While male pastors continue to mishandle issues of sex abuse and domestic violence, John Piper declares that pastors in training have nothing to learn from competent women

“…those serpents! There’s no pleasing them!”~ Lewis Carroll


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John Piper holds strange and unsubstantiated views of women.

It should come as no surprise to our readers that John Piper has, once again, said something distasteful about women. Piper has a habit of taking a simple Biblical verse way beyond the original intent. He will also take a generalization and make it a mandate. In other words, all women are weaker than all men as opposed to some women may be stronger than some men.

Here are some examples.

His strange ability to make over-reaches with Biblical imperatives and cultural generalizations led Benjamin Corey to throw up his hands and write the aptly titled: John Piper: Women Not Suited For Most Jobs In The World.

Piper supports policies that apply church discipline to women who want to flee abuse.

How could one man be so out of touch with what is happening with issues of sex abuse and the mistreatment of women in the church and in society as a whole?

Does John Piper have any handlers who could suggest he not inadvertently demonstrate his inability to be sensitive to women? The recent abuse allegations against Andy Savage at Highpoint Church and the embarrassing response on the part of both Savage and Chris Conlee demonstrate a dangerous lack of understanding about the issues surrounding abuse. John Piper’s own church has been excoriated for their policy of excommunicating women who have been victims of domestic violence, a policy seemingly endorsed by Piper.

When Natalie came to the conclusion that the leadership at Bethlehem Baptist was not willing to truly support her, and instead wanted her to remain married to her emotionally abusive spouse, she left the church and requested they remove her from church membership. This letter was their response. Natalie was excommunicated from Bethlehem Baptist Church.

Here is a screen shot of the letter that this women received from the hands of men who do not think they have anything to learn from women.

This Pastor Steddon, a John Piper clone, was obviously ill trained by men in seminary and then equally surrounded by clueless men on his elder board. They chose to discipline an abused woman! Yep, men like him don’t need no woman telling him what too do. He knows his Bible, doesn’t he?

Of course, his mentor, Piper, is the one who said a woman should endure domestic abuse for just an evening. His clarifications made things even worse. The response of his church to domestic abuse tells the true story.

John Piper supports ands befriends men like CJ Mahaney who desperately mismanaged sex abuse within his ministry.

According to Baptist News Global:

One leading voice in a popular resurgence of Calvinism lent support to another Feb. 17 by showing up in the pulpit of a pastor accused in a lawsuit of covering up sexual abuse and facing leadership challenges in an eroding church-planting network that he leads.

I chose to be here,” Piper said at the beginning of an hour-long sermon webcast. “Nobody forced me.”

Alluding to Mahaney, who was off-camera and moments earlier introduced the morning’s preacher, Piper quipped: “He’s a pretty persuasive guy, but I really, really wanted to be here, and therefore the opportunity arose and I snatched it, and I’m thankful for it.”

Piper said he is excited about Mahaney’s church plant and supports Sovereign Grace and “what God is doing in it across the country and around the world.” But he said his “most emotionally significant” reason to be there was his personal bond with Mahaney.

“He is my friend,” Piper said. “He has meant a lot to me over the years, both at the encouragement level of preaching and professional life — though nobody in ministry is a professional — but even more at the personal, family level of caring.”

John Piper has a problem when it comes to understanding child sex abuse and domestic violence. That problem is made worse by the fact that he doesn’t believe that women can teach men who are going to be pastors. It is further compounded by the fact that he doesn’t think competency has anything to do with teaching. Simply put, John Piper is a victim of his own skewed view of the Bible and this has serious implications for women and children in the church.

His statement on women professors

At Desiring God: Piper declared that women cannot teach men who are training to be pastors.

Let me put it another way in the form of a question. If it is unbiblical to have women as pastors, how can it be biblical to have women who function in formal teaching and mentoring capacities to train and fit pastors for the very calling from which the mentors themselves are excluded? I don’t think that works. The issue is always that inconsistency. If you strive to carve up teaching in such a way that it’s suitable for women, it ceases to be suitable as seminary teaching.

His argument becomes dangerous for women when he says that COMPETENCE is never the issue in the seminary or the church.

Read this carefully.

So a closing word. The issue, as always, is not the competence of women teachers or intelligence or knowledge or pedagogical skill. It’s never competence! That’s not the issue in the home or in leadership. It’s not the issue in church leadership. It’s not the issue in seminary leadership.

The issue here at the seminary level is largely the nature of the seminary teaching office. What do we aim for it to be? Is it conceived as an example and model and embodiment of pastoral vision, or not? That will lead us in how we staff our seminary faculty.

Do you understand what he is saying? Competence is not a factor in determining who leads a church or a seminary. It boils down gender. I am beginning to see why men who attend seminary can cause such harm to women. Read on.

“If it is unbiblical to have women as pastors, how can it be biblical to have women who function in formal teaching and mentoring capacities to train and fit pastors for the very calling from which the mentors themselves are excluded?”

“I don’t think that works. The issue is always that inconsistency. If you strive to carve up teaching in such a way that it’s suitable for women, it ceases to be suitable as seminary teaching.”

Sadly, Denny Burk, head of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, seems to agree with Piper that competences is not the issue. He quoted from two seminary presidents who do not seem to be concerned about competence as well. As long as they are male, everything should be just fine.

Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote:

“We have identified certain positions that closely parallel the office of the pastor, the elder, the overseer, that we would only look to call and hire men for those particular areas. Those areas include preaching, pastoral ministries, theology, and biblical studies. I could not imagine that we would hire a woman to sit in one of those professorial positions as an instructor over men.”

Likewise, Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, responded:

“We believed it was right in accordance with biblical teaching that the faculty members who would model the pastorate in the teaching of disciplines specifically for pastors would be qualified by Scripture to be pastors. This was not just an abstract theory. This also was what was advised to us in terms of the necessity of specifying which teaching positions must in all cases be qualified in this manner. So we defined all teaching positions in the school of theology as of necessity to be pastor-qualified.”

Burk claims that seminaries exist to train men for being pastors in churches. Therefore women are not needed or wanted.

There were others who answered similarly, but you get the gist. All of these answers presume not only a certain job description for the theology professor but also a certain purpose for the theological seminary. The seminary exists to serve churches, and for that reason their primary mission is (or at least should be) the training of pastors for churches. In the core pastoral disciplines (preaching, pastoral ministries, theology, and biblical studies), the best approach is to employ professors who qualify for the pastoral office.

Churches are usually made up of 60% women and 40% men. The lack of training for male pastors by competent females is dangerous and potentially harmful for women and children in the church.

I have been blogging about abuse in church for almost 9 years. We have discussed the mistreatment of children and women by male pastors for most of those 9 years. The recent response of the male leadership at Highpoint Church, a member of The Gospel Coalition, was disastrous and has caused the entire world to ask what in the world is going on with the male pastors who do not understand how to competently respond to such a matter.

John Piper and Denny Burk are huge cheerleaders of The Gospel Coalition. They are also huge supporters of CJ Mahaney who presided over one of the worst sex scandals to every hit the evangelical community. They appear to be tone deaf when it comes to issues of abuse.

I contend that the lack of female wisdom for pastors in training has contributed to the incompetent responses to reported abuse by groups of men and pastors such as:

  • The Gospel Coalition
  • 9 Marks
  • Acts 29
  • John Piper
  • Ligon Duncan
  • Mark Dever
  • Al Mohler
  • Matt Chandler

Does anyone remember Al Mohler’s heartless joke about the controversy over sex scandals in Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries of Churches or whatever they want to call it?

Did you know that these all male only leaders (no women involved) will once again be honoring CJ Mahaney at T4G 2018 by giving him a coveted speaker role?

It is astonishing that these men have no idea of how badly they are perceived by everyone with half a heart and an understanding of the pain of abuse.

The inbred incompetence of an all male seminary

Men miss out when they do not have women professors to teach men how to minister to women. Missio Alliance posted Why I Needed Women Seminary Professors: A Response to John Piper by Dennis Edwards.

Women professors can give wisdom for pastoral duties

As is true with most pastors, over the years I’ve ministered to women. Along the way I made some mistakes in how I communicated concerns to some women and often relied upon my wife—who was not a seminary graduate—to help me navigate that terrain. While my wife’s help was invaluable, I believe that the wisdom of a woman seminary professor would have helped me to be even better prepared to minister to women in my church. I gained insights from my wife and other women along the way, but seminary professors are typically skilled at providing information in a more systematic and not just anecdotal or idiosyncratic way.

Woman professors can help male students be more humble

Remember the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5? He was the commander of the army of the king of Aram who suffered from leprosy. It was an Israeli slave girl who served Naaman’s wife that said the soldier should see the prophet Elisha. Elisha told Naaman to wash himself seven times in the Jordan River. You might recall that Naaman took offense at that command, figuring that he could have been cured by the wave of a hand, or by washing in a better river than the Jordan. It was Naaman’s servants who convinced him to wash in the Jordan and of course, when he did, Naaman was healed. Part of the lesson for Naaman was to learn humility. God’s healing work came not just through the prophet Elisha, but also through the promptings of slaves: an Israeli girl and Naaman’s personal servants—and also through the humble Jordan River.

When men, who hold a privileged position in the world, humble themselves to receive teaching from women, they are learning to be like Christ, whose humility we celebrate (Phil 2:6-8). And my experience as a seminary student—and also as a seminary professor—is that a good many men in seminary could benefit from lessons in humility.

The bottom line is quite clear. There is nothing in the Bible that says men have nothing to learn from skilled women. The mere fact that these seminaries isolate men from the clear thinking of competent females has led to a blatant disregard to sex abuse in the church. Only men who have ben isolated from the clear thinking of smart women could be vapid enough to support CJ Mahaney, stay quiet in the face of abuse and punish women who flee their abusive husbands. They are dumb because they blatantly ignore the gifts of wisdom given by the Holy Spirit to women as well as men. These men have turned their backs on 60% of the blessings of the Holy Spirit.

Men, not only can you learn from women, you must learn from women or the CJ Mahaneys, Chris Conlees and Andy Savages of the world will become the face of men in the church for the world. That is a frightening thought, indeed.


Comments

While male pastors continue to mishandle issues of sex abuse and domestic violence, John Piper declares that pastors in training have nothing to learn from competent women — 437 Comments

  1. How long is it before these men, these Pipers, these Akins, these Mohlers, say that women are not competent to lead in any field? I work in technology for an evil too big to fail bank. Right now, at present, my manager is a woman. Her manager is a woman, her manager is a woman and her manager (chief information officer) is a woman. In technology. Where we have to know how things work so we can resolve issues and provide guidance on how to have a technical environment free from problems.

    I cannot even imagine how a man trained under a Piper, an Akin, a Mohler, could even fit in our environment. I am pretty darn sure there is someone from my employer who sits and listens to the anti-woman drivel being preached at Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis on Sundays, and it makes me unhappy. I certainly hope I don’t come across one of these guys who listens to Piper clones and who thinks that just because I have two XX chromosomes, I am somehow not competent at my job.

    I want to say that my amoral, secular, evil, too big to fail employer handles issues involving women better than people like Piper, Akin and Mohler. Seriously. It’s a waste of human capital to say that women aren’t competent. I wish the Pipers, Akins and Mohlers of the Evangelical churchy world could see that.

  2. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Where we have to know how things work so we can resolve issues and provide guidance on how to have a technical environment free from problems.

