t treat women with anything like the disrespect and foolishness that is both promoted and tolerated by SBC leadership. I wonder how institutional cultures like this come to be?

  32. It’s striking to me that Pastor Briscoe waited literally decades for the Holy Spirit to move. It shows a great deal of wisdom and a willingness to not push his own agenda.

    Compare this to the twenty-something Neo-Cals who take over churches by stealth methods and divide them within a few years in order to push their own agenda.

  33. I am happy for the Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, but please remember that this is not even a question for many Christian denominations. American Baptists, Methodists, Episcopal and most charismatic and Pentecostal denominations have women teaching and filling leadership positions routinely.
    My questions is this: Why have you been sitting passively for this patriarchal teaching for decades? Do you feel that you are enabling it to continue by attending, making financial offerings and serving in non-leadership positions? Do you intend to spend decades more waiting for the leading of the Spirit to be recognized by the all male leadership?
    Why don’t you go down the street to a church that gets it?

  34. I’ve noticed in the ARC, the “pastors” are almost always a husband/wife team. I’ll have to check again to see if there are any single men. Pretty sure there aren’t any single women as pastors.

    And Gram3 is back! So good to hear from you!

  35. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    He looks in the mirror and sees Jesus.

    What was that about when God agrees completely with yourself?

    I went to a church once where the pastor would respond to disagreement with, “you can think what you want, and me and God will think what we want.”

  36.  __

    Women’s Roles In The Christian 501(c)3 Church: “Can women be decons, elders, pastors, ministers , or priests?”

    hmmm…

    Q. Has anyone found sufficient biblical evidence to suggest that Jesus’ apostles chose women for places of leadership when establishing the local first century church?

    I’d be very happy to entertain it.

    ATB

    Sopy

  37. Loren Haas wrote:

    My questions is this: Why have you been sitting passively for this patriarchal teaching for decades? Do you feel that you are enabling it to continue by attending, making financial offerings and serving in non-leadership positions? Do you intend to spend decades more waiting for the leading of the Spirit to be recognized by the all male leadership?
    Why don’t you go down the street to a church that gets it?

    It took me decades to realize that I had a choice, as a person who wants to walk in the light of God’s word. As the pastor explained, it’s a complex study and it’s only after much experience and learning that I came to put things together and see this issue clearly.

    There are churches that are liberal in terms of women serving but they tend to be more liberal in other areas as well, such as who they see Christ to be and how they perceive the Bible, and that was not something I was comfortable with. The thing that I am so impressed by is that Bent Tree believes in a conservative way yet sees that the scriptures do not limit women in following and serving God and do not feel threatened by that. This is powerful to me.

  38. @ Nancy2:
    @ GSD:
    Thanks for the encouragement. I have not felt up to commenting for some months, though I have checked in from time to time and have learned, as always, much from the community here. Please pray for some friends who are under a great deal of pressure and experiencing much grief because they have come to the same conclusions as the elders at Bent Tree and are wondering what to do.

    I expect that we will either hear a lot of blustery indignation from the Gospel Glitterati or they will pretend Bent Tree did not happen in the hope that this will blow over and conservatives will not notice. It is interesting to compare and contrast the seriousness of the elders at Bent Tree with those at The Village on this issue. I suspect that we have only begun to see the result of very conservative schools like DTS and TEDS allowing females into Th.M. programs about three decades ago.

  39. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    It’s striking to me that Pastor Briscoe waited literally decades for the Holy Spirit to move. It shows a great deal of wisdom and a willingness to not push his own agenda.

    Compare this to the twenty-something Neo-Cals who take over churches by stealth methods and divide them within a few years in order to push their own agenda.

    Excellent comment!

  40. @ Christiane:
    That is really interesting about her being named doctor of the church! I will have to read up on her. My education on women from that tradition is sorely lacking.

  41. Loren Haas wrote:

    I am happy for the Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, but please remember that this is not even a question for many Christian denominations. American Baptists, Methodists, Episcopal and most charismatic and Pentecostal denominations have women teaching and filling leadership positions routinely.
    My questions is this: Why have you been sitting passively for this patriarchal teaching for decades? Do you feel that you are enabling it to continue by attending, making financial offerings and serving in non-leadership positions? Do you intend to spend decades more waiting for the leading of the Spirit to be recognized by the all male leadership?
    Why don’t you go down the street to a church that gets it?

    As siteseer said, I’m not comfortable with the liberal leanings of the churches that have opened the doors for women. Trying to find a theologically conservative egalitarian church is like hunting for a needle in a haystack. They are very few and far between. Hopefully that is changing.

    And I haven’t been sitting passively for decades. I’ve done what I could do where I was. But it’s not something you can force on a church, especially if you are a woman.

  42. siteseer wrote:

    I went to a church once where the pastor would respond to disagreement with, “you can think what you want, and me and God will think what we want.”

    Idiocy aside, someone should have pointed out his bad grammar.

  43. This is a topic that gets me going a bit.

    One of the reasons things are changing is social media. No longer are people who have a different view (like egalitarianism) left alone in their church with no one to discuss it with. Through the power of the internet and social media information and study can be shared.

    It’s becoming much more difficult to paint all egalitarians as extreme flaming liberals which has always been done to discount it in the more conservative churches.

    I do get a bit irked when younger women/bloggers insinuate that they are the ones “finally making the difference” like no one would stand up before. They don’t realize fully how much they benefit from the internet, social media, cheap flights to conferences, YouTube, etc. We had none of those opportunities for networking and effecting change twenty years ago. You might have a great conversation with someone, but it was nearly impossible to get it to go much further. Especially when men controlled all the publishing (books and magazines) and there were no websites.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now. 🙂

  44. @ Gram3:
    What is really strange for me is that I am not even into the “elder” polity stuff but I was impressed with their approach which came off more as sharing in gifting than ‘just bring in some token women to sit on a board’.

    I know of some seeker type churches that did this back in the late 90’s and it had the stain of token gimmick all over it. And those chosen were usually well heeled already.

    It was the seriousness of Bent Tree that got to me. It came off as ‘we have been lacking’ because if it.

    Compared to the Gospel Glitterati, the Bent Tree elders sound like real grown ups.

  45. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    Trying to find a theologically conservative egalitarian church is like hunting for a needle in a haystack

    That is my problem, too, living in ground zero. The two extremes are now the choices.

  46. @ Daisy:
    Interesting comment. I had never though of it this way, but you’re right!

    Driscoll had Jesus fighting in UFC or something, didn’t he? 😛

    I’m surprised CJ Mahaney didn’t remake Jesus into an athlete to market him to the men. If he had, I’m sure Mahaney would have transformed Jesus into a University of Maryland basketball star, battling against the forces of the Duke Blue Devils!

    Instead, Mahaney simply abolished all titles given to the Son and institutionalized the use of exclusive title, that of “Savior.”

    “The Savior” was Jesus’s role. Everyone had to have their role which made everything “gospel-centered.” “Cross-centered” meant The Savior was hanging on the cross, and you there, the sinner.

    It’s amazing what happens when you redefine Jesus, isn’t it? The Wine turns into Kool-aid and the Bread becomes Soylent Green.

  47. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    As siteseer said, I’m not comfortable with the liberal leanings of the churches that have opened the doors for women.

    Groucho Marx said, “I wouldn’t be a part of any club that would have me as a member!”
    Seriously, maybe you should reconsider? If conservative churches are wrong about women preaching and teaching what else could they be wrong about? Why wouldn’t you consider a “liberal” church? Perhaps they are the ones that “continue the redemptive trajectory of the New Testament writers” and the conservatives are the ones holding it back? Adam Hamilton is pastor of a mega church near Kansas City, MS. He recently wrote “Making Sense of the Bible” where he re-examines bible interpretation in light of modern scholarship and thinking. This is a very good primer on what moderate Christian churches teach. I attend an American Baptist Church in Napa, CA that has teaching similar to Hamilton’s. People, especially women, frequently start attending here after a gender based train wreck in their “conservative” church. They never even imagined that other Christians understand scripture differently that they had always been taught. Give it a try. Test it, read the book I mentioned, visit some good blogs.
    Conservatives don’t own Christianity and they do not have an exclusive on orthodoxy.

  48. Sopwith wrote:

    Women’s Roles In The Christian 501(c)3 Church: “Can women be decons, elders, pastors, ministers , or priests?”
    hmmm…
    Q. Has anyone found sufficient biblical evidence to suggest that Jesus’ apostles chose women for places of leadership when establishing the local first century church?
    I’d be very happy to entertain it.
    ATB
    Sopy

    Gosh Sop, where to begin. I responded to you on the last post. I talked about how context is key when looking at the Bible on the role of women and how a person can get some pretty crazy things when they post isolated verses. As for women in leadership in the ancient church, there is at least one instance, Junia. Scot McKnight has written a whole book about her: http://www.amazon.com/Junia-Not-Alone-Scot-McKnight-ebook/dp/B006H4PFZ8 . Scot is a professor of the New Testament at Northern Seminary and is an Anglican priest (not Episcopalian and not liberal).

    In regards to the role of women, many, many learned theologians have studied Scripture and are egalitarians because they believe that is the most accurate interpretation of Scripture. There are a ton of good resources out there, and these can explain their points a lot better than I can:

    Articles on First Corinthians: http://www.cbeinternational.org/resource/journal/current?category=202

    Articles on First Timothy: http://www.cbeinternational.org/resource/journal/current?category=202

    http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Parakeet-Rethinking-Read-Bible/dp/0310331668/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461990688&sr=8-1&keywords=blue+Parakete

    http://www.amazon.com/What-Paul-Really-About-Women-ebook/dp/B0054KWSX8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461990721&sr=8-1&keywords=john+temple+bristow

    http://www.amazon.com/Women-Church-Biblical-Theology-Ministry/dp/0830818626/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1461990749&sr=8-4&keywords=stanley+grenz

    Remember though, in regards to women way back then, most were not educated and in a culture that frowned on them being educated, so no, there aren’t going to be tons in church leadership back then, and without proper education, they really had no business teaching and leading (and we certainly can say the same about men). Paul, though, said that they must learn (First Tim), which is radically pro-female given the culture at the time. Then of course, there’s good ole Jesus who ordained a woman to first tell of his resurrection.

    Have fun reading!

  49. Semi-off topic alert: This is me (okay, this is I) over at the Daily Mail talking about Kirk Cameron’s latest stupid comments about wives submitting:

    himmiefan, Nashville, United States, 2 hours ago
    Actually, the Bible says for everyone to be submissive to each other, then it goes on to wives and husbands. Looking at these verses and others including Christ’s teachings, these verses are not saying that the husband is the boss. In the Ephesians verses on husbands and sives, Paul is giving an example of Christ’s teachings on loving one another. It’s about relationship, about doing for one another, and not about who is the boss.
    ReplyNew
    5
    104Click to rate

    AuntieBea, Mayberry, United States, 2 hours ago
    Amen.
    1
    33Click to rate

    kc, clinton nj, 1 hour ago
    No. It clearly says wives submit to their husbands and husbands love their wives as their own body. It takes great strength for a woman to submit to her husband and it takes great strength for a husband to continue to love his wife as himself. The submission to husband is in regards to the husband making final decisions. But the responsibility for the outcome of those decisions falls on the husbands shoulders. If the husband loves the wife, he will want her helpful input and he will not treat her cruelly.
    37
    20Click to rate

    himmiefan, Nashville, United States, 28 minutes ago
    Kc, there is nothing in the Bible that says that the husband makes the final decision or has the responsibility for decisions. To say so is just to read things into the Bible that simply aren’t there. Remember, to correctly interpret Paul, you have to look at the context of his letters (the situations he was writing about), but you also have to look at Christ’s teachings. You have to go through Christ to get to Paul. Paul’s teachings cannot stand on their own. Remember Ephesians 5:21 – submit to one another… It goes back to Christ’s teachings to love and care for one another as he cares for his church.
    0
    2Click to rate

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3566323/Kirk-Cameron-urges-wives-submissive-follow-husband-s-lead-former-actor-continues-nationwide-Love-Worth-Fighting-marriage-tour.html#ixzz47HX1dlys
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  50. Paula Rice wrote:

    I’m surprised CJ Mahaney didn’t remake Jesus into an athlete to market him to the men.

    Fantasy Football Jesus?

  51. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Are these books you write?

    Not exactly books. Finding publishers is really hard these days.

    Two excerpts from the novel in-progress, “Mask of the Ferret” and “Dyads”, appeared in the two volumes of the anthology series “Infinite Space, Infinite God” by one of the small presses.

    Though these days I’m more likely to be editing and rewriting for my other writing partner (the self-educated son of a steelworker); My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfics for grownups (three novels, a novella, and some shorts). Those are uploaded on FIMFiction.net under his username “Ardashir”.

  52. There have been women leaders in the Bible, such as Deborah. Also egalitarianism was once more common in surprisingly conservative seminaries such as Moody Bible Institute. It didn’t close its door to women until 1926. The cofounder of the Salvation Army a conservative denomination was a woman. This denomination is still egalitarian and conservative. Fundamentalist John Roach Stratton was highly supportive of a woman evangelist during the 1920s. None of this should have happened, but it is in history. Also if we are discussing keeping woman silent and pregnant (after all the Bible does state women gain their salvation through childbirth) we should discuss the Biblical merits of slavery. Slavery is not forbidden in the Bible. We pick and choose. If a woman is called to ministry I have no right to judge, after all a female judge in the Old Testament was called to the ministry.

  53. I would say to not go to a church that puts you in a box and then seals up the box and puts it in a backroom.
    There have been many intelligent Christian women who God has used in modern times and you might be one of them. Certainly He has a purpose for your life and will help you find it.

    I have to tell this true story. While living in Oregon I visited a Baptist Church that a close friend attended. I think she wanted to know what I thought of their new minister.

    He began by saying “Never underestimate a women’s prayer group” and then went on to tell that at the last church he led had a women’s prayer group. The group decided to earnestly ask God to put His leaders in their church and he said amazingly within days he got a call to the church I was visiting and he was out of the other church.

    I could hardly hold it together and was trying to suppress laughter and I’m sure some sitting next to me thought I was one of the Toronto Blessing nuts (which I’m not).

  54. Max wrote:

    I tell young Calvinists this: If you read Paul first, you might read Jesus wrong. But if read Jesus first (the Gospels), the writings of Paul come into perspective.

    I think this is really key isn’t it? I also think it doesn’t hurt at all to look at a Jewish understanding of the Old Testament, upon which you build your understanding of key concepts in the NT, rather than picking up very platonic conceptions of what words such as ‘sovereignty’ must mean, & then reading them into the texts. I sincerely think some of the church has done this since Augustine, as those ideas are suspiciously absent for the first several hundred years of the Church.

  55. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    As siteseer said, I’m not comfortable with the liberal leanings of the churches that have opened the doors for women. Trying to find a theologically conservative egalitarian church is like hunting for a needle in a haystack.

    IMO there is no such thing as a theologically ‘conservative’ church which nuances scripture in such a way as to say that scripture endorses women pastors. By definition that church has ceased to be ‘conservative’ in the way that the word ‘conservative’ is understood today by the very process of the nuance they have chosen. The scripture does not endorse women pastors. The scripture does however record just a whole lot more room for a whole lot more function for women in the church including leadership than those who today call themselves ‘conservative’ permit. A whole lot!

    Loren Has has mentioned Adam Hamilton. This man is UMC. He planted a church as a young man with the idea that there were a lot of boomers who had grown up Methodist but who had left the church and were now ready to return to the church and who were comfortable with nuance-apparently his exact words since I got the concept of nuance of scripture from UMC and Hamilton. He was correct, there were, and he built the largest UMC mega in this nation. My UMC church used some of his material and was influenced by his thinking. I tell you all again, check out the path which the methodists are going down and see if that is what you want to do and where you want to be. It may be. It may not be. But don’t just wander aimlessly around and then perhaps once again be asking how this happened to you. The evidence is there, the path is clearly lighted, and IMO it may indeed be the path you want and on which you can flourish as a christian. It is not the path for me, but I no way am declaring that there is only one way to live out discipleship in this nation at this time. Gram3 has rightly said that there is more than one way to get from A to B. The UMC/Hamilton path is one. Understand, I am not talking about one denomination or the other; I am talking about one way or the other to understand scripture.

    From what I have been told in confirmation classes and what I have observed the episcopalians have taken yet another path from A to B. That is not the subject of this comment, except to repeat what Gram3 said about more than one path.

  56. @ okrapod:

    Oh, oops and oops. I started using “you” and did not make it clear when I did so that I had long since stopped talking to Sallie herself and had launched into my little sermonette or something to whomever. The grammar it takes to say “one” instead of “you” is awkward and stuffy and I forget to do that in written communication.

    Sorry, Sallie. When I quit talking and started lecturing the ‘you’ did not mean you, it meant ‘one.’

  57. Mark wrote:

    Also egalitarianism was once more common in surprisingly conservative seminaries such as Moody Bible Institute. It didn’t close its door to women until 1926. The cofounder of the Salvation Army a conservative denomination was a woman. This denomination is still egalitarian and conservative. Fundamentalist John Roach Stratton was highly supportive of a woman evangelist during the 1920s.

    I can’t remember which book it is in, but the author showed how there is a cycle repeated over and over again in history – women do the hard work of moving the Gospel forward somewhere, men come in when it is established, and then push the women out of leadership when the work becomes more institutional. The Salvation Army is one of the exceptions.

  58. Loren Haas wrote:

    Groucho Marx said, “I wouldn’t be a part of any club that would have me as a member!”
    Seriously, maybe you should reconsider? If conservative churches are wrong about women preaching and teaching what else could they be wrong about? Why wouldn’t you consider a “liberal” church? Perhaps they are the ones that “continue the redemptive trajectory of the New Testament writers” and the conservatives are the ones holding it back? Adam Hamilton is pastor of a mega church near Kansas City, MS. He recently wrote “Making Sense of the Bible” where he re-examines bible interpretation in light of modern scholarship and thinking. This is a very good primer on what moderate Christian churches teach. I attend an American Baptist Church in Napa, CA that has teaching similar to Hamilton’s. People, especially women, frequently start attending here after a gender based train wreck in their “conservative” church. They never even imagined that other Christians understand scripture differently that they had always been taught. Give it a try. Test it, read the book I mentioned, visit some good blogs.
    Conservatives don’t own Christianity and they do not have an exclusive on orthodoxy.

    Trust me. I wouldn’t fit into any liberal/mainline/progressive church and it’s not for lack of study. But thank you for responding to my comments. 🙂

  59. Heh, maybe Jesus got careless and left something out in Matt. 28:19. Maybe he meant to say, ” Go ye therefore with thy sanctified testosterone, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

  60. okrapod wrote:

    IMO there is no such thing as a theologically ‘conservative’ church which nuances scripture in such a way as to say that scripture endorses women pastors.

    So you are saying Bent Tree doesn’t exist?

    Of course, conservative means a lot of different things to different people so we might be talking around each other.

  61. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    I can’t remember which book it is in, but the author showed how there is a cycle repeated over and over again in history – women do the hard work of moving the Gospel forward somewhere, men come in when it is established, and then push the women out of leadership when the work becomes more institutional. The Salvation Army is one of the exceptions.

    I got up and walked over to the bookcase instead of being lazy. It’s in “Women in the Church” by Stanley J. Grenz.

  62. Quakers have had women in leadership for 350 years. It’s one of the best things about Quaker history.

  63. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    So you are saying Bent Tree doesn’t exist?

    Say what? Am I missing what you are saying? It is a church, of course it exists. Do you mean that I am saying that the thinking paths which they have used do not fit the definition of conservatism if conservatism means among other things sola scriptura, then yes I am saying that. They have clearly stated that they are following a trajectory which they see in scripture. That places a level of authority in the church which enables it to go beyond the specific words of scripture and proceed with what they see as an idea in scripture (the progression of thinking concerning women in the church) which the church then has the authority to pursue all the while seeking the mind of the Spirit in doing so. (My words, their ideas If I understand them).

    I absolutely agree with them in this. I enormously admire that they are willing to just come right out and admit that they are taking something that they see in scripture (the trajectory) and going a step further with it. I stand up and cheer that they have not twisted scripture either in a conservative or liberal direction. Jesus did establish the church, way before anybody wrote the scriptures. He and the Father did send the Spirit. The writings of the apostles are part of what the church and the Spirit have given us, but the writings are not the entirety of the reality of God with us. Operative word: entirety. And the understanding of what the Spirit may be doing today is not limited to something which the apostles or the church or the cultures of prior ages may have even thought to talk about at the time. These people at Bent Tree are utterly honest and forthcoming about how they have decided what they have decided. I don’t see any trickery in what they are doing.

    But, one cannot use the conservative protestant idea that includes the dictum that to be conservative means to maintain sola scripture and call this approach conservative. Bent Tree has said scripture+, the + being the church following the trajectory. That is IMO absolutely correct, but this in not what has been called conservatism in what has been called conservative protestantism. I am not a conservative protestant in that sense, and I am delighted in this step by Bent Tree, but indeed I do think that they have taken a step in our direction.

    Now, when somebody gets the paper he handed out please share it with us. What he has said on the video about seeing no trajectory in scripture regarding homosexuality has already been addressed by those pursuing more acceptance of homosexuality because one can make a really good argument that there is such a trajectory. He may have dug a pit for himself in the future and may need to find another argument. The connection, folks, is not in the issues but rather in the arguments.

  64. An Attorney wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    I’ve lived all around the country, and around the south a lot. “Bent Tree” sounds like a very southern, or a very Texan, kind of name.
    The most common tree in much of Texas is a “live oak”, so called because it is never leafless, as in the early Spring, the new leaves push the old ones out! These trees are anything but straight, bending in every direction from the ground up. So a bent live oak tree is very common. Some of them get very large and are notable, so I suspect that was the origin of the name in the Dallas suburbs.

    It depends on the part of the state you are in….Most of Texas has a Live Oak, but in my part of the state, the pine rules….

  65. Lydia wrote:

    Sallie Borrink wrote:
    Trying to find a theologically conservative egalitarian church is like hunting for a needle in a haystack
    That is my problem, too, living in ground zero. The two extremes are now the choices.

    That’s my problem….Baptists and Pentecostals dominate here….

  66. @ okrapod:
    It has been a while since I read Webb on his idea of trajectory hermeneutics, but my understanding is that he was not saying that the church has the authority to “change” what is written but rather that God has decided to move his program forward incrementally rather than by revolution. So slavery became unacceptable to right-thinking Christians because Christianity internalized the principles of the Kingdom and realized that owning another human is inconsistent with those principles. Jesus could have abolished slavery and other forms of evil immediately, I suppose, but that is not what he chose to do. The idea is something like the Already/Not Yet concept of the Kingdom. Yes, the Kingdom has been inaugurated, but it is not what it will be yet.

    Conservative can have many meanings. I do believe in the solas of the Reformation, and that is certainly part of it. Conservative should, IMO, mean we study the revelation we have and compare our lives (and the church) to the example of Jesus and the Kingdom principles he taught and Paul and the others taught. The problem with the “conservative” church (also IMO) is that we have adopted a negative identity where we have defined ourselves by what we are not rather than what we are. There is nothing Kingdom-oriented about that, however, since it is driven by fear. Fear is what has made the conservative church blind to the obvious wrongness of denying half of humanity its freedom in Christ. Fear is what made me blind to that for a very long time.

  67. @ Gram3:

    Hi Gram3, we all missed you. In your paragraph (1) I think we are all saying the same thing, you and me and Bent Tree and the ‘liturgical’ churches also. It is not about changing anything, but about taking it a step or so further. In taking something a step further, however, one does assume that one can do that. Can do is another way of saying has the authority to do. The observable fact that some church traditions go ahead and us the word authority and other do not does not change the reality of the thing, only the vocabulary. The elders at Bent Tree, in doing this and in defending this are de facto saying by their actions that they can do it. Yes, they can. I am using the words have the authority to do so, because that is what they are doing. In baptist fundamentalism, for example, there is no idea that a person or a body of persons can do/has the authority to do this–take it a step further/ follow a trajectory like this.

    Your paragraph (2) is right at the heart of the matter. Definitions play a huge part of all this. I agree that the conservative church has created some problems for itself in describing its identity. I think it is also that the churches and the people have confused political conservatism with religious conservatism and have created a hybrid style of conservatism which I personally do not see as very functional, much less biblical.

    My whole interest in discussing this as I have is to say to people, know that individual steps along a path, any path, if continued lead somewhere and be sure that you want to go where the path takes you or else don’t commit yourself to that path. There are plenty of people and churches and movements which have gone down various paths before, enough of the history of this is readily available, so inform yourself and choose wisely. I have not said that path X is the only true path. I have said be careful.

  68. Beakerj wrote:

    it doesn’t hurt at all to look at a Jewish understanding of the Old Testament, upon which you build your understanding of key concepts in the NT

    Agreed! I’ve often said that every Christian church needs one or more Messianic Jews in its congregation. They provide a great perspective to certain Scripture passages.

  69. @ Gram3:
    Welcome back Gram3! So many grievous things have happened in New Calvinist ranks since you left, I may have to take a break now!

  70. okrapod wrote:

    know that individual steps along a path, any path, if continued lead somewhere and be sure that you want to go where the path takes you or else don’t commit yourself to that path. There are plenty of people and churches and movements which have gone down various paths before, enough of the history of this is readily available, so inform yourself and choose wisely. I have not said that path X is the only true path. I have said be careful.

    Those are wise words. I will have to re-read Webb to see what he has to say about the trajectory/slippery slope from women’s freedom to acceptance of homosexual behavior. I do not want to misrepresent what he said about that.

  71. Max wrote:

    Agreed! I’ve often said that every Christian church needs one or more Messianic Jews in its congregation. They provide a great perspective to certain Scripture passages.

    My Jewish friends wish “Messianic Jews” would just call themselves Christian. Judaism has had a number of bad experiences with messianism and has, for the most part, shied away from it. Simon Bar Kokhba (2nd century) and Sabbatai Sevi (17th century), for example, are two well-documented examples of Jewish messianism gone sideways. A lot of Jews today are apparently giving the side-eye to the Chabad Lubavitch group, where a number of its members apparently believe their last Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Scheerson (died 1994) was (or maybe is) the Messiah. (Seriously, the last is interesting to watch for so many reasons. It makes me wish I knew Hebrew and Yiddish because I have to depend on others to describe what’s happening within the community.)

  72. @ Joe2:

    Great. I have some stuff to do regarding grandchildren and Saturday afternoon for a while now, but I for sure want to go through this.

  73. Gram3 wrote:

    , but my understanding is that he was not saying that the church has the authority to “change” what is written but rather that God has decided to move his program forward incrementally rather than by revolution. So slavery became unacceptable to right-thinking Christians because Christianity internalized the principles of the Kingdom and realized that owning another human is inconsistent with those principles.

    This is difficult to explain but a huge piece to this historical trajectory puzzle that we tend to take for granted is the concept of “individual” liberty.

    History from OT on is a trajectory of moving away from God as ruler to humans as rulers. And except for a few pockets here and there that has been the path until the concept of adults being able to rule themselves was introduced in a real way. Even then it took a long time to work toward the “ideal”.

    And that trajectory does not really fit with Scripture in terms of human government unless we read it with the overarching principles of creation intent in mind.

    This is where it all comes down to efforts on both sides in controlling others’ freedom of conscious. And this us where the liberal/conservative dichotomy usually falls. This is where both groups seek to control the laws for human government. And both seek to use scripture to do so.

  74. Gram3 wrote:

    I will have to re-read Webb to see what he has to say about the trajectory/slippery slope from women’s freedom to acceptance of homosexual behavior.

    If you find something interesting please share it. FWIW I believe, with Bent Tree, that the issues are separate issues, but I also observe that the same and/or similar arguments can be and are used in the arguments put forth. And I note that Bent Tree also addressed the issue slightly on the video. Some of which include; the bible says and God made me in his image, and cultures change in ways not previously considered in scripture, and the problem is not with scripture but with cultural bias, and the issue of fear of change, and the re-defining and originating of vocabulary words and on and on.

  75. __

    “Has God An Established Order For His People, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    “But when he (ed. Uzziah the king) was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men: And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertains not unto you, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for you haave trespassed; neither shall it be for your honour from the Lord God. Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the Lord had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land. Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write. So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.”
    – 2 Chronicles 26:16-23

    _

  76. @ Lydia:
    The narrative of the Bible is Creation-Fall-Redemption-New Creation. That is movement, IMO, and evidence that God could have zapped the Fallen World right into the New Creation. But he did not. He is, IMO, progressively doing that. Sometimes the “church” impedes that progress, and sometimes it promotes it. Sometimes various parts of the “church” either impede or promote it, as in slavery. I think to deny progressiveness in God’s revelation or his work in this world is to deny what is plainly true. IMO, of course. That is my understanding of Webb’s point, but I may be mistaken. As humans we selectively filter the evidence regarding whether what we read in the Bible is a rule or an application of a principle in particular circumstances.

    However, ISTM that it is much more appropriate to attempt to find a way to reconcile evidence which appears on the surface to be contradictory. If we decide beforehand that women cannot ever function in positions of authority over men because that is offensive to God, then we will reach different conclusions from people who do not automatically assume that. Which is my primary complaint about the arguments made by Female Subordinationists. They are circular. They produce evidence which supposedly proves what they have already assumed to be true and then triumphantly proclaim they have proved their position.

    That is how they embarrass themselves repeatedly with things like the 10 reasons that God ordained gender hierarchy in the Original Creation and sanctified testosterone. I think the elders at Bent Tree realized that rather glaring problem and attempted to figure out what to do about the apparent contradictions using conservative presuppositions and methodology.

  77. Warning: Do not sit in the reserved seating section tomorrow at your neighborhood Southern Baptist Church. You may be killed.

    Reserved seating section?

    For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? James 2:2-4

    https://baptistnews.com/2016/04/29/arrest-made-in-philly-church-shooting/

  78. @ Loren Haas:

    Are those other denominations you mention conservative in other areas?

    Part of my problem has been that churches that have women in leadership positions tend to take positions on other topics that I don’t agree with.

    They might, for example, be lukewarm to weak on the inerrancy of the Bible. They might affirm homosexual behavior and allow a practicing (as opposed to celibate) homosexual to act as a preacher in the church. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable in those churches or denominations.

  79. @ Paula Rice:
    This story is unbelievably sad. The father of the murdered man spoke with the news and it was excruciating to see a family spend the rest of their lives without their son. I can’t and don’t want to even imagine what they are going through. Please, if you think of them, pray for them. It’s all too tragic.

  80. @ Paula Rice:

    What’s even funnier to me is that even though some complementarians sell a manly Jesus to men and a girly, passive Jesus to women, even they are part of “the Bride of Christ.”

    The Bible refers to all believers, men and women, in that feminine terminology. There is no way to man that up. 🙂

  81. PS. Thanks for the reminder of the news story. I need to be praying for them this week as they lay their son to rest.

  82. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    I can’t remember which book it is in, but the author showed how there is a cycle repeated over and over again in history – women do the hard work of moving the Gospel forward somewhere, men come in when it is established, and then push the women out of leadership when the work becomes more institutional. The Salvation Army is one of the exceptions.

    I’ve read something similar in articles over the years concerning secular employment:

    When professions are considered “feminine,” (or “woman’s work”) the pay is low, and the work is not regarded as being important.

    However, when for whatever reason, more men enter that field of work, it is then considered “masculine,” the pay (for men in that job) goes up, and it’s considered important work.

  83. Lydia wrote:

    That is my problem, too, living in ground zero. The two extremes are now the choices.

    It's bad enough in the Raleigh-Durham area, where conservative churches have been infiltrated with those connected with our Southern Baptist seminary. I can't imagine living in Louisville.

  84. okrapod wrote:

    It is a church, of course it exists. Do you mean that I am saying that the thinking paths which they have used do not fit the definition of conservatism if conservatism means among other things sola scriptura, then yes I am saying that. They have clearly stated that they are following a trajectory which they see in scripture. That places a level of authority in the church which enables it to go beyond the specific words of scripture and proceed with what they see as an idea in scripture

    I can’t say as though I totally agree with this.

    Interpreting the Bible in such as way as to see that it is not prohibiting women in leader/ pastor /whatever roles does not mean they are not conservative, or have ceased being sola scriptura.

  85. @ Paula Rice:

    This is so sad. I can't imagine what the family is feeling. There is something wrong with the shooter. I can't believe he got that low of a bail.

  86. okrapod wrote:

    Now, when somebody gets the paper he handed out please share it with us.

    I guess you skipped over this part of the post where I linked to the 24-page statement by the elders at Bent Tree. Looks like I should have made it stand out more in the post.

    The Elders' statement entitled The Future Leadership at Bent Tree has been distributed to everyone at the church and is also available on the church website. You can read the 24-page statement here.

  87. Gram3 wrote:

    As humans we selectively filter the evidence regarding whether what we read in the Bible is a rule or an application of a principle in particular circumstances.

    Greg Boyd says this very same thing in his writings. It is not possible to read and interpret the Bible sans presupposition, no matter how much certain camps claim that it is. I arrived at this idea on my own, long before I ever read Boyd.

  88. mirele wrote:

    My Jewish friends wish “Messianic Jews” would just call themselves Christian.

    Especially when a lot of Messianic Jews(TM) show no signs of Jewishness — the sense of humor, the respect for learning, the earthiness. Instead, they come across as Kosher Calvary Chapelites with a lot of Hebrew buzzwords — “HAVE YOU ACCEPTED YESHUA HA-MOSHIYAH AS YOUR PERSONAL ADONAI AND SAVIOR?????”

  89. Lydia wrote:

    The two extremes are now the choices.

    This kind of reminds me of today’s political candidates. I’m normally right wing politically, but I don’t like anyone these days, right or left. 🙂

  90. @ Daisy:

    The curse caused it to be always winter in the “Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. But then the ground in Narnia began to thaw, and signs of Aslan’s return were felt throughout the land. I think the same thing will happen as Christians insist upon obedience to the scriptures regarding male-female relationships.

    We know the Lord has witnessed all the oppression, and desires to see the Bride, you mentioned, delivered from her bondage. The damage inflicted upon her through institutionalized gender discrimination must be healed and repented of! I hope soon we will see a stronger advance of the gospel as women are released, encouraged and equipped to confidently participate in the Great Commission.

  91. @ Deb:

    Yeah, I thought from his final comment at the end of the video that he was saying there was even more, and somebody up stream had mentioned that they hoped he said more on the homosexual issue, and put all together I thought there was even more.

    I hope it works out for him because his conclusions and his approach to scripture are consistent with the conclusions of the strains of christianity with which I have been affiliated for some time now, first UMC and now TEC. We, however, have not been able to use that position and that type of approach to scripture to avoid the gay clergy issue or now the gay marriage issue. Of course, it is more complicated than that; things always are. They have indicated that they do not intend to go down that road. They brought it up on the paper and on the video. We did not and were not able to avoid the issue with some dire consequences for the church due to serious disagreements among people. I wish him all the best.

    But, IMO, his use of the word progressive is apt. I think they are progressive and they are progressing toward a more liberal approach to christianity. I think he handled the explanation of that beautifully, but it is a progressive and not a conservative stance. Just my take on it.

  92. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    the sense of humor, the respect for learning, the earthiness. Instead, they come across as Kosher Calvary Chapelites with a lot of Hebrew buzzwords

    I’ve seen it up close and personal way back in the day. Humor, desire for learning and earthiness, the traditional staples of Jewishness, are all ‘of the flesh’ and don’t glorify the Lord…
    I drew up my own emancipation proclamation of sorts years ago and haven’t regretted it.

  93. @ okrapod:
    Here is Webb’s paper for ETS:

    http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/48/48-2/48-2-pp331-349_JETS.pdf

    He has a couple of chapters in Discovering Biblical Equality on the hermeneutical approach and also the reasons why the redemptive movement hermeneutic he proposes does not support the acceptance of homosexual practice.

    You are correct that people should consider the implications. Look before you leap, especially when the issues are so consequential. My take is that he is attempting to put the “historical” back in grammatical-historical hermeneutics which has never been a naive “plain reading” approach to interpretation. Obviously, the churches you mentioned which have had problems do not follow the grammatical-historical method and reached their conclusions via other paths, so Webb’s approach would not be relevant, I think.

  94. @ Gram3:
    I should have also said that the ideas of exegetical methods and interpretive approaches get confused. Grammatical-historical exegesis is conservative. We are still left with apparent contradictions which need to be resolved in a reasonable and consistent way, from the conservative POV. I think Webb’s proposal is one way to do that. Probably not the only way.

  95. Just a thought I had… I don’t want to put words in his mouth and maybe he would disagree with this, but wouldn’t you consider Wade Burleson a conservative in terms of his commitment to the authority of Scripture and doctrinal beliefs? Their church allows women to freely function according to their spiritual gifts.

  96. @ Gram3:

    Webb’s cultural analysis book about ‘slaves, women and homosexuals’ sounds intriguing. The only comment I could find on it seems to indicate that it is more complex than something I might tackle, but it is interesting that he addresses all three issues in light of his redemptive-movement hermeneutic, as he has called it. Some folks have said they see no connection between some of those issues, but apparently Webb talks about what his hermeneutic arrives at in those issues.

    I read a book out there a long time ago called cows, pigs, wars and witches. It was a cultural analysis of how something that looks ridiculous today actually made sense when the ideas first entered the various cultures. I have the feeling that Webb’s approach may be a sort of theological approach to how to handle similar issues when older cultural ideas no longer make sense. If he can find a way to show a progression of thinking within scripture then he can do the same thing the writer of cpw&w did by explaining the cultural progression of thinking and perhaps can show that the biblical writers also reflected that cultural progression in the bible. The matter of differentiating something as not supracultural would be the key, which the Bent Tree people did. The problem would be in determining which of various cultures is more ‘correct’ and the answer would have to be that it depends on the circumstances. What is good for a culture in the jungle may not play well in the desert, so to speak, so value decisions would have to be made apart from the historical picture. Like the issue of not eating pork would vary in its applicability, aside from the religious prohibitions, based on hog disease variables for instance. None the less, some arbitrary decision would have to made as to applicability and that based again, I am thinking, on the cultures.

    Well, if that is right, then it is certainly correct that in our society the old ideas about slaves, women and homosexuals no longer seem reasonable. I may read the book after all. This is getting interesting.

  97. @ Sallie Borrink:

    Within the world of the baptists there are those who consider themselves and are considered by the others as conservative and some who consider themselves and are considered by others as moderate. IFB, GARB, neo-cal SBC and others are considered conservative. The churches who left SBC and aligned with CBF for example are considered moderate. These groups also may use the terms fundamentalist vs liberal when they refer to each other if they are feeling particularly hostile at the time. The impression I get is that Wade is a moderate. I do not think that the conservatives among the baptists would consider having ordained women preaching (if that is what you are saying) to be conservative, seeing that this can get churches thrown out of some baptist associations.

    As somebody has said, conservative can mean one thing to one person and something else to another. My use of the term corresponds to the conservative baptist use of the term.

  98. okrapod wrote:

    Within the world of the baptists there are those who consider themselves and are considered by the others as conservative and some who consider themselves and are considered by others as moderate. IFB, GARB, neo-cal SBC and others are considered conservative.

    See, I don’t think of IFB and GARB as conservative. I think of them as FAR to the right of conservative, especially IFB.

    That’s the problem with these terms. Everyone views them differently. So maybe I call myself right of center. I don’t know. We’ve been members of a couple more moderate GARB churches in the past, but could not fit in. We got married in a church that is technically GARB, but if I took you there you would never believe it since it is quite contemporary (but very TGC-ish and comp). We would never consider a GARB church now, but at the time we tried to work with what was available.

  99. @ Sallie Borrink: that is a good marriage. My parents were married almost sixty years and I think they had an egalitarian marriage. They sure loved and respected each other and I could go on and on. They were love birds in their 80’s.

  100. @ Paula Rice:

    “But then the ground in Narnia began to thaw, and signs of Aslan’s return were felt throughout the land. I think the same thing will happen as Christians insist upon obedience to the scriptures regarding male-female relationships.
    ++++++++++++++

    obedience to which interpretation?

    when there is this much disagreement and especially when human lives are at issue, I feel that treating people the way you would want to be treated kicks in as the guiding principle, & supersedes all theological systems. that, and common sense.

  101. elastigirl wrote:

    when there is this much disagreement and especially when human lives are at issue, I feel that treating people the way you would want to be treated kicks in as the guiding principle, & supersedes all theological systems. that, and common sense.

    Applauding, whistling & cheering over here! How can this not be our default position whenever we are confused or unsure? When can it ever be wrong?

  102. elastigirl wrote:

    obedience to which interpretation?

    Sorry, what are you asking? Which interpretation of scripture, such as NIV, NKJV, ASV?
    Was there something about my entire comment that confused you?

  103. Why don’t we just find a new church that hears the voices of women? That would be the simple solution. But in our small town, the options are limited, and I’ve visited 37 over the last few years. It’s rare that we find one that forces women into literal silence, although that exists. Most allow women to speak, but not teach. Both ARC churches let a woman teach from the stage, but not very often. A church that lets women actually lead… That doesn’t exist around here.

    We are left with the options of moving to a larger city, or starting a new church. Both sound difficult. And neither I nor my spouse could be called pastoral.

  104.    __

    In the begining of His ministry, Jesus instructed  his disciples to share the good news to the nation of Israel. God Almighty had sent his Son to the Jewish people (His people) and when they rejected Jesus, and killed Him, where upon His Resurection, Jesus raised up Saul of Tarsus to take  Jesus’ good news to the gentile nations.  This is how Christianity took form outside the Jewish nation of Israel in the first century. People of every nation thus had a opportunity to hear from Saul’s lips (Jesus later changed his name to Paul after his conversion on the road to Damascus.) the miracle of new birth, – that Jesus’ work on the cross – and had faithfully brought about. Thus men and woman everywhere in the gentile nations began to call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) as to be saved. Those who believed in Jesus, His work upon the roman cross, were  changed and translated into Christ’s kingdom, their sins forgiven, there lives born of God into everlasting life.  

    This word of new life in Jesus Christ spread rapidly throughout the roman empire and parts beyond. Paul the apostle (as he was called now) chose ‘faithful’ men (of a select criteria) who had received the good news of Jesus Christ, and and they then assisted in establishing a body of comunity of believers everywhere the word of Christ was received and took root.

    There is no record, no New Testament record that is that Paul was called upon to raise up comunity leaders among the many women who faithfully received the words of Christ as to be saved. (and there in lies the rub) Yet they (women) went on to play an integral part of the thriving new testament church growing and thriving in the roman empire. 

    Although leadership of the comunity churches were lead by men, women  exeraized their gifts in helps, prophecy, and sharing the good news to their family and neighbors. Everyone took part in sharing what they had with others. Women generaly did not feel cheated, and men were certainily not called upon to be oppressors, or abusers, but to live by Christ’s example.

    In the twentieth century however, culture begin to change (for example) when men went off to war in great quantities and women were employed in the nations farms and factories to consistantly aid the war effort. A certain atomony among woman asserted itself in society. It continues to this day. Equal rights, equal pay, equal rights in the workplace and later equal rights in the churches as well. This (in a nutshall) is where we are today. Woman who have attained equal status amount men in society, in the workplace, – in the twentth century sought that equal status in the churches as well. Male corruption, oppression, and abuse in the churches have invarablly accelerated this  movement of equality among the sexes in the churches.

    Althought no authority can be directly found in holy scripture that would suggest the empowerment of women unto governmental authority within the local church body that Christ originally himself founded and established, that is, as a directive from Jesus, the founder, nor from His disciples, — as to suggest such a trajectory (given the work of Jesus and His discipleship as an example)  of this nature, yet society as a whole has been steadily moving in this direction (women  taking on  hurη governmental  authority) for quite sometime.  Many church groups and bodies, have (to date) elevated women to governmental authority in their respective churches. This movement, that begin steadily in the twentieth century is seen as gaining further acceptability and forward movement in the twenty-first.

  105. elastigirl wrote:

    obedience to which interpretation?

    when there is this much disagreement and especially when human lives are at issue, I feel that treating people the way you would want to be treated kicks in as the guiding principle, & supersedes all theological systems. that, and common sense.

    Bingo. And this is where I think the trajectory of individual liberty and civil rights comes into play in the trajectory we are discussing.

    There are exceprions for those who harm others or seek to take away freedoms of speech and so on. Obviously we are not going to treat a pedophile how we want to be treated and so on. That is th

  106. @ Lydia:
    Common sense part.

    Still, the trajectory is creation intent and that is why there has been a sinister focus to read patriarchy into Genesis before the fall.

  107. Lydia wrote:

    or seek to take away freedoms of speech

    I can tell by the sheer volume of your comments that you are a true proponent of your freedom to speak.
    I am curious, however as to why you didn’t go out and join the protest in front of the Yum! Center, being outspoken as you are about the issue? I’ve noted you live in Louisville. Again, just curious.

  108. Fitba’:

    Leicester could have secured the league title had they won at Old Trafford this afternoon, but it finished 1-1. This, however, means that if Spurs don’t win at Stamford Bridge tomorrow, Leicester will be champions. Had Leicester lost today, then a Tottenham draw against Chelsea would have been enough to keep the championship race alive.

    Oh, and Liverpool had a shocker at Swansea, but it was only really on paper that we had anything to play for – for us to qualify for Europe via our league position would have needed a lot of points dropped above us. We have to turn around a 1-0 deficit against Villarreal now…

    IHTIH

  109. Incidentally, I’m coming a bit late to this thread (been busy over the last few days and it looks set to be a long night tonight as well). So I agree with everything everybody’s said apart from anything that’s obviously wrong.

  110. Women in ministry and still believing in Jesus Christ as the only Savior. And the LC-MS said it couldn’t be done.

  111. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    So I agree with everything everybody’s said apart from anything that’s obviously wrong.

    Well I for one am thankful for that. Actually I was thinking of you & OldJohnJ as I am reading a book called ‘From Evolution to Eden: Making Sense of Early Genesis’ by Greg Laughery (heads up L’Abri) & George Diepstra, which is about listening to both science & theology, it just made me think of some of your discussions here, & may be a worthy read. IHTH 🙂

  112. @ Paula Rice:

    it was a good comment. where scripture is concerned, I have observed that different groups of Christians, who may all by reading the NIV (or any other version), interpret what they read very differently and come to different (sometimes opposite) conclusions.

    each group will toss in the statement “it’s biblical”, as a means of suppressing those in their audience who rightfully and healthfully wonder “hmmmm, I’m not so sure about that”.

    that “it’s biblical” qualifier means “i’m wright and all who disagree with me are wrong”.

    now, they can’t all be right.

    sometimes obedience to scripture only means obedience to what the person or people with power want you to think.

    when there is disagreement over what scriptures say & mean, & when it impacts the welfare of human lives, the only tenable option is to let philadelphia, kindness, what is pro-human being and common sense rule the day.

  113. Muff Potter wrote:

    I’ve seen it up close and personal way back in the day. Humor, desire for learning and earthiness, the traditional staples of Jewishness, are all ‘of the flesh’ and don’t glorify the Lord…
    I drew up my own emancipation proclamation of sorts years ago and haven’t regretted it.

    It’s not a problem if you’re not calling yourself a “Messianic Jew.” To my Jewish friends, MJs are a complete misrepresentation of what Judaism is about.

  114. mirele wrote:

    It’s not a problem if you’re not calling yourself a “Messianic Jew.” To my Jewish friends, MJs are a complete misrepresentation of what Judaism is about.

    As I said above, Messianic Jews(TM) usually come across as Calvary Chapelites with a Kosher coat of paint and lotsa Hebrew Buzzwords.

  115. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    See, I don’t think of IFB and GARB as conservative. I think of them as FAR to the right of conservative, especially IFB.

    I think of IFB as The Lunatic Fringe.

  116.   __

    “Trajectory Inclined?”

    hmmm…

    “And you literally encountered all these things by falling down a rabbit hole.” – Dr. Liddgate to Alice

      In April, the Christian-based American Family Association (AFA) called for a boycott of Target stores following the retail giant’s announcement that transgender people would be allowed to use the bathrooms and dressing rooms that match their gender identity.

    Target: “We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination. In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” -Target, Corporate

    *

    AFA: “Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims. And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go? Clearly, Target’s dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters. We think many customers will agree. And we think the average Target customer is willing to pledge to boycott Target stores until it makes protecting women and children a priority. One solution is a common-sense approach and a reasonable solution to the issue of transgendered customers: a unisex bathroom. Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided.” – American Family Association (AFA)

  117. @ Lydia:

    to add on to my most recent comment: I suspect you have experience with being on the receiving end of the blunt instrument of ‘it’s biblical’, and that my explanations were nothing new to you. just trying to flesh-out my thesis statement (or idea) of ‘the golden rule wins the day’.

  118. @ Paula Rice:

    to add on to my most recent comment: I suspect you have experience with being on the receiving end of the blunt instrument of ‘it’s biblical’, and that my explanations were nothing new to you. just trying to flesh-out my thesis statement (or idea) of ‘the golden rule wins the day’.

  119. mirele wrote:

    To my Jewish friends, MJs are a complete misrepresentation of what Judaism is about.

    I can see that yeah, gross misrepresentation. As far as my previous comment goes, you would have had to have been there, the old Calvary Chapel Chautauqua, when Messianic Jews were all the rage, much in the same way Native Americans were in the hippie culture.

  120. mirele wrote:

    It’s not a problem if you’re not calling yourself a “Messianic Jew.” To my Jewish friends, MJs are a complete misrepresentation of what Judaism is about.

    Let me throw in this. I have mentioned before that I got assigned to a dissection table in gross anatomy with three others, all male and all Jewish. Their major topic of conversation, or so it seemed to me, was what it means to be Jewish. But here is the thing, one was an atheist, one was orthodox and one was somewhere in between, and they did not agree with each other as to what it means to be Jewish nor did they agree about how to practice or not practice Judaism in today’s world. It was fascinating to say the least, but for sure the main take away for me was the conclusion that what it means to be Jewish depends on who you ask.

  121. Sopwith wrote:

    Equal rights, equal pay, equal rights in the workplace and later equal rights in the churches as well. This (in a nutshall) is where we are today. Woman who have attained equal status amount men in society, in the workplace, – in the twentth century sought that equal status in the churches as well. Male corruption, oppression, and abuse in the churches have invarablly accelerated this movement of equality among the sexes in the churches.

    I think your use of “status” is helpful. I do not think it is helpful for women to assert their “rights” in the church, but it is helpful for us to do that in the civil sphere. Our rights as humans in the civil sphere (of the recent West) are secured by our status as human beings created in God’s image. Since God did not specify a hierarchy based on social class or gender or ethnicity in Genesis nor elsewhere in the Bible, the no-hierarchy position should be the default starting position for reasoning out the parts of the Bible which restrict the functioning of women *in the church.*

    In the church/Kingdom, the issue is not one of rights but of status, and the status of all believers is In Christ. No believer has the right to claim rights of power over other believers, but no believer has the obligation to surrender their status as being equally In Christ and Members of One Body just because a clergy class says we must. Galatians is about more than the Jew/Gentile divide, or else Paul would not have brought slaves and females into his argument.

    We don’t demand rights *and* we do not assert authority over others except to proclaim the authority of Christ as Head over all of us who are Members of One Body.

  122. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Lydia:

    scratch previous comment — it was supposed to link to Paula Rice.

    I did the same thing yesterday replying to Lydia when I meant to reply to Okrapod!

  123. @ Gram3:
    I have not read his book but it was often referenced by others when researching this stuff so was somewhat familiar. Looks like I need to read it!

    Just read the paper you linked in the comment and am finding his examples and differences in the Grudem/Schriener hermeneutic on slavery very interesting in light of their interpretation on women functioning in the Body.

  124. @ elastigirl:
    Yes, I would agree. The Golden Rule is always a good rule of thumb.

    CBMW founder Wayne Grudem has launched attacks against bible translations which employ gender inclusive or gender neutral language.

    In her forward to Vern and Wayne’s paper, “The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy:
    Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words,” Valerie Becker Makkai, Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of Illinois-Chicago, doesn’t take into consideration the forward movement of God’s revelation of himself to us, and how there’s nothing wrong with altering language to reflect this progression, especially since it’s really taking place and is no lie.

    But of course, these guys (hope Valerie doesn’t mind me referring to him in the masculine for I’m pretty confident he will not) are against the progression I’m referring to here, in particular raising objections to translations of verses like 1 Timothy 2:12, among others.

    http://www.frame-poythress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/PoythressVernGrudemWayneGenderNeutralBibleControversy.pdf

  125. @ Gram3:

    hi gram — i’m glad you’re around!

    your comments have stated things so well.

    I keep a running document of thoughts/ideas/raw data that I find insightful and illuminating (along with citations). this document contains many, many things you’ve typed on TWW (along with a number of other TWW contributors).

  126. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Paula Rice:
    to add on to my most recent comment: I suspect you have experience with being on the receiving end of the blunt instrument of ‘it’s biblical’, and that my explanations were nothing new to you. just trying to flesh-out my thesis statement (or idea) of ‘the golden rule wins the day’.

    Yes, for sure. And I find it highly annoying and offensive when someone slaps on the descriptor “biblical” in an effort to sell you on something as though it is 100% the will of God, no questions asked.

    Case in point: The Counsel for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

  127. elastigirl wrote:

    I suspect you have experience with being on the receiving end of the blunt instrument of ‘it’s biblical’

    Just an indirect way of going “GOD SAITH!!!!!”

  128. Paula Rice wrote:

    how there’s nothing wrong with altering language to reflect this progression, especially since it’s really taking place and is no lie.

    I don’t know if you mean actually altering language in the bible, but if so, I think that altering language to make it look like something was said originally when it was not has a huge drawback. If people are looking for a progression of thinking during the biblical era then it makes little sense to remove the evidence that things did not used to what they are now. If they do that then the whole idea of Webb’s hermeneutic is rendered superfluous. Of course, that may be all well and good because I see some real problems with Webb’s idea in the first place, but evidence of movement has to have points on a line to mark the changes and to show that there was movement in the scripture. Retroactively going back and erasing the marks so to speak hides the very movement of ideas on which he has built his hermeneutic.

  129. Muff Potter wrote:

    mirele wrote:

    To my Jewish friends, MJs are a complete misrepresentation of what Judaism is about.

    I can see that yeah, gross misrepresentation. As far as my previous comment goes, you would have had to have been there, the old Calvary Chapel Chautauqua, when Messianic Jews were all the rage, much in the same way Native Americans were in the hippie culture.

    I wondered where you ran into Calvary Chapelites with a Kosher coat of paint. From what I know about your background, you’re Menominee and I didn’t think that overlapped with Messianic Jews. (Though you’re also about 10-15 miles down the 91 from me and that would still put you too close to Ground Zero of Calvary Chapel.)

    “Much in the same way Native Americans were in the hippie culture.”
    And in Hollywood — remember the Old Native American Shaman stock character (usually played by a Chief Dan George type) as Wise Man/Spiritually-Evolved Giant ever since the Shirley MacLaine set? Even Wesley Crusher transcended to Godhood under the mentoring of a Native American Shaman!

    And there was an anecdote over at the old “Baby’s Got a Bad Bad Name” website about a Lakota whose white co-workers were pressuring him/her for “Indian Names” for their children “because Indians are so Spiritually Evolved”. Well, he/she obliged; there are now a batch of Indigo Children being with Speshul Auspicous Native American Names which are actually Lakota CUSSWORDS.

  130. okrapod wrote:

    Judaism in today’s world. It was fascinating to say the least, but for sure the main take away for me was the conclusion that what it means to be Jewish depends on who you ask.

    Ever heard of the saying “Two Jews, Three Opinions”?

  131. @ Paula Rice:

    Yes. It says I have the answers and you do not, na nannie boo boo. I hate that. It is right there with you are not arguing with me, you are arguing with God. Arrggh.

  132. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I might have to get over my fiction problem and check those out. Just reading some of your comments over the years has piqued my interest!

    Here’s some URLs of the ones that made it online:

    One of my solos, the one that gave me my comment handle:
    http://alanloewen.blogspot.com/2016/04/conversation-with-dying-unicorn.html

    And the My Little Pony fics I assisted Eric on (if you know anyone in Pony fandom, pass these on if you like them; we need all the word-of-mouth we can get:

    My Little Balladeer (novel) — crossover with Manly Wade Wellman’s “Silver John” series, canonical to both sources and played absolutely straight. Online version is a bit rough around the edges, but a good cold introduction:
    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/27032/my-little-balladeer

    A series we call “A Wolf Among Ponies”, told from the viewpoints of some of the “monsters” in the Pony’s world. These require some familiarity with the show:

    “Wolf In Pony’s Clothing” (novel) – the one that started the series, a screwball comedy with serious undertones.
    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/116203/wolf-in-ponys-clothing

    “A Wolf Among Ponies: First Contact” (novella) – prequel to the above.
    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/116203/wolf-in-ponys-clothing

    “A Wolf Among Ponies: Return to Ponyville” (novelette) – sequel to the above.
    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/249881/a-wolf-among-ponies-return-to-ponyville

    Not a direct sequel but set in the same continuity:
    “Manehattan Madness” (novel) – spy thriller set at a fashion show.
    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/203795/manehattan-madness

    And a standalone:

    “Night at the Fights” (short), using Eric’s insider knowledge of his guilty pleasure – Pro Wrestling. (If you’re a Pro Wrestling aficionado, you’ll get more out of it):
    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/174890/tales-from-equestria-a-night-at-the-fights

  133. @ Gram3:

    ” I do not think it is helpful for women to assert their “rights” in the church,….