    Feedback in any system updates for an improved system, and in the case of people, for the Common Good.

    But then, maybe women aren’t people, or are a subclass, at the very least, a subordinate class?

    Come the day when any of these brave, valiant men, walking with the leadership of the world on their shoulders, suffer medical/physical issues in aging, and their wives step up, along with all of the other women in healthcare, God bless them but their theory will fail them.

    (No atheists in foxholes, no complementarians in hospice.)

  3. JYJames wrote:

    But then, maybe women aren’t people, or are a subclass, at the very least, a subordinate class?

    Unfortunately in many churches today, women only have value if they are married and dutifully submit to their husbands and have babies. And heaven forbid if you choose to work outside the home. Oh no, a woman only has worth if she stays at home and home schools all her children. Those of us who have chosen to remain single and work hard to better ourselves in our chosen career fields are not seen as valuable because we’re not fulfilling our biblical duty as wife and mother. With this type of view on women, it’s no wonder that so many men are adamantly against having women in any kind of position of leadership or instruction.

  4. Ricco wrote:

    No matter what you are thinking about doing, don’t worry, John Piper has a rule for that

    Never mind John Piper …… there are laws against doin’ what I’m thinkin’ bout doin’ right now.

  5. all this anti-woman philosophy in the name of God is so very tiring, so deeply hurtful, so utterly crushing…. it’s just intolerable.

    reading the comments from a few posts over at Jesus Creed has left me so demoralized. the posts were very encouraging — it’s some of the responses.

    it’s not that the comments are unkind or misogynistic. it’s listening to men analyze any-woman’s fate like she’s a plant specimen or animal specimen. like a test subject in a science experiment being given various treatments of biblical.

    trying to find the formulation that is least harmful to any-woman but still biblical in these analytical experiments. any-woman don’t really matter. what really matters is the biblical.

    and then any-woman (& her allies) are chastised for responding with anything other than thoughtful.

    at least i give the commenters-in-lab-coats a speck of credit for their benevolence.

    which is more than Dr. Piperstein and his Igor-DennyBurk deserve, as they throw biblical acid on any-woman in their experiments for the strongest, most potent biblical formulation.

    any-woman don’t matter. she’s just a life form to be managed. it’s the biblical that is everything. decided by the men, in the hands of the men.

  6. To cleanse the palate:

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/26386/walsh-churches-matt-walsh

    Matt Walsh is very angry with you, America.

    On a serious note, I used to read stuff like this article and Piper’s weirdness and just mindlessly agree. I think it was because I had bought into the culture war narrative that we were headed towards ruin unless we yell at some liberals or something. The circumstances that have liberated me from this have been intensely painful and I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy, but I’m thankful that I’m learning to not see every issue as an us versus them battle.

  7. Decades of being a church member and walking away has left me with one opinion…. seminaries are dangerous institutions which are teaching unbiblical philosophies. They are not of God. This isn’t a male/female issue only. Men like Piper have made it so. But it is far bigger. The Gospel is not understood. It is not taught. And graduates who go on to be pastors are leading people over cliffs of eternal damnation. I believe that is the most important fact.

  8. @ Ricco:

    I’m sorry that you had horrible things to face, Ricco. It is tragic when churches abuse beloved sheep.

    I sometimes see unbelievers displaying more of the Fruit of the Spirit than people who call themselves Christians.

  9. How many times did Andy Savage say he sought the counsel of “wise men” in the aftermath of his assault on Jules?

    He sought men’s “wise” counsel in the immediate aftermath – and was thrown a going away party.

    He sought men’s “wise” counsel in December 2017, after Jules sent him an email. “Wise” male counselors told him to ignore Jules.

    He sought men’s “wise”‘counsel in January after Amy and Dee blogged Jules’ testimony. Andy read his profoundly pathetic statement (won’t cal it an apology) in church and received a standing ovation for his troubles.

    Andy, with the advice of “wise” male counsel, then went on the radio show of his buddy, Ben Ferguson, where he was given freedom to spin his corrupted version of events.

    All this “wise” male counsel from male pastors and not one word of true wisdom.

  10. John Piper seems unable to distinguish between teaching theology (in college) and doctrine (in church) . For a self-proclaimed teacher in the church he doesn’t even seem able to differentiate between doctrine and theology, preferring instead to confuse complementary gender roles with misogynistic authoritarianism. He might learn from the late Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones who explained the difference in his book ‘Great Doctrines of the Bible’ and warned of the dangers of confusing the two.

    “I am not going to give a series of lectures on theology. I wonder whether that comes as a surprise prise to anybody? I wonder whether anybody thought, `Well, surely, you cannot lecture on biblical doctrines without giving lectures on theology!’ I suggest to you that the two things are not the same, and it is important that we should know the difference as we contemplate this series of addresses. We must of necessity confine ourselves to what the Bible says and to what the Bible alone says. Now theology does not do that; it takes them in a wider field. Theology starts by saying that God has not only revealed Himself in the Bible, but in history. He reveals Himself experimentally in experience, ence, and theology says that before it gives you biblical doctrine, biblical dogma, it must take into consideration these other aspects of revelation. Of course, theology includes that as well, but theology includes more than the Bible….Also, though, as I have said, it is not that I do not believe in theology, yet I do want to say, in passing, that we must remember that there is a danger in connection with theology. The moment you bring in philosophy and speculation, and your own thoughts and human reason, you are beginning to do something that may be dangerous, not of necessity, but it may be.”

  11. 1. There’s nothing in the Bible about seminaries.
    2. Therefore there’s nothing in the Bible about who should teach in seminaries.
    3. John Piper has an opinion that women shouldn’t teach in seminaries.
    4. John Piper’s opinion CAN’T be based on Scripture since the Bible is silent on this.
    5. John Piper’s opinion IS based on his assumptions not ANY sound hermeneutical principle.
    6. Therefore John Piper’s opinion should not be quoted as authoritative. (He’s actually undoing the very 500 year old Reformation that he cherishes.)
    *You can also make a case that the current church model in America is nowhere to be found in the NT.
    **The really sad part of Piper is that he is so widely quoted. There are plenty of strange opinions out there but they don’t get quoted like Piper’s.
    ***From my understanding of the writings of Calvin, he would distance himself from those leading this so-called “resurgence of Calvinism.”
    ****Question for Piper: Can/should women teach men neurosurgery, engineering, abstract algebra, physical chemistry, literature?

  12. @ Lowlandseer:

    Thank you for sharing this quote from Lloyd-Jones. I will be meeting soon with a young man who is captivated by Theology and philosophical apologetics. I fear he has lost the experiential in the pursuit of the experimental.

  13. Having a degree in missions from a Christian university and then gone to seminary, both conservative nigh fundamentalist, I can be quite honest in saying that there are many male professors who are crap. I think there were a good number who got their positions by nepotism and/or connections, and not because they were worthy.

    I did have one woman teach in the religion department, though she was not a professor. And what was her class about? Being a proper wife to “support your husband in missions through cooking and cleaning”. It kinda sucked. Especially since in my class of 12, there were only 2 guys. Seminary wasn’t much better (and I believe the reason my program was dropped before I could finish). I don’t know where these mysterious husbands were going to come from, but they certainly weren’t coming from those schools. Why would you want to struggle as a missionary barely making ends meet when you might have a cushy six figure income working 20 hours a week in a US church?

    Even if they did start bringing in some women, it wouldn’t solve the problem in evangelical Christianity of this rotten celebrity pastor worship. And those schools and seminaries would still hire men because they were related to someone else, not because they were the best.

  14. ION: Sport

    … and on this occasion, the sporting news is less tangential to the topic than usual, as Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki battled out an epic Australian Open final this morning (UK time), with Liverpool-supporting Wozniacki prevailing 76(2) 36 64 in a shade under 3 hours. Both women had saved match points on the way to the final, the first time this has happened in an open-era Slam; both battled through injury and 40-degree heat in the final itself, which was a compelling match throughout.

    (Just imagine how good a match it could have been if only there had been a small, pasty middle-aged man present to opine that Wozniacki’s win was God’s punishment for homosexuality in Halep’s native Romania, before fleeing Melbourne under threat of persecution.)

    So, Roger and Marin have a hard act to follow tomorrow.

  15. I thought of this angle too. If you tell men, in general, not to listen to women that filters down. You tell them in church you tell them in school…and then when women or girls tell true things men don’t want to hear? How easy it to dismiss them?

    I have no patience for this kind of thinking.

  16. t’s never competence! That’s not the issue in the home or in leadership

    This is mind boggling but it is really the only way to go if you realize that women are not actually stupid. I almost respect it as a position for being honest but it is still an incredibly dumb Thing to say. But is there any doubt that churches that follow piper have left competence behind?

  17. elastigirl wrote:

    trying to find the formulation that is least harmful to any-woman but still biblical in these analytical experiments

    Excellent way to describe this line of thinking.

    It’s better than the people who just throw out a verse from Timothy as if that solves the matter but still. I’ve rejected it all. Simplest.

  18. “Piper has a habit of taking a simple Biblical verse way beyond the original intent.” (Dee)

    That’s the only way that Piper et al. can justify New Calvinist belief and practice. They have butchered the Pauline epistles to support their theology.

  19. “The inbred incompetence of an all male seminary”

    … will soon lead to an all male church at this rate! The Achilles heel of the New Calvinist movement may very well be when female believers ensnared by this aberrant expression of Christianity rise up en masse to declare “Wait just a darn minute here!” and start dragging their sorry husbands and boyfriends out of this mess. In Christ, there are no distinctions of race, class or gender. The only “complementarian” practice we need in church is for every believer – male and female – to complement each other with their individual spiritual gifts to fulfill the Great Commission together. Without that, a church stands incomplete before God and will not experience His presence.

  20. Let me tell you what about seminaries.
    Worse place I was ever in my life. I joke not. I’ve taught in an inner-city school. I’ve taught in a dirt-poor rural school. BOTH were better than the seminary.
    In seminary the professors treated me( us) worse than undergrads.( of the dozens I had, two I respected and talk about today, and they were “purged” actually they were forced into retirement.) There were people( students) who I wonder why are still pastors, and many are running big churches.
    Now I know other people’s experiences were different, but I mine was awful, just awful.

  21. So Mr. Piper, if you are stopped by a woman cop, do you not listen to her and drive off? Do you not want a woman cop saving your life in a hostage situation? Or if you are very sick and in the hospital and you have a woman doctor – do you demand another male doctor that is less competent? Do you not want a female fire fighter to save your house from burning down when your loved ones are in it? The list goes on and on. I personally don’t care if you are man or a woman, I just want the best person for the job. I don’t care if you are red, black, white, or any other color, you saved my life, and that’s what matters. My late father cheered on his granddaughter when she became an ordained minister. He listened to the wise counsel of my sister and many other women in his lifetime. Mr. Piper, I feel sorry for you. You are missing out on so many things the women of this world have to offer you. Shame on you.