    We don’t demand rights *and* we do not assert authority over others except to proclaim the authority of Christ as Head over all of us who are Members of One Body.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    how does a woman respond, then, to being curtailed in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” when in church?

    is it 100% passivity? is it one self-deprecating indirect suggestion, and maybe a follow-up one if the 1st went unnoticed? is it a limited number of more direct challenges?

    assuming that ‘voting with one’s feet’ is an expression of asserting & demanding one’s rights, must she stay in such an environment?

    how long does she wait for the men in power to wake up?

    as far as ‘asserting’ and ‘demanding’ being the rule, it seems to me that what is assertive/demanding changes depending on location. if my jewish brooklyner aunt were visiting Tennessee and expressed her wishes or preferences, I’m pretty sure it would be taken as “WHAT a demanding woman!” Whereas in Brooklyn it would be innocuous.

  134. @ Paula Rice:

    biblical schmiblical

    you should see my theology of ladybugs, drawn heavily from Paul. it’s biblical.

    depending on my mood or circumstances, I could slightly tweak it a bit to benefit me and those I identify with while passive-aggressively punishing others. I could do this because it’s biblical.

    I have it all parsed out in chore-to-read-textbook form, a lighter version paperback, an 8-week bible study course, a special-edition ladybug bible with red and black ladybugs printed next to key passages, all manner of Christian ladybug merchandise including rubber bracelates, necklaces, T-shirts, bookmarks, thought-for-day calendars, mugs, totebags…

    a 7-figure income is all right there…. BECAUSE ITS BIBLICAL.

  135. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t know if you mean actually altering language in the bible, but if so, I think that altering language to make it look like something was said originally when it was not has a huge drawback. If people are looking for a progression of thinking during the biblical era then it makes little sense to remove the evidence that things did not used to what they are now.

    Well, take for example the fact that Jesus chose only male disciples like we read about in the Gospels. In fact, he chose only Jewish, male disciples.

    Now, some, building on the fact all the disciples were men, point to other things, such as Paul’s instructions to Timothy in 1 Tim 2:11-15, and conclude church leadership should be male, in every church, down through the ages. Why? Because that is what they see in New Testament times, as though God’s revelation of himself is perfectly portrayed in every instance during that time.

    Yet, funny thing – the men who argue their gender grants them leadership over women and others in the church are likewise not arguing that only Jewish men should be the leaders of the church like we see in the bible. Now, why is that?

  136. Well, folks, I didn’t make it over to the House of Driscoll today. Late last night, a friend of mine (ok, the on-again, off-again boyfriend) called from Tucson because his vehicle had started making a loud noise, like something rubbing against something else. He had (wisely, I thought) exited the freeway and called me. And hey, I have nothing better to do after 9 pm on a Saturday night than to just hop in my vehicle and drive down to fetch him. (Seriously, though, I was worried he’d start back to Phoenix and his vehicle would die in a portion of I-10 that has scanty cell phone coverage. He thought if he drove his vehicle it might catch on fire.) We made it back after midnight. I was expecting some weather but just a couple of very brief rain showers.

    Anyway, so no House of Driscoll today. That said, my new SUV runs great!

  137. @ elastigirl:
    This is kind of where I was going when I mentioned the trajectory of individual liberty and civil rights of the eventual American ideal as opposed to the hermeneutic of authoritarianism inherent in so many churches.

  138. Lydia wrote:

    Just read the paper you linked in the comment and am finding his examples and differences in the Grudem/Schriener hermeneutic

    I have head it said that we can abolish slavery, but we cannot abolish womanhood. Therefore, roles of women “as defined in the Bible” stands!

  139. mirele wrote:

    He had (wisely, I thought) exited the freeway and called me. And hey, I have nothing better to do after 9 pm on a Saturday night than to just hop in my vehicle and drive down to fetch him.

    Well now! Aren’t we quite the anti-biblical dynamical duo! Holy estrogen, Batman!
    You, the fair damsel, goes out in the dark of night to help a man in distress!
    I am managing my husband’s health insurance, doctor’s instructions, and medical affairs. Even if he could, he wouldn’t have the patience! I have my hands full just making him behave and keeping him from doing things that will hurt him even more ……. mow yard, etc.

    Update on my husband: In pre-op testing, his heart rate was 36. Because his heart rate was so low, they will not approve surgery on jaw until he sees and is cleared by a cardio dr. I am working on referral from PCP for tricare insurance – must have that before cardio will see him. I’ll be back on the phone with PCP and ins. Mon. morning!

    With the mood I’m in right now, I will be more than happy to send all of the CBMW papers and books through my food processor, mix in some fresh cow piles, and feed it to all of their ilk through a straw.

  140. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    I can’t remember which book it is in, but the author showed how there is a cycle repeated over and over again in history – women do the hard work of moving the Gospel forward somewhere, men come in when it is established, and then push the women out of leadership when the work becomes more institutional. The Salvation Army is one of the exceptions.

    Wow. Affirmative. When we were missionaries in Africa, we saw evidence of the single women called to the mission field years ago who had laid the ground work, and then the men arrived. Of course, there were some men who also did ground work, too, however, in many cases the single women missionaries were laying the foundation. One of the older women said her church supported her doing this, only because, they said no men would do it, so this was God’s Plan B or last resort – to have a woman doing evangelism, preaching, teaching until finally men were willing to show up. Not ideal, they told her.

  141. elastigirl wrote:

    you should see my theology of ladybugs…I have…a special-edition ladybug bible with red and black ladybugs printed next to key passages, all manner of Christian ladybug merchandise including rubber bracelates, necklaces, T-shirts, bookmarks, thought-for-day calendars, mugs, totebags…BECAUSE ITS BIBLICAL.

    Did you say BIBLICAL? Thank you! Wow! Now I know what to give myself over to become!

    https://youtu.be/zpnSCguHYmQ

  142. Paula Rice wrote:

    Now, some, building on the fact all the disciples were men, point to other things, such as Paul’s instructions to Timothy in 1 Tim 2:11-15, and conclude church leadership should be male, in every church, down through the ages. Why? Because that is what they see in New Testament times, as though God’s revelation of himself is perfectly portrayed in every instance during that time.

    One of the best refutations of the 1 Timothy 2 argument I ever read was so obvious that it was one of those smack your head type things. This is by Frank Viola from a PDF paper called “Reimagining a Woman’s Role in the Church”:

    “Let’s now turn our attention to the other “limiting passage.” Before we look at the text, it’s important to understand that 1st and 2nd Timothy are unique letters. Paul is writing to his apostolic apprentice—a man he’s known for about fifteen years. Such communication—between two closely-tied individuals—is known as “low context.” This means that the author can assume an intimate knowledge of the reader’s understanding of any particular statement he makes. Let me unpack that. Because Paul had a close relationship with Timothy, he could say things to him that he knew Timothy would understand. His statement had a particular context to it with which Timothy was familiar.

    and

    Here is something else to consider. Timothy had known Paul for around fifteen years. Timothy had traveled with the aged apostle on two church planting trips. He had also visited all the churches Paul founded. If Paul had universally banned women from teaching and speaking in the church meetings, why on earth would he have to explain this to Timothy in this letter? Timothy would have already known it.”

    If you want to download the entire PDF, I have a link to it here: http://www.awomansfreedominchrist.com/biblical-equality-womans-role-in-the-church-and-women-in-leadership/

  143. Lydia wrote:

    Oh wow. Now there is a bizarre argument as if roles are not a form of imposed servitude.

    Exactly!
    As if by God determining our sex, He determines our roles and positions in society!
    Male = Master.
    female = servant.

  144. Nancy2 wrote:

    I have head it said that we can abolish slavery, but we cannot abolish womanhood. Therefore, roles of women “as defined in the Bible” stands!

    Hi NANCY2,
    I wonder if these men realize that ‘as defined in the Bible’ is not the same as their interpretation (escuse me, inerrant opinions) of the words of sacred Scripture ???
    I can’t believe the self-idolatry they proclaim . . . which I have learned is expressed in pronouncements preceded by the words ‘the Bible clearly says’ . . .

    at some point, some of these men must finally come to the place where they encounter the truth of the paradox of the Lord who is at once ‘meek and humble’ and Who also commands storms to cease. In all of their self-idolatry, there is little room for the Christ of the Bile to speak at all. Evidence of this resides in their claims that they no longer view sacred Scripture through the lens of Our Lord Himself.
    The truth is that these men can manipulate the words of St.Paul a lot easier than they can distort the actual words and actions of Christ, Who spoke in the very Person of God. People can say ‘in other words’ about something Paul wrote, but when it comes what what Our Lord spoke, there ARE no ‘in other words’.

  145. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    If Paul had universally banned women from teaching and speaking in the church meetings, why on earth would he have to explain this to Timothy in this letter?

    That’s an interesting point, Sallie, although I’m not fan of Viola.

    While I agree its true Paul and Timothy shared a close bond, I think that’s inconsequential, and that there’s a broader application.

    All of scripture is inspired, of course, and profitable for teaching and instruction. Paul’s instructions to Timothy are profitable for our instruction, but how is that to be interpreted and applied?

    I think we see Timothy reaching out to Paul for wisdom and counsel on how to handle a difficult situation, and Paul, then, in his letters, responding to Timothy’s troubles. The situation Paul addressed was unique to that church, and overall, I see here the importance of leaders needing to be led by the Spirit, and the importance of wise counsel. I do not believe the specific instructions Paul gave Timothy were intended to apply to every church, but there are certainly principles here that we are to learn from. It’s simply erroneous to conclude from this that Paul was saying women are to be excluded from church leadership within all churches. It doesn’t support the things Paul taught elsewhere in scripture, so we must conclude this was a unique circumstance, requiring a unique response. Thank God the real church isn’t structured like a franchise, using preformed models to shape the thing, as though godliness is found in the forms themselves. The church is people and we are the temples of the Holy Spirit!

  146. Paula Rice wrote:

    It’s simply erroneous to conclude from this that Paul was saying women are to be excluded from church leadership within all churches. It doesn’t support the things Paul taught elsewhere in scripture, so we must conclude this was a unique circumstance, requiring a unique response.

    I’m confused. That’s the point Viola is making. He’s saying women are free and this was a unique circumstance.

  147. @ elastigirl:
    Those are very good questions, so if I miss something, please let me know. Some time ago a sympathetic guy asked Lydia and me why we didn’t just do a protest at church on Sunday morning at one of these churches. IIRC, I answered that a protest would not be the wisest strategy, at least in the churches I’ve been in.

    At a human level, these beliefs are strongly held due to fear. For some it is the fear of offending God or the fear of failing to fulfill some responsibility. This is fundamentally what CBMW exploits, and the pewpeons I’ve observed fall into these two categories, for the most part. For many of the leaders I’ve observed, it is the fear of a loss of position or prestige. They mask what is really pride with high-sounding rhetoric which appeals to the pewpeons. Many men and women are cowed by social pressure to conform to the prevailing view or at least to not rock the boat with their disagreement lest they lose the social benefits of belonging to the group. They will only feel more threatened if forced to make a choice. Those are the practical considerations.

    Kingdom considerations seem to me to point to laying down claims and considering others more important than ourselves. That principle, of course, is violated by the people who are denying our freedom In Christ, but that does not relieve us from conducting ourselves in accordance with our identity which is In Christ and according to his example. Sometimes that means gentle questioning, sometimes it means pointed interrogatories, and sometimes it may mean turning over some metaphorical tables in their Temples. They want to reduce our identity to genetics or anatomy. We need to look beyond that, IMO.

    While that has the effect of denying our rights as sons and daughters, it is actually much worse than a question of rights being denied. What they are fundamentally denying is our identity as being In Christ. And that is a denial of the power of the Gospel to reverse the effects of the Fall and to reconcile us to one another and make us into one new humanity. And denying the power of the Gospel is denying the power of Christ and the effect of his sacrifice. It is a denial of the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and an assertion that the Spirit’s work is bound by gender. Ridiculous bordering on blasphemous.

    I think that the Gospel Glitterati get this, and that is why they fight so hard to make something exist in the text which does not exist in the text in the first two chapters of Genesis. And that’s also why they refuse to examine and consider Paul’s arguments in Galatians and 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy but rather insist on picking out clobber verses with which to intimidate the pewpeons. The pressure to conform within the stratosphere of the Gospel Glitterati must be very high for these highly educated men and women to be able to ignore the fallacious reasoning and exegetical manipulation. After all, if one of them wavers, the whole enterprise will fail. And they all know it.

    So, what to do? I think that individual people should speak up, but the content should focus on our identity and not the rights which flow from that identity. That is a matter of framing the issue in such a way as to focus on the greater issue of identity rather than what that identity entails. I think Bent Tree is a great example. It took 25 years because overcoming fear (or inertia, as one elder put it) usually does not happen all at once. First, the question must even be allowed to be a question. Then a different way of thinking must be learned and assurance secured that the fears which seem justified really are not. There needs to be consensus regardless of church polity.

    Last, I think that it does at times mean dusting of our feet and leaving. For most of us who are conservative, there are not many good options. Yet. But I think that we are about to see a tragic number of broken marriages which were built on false promises and false beliefs about the nature of marriage. At the same time as those individual tragedies, I think there will be an increasing number of conservative women *and* men who are willing to ask the question and then seek out the answer using conservative methodologies and presuppositions.

  148. Gram3 wrote:

    While that has the effect of denying our rights as sons and daughters, it is actually much worse than a question of rights being denied. What they are fundamentally denying is our identity as being In Christ. And that is a denial of the power of the Gospel to reverse the effects of the Fall and to reconcile us to one another and make us into one new humanity. And denying the power of the Gospel is denying the power of Christ and the effect of his sacrifice. It is a denial of the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and an assertion that the Spirit’s work is bound by gender. Ridiculous bordering on blasphemous.

    I cannot tell you how often I have read on pastor blogs the declaration that Christians must give up their “rights”. They make very sanctimonious arguments for it, too. Arguments that are easy for pew peons to latch onto such as these pastors position the concept of rights as “worldly” instead of a positive trajectory that sought to protect the weak or oppressed.

  149. @ Gram3:
    Another part of the equation is rethinking the whole liberal/conservative dichotomy that shuts down thought. How is it “liberal” to make a case for full inheritance of giftings in the Body of Christ?

    The case is harder to make when the church accepts the concept of “human biblical authority”. That is why Bent Tree sort of blew my mind. Elders! That is most likely why it took so long but it is still precious to me.

  150. Sopwith wrote:

    There is no record, no New Testament record that is that Paul was called upon to raise up comunity leaders among the many women who faithfully received the words of Christ as to be saved. (and there in lies the rub)

    Sop, it seems like you’re wanting the text to say, “Women can be in church leadership, signed Paul.” You cannot, cannot, cannot forget the role the culture of the day plays in this. You have to appreciate how limited women were in that culture, so no, Paul could not have made an announcement like that or the movement would have been discredited. He did what he could, though, with Junia and others. Then, of course, there was Jesus who radically ordained Mary M. to teach the men about his resurrection – in a day and age where women couldn’t even testify in court! There’s also the issue of what I call projection, whether it’s the correct word or not, it’s what I use. With slavery, no where does the Bible prohibit slavery, but we’ve taken the Bible and projected it on to this issue, or rather used the Bible as a first step and gone on to say that God does not want slavery. Now, all normal people agree that God does not want slavery even though it’s not directly prohibited in the text. The issue for women is actually stronger given that Paul named instances where women were praying and teaching. Women today in the First World, in contrast to back in Paul’s culture, function in all areas of society and successfully occupy many professions and areas of leadership. This is now standard in our culture. To say that women can’t be in leadership in a church goes against experience and logic and can and has greatly discredited the church in society’s eyes. We must take the instances of women praying, prophesying, and teaching in the early church (even if it was not widespread) and take the next step in today’s world and utilize women’s gifts in church leadership. I think it’s logical to say that given that women have, at least in theory, equal opportunity and equal responsibility in today’s culture, Paul would say for women to get up and lead.

  151. patriciamc wrote:

    I think it’s logical to say that given that women have, at least in theory, equal opportunity and equal responsibility in today’s culture, Paul would say for women to get up and lead.

    I have a problem with this. It seems to be saying that Paul was one who capitulated to the culture of then and would capitulate to the culture of today. We don’t know what he did for sure, we have surmised that what he said was due to the culture because we have evidence from outside scripture of what some aspects of the culture were and we then conclude that this explains what he said. Maybe so. Maybe not. Then we take that idea of Paul bending to the culture and say that he would do the same to our culture. This is taking a mere supposition and then building another supposition onto it. That might be what he did or it might not be what he did. But we must not forget that we say that scripture is inspired. So are we saying that this is the way that God bends to cultures?

    I am all for all people utilizing all their spiritual gifts in whatever way that they are gifted and led, but this business of declaring how Paul and God accommodate themselves to the extant culture does not seem to me to be an adequate answer. It makes the culture stronger that the Word. IMO there has to be another way to get from A to B instead of bowing to whatever culture happens to be in play at the time.

  152. okrapod wrote:

    I have a problem with this. It seems to be saying that Paul was one who capitulated to the culture of then and would capitulate to the culture of today. We don’t know what he did for sure, we have surmised that what he said was due to the culture because we have evidence from outside scripture of what some aspects of the culture were and we then conclude that this explains what he said. Maybe so. Maybe not. Then we take that idea of Paul bending to the culture and say that he would do the same to our culture. This is taking a mere supposition and then building another supposition onto it. That might be what he did or it might not be what he did. But we must not forget that we say that scripture is inspired. So are we saying that this is the way that God bends to cultures?
    I am all for all people utilizing all their spiritual gifts in whatever way that they are gifted and led, but this business of declaring how Paul and God accommodate themselves to the extant culture does not seem to me to be an adequate answer. It makes the culture stronger that the Word. IMO there has to be another way to get from A to B instead of bowing to whatever culture happens to be in play at the time.

    These are all good thoughts, but think about this. What if Paul said that women were to have equal opportunity in leadership in the early church? The women were not educated and didn’t know what they were talking about, the ones Paul told to learn, so what would happen if they were in leadership even though they didn’t know much and were being influenced by the Diana cult? Given women’s low standing in the culture, how would the church have been seen? Would it have been seen as just another cult where women were assumed to be temple prostitutes? Besides, Paul already made a concession to the culture when he told the women to wear head coverings like all respectable women did (the sign of authority is their authority as respectable women). Paul was also making a concession to the culture by not outright prohibiting slavery.

    Anyway, we can always disagree, but that’s just how I see things.

  153. Lydia wrote:

    I cannot tell you how often I have read on pastor blogs the declaration that Christians must give up their “rights”. They make very sanctimonious arguments for it, too.

    The one I remember from my time in-country was “WE HAVE NO ‘RIGHTS’ EXCEPT TO DESERVE ETERNAL HELL!!!!!” Usually preached with a spittle-flying scream.

  154. @ Gram3:

    thank you, Gram, for such a thoughtful reply. I can see this took you some time. I hope to be able to reply back in kind, later today.

  155. Lydia wrote:

    I cannot tell you how often I have read on pastor blogs the declaration that Christians must give up their “rights”.

    No kidding. That is, IMO, a preemptive declaration and a form of spiritual blackmail. Now, just ask them to give up their rights to a day off to visit the sick or dying. That doesn’t happen much any more in my experience. ISTM that Jesus does call for us to give up our own rights for the sake of the Kingdom or to keep dishonor from coming to the name of Christ. But that does not extinguish those rights! What the sanctimonious preachers do not recognize is that they are the ones bringing disrepute on the name of Christ by denying the freedom that Christ has bought for women. That is Good News! Reconciliation between genders and races and classes is Good News!

  156. Lydia wrote:

    Bent Tree sort of blew my mind. Elders! That is most likely why it took so long but it is still precious to me.

    Yes, it is precious because it is leadership in action. They are giving up their “rights” to rule because it is the right thing to do. They are allowing room for the Spirit, unlike the power-hungry “leadership” that is promoted by the Gospel Glitterati, among others.

    I do think that Bent Tree is a leading indicator of movement in the very conservative church, at least in Dallas. OK, with the possible exception of First Baptist Dallas. 🙂 They make some very compelling arguments from a conservative perspective if people are willing to entertain the question. And that is the problem. The well has been poisoned by rhetoric which causes people to tune out. It is indeed precious, especially in contrast with the ELDERS at The Village.

  157. @ Lydia:
    And I also think that JoAnn Hummel illustrates the attitude I’m talking about. She didn’t go in demanding her rights, as far as I know. She prepared herself for ministry in a very rigorous program at DTS (IIRC) and then started ministering where she was permitted. As a result, it is very difficult to dismiss her as an angry and demanding and contentious woman and liberal feminist. She has demonstrated by her life that she is more concerned about the Kingdom than she is about getting the credit. Also, the other difference is that there are some gray beards on the elders at Bent Tree.

  158. Gram3 wrote:

    They are allowing room for the Spirit, unlike the power-hungry “leadership” that is promoted by the Gospel Glitterati, among others.

    In response to the power-hungry “leadership”:

    Saw a quote today: “Apartheid was legal. The Holocaust was legal. Slavery was legal. Colonialism was legal. Legality is a matter of power not justice.”

    Likewise: The subjugation of women is deemed righteous. Slavery was deemed righteous. A binding 10% tithe is deemed righteous. Church covenants are deemed righteous. Righteousness is a matter of power and neither love nor virtue nor ethics nor morality nor the will of God.

  159. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    I’m confused. That’s the point Viola is making. He’s saying women are free and this was a unique circumstance.

    Hi Sallie, I’m sorry for the confusion. I was thinking along the lines of what I had posted in the comment you had responded to, the one in which I mentioned 1 Tim 2:11-15. And then you responded to me with something Frank Viola had written about those verses and included a link to download his pdf from your site. I then responded to you, and in doing so, I didn’t make my train of thought very clear.

    In my last comment I wasn’t thinking what Viola except in passing to say I thought there was a larger implication beyond the quote you included in your comment to me. What I went on to say was a continuation of my earlier thoughts and not intended as a response to what Viola said, either in the quote you included in his comment, or in his pdf. My apologies.

  160. Gram3 wrote:

    I do think that Bent Tree is a leading indicator of movement in the very conservative church, at least in Dallas. OK, with the possible exception of First Baptist Dallas. 🙂 They make some very compelling arguments from a conservative perspective if people are willing to entertain the question. And that is the problem. The well has been poisoned by rhetoric which causes people to tune out. It is indeed precious, especially in contrast with the ELDERS at The Village.

    If anyone is going to reach Christians who are right of center, it MUST be done with Biblical arguments and a scholarly approach. Throwing in a bunch of current cultural references and psychology is not going to do it. That will backfire bigtime because conservatives want to hear what the Bible has to say.

    I do believe that a compelling argument can be made for women teaching and leading from the Scriptures, even without the trajectory argument since I was convinced without ever reading about it. If you really dig into the culture of the Bible times, so much of it becomes much clearer.

    People who don’t want to see it there will always find a way to explain it away, but I think anyone who really studies the issue in depth has to come away at least admitting they can see how someone arrives at that decision and that they can see how there is validity to it (as Pete Briscoe said in the video). Anyone who studies it in depth and says there is absolutely no valid argument for it simply isn’t being intellectually honest.

    That’s why the PCA coming down on the Philadelphia Presbytery that ordained the pastor who said he wasn’t “100% sure the New Testament itself teaches a universal prohibition on women eldership” is seriously troubling.

  161. patriciamc wrote:

    but this business of declaring how Paul and God accommodate themselves to the extant culture does not seem to me to be an adequate answer. It makes the culture stronger that the Word.

    I think it’s the patriarchists who have bowed to the culture of the Greek philosophers who taught that women were ‘incomplete men’, a pagan teaching. An extension of that ‘incomplete men’ definition for women came in this observation by the Greek philosopher Aristotle: ‘incomplete, or as it were, a deformity’.

    Maybe it’s time for the patriarchists to re-examine some of the sources of first-century male thinking concerning women, and to CONTRAST that thinking with the teachings of Christ Himself. I don’t recall He saw women as ‘deformities’ in contrast with men. Maybe what He saw was how pride puts down that which it feels superior toward, and how that prideful behavior does not find favor before God God as a rationale for superiority.

  162. Christiane wrote:

    I think it’s the patriarchists who have bowed to the culture of the Greek philosophers who taught that women were ‘incomplete men’, a pagan teaching. An extension of that ‘incomplete men’ definition for women came in this observation by the Greek philosopher Aristotle: ‘incomplete, or as it were, a deformity’.

    Bingo!

    And a consistent themes in the OT are the Israelites taking on surrounding pagan cultural values. And our Lord warned about lording it over others as the Gentiles do.

  163. patriciamc wrote:

    To say that women can’t be in leadership in a church goes against experience and logic and can and has greatly discredited the church in society’s eyes.

    I’d also add that stuff like this (Kirk Cameron = gender complementarian) discredits Christianity among Non-Christians:

    Kirk Cameron Ripped on Twitter for His Marriage Views
    http://www.thewrap.com/kirk-cameron-ripped-on-twitter-for-his-marriage-views/

    Quoted on the Jesus Creed blog (post heading: “A Proposed Model For Egalitarianism”), by John Stackhouse:
    ————–
    …the fundamental practical question today is this: What is God calling Christians to do in regard to gender when society itself shifts to egalitarianism?

    I am arguing that there no longer remains any rationale for the woman to remain in the once expected role of dependence and submission—just as there isn’t any rationale for the grown-up child to keep acting as if he requires his parents’ direction as he did when he was little.

    When, under the providence of God and the ongoing, spreading influence of kingdom values, society opens up to the abolition of slavery or the emancipation of women, then Christians can rejoice and, indeed, be in the vanguard of such change—as we have been in both causes.

    The dark irony remains today, I repeat, precisely in Christians lagging behind society and still requiring a submissive role for women—a posture that now is a scandalous mirror image of the scandal that egalitarianism would have caused in the patriarchal first century (91).

  164. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    That will backfire bigtime because conservatives want to hear what the Bible has to say.

    Not that I am necessarily disagreeing here, but that is a tough, long road to travel, because these gender comp guys read the Bible through a certain lens with all sorts of prejudices coming into play.

    I used to be a gender complementarian and used to read the Bible like they do, so I can see how they are seeing male authority and female subordination in the text, even though it’s really not there.

  165. Christiane wrote:

    I think it’s the patriarchists who have bowed to the culture of the Greek philosophers who taught that women were ‘incomplete men’, a pagan teaching.

    I also think that gender complementarians allow the current secular climate color how they read the text.

    American Christians do love them their June and Ward Cleaver Nuclear Family biblical hermeneutics and make assumptions about what the Bible means or said based in part on that.

  166. __

    Pete Briscoe’s ‘Trajectory Inclination Theology (TIT) ‘ ™ [1] allows a suitable justification for female governmental authority in the body of Christ?
    __
    Notes: 
    from the TWW post:
    “(5) They believe they are called to continue the redemptive trajectory of the New Testament writers. (50:18)”

    [1]
    http://7aa41354baefb3f610d0-9426158b81c9f57386a468ce77b36d59.r25.cf2.rackcdn.com/uploaded/f/0e5040219_1461257524_future-of-leadership-at-bent-tree.pdf

  167. Daisy wrote:

    Not that I am necessarily disagreeing here, but that is a tough, long road to travel, because these gender comp guys read the Bible through a certain lens with all sorts of prejudices coming into play.

    I used to be a gender complementarian and used to read the Bible like they do, so I can see how they are seeing male authority and female subordination in the text, even though it’s really not there.

    I think there are a lot of comp women questioning what is going on. I think there are many comps who are scared to death to dig in for fear of what it will mean in their lives if they change their views.

    But the Holy Spirit is far more powerful than any gender comp guys (whatever they may think). In many ways, this is a spiritual battle. If God wants His daughters freed, nothing and no one will be able to stop the move of His Holy Spirit. That is the end to which I am praying.

  168. can it be that IF it was a pagan thing to see women as ‘incomplete’ and ‘deformed’, hence naturally dependent on men;
    then Christianity may itself hold the very teachings that acknowledge the the incompleteness of all mankind and it’s return to wholeness ‘in Christ’, giving this verse a very great deal of weight in gender theology: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” ??? seems to me that the very core of our wholeness as Christian women is found not so much in one sex complementing another sex as in our participation ‘in Christ’ Himself regardless of gender

  169. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    From what I know about your background, you’re Menominee and I didn’t think that overlapped with Messianic Jews.

    No overlap intended HUG, it was simply a loose parallel based on the counter-culture of the late 1960s. Calvary Chapel jumped onto the Messianic Jew bandwagon pretty much in the same way middle-class, upper-middle, and rich white kids, jumped onto the Native American spiritual schtick. By the way Fr. Berrigan (Jesuit) passed away today. He had courage. No doubt about it.

  170. @ Sallie Borrink:
    That is what happened with me as well. I had not heard of William Webb or a trajectory hermeneutic until I read an article on the CBMW website about it, and that was a long time after I realized I had been wrong all these many years. However, I think it is important for people to understand what he is actually saying and what he is not saying. I did not find anything objectionable, and I’m pretty conservative, including inerrancy. I think people think Slippery Slope to Bad Places when they hear the word trajectory, and that is not what he is saying. The fact is that there needs to be a plausible explanation for why God did not outlaw slavery, yet the consensus among Christians is that it is morally wrong.

    My experience is that the biggest hurdle is for people to even be willing to entertain the possibility that God not only permits women to exercise every gift of the Spirit but is delighted when they do. But maybe that is just me.

    Very sad about the PCA on this issue, but it is expected given the circumstances of the PCA founding in the first place. If it is any comfort, I believe the PCA will be ahead of the SBC on this. Sadly for the Baptists among us…

  171. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    I think there are a lot of comp women questioning what is going on. I think there are many comps who are scared to death to dig in for fear of what it will mean in their lives if they change their views.

    Oh, yes! You become an unperson in some circles if you change your mind. Even if you have done a serious study with conservative methods. Careers and livelihoods are at stake. That is not an issue for our sisters in China and Latin America who are pastoring without status and stages and book deals.

  172. Lydia wrote:

    I cannot tell you how often I have read on pastor blogs the declaration that Christians must give up their “rights”. They make very sanctimonious arguments for it, too. Arguments that are easy for pew peons to latch onto such as these pastors position the concept of rights as “worldly” instead of a positive trajectory that sought to protect the weak or oppressed.

    Good tie-in with what I wrote on a previous thread about the Enlightenment and The Rights of Man. The guys you cite are stuck in the 16th century. Theirs is a feudal system. In their paradigm, God has no interest in your ‘rights’. You exist solely to aggrandize his glory, and by extension theirs. They (as we all know) have no qualms about using fear to keep their serfs in line.
    By contrast and in many ways (but not all), Catholicism has matured in a positive way, and has managed to restrain the worst abuses of the past.

  173. okrapod wrote:

    Let me throw in this. I have mentioned before that I got assigned to a dissection table in gross anatomy with three others, all male and all Jewish. Their major topic of conversation, or so it seemed to me, was what it means to be Jewish. But here is the thing, one was an atheist, one was orthodox and one was somewhere in between, and they did not agree with each other as to what it means to be Jewish nor did they agree about how to practice or not practice Judaism in today’s world. It was fascinating to say the least, but for sure the main take away for me was the conclusion that what it means to be Jewish depends on who you ask.

    I dated a Jewish atheist for a while. He went to a progressive synagogue and danced with the Torah on Simchat Torah but he didn’t keep kosher and he didn’t believe in God. However, when it came to the Jews for Jesus, he would just lose it. I still remember him yelling at a J4J guy handing out tracts at the entrance to the Boston T.

  174. Nancy2 wrote:

    Well now! Aren’t we quite the anti-biblical dynamical duo! Holy estrogen, Batman!
    You, the fair damsel, goes out in the dark of night to help a man in distress!
    I am managing my husband’s health insurance, doctor’s instructions, and medical affairs. Even if he could, he wouldn’t have the patience! I have my hands full just making him behave and keeping him from doing things that will hurt him even more ……. mow yard, etc.

    Update on my husband: In pre-op testing, his heart rate was 36. Because his heart rate was so low, they will not approve surgery on jaw until he sees and is cleared by a cardio dr. I am working on referral from PCP for tricare insurance – must have that before cardio will see him. I’ll be back on the phone with PCP and ins. Mon. morning!

    With the mood I’m in right now, I will be more than happy to send all of the CBMW papers and books through my food processor, mix in some fresh cow piles, and feed it to all of their ilk through a straw.

    Haha, I am so not into the frame of thinking that as a woman, there are some things I am not supposed to do, like rescue a guy. I wonder what M. would have said if I’d told him, “I can’t drive down to Tucson, you’re supposed to be the manly man”? He probably would have said, “What?” three or four times and then I would have just said, “Ok, I’ll be there in about two hours.”

    Best of luck on getting those approvals for the cardio doctor!

  175. mirele wrote:

    However, when it came to the Jews for Jesus, he would just lose it. I still remember him yelling at a J4J guy

    it sounds like the J4J people are neither a part of Judaism NOR a part of Christianity prior to modern evangelical fundamentalism . . . they seem like a strange lot indeed

  176. Why Complementarianism Is Crucial to Discipleship
    https://9marks.org/article/why-complementarianism-is-crucial-to-discipleship/

    Snippet:

    Now, it’s comparatively easy to see what this means in a marriage, where there is one man and one woman in an authoritatively structured relationship. But what does it mean for a single woman in a church, who is not called to submit to every man as a wife does with her husband? What does it mean for a married woman at work? What does it mean for a married man with other women at home, church, work, or in the public square?

    The problem is that the Scripture doesn’t really say. LOL.

    But Brownie Points for at least mentioning singles.

    I’ve been saying for eons now that most of complementarianism only addresses married mothers, not single and childless adults.

    I still find some of their attempts of what all this means to be so vague that it’s useless. Here’s another snippet from the page:

    In general, complementarian is crucial to Christian discipleship because it gives discipleship a goal. As a man, I want to help the other men I spend time with know what it means to be a leader and initiator, to have courage, to be protectors, to make sacrifices for those weaker than myself, and so on.

    My wife, on the other hand, wants to help the women she spends time with know what it means to be a supporter, a helper, a facilitator, a counselor, a fan, occasionally a rebuker, and so on.

    Under another section on the page:

    COMPLEMENTARIANISM AND THE GOSPEL

    Is emphasizing these differences really that important? Yes. God hard-wired these distinctions into creation in Genesis chapter 2.

    …Without such models, the gospel is simply harder to explain…

    Without complementarianism, ‘the Gospel is harder to explain.’ O rly? Sigh.

  177. Daisy wrote:

    Without complementarianism, ‘the Gospel is harder to explain.’ O rly? Sigh.

    What kind of man-made ‘gospel’ have these guys cooked up???

  178. @ Christiane:

    Here I thought that the New Testament said that the cross would be an offense and stumbling block to unbelievers, but not so, say the 9Marx complementarian guys: it’s non-existent, or blurry, hazily- defined gender roles.

    And the absolute crux of discipleship is on gender roles, not sanctification via the Spirit (according to them).

  179. Daisy wrote:

    In general, complementarian is crucial to Christian discipleship because it gives discipleship a goal.

    Really? I thought the goal of discipleship was for everyone to be more Christlike, not for men to be in charge, and women to submit.

  180. @ Gram3:

    “…conducting ourselves in accordance with our identity which is In Christ and according to his example. Sometimes that means gentle questioning, sometimes it means pointed interrogatories, and sometimes it may mean turning over some metaphorical tables in their Temples. They want to reduce our identity to genetics or anatomy. We need to look beyond that, IMO.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    in light of your view of not asserting or demanding rights in church, i’m curious what “turning over some metaphorical tables in their Temples” would look like.

  181. Daisy wrote:

    In general, complementarian is crucial to Christian discipleship because it gives discipleship a goal.

    I think the goal of discipleship is to know Jesus Christ and become more like him. “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith”

  182. @ Gram3:

    “Kingdom considerations seem to me to point to laying down claims and considering others more important than ourselves. That principle, of course, is violated by the people who are denying our freedom In Christ, but that does not relieve us from conducting ourselves in accordance with our identity which is In Christ and according to his example. Sometimes that means gentle questioning, sometimes it means pointed interrogatories, and sometimes it may mean turning over some metaphorical tables in their Temples. They want to reduce our identity to genetics or anatomy. We need to look beyond that, IMO.

    While that has the effect of denying our rights as sons and daughters, it is actually much worse than a question of rights being denied. What they are fundamentally denying is our identity as being In Christ. And that is a denial of the power of the Gospel to reverse the effects of the Fall and to reconcile us to one another and make us into one new humanity. And denying the power of the Gospel is denying the power of Christ and the effect of his sacrifice. It is a denial of the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and an assertion that the Spirit’s work is bound by gender. Ridiculous bordering on blasphemous.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    in light of the egregiousness in your explanation above (which is so well said), ‘gentle questioning’ seems like….. approaching an unruly, obnoxious child named johnny, who is exhibiting monster behavior, with a pat on the head, saying “there, there, I know little johnny didn’t mean what he said, did he?”

    I cannot understand any approach other than one that is firm and direct. if Christian people (men, in particular) can’t deal with being directly addressed for their conduct, especially for their unfair, unjust, inhumane treatment of others,….. what a ridiculous and psychologically messed up institution it is. full of people who have become psychologically messed up (or encouraged to regress to emotional 4 year-olds) because of it.

    I admire Pete Brisco & co. But really,….. 24 years??!? 24 years of pandering (I can think of no better word) to the more base aspects of human nature? because…. why? they’re too delicate and fragile to be challenged with the truth?

    i’m really, really bothered by this. it’s….. weird. it’s not normal. i promise you, the non-religious people i know would be utterly appalled. they know right from wrong and embrace it, no church required. why should they have anything but disdain for religious institutions that regress their people to the point of being incorrigible playground bullies and passive enablers?

    sorry… my response is not the thoughtful, eloquent one i aspired to. i’m struggling with this stupid religion of mine in a new way here.

  183. @ Sallie Borrink:

    “I think there are a lot of comp women questioning what is going on.”
    ++++++++

    that’s good to hear.
    ———

    “I think there are many comps who are scared to death to dig in for fear of what it will mean in their lives if they change their views.”
    ++++++++++

    blimey…. it’s just so… cultic. the very fact that they’re scared to death, doesn’t that tell them they’re into something extremely unhealthy?
    ——-

    “But the Holy Spirit is far more powerful than any gender comp guys (whatever they may think). In many ways, this is a spiritual battle. If God wants His daughters freed, nothing and no one will be able to stop the move of His Holy Spirit. That is the end to which I am praying.”
    ++++++++++++

    marvelous news. and, of course, it’s not news. just seems like news, thanks to the Christian patriarchy campaign. (aka overcompensators anonymous)

  184. Gram3 wrote:

    Oh, yes! You become an unperson in some circles if you change your mind. Even if you have done a serious study with conservative methods. Careers and livelihoods are at stake. That is not an issue for our sisters in China and Latin America who are pastoring without status and stages and book deals.

    I cannot even begin to describe what a money maker Comp Doctrine has been since the late 80’s. And it infiltrated every nook and cranny of evangelicalism. The propaganda was so thick and immersed we are now speaking of ways we can encourage Christians to see another view. It is uncanny. And it fits right in with the concept of human authority in the church.

    The problem is people get something they need from this doctrine. Both men and women. Some women have found some functioning power and even refuge from within that doctrine. Following Christ is really a whole different path.

    I think the conservative scholarly path is a must but few churches are willing to allow open discussion and their goal becomes immediate marginalization of another view. The comp view has become part of the “Gospel”.

    I think the internet is CBMW biggest nightmare. One clue is how ridiculous and desperate they sound. Now, some of their own are even making fun of them. If they continue, they will make it easier for us.

  185. elastigirl wrote:

    I cannot understand any approach other than one that is firm and direct. if Christian people (men, in particular) can’t deal with being directly addressed for their conduct, especially for their unfair, unjust, inhumane treatment of others,….. what a ridiculous and psychologically messed up institution it is. full of people who have become psychologically messed up (or encouraged to regress to emotional 4 year-olds) because of it.

    Well, you have just described most evangelical churches in my area from the seekers to Reformed. It is the main reason I am out. I believe the institutions are just too messed up. I would hate for that unthinking paradigm of Jesus Christ to become my kids normal.

    The institutions seem to be run by people who have absolutely no clue as to living in the real world and so many people who attend seem to just check their brains at the door. Anything else is positioned as not “nice”. Over the last 15 years or so I have been stunned at what people will go along with and pay for in order not to look “mean”. It scares me in many ways.

    Not going along has a high price tag depending on just how invested a person is in the institutions.

  186. This is not quite on topic, but I thought I’d share it with you. It’s an article from the (UK) Guardian called “Megachurches: photographing America’s drab new cathedrals.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/may/01/megachurches-christianity-lisa-anne-auerbach-photography-america

    One of the churches pictured is Perry Noble’s NewSpring church. Another church is Central Christian church in Mesa, Arizona, which is the mega nearest to the two major cross streets near my house.

  187. Daisy wrote:

    Without complementarianism, ‘the Gospel is harder to explain.’ O rly? Sigh.

    So much for single people and the Gospel, right Daisy? Seriously…

  188. Gram3 wrote:

    Oh, yes! You become an unperson in some circles if you change your mind. Even if you have done a serious study with conservative methods. Careers and livelihoods are at stake. That is not an issue for our sisters in China and Latin America who are pastoring without status and stages and book deals.

    It’s not just the people making money off comp. It’s ordinary people who will have to leave their churches and who know what the fallout will be in terms of friends and family. I’ve lived it. Once people discover you are even questioning the comp view they assume all kinds of other things about you and your faith (or now lack thereof). They are suspicious of you. It’s really sad.

  189. @ mirele:
    I am so glad someone is doing this! There are construction companies and architects who specialize in “mega church”. What is even scarier is that the mega concept is not dying at all as I ignorantly predicted 15 years ago. Sigh.

  190. Lydia wrote:

    I believe the institutions are just too messed up.

    Jesus came to redeem and work through individuals, not institutions! The institution we call “church” is OK if it is leading individuals to a relationship with Christ, and then equipping and mobilizing them to do the work of the ministry. Anything short of that is doing church without God, which is characteristic of most of the religious institutions in my neck of the woods.

  191. Oh my. Did you read the comments under that 9Marks article?

    ‘You can’t take a feminist position and be a Bible believer. The Word of God is absolutely clear about gender role differentiation. If you reject it, it’s not a rejection of an “interpretation”. It’s a rejection of the Word of God itself.’

    And we wonder why people are afraid to study the egal view?

  192. Muff Potter wrote:

    Good tie-in with what I wrote on a previous thread about the Enlightenment and The Rights of Man. The guys you cite are stuck in the 16th century. Theirs is a feudal system.

    They’re LARPing Game of Thrones, with themselves as Tywin Lannister (or maybe the Head Sparrow…)

  193. Muff Potter wrote:

    Theirs is a feudal system. In their paradigm, God has no interest in your ‘rights’. You exist solely to aggrandize his glory, and by extension theirs. They (as we all know) have no qualms about using fear to keep their serfs in line.

    Paging Cersei Lannister-Baratheon…
    Paging Stannis Baratheon…
    Paging Tywin Lannister…
    Paging the Sand Snakes…
    Paging Ramsay Snow/Bolton…

  194. @gram3 – lovely to see you again!!!

    @mirele and Christiane…

    Christiane wrote:

    mirele wrote:
    However, when it came to the Jews for Jesus, he would just lose it. I still remember him yelling at a J4J guy
    it sounds like the J4J people are neither a part of Judaism NOR a part of Christianity prior to modern evangelical fundamentalism . . . they seem like a strange lot indeed

    I’ve tried (but failed) to understand how and where this rabbit trail (and I am one who loves rabbit trails in threads as I find the free-flowing discussions fascinating and enlightening) about J4J and MJ fits and just what points are being made. I’m missing something. Would someone be so kind as to summarize for me?

    I am a Jewish believer in Jesus, I grew up in a very large Conservative synagogue in DC, my family kept kosher, we attended services regularly (though not weekly), I attended Hebrew school 3 days a week, etc etc etc. Through a long, arduous, painful process, I came to realize that Jesus is the Jew Messiah during my college years, in the 70’s along with many Jewish people of that era. It was quite a move of God (anyone remember Key 73?).

    Through the years, I’ve attended MJ services, Baptist (Halpine), E-Free, Church of God (not the Indiana cult – but i have a good story about them trying to infiltrate a church I attended but catching them at the inception), and others. I look for a vibrant, alive, spirit-filled church body with doctrinal points I can live with. Early on, I attended TAG and tried to join CLC (The Gathering of Believers, hung out wtih Che Ahn for awhile, but I was too inquisitive and questioning and did not fit their mold of believing everything they fed just because they said it. They would not meet with me for membership arrangements by simply not showing up to prearranged meetings on two separate occasions.

    I credit the work of Moshe Rosen, founder of J4J, with pioneering the way for my generation of Jewish believers, though I have never been a member of J4J. I offer thanks to him for standing strong in the midst of some very strong opposition.

    Soon after coming to faith in Jesus, I attended Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah Holy Day services with my family, who were, understandably, none too happy with my new belief. We sat in the third row. The Rabbi, during his sermon, wove a vitriolic, spitting speech about those who turn their backs on their Jewishness, leaning over his lectern from the Bima, pointing and shaking his finger directly at my nose. I knew what I knew to be the Truth (and Who I knew) and felt sorry for his blindness while being a bit stunned at the public display.

    Anyway, I understand that the Jewish people felt that there are 2 types of people in the world: Jews and Christians. If you were not with them, you were against them, and, therefore, Christian. It’s a simplistic way to look at it, but post-Holocaust, that’s the way it was. Christians, just a generation earlier, had killed 6 million of their own, and I had joined their evil ranks, so it seemed to them. I understand.

    The problem I have most often in churches today, is their belief that the promises and covenants the Lord made with Israel now belong to the church, a belief that doesn’t play out exegetically, IMHO. It drives me nuts. I am both fully a Jew and fully a Christian. One does not nullify the other.

    In the mid-90’s, I was invited to attend an in depth bible study camp directed towards discipling MJ’s, taught by a variety of highly educated and exoerienced teachers. It was at this camp that I came to understand the errors of the modern MJ movement (obligation to the Law of Moses, for example). Today, the camp is directed towards both Jews and Gentiles and remains an amazing resource to the Body of Christ. Ariel Ministries’ Camp Shoshanah for those who will want to know. The camp lasted 3 weeks, with a 5-year cycle of classes. Today, they offer 6 weeks each summer plus a year-round school. Awesomeness in upstate NY!

    Anyway, as Moshe Rosen said, “How can a Jew who believes in the Jewish Messiah, as foretold told in the Jewish Scriptures, by the Jewish prophets, not be Jewish?”

    I wonder if any of my ramblings are relevant to your discussions, but I felt like interjecting a bit of my perspectives with hopes that hearing from an actual Jew who is for Jesus might be helpful.

  195. Remnant wrote:

    Anyway, I understand that the Jewish people felt that there are 2 types of people in the world: Jews and Christians. If you were not with them, you were against them, and, therefore, Christian. It’s a simplistic way to look at it, but post-Holocaust, that’s the way it was. Christians, just a generation earlier, had killed 6 million of their own, and I had joined their evil ranks, so it seemed to them. I understand.

    I am ashamed to admit that this concept is quite new to me. While I’ve known about the Holocaust since forever, the horrifying teaching of contempt for the Jewish people that was widespread in Christianity, that arguably led up to and resulted in the Holocaust, is something that I only recently discovered, courtesy of the teachings of ethicist David Gushee. For something that terrible and that recent, those sorts of reactions are totally understandable.

  196. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    Oh my. Did you read the comments under that 9Marks article?
    ‘You can’t take a feminist position and be a Bible believer. The Word of God is absolutely clear about gender role differentiation. If you reject it, it’s not a rejection of an “interpretation”. It’s a rejection of the Word of God itself.’

    Oh, bless his poor little heart…

    (My apologies if I’ve misgendered the quoted 9Marks commenter, but there’s no way that didn’t come from a man)

  197. @Josh, thanks for the comment.

    The horrifying reality is that there has historically been a segment of the Church that feels that the Jews killed Jesus and are, therefore, enemies of the Church.

    While the Jeiwsh leadership DID call for Jesus’s execution, Romans did the deed.

    But what is most often overlooked is that it is Jesus who willingly laid down His own life.

    I find it incomprehensible that the Church so often ignores this basic tenet of our faith.

    (Now if you want me to give my Biblical theological perspective on the reason for historic and ongoing anti-Semitism, let me know.)

  198. @ elastigirl:
    I have only done that once, and what it looked like was confronting the elders at a church privately about the way they had treated some single women in the church. Pointed language that pointed directly to the Bible and left no wiggle room. The elders, with one exception, were either unaware of the issue or unaware of the way it had been handled. And they repented because they had based their action on an inaccurate conclusion due to inadequate examination of the pertinent texts and consideration of how those texts should be applied. As Sallie said, the only way to reach very conservative people is to stick to the text. Even that is sometimes not enough to overcome *extra-biblical* and even *anti-biblical* beliefs that distort the actual text.

    It wasn’t about the rights of those single women and certainly not about my rights. It was about how we relate to one another as fellow heirs. That said, every believer must follow their own conscience as it is informed by the Holy Spirit.

  199. elastigirl wrote:

    sorry… my response is not the thoughtful, eloquent one i aspired to. i’m struggling with this stupid religion of mine in a new way here

    I think it is thoughtful, and I share your exasperation. For better or worse, this issue is a live wire. The well has been thoroughly poisoned, and it is going to take some people with a long view to stay with it. I do not think I could have done what Pete Briscoe did. But, at the same time, I don’t see how the elders who felt very differently at the outset of Briscoe’s tenure were able to overcome that difference and allow him to become their pastor. What must be scaring some people in the Bible churches in Dallas and elsewhere is that this was a slow and methodical process. I think it will stick and be a model for others to follow. It is telling, IMO, that Darrell Bock is a member at Bent Tree and is not troubled by this development. Since he has not been afraid to push the envelope on dispensationalism, I wonder if he will reconsider this issue. He certainly does not see it as a Gospel issue.

  200. Because of my Catholic faith, I have the utmost respect for the Jewish faith. I do know that there are ‘converts’ from Judaism to Christianity, but my Church does not behave towards Jewish people as if they ‘were not saved’. I think most ‘J4J’ are actually fundamentalists who have taken on a thin veneer of Jewish-ness, but are not nor ever have been Jewish. I think this because the J4J activities are so insulting to Jewish people, and are intended to be insulting. Fundamentalists have no respect for anyone’s faith other than their own kind, which is one hallmark that is NOT shared by today’s Catholics and mainline Protestants. I see J4J as a ‘cult’ of fundamentalist pretense, and I cannot respect that, no.

  201. Sopwith wrote:

    Pete Briscoe’s ‘Trajectory Inclination Theology (TIT) ‘ ™ [1] allows a suitable justification for female governmental authority in the body of Christ?

    Is TIT an accepted acronym of this school of thought, or are you trying to discredit it? A third possibility might exist, but these are the two that leap to mind.

  202. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    It’s ordinary people who will have to leave their churches and who know what the fallout will be in terms of friends and family. I’ve lived it.

    Me, too.

  203. @ Remnant:

    Oh, wow, Remnant, stick around. You are telling a part of the story which I did not hear while dissecting. As to what you said about the promises to and covenants with Israel, amen to that.

  204. Christiane wrote:

    but my Church does not behave towards Jewish people as if they ‘were not saved’

    They don’t now, but the catholicism to which I was exposed in my childhood and early adult years was before Vatican II and there seem to me to be some really big changes since then. This more open ecumenism toward Jews/Judaism and ‘separated brethren’/protestants is post-Vatican II thinking, or so it seems to me. Just to put some things in the context of recent history.

  205. Remnant wrote:

    (Now if you want me to give my Biblical theological perspective on the reason for historic and ongoing anti-Semitism, let me know.)

    I would love to hear what you have to say on the subject.

  206. @ Remnant:
    Thanks so much for your perspective and your story. FWIW, I do not think it was accidental that Jesus’ crucifixion resulted from the collusion of Jewish and Roman *leaders* who saw him as a real threat to their power. Satan is a deceiver and a divider. Jesus is the Truth and the one who reconciles (though some who claim his name do otherwise.) I believe that anti-Semitism stems from the Enemy’s hatred of the very Jewish Messiah King who crushed his head. And not with testosterone.

  207. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    I’ve lived it. Once people discover you are even questioning the comp view they assume all kinds of other things about you and your faith (or now lack thereof). They are suspicious of you. It’s really sad.

    I have lived this too. It is awful. 🙁

  208. Remnant wrote:

    The problem I have most often in churches today, is their belief that the promises and covenants the Lord made with Israel now belong to the church, a belief that doesn’t play out exegetically, IMHO. It drives me nuts. I am both fully a Jew and fully a Christian. One does not nullify the other.

    Totally agree. One does not have to be a “Left Behind” type to believe this although some like to present it as such. :o)

    Your experience sounds an awful lot like a dear friend of mine I met in the 80’s when I lived in Dallas. However, she did refer to herself as a “completed Jew” and definitely kept her jewishness. The group she met with were very open and not fundamentalist at all. They welcomed me with open arms several times. They came off more to me like a support and study group. It was extremely interesting.

  209. @ Josh:
    European history from the cross to the 20th century should be a huge embarrassment to both Protestants and Catholics when it comes to Jews and how they were treated.

  210. @ elastigirl:

    I think I may be a little more in tune with your take on this than Gram3;s (and I do enjoy Gram3’s posts).

    For years and years, I was extremely codependent. I was a doormat.

    There were a couple of occasions during my deeply codependent years when only after I forcefully stood up to a couple of bullies (on one occasion, it involved me getting so angry at the bully, my face turned shades of red and purple and spittle flew from my mouth – this was years ago at one job I had) that the bullies backed down.

    I found the gentle, oh so tactful style of correction, and being very diplomatic, with some people (read: jerks) does not work. They will still steamroll right over you.

    Matter of fact, with the female bully I confronted (on a job a long time ago, I confronted her in private, in a staff room), I at first tried the very civil, level-headed approach.

    She simply smirked at me and proceeded to continue to bully me again from that day onwards.

    The second occasion I confronted her, though, when my voice was raised and my face was red from anger -she got the idea then. She stopped picking on me. My facial expression, tone of voice, body language had to show anger. Talking to her maturely, sweetly, and very politely did not get the message home to her.

    I had a similar issue with a male co-worker. When I finally stood up to him on the phone (he was seeking to take advantage of me again), he got angry. He kept trying to bully me to do his work for him, and I kept very politely refusing.

    He become more angry as the call dragged on, to the point he was threatening me, raising his voice. It was then I took off the civil, kid gloves, raised my voice right back and told him to go pound sand, to let me get off the phone and get back to my job.

    He screamed at me he hated me, or whatever, said he’d never phone me again (which was fine with me, LOL), and slammed the phone down.

    I never had to put up with that jerk ever again. He never bothered me again. Tip toeing around the guy and politely refusing his attempts at exploitation did not work. I had to get ‘in his face’ and bite his head off to get it through to him I wasn’t going to take his trash.

    I think this stuff holds true for church people as well, or it can.

  211. Christiane wrote:

    I think most ‘J4J’ are actually fundamentalists who have taken on a thin veneer of Jewish-ness, but are not nor ever have been Jewish.

    Can we define terms?

    J4J – Jews for Jesus – the outreach and educational organization founded by Moshe Rosen. From my experience, they are made of of actual Jewish people who believe in Jesus. They may attend Church, rather than an Messianic Synogogue, but that doesn’t make them not Jewish.

    MJ – Messianic Jews – people who are actually descendants of Abraham, Isaac and David and identified as Jews (aka Hebrew Christians). Many MJ’s live out their belief in Jesus by continuing their traditions of Sabbath and Featival keeping, with the understanding that Jesus has fulfilled these elements of faith. However they feel obligation, as Jews, to continue to worship the Lord in this context rather than in traditional Christmas/Easter contex.

    Not all MJ’s belong to the organization J4J.

    Then we have the following which really muddles the issues: these are my interpretations of the terms…

    Messianic Believers – MB’s – Gentile believers in Jesus who have adopted a pseudo Jewish lifestyle and/or pseudo adherence to Jewish festivals (pseudo because they pick and choose what they feel comfortable doing, what they find essential to keep and the manner in which they choose to keep them)

    Two-House or Two-Stick believers -some MB’s who believe (or hope) that they are true Jews (descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) who teach things that I cannot make sense of as it is too nonsensical to my mind. It has to do with us being in the end times now, only Jews will be saved, so if you are saved, you are a Jew…. I don’t know…

    BTW … Along my road in faith in Jesus, Catholic priests have been some of my best cheer-leaders!

    Which group of people, in your statement above, do you think of as the funddy’s you referenced?