  22. Steve wrote:

    1. There’s nothing in the Bible about seminaries.
    2. Therefore there’s nothing in the Bible about who should teach in seminaries.
    3. John Piper has an opinion that women shouldn’t teach in seminaries.
    4. John Piper’s opinion CAN’T be based on Scripture since the Bible is silent on this.
    5. John Piper’s opinion IS based on his assumptions not ANY sound hermeneutical principle.
    6. Therefore John Piper’s opinion should not be quoted as authoritative. (He’s actually undoing the very 500 year old Reformation that he cherishes.)
    *You can also make a case that the current church model in America is nowhere to be found in the NT.
    **The really sad part of Piper is that he is so widely quoted. There are plenty of strange opinions out there but they don’t get quoted like Piper’s.
    ***From my understanding of the writings of Calvin, he would distance himself from those leading this so-called “resurgence of Calvinism.”
    ****Question for Piper: Can/should women teach men neurosurgery, engineering, abstract algebra, physical chemistry, literature?

    Good question. Piper mght oppose, just because….

  23. I hope I can be understood here…but if you don’t believe in women in a pastoral role it does not mean you don’t value them as a result. Piper sees women as not worthy of respect and he tramples on them with his words and his defense of mahaney is disgusting. But it’s my view that you can still call out abuse and value women and still believe that the pastoral role is reserved for men. But it seems that the men who believe in limited teaching roles for men go waaaaay overboard and just become mysogenists like Piper. That’s really sad and I do believe the world sees and laughs. It seems like it’s one extreme or the other. I am appalled that these men tolerate abuse in the church. We need more male pastors.. .since they only listen to men…to call them out by name.

  24. Abigail wrote:

    I hope I can be understood here…but if you don’t believe in women in a pastoral role it does not mean you don’t value them as a result. Piper sees women as not worthy of respect and he tramples on them with his words and his defense of mahaney is disgusting. But it’s my view that you can still call out abuse and value women and still believe that the pastoral role is reserved for men. But it seems that the men who believe in limited teaching roles for men go waaaaay overboard and just become mysogenists like Piper. That’s really sad and I do believe the world sees and laughs. It seems like it’s one extreme or the other. I am appalled that these men tolerate abuse in the church. We need more male pastors.. .since they only listen to men…to call them out by name.

    If they were open to the truth then it wouldn’t matter who calls them out. They are closed.

  25. What I learned from reading hundreds of pages of John Piper books is that he’s obsessed with whether women are submissive enough. Obsessed to the point of telling battered wives to focus on being submissive right in the middle of abuse.

    When training future pastors—Piper teaches that women have to focus on being submissive to every guy in every situation even down to the “the most casual relationship with a STRANGER on the STREET.” (Recovering p. 44)

    When Rachel Dehollander boldly stood in that courtroom, imparting wisdom to a wide audience of both men and women—would Piper’s philosophy have told her to focus on whether she was being “submissive” enough to not “offend” Nasser’s sense of masculinity?

    That’s the kind of insanity that Piper teaches in the book that’s used to train many future pastors in seminary. If anyone doesn’t believe Piper actually said that—here’s the actual quotes:

    https://www.amazon.com/review/R2VX1SIIUS1IIM/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1433537125

  26. @ Abigail:

    “if you don’t believe in women in a pastoral role it does not mean you don’t value them as a result.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    i’m sure this is true. yet if one can value someone and yet discriminate against them, women’s value is of necessity limited.

  27. Abigail wrote:

    I. I am appalled that these men tolerate abuse in the church. We need more male pastors.. .since they only listen to men…to call them out by name.

    You don’t understand, there are SO many ministers who see women as second class citizens, in the nation, in the church, in life.
    “Cook my supper, raise my kids, give me ‘relations.'” All while weighting 110lbs, looking like a model from Pl*yb*y, acting like a demon in bed, a saint in public, especially at church….never questioning the authority of the man.

  28. Things are changing…

    I have a degree in engineering (GaTech), masters in theology (Dallas Sem) and PhD in historical theology.

    Yet, I have only had one female professor, Dr. Annabelle Jenkins, who taught me English at Ga Tech. She insisted that we say Yes Ma’am to her at all times.

    Of these schools (while I attended) females were scarce. Ga Tech had 200 female students, and the two seminaries were all male.

    One of the joys of ministry was working on a church staff with Vicky Kraft, one of the pioneers of women’s ministries. She was a great voice for women in ministry.

    https://www.dts.edu/alumni/read/2015-distinguished-alumni-service-award–vickie-kraft/

  29. @ Lea:

    “It’s better than the people who just throw out a verse from Timothy as if that solves the matter but still. I’ve rejected it all. Simplest.”
    ++++++++++++

    yes, at least they are actually thinking about it, trying to make the algebraic equation work.

    but, goddammit i’m a human being, not a variable to be used to solve for biblical.

    it’s ridiculous. i’m so surprised that so many otherwise decent christian people are blind to it. in this silly religion of mine, biblical is all that matters. not how people are treated. not the indignities they have to endure.

    (and make no mistake, kind smiles and the words “love” and “care for” do not negate the indignity — make it all the more painful)

    it’s like this line out of The Owl & The Pussycat: “I may be promiscuous but I am not a prost|tute!”

    “I may deny women opportunities but this is not discrimination.”

    😐

    it is crystal clear to me that the god of (large swaths of) “christianity” is the bible.

  30. I am from the UK. I have been living here for nearly ten years. I still have culture shock. In my conservative evangelical church in the UK we were ministered to by male and female pastors, male and female deacons and elders etc. I went to seminary where men and women were in leadership although there were some who were complementarian and some who were egalitarians – all under the same roof! The President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain is Rev Diane Tidball, a long time pastor and teacher of the conservative evangelical Baptist communion . Her husband, Rev Dr. Derek Tidball, is also a paastor and the former principal of the London School of Theology.I mention this only because over here to be conservative seems to preclude leadership for women, an extraordinary position to take as there are differing interpretations of the texts dealing with these issues. I have read Piper’s comments with absolute amazement. I was aware of Mohlers position as he urged the seminary of which he is president of any dissenting voices pretty early on. The recent abuses which have been uncovered relate to the power needs of such men and becuase of their twisted views they should be avoided at all costs. The first Baptist church in England under Thomas Helwys in the 1700’s had women deacons even then as the founders of the Baptist movement clung to the priesthood of all believers. The later Particular Baptists took on Calvinism and of course made sure no women had leadership roles.
    It is difficult for my husband and I to find churches where women and men are viewed equally but we soldier on.

  31. Having been formally excommunicated once, and functionally excommunicated from another church, from personal experience, I hope those that have the excommunication letters realize that their chances of meeting Jesus are probably greater outside the walls of the places that have rejected them than inside those walls.

    Sometimes, a more meaningful affirmation of your faith and value can be found in those who decline to love you. The likelihood is that the place that is excommunicating you has already functionally excommunicated Jesus.

  32. @ Grainne:

    “I am from the UK. I have been living here for nearly ten years. I still have culture shock.

    …over here to be conservative seems to preclude leadership for women, an extraordinary position to take as there are differing interpretations of the texts dealing with these issues. I have read Piper’s comments with absolute amazement.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    you still know what fresh air is like.

    not so with the american christian masses huddled in their stuffy american tents, breathing each other’s exhales. their brains befuddled from lack of oxygen.

  33. elastigirl wrote:

    how are things changing?

    Ga Tech has (37%) female students; Dallas has (35%) female students; Westminster, Philadelphia has (23%) female students. DTS and WTS (Philadelphia) have female faculty, DTS especially.

  34. @ drstevej:

    DTS and WTS (Philadelphia) have female faculty, DTS especially
    +++++++++++++++++

    encouraging trends. are there limitations imposed on the female faculty as to what they can teach? what leadership roles are open to them?

  35. @ Steve:
    On your question for Piper, from what he’s said in other areas (like women shouldn’t be police officers, etc.), I would guess the safe answer to be “no”.

  36. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Abigail:

    “if you don’t believe in women in a pastoral role it does not mean you don’t value them as a result.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    i’m sure this is true. yet if one can value someone and yet discriminate against them, women’s value is of necessity limited.

    It’s that doublespeak HUG is known for quoting. I experienced that in our former church, where women and their value were extolled to the high heavens, even as their “role” became increasingly restricted.

    We were so incredibly valuable that we were literally good for nothing (of substance).

    We were told that we were doing the most important job in the world: bearing and raising the next generation. This was to make us contented with our lot and keep us from noticing everything we were missing and that we were effectively locked out from all the opportunities and rich satisfaction of using our God-given gifts in any way other than a heavily constrained way.

    Somehow it makes me think of the practice of foot-binding, though I would never want to minimize that terrible custom.

  37. “The inbred incompetence of an all male seminary”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    or all-male elder board. or all-male pastor group. or all-male teacher group.

    women are keenly aware of so many things, on so many different levels. All at the same time.

    when that depth and breadth of awareness is kept out, well… you get what you get.

    how foolish.

  38. From the blog:

    I contend that the lack of female wisdom for pastors in training has contributed to the incompetent responses to reported abuse by groups of men and pastors such as:
    The Gospel Coalition
    9 Marks
    Acts 29
    John Piper
    Ligon Duncan
    Mark Dever
    Al Mohler
    Matt Chandler

    TGC put together a good list of supporting cast: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/jared-c-wilson/top-125-influences-gospel-centered-movement/. I don’t know every name on the list and I don’t know if all of them are as extreme as the ones listed above (some are even more extreme), or whether some names even belong on the list (e.g., #124 Eugene Peterson). In any case, this list provides a good running start for those who want to know who are the key figures in this movement.

  39. @ Max:
    I really wish they would rise up en masse, but to be honest, I don’t see it happening. It’s like they’ve all been put under a spell. Well-meaning people with the best of intentions, wanting only that someone would help them to figure out how to honor God in their lives and actions…
    They need the scales to fall from their eyes, and short of a mass miracle, I’m not hopeful.
    I don’t believe in mass miracles so much as I used to.

  40. JYJames wrote:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-young-evangelicals-metoo_us_5a6b614ee4b0ddb658c608b3

    Huffpo featured another article about the Standing Ovation today, and the comments so far focus on how evangelicals treat women.

    From the article: “Placing the abuser at the center of the story alters the course of action for those around him and the institution that employs him, making the priority forgiveness for his sins rather than justice for her injury.”

    I don’t think the congregation at Highpoint fully realize how damaging the “standing ovation heard ’round the world” was to Mr. Savage and their church. That spontaneous response to his confession of a god-awful sin painted a picture of a church membership with their priorities running amiss. Strange days in the American church when cults of personality applaud fallen leaders.

  41. Pastor Lydia Little, forgotten mentor of C.J. Mahaney, passed away in 2016:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/notable-deaths-in-the-washington-area/2016/09/14/fe46c036-76ce-11e6-b786-19d0cb1ed06c_story.html

    “Lydia Little, 86, a religious teacher and counselor who in the 1970s organized and led an evangelical Bible study movement for teenagers called TAG (Take and Give), died Aug. 25 at an assisted-living center in Olney, Md…Her work as a founder and leader of TAG began as a Sunday school teacher…By the end of the decade, TAG weekly meetings were drawing as many as 1,500 teenagers for worship and teaching…TAG ceased operations in 1979. Afterward, she was assistant pastor and counselor at Halpine Baptist Church in Rockville.”