  212. @ mirele:

    This –

    “Her (Auerbach) descriptions of the churches she encountered range from funny to uneasy. She finds edifices evocative of a hospital, greenhouse, plastic toy, warehouse, Old West movie set, bunker and low brown turtle. Recurring adjectives include bland, industrial, sterile and Disney-like; the materials stucco, tile, stone, concrete, cinder block and unsightly brick. The drab architecture reflects the monolithic nature of church theologies: ‘Unlike the small businesses, which felt very individualistic, and about creating your own world view, the church felt more about power, about converting people, so they could have wealth.'”

  213. elastigirl wrote:

    I admire Pete Brisco & co. But really,….. 24 years??!? 24 years of pandering (I can think of no better word) to the more base aspects of human nature? because…. why? they’re too delicate and fragile to be challenged with the truth?

    (This is a Post Script to my post above, which has not appeared yet.)

    I kind of agree with you, but I also can kind of see where it would take a formerly gender complementarian church 25 years to reverse course.

    When you are conservative, when your mindset is that complementarianism is the godly, biblical way to go, and you are taught by other Christians that giving up comp means your only other choice is to become a liberal who rejects biblical inerrancy, and you must support stuff like abortion, homosexual marriages, etc, it’s very hard to leave complementarianism.

    As a complementarian, because you assume male hierarchy is a given and God’s intent, you will read the Bible through that filter. As a result, you will swear to see male hierarchy supported in passages (when it’s really not there).

    It can be hard when leaving comp to reject that way of reading the Bible and seeing there are other equally conservative ways of interpreting the Bible that does not necessitate male hierarchy. It’s a process.

    Most comps aren’t going to be able to leave comp immediately, or see the truth of egalitarianism in two or three days.

    I think their leaving comp is a combination of psychological, emotional, intellectual, cultural and being open to shifting their approach to biblical hermeneutics (that last part migh tnot be the best way to put it).

    In this optical illusion, one can see either an old woman or a young woman, depending on how one views it:
    http://images.braingle.com/images/illusions/26745.gif

    It’s kind of the same with complementarianism. As long as comps continue to read the Bible through their male hierarchy filter, they’re going to view the text one way…

    If they ever decide that they might be wrong, they can re-read the text anew and see that yes, it really does support women being in leadership roles, being equals in marriages, etc.

  214. elastigirl wrote:

    blimey…. it’s just so… cultic. the very fact that they’re scared to death, doesn’t that tell them they’re into something extremely unhealthy?

    I touched on this in my post above, but I am a former complementarian, so I understand their fears and hesitancy.

    Some of them (many?) honestly want to do their best to honor and obey God, and to them, that means sticking to the comp view, even if deep down they suspect comp might be wrong on some level, or conflict with other biblical principles.

    I really do understand why many of them think as they do, but it’s very frustrating to me as an ex-comp to get them to question their comp. I wish comps were at least more open minded to re-thinking their position.

    Anyway, from their perspective, the complementarians are honoring God and doing right by him, and possibly saving society from falling apart, when they defend complementarianism. They don’t see a second path or an alternative.

  215. Lydia wrote:

    I cannot even begin to describe what a money maker Comp Doctrine has been since the late 80’s. And it infiltrated every nook and cranny of evangelicalism.

    I don’t know how to explain this, but this has been one of my pet peeves the last few years with the Christian faith.

    I don’t mean to sound arrogant (my position is actually the opposite of arrogant), but I don’t think most Christian book authors or preachers know much of anything about anything, whether it’s marriage or whatever.

    I’ve found one or two Christian- penned books over the years interesting or somewhat illuminating, but that’s about it.

    I see preachers on TV, and see their blog posts, and these guys don’t know more about life than I do (or anyone else does).

    Even the guys who give “biblical” advice about marriage sometimes are shown to be having affairs, or they are abusive and their wives leave them, or their marriage just falls apart.

    I don’t see the sense in Christians always turning to other Christians (or Christian books or conferences) to get ultimate guidance in life. It seems like a waste of time and money to me.

    The guys writing the books and giving the sermons and conferences don’t know anymore than average Joe audience member.

    The older I get, I realize how much I don’t know. I’m seeing this in other adults.

    Some preachers, the ones with seminary degrees, might know more historic doo daa and trivia about the biblical text and setting than I do, but in the game of life, we’re all on the same playing field, as far as I can tell.

    So I’m not likely going to pay Preacher John Doe $25 for his new book on how to be better at praying, or whatever.

  216. @ Remnant:
    Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
    Whether you are Jew or Gentile, male or female, is immaterial. The new identity we receive in Christ takes precedence over our ethnic or gender distinctions.
    Your commitment to your Jewishness is no different than the problem we’re discussing here of those who promote gender discrimination. Racial and gender distinctions are irrelevant in the church, and both are sinful.
    I’m over here shaking my head over why no one else has mentioned this. I mean, if we’re going to sit here and discuss the problem we face in the church due to the sin or gender discrimination, and one comes in supporting a form of racial/ethnic discrimination and there’s no pushback, then where in the world are you all coming from in terms of your objection to women being excluded and marginalized from full participation?

    I hate to say it people, but this is Christianity 101. If you are in Christ, you are a new creation. Regardless of your gender or ancestry, we become Abraham’s children and heirs of the promise, a fact, I might add, that made the Pharisees gnash their teeth! That’s how offensive they found this truth to be.

  217. Slight tangent here, but has anyone seen our Queen’s Greatest Hits vol. 2 CD? I’ve looked everywhere for it.

    #clutchingatstraws

  218. mirele wrote:

    So much for single people and the Gospel, right Daisy? Seriously…

    You’ll notice the guy gave a feeble stab at addressing singleness in his post. I quoted that part in my post.

    Because the Bible really does not say anything about gender roles (there is no God- sanctioned male hierarchy, not for married women or for singles), of course there’s nothing in there about how an unmarried woman is “supposed to” submit to men around her.

    The guy who wrote that post said something like, “Let’s have the older single women demonstrate how to submit to men to the younger ones.”

    No can do, buddy. (Though I’m in my 40s and don’t consider myself “old.” But maybe his mileage varies.)

    The Bible doesn’t ask for unilateral female to male submission, and certainly the Scriptures don’t say diddly about it in regards to single women.

    At least the guy who wrote the post defers to mature adult single women in the matter – usually one of these comp men would crank out an editorial saying, “Hey, I am a man, and as a man, I am instructing all you young single women how to submit to all men.”

  219. We can discuss these issues all day, but if the Gospel does not come through as a response, and is not offered as The Answer and The Solution, then I dare say this is a vain effort.

  220. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    Thank you for that link. That will make a great post. LOL!

    You’re welcome. Complementarian blogs and sites can sometimes be the gifts that keep on giving. 🙂

    Not only is the internet good for non-complementarians refuting complementarianism, but the comps themselves, by publishing some of the wacky things they do, make their own position look flawed.

  221. elastigirl wrote:

    in light of your view of not asserting or demanding rights in church, i’m curious what “turning over some metaphorical tables in their Temples” would look like.

    Maybe a bit like The Wartburg Watch? 😉

  222. Remnant wrote:

    Ariel Ministries’ Camp Shoshanah for those who will want to know.

    Ariel Ministries is Arnold Fruchtenbaum, right? He is fantastic on prophecy.

  223. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    ‘You can’t take a feminist position and be a Bible believer. The Word of God is absolutely clear about gender role differentiation. If you reject it, it’s not a rejection of an “interpretation”. It’s a rejection of the Word of God itself.’
    —————-
    And we wonder why people are afraid to study the egal view?

    No, I hadn’t read the comments under the article.

    About the comment you copied from there into your post.

    Rejecting comp does not mean embracing any and all views that secular, liberal feminists hold, which is in part what that writer is thinking or assuming.

    And yes, the comp position is based on their particular interpretation of the text; the topic is not “God hath said.”

    I used to be a complementarian, so I was indoctrinated to view the Bible through the same exact filter they are reading through now.

    About the word of God being “absolutely clear” about “gender roles,” I’ll quote again from this page:

    Complementarians are absolutely convinced that what they teach on the man-woman relationship is what the Bible teaches.

    To reject their teaching is to reject the Bible, and because the Bible is literally God’s words, to reject that teaching is to disobey God himself.

    After giving a lecture outlining CBE’s position, one Sydney theologian told me publicly, “You reject what Scripture plainly teaches. Those who disobey God go to hell.”

    When faced with such weighty opposition, it is helpful to note that we find exactly the same dogmatic, vehement opinion voiced by the best of Reformed theologians in support of slavery in the 19th century and Apartheid in the 20th century.

    They too appealed to the Bible with enormous confidence, claiming that it unambiguously supported slavery and Apartheid.

    However today, virtually all evangelicals believe they were mistaken in their understanding of the Bible, that the Bible condemns slavery and Apartheid, and that these things are not pleasing to God!

    Source:
    Justifying Injustice with the Bible: Slavery
    http://www.cbeinternational.org/resources/article/arise/justifying-injustice-bible-slavery

  224. Daisy wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:

    I admire Pete Brisco & co. But really,….. 24 years??!? 24 years of pandering (I can think of no better word) to the more base aspects of human nature? because…. why? they’re too delicate and fragile to be challenged with the truth?

    (This is a Post Script to my post above, which has not appeared yet.)

    I kind of agree with you, but I also can kind of see where it would take a formerly gender complementarian church 25 years to reverse course.

    Look how many things have taken a long to to change…

    Slavery
    Women voting
    Civil rights

    I don’t see it as pandering. I see it as waiting on God to move. It’s not like you can walk into a church and demand they turn egalitarian. We scorn the Neo-Cal pastors who walk in with a hidden agenda and divide churches.

    Wade also touched on the subject of waiting on God after asking in the sermon yesterday.

  225. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    Oh my. Did you read the comments under that 9Marks article?

    ‘You can’t take a feminist position and be a Bible believer. The Word of God is absolutely clear about gender role differentiation. If you reject it, it’s not a rejection of an “interpretation”. It’s a rejection of the Word of God itself.’

    And we wonder why people are afraid to study the egal view?

    There are varying degrees of reasoning that people are capable of. Immature reasoning sees everything in black and white. For these people, any subject the Bible touches on becomes a rule, a formula that must be followed. They are not capable of seeing the big picture, the principles behind the words and events.

  226. siteseer wrote:

    Remnant wrote:

    Ariel Ministries’ Camp Shoshanah for those who will want to know.

    Ariel Ministries is Arnold Fruchtenbaum, right? He is fantastic on prophecy.

    Yes.

  227. @ Daisy:
    I think I have not been clear. Females who are In Christ *do* have rights. The question is how do we persuade conservative churches of that? IMO it is via an appeal to our identity rather than our rights because the rights flow from the identity. An appeal to rights sets off alarm bells that do not need to be set off needlessly because it reminds them of Secular Feminists which reminds them of Abortion on Demand. Therefore they feel justified in dismissing our points.

    We must make our appeal based on the texts and based on a conservative method of interpretation if we are to make progress in the conservative church. We must refute their position with facts and by example. I am making a point about doing that in a way that is consistent with Kingdom values. The fact is that the Female Subordinationists are usurping the authority of the Head of the church when they assert their right to rule. But they do not see it that way. We need to persuade. We do *not* need to be doormats or subservient. We need to be Bereans who are wise.

  228. Paula Rice wrote:

    @ Remnant:
    Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
    Whether you are Jew or Gentile, male or female, is immaterial. The new identity we receive in Christ takes precedence over our ethnic or gender distinctions.
    Your commitment to your Jewishness is no different than the problem we’re discussing here of those who promote gender discrimination. Racial and gender distinctions are irrelevant in the church, and both are sinful.
    I’m over here shaking my head over why no one else has mentioned this. I mean, if we’re going to sit here and discuss the problem we face in the church due to the sin or gender discrimination, and one comes in supporting a form of racial/ethnic discrimination and there’s no pushback, then where in the world are you all coming from in terms of your objection to women being excluded and marginalized from full participation?

    I hate to say it people, but this is Christianity 101. If you are in Christ, you are a new creation. Regardless of your gender or ancestry, we become Abraham’s children and heirs of the promise, a fact, I might add, that made the Pharisees gnash their teeth! That’s how offensive they found this truth to be.

    Thank you for this example of Replacement Theology in action.

    How does the fact that I retain my biological Jewish identity equate to a charge against me of racial discrimination?

    You want that I should morph into a non-Jew just because I believe in Jesus? It ain’t possible. (Pesky DNA.)

    BTW: Just as there are still male and female distinctive organs, there remains a Jewish/Gentile distinctive through DNA. The verse is speaking about approaching the Throne of God via superior ways and means – one of us is no longer superior to the other but we all approach on equal grounds via the Blood of the Messiah.

    Here’s what Paul said on the issue:

    Romans 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

    “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
    27
    “This is My covenant with them,
    When I take away their sins.”

    28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

    —–

    My Jewishness matters. Not because it makes me better. But because it is proof of the Lord’s promises to keep and maintain a Remnant for Himself.

  229. Paula Rice wrote:

    and one comes in supporting a form of racial/ethnic discrimination

    I don’t know how you came to that conclusion.

    We all have ethnic backgrounds. Do we all need to disown our ethnicity because we are in Christ? There is the spiritual Jew who rejects Christ as Messiah, yes, but there is also the Jewish culture like the Brazilian, Irish, English, Spanish, Tanzanian, etc.

  230. Lydia wrote:

    Totally agree. One does not have to be a “Left Behind” type to believe this although some like to present it as such. :o)

    Pre-Mil / Pre Trib Rapture guys are generally strongly pro-Israel and don’t accept replacement theology.
    (They’re actually very outspoken against replacement theology.)

  231. Daisy wrote:

    When you are conservative, when your mindset is that complementarianism is the godly, biblical way to go, and you are taught by other Christians that giving up comp means your only other choice is to become a liberal who rejects biblical inerrancy, and you must support stuff like abortion, homosexual marriages, etc, it’s very hard to leave complementarianism.

    Exactly. The mindset is black and white, so you are either/or. Of course, the most extreme and horrifying examples are set up as the alternative.

    The women involved sincerely want to please God and they are convinced this is what the Bible teaches. Being obedient to God is more important to them than the concept of rights. They will only be convinced by a well reasoned study of the Bible that illustrates the truth. I believe that as more women illustrate with their lives that a woman can be faithful to Christ and his word as well as egalitarian, it will help these stereotypes to fade.

    Of course, finding out the hierarchical system is hollow often seems to be the impetus for a deeper examination of the scriptures.

    The internet is a huge vehicle for both of these things. Information is key.

  232. Remnant wrote:

    Romans 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

    Remnant, do you believe that the growth in messianic believers is a sign that the hardening is lifting? (sorry for the OT)

  233. @ Paula Rice:

    I took his comments differently. I didn’t have a problem with him referencing his Jewishness.

    That is actually an issue some non-believers- in- Jesus- who- are- also- Jews will throw at a guy like him. They will say if you’re a Jewish person who comes to consider Jesus is the Messiah, you’re not a “real” Jew.

    The Bible does say in Gal 3.28 there is neither male nor female in Christ, which is true on one level, but Gal 3.28 doesn’t mean I stop being a woman, or that I have to deny I was born in a female body.

  234. siteseer wrote:

    Exactly. The mindset is black and white, so you are either/or. Of course, the most extreme and horrifying examples are set up as the alternative.

    Especially HOMOSEXUALITY(TM). Nothing disconnects everything above the Christianese brainstem and waves the Bright Red Murder Flag in front of what’s left like that one word. It’s like that scene from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQuieWA3SW?t=18s

  235. @ Gram3:

    I think another thing a lot of conservatives need to realize is that secular feminism is not the monster they’ve been assuming all the while. That might help with some of them in letting go of complementarianism.

    (Also realizing that giving up comp does not mean one is left with only one possibility: becoming a liberal, secular feminist.)

    I still am not in agreement with a lot of positions of secular feminists, but I’ve come to realize some of their views are in step with what the Bible teaches on some things.

    I also came to realize that a lot of conservative Christians are using secular feminism as a tool to keep other Christians in line with.

    And you have conservative Christians (and secular conservatives) who are still buying totally into the “all of secular feminism is ridiculous, opposed to men, is evil and is to blame for all of society’s problems” perspective.

    Perhaps Feminism is not the Enemy
    http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/perhaps-feminism-not-enemy/

  236. Remnant is female.

    @Paula – How did you take my comments? I would like to have an opportunity to clarify.

    @siteseer – There was a huge influx of Jewish believers in Jesus in the 70’s. Since then, though some have been added to the number, I don’t believe there has been a similar influx.

    What has happened in the last 10 years or so, is the influx of Gentiles who are, for whatever reason, rejecting the traditional Church, identifying as Messianic Believers and adopting a pseudo Jewish-in-Jesus lifestyle. (I find it bizarre, FWIW, the extremes some are going to.)

    My family remains as hardened as ever.

    So, though I think the end times are nearing ever so slowly, I am not witnessing an influx of new Jewish believers since 30-40 years ago. That may have been one of the “birth pang” events, or a blessing in answer to prayer of the faithful within the Church who prayed for Jewish salvation. I am thankful to have been one of those who was brought to the point of seeking and finding.

  237. Gram3 wrote:

    I think I have not been clear. Females who are In Christ *do* have rights. The question is how do we persuade conservative churches of that? IMO it is via an appeal to our identity rather than our rights because the rights flow from the identity. An appeal to rights sets off alarm bells that do not need to be set off needlessly because it reminds them of Secular Feminists which reminds them of Abortion on Demand. Therefore they feel justified in dismissing our points.

    We must make our appeal based on the texts and based on a conservative method of interpretation if we are to make progress in the conservative church. We must refute their position with facts and by example. I am making a point about doing that in a way that is consistent with Kingdom values. The fact is that the Female Subordinationists are usurping the authority of the Head of the church when they assert their right to rule. But they do not see it that way. We need to persuade. We do *not* need to be doormats or subservient. We need to be Bereans who are wise.

    I agree completely, Gram3, and I see why everyone values your posts!

  238. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    Oh my. Did you read the comments under that 9Marks article?

    ‘You can’t take a feminist position and be a Bible believer. The Word of God is absolutely clear about gender role differentiation. If you reject it, it’s not a rejection of an “interpretation”. It’s a rejection of the Word of God itself.’

    And we wonder why people are afraid to study the egal view?

    And we all know what the final destination is for those who reject God’s word. As I’ve commented before, fear is a prime motivator in these despotic religious regimes.

  239. Remnant wrote:

    Thank you for this example of Replacement Theology in action.
    How does the fact that I retain my biological Jewish identity equate to a charge against me of racial discrimination?

    I don’t agree with replacement theology, and I don’t think that’s what that poster was saying. (Though she can clarify that point if I have that wrong.)

    In the New Testament, doesn’t the apostle Paul say that Gentile believers are grafted into Israel (like a new branch is grafted into a tree), so that Gentiles share some of the promises made to the Jewish people? (I’m asking because I’m not totally clear on that, or how far that extends.)

    Romans Ch 11, Gentiles Grafted In:
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+11%3A11-31&version=ESV

  240. Remnant wrote:

    My Jewishness matters. Not because it makes me better. But because it is proof of the Lord’s promises to keep and maintain a Remnant for Himself.

    Yes. But also Paul addresses the issue. And all these new-look-at folks throw themselves in the direction of the Jewishness of both Jesus and Paul. NT Wright talks about the extension of salvation to the gentiles as part of God fulfilling his promises to Abraham. That same extension of salvation to non-Jews, salvation which Jesus noted is of the Jews, does not make me a Jew or you a gentile nor make me a male and you a female. It does make us, I think, part of the master plan of God’s salvation/rescue scheme for humanity.

    Just my take on it.

  241. Daisy wrote:

    Remnant wrote:

    Thank you for this example of Replacement Theology in action.
    How does the fact that I retain my biological Jewish identity equate to a charge against me of racial discrimination?

    I don’t agree with replacement theology, and I don’t think that’s what that poster was saying. (Though she can clarify that point if I have that wrong.)

    In the New Testament, doesn’t the apostle Paul say that Gentile believers are grafted into Israel (like a new branch is grafted into a tree), so that Gentiles share some of the promises made to the Jewish people? (I’m asking because I’m not totally clear on that, or how far that extends.)

    Romans Ch 11, Gentiles Grafted In:
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+11%3A11-31&version=ESV

    Daisy, I agree. Gentiles share SOME of the promises made to the Jewish people, primarily that of salvation through the Messiah.

  242. okrapod wrote:

    Remnant wrote:

    My Jewishness matters. Not because it makes me better. But because it is proof of the Lord’s promises to keep and maintain a Remnant for Himself.

    Yes. But also Paul addresses the issue. And all these new-look-at folks throw themselves in the direction of the Jewishness of both Jesus and Paul. NT Wright talks about the extension of salvation to the gentiles as part of God fulfilling his promises to Abraham. That same extension of salvation to non-Jews, salvation which Jesus noted is of the Jews, does not make me a Jew or you a gentile nor make me a male and you a female. It does make us, I think, part of the master plan of God’s salvation/rescue scheme for humanity.

    Just my take on it.

    God loves both Jews and Gentiles. A Gentile does not need to morph into a Jew to become more beloved.

    I used to have people in the Church, literally rub my arm like they would rub a genie’s bottle and ask me to pray because, according to them, “God hears me better.”

    Baloney.

    The curtain of separation was rent at the Crucifixion. We are all members of one Body in Christ even though I maintain my female AND Jewish identities.

  243. @okrapod: One thing I like about online monikers is that it really doesn’t matter if one is male or female.

    And thus we segue back to the OP – the gender of my thoughts don’t matter. Well, shouldn’t matter.

  244. Remnant wrote:

    I used to have people in the Church, literally rub my arm like they would rub a genie’s bottle and ask me to pray because, according to them, “God hears me better.”

    I think some of that may be because of centuries of anti-semitism on the one hand and a desire to somehow make things better but not knowing how, and also now the academic emphasis on the Jewishness of Jesus and Paul and some confusion while people try to figure out what they may have missed in the process, now that ideas are changing. For example, N T Wright writes about the idea of one master plan and how the extension of salvation to the gentiles is part of the Abrahamic covenant. People can grab hold of ideas that are complicated like that and not exactly know what to think if they have not heard that before and it does not sound like anything anybody said in children’s Sunday school.

  245. Remnant wrote:

    And thus we segue back to the OP – the gender of my thoughts don’t matter. Well, shouldn’t matter.

    Except that somebody already referenced the statement in the NT about neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female, neither slave nor free–I am operating from memory here-so the concepts were already in play in this discussion I think.

  246. Gram3 wrote:

    Sallie Borrink wrote:

    It’s ordinary people who will have to leave their churches and who know what the fallout will be in terms of friends and family. I’ve lived it.

    Me, too.

    Again referencing Game of Thrones, What do the Highborn care about the Lowborn?

  247. Friend wrote:

    Sopwith wrote:
    Pete Briscoe’s ‘Trajectory Inclination Theology (TIT) ‘ ™ [1] allows a suitable justification for female governmental authority in the body of Christ?

    Is TIT an accepted acronym of this school of thought, or are you trying to discredit it?

    Or is he channeling George Carlin (“Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television”)?

  248. Daisy wrote:

    In general, complementarian is crucial to Christian discipleship because it gives discipleship a goal.

    WHAT? This is seriously one of the dumbest explanations I’ve heard yet. Why can’t your goal be to love others, help them, be a better person?

    Oh, and then he says this which is probably even worse in that it makes it all about girls supporting boys, even high school girls in church!: “Well, frankly, I’m not entirely sure if it’s licit or not, but I do know I want those high school men to learn what it means for men to take initiative in the church. And I do want the high school women to learn what it means to love, affirm, and support male leadership in the church”

    Shut up. All of these people need to shut up. Everything in life is not about men. Everything in Christianity is certainly not all about men. Women are people.

    I think that is my new response to everything. Women are people. Women are human. Men in church should try really hard to remember this.

  249. @okrapod – You’re right. This ties in.

    Distinctives exist in the Church even though we make up One Body. Male/Female. Jew/Gentile. Married/Single.

    My mind keeps wondering how our first world church experiences (thinking about how male-centric it is) compares to third-world church experiences. I can’t imagine the underground church concerns itself with teaching male-headship/female-submission as a primary essential of the faith as we witness among the T4G crowd.

    I imagine they preach about Jesus. About the blood of Christ. About God’s sustaining love. About what it means to love your enemy. About the future and coming hope.

  250. Remnant wrote:

    So, though I think the end times are nearing ever so slowly, I am not witnessing an influx of new Jewish believers since 30-40 years ago. That may have been one of the “birth pang” events, or a blessing in answer to prayer of the faithful within the Church who prayed for Jewish salvation.

    Or a short-term spike either with or against a long-term trend.

  251. Remnant wrote:

    My mind keeps wondering how our first world church experiences (thinking about how male-centric it is) compares to third-world church experiences. I can’t imagine the underground church concerns itself with teaching male-headship/female-submission as a primary essential of the faith as we witness among the T4G crowd.

    They’re too busy staying alive from one day to the next. You saw the same disconnect on Maslow’s Heirarchy between Great Depression survivors and their Baby Boomer children.

    Steven King in Danse Macabre (one of his two nonfiction books) described “First World Problems” as a sign that the society that dwells on them “has beaten the survival game”.

    Yet (this is me, not Steven King) the survival instinct is still hard-wired in and if you only have First World Problems, your hindbrain is going to react to them as if they are a life-and-death Survival matter. (Kind of like allergies in children who were raised as germ-free as possible; without actual threats to react against, their immune systems over-react to what should be harmless things.)

  252. Gram3 wrote:

    I think I have not been clear. Females who are In Christ *do* have rights. The question is how do we persuade conservative churches of that? IMO it is via an appeal to our identity rather than our rights because the rights flow from the identity. An appeal to rights sets off alarm bells that do not need to be set off needlessly because it reminds them of Secular Feminists which reminds them of Abortion on Demand. Therefore they feel justified in dismissing our points.
    We must make our appeal based on the texts and based on a conservative method of interpretation if we are to make progress in the conservative church.

    Wade Burleson speaks to identity in Christ and presents his case that no one person has spiritual authority over another from a careful analysis of scripture in his book “Fraudulent Authority: Pastors Who Seek to Rule Over Others”. The only reason anyone would argue that he is not a conservative is if they didn’t like his conclusions.

  253. It may be that these men do what they do in part because they can get away with it.

    When I was in professional school for a male dominated profession we had to put up with a bit of &&& from various males. We basically just had to let it roll of our backs and move on. The day of fighting back had not yet come. A generation later when my son was in professional school for a traditionally male though no longer exclusively male profession I asked him if the guys gave the girls in the class a hard time. He said that heck no, they didn’t dare because (description of an aggressive female response.) That is just an entirely different idea.

    I don’t see how ‘conservative’ women can put into action changes which they want unless and until they have some power of their own and until they are willing to take some aggressive action-like walk out the door preferably but at least quit already with the covered dish scene. As long as it is just talk they are coming from a downhill position and I don’t see much future in that. Taking one’s wallet and one’s casserole out the door is at least a start.

  254. Daisy wrote:

    The guy who wrote that post said something like, “Let’s have the older single women demonstrate how to submit to men to the younger ones.”

    No can do, buddy. (Though I’m in my 40s and don’t consider myself “old.” But maybe his mileage varies.)

    The Bible doesn’t ask for unilateral female to male submission, and certainly the Scriptures don’t say diddly about it in regards to single women.

    At least the guy who wrote the post defers to mature adult single women in the matter – usually one of these comp men would crank out an editorial saying, “Hey, I am a man, and as a man, I am instructing all you young single women how to submit to all men.”

    See, that’s where comp absolutely fails as “Gospel.” It works for only some people in a certain stage of life. It doesn’t work for children, and it doesn’t work for a lot of adults. And, as I’ve pointed out recently, since 2009, there have been more single (never married, divorced, widowed) adult women in the USA than there are married adult women. That’s a huge change from 1960, when over 60 percent of adult women were married. If the comp “gospel” doesn’t speak to those of us who are not married, if all the comp “gospel” has to offer us is “well, you’re not really living for Jesus if you’re not married,” well, that’s no gospel at all.

    The more I think about it, the more I believe this is kind of a twisting of a lot of things to support a particular way of life as superior to all else. It’s rather like how the religious life was held up as the best way among an older generation of devout Catholics. This is according to my on-again, off-again boyfriend, who said there was subtle pressure on the older generation to go into the priesthood or become a sister, and, ironically, his younger brother decided after a couple of decades of being an engineer, to become a priest.