    [the TAG (Take and Give) Bible studies began in 1970, Mahaney started attending in 1972]

  42. Max wrote:

    cults of personality

    Lookin’-good-leadership to follow after down the road to “success” –

    As opposed to following Jesus:

    For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
    And like a root out of parched ground;
    He has no stately form or majesty
    That we should look upon Him,
    Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

    He was despised and forsaken of men,
    A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
    And like one from whom men hide their face
    He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53.2-3, NASB)

  43. @ refugee:

    yes, double-speak. i’ve encountered it, too. at my previous church, the staff were the most excellent human beings. the pastor came from TEDS. Very educated, very high standards. Very compassionate, level-headed.

    and yet totally blind to the contradictions of his beliefs (or perhaps half-formed ideas he bought into because of the celebrity who was peddling them).

    some kind of nerve damage where he couldn’t even feel the tension of the contradiction. (i felt it — hell, i was shackled because of it — the consequence of that tension)

    i could almost hear his thoughts go bzzzzzzt bzzzzzzt pft as they short-circuited before reaching cognition of the dissonance that was there in his mind as it held opposing ideas.

    but the sweet smile didn’t shut off.

    he had good intentions. and yet there is the law of unintended consequences.

  44. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Good point about Peterson. Calvinist consider the ESV as coming straight from Calvin, so I don’t get this. Also, Peterson dared to have his own thoughts on gay marriage. The Nashville statement tells us that that makes you a fake Christian.

    I also thought they would think Ann Voskamp was too liberal.

    The top is the list is a who’s who of legalists

  45. JYJames wrote:

    He was mentored by a woman? How does that work?

    I’m certain many of these guys owe at least some of their theological education to women such as their mothers.

    Knowing that the English translations have been intentionally misinterpreted when it comes to women by many in the evangelical church, even by those who should know better (ESV 2016 anyone?), I don’t think this issue has half as much to do with the Bible as it does with wanting to rule over others. Whenever I see/hear people saying “Well MY BIBLE says…” and then the translation issue is pointed out, suddenly they disappear or have no good argument except to repeat the same sentence. No, that English translation is not THE BIBLE. It’s a modern translation where words sometimes had different meanings, and in some places, words were taken away or added just to make it sound like women should be subjected when the original language says no such thing (Eph. 5:22 comes to mind).

  46. Abigail wrote:

    But it’s my view that you can still call out abuse and value women and still believe that the pastoral role is reserved for men.

    When I consider that there is no mention of the pastoral role in the bible, that it is a man made construct, then by inference limiting it to men is a man made restriction.

  47. Thersites wrote:

    Abigail wrote:

    But it’s my view that you can still call out abuse and value women and still believe that the pastoral role is reserved for men.

    When I consider that there is no mention of the pastoral role in the bible, that it is a man made construct, then by inference limiting it to men is a man made restriction.

    Shepherd=Pastor
    1 Peter 5
    ¶ Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,
    2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
    3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

  48. @ Daisy:

    i suspect the pushback will be seen by Piper, Denny Burke, TGC and all the cast of characters as validation that they themselves truly are the authentic remnant.

    and further retreat into the cultural bunker.

    all the better for containing them, i suppose.

  49. elastigirl wrote:

    women are keenly aware of so many things, on so many different levels.

    While we may differ in certain characteristics as a group there is more difference within men or within women than there is between men and woman. If some role was limited to some specific characteristics that was predominated by men, then many women would qualify. By the same token if woman are ruled out due to some characteristic, then many men should be also unqualified.

    This nonsense promoted by Piper is the same identity politics that I have a acquired revulsion for after finding it practiced elsewhere. Can we please treat people as individuals and not by some group identity?

  50. Forrest wrote:

    Shepherd=Pastor

    Your text implies Shepherd=Elder=Pastor, that will come as news to all the “pastors” that place themselves above “elders”. I am still missing the unmistakable directive for the office of pastor.

  51. Thersites wrote:

    When I consider that there is no mention of the pastoral role in the bible, that it is a man made construct, then by inference limiting it to men is a man made restriction.

    According to them it’s there, in the absolute and unchanging Word of God.
    No discussion, no Ifs, no Ands, and no Buts.

  52. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Abigail:
    “if you don’t believe in women in a pastoral role it does not mean you don’t value them as a result.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    i’m sure this is true. yet if one can value someone and yet discriminate against them, women’s value is of necessity limited.

    I think the problem is that if you do know women, and value them, this prohibition quickly becomes illogical. How it is administers becomes illogical. So either you reject it entirely, or you go the opposite direction and restrict women even more, as piper has done. And then you find ‘reasons’ to think less of women to make your restrictions make sense. That is how I see this mess.

  53. K.D. wrote:

    there are SO many ministers who see women as second class citizens,

    Yes. And it shows anytime you get them off script or give them a difficult situation. As long as they can just yell ‘roles’ and ‘timothy’ without anyone asking questions they’re ok.

  54. Abigail wrote:

    We need more male pastors.. .since they only listen to men…to call them out by name.

    I’m sorry, but more male pastors has not solved anything, as most male pastors are not calling anyone out. Well, they seem to call women out for almost anything, but men for very little.

  55. elastigirl wrote:

    and yet totally blind to the contradictions of his beliefs (or perhaps half-formed ideas he bought into because of the celebrity who was peddling them).

    some kind of nerve damage where he couldn’t even feel the tension of the contradiction. (i felt it — hell, i was shackled because of it — the consequence of that tension)

    They put their brains in a box. They are not allowed to stray from it because ‘biblical’ and ‘roles. They know if they stray they will be thrown to the wolves with the ‘liberals’.

    So what can they do. Pretend. Not see. Sad.

  56. Thersites wrote:

    Forrest wrote:

    Shepherd=Pastor

    Your text implies Shepherd=Elder=Pastor, that will come as news to all the “pastors” that place themselves above “elders”. I am still missing the unmistakable directive for the office of pastor.

    Just quoting the verse from the bible, Thersites. People interpret things in many different ways and abuse the scriptures to fit their own views. We always need to go back to the bible and read it in context for ourselves instead of just accepting what men say about it. What I see there is a biblical authority for the pastoral role. That does not mean I agree with what the *churches* have done with it.

  57. @ Thersites:
    Reflecting on the lists – Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4 – of the spiritual gifts given to the church as a whole by the Holy Spirit to individual believers.

    “Pastor” is listed once in Ephesians 4. How the office or job or calling of pastor is used in the local church lately may or may not be what the Holy Spirit has gifted to an individual as that gift.

    Certainly the “cult of personality” that TWW’s Max refers to is not the NT pastor gift of the Holy Spirit. Even Jesus did not cultivate personality.

    Administration is a separate gift so the pastor is not administration or running the show. How does “pastor” then function in the midst of the 18, according to the Holy Spirit? My gift is not administration, so I do not know. However, I do think the Holy Spirit gives us a rich endowment of gifts for our benefit and His glory. I always look for the 18, regardless of building and title. The internet has deemed brick and mortar passé.

    apostle
    prophet
    evangelist
    pastor
    teacher
    miracles
    healing
    helps, service
    administration
    tongues
    interpretation
    exhortation
    giving
    mercy
    wisdom
    knowledge
    faith
    discernment

  58. Thersites wrote:

    Forrest wrote:

    Shepherd=Pastor

    Your text implies Shepherd=Elder=Pastor, that will come as news to all the “pastors” that place themselves above “elders”.

    Yes.

    There is nothing to restrict women from being elders. And if had not been translated ‘older women’ this would be more obvious.

  59. elastigirl wrote:

    and further retreat into the cultural bunker.

    all the better for containing them, i suppose.

    Containment is a good thing to be sure.

    And an even better thing?

    Over time their religion and the enclaves in which it’s practiced will dry up and blow away like so many Walmart bags snarled in chain-link fences.

  60. Forrest wrote:

    What I see there is a biblical authority for the pastoral role. That does not mean I agree with what the *churches* have done with it.

    I agree. In fact the word pastor comes from the Latin word for shepherd even. There seems to me to be clear and unmistakable scriptural evidence for the function of pastor which includes some sort of oversight.

  61. I’m completely baffled by this line of comments. I am a Christian woman who believes in the authority of Scripture. I do not approve of twisting passages out of context. I see the complementarian bent as wrong. But, likewise, there seems to be strong emotion here against the role of male pastors. Do we throw out the Word and intention of God just because there are flaws in the views of such men as Piper? While i abhor what such men have said and done to bolster their own egotistical control i feel that we women have taken it to the opposite extreme. And that is just as bad. We must always return to the full counsel of God. Often, that is lackng when our emotions are running high.

  62. JYJames wrote:

    Jerome wrote:

    Pastor Lydia Little, forgotten mentor of C.J. Mahaney

    He was mentored by a woman? How does that work?

    How it works is you don’t mention it once you’ve moved on to heavy Shepherding, Complementarianism, Together forget the Gospel, etc.

  63. It’s a good thing Piper’s viewpoint has not been applied to missions (yet). A large portion of missionary work has been done by women… translation, Bible teaching, medical, literacy, linguistics, etc. There have been many women church planters who have done an excellent job. Usually the church they leave behind has male leadership but those males were taught by a woman who was called by God, gifted by the Holy Spirit, and extremely dedicated and committed in the face of great hardship. I personally know several missionary couples where the husband cheerfully did cooking, dishes, and child care so that his wife could translate the Bible.

  64. As a female in/pursuing scholarship who left SEBTS recently in the past few years, I have at least 100088267 thoughts, insights, and sad personal stories about this. It was extremely painful for me at seminary, and in the SBC in general.

    I left largely because of this very issue – and I became or rather realized I was egalitarian (though I prefer the term mutualist).

    But…all I can think to type is “Bo bee blah. Boo blah de, blah boo.”

    I feel numb at thus point from all the processing, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. Ready to just move forward. I took too long to leave.

    Saw all the commotion online from Piper’s article and it re-exposed wounds and anger and lots of sadness and grief. I try to stay out of it as much as I can, have been making progress in not internalizing things that happened to me personally and systematically. But the systemic stuff I still took personally, at the end of the day.

    The systemic is always personal.

  65. “…though nobody in ministry is a professional. ” – John Piper

    Nobody? I suggest you speak do yourself, Mr. Piper.

  66. @ Muff Potter:
    When a couple in our church spoke in tongues, the pastor asked them to leave the church, for good.

    There had been an awakening regarding the Holy Spirit, then lots of teaching, books, rules about the Holy Spirit as a pushback to what people were recognizing. Our pastor said everything with the Holy Spirit was done and over after the book of Acts. “Just read your Bible according to your church teaching and pastor.” His theologian friends agreed. They had it all figured out. We read “19 Gifts of the Spirit” by Leslie B. Flynn (one more than my list above – missed one) and disregarded the Done with Acts deal. It fit.

    Now, with women moving forward in our culture, there’s pushback with books, teaching, rules about women to keep status quo in the church. Mega – not church but rules.

  67. Thersites wrote:

    While we may differ in certain characteristics as a group there is more difference within men or within women than there is between men and woman.

    This is a great point! This is technically true, meaning that this is demonstrated in research. There is more variation within a group than between groups. This is why racism is not just morally wrong but technically wrong as well. There is more variation within a race than between races. The same is true for any way we categorize people.

  68. Mercy wrote:

    But, likewise, there seems to be strong emotion here against the role of male pastors. Do we throw out the Word and intention of God just because there are flaws in the views of such men as Piper? While i abhor what such men have said and done to bolster their own egotistical control i feel that we women have taken it to the opposite extreme. And that is just as bad.

    I feel like you are projecting a bit, because I don’t see this in the comments here at all. Many of us are angry and upset by what some male pastors have done, as well as this erroneous theology that subjects women just because these men want women to be subjected, but I don’t see anyone reasoning that there shouldn’t be male pastors.

    Maybe you need to read further on this site about the theology of New Calvinists like John Piper, but they are all about subjection. Not just subjection of women, but subjection of everyone that is not a pastor or elder. And often these men and churches choose their pastors and elders based on nepotism, personal connections, and who they think will be their yes-men, not because of their devotion to Christ and their heart for ministry.

    Furthermore, I believe these men want to subject other men as much as they want to subject women. They entice men into their ranks with the bait of men ruling their wives and households. And knowing many Young, Restless, and Reformed–that works to bring them in. But once they are in, there is very little chance they will ever become the absolute authority of a pastor or elder. These churches demand signing covenants which basically assign all authority about anything in your life to church leaders. And many people have tried to leave these churches and found themselves shunned, threatened, harassed, and even sent letters to any other church they attended that they were excommunicated and not allowed to join another church.

  69. elastigirl wrote:

    yes, at least they are actually thinking about it, trying to make the algebraic equation work.
    but

    The only way to make that algebraic equation work is to put an inequality sign in it!

  70. emily honey wrote:

    The systemic is always personal.

    And I think that’s true at the top as well as the bottom. I don’t think the rationale behind much of this theology has anything to do with “the Bible” or doing the right thing. I think it’s all about feeding selfish desires. Sadly, many of these systems were created by selfish people who want what they shouldn’t have. They just use the Bible as an excuse to justify that system.

  71. Mercy wrote:

    Often, that is lackng when our emotions are running high.

    Really mercy?? Going to that well?

    I think many disagree on the biblical interpretation here.

  72. Ricco wrote:

    Calvinist consider the ESV as coming straight from Calvin

    I like to point out Romans 16:2 to them, where ESV says Phoebe was a “patron”.

    How in the world did that get by the ESV’s Complementarianism censors?

    https://www.etymonline.com/word/patron

    “patron (n.)
    ‘a lord-master, a protector,’…from [Latin] pater…’father'”

  73. @ ishy:
    I think this started in part because Thersites questioned the validity of the pastoral role. I responded to that and provided a scriptural regerence. As to Piper et al and the New Calvinists, they do not understand scripture and abuse it for their own ends. That means they are wrong but it doesn’t invalidate the scriptural authority for the role of pastor.

  74. Jerome wrote:

    Pastor Lydia Little, forgotten mentor of C.J. Mahaney, passed away in 2016

    He probably won’t share that when he takes the stage at the T4G conference.

  75. @ emily honey:
    I am wondering if Emily had the same experience, but going to SEBTS for me and taking theology and Greek was a consistent argument for egalitarianism, except they always reneged at the end. “Oh well, no submit isn’t in that verse, but… women have to submit because that’s biblical!” Or… “Yes, historically there have been women pastors for hundreds of years, but… well, they shouldn’t be, because, you know, Bible. No, even if the Greek doesn’t say that.”

    I became an egalitarian while learning Greek in seminary. Most of the ways evangelicals interpret the passages on women are straight out wrong. And even my Greek professor couldn’t deny it when I confronted him about it.

  76. Forrest wrote:

    What I see there is a biblical authority for the pastoral role.

    We likely agree on most points but I’m afraid that what we both disagree on is when people switch authority and role in your sentence, i.e.
    there is a biblical role for the pastoral authority

  77. @ ishy:
    Again, I do not in any way condone the likes of the NeoCals and what they represent. I also do believe that women have been subjected to all manner of atrocities within the churches. But I stand my ground on the emotionally charged responses.
    I left church several years ago when I realized the futility of man made, man centered organizations. In my opinion, which is just an opinion, these Sunday morning rituals lack very little of the Gospel and the simplicity of the living water which Jesus came to give.

  78. Forrest wrote:

    @ ishy:
    I think this started in part because Thersites questioned the validity of the pastoral role. I responded to that and provided a scriptural regerence. As to Piper et al and the New Calvinists, they do not understand scripture and abuse it for their own ends. That means they are wrong but it doesn’t invalidate the scriptural authority for the role of pastor.

    I can see that, though it didn’t quite sound like it the way mercy said it. I do not believe in “offices” at all and believe strongly in the priesthood of the believer.

    In an ideal world, I think Jesus intended for us all to have equal authority and there are only stages of learning how to do that. I also think the church has sorely missed the entire point of “as you are going, make disciples of all nations” (the proper translation of Matt. 28:18). It’s every believer’s job. At that early time in the church, I think there was just not enough mature believers to go around.

  79. I think the John Piper’s of the world are ignorant of what it means to be a pastor. A large part of being a pastor is listening to and offering advice to parishioners. Pastors are called on to console the people in their congregation, and that includes women. How can these men understand a woman’s struggles, a woman’s challenged, a woman’s fears, etc., if they want nothing to do with hearing a woman’s point of view while being trained for their position in seminary? This wreaks of arrogance. Also, insecurity, because they are fearful of assertive women who have a Voice.

    Grow up, Christian men! It’s a shame you view women as a threat, rather than an ally.

  80. Mercy wrote:

    While i abhor what such men have said and done to bolster their own egotistical control i feel that we women have taken it to t

    In my church, women are not allowed to speak at business meetings or in mixed gender SS classes. We are not allowed to teach mixed gender classes above 5th grade level. There are all kinds of “men’s meetings” at the church as well as the local SBC association – women are excluded.

    When my husband retired from the military, he made all kinds of plans that he never told me about. He decided to attend a Bible college and get a degree in Disaster Releif. He changed his major without telling me. He decided to be a church planter without telling me. He decided that we were going to move 1200 miles away without telling me…… the list goes on …… He made all these plans ….. all of his classmates, professors, and the men at church knew ….. but nobody told me.
    Everything I did in church (kitchen committee leader, SS teacher, church van monitor, etc.), he used on his class forms to show how much I helped him and qualified he was to plant an SBC church. He used me without my knowledge, wrote me off, and treated me like chattel.
    Yeah, buddy. My emotions were running high when I started figuring it all out!
    Things are still happening that tick me off.
    My husband says that he doesn’t see what I see at church, maybe just because he’s a man. But, given his behavior, I have my doubts.

  81. Lea wrote:

    Mercy wrote:

    Often, that is lackng when our emotions are running high.

    Really mercy?? Going to that well?

    I think many disagree on the biblical interpretation here.

    Many, indeed most, here have a shared goal of exposing abuses in the church. Why do you insist on dividing us? You undermine our shared purpose and aid the Highpoint trolls.

  82. Mercy wrote:

    But I stand my ground on the emotionally charged responses.

    I’m feeling like you have responded as emotionally as anybody else and have been unclear as to why. What are you saying exactly?

  83. ishy wrote:

    Mercy wrote:

    But I stand my ground on the emotionally charged responses.

    I’m feeling like you have responded as emotionally as anybody else and have been unclear as to why. What are you saying exactly?

    No emotion on my part, just observations. The men and teachings we have seen are despicable. While we try to uphold the respect and value of women we are in danger of trashing some valued and good men. I suppose what I have seen played out recently in the other realms of society is also at risk of being played out in the church arena.
    That’s all.

  84. Darlene. wrote:

    I think the John Piper’s of the world are ignorant of what it means to be a pastor. A large part of being a pastor is listening to and offering advice to parishioners. Pastors are called on to console the people in their congregation, and that includes women.

    And that’s a huge problem with New Calvinist theology, because they believe the only role of the pastor is preaching. I do think many have this sincere believe that sermons solve all those problems. Hour-long sermons on probably nothing in the gospels. But they don’t. Not at all. And their sermons are terribly biased in favor of authoritarianism, but they’d never admit it. I’ve heard Piper live multiple times. I’ve heard Mohler, Akin, and a number of others.

    I don’t think preaching causes rapid growth in any Christian, particularly when the gospels are avoided entirely. You’ve got to be going out and getting in the worst places and taking others with you to learn, not just telling someone stuff you think is in the Bible.

  85. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    This is exactly the sort of problem we are trying to expose here, Nancy. Your husband was completely out of order in what he did and such actions are without any justification whatsoever.

  86. Mercy wrote:

    The men and teachings we have seen are despicable. While we try to uphold the respect and value of women we are in danger of trashing some valued and good men.

    I think you are completely wrong on this. I think there can only be good men if women are also elevated.

  87. I also think that while there are of course extremes on both sides, talking about something is the only way it can be fixed. And things like “You’re too emotional” is exactly the kind of language abusers use to silence their victims when they are telling about their pain.

  88. ishy wrote:

    I also think that while there are of course extremes on both sides, talking about something is the only way it can be fixed. And things like “You’re too emotional” is exactly the kind of language abusers use to silence their victims when they are telling about their pain.

    You put words in my mouth. But as I read over this thread it seemed to me that people were getting angry because they were not being agreed with.
    I do understand what you meant by pointing out that this phrase is used by abusers, as I have been on the receiving end of that myself.
    This blog is meant to shine a light on abuses in the church. There are many. But there can be times when we turn on one another inadvertently. That undermines our objective.

  89. Years ago, I considered attending seminary. Even visited a couple. Just didn’t seem like the right move at the time. Now, I’m so glad I didn’t.

    Seminaries and many Christian schools develop their own internal subculture, which can be extremely dysfunctional. I think I would have adapted to this culture, and even done well, since I was always good at academics and test taking. But it would have messed me up, and it would have taken years to get over it.

    I’ve heard that for every year a person spends in seminary, it takes 3 years in the real world to readjust. That’s probably true, but some grads never seem to recover.

  90. Remnant wrote:

    All this “wise” male counsel from male pastors and not one word of true wisdom.

    Mark Driscoll went to “wise counsel” when he started up his Scottsdale operation. They gave him their blessing. Driscoll does not have a megachurch.

    Kent Hovind went to “wise counsel” after his wife divorced him and asked whether he could remarry. They gave him their blessing. (This, btw, is not a slam on divorce. It is, rather a comment on a guy who is an Independent Fundamental Baptist and they’re hard against divorce.) He got married, but his second wife is now living two states away for some reason.

    Wise counsel? I think not.

  91. Jerome wrote:

    “patron (n.)
    ‘a lord-master, a protector,’…from [Latin] pater…’father’”

    Because in present day colloquial Americanese, ‘patron’ has no such connotations, it simply means a store ‘patron’, a restaurant ‘patron’ etc.

    They knew full well that the demographic they concocted the ESV for will not look beyond that.

    Questions lead to more questions, which can in turn lead to heresy, apostasy, and quite possibly your (generic your) eternal destiny. Better to just accept and rest in what the clergy tells you (generic you).

  92. Mercy wrote:

    This blog is meant to shine a light on abuses in the church. There are many. But there can be times when we turn on one another inadvertently. That undermines our objective.

    Actually? We’re quite civil and well behaved in the larger picture. I’ve been around since TWW first got off the ground (9 years ago) and have only seen the dialogue get dicey on maybe 2 occasions, three tops.

  93. @ Muff Potter:

    A sterling record when one considers that various other Christian blogs are like war zones complete with Shiites and Sunnis (allegorically speaking) blowing up each other’s Mosques.