    It’s not sinful to be married or single. I wish one were not promoted above the other, but that all were supported. *sigh*

  255. Remnant wrote:

    My mind keeps wondering how our first world church experiences (thinking about how male-centric it is) compares to third-world church experiences. I can’t imagine the underground church concerns itself with teaching male-headship/female-submission as a primary essential of the faith as we witness among the T4G crowd.

    When the local Communist party cadre is breathing down your neck because you have an unlicensed church in his district, I’m pretty sure comp doctrine is really low on the list of priorities.

  256. Daisy wrote:

    but the comps themselves, by publishing some of the wacky things they do, make their own position look flawed.

    Because you can only yammer on about ‘biblical gender roles’ for about a minute before you run out of actual biblical things to say! It’s all made up from there. And that becomes very obvious…

  257. For those on the east coast, there is another conservative church that took a similar three year long study leading to reject traditional gender roles in leadership of the Church. Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium, MD presented an elder position paper in 2010.

    Grace is an independent, non-denominational Church in the suburbs of Baltimore. You can download their 22 page position paper by going to FAQ page of their website. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to embed it here.

    Table of Contents:

    Women and Men in the Church
    A Position Paper for Grace Fellowship Church

    Introduction 3
    A matter of discernment: women in leadership 3
    Our process 3
    Our position 3
    Principles for Biblical Interpretation 5
    Creation: God’s Design for Humankind 5
    The Fall: Sin Enters Our World 7
    God’s Redemptive Desire: the Old Testament 8
    Miriam, Deborah, Huldah 8
    Joel’s foretelling 9
    Jesus Typifies Redemption: the Gospels 10
    The cultural norm 10
    Jesus introduces a new norm 10
    Women are elevated 10
    Women advance his public ministry 10
    Jesus teaches women 11
    Jesus entrusts women with his first resurrection appearance 12
    Redemption Continues: the Early Church 13
    Phoebe, Priscilla, and Junia 13
    Seeing Creation Intent: Gifting 15
    Gifts and offices of public ministry: the Apostle, the Prophet, the Evangelist 15
    Gifts given without regard for gender 16
    The priesthood of all believers 17
    Key Passages: a Discussion 20
    1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6; 1 Tim. 3:12 5
    1 Cor. 14:34-35 5
    1 Tim. 2:9-14 5
    1 Cor. 11: 3-14 5
    Eph. 5:21-33 5
    Next Steps: Some Thoughts on Authority and Unity 4

  258. @ Bridget:
    Read their original comment. Pay attention especially to paragraph 7. She categorically denies that the Church is the recipient, and the only recipient, of the promises and covenants of God. And if not the church, then WHO? She promotes Israel, a particular racial and ethnic group of human beings, as being those in possession of God’s promises SEPARATE AND DISTINCT from all other people groups on earth.

    And if you want to overlook the way they portrayed Christians, in a general sense, as being those responsible for the Holocaust, then you can if you want to. I found that to be offensive, because it was offensive.

    Just like it was offensive to say that the promises of God have not been delivered once and for all to the Church, as if that is not the exclusive right and privilege belonging to all whom God has called and chosen in Him.

    The church, not a racial/ethnic group of people, are the Chosen People of God.

    Women, likewise, who are in Christ, are NO LESS heirs of the Promise, and given full and equal status of sonship and full participation, without discrimination, in the Body of Christ.

    I would encourage everyone to listen to the video posted above. I loved what Mitch Little had to say from 09:30-17:00. “It’s no longer our differences that define us, but the color CRIMSON!!!!”

  259. @ Daisy:
    Yes. Am aware. :o( I still think they go overboard. I guess my point was that I am so used to those who believe in replacement theology to automatically assume one is pre trib dispensationalist if they dont.

    My point is that I do not think God is a trickster. I believe He keeps His promises.

    I believe the Jews were supposed to be the light of the world and inclusive. But they ended up taking on Pagan ways and being redirected quite a bit. Now we believers are supposed to be the light of the world and not doing a very great job of it, either…. Preferring the Gentile systems our Lord warned us about.

  260. When Grace Fellowship announced the results of their study, several families left without even reading the position paper!!!

  261. Daisy wrote:

    Pre-Mil / Pre Trib Rapture guys are generally strongly pro-Israel and don’t accept replacement theology.
    (They’re actually very outspoken against replacement theology.)

    How much of that is viewing Israel and the Israelis as just another piece on the End Time Prophecy gameboard? And the founding of modern Israel as just another item on the Checklist, nothing more? (check… check… check… tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick…)

  262. Grace Fellowship also has a church in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania. Near York, PA

    graceshrewsbury.com/

    Sorry for several add-on posts

  263. mirele wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    Without complementarianism, ‘the Gospel is harder to explain.’ O rly? Sigh.

    So much for single people and the Gospel, right Daisy? Seriously…

    In the early days of the Church, wasn’t the Gospel primarily pitched to those losers without a Family/House/Gens Name in a day when Family/House/Gens meant EVERYTHING?

  264. mirele wrote:

    This is not quite on topic, but I thought I’d share it with you. It’s an article from the (UK) Guardian called “Megachurches: photographing America’s drab new cathedrals.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/may/01/megachurches-christianity-lisa-anne-auerbach-photography-america

    One of the churches pictured is Perry Noble’s NewSpring church. Another church is Central Christian church in Mesa, Arizona, which is the mega nearest to the two major cross streets near my house.

    Two others are near where I live in Anaheim, CA.

    The one with the Korean name looks vaguely familiar. I think I’ve seen that openwork pseudo-steeple where Brookhurst or Magnolia crosses I-5.

    But “The Rock”? That looks so “Generic Recent-Build Industrial Building” it could be literally ANYWHERE. Though I would suggest the I-5/old Southern Pacific tracks industrial corridor.

  265. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Just got a location on “The Rock”. Industrial district on Oragnethorpe, just west of the Santa Fe/Metrolink tracks before the curve into Fullerton Junction, between a trailer park & industrial park. HUGE industrial building, maybe two ganged together, most of it extending 700′ (200m) back from the street. No clue where they put the parking for a place that big. I go past it on Metrolink most every weekday, and must have driven past the site thousands of times.

  266. elastigirl wrote:

    I admire Pete Brisco & co. But really,….. 24 years??!? 24 years of pandering (I can think of no better word) to the more base aspects of human nature? because…. why? they’re too delicate and fragile to be challenged with the truth?

    I can relate to your feelings of frustration. What became obvious to me, watching Briscoe on video, is that he doesn’t have the personality of a revolutionary. He’s not a firebrand. In the end, he said he doesn’t want his church to be known as a ‘female elders church’ but rather a Jesus church. It took 24 years to bring his church to Jesus on this issue, and I hope, for his sake, that it proves to be worth the wait. And I’ve been watching out for the elders of Bent Tree or Dee’s former Pastor to come here and leave a comment because of the exposure TWW has given them. So far I haven’t seen anything like that, which is kinda odd I think.

  267. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    But “The Rock”? That looks so “Generic Recent-Build Industrial Building” it could be literally ANYWHERE. Though I would suggest the I-5/old Southern Pacific tracks industrial corridor.

    Their Point Loma campus is so well hidden in plain site (pun intended) on Rosecrans that I’ve drove by dozens of times before realizing that is where they were located.

  268. @ Lydia:
    Yes. It is not about privileges for one group or another. No room for Gentile boasting in Romans or Jewish boasting in Galatians. Those categories are obsolete in the Kingdom of Christ. But it does not follow from that that all promises made to particular individuals or groups are nullified or transferred. It also does not mean that a political entity is the fulfillment of God’s promises. It is not about people at all but rather about God’s promises and his faithfulness.

    There is a spectrum of “how does this play out” and not just variations on Dispensationalism. There is a spectrum within Dispiedom itself, and I think we should understand what that might indicate.

    Now, the Female Subordinationists do get into a bit of trouble because they want Galatians 3:28 to say that the functional and status distinctions between Jew and Gentile and masters and slaves *have* been removed while the distinctions between male and female *have not* been removed this side of the Cross. Very odd. It seems better to me to say that the distinctions remain, but they are of no *Kingdom* significance any more. No one has an advantage over another In Christ nor does anyone have a superior status.

  269. Since you are speaking about me, Paula Rice, I am going to join the discussion.

    Paula Rice wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Read their original comment. Pay attention especially to paragraph 7. She categorically denies that the Church is the recipient, and the only recipient, of the promises and covenants of God.

    Well, of course not all of the covenants are made with the Church! The Church was not even in existence until 2000 years ago.

    Five covenants were specifically made with Israel, though Gentiles are recipients of some of the blessings therein. When the Lord says, “I will make a covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah,” to whom is the Lord making a covenant?

    Furthermore, I did not state that Israel was the ONLY recipient! The Church partakes in blessings of these covenants as a provision of the covenant. For example, the Mosaic Covenant provides that Gentiles who bless Israel will themselves be blessed. The New Covenant (made with Israel in Jer 31:31) provides blessing to Gentiles through grafting into the Olive Tree.

    And if not the church, then WHO? She promotes Israel, a particular racial and ethnic group of human beings, as being those in possession of God’s promises SEPARATE AND DISTINCT from all other people groups on earth.

    Israel is indeed a separate distinctive from the Church. The Church consists of Gentiles who believe in Jesus as well as Jews who believe in Jesus. As such, the Lord has made certain provisions for each: Israel as the apple of his eye and the Church, of which Jesus is the head, are each spoken of individually and distinctively in the New Testament.

    And if you want to overlook the way they portrayed Christians, in a general sense, as being those responsible for the Holocaust, then you can if you want to. I found that to be offensive, because it was offensive.

    Oy. I was explaining the way the generation of Jews (pre-9/11) generally viewed the world. I did not say this was MY viewpoint. I have been a victim of this thinking within my family and my community.

    Just like it was offensive to say that the promises of God have not been delivered once and for all to the Church, as if that is not the exclusive right and privilege belonging to all whom God has called and chosen in Him.

    Not sure what you are referencing. Jesus died once and for all. I am not sure how this translates to “the promises of God…”

    The church, not a racial/ethnic group of people, are the chosen People of God.

    The Church has existed for 2000 years. Who were the Chosen people prior to that?

    Women, likewise, who are in Christ, are NO LESS heirs of the Promise, and given full and equal status of sonship and full participation, without discrimination, in the Body of Christ.

    I agree.

    I would encourage everyone to listen to the video posted above. I loved what Mitch Little had to say from 09:30-17:00. “It’s no longer our differences that define us, but the color CRIMSON!!!!”

    There are still unfulfilled promises to Israel. Not that God forgot, mind you. Or that He reneged. They just haven’t had time to come to fruition. But they will.

    Jeremiah 31:36ff
    Thus says the Lord,
    Who gives the sun for light by day
    And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
    Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar;
    The Lord of hosts is His name:
    36
    “If this fixed order departs
    From before Me,” declares the Lord,
    “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease
    From being a nation before Me forever.”

    37 Thus says the Lord,

    “If the heavens above can be measured
    And the foundations of the earth searched out below,
    Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel
    For all that they have done,” declares the Lord.

  270. FW Rez wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    But “The Rock”? That looks so “Generic Recent-Build Industrial Building” it could be literally ANYWHERE. Though I would suggest the I-5/old Southern Pacific tracks industrial corridor.

    Their Point Loma campus is so well hidden in plain site (pun intended) on Rosecrans that I’ve drove by dozens of times before realizing that is where they were located.

    So it’s a franchise operation? (i.e. NOT-a-Denomination…)

  271. Elizabeth wrote:

    Grace is an independent, non-denominational Church in the suburbs of Baltimore. You can download their 22 page position paper by going to FAQ page of their website. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to embed it here.

    I must be blind. I can’t find the FAQ. Would you please link to that FAQ page?

  272. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t see how ‘conservative’ women can put into action changes which they want unless and until they have some power of their own and until they are willing to take some aggressive action-like walk out the door preferably but at least quit already with the covered dish scene. As long as it is just talk they are coming from a downhill position and I don’t see much future in that. Taking one’s wallet and one’s casserole out the door is at least a start.

    And then we end up as Dones because there is nothing for us.

    I’m not interested in instigating a church split.

    I refuse to listen to men preach sermons about the roles of women with a smirk on their face (true story).

    I’m not going to compromise on what I consider to be essentials to the Gospel.

    And so our little family of three does church as we go about our lives as Wade said yesterday in his sermon. If I can’t use my gifts in the institutional church, I’ll use them elsewhere.

  273. @ Remnant:
    Your perspective is clouded by your racism. I cannot help you anymore than I can help a man who believes his gender grants him supremacy, and special status, within God’s eternal plan. I can, however, tell you that your position is a sinful one, used by people who assume favored nation status in God’s eyes, and who base their hatred against other people in. There is only One Bride that Jesus is returning for, and she is no concubine. There is only one apple in God’s eye, only one People wholly accepted in the Beloved, and they are the Redeemed of the Lord.

    You, Ma’am, are preaching a different Gospel.

  274. @ Gram3:

    Yeah. I don’t know if you have read it or not but I read some stuff from N T Wright on this. Now if only I could remember which book it was. He says basically that the extension of salvation to the gentiles is part of the fulfillment of His covenants with Israel, not the entire fulfillment, not the replacement of the old covenants, not some substitution of something entirely new and certainly not the discontinuation of the covenants but quite the opposite. He talked IIRC about the promise to Abraham about the nations. I have got to find that section and re-read it because it just makes so much sense. However, he is quite on the side that God keeps his promises and his covenants.

    I think that taking the Jews/gentiles, male/female and slave/free statement has been distorted by some into some idea of Stepford Christians in the church. But that is a slightly different topic.

  275. Sallie Borrink wrote:

    I refuse to listen to men preach sermons about the roles of women with a smirk on their face (true story).

    Ew. Honestly, I tried to read the comments at the Leeman article and found them sickening. The whole thing is ridiculous. The bible is not ABOUT gender roles!!! It is about LOVE. These people are not about love. They are about rules and authority and putting people in little boxes where they don’t fit.

    Now, I’ve gone to a super liberal church, which doesn’t fit me entirely but at least I don’t have to put up with any of this drivel about women being less than human and the entirety of life being centered around man and not god. (I do occasionally have to put up with some talk about politics/climate change that has me rolling my eyes).

  276. @Paula Rice,

    I am speechless. You have labeled me some pretty ugly things. And you claim *I* am being hateful?

  277. @ Paula Rice:

    Oh, my, I must apparently be the one to tell you that replacement theology is by no means the only idea within christianity. Everybody including the catholic church has taken a step back and taken a second look at this idea of replacement theology and modified some ideas, but apparently you missed the conversation these past few decades. Please inform yourself about the issues involved before you start declaring it to be a sin for people to disagree with you.

  278. FW Rez wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    So it’s a franchise operation? (i.e. NOT-a-Denomination…)
    I thought they were branches but it appears there is more than one “The Rock”.

    Is The Rock in the article even related to The Rock in Point Loma? They may be two different entities.

  279. @ Paula Rice:
    I think it would be more helpful if you would address the actual texts of the New Covenant promise that Remnant posted. I think it is perfectly reasonable to ask how a clear genetic reference to offspring becomes transferred in its entirety to the church, a group which is not based on genes and which did not come into existence for hundreds of years later. We who are Gentiles and who are In Christ participate in the promises because he is the promised Seed. That is what Paul said in Galatians. The Jews no longer have an advantage, but that does not mean that God did not mean what he said in Jeremiah 31. And it certainly does not mean that Remnant is proclaiming another gospel.

  280. @ Paula Rice:
    I’m a Christian who happens to be Caucasian, of English/Swiss/Italian/other random places ancestry. There now, @Remnant won’t be the only “racist” in the thread (because apparently merely mentioning your race/ethnicity is racist, which is news to me, but these days nothing in Christendom shocks me).

  281. ION:

    Tonight’s 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Spurs leaves the latter 7 points behind Leicester with two games remaining. This, of course, means that Leicester cannot be overtaken regardless of how those two rounds of matches go, and that – having barely escaped relegation last year – Leicester City are the Premier League champions.

    Now, of course there are bigger fish than fitba’ to fry here at TWW, and there are weighty discussions here on this thread about other things than sport. Wartburgers who have been following my fitba’-related comments over the past wee while may be wondering whether this might be just a tad frivolous. But there is a story behind this.

    The English Premier League is a vast commercial empire even by the money-soaked standards of fitba’. Each year, billions of pounds are slopped into the game in television revenue, and top players earn telephone-number salaries and change clubs for – in extremis – nine-figure sums. In recent years, only the richest of clubs have been able to buy their way into even a top-four finish. Leicester, by contrast, are minnows: they have one or two excellent players, but no big-money superstars. But they work hard, and are superbly well organised as a team: they play for each other like no other side in the league.

    This is a good story.

    IHTIH

  282. Remnant wrote:

    I am speechless.

    Yeah, I didn’t see that coming at all. You are sharing your experience, and opinions. That’s all anyone is doing.

  283. Elizabeth wrote:

    For those on the east coast, there is another conservative church that took a similar three year long study leading to reject traditional gender roles in leadership of the Church. Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium, MD presented an elder position paper in 2010.

    The year after graduating from college, I lived just north of Timonium in Cockeysville, so I am very familiar with that area. If Dee and I come to D.C. this summer, we may have to visit that church.  It's about an hour away from Washington.  🙂

  284. Elizabeth wrote:

    When Grace Fellowship announced the results of their study, several families left without even reading the position paper!!!

    Why doesn’t that surprise me?

  285. @ Gram3:

    I tend to call it the dreaded “either/or” dichotomy when the truth is more like “both/and”.

    And I have seen some comps here map the master/slave verses to employee/employer in a free society. Never ceases to amaze me what the authoritarians will teach.

  286. Lydia wrote:

    @ Elizabeth:

    Thanks for the information!

    Since I am basically in the same boat as Sallie and know others like us, I really appreciate knowing about success stories. There is hope!

  287. @ Paula Rice:

    She was explaining several things. Not all of them were her views. It is possible that you misunderstood what she was saying. I do believe that some covenants were made with Israel before the church existed. That seems clear to me in scripture. It does not mean that God loves Israel more than His Church.

  288. Deb wrote:

    It appears we are getting WAY off topic. Could we please get back to the topic of the post?

    Okay. Based on what I see in scripture and more than one way that I see to deal with the pertinent biblical statements, and based on the fact that I was in a church pastored by more than one woman (one at a time), and based on the fact that I have listened to arguments back and forth, and based on the fact that I both worked and raised a family and have some personal experience with both life styles for women, and based on the fact that I am who I am (take in a deep breath) I do not know what I think about whether or not it is wise to have women in the actual pastorate as senior pastor. I just don’t know at this point. The operative word and idea is wise, whether it is wise.

    However, outside of the position of senior/lead pastor I think that women can do the job at this time and in this culture and should be permitted to do it.

    Disclaimer: the Deebs do not actually pay me to stir up trouble and keep the comments coming, in case anybody wondered.

  289. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Tonight’s 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Spurs leaves the latter 7 points behind Leicester with two games remaining. This, of course, means that Leicester cannot be overtaken regardless of how those two rounds of matches go, and that – having barely escaped relegation last year – Leicester City are the Premier League champions.

    There’s been coverage of this on a few of the sports shows around here. They were discussing how much you would make on the 5000 to 1 odds that were available before the season started. A few people are going to make some big money off that random bet…

  290. okrapod wrote:

    I do not know what I think about whether or not it is wise to have women in the actual pastorate as senior pastor. I just don’t know at this point.

    Disclaimer- I don’t believe in the “senior” pastor concept, but for the sake of this discussion, were you ever in a church where a woman was the senior pastor?

  291. Deb wrote:

    It appears we are getting WAY off topic. Could we please get back to the topic of the post?

    I could talk about the patchy, but in places encouraging, progress in women’s sport. In the secular world, women are gradually becoming free to compete in the same sporting disciplines as men. (How much £ there is in women’s sport is another, and surprisingly complex, matter…)

  292. Deb wrote:
    :
    The year after graduating from college, I lived just north of Timonium in Cockeysville, so I am very familiar with that area. If Dee and I come to D.C. this summer, we may have to visit that church. It’s about an hour away from Washington.

    HaHa!! Deb, you’ll be happy to know that Cockeysville is still on the map, but during some commercial development in the 90’s, the area is euphemistically referred to as “Hunt Valley” now.

    If you would like to visit this church, I can put you in touch with one of the elders who was there during the transition. My sister-in-law was on staff there at one time, but her husband was one who wouldn’t stomach the changes!

  293. Bridget wrote:

    were you ever in a church where a woman was the senior pastor?

    Yes. UMC. From the time I first went to that church until now there have been five pastors, three of them women, but I left without getting to know the current pastor who is a woman. I was only in the church during two men and two women, one at a time.

    At the church were I am now (episcopal) there is an ordained methodist elder who is a woman who is in charge of the younger children and in charge of the homeless ministry. That works. Our current acting bishop is a woman, but I know nothing about her beyond that.

    Our director of music aka choirmaster who was awesome and built the music program into probably the strongest unit in the church is out on extended medical leave due to post-partum depression. This has hit the church like a tornado. The rector and the vestry are trying to hold everything together while plotting more diversity with I suppose less emphasis on music. It is a mini-disaster but something can be worked out. No word yet when she will be back, if ever.

  294. @ okrapod:

    That was confusing. I do not mean five pastors all at the same time, I mean only one person at a time. It is a one pastor church. The pastor is it, with no clerical backup for dealing with anything.

  295. Bridget wrote:

    Disclaimer- I don’t believe in the “senior” pastor concept, but for the sake of this discussion, were you ever in a church where a woman was the senior pastor?

    St. Thomas Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in the south end of St. Louis County, Missouri, and Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in the north end of the same county both have women pastors but AFAIK the rest of the staff are not pastoral per se. NB: both congregations are of ELCA, the most liberal of Lutgersn synodical bodies in USA.

  296. Lutheran, not Lutgersn. Lutgersn churches tend to occur mostly in Manitoba, I’m told. 😉

  297. @ okrapod:

    So, in your singular opinion, which gender performed better in the “senior” pastor position? Or, was it not a better or worse, just different performance?

  298. @ okrapod:

    That is a rough road for the choirmaster. Postpartum is no fun and can take years for some women to recover completely, for others it can be as little as a few months. I hope she feels better soon for her and her family.

  299. Deb wrote:

    It appears we are getting WAY off topic. Could we please get back to the topic of the post?

    One off-topic comment not approved.

  300. Bridget wrote:

    So, in your singular opinion, which gender performed better in the “senior” pastor position? Or, was it not a better or worse, just different performance?

    One of the men was OK but older on his last assignment before retirement. He ‘performed’ well but the church needed a younger person with more energy. One of the men did not perform well and had to be removed by the bishop before his time was out. One of the women performed well and the church responded to her leadership but she was single with no children so no conflicting responsibilities and older middle aged and been on the job a while and had some management skills that one may see in secular management, but this is just my impression. The second woman did not work out for several reasons. The church had desperately wanted a man for pastor and when that did not happen some things sort of fell apart. She was not able to get the cooperation she needed. In other words, she tried to lead but people did not follow. She was married with two young children and had a lot on her hands also.

    None of them were bad people except the one man with all the problems, but leadership style varied, and the ones who succeeded were the one older man within limits and the one older woman.

  301. All Trolls wrote:

    Lutheran, not Lutgersn. Lutgersn churches tend to occur mostly in Manitoba, I’m told.

    With Lutefisk for their sacrament?

  302. Lydia wrote:

    And I have seen some comps here map the master/slave verses to employee/employer in a free society. Never ceases to amaze me what the authoritarians will teach.

    “Anything goes as long as *I* Hold The Whip!”?

  303. Like @okrapod, I too am a bit ambivalent about women pastors but only, perhaps, because the lady pastors I have known who have ministered outside the “ladies’ ministry” realm, have been pastor’s wives and they have not been successful. They have caused church splits and/or the closing of one church. One seemed to fight for the pulpit with her pastor husband, putting him in a very bad spot. It was uncomfortable for the congregation to witness,

    Thst said, I have been privileged to teach a mixed class of men and women at a church on a theological topic. My particular class consisted of over 30 people, an equal mix of men and women. Over the 10 month class (each class averaged 90 minutes), a Jewish lawyer who attended each week came to know Jesus. The male pastor let me have free reign but I always asked a brother to support me each week. I guess I felt awkward “leading” after all those years being told that I, as a woman, ought not to. That came in handy one week when a stranger joined the class and proceeded to verbally attack me. I was out of my element and a couple of the gentlemen of the class ended up escorting out.

    Anyway, I respect any woman who feels her calling is to teach or preach. I felt called during that class and I know the Lord sustained me and gave me the gift for that season. It is not my place to tell the Lord whom He should, or should not, call to minister.

  304. mirele wrote:

    See, that’s where comp absolutely fails as “Gospel.” It works for only some people in a certain stage of life. It doesn’t work for children, and it doesn’t work for a lot of adults.

    And, as I’ve pointed out recently, since 2009, there have been more single (never married, divorced, widowed) adult women in the USA than there are married adult women.

    That’s a huge change from 1960, when over 60 percent of adult women were married. If the comp “gospel” doesn’t speak to those of us who are not married, if all the comp “gospel” has to offer us is “well, you’re not really living for Jesus if you’re not married,” well, that’s no gospel at all.
    [etc]

    I agree completely and have been saying that on this blog the last 2 or whatever years I’ve been on here.

    Most Christians are oblivious to the fact that most Americans are single now, not married.

    A caveat: some portions of Christianity have noticed this trend, but rather than accept singleness, they started attacking it a few years ago and began promoting early marriage, where they release books and blog posts telling today’s teens to marry before they turn 25 years old.

    Some of them basically get into this view that being single is sinful, it’s your duty to be married, singleness is only for a few chosen (the Bible doesn’t teach that).

    The early marriage proponents also often come up with incorrect reasons as to why so many single women are single; they assume single women are all staying single by choice, which is not the case for all.

  305. Paula Rice wrote:

    Your perspective is clouded by your racism. I cannot help you anymore than I can help a man who believes his gender grants him supremacy, and special status, within God’s eternal plan. I can, however, tell you that your position is a sinful one, used by people who assume favored nation status in God’s eyes, and who base their hatred against other people in. There is only One Bride that Jesus is returning for, and she is no concubine. There is only one apple in God’s eye, only one People wholly accepted in the Beloved, and they are the Redeemed of the Lord.
    You, Ma’am, are preaching a different Gospel.

    Wowzers. She isn’t being racist. Her position is not sinful.

    This is not referring to the church:

    Ho, Zion! Escape, you who are living with the daughter of Babylon.”
    For thus says the LORD of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.

    (Zechariah 2:8)

    I find your attitude in that response and some of your views in that post very objectionable.

  306. @ Christiane:
    Secular, arising from Greek culture. It was not and is not religious anything, as that was concerned with the worship of gods, goddesses and, in some cases, demi-gods. Greek philosophy isn’t religious in its intent.

  307. Nancy2 wrote:

    Gram3 is back! Gram3 is back! Gram3 is back! Wooohooo, Gram3 is back!
    Good to have you back, Gram3. We missed you!

    YEEEEEESSSSS! Gram3, I have missed you so much! Thank you for coming back!

  308. @ okrapod:
    @ Remnant:

    Thanks for your responses. My thinking is that neither men nor women are better or worse at leading. I would guess that personality, skill sets, and life circumstances has more to do with success or failure of leaders.

  309. @ Remnant:
    Remnant, thank you for sharing your testimony. I appreciate when people take the time to share their path to Christ.

  310. @ okrapod:
    This same discussion has happened here before, with some of the same participants. Unfortunately, it went the way this one has.

    Remnant, I’m sorry for how this has panned out. Also (sorta separate topic), M. Rosen was … very authoritarian. It didn’t exactly help things where the J4J hardline approach toward other Jewish people was concerned, once details started getting out. I don’t trust J4J, and haven’t for a very long time. (I used to know some folks who left yheir HQ due Rosen’s behavior and highly questionable ethics. I personally never cared for the J4J approach, and think it alienated many – trying to hold dialogue is one thing, but characterizing rabbinic Judaism as “a false religion” isn’t exactly the way to do it, imo…)

  311. @ Elizabeth:
    I thought Hunt Valley was the mall there? It’s bern a while since i was last on 695, but the signs still said Cockeysville @ that time.

  312. @ okrapod:
    So… would you say it has to do with the individual 1st, as opposed to their gender? Also, it seems like the 2 who had more experience with pastoral ministry worked out better, on the whole. No surprises there, eh? 😉

  313. @ Remnant:
    They weren’t womrn who had gone thtough decent seminaries and gotten the training necessary for pastoral ministry. They were not in pastoral ministry, at least, not how i would define it.