  94. Several years ago, before he joined the Gospel Coalition council, SEBTS President Danny Akin and his team were talking boosting diversity at his seminary:

    https://brnow.org/News/August-2013/Diversity-celebrated-at-SEBTS

    “Southeastern Seminary strives to be a school that is recruiting and equipping students from every corner of the kingdom to serve in every context of the kingdom.”

    “The benchmarks for the seminary’s new initiative include…increasing the number of minorities and women on campus”

    “‘My prayer is Southeastern will train up an army of African American brothers and sisters that will fill not only key pulpits but also key positions in our colleges and key positions in our seminaries,’ [Akin] said. ‘That’s my goal.'”

    Were these empty words for women?
    What exactly are the “key pulpits” Akin wants/wanted these brothers and sisters to fill?
    What are “key positions in our seminaries” Akin wants/wanted these brothers and sisters to fill?

  95. Muff Potter wrote:

    Mercy wrote:

    This blog is meant to shine a light on abuses in the church. There are many. But there can be times when we turn on one another inadvertently. That undermines our objective.

    Actually? We’re quite civil and well behaved in the larger picture. I’ve been around since TWW first got off the ground (9 years ago) and have only seen the dialogue get dicey on maybe 2 occasions, three tops.

    🙂 I’ll keep that in mind.

  96. ishy wrote:

    I think there can only be good men if women are also elevated.

    I disagree, slightly. Not elevated, but released, freed.

  97. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    I think there can only be good men if women are also elevated.
    //
    I disagree, slightly. Not elevated, but released, freed.

    I did mean more to the level of men, which would still be a pretty large elevation in many evangelical circles.

  98. ishy wrote:

    I did mean more to the level of men, which would still be a pretty large elevation in many evangelical circles.

    Gotcha.

  99. ishy wrote:

    I think there can only be good men if women are also elevated.

    Elevating women does not diminish men. Calling out bad men and bad theology for that matter does not diminish good men. It is very curious that it is heard that way.

  100. ishy wrote:

    “You’re too emotional” is exactly the kind of language abusers use to silence their victims when they are telling about their pain.

    I think the fact that theology about women causes so much pain to people like Emily, and to women and girls all over this part of the Christian world is a good indication that it is wrong. It creates hard hearts in its followers. There is too much evidence of this.

  101. Max wrote:

    refugee wrote:

    It’s like they’ve all been put under a spell.

    The Pied Piper and his band of Piperites at work.

    To both of you,

    2 Thessalonians 2:11

    ..And for this cause ( Item one. It’s for cause) God shall send them ( Item two. Its certain people who received punishment from God)
    a strong delusion….( Item three. They are delusional and likely unable to escape impending destruction )
    that they should believe a lie…

    Who is being sent a strong delusion? Back in verses 2-3 there are some who through spirit, word and letter, are mimicking and misslabeling specific Apostolic doctrines. In the Thessolonian case, those doctrines regarded the ordained outcome and disposition of specific aspects of the Church.

    THAT * IS * Complementarionism, just being one example from Neo Calvinism.

  102. Mercy wrote:

    Do we throw out the Word and intention of God just because there are flaws in the views of such men as Piper?

    No. There is simply different opinions about the interpretation of scriptures. It had nothing to do with emotions.

  103. This is what has been going on at SEBTS the past few years, under their larger Kingdom Diversity Initiative:

    Society for Women in Scholarship

    http://kingdomdiversity.sebts.edu/index.php/thesociety/

    “The Society for Women in Scholarship exists to cultivate academic gifting and professional development at Southeastern by encouraging academic practices and facilitating opportunities for women to contribute to the body of scholarship as a means of fulfilling the Great commission.”

    What is The Society for Women in Scholarship? Kingdom Diversity and Women’s Life have teamed up to create this society as a means to help women who are academically and theologically gifted gain valuable support during their time at the academy. It’s a member-based society with multiple levels of membership, depending on your relationship to Southeastern and your commitment abilities. The Society also seeks to give back to the seminary by holding academic events that will benefit and equip the entire student body.

    What is it not? It’s not something only for women. While membership and meetings will be female-only, events and colloquiums put on by The Society will be offered as a resource for the entire student body to present papers and get valuable feedback from peers and professors.

    What does it do? The Society exists to cultivate academic gifting and professional development in Women at Southeastern at both the college and seminary level. The way this gets accomplished is through regular meetings, mentoring relationships from professionals in academia, career networking, colloquiums, round-table discussions, and more.”

  104. Lea wrote:

    Elevating women does not diminish men. Calling out bad men and bad theology for that matter does not diminish good men. It is very curious that it is heard that way.

    I feel like it’s a similar line of reasoning to those who say that confronting abusers in the church hurts the church. I think non-Christians see right through Christians who are just pretending that they have no problems and that is a way worse testimony to faith. Denying there’s a problem just results in that problem continuing and compounding.

  105. Thersites wrote:

    I am still missing the unmistakable directive for the office of pastor.

    This could fall into the area of “if you can’t stand the answer don’t ask the question.” If you are interested, I suggest you read from a collection of works called “The Apostolic Fathers” to see how the pastoral role developed. The very earliest Christian writings show that the roles of bishop, priest, and deacon were established very early in church history – by the end of the first century. We Protestants like to imagine that early church assemblies were much less hierarchical. But good luck finding evidence for this romantic view. The actual history shows a church structure that looks much more Catholic or Orthodox than most Proteatants like.

    Why does early church tradition matter to us in this topic? Because the same church fathers who handed down the roles of bishops/priests/deacons also handed down the New Testament. If we accept their authority in assembling the NT, by what standard do we reject their authority in the other things they passed down?

    Studying Christian history can be unsettling because it can undermine our presuppositions. It certainly created a mess for me – I’m now trying to sort muself out after what I discovered.

  106. Women aren’t allowed to become professors in SBC seminaries in the fields mentioned above, so SEBTS is still complementarian but not in the arena of John Piper’s views. Women under their view are allowed to teach counseling classes, church history, etc. But not biblical studies or theology, for example.

    This was posted yesterday on SEBTS Intersect Project website in response to John Piper’s article:

    http://intersectproject.org/faith-and-work/women-seminary-professors/

    Also, two more links that came out in the past couple years:

    http://kingdomdiversity.sebts.edu/index.php/2016/10/17/gender-and-gifting-reversed/

    This is a typical soft complementarian argument (which I have found to be metaphysically inconsistent and contradictory.)

    “Within the Church, there is one limit for women: the office of the pastor/elder. Aside from this limit, there is a host of possibilities for women to exercise their giftings in a variety of contexts. The world is their oyster. In fact, even the specific giftings an elder must have to qualify for that office are not off-limits for women. For example, we would obviously affirm that the office of elder requires the gift of leadership, but we would never say an ordinary congregant could not have the gift of leadership because they are not fulfilling the office of elder. Thus, certain offices may be biblically limited according to gender, but gifting is not. Rather than being fixated on the one limit for women in the Church, we should turn our efforts to exploring all the possibilities for women in the Church. The affirmation of giftings is the first step.”

    Another link, originally posted at SEBTS womens life blog but then picked up by ERLC, which I found really shaming and confusing/weird:

    https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/where-are-the-voices-of-the-evangelical-women

  107. @ ishy:

    I think my egalitarian/mutualist awakening (if you will, lol) was set in motion by a combination of a lot of things, intuition, trauma reactions, my mental health signaling something was off/wrong, my body and soul and heart trying to tell me something about my surroundings and interactions, and the usual intellectual questions about the text. Also philosophy/reasoning pitfalls and inconsistencies I started noticing in the complementarian view and in myself. This was all happening together at once.

    But I think my bad experiences pushed me over the edge into more deeper study and soul searching and being able to fully consider and allow the possibility of “the other”. I think it often has to be negative experience or loss that ulitmately pushes us out of cognitive and intellectual dissonance. At least that’s been true for me.

  108. Mercy wrote:

    I’m completely baffled by this line of comments. I am a Christian woman who believes in the authority of Scripture. I do not approve of twisting passages out of context. I see the complementarian bent as wrong. But, likewise, there seems to be strong emotion here against the role of male pastors. Do we throw out the Word and intention of God just because there are flaws in the views of such men as Piper? While i abhor what such men have said and done to bolster their own egotistical control i feel that we women have taken it to the opposite extreme. And that is just as bad. We must always return to the full counsel of God. Often, that is lackng when our emotions are running high.

    It’s a reaction. Plus, the sexual aspects of Evangelicalism often covered on this blog likely appeal to a more female demographic.

    It’s harder to imagine a young skinny jeans, tean bearded, accountability group lover and seminary boy, perusing the latest issue of TWW

  109. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    If we accept their authority in assembling the NT, by what standard do we reject their authority in the other things they passed down?

    I’m curious about this. It seems correct that if we accept the New Testament, we accept these church practices, but does that have to be the case? The New Testament is a compilation of eye witness testimony to Jesus and letters to brand new churches. Just because these offices we developed within the first 100 years, does that make them right or is that the inevitable human desire to create an institution? It seems like we always try to take the Truth (the person of Jesus) and turn Him into a set of principles or an institution. I really appreciate Patristic Theology. Is it possible they were right about theology but not about praxis? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, and I’m sure you have already thought about them. I’m curious as to why you see it as an either/or.

    I really appreciate your honesty about these questions. I feel like I can relate, if maybe about some different issues in Christianity.

  110. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Why does early church tradition matter to us in this topic? Because the same church fathers who handed down the roles of bishops/priests/deacons also handed down the New Testament. If we accept their authority in assembling the NT, by what standard do we reject their authority in the other things they passed down?

    My undergraduate degree is in engineering but I had more hours in history upon graduation. One often discussed topic was reading a historian and disagreeing with their conclusions. In this case I can disagree with their implementation and trust they did not distort the text in the gospels.

  111. @ Thersites:

    “While we may differ in certain characteristics as a group there is more difference within men or within women than there is between men and woman.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    I’ve heard this. I wonder, though. Life experience and general observation have consistently shown me the powers of awareness in my female peers. But of course there are some specific positive traits i’ve consistently seen in my male peers, as well, that seem a natural part of their make-up.

    —————

    “This nonsense promoted by Piper is the same identity politics that I have a acquired revulsion for after finding it practiced elsewhere. Can we please treat people as individuals and not by some group identity?”
    +++++++++++++++++

    there are undeniable commonalities in groups, and also a good many who don’t fall into those common categories. but so what? i agree, see each human being as the unique multi-faceted diamond they are.

  112. Ricco wrote:

    Is it possible they were right about theology but not about praxis? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, and I’m sure you have already thought about them. I’m curious as to why you see it as an either/or.

    The real question is whether or not they were right about the NT. We all appeal to the NT, but in doing so we are agreeing that the Patristics got the NT right. If they got the NT right, why do we suppose they got everything else wrong? I’m not saying I like the traditions they created. But intellectual honesty forces me to ask by what standard do we think we can to pick and choose from what they handed down. Why should we accept the NT at all if they messed up most everything else? This is a real and current struggle for me. I’m leaning toward believing they got it mostly right, but that has implications that are uncomfortable for me.

  113. emily honey wrote:

    I think my egalitarian/mutualist awakening (if you will, lol) was set in motion by a combination of a lot of things, intuition, trauma reactions, my mental health signaling something was off/wrong, my body and soul and heart trying to tell me something about my surroundings and interactions, and the usual intellectual questions about the text. Also philosophy/reasoning pitfalls and inconsistencies I started noticing in the complementarian view and in myself. This was all happening together at once.

    I’m sure it was much worse when you went than when I did. Nobody really figured out what was going on until the end of my last year there and by then it was too late. I wasn’t treated poorly by any professor there on a personal level, though I did know some YRR students who were utter jerks. The firings began at the end of my time there and I know it changed dramatically after that.

    I was never comfortable with complementarian theology, but I didn’t grow up in an evangelical church. However, there just isn’t much else down here in the south in places. Where I used to live had almost no egalitarian churches with 20 miles. If I wanted to go to church, I had to take the good with the bad.

    But I determined in college that I wasn’t going to let anyone decide for me what I believed. And that led me to study Greek at Southeastern, where I began to see that there were some serious problems with complementarianism when examining the Greek text. And nobody could give decent answers based on the Greek, only based on the English translations.

    Which is why I never again would trust anyone arguing “This is biblical and that is not”. I don’t have a problem saying “I don’t know the answer to that” but I’m sure not going to believe something just because it’s what’s accepted by a group.

    One of the first YRRs I knew made an interesting comment to me that I think defines their whole viewpoint. He said, “We have to know everything the Bible is saying to us.” He was totally flummoxed when I said we did not and got really offended by it, then launched into none other than a long quote of John Piper’s. He went to seminary, studied to be a pastor, and ended up leaving New Cal churches and working as an insurance agent because those answers give him to people like Piper didn’t answer his life questions.

    There is an emptiness in that theology that people like Piper are meeting by wanting more and more adulation. It’s not from God. It’s not from following Christ. It’s not from serving others like Christ.

  114. Thersites wrote:

    One often discussed topic was reading a historian and disagreeing with their conclusions.

    But this is a case where we have the actual writings. For example, the seven letters of Ignatius clearly show he believed in the central role of bishops. I don’t see how this can be open to interpretation. Same with the Didache, 1 Clement, and other early writings.

  115. elastigirl wrote:

    there are undeniable commonalities in groups,

    There can be but then we get into nature/nurture…how much of this is inate and how much because of experience?

    More women have been abused and/or have friends who were. Women are obviously going to have a different (poorer) experience in a complemetarian church men.

  116. Lea wrote:

    I think the fact that theology about women causes so much pain to people like Emily, and to women and girls all over this part of the Christian world is a good indication that it is wrong. It creates hard hearts in its followers. There is too much evidence of this.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS.

    Paul’s pastoral instructions regarding women were specific, and the degree of their specificity should be the degree to which we should consider context.

    Prohibiting women from holding positions of leadership in the church creates an unethical, controversial and socially untenable situation in our culture today. This creates the exact opposite effect in our culture that it did in the culture of Paul’s recipients of these inspired pastoral instructions. Paul was being pastoral in his letters, his instructions were answering questions that elders and messengers had sent to him about their churches, and guidance on serious challenges that those churches were facing that threatened the early church and the advancement of the gospel. Paul intended to teach those churches how to live and to responsibly express their freedom in Christ and pursue holiness in their local setting while not giving cause for offense, putting the Gospel at risk of dilution with other religions, saddling Jesus’ church with dangerous social or political baggage or inviting new persecution of the church. The fact that our adherence today to his specific pastoral instructions about women to these early local churches has essentially the opposite effect in our culture than he meant it to in his (so, undermining instead of protecting the advancement of the Gospel and the integrity of the church) should be proof enough that our hermeneutics and ecclessiology are profoundly failing us in this area.

    This is not the only argument to be made. Perhaps you take the tact of considering just how scripurally and apologetically sound a theological construct that LIMITS Christ’s ability to work through an entire 50% of the Kingdom’s inhabitants should have to be in order to justify its enactment, and evaluate whether this construct meets that standard.

    In any case, I believe this to be the absolute core of this whole rotten theology.

  117. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    We all appeal to the NT, but in doing so we are agreeing that the Patristics got the NT right. If they got the NT right, why do we suppose they got everything else wrong? I’m not saying I like the traditions they created. But intellectual honesty forces me to ask by what standard do we think we can to pick and choose from what they handed down. Why should we accept the NT at all if they messed up most everything else?

    Why did they canonize what they did and leave out the rest?

    Really, I think church hierarchy is one of the least important things to the mission of Christ if we go by Jesus’ words. Jesus condemned the disciples when they tried to claim hierarchy over each other (Mark 10). If anything, we could just look at the words of Jesus and I don’t think we’d be going too wrong.

  118. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    If they got the NT right, why do we suppose they got everything else wrong?

    I pro aka haven’t done nearly as much research on this as you. My question would be, could their practice have been right for that time and culture but not right for all times and cultures? Did they create a system that worked for them or a system that everyone else had to follow?

    My other question would be, what does it mean to get the New Testament right? I haven’t read the other gospels that weren’t included, but do they say things completely different from the ones that were included?

    I try to read the Bible more as an unfolding narrative of Gods love and less as a proof text mine (like I did two years ago. I’m still struggling with this). When I read it this way, I’m less concerned about any one passage and try to understand the main idea of the book.

  119. ishy wrote:

    If anything, we could just look at the words of Jesus and I don’t think we’d be going too wrong.

    I would like to a agree, but which words of Jesus? The ones in the gospels that were canonozed or the ones in the writings that were not? By what standard do we trust that we actually have the real words of Jesus? We either have to trust “the church” that canonized the four gospels, or disbelieve them and follow any belief system we like. I don’t see how there is any way to get around trusting something or someone outside of ourselves when it comes to believing in Christianity. It would be much easier if the NT just miraculously appeared without human involvement.

  120. ishy wrote:

    Really, I think church hierarchy is one of the least important things to the mission of Christ if we go by Jesus’ words.

    I think there are many organizational structures that can work. all oversight will fail if the people involved don’t care about…people.

  121. Ricco wrote:

    My question would be, could their practice have been right for that time and culture but not right for all times and cultures? Did they create a system that worked for them or a system that everyone else had to follow?

    This is entirely possible but I am not qualified to speculate. I was originally answering a question on the imperative for pastors. Church history shows that bishops, priests and deacons were in place early and everywhere in the church. Does that make it right for us today? Good question. But who is authorized to answer? The “church” (whatever that means)? Denominations? Individuals? And by what standard can they measure the answer?

  122. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    By what standard do we trust that we actually have the real words of Jesus? We either have to trust “the church” that canonized the four gospels, or disbelieve them and follow any belief system we like. I don’t see how there is any way to get around trusting something or someone outside of ourselves when it comes to believing in Christianity.

    I think your argument can go either way, which is problematic. You think the church should be organized like the patricians, but the patricians chose to leave their church organization out. If you want to believe that they were right, then you should believe what they choose to include is right, too.

    I don’t have that conflict. I’ve read a lot of that stuff from history. And I don’t believe we can know the absolutes anymore, as I just said in my last post. We’re too far out. I don’t think “I don’t know” is an unreasonable answer. I do think the gospels have a good deal of scholarship behind them, and I feel like they are heavily supported by the direction of the OT, but I don’t have to be right.

    Thing is–the things Jesus said in the gospels goes completely contrary to human nature. Even the extrabiblical stuff about Jesus tends to be contrary to human nature. Hierarchy is perfectly in line with human nature. Wanting to be in charge is human nature. If anything, I think hierarchy is a poor argument in the church because it is exactly the nature of humans to do it.

  123. ishy wrote:

    You think the church should be organized like the patricians,

    I never said that. In fact, I don’t like the organizational structure they set up. I would much rather it be otherwise. But it isn’t. I like their theology, I like their NT, but I don’t like their practices. That is my own personal struggle that I have not yet sorted out.

  124. Lea wrote:

    I think there are many organizational structures that can work. all oversight will fail if the people involved don’t care about…people.

    I think there’s always those people that just want to be in charge for their own gain. And many will just let them because they are so insistent about it. When the worst of those do get in charge, then things like New Calvinism happens.

    Checks and balances do help, if they are used. The church I go to now is in a denomination that has a massive hierarchy. And I can see it’s got problems (oh, the committees! They have a committee for EVERYTHING!!). They do rotate pastors around without letting them choose, which I think turns away those who just want to be pastors for their own gain. It does have many less problems than the SBC churches I used to go to who made celebrities out of their pastors.

  125. ishy wrote:

    but the patricians chose to leave their church organization out.

    They left it out of the Bible but it dominates much of their historical writings. They very clearly did NOT leave out their church organization from their writings. This is the problem.

  126. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Ricco wrote:

    Is it possible they were right about theology but not about praxis? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, and I’m sure you have already thought about them. I’m curious as to why you see it as an either/or.

    The real question is whether or not they were right about the NT. We all appeal to the NT, but in doing so we are agreeing that the Patristics got the NT right. If they got the NT right, why do we suppose they got everything else wrong? I’m not saying I like the traditions they created. But intellectual honesty forces me to ask by what standard do we think we can to pick and choose from what they handed down. Why should we accept the NT at all if they messed up most everything else? This is a real and current struggle for me. I’m leaning toward believing they got it mostly right, but that has implications that are uncomfortable for me.

    There were errors creeping into the church even as the apostles were writing the epistles. So the traditions that were developed by men cannot be treated as completely reliable. We need to go back to the scriptures to test everything that men might teach. By that I mean the scriptures themselves, not what men have written about them.

  127. Re

    Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote:

    “We have identified certain positions that closely parallel the office of the pastor, the elder, the overseer, that we would only look to call and hire men for those particular areas.

    so he’s not sola scriptura, just reads stuff into the text or makes assumptions, but I’d guess he probably claims to be sola scriptura, take the Bible seriously…

    And he probably says anyone who rejects complementarianism is a feminist who is a feminist due to cultural influence or emotions.

  128. Forrest wrote:

    We need to go back to the scriptures to test everything that men might teach. By that I mean the scriptures themselves, not what men have written about them.

    I completely agree with this. But those scriptures did not arrive in a vacuum. The canon of scripture came from the same men who passed down quite a lot of other traditions. I we accept that they got the NT right, why should we not believe them on those other things? If the answer comes back to “because the Bible says” then we are in an infinite loop. I am leaning toward believing they got it right, but this has many difficult implications for me at this point. I think I would have been much happier if I had never investigated Christian history. This really is a case where ignorance is bliss.

  129. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I don’t see how this can be open to interpretation.

    I’m not sure what part you mean is not open to interpretation, the gospels or the seven letters of Ignatius. If you mean Ignatius’ understanding of church hierarchy is clear, then yes I agree that he said it, I just don’t agree with it.

  130. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Same with the Didache, 1 Clement, and other early writings.

    We need an open discussion thread, I don’t want to hijack the thread even though it has been repeatedly reasoned on TWW that Piper’s theology is not well.

  131. Daisy wrote:

    Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote:
    “We have identified certain positions that closely parallel the office of the pastor, the elder, the overseer, that we would only look to call and hire men for those particular areas.

    I mean seriously dude? The Bible does not expressly forbid a woman from being an overseer and so on. You’re arguing on extra-biblical basis, your prejudices.

    You’re arguing that you see “parallels” between X and Q and therefore saying women shouldn’t be able to do Q either.

    That’s not taking the Bible literally or seriously. Your assumptions and opinions are not Scripture, but you’r applying them to all Christians. You’re really not “sola scriptura.”