  314. @ Remnant:
    Are you from an evangelical background? As what i just referred to = pastoral ministry as viewed by Protestant mainlines, not evangelicals. The education and ctitetia for ordination and pastoral ministry is very different there. Not sure why so many evangelicals are using thentitle “pastor” these days, as it does not mean what a lot of folks seem to think it means. (Not a criticism, just an observation from a mainline type…)

  315. numo wrote:

    So… would you say it has to do with the individual 1st, as opposed to their gender? Also, it seems like the 2 who had more experience with pastoral ministry worked out better, on the whole. No surprises there, eh?

    It’s really odd to me how conservagelicals seem so fixated on private parts and social roles. I just can’t wrap my head around how some Christians are choosing to reject the gifts and calling of a significant (probably majority) part of their constituency.

  316. @ All Trolls:
    Back here, it might be shoo fly pie and some sort of Bock beer. (Note: these dsys, most Lutherans use wine for communion, with grape juice available for younger kids and alcoholics, if they request it.)

  317. @numo, what you say about J4J is accurate. Even so, I have a funny J4J story.

    I was saved during my 2nd year of college. In my senior year, J4J was passing out tracts during a football game at Cole Field House and, upon seeing them there, I asked if I could join in, by then, I was quite an outspoken, idiotic, believer. My Christian roommate would ask me in a crowded elevator on the way to our 7th floor dorm room, “So, Remnant, what’s a Jew like you doing believing in Jesus.” As I was passing out tracts that day, a kid from my Holocaust Lit class saw me, ran up to me, declaring, “Oh thank you!!!! Someone has to oppose these people!”

    The last week of class was approaching. I had consistently turned my bookbag reading, “Jesus loves you and so do I” towards my chest as I entrred that classroom. Maybe I wasn’t such an idiot.

    But that moment, when the kid was standing before me, with such fearful eyes … Was defining. Do I deny Jesus? Or do I swallow my pride and admit that I was with the enemy?

    Needless to say, as I entered the classroom on that last day, all eyes turned towards me. Not one greeting. Just those eyes. The professor, unaware, entered at that moment and chose one paragraph out of all the term papers to read. It was a paragraph I had written about Corrie ten Boom forgiving the Nazi guard.

    God remains powerful in my life. Like today, He gives me words through others when I find I have no words left to speak.

  318. numo wrote:

    @ Remnant:
    Are you from an evangelical background? As what i just referred to = pastoral ministry as viewed by Protestant mainlines, not evangelicals. The education and ctitetia for ordination and pastoral ministry is very different there. Not sure why so many evangelicals are using thentitle “pastor” these days, as it does not mean what a lot of folks seem to think it means. (Not a criticism, just an observation from a mainline type…)

    I’m just a Jewish believer in Jesus without a specific affiliation. I have attended so many churches over the years as we have moved frequently. We have attended Messianic on occasion (not often), Halpine Baptist back in the day of PK, EFree, EMethodist, Church of God…. We strive to find a church that serves the community and has a vibrancy. We are in DC again and I can’t find a church home, not that I’ve looked diligently. I wish I had a church home,

  319. Remnant wrote:

    Thank you to the many who shared a voice on my behalf today after I lost mine.

    You’re welcome. I enjoyed reading your posts.

    My views are pretty much similar, if not the same, as yours in regards to the off-topic topic above.

    I’m sorry I mistook you for a guy in a post above – you said above you are a lady. 🙂

  320. Daisy, you couldn’t have known. not to worry. (Besides, I was called much worse today. I’m not used to such things… I appreciate your support today soooo much!)

  321. Remnant wrote:

    The horrifying reality is that there has historically been a segment of the Church that feels that the Jews killed Jesus and are, therefore, enemies of the Church.
    While the Jeiwsh leadership DID call for Jesus’s execution, Romans did the deed.

    And they’ve tended to forget that Jesus was/is Jewish. Someone once said that part of the anti-Semitism goes back to the Middle Ages when Jews charged interest on loans. Regardless, the anti-Semitism was wrong as was the mentality that the Jews killed Christ. With the mixture of Jewish priests and Roman officials, I’d say it was politics that killed Christ. Change the ethnicity of the people, and the result would have still been the same.

  322. @ patriciamc:
    The church prohibited baptized xtians from charging interest on loans. Jewish people becsme prominent in banking and international finance as trade grew throughout Europe and also with the Middle East Eadt (and through it, places as far away as China). While Jews and xtians were taxed for not bring of the majority religion in the Ottoman Empire, they had much more freedom in Ottoman-ruled countries than in xtian countries. Xtians in Europe were unrelenting in their persecution of Jews, from the era where the churvh became predominantly gentile right up to today, in countries like Russia (antisemitism has always been a very serious problem there, and thete sre somd in the R. Orthodox Church who are viciously so).

  323. Paula Rice wrote:

    Your perspective is clouded by your racism. I cannot help you anymore than I can help a man who believes his gender grants him supremacy, and special status, within God’s eternal plan. I can, however, tell you that your position is a sinful one, used by people who assume favored nation status in God’s eyes, and who base their hatred against other people in. There is only One Bride that Jesus is returning for, and she is no concubine. There is only one apple in God’s eye, only one People wholly accepted in the Beloved, and they are the Redeemed of the Lord.

    You, Ma’am, are preaching a different Gospel.

    I’m not sure I am following you, Paula, so forgive me if I’m misunderstanding. The story of Israel is not finished. There is yet the promise of an earthly kingdom to be fulfilled.

    Luke 13:34-35
    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

    Romans 11:25
    “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in

    There is a great deal of disagreement on the meaning of Bible prophecy and the events yet to happen are not clearly defined enough in scripture to be dogmatic. I, personally, don’t think it is an issue worthy of separating Christian brethren. Again, if I’m misunderstanding you, I apologize, but I think your comments were uncalled for.

  324. numo wrote:

    The church prohibited baptized xtians from charging interest on loans. Jewish people becsme prominent in banking and international finance as trade grew throughout Europe and also with the Middle East Eadt (and through it, places as far away as China). While Jews and xtians were taxed for not bring of the majority religion in the Ottoman Empire, they had much more freedom in Ottoman-ruled countries than in xtian countries. Xtians in Europe were unrelenting in their persecution of Jews, from the era where the churvh became predominantly gentile right up to today, in countries like Russia (antisemitism has always been a very serious problem there, and thete sre somd in the R. Orthodox Church who are viciously so).

    Yes, I’m familiar with this.

  325. @ Remnant:
    Oh hey, i recall being young and zealous and saying some pretty stupid and/or insensitive things when i was the same age!

    So you went to UMD. I lived in the area for a shade over 21 years, but in NoVA, which is, y’know, separated from MD by the Potomac Ocean (an ocean of traffic, and far too many bridge bottlenecks). I wouldn’t go back there to live unless i could get a nice apt. in a ‘hood where i could walk most everywhere for pharmacy, groceries, places to eat and other essentials. I had no idea how much stress i was under from dealing with constant traffic until i moved away. (Air quality is *loads* better away from there, too.)

  326. @ Patriciamc:
    And the church itself borrowed from Jewish financiers at times. They set up a built in mechanism (excuse) for persecution baded on the Mosaic law. It might be grimly humorous if the results hadn’t been so horrific.

  327. @ Sallie Borrink:

    “Look how many things have taken a long to to change…

    Slavery
    Women voting
    Civil rights

    I don’t see it as pandering. I see it as waiting on God to move. It’s not like you can walk into a church and demand they turn egalitarian. We scorn the Neo-Cal pastors who walk in with a hidden agenda and divide churches.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    you make some good points. if Mr. Briscoe came to an already-existing church, I can see the delicate nature & challenge of bringing about change.

    it is true that women’s voting, civil rights, & slavery took a long time (with much effort and sacrifice) to bring about. I understand that bringing change to a culture can be like the infinitesimal process of turning a ship around.

    Female subjugation is inhumane. The only people in America who don’t seem to realize this are Christians (some, not all). I’ve never been in a church or other environment which limited women or expected submission. I’ve only known ‘egalitarian’ ways of doing things. So I find all this shocking. that it’s considered Christian normal is shocking to me. that people embrace it or accommodate it as if it’s not that big a deal is shocking to me.

    24 years…. I could understand it taking that long for a congregation to change their eating beliefs & practice to vegan. something neutral & optional like that. waiting on God to move to bring about that kind of change seems not unreasonable.

    but female subjugation in the name of God (aka comp)? in this day & age? if it weren’t so heinous, so backward, so clearly wrong I could be more understanding.

    I guess I thought Christians were more enlightened in their sense of right & wrong. at least as enlightened as non-Christians. it’s all very disappointment to me.

    I hope my comment here is not offensive. i’m tired and not as in touch with nuances.

  328. Elizabeth wrote:

    during some commercial development in the 90’s, the area is euphemistically referred to as “Hunt Valley” now.

    Thanks! I used to live in Hunt Valley. That sounds so much better! 

  329. Stunned wrote:

    @ Remnant:
    Remnant, thank you for sharing your testimony. I appreciate when people take the time to share their path to Christ.

    Ditto for me!

  330. numo wrote:

    So… would you say it has to do with the individual 1st, as opposed to their gender?

    It is the individual more than the gender when it comes to the pastor, but it is also about what the body of the membership wants when it comes to the church as a whole. If the body of the membership do not want a woman pastor, or choose to limit her effectiveness basically because they are attuned to male leadership, or the women resent her and aren’t going to let some other woman tell them what to do, or the men just don’t take her all that seriously, or some quote scripture and bemoan the ‘trajectory’ of society and church, then it is an issue of attitudes about gender. What the woman pastor wants or can do is not the whole story. How the membership feels about all that is really huge in my thinking.

    You can lead a horse to water….
    A man convinced against his will….

  331. elastigirl wrote:

    but female subjugation in the name of God (aka comp)? in this day & age? if it weren’t so heinous, so backward, so clearly wrong I could be more understanding.

    For those of us who have been on the Female Subordinationist side and immersed in that culture, it is a little easier to understand. No justify, but understand. People of all kinds have fixed beliefs which may be false. We do not know they are false until they are tested and found to be false.

    The governing principle of conservative Evangelicals is What Has God Said? If all you have ever heard is that God Said That He Wants Men To Be The Leaders and you have had largely good experiences with male pastoral leadership, then why would someone question that, especially if there are social costs associated with questioning? One of the Bent Tree elders actually mentioned this when he talked about his own inertia on the matter. They did not perceive a compelling reason to change and only changed after examining the evidence very carefully. I think it helped tremendously that there was a very capable woman whose life and ministry they had all observed.

    For me, there was an Aha! moment when I saw the way that this belief system played out in a *particular set of personal circumstances.* After that, I could see how it played out in *other people’s personal circumstances.* Those experiences made it clear to me (though not to others) that there is something very wrong with the teaching for it to produce such very unChristian results. That had to happen for me to ever even look at the evidence which I thought was nonexistent. That sad fact does not reflect very well on my ability to think, but that is just how it is.

    Again, this does not justify it, but hopefully helps to explain it.

  332. @ okrapod:

    I am also thinking that there are currents in the rivers of thinking in the South which may contribute to the differences in thinking in this area as compared to other areas of the nation. You remember that song ‘the night they drove ole Dixie down…? Well that is misleading. ‘They’ quelled the armed rebellion but the war was predominantly about slavery, and ‘they’ did not even get it in some other values which it seems to me to be still present in the South. Hmmm, how to say this. Some people here have asked will the South rise again? No, not like that question means. What? Slavery-nobody wants that; nobody even believes in that. King Cotton-get real. A sharp division between the landed and the landless–land is no longer the criterion of wealth. But wait, differences between male and female-that has not gone away because just a whole lot of us enjoy those differences enormously and have no intention of letting anybody take that away from us. And now with a large and increasing Latino segment of the population with their ideas of gender differences I think that the idea of gender differences is here to stay. Hence, one can say lady doctor or lady pastor and that is a compliment where elsewhere it would be a slur, it means she has not forsaken that which is good about being female even though she pursues a profession and often does so successfully. These things did not go down with ole Dixie I am saying. The war was not about that. People who stand out in yard and keep chanting loudly that the war was about slavery are correct, but in saying that they may miss the fact that there are other issues not addressed by the war over slavery. And the louder they chant the more they fail to see the rest of the story. The South is not rising again because it never bent the knee on some issues.

    One more reference: the old fable about whether the wind or the sun could make the man take off his coat… The stronger the wind the more he wrapped his cloak around him.

  333. okrapod wrote:

    But wait, differences between male and female-that has not gone away because just a whole lot of us enjoy those differences enormously and have no intention of letting anybody take that away from us.

    I think we are definitely more open to the old school stuff like ‘ma’am’ and men holding open doors and carrying heavy things and killing spiders…and women having teas and wearing pretty dresses and heels. And I really am ok with that, so long as that’s just stuff we like to do, and not actually limiting.

    But I grew up here and if we were ‘comp’ in any of my childhood churches it was limited to 1. Men are pastors and 2. At some ill defined point in a marriage (maybe once every 20 years) there might need to be a tie breaker and that might be the husband. That was sort of ‘light’ comp and I never remember questioning it.

    All of this Man Jesus stuff, though? Stay at home daughters? Soap Bubble submission? That’s new. That’s weird. I think most people 20 years ago would have thought that was crazy. That was never a part of my upbringing.

  334. Lea wrote:

    All of this Man Jesus stuff, though? Stay at home daughters? Soap Bubble submission? That’s new. That’s weird. I think most people 20 years ago would have thought that was crazy. That was never a part of my upbringing.

    Oh yeah. That craziness is not remotely how I grew up either or anything that has been around long enough to have any credibility even for those who may miss that it is absurd to start with. I think that it is satanic and part of the working out of the enmity between satan and the woman.

    But like you said about doors and ma’am, that is manners and I think there is more of an emphasis on manners. I think I remember Dee saying that when she moved here she had to adjust to a new way of driving based on–and here I forget her exact words, but basically based on manners aka driving etiquette. Along that line one of the comments by Gov. McCrory in defending HB2 included an argument from etiquette-he used that word. I link some of that emphasis on manners to the image of some women after the civil war sitting amidst the material wreck of their lives sipping tea out of their proverbial last cracked tea cup. I see it as part of the culture which is still here. The cup may be cracked but great great grandmother’s cup is still there on the sideboard as an inspiration-metaphorically speaking.

    I note that you grew up here. I grew up on the other side of the mountains and moved here some 40+ years ago, which may explain why I see some things as culturally different here from there.
    And also I just read an article about the multiple nations theory of how this country is divided and how this is related to what ethnic groups settled where and what their cultural backgrounds were. It makes a lot of sense the way that theory functions.

  335. Gram3 wrote:

    The governing principle of conservative Evangelicals is What Has God Said?

    If all you have ever heard is that God Said That He Wants Men To Be The Leaders and you have had largely good experiences with male pastoral leadership, then why would someone question that, especially if there are social costs associated with questioning?

    One of the Bent Tree elders actually mentioned this when he talked about his own inertia on the matter.

    They did not perceive a compelling reason to change and only changed after examining the evidence very carefully.

    I think it helped tremendously that there was a very capable woman whose life and ministry they had all observed.

    For me, there was an Aha! moment when I saw the way that this belief system played out in a *particular set of personal circumstances.* After that, I could see how it played out in *other people’s personal circumstances.*

    Isn’t it interesting too (and frustrating and infuriating) that the males who are into complementarianism who don’t see much wrong with male-only leadership seem to gloss over false teaching by male pastors and other male Christians?

    Which is sort of odd, considering some of these pro-comp guys often engage in exposing false male teachers.

    For example, there is this Christian podcast I used to listen to by a conservative (male) Christian host and his regular thing on almost every show is to pick apart sermons by male pastors, who (in his view) teach all sorts of false, wacky things.

    On occasion, the show host will pick apart teaching or sermons by female pastors. However, this male host only brings up the gender if he’s commenting on a female preacher.

    Then you have complementarians, such as one guy who visits this blog, who glosses over male Christians who teach or fall for false teaching, yet he insists that women are more prone to deception (to teaching or believing in false teachings) – even though there are plenty of examples of male Christians who teach or believe false things too.

    Men are guilty of some of doing some of the same things women do, or fall for, but gender gets blamed for this by complementarians only if it’s a woman in question.
    And I don’t recall the Bible saying that maleness / masculinity is infallible.

    If a man is guilty of accepting, or spreading, false teaching, complementarians don’t consider his gender to be a contributing or base factor. That is a glaring double standard.

    There are several reasons as to why I finally rejected complementarianism myself, one reason of a few is that the stuff comps were teaching – even quoting the clobber verses like “I forbid a woman to teach” etc. – did not line up with the rest of the Bible, from my estimation.

    There were other instances in the Bible where God, with approval, allowed or asked women to teach or lead other men and women.

    I don’t think God is inconsistent or a hypocrite.

    1.If God is fine with a woman leading over the nation of Israel (such as Deborah), or preaching the Gospel to other people (including men – such as the women who proclaimed the risen Lord to the male disciples), or being apostles (Junia), etc., and so on…

    2. And that Jesus went against the parallel- of- his- day- complementarian (sexist) teachings to include women (which he did do)…

    ….that told me there was something wrong with the complementarian interpretations of the clobber passages.

    You may have Paul in one chapter saying something like, “I forbid a woman to teach…” but then several chapters later (or in the next book), commending a woman for her teaching.

    Or, in one verse, Paul commands women in a church to be quiet, yet, several chapters later, he may say something like, “And when a woman does speak among other Christians, she should remember to blah blah blah…” The book of Acts talks about “daughters prophesying.” (Acts 2:17)

    With complementarian interpretation, either God is contradicting himself – or something is wrong with complementarian interpretation.

  336. I often hear preachers and speakers talk about the divorce rate among Christians, and how it is roughly the same as the general population. I recall reading somewhere that the actual divorce rate is lower comma so I’m not sure if this is actually true. But I’m also wondering how much divorce amongst Christians is due to the widespread acceptance of complementarianism.

  337. Daisy wrote:

    Quoting Gram3:

    They did not perceive a compelling reason to change and only changed after examining the evidence very carefully.
    I think it helped tremendously that there was a very capable woman whose life and ministry they had all observed.
    For me, there was an Aha! moment when I saw the way that this belief system played out in a *particular set of personal circumstances.* After that, I could see how it played out in *other people’s personal circumstances.*

    Another point I wanted to make about that (but forgot in my last post).

    Re: personal experience (as detailed by women under comp), a lot of male comps are the last to notice or care.

    Tim Challies completely dismissed author Ruth Tucker’s experiences of being abused by her comp husband in her book about domestic violence, for one thing.

    I do think that comp hurts men in some ways, too, but I think it’s even more hurtful to women in various ways.

    Comp is designed so that a man can benefit from it.

    (There might be comp women who benefit from it in a manner, too, if they are the sort of women who enjoy shirking personal responsibility, then they will approve of the whole ‘the husband is responsible for all our choices and my spiritual development’ comp rhetoric.)

    But I see more negative consequences to women from comp than anything positive.

    The men largely benefit from the entire system. They appear quite ignorant of the privileges they enjoy from the male hierarchy system inherent in complementarianism.

    Men in comp don’t know what it’s like, or how frustrating or insulting it is, to be told things like,
    “No, even though you have the skill, talent and gift to do “X,” even though you may feel God calling you to do X, we won’t permit you to do X, because you were born a certain gender.”

    If the Christian church weirdly and suddenly became matriarchal over night, where men were limited and treated in a condescending manner, due to their gender, as women are under patriarchal comp, you bet most of them would then sit up and take notice – and they would suddenly care, and demand changes be made.

    The comp men in that imaginary scenario would really want the topic re-examined, they’d want interpretations that appears to support matriarchal comp. Bible verses studied more closely, etc.

    I still wish that most male comps had to live in the body of a biological woman for a time period, like Sam (male scientist) in some episodes of the sci fi TV show “Quantum Leap.”

    I have read online stories of men who pose as women on dating sites, to see what it’s like to post on a site as a woman, and they walk away terrified and disgusted at the sexism, the crude comments they get from men, and how easily their views are dismissed by men.

  338. @ GSD:

    There is one person who posts here sometime who usually has links to that information handy.

    I don’t recall of hand which pages she links to for that. This may be one of them:

    The Increasing Divorce Rate Among Southern Baptists [who advocate gender complementarianism]
    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2014/03/the-increasing-divorce-rate-among.html

    If that is not the correct page on his blog, it may be on another page on his site, one pertaining to ESS, if I am not mistaken.

    I think comp can really only work successfully in only a certain, small number of marriages. If you have a marriage where the husband is an entitled, selfish jerk, and/or an abuser, comp won’t liberate the wife, but only keep her in bondage.

    You have to have a husband who already has an egalitarian mindset, so that he and his wife functionally live in an egalitarian marriage, for a so-called complementarian marriage to really work, be loving, etc.

    Speaking of which, about a week ago, I was visiting an egalitarian site, where someone linked to a blog post by a comp woman who went on and on about how super-duper comp was for her marriage.

    One of several problems with her blog post, however, that several people picked up on, is that most of her marriage sounded egalitarian in practice.

    Yeah, I’m sure if you’re in a functionally egalitarian marriage to a guy who really cares about you, and you’re under the impression that is comp, I’m sure comp does seem to work really well, LOL. Your marriage is only nominally (in name only) complementariann.

  339. Daisy wrote:

    Comp is designed so that a man can benefit from it.

    Exactly: designed by men, about men, and for men. And, by men, I do mean the male gender – not mankind.

  340. Daisy wrote:

    I do think that comp hurts men in some ways, too, but I think it’s even more hurtful to women in various ways.

    Certainly if men are making dumb decisions (like ruining their lives and family lives financially) and their wives are too scared to confront them in an appropriate manner about it, it hurts them. It hurts them if they are unknowingly resented for lording it over their wives. It hurts them if they let their pride go to their heads or if they run off good women by being jerks. Yes, I definitely think it hurts men.

  341. Daisy wrote:

    Men are guilty of some of doing some of the same things women do, or fall for, but gender gets blamed for this by complementarians only if it’s a woman in question.

    There are people who choose to blame things like gender or race or political camp or religion or such when they need to direct attention away from people like themselves. Or when it serves their purpose of signaling their own virtue. So, I imagine it is difficult for some men when men are blamed for certain things *because they are male.* Wouldn’t it be great if people just stopped attributing either evil or virtue to people based on things which have nothing necessarily to do with evil or virtue? I think psychologists have a word for this defense, but I am blanking on it.

  342. @ GSD:

    It has been postulated that the higher divorce rate in the south is/may be linked to poverty, younger age at first marriage, lower educational achievement, and even to the lower percentage of catholics in the population.

    I am thinking that a woman in a comp marriage might tend to stick with it because she might not be in a position to support herself and her children; doubt if she has a good job.

  343. @ Gram3:

    “…People of all kinds have fixed beliefs which may be false. We do not know they are false until they are tested and found to be false.

    …If all you have ever heard is that God Said That He Wants Men To Be The Leaders and you have had largely good experiences with male pastoral leadership, then why would someone question that, especially if there are social costs associated with questioning? One of the Bent Tree elders actually mentioned this when he talked about his own inertia on the matter. They did not perceive a compelling reason to change and only changed after examining the evidence very carefully. I think it helped tremendously that there was a very capable woman whose life and ministry they had all observed.

    …Again, this does not justify it, but hopefully helps to explain it.
    ++++++++++++

    yes, it does help. I see the truth in what you’re saying.

    but i’m still amazed at the brain-deadness. and the self-centeredness. ‘They did not perceive a compelling reason to change and only changed after examining the evidence very carefully’ — it didn’t enter their minds to consider what it might be like to be excluded, to be restricted and not be allowed to reach one’s full potential, to know one’s self and one’s voice are not worthy enough to be expressed and heard and validated? to know that God has ordained it this way? it’s like they’re saying ‘well, it wasn’t bothering me, so what was the point of changing?’

    it’s fabulous, the change they’ve made. but, dang, it brings into crystal clear focus, into stark relief, with a blast of cold & pure oxygen just how dangerous a church environment is to one’s brain.
    ——–

    the social costs involved in questioning — just that by itself is a red danger light blinking on and off with jarring alarm being sounded. why is that not like ice water splashed in one’s face? to prompt a fast awakening (like Alice in Wonderland going in fast reverse back to reality)?

    i’m amazed at how mind-controlling church environments are. it seems so dangerous and unhealthy. so beneath responsible adulthood. like, adults who are highly responsible in their lives, but yet will have no compunction compromising it all in pursuit of God.

    I find it amazing that the pursuit of God is not a 100% good and healthy thing. that it’s fraught with danger like this.

    but maybe it’s because God is invisible and so other, and any human being has to ‘let go’ (of the metaphorical side of the pool) to a certain extent just to begin the process. if you’ve ‘let go’ once to give trust a chance, perhaps it’s not so hard to ‘let go’ again, into the realm of trust. letting go of our varied senses, and of scrutiny.

    maybe it’s a good idea to always maintain relationships outside of the institution, and regularly spend time talking with them. to keep one’s mind and senses exercised and fresh.

    just rambling now.

  344. okrapod wrote:

    It has been postulated that the higher divorce rate in the south is/may be linked to poverty, younger age at first marriage, lower educational achievement, and even to the lower percentage of catholics in the population.

    Usually these things work out to demographics…I wouldn’t take them as having meaning until you control for that personally. Then you might have good data.

  345. Don’t forget this. Poverty, chastity and obedience. Monasticism. All three of those ideals go way back in christian thought and practice. I don’t really see poverty as a virtue being lauded in modern day protestantism, but I sure see the other two.

  346. Gram3 wrote:

    So, I imagine it is difficult for some men when men are blamed for certain things *because they are male.*

    In most instances, especially in comp/pat circles, men use the “because they are male” argument to justify/overlook/forgive certain behaviors.

  347. elastigirl wrote:

    I guess I thought Christians were more enlightened in their sense of right & wrong. at least as enlightened as non-Christians. it’s all very disappointment to me.

    I hope my comment here is not offensive. i’m tired and not as in touch with nuances.

    Not offensive to me at all. I survived for almost 2 decades in the Calvary Chapel bubble before I escaped. Their school of ministry still does not admit women. It has nothing to do with right and wrong as regular humans know right from wrong, it’s based on what they believe to be God’s unalterable ‘Biblical’ plan for gender roles based solely on plumbing received at birth. Here’s a quote from Katharine Bushnell’s writings. She arrived at pretty much the same conclusion C.S. Lewis (and some mighty fine thinkin’ Jesuits too) did a good many years prior:

    “If we find even in the Bible anything which confuses our sense of right and wrong, that seems to us less exalted and pure than the character of God should be:
    If after the most patient thought and prayerful pondering it still retains that aspect,then we must not bow down to it as God’s revelation to us, since it does not meet the need of the earlier and more sacred revelation He has given us in our spirit and conscience which testify of him.”

  348. elastigirl wrote:

    i’m amazed at how mind-controlling church environments are. it seems so dangerous and unhealthy. so beneath responsible adulthood.

    I wish it were only church environments.

  349. Muff Potter wrote:

    “If we find even in the Bible anything which confuses our sense of right and wrong, that seems to us less exalted and pure than the character of God should be:
    If after the most patient thought and prayerful pondering it still retains that aspect,then we must not bow down to it as God’s revelation to us, since it does not meet the need of the earlier and more sacred revelation He has given us in our spirit and conscience which testify of him.”

    Lovely. Yes. I believe that is the Holy Spirit that shows us that these interpretations are wrong. And this is backed up by Jesus telling us that Love of God and Love of your neighbor are the most important things and that all law should be looked at through that prism.

  350. Nancy2 wrote:

    Gram3 is back! Gram3 is back! Gram3 is back! Wooohooo, Gram3 is back!
    Good to have you back, Gram3. We missed you

    Yeeesssssss!!!

  351. GSD wrote:

    often hear preachers and speakers talk about the divorce rate among Christians, and how it is roughly the same as the general population. I recall reading somewhere that the actual divorce rate is lower comma so I’m not sure if this is actually true. But I’m also wondering how much divorce amongst Christians is due to the widespread acceptance of complementarianism.

    The Patriarchy-teaching Southern Baptists have the HIGHEST divorce rate in the nation of all groups, higher than even atheists. That’s from a Barna study. The national divorce rate has gone down but the Southern Baptist divorce rate has not and has accelerated.

    http://www.wadeburleson.org/2014/03/the-increasing-divorce-rate-among.html

  352. Remnant wrote:

    Anyway, I respect any woman who feels her calling is to teach or preach.

    For awhile we belonged to a small church led by one woman. The fact that she was a woman was interesting but not a factor in our decision to join. It was a vibrant congregation, led with skill and close to our home.

    If a church is too small to have more than one clergy member, and the congregation plays it safe by not considering women, these ordained women will only ever be able to serve in larger churches. For good or ill, they will always be part of a ministry team and never viewed as having sole responsibility for the flock.