  132. Isn’t there a section of the New Testament where apostle Paul commends the grandmother of Timothy, or some other biblical guy, for having taught that guy the Bible well?

    If Paul was dandy with a woman teaching a male stuff about God and the Bible (and that guy later went on to share the Gospel in the ancient world with Paul’s approval), one wonders why the Denny Burks, Al Mohlers, and John Pipers are prohibiting women not only from preacher positions, but also ones in educational institutions?

  133. Forrest wrote:

    There were errors creeping into the church even as the apostles were writing the epistles. So the traditions that were developed by men cannot be treated as completely reliable.

    Agreed
    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    The canon of scripture came from the same men who passed down quite a lot of other traditions. … I am leaning toward believing they got it right, but this has many difficult implications for me at this point.

    Good stuff, I’ve admired your analysis over the past year although I do get my Kens mixed up on occasion.

  134. Daisy wrote:

    Denny Burks, Al Mohlers, and John Pipers are prohibiting women not only from preacher positions, but also ones in educational institutions?

    I think it starts on a more personal level. They want control over their wives and daughters. I had one of the founders of CBMW as a professor and he bragged about how he would choose his daughter’s husband from “famous well-known Christian families”. And how could they let women be equals anywhere else if they won’t let them be equals at home?

  135. =Steve wrote:

    1. There’s nothing in the Bible about seminaries.
    2. Therefore there’s nothing in the Bible about who should teach in seminaries.
    3. John Piper has an opinion that women shouldn’t teach in seminaries.
    4. John Piper’s opinion CAN’T be based on Scripture since the Bible is silent on this.
    5. John Piper’s opinion IS based on his assumptions not ANY sound hermeneutical principle.
    6. Therefore John Piper’s opinion should not be quoted as authoritative. (He’s actually undoing the very 500 year old Reformation that he cherishes.)

    Bears repeating. I said something similar above about all this. These complementarians are taking their own biases and personal opinions (with no biblical support) and expecting everyone else to abide by them.

  136. @ Steve:
    Their reasoning seems to be, “Since Paul seemingly prohibits women from preaching, then it must also follow that Paul forbids women from….”

    Then they proceed to make a really long list of things they ASSUME God does not want women to do, say, believe, or feel.
    It’s all assumptions on their part (and based on a very sad misapplication of what Paul said about women preaching or leading)

  137. ishy wrote:

    And how could they let women be equals anywhere else if they won’t let them be equals at home?

    Why would they let them be equals at home when they aren’t equal anywhere else?

  138. It’s never competence! That’s not the issue in the home or in leadership

    This is related to a post I made on my Daisy blog months before.

    In the olden days, complementarians (or whatever label they used to go under) used to argue that yes, women are born dumber than men, so women should not be permitted to preach or lead.

    Over the centuries, it became quite unfashionable and embarrassing to argue like that in most churches, so complementarians had to shift their basis for why they bar women from being leaders, preachers, etc.

    Complementarians had to come up with newer, less- obvious- sexist- sounding rationales as to why they practice sexism against women.

    Applicable quote by S. Holmes about how complementarians argue:

    …. I reflect, however, that these continually-shifting arguments to defend the same conclusion start to look suspicious:
    by the time someone has offered four different defences of the same position, one has to wonder whether their commitment is fundamentally to the position, not to faithful theology.

    …. How many particular defences of a position need to be proved false before we may assert that the position itself is obviously false?

    Source for quote:
    http://steverholmes.org.uk/blog/?p=7507

  139. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):

    “By what standard do we trust that we actually have the real words of Jesus? We either have to trust “the church” that canonized the four gospels, or disbelieve them and follow any belief system we like. I don’t see how there is any way to get around trusting something or someone outside of ourselves when it comes to believing in Christianity.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    but trust them in what sense? to have produced something inerrant and infallible? or to have produced something akin to a general roadmap?

    i read the bible and hold it loosely. See it in a hazy fashion. Appreciating the forest.

    It seems to me that problems happen when the focus is on examining the bugs on the leaves on the twigs on the branches of the trees.

    Whereas i don’t think i or anyone can go wrong with focussing on treating people the way they want to be treated.

    and learning to tune in to God fm to derive strength and wisdom and other supernatural things for the journey — for oneself and for others. to solve one’s own problems and to solve bigger problems faced by our fellow human beings.

  140. When a book (or books) that were written thousands of years ago are accepted as the literal, inerrant & infallible word of god then I can’t say I’m ever surprised that this is the outcome.
    Everyone seems so shocked that Piper and the rest of the merry men continually spout this blarney.
    Sometimes coming here is like visiting an alternate universe.
    For what it’s worth, in my neck of the woods no one knows who piper is.
    On the flipside maybe the fact that no one knows who they are is why they get away with it.

  141. Abigail wrote:

    But it’s my view that you can still call out abuse and value women and still believe that the pastoral role is reserved for men

    It requires some cognitive dissonance and living in an inconsistent manner, though.

    Complementarians have yet to explain exactly what it is they believe women have or do that makes all women unqualified to be preachers. The most they can do is quote the verse about Paul and a “I forbid a woman to teach,” but they can’t explain the “why” of that either.

    Some may appeal to a creation order narrative in Genesis, but if one reads Genesis itself, there is no male hierarchy ordained by God (but one is predicted).

  142. Daisy wrote:

    Abigail wrote:
    But it’s my view that you can still call out abuse and value women and still believe that the pastoral role is reserved for men
    It requires some cognitive dissonance and living in an inconsistent manner, though.

    Sorry, a P.S. I forgot to mention this before.

    Like you will run into a lot of comps who have complementarian marriages who say things like, “the man is the head (boss) of the woman” but, you find out that their marriage is functionally egalitarian.

    They go by the label “complementarian,” but they live like gender egalitarians.

    Intuitively, a lot of comps realize comp is a bunch of un-workable, sexist drivel, but they feel pressured and guilt tripped into saying they are “comp” to please God or their churches.

    Some Complementarians live differently than what they preach, teach, believe – a lot of inconsistency and cognitive dissonance, as I was saying before.

  143. Jack wrote:

    Sometimes coming here is like visiting an alternate universe.
    For what it’s worth, in my neck of the woods no one knows who piper is.
    On the flipside maybe the fact that no one knows who they are is why they get away with it.

    I wish that were the case in the southeast US. Can’t go two steps without running into a “reformed” Piper-spouter. I live in a small city and I would say 1/4 of churches are TGC. A couple of those are the largest churches in the area. And I think that is significantly less than where I used to live, because there’s a big university in this small city that skews it away from fundamentalism more than cities nearby.

  144. Thersites wrote:

    If you mean Ignatius’ understanding of church hierarchy is clear, then yes I agree that he said it, I just don’t agree with it.

    Yes, this is what I meant. I don’t necessarily like it, but the early writings show the central role of bishops, priests, and deacons. It was not just Ignatius who wrote about this.

  145. refugee wrote:

    It’s that doublespeak HUG is known for quoting. I experienced that in our former church, where women and their value were extolled to the high heavens, even as their “role” became increasingly restricted.

    The favorite comp go-to line that they think justifies or eases sexual discrimination on the job in churches and Christian community:

    “You’re equal in worth, just not equal in role.”

    Oh. I see. That makes me feel so much better to know I’m excluded from certain positions just due to having been born female. Thanks. That makes the sexism so much easier to take. *roll eyes*

  146. Daisy wrote:

    “You’re equal in worth, just not equal in role.”

    Especially since it seems like the roles they assign women are the ones they don’t really want…

  147. Thersites wrote:

    although I do get my Kens mixed up on occasion.

    This is why I changed my moniker a while ago – I added a fabric to show my support for the daughters of satin. My wife chose Tweed for me because she thinks I look like a professor.

  148. refugee wrote:

    It’s that doublespeak HUG is known for quoting. I experienced that in our former church, where women and their value were extolled to the high heavens, even as their “role” became increasingly restricted.
    We were so incredibly valuable that we were literally good for nothing (of substance).

    And by the way, there are different types of sexism, a notion that fellow conservatives don’t like to acknowledge. (I am a rare breed of conservative in this, and it’s a lonely existence.)

    Often, the only types of sexism non-Liberals will acknowledge involves rape, men beating women to a pulp, or overt “cave man” type of behavior/ attitudes, where a man screams, “women should be barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen.”

    Of course, those are all bad things, but sexism is sometimes more subtle. Not all sexism is overt or drastic.

    One type of sexism I’ve read about (and seen first hand) – I think it was called “putting women on a pedestal.”

    You have the ‘Cave Men’ who bark that women are dumber than men and only good for baby making, while the guys who put women on a pedestal either treat us like we are super fragile

    (so we should be protected by men, not allowed to work as police or in the military),

    Or, we women are not allowed to have flaws, make mistakes… we have to be paragons of virtue for all men to look up to or whatever. We’re on a pedestal and must be morally perfect.

    The end result of that type of sexism is that women are still not allowed equal opportunities to men.

    Girls and women are taught to sit still in pretty dresses and not do much else besides flutter their eye lashes.

    A lot of conservatives don’t believe such subtle forms of sexism exist.

    The few that acknowledge it may exist think it should not matter, that American women should just put up with it, so long as women in 3rd world nations face more more severe forms of sexist borne abuse (e.g., stonings, or acid- in- the- face attacks).

  149. ishy wrote:

    Can’t go two steps without running into a “reformed” Piper-spouter.

    Which is one or two more steps than in some areas. I am surprised by how many people in my area cling to his every word. Any clear thinker should be able to see through his incongruities (and false teaching).

  150. refugee wrote:

    We were told that we were doing the most important job in the world: bearing and raising the next generation. This was to make us contented with our lot and keep us from noticing everything we were missing and that we were effectively locked out from all the opportunities and rich satisfaction of using our God-given gifts in any way other than a heavily constrained way.

    Motherhood Is Not a Woman’s Most Important Job
    http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/news/a21446/amal-clooney-motherhood-women/

    Snippet:

    Society’s specific glorification of motherhood— the repeated emphasis that it is a woman’s most important job— implies that a woman’s main purpose is not to change the world.

    It’s not to write books or invent or be feminist abolitionists. It is just to serve as a vessel for younger women and future men. …

    Subtly, gently, it is a view that tells women to do less. Why would a woman bother with the business of trying to lead a government or corporation when society is continually quick to remind her that, really, she should be focusing on mothering? Because that is her most important job.

    This might be less offensive if anyone said being a father is a man’s most important job. But it’s always assumed that a father’s most important job might be something like… being the President. Or walking on the moon.

  151. ishy wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    “You’re equal in worth, just not equal in role.”

    Especially since it seems like the roles they assign women are the ones they don’t really want…

    Yup. *nods*

  152. @ JYJames:

    I’m pretty sure that the Highpoint Church probably thought they were sending a message of Christ’s forgiveness, that they were sending a message about the grace of God, but at the end of the day, all any Non-Christians (and normal people, Christian or not) took away from how they handled the Andy Savage incident was this:

    “In Church, Confessing To Sexual Abuse Can Win You A Standing Ovation”

  153. Daisy wrote:

    Some may appeal to a creation order narrative in Genesis, but if one reads Genesis itself, there is no male hierarchy ordained by God (but one is predicted).

    Right, and some read Genesis 3 as God’s will for men and women rather than the unfortunate consequences of the fall. Wm. Paul Young has a really interesting video about this on YouTube from sermons he gave