  353. @ Muff Potter:

    “…the earlier and more sacred revelation He has given us in our spirit and conscience which testify of him.”
    +++++++++++++

    holy crud — what a statement! I think i’ll go skipping down the street and kick my heels together every 4th skip!

    how do we get this ‘out there’? how does one generate publicity, generate a following? this is what all the cognitive dissonance is waiting to hear.

  354. Friend wrote:

    and never viewed as having sole responsibility for the flock.

    And why does any man or woman need this? I have come to the conclusion that it is not how the body is to function and is detrimental to the flock and to the person who finds themselves in this position.

  355. Velour wrote:

    The Patriarchy-teaching Southern Baptists have the HIGHEST divorce rate in the nation of all groups, higher than even atheists. That’s from a Barna study. The national divorce rate has gone down but the Southern Baptist divorce rate has not and has accelerated.

    Well, that is interesting. I wonder if that might be due, in part, to the implicit guarantee that if you follow the manual, your marriage will be great. I expect there will be increasing numbers of divorces due to this teaching. It is toxic to becoming one in Christ. And people are going to be angry that they were misled. And the daughters…

  356. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Gram3:

    and thanks for the thoughtful dialogue.

    Likewise. It is also helpful to understand that the ones making the most noise are out in the open about what they are actually teaching. Before the 90’s, “complementarianism” was much tamer. I promise, with the ascendancy of Piper and Grudem especially, the teaching on this has become much more extreme. If a woman has a good and generous and kind husband, it is much easier to ignore the creeping in of extreme doctrine. When someone has an abusive or unkind or cold husband, it is easier to see the fallacy. For me personally, an additional factor was that I never felt led to preach or teach. It did not even occur to me what it would mean to give up that calling. No excuses, but that is how I remember it.

  357. Bridget wrote:

    And why does any man or woman need this?

    I’m not sure any man or woman needs (whether you mean craves, demands, requires…) sole responsibility. To draw a parallel, there was a time when 90% of teachers where I lived were women, but every single school principal was a man. That fact sent a message about who, in each school, was qualified to bear the greatest responsibility: to guide the students’ education and answer for problems. I’m deliberately talking about responsibility–not leadership, visibility, authority, etc.

    I might be misunderstanding you, if your concern is about sole responsibility being bad for the pastor and body. Every member of the body has an important role, and all are necessary. But the role of pastor is distinct, and many churches have only one person in that role.

    I share the alarm of many on TWW about “leadership” being a distorted or false quality, overemphasized in celebrity church culture. Pastors should be selfless servants and knowledgeable guides.

  358. @ GSD:
    I don’t know all the stats but in light of your question, you may find this one interesting: a baby born to a non-married but living together couple in northern Europe is more likely to reach 18 years with her/his parents still living together than a child born to a married couple in the United States.

    I believe women in northern Europe (think Finland, Sweden, Norway) are MUCH more likely to believe in equality and independence than her American counterpart who is a little bit more likely to accept the complementarian viewpoint (though it certainly isn’t across the board in the US!) The fact that these egalitarian couples stay in a family unit in much higher numbers is interesting to me. Thought it may be to you, too.

  359. Gram3 wrote:

    If a woman has a good and generous and kind husband, it is much easier to ignore the creeping in of extreme doctrine.

    Because they are mostly ignoring the worst nonsense, likely! IE, ‘functionally egal’ marriages.

    This marriage teaching is at BEST, neutral. At worst very harmful. IT needs to be rejected.

  360. @ Stunned:

    “The fact that these egalitarian couples stay in a family unit in much higher numbers is interesting to me.”
    +++++++++++

    totally interesting to me, too. as i see it, what matters are the broad categories of things that promote health, happiness and stability:

    commitment, kindness, honesty, responsibility (those, just off the top of my head, strike me as the key categories).

    the wedding ceremony, the marriage certificate — not really important.

    the litany of religious behavioral prescriptions and prohibitions — WAY too much pressure. a recipe for misery. a ‘too many cooks spoil the soup’ kind of thing.

    i say leave people alone. and for people to relax and trust their common sense, their ability to discern what is kind, and focus on treating the other as you would want to be treated.

  361. Gram3 wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    The Patriarchy-teaching Southern Baptists have the HIGHEST divorce rate in the nation of all groups, higher than even atheists. That’s from a Barna study. The national divorce rate has gone down but the Southern Baptist divorce rate has not and has accelerated.

    Well, that is interesting. I wonder if that might be due, in part, to the implicit guarantee that if you follow the manual, your marriage will be great. I expect there will be increasing numbers of divorces due to this teaching. It is toxic to becoming one in Christ. And people are going to be angry that they were misled. And the daughters…

    I saw it happen in two SBC families. In both adultery was involved. I think it is creeping secularism in the Bible belt and elsewhere. Years ago I bemoaned the lack of involvement of families in mid week and Sunday night services, and the loss of training union (I am dating myself) and poor attendance at revival and smaller involvement in visitation. I am sure an unrealistic view of marriage is a problem, but so are secularism and the more basic description of sin. Also not all SBC are patriarchal or complementarian.

  362. If the secular world has lower cases of divorce, how can one blame secularism for the increasing divorce rate among non-secular people?

  363. Stunned wrote:

    If the secular world has lower cases of divorce, how can one blame secularism for the increasing divorce rate among non-secular people?

    Very good question I don’t have an answer to. Absent an answer Gram3 gives the best theory. You have given me something to think about.

  364. Keep in mind- any of these statistics could be way off. I mean, who’s to trust? (Jesus! But other than Him…)

  365. @ Stunned:

    Speaking of who ya gonna trust, a recent article in the BMJ shows that the third leading cause of death in the US is medical error. First heart disease, second cancer and third medical error. That is a sobering thought. So if you can’t trust your preacher and you can’t trust your health care provider/system, and your spouse is on the way out the door, and your kids have cooked their brains with stuff piped in electronically then things are pretty bad. And if you can’t trust the accuracy of the statistics or the veracity of the politicians or the safety of the food in the grocery store or purity of the water from the faucet then what have we done here?

    Wait, I know, we can trust the government to tell us what to do and to take care of us. Don’t laugh at that comment because I am old enough to have dementia so I have an excuse.

  366. okrapod wrote:

    Don’t laugh at that comment because I am old enough to have dementia so I have an excuse.

    That definitely made me laugh!

  367. Stunned wrote:

    If the secular world has lower cases of divorce, how can one blame secularism for the increasing divorce rate among non-secular people?

    Please! No logic may be applied to church life. It is not allowed. 😉

  368. Friend wrote:

    But the role of pastor is distinct, and many churches have only one person in that role.

    I don’t believe it is distinct if you mean “set apart.” I believe pastors, teachers, evangelists, and all the other gifts given (by way of people) to the church are on equal footing. The “pastor” has no more responsibility than any of the others. He/she is just one part of many.

  369. Bridget wrote:

    I don’t believe it is distinct if you mean “set apart.” I believe pastors, teachers, evangelists, and all the other gifts given (by way of people) to the church are on equal footing. The “pastor” has no more responsibility than any of the others. He/she is just one part of many.

    I agree, and appreciate your thoughtful reply. There should not be a class system in a church.

    In my current church, the clergy are probably better at maintaining an equal footing than many of the members. They really do have the hearts of servants. They listen with such understanding, kindness, and respect.

    It took me awhile to learn how to converse with them, because they want authentic relationships rather than the delicate churchy deference I had learned a bit too well. I’m willing to give credit to our senior pastor for setting a good example of this attentiveness making it a deeper part of parish life.

  370. @ Friend:
    Seems like there is so much evil going on in the mpname of God, so I just want to say that there are a few good people left in our churches.
    My husband is out of commission right now with a broken jaw and a heart rate too low for surgery on the jaw without approval from a cardiologist – we go to see the cardio today. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I tested positive for Lupus (do not have full blown Lupus, only some symptoms). Our pastor (72 years old) at our small rural church announced his retirement months ago, but is still serving the church while it seeks a new pastor. He and his daughter (a life long friend of mine – she and her husband mow yards professionally and the pastor helps than sometimes) came over and mowed our 3.8 acre yard for us last Friday.
    There are still a few good people out there who serve. This pastor is not a church leader as defined by the gospel glitterati. He is a servant, a mentor, and a true friend. God bless him and his family!

  371. Nancy2 wrote:

    Seems like there is so much evil going on in the mpname of God, so I just want to say that there are a few good people left in our churches.
    My husband is out of commission right now with a broken jaw and a heart rate too low for surgery on the jaw without approval from a cardiologist – we go to see the cardio today.

    I will be praying for both of you today. How wonderful that you have pastoral and practical care from your church… yes, there are good people out there serving, and just knowing about them helps the rest of us.

    Here is a prayer that I have found useful as a patient and as a caregiver. I hope it comforts you:

    “This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.”

  372. @ Nancy2:

    you have 3.8 acres of grass?? that’s a dream come true — coming from the land of lots so small they build upwards to get the square footage they can sell.

    i’ll bet your place is beautiful. I hope for swift healing and strength for you.

  373. @ elastigirl:
    Our yard is bounded by the road, our hay field, and my dad’s farm. We have about 80 acres in rural Southern Kentucky. Our farm is adjacent to my dad’s, my brother’s, and my cousin’s. My aunt’s farm is beside my cousin’s.
    ……………. Lots of room to ramble.,….. Woods cliffs, open fields.
    My daughter has a black and white paint American saddle horse, my niece has a pony …….
    I love it here! I’m truly blessed.

  374. Friend wrote:

    It took me awhile to learn how to converse with them, because they want authentic relationships rather than the delicate churchy deference I had learned a bit too well.

    Remember my burned-out preacher-man writing partner? I think I’m a long-distance anchor for him. I first knew him as a writer and SF/horror aficionado, not as the Preacher-Man. (As he put it once while under the pressure of always having to be The Pastor(TM), “I’m a middle-aged fat man with a bad back!”)

  375. Bridget wrote:

    Friend wrote:

    But the role of pastor is distinct, and many churches have only one person in that role.

    I don’t believe it is distinct if you mean “set apart.” I believe pastors, teachers, evangelists, and all the other gifts given (by way of people) to the church are on equal footing. The “pastor” has no more responsibility than any of the others. He/she is just one part of many.

    My church (RCC) is the classic Western-rite church whose clergy are “set apart”. I have always looked at the Pastor/Priest as a specialist within the congregation; his specialty is to administer the Sacraments (as in Mass and Confession) and provide a general leadership role.

  376. Gram3 wrote:

    I wonder if that might be due, in part, to the implicit guarantee that if you follow the manual, your marriage will be great. I expect there will be increasing numbers of divorces due to this teaching. It is toxic to becoming one in Christ.

    At the old “Church for Men” website, there was an editorial that said the same about Islam — specifically, how Islam appeals to men. A Dead-Serious religion that also guarantees that if you follow all its rules, your daughter won’t sleep around/get knocked up, your wife won’t leave you, and you’ll be protected from all the bad stuff in the surrounding kuffar culture. (No Bratz Dolls under Islam…)

  377. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    My church (RCC) is the classic Western-rite church whose clergy are “set apart”. I have always looked at the Pastor/Priest as a specialist within the congregation; his specialty is to administer the Sacraments (as in Mass and Confession) and provide a general leadership role.

    My church is like that also. In fact our rector has recently assured us that even though he will be taking on some more responsibilities due to the loss of our music director he has not forgotten where his primary responsibilities lie, especially in the sacraments. Like you say, this is a specialty position. We have other people who can do morning prayers, teach classes, direct community outreach projects and such, but the sacraments require a priest.

  378. mark wrote:

    mark on Tue May 03, 2016 at 07:09 PM said:
    Stunned wrote:
    If the secular world has lower cases of divorce, how can one blame secularism for the increasing divorce rate among non-secular people?
    Very good question I don’t have an answer to. Absent an answer Gram3 gives the best theory. You have given me something to think about.

    Well, here’s a thought. Maybe some of the secular ones are the “Dones,” who left church because it was harming their marriages. Perhaps they took with them some critical thinking skills and a willingness to question Authoritah. Those who remained in the church were willing, or coerced, to knuckle under to ever crazier demands.

    I really have no idea, but I do know that a church’s attitude about marriage has been one of my big questions when I have looked for a new congregation.

  379. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I have always looked at the Pastor/Priest as a specialist within the congregation; his specialty is to administer the Sacraments (as in Mass and Confession) and provide a general leadership role.

    Specialty is a useful word here.

  380. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    the pressure of always having to be The Pastor(TM)

    Yes. It’s a real privilege to be a friend around whom a clergy member can let his/her hair down a bit.

    One time my brother invited a chef over to his house for dinner, and the chef’s face lit up: “Nobody’s cooked for me in ten years! They’re all afraid to!” I imagine that clergy must feel somewhat the same way, when they lack plain old buddies to talk to.

  381. @ Friend:

    Stunned wrote: “If the secular world has lower cases of divorce, how can one blame secularism for the increasing divorce rate among non-secular people?”

    Mark wrote: “Very good question I don’t have an answer to. Absent an answer Gram3 gives the best theory. You have given me something to think about.”

    Friend wrote: “Well, here’s a thought. Maybe some of the secular ones are the “Dones,” who left church because it was harming their marriages. Perhaps they took with them some critical thinking skills and a willingness to question Authoritah.”
    +++++++++++++++

    and here’s what I think (quite strongly, in fact):

    unlike many Christians, people who are not religious (we’ll call them ‘secular’) never gave up their critical thinking skills to enter church culture, and are way ahead of the game.

    the marriages I have observed of the non-religious people I know (agnostic or atheist) are very successful. both partners are visibly happy, when I see them with their partners and when I see them without their partners. I observe them treat each other with kindness and respect (without regard to gender). they are not saddled with roles & overanalysis & the pressures which each of those bring.

    if anything, aside from happiness, the overriding feeling I get from them is ‘freedom’. and the only reason I think of it as ‘freedom’ is because of how it contrasts with the overbearing Talmudic world of Christian marriage. however, the concept of ‘freedom’ does not occur to my non-religious friends and family, because they’ve never known anything different. they’ve never entered a subculture of subjugation to rulesrulesrules-or-else-God-won’t-like-you-and-neither-will-we.

    furthermore, it is a 100% true statement that the agnostic and atheist people I know are more generous, more honest, more sincere, more freely compassionate, demonstrate more integrity, and are at least as kind if not more kind than any Christian I have ever known.

    please give people who are not part of the elite Christian club the credit they are due.

    Christians are “not all that”. (& I fall under the Christian category, in bare-bones-basic belief, but not in name)

  382. Having actually read most of the comments above I wonder if anyone knows of any radio stations that one can listen to that promote equality/mutuality and not the comp doctrine? Can get any station on the net in the shop.

  383. Review of Neither Complementarian nor Egalitarian: A Kingdom Corrective to the Evangelical Gender Debate
    http://www.cbeinternational.org/resources/article/review-neither-complementarian-nor-egalitarian-kingdom-corrective-evangelical?page=show

    Snippet:
    ———
    A crucial question raised by Neither Complementarian nor Egalitarian is whether it is true that equality is not central in the New Testament because “Paul talks more about not using rights than having or fighting for rights” (66). What she does not appear to understand is that loving one another entails making sure others get their rights and, sometimes, fighting for one’s own rights, to keep others from sinning by being oppressive. Preserving the rights of the downtrodden provides an example for others to follow. Reminding us all we are each humans created in God’s own image may be a first step to loving others (those who should get more rights and those who should take less rights). Reversal of positions entails not only the powerful losing their power but also the powerless obtaining power (e.g. Luke 1:52-53).[6]
    ….So did Paul insist on his rights as a Roman citizen (Acts 16:37-39; 22:25-29). If women are not equal to men, their sacrificial love has little significance. It is simply their lot in life

  384. @ elastigirl:

    I have honestly never known an atheist. I may have kmown athiests and agnostics. People from my section of country may have these beliefs, but they also may not admit to it.

    My visits to less conservative sections of the country have been a culture shock. Naked people on beaches are a shock for me. I do have my prejudices and I am socially very conservative.

    Karl Marx said that religion is the opiate of the people. He was not entirely wrong. It helps me function everyday in a hard to understand world where is so much unkindness and unexplained.

    Religious people can be cruel and conceited. There are plenty I don’t like as persons, including some that have been described on www. I have met religious folk who wouldn’t give me the time of day unless they needed something.

    The people that Jesus most criticized were religious folk. He called them hypocrites. Hypocrisy is a reason many become “dones.”

    Glad you have known so many good athiests and agnostics. I like Hannah Arendt. I don’t know if she was an atheist or an agnostic. She had many good ideas, especially her ideas on the banality of evil. I would have liked to have known her.

  385. The link I have shared above gives some reasons for the high divorce rates. Some may be related to people getting married too young in some states.

  386. mark wrote:

    My visits to less conservative sections of the country have been a culture shock. Naked people on beaches are a shock for me.

    Mark, WHERE the heck are you vacationing?! I’ve lived in the northeast my whole life and spend time in CA and FL but I have never… wait, I just remembered one in CA. Though everyone was dressed. But still, where the heck did you vacation?!

  387. @ Stunned:
    California. A gentleman took off his clothes in from of me, a friend and my friends young children and spoiled the view of the Pacific. I have never been, but a friend was vacationing in Florida and there were these naked people on the beach. There was a bikers convention and they were making moves in the nude. I heard all about it. My own personal experience is probably not all that shocking for most. Only I am from Oklahoma.

  388. @ Stunned:
    MOD: Banned topic removed.
    It was in California. I was with a friend and his young children. It spoiled the view of the Pacific. In continental Europe I understand this is much more common. I prefer people covered.

  389. @ Stunned:

    Mark wrote: “I prefer people covered.”

    Me, too!
    ++++++++++++

    time spent in Europe and with European family and friends shows me that modesty is culturally conditioned. as is ‘what is profanity’. come to think of it, many other things, too, in the realm of ‘what is right’ in the sense of ‘what is proper’.

    what is not culturally conditioned and finds agreement amongst us all, everywhere: kindness.

    my English Anglican mother-in-law is the best Christian person ever. the words at her disposal and other ways of living (which no one in her realm gives a 2nd thought to) would have her shunned & excommunicated from some churches in America.

    as a result of all this, I’ve reduced my convictions down to the vital stats: kindness, honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, Jesus is human and God who died and rose again, holy spirit is ultra-present… that about does it.

  390. elastigirl wrote:

    I’ve reduced my convictions down to the vital stats: kindness, honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, Jesus is human and God who died and rose again, holy spirit is ultra-present

    I’ve heard my Jewish friend say that a lack of KINDNESS is the greatest sin. Perhaps that understanding flows from the ‘golden rule’ relationship of treating others and we would like to be treated. But in the case of my friend, I suspect that her statement was based on the idea of God’s greatest characteristic: His ‘loving-kindness’, called ‘CHESED’, also sometimes called ‘ELEOS’ (mercy, pity, compassion)

    I think what is lacking in so many Pharisee-types among Christian fundamentalism IS ‘loving-kindness’, and it is also not much celebrated among neo-Calvinists who speak of ‘God’s Righteousness’ over His Mercy, as though His ‘glory’ had much to do with a revenge kind of ‘justice’ and very little to do with the compassion for troubled people found in the heart of Our Lord in sacred Scripture.

    Yes, I like your choice of KINDNESS, as first among the ‘essentials’ … without it, our existence becomes a very dark, fearsome one indeed

  391. @ Daisy:

    Interesting article, but I still think the focus is off. I don’t like this labeling at all, actually. “complementarian’ seems to mean anything from male pastors to Full Female Subordination and patriarchy. Why would anyone want that label?

    Egalitarian is a better word and concept and I don’t think the focus is solely on rights as the author seems to think. I misslike her focus on hierarchy. I think that’s completely anti gospel. Jesus said the first will be last/the last will be first. Become like children. His followers should be servants. We should not lord things over others like the gentiles. We are all equal in Christ. That is what we should be.

  392. Lea wrote:

    Interesting article, but I still think the focus is off. I don’t like this labeling at all, actually. “complementarian’ seems to mean anything from male pastors to Full Female Subordination and patriarchy. Why would anyone want that label?

    Not even practicing complementarians can define complementarianism! Many of them have admitted so!

  393. elastigirl wrote:

    what is not culturally conditioned and finds agreement amongst us all, everywhere: kindness.

    AMEN and AMEN! Straight out of Romans 2:12-16.
    Rabbi Hillel the elder is said to have put it this way:

    When a potential convert approached Hillel and asked to be taught the entire Torah while standing on one foot, Hillel summarized as follows, “That which is hateful to you do not do to others. All the rest is commentary. Now go and learn.”

  394. This is a secondary issue and should not be divisive in a church or organization. However, the Scriptures are clear. This is not a gray area. It is unfortunate, but BTBF, like many others, has placed culture above Scripture in their decision. It is a well motivated decision, but not a Biblically driven decision.

  395. Muff Potter wrote:

    elastigirl wrote:

    what is not culturally conditioned and finds agreement amongst us all, everywhere: kindness.

    AMEN and AMEN! Straight out of Romans 2:12-16.
    Rabbi Hillel the elder is said to have put it this way:

    When a potential convert approached Hillel and asked to be taught the entire Torah while standing on one foot, Hillel summarized as follows, “That which is hateful to you do not do to others. All the rest is commentary. Now go and learn.”

    And Hillel’s most prominent student was Gamaliel, and one of Gamaliel’s students was Saul of Tarsus, later called Paul…

  396. @ blake:
    I appreciate that you at least give them credit for being well-motivated. What is your ground from the actual texts or elsewhere for concluding that the BTBF decision is not “Biblically driven?” How do you know that? How do you know that the CBMW position is not driven by a reaction against the culture of the 60s and 70s? Or that it is not a product of a sub-sub-subculture within evangelical Christianity which should be transcultural?

  397. elastigirl wrote:

    the marriages I have observed of the non-religious people I know (agnostic or atheist) are very successful. both partners are visibly happy, when I see them with their partners and when I see them without their partners.

    I know I’ve told this on at least two older threads, but it’s one of those things that I find interesting.

    I read about a marriage counselor who mentioned the differences between Christian and atheist couples he coaches or treats, or whatever the word is.

    He says when he gives assignments to the atheist couples to work on, they do it. They come back, and they’ve made progress.

    Most of his Christian patients, though, tell him they didn’t do his homework assignments. The Christian couples told him they are trusting God to work out all their marital difficulties for them, so they just read the Bible together or pray together.

    It’s an interesting contrast. The Christians are very passive in handling their marital problems, whereas the atheist couples jump in and get to work.

    I do agree in some ways to the rest of your post.

    I find that some atheists and other sorts of Non-Christians can be more compassionate, less judgmental and easier to talk to than Christians I’ve met or known.

    On the other hand, I’ve met quite a few atheists on social media who can be very rude, and they have a knee-jerk tendency to immediately lash out in anger, or be condescending, to anyone who may be religious, or who doesn’t completely agree with atheism – even if you are stating your views in very polite ways.

  398. Lea wrote:

    misslike her focus on hierarchy. I think that’s completely anti gospel. Jesus said the first will be last/the last will be first. Become like children. His followers should be servants. We should not lord things over others like the gentiles. We are all equal in Christ. That is what we should be.

    I think that’s kind of what this was getting at, or trying to:
    9Marks of the Truly Complementarian
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2016/05/02/9marks-of-the-real-complementarian/

  399. blake wrote:

    However, the Scriptures are clear. This is not a gray area.

    They are clear about what? About what women may or may not do in marriages or in churches?
    If it was that clear, there would not be as much debate about the topic as there is.

    I am a former complementarian. I’m very familiar with that set of beliefs.

    From what I saw in their literature and years of hearing complementarian sermons, they are more influenced in how they read their Bible by secular assumptions and views about women, than by what the Bible supposedly “clearly says” about women.

    They are also driven by fear and anger about social issues.

    I’m a social conservative, but I don’t agree with complementarians that the way to deal with thorny issues of the time is to insist on complementarianism as a solution (I don’t even think the Bible supports complementarianism).

  400. Daisy wrote:

    blake wrote:
    —-
    However, the Scriptures are clear. This is not a gray area.
    ——————
    (Daisy replied):
    They are clear about what? About what women may or may not do in marriages or in churches?
    If it was that clear, there would not be as much debate about the topic as there is.

    P.S. If this stuff were clear, complementarian Wayne Grudem wouldn’t have had to write his ’85 List of Rules of What Women Can and Cannot Do.’

    And complementarians like this guy, Trueman, wouldn’t be disagreeing with other complementarians such as John Piper over what women may and may not do in secular life / career wise:
    An Accidental Feminist by Trueman
    http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/postcards-from-palookaville/an-accidental-feminist

    🙂 Even complementarians cannot agree amongst themselves on these issues, so there’s not as much clarity as you seem to think there is (assuming that is what you were referring to)

  401. @ blake:

    “However, the Scriptures are clear. This is not a gray area. It is unfortunate, but BTBF, like many others, has placed culture above Scripture in their decision. It is a well motivated decision, but not a Biblically driven decision.”
    ++++++++++

    you have summoned the word biblical, so therefore you must be right and everyone else is wrong!

    😐

    blake, my friend, at the very least acknowledge that your conclusions are based on your interpretation.

  402. Daisy wrote:

    On the other hand, I’ve met quite a few atheists on social media who can be very rude, and they have a knee-jerk tendency to immediately lash out in anger, or be condescending, to anyone who may be religious, or who doesn’t completely agree with atheism – even if you are stating your views in very polite ways.

    I’ve observed it in some of the militant atheists too. Almost a kind of atheistic fundamentalism in itself complete with a not all that subtle proselytizing current underneath it all.

  403. elastigirl wrote:

    blake, my friend, at the very least acknowledge that your conclusions are based on your interpretation.

    I’ve never seen a comp acknowledge this. They must, they must, they must be right.

  404. blake wrote:

    This is a secondary issue and should not be divisive in a church or organization.

    Blake, you must be a student of Dr. Mohler’s theological triage. He’s been trying to convince the Southern Baptist non-Calvinist majority that the things which are dividing the denomination are secondary and tertiary in the bigger scheme of things. For example, he thinks differences in how one views God’s plan of salvation (soteriology) is of secondary importance. The good doctor thinks the “whosoever wills” should make room under the SBC big tent for the “predestined elect” and go along to get along until he has a chance to fully Calvinize the SBC. I wonder what God thinks about categorizing His plan of salvation, the Cross of Christ for ALL men, as secondary importance in Christian belief and practice?

  405. Max wrote:

    He’s been trying to convince the Southern Baptist non-Calvinist majority that the things which are dividing the denomination are secondary and tertiary in the bigger scheme of things. For example, he thinks differences in how one views God’s plan of salvation (soteriology) is of secondary importance. The good doctor thinks the “whosoever wills” should make room under the SBC big tent for the “predestined elect” and go along to get along until he has a chance to fully Calvinize the SBC

    Hierarchy in churches and marriages is crucial to the “gospel, while salvation. …… ehhh, not so much?

  406. Christiane wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    this complementarian guy (DeYoung) actually has the audacity to claim that Jesus was complementarian

    And I suppose DeYoung would benefit from being reminded that even the Catholic Church realizes the honor paid to women when Our Lord sent Mary Magdalene as the ‘Apostle to the Apostles’ to announce the Resurrection to the men.

    Sometimes these proud men need to take another look at the Holy Gospels of Our Lord and hear and learn from the actual words and actions of Christ Who spoke in the very Person of God . . .

    I fear that any mention of Catholics would send a goodly proportion of these guys into an apoplexy.
    May I tell a story about my Mom? She had managed to hold her tongue (for fear of said apoplexies) for a very long time as she took notes for the various church committees, but one night she had simply had enough. When the men started babbling about how “Catholics are not-& cannot be–Christians, she snapped, “Well what are they anyhow?? Hindus??”.
    I cannot describe the silence that fell over the room.
    Honestly, I wish that LOTS of Catholics could have heard it. It was as though she had punctured their wee balloons of self-righteousness, leaving them to sputter into a corner, totally deflated bits of latex…….

  407. @ zooey111:

    now THAT was vivid! like something out of a movie. i’ll have to remember that one — in the event of a fortune cookie that says ‘an exciting career in screenwriting awaits!’

    good for your mom!

  408. Muff Potter wrote:

    I’ve observed it in some of the militant atheists too. Almost a kind of atheistic fundamentalism in itself complete with a not all that subtle proselytizing current underneath it all.

    The Fundy mindset/attitude can be applied to any belief system.

    I wonder how many of these started out as Fundy Christians and when they flipped one-eighty took their Fundy attitudes with them? Now Fundies for Atheism instead of Fundies for Christ?

    Communism begets Objectivism.
    Both just as intense, both total opposites on the surface, both identical underneath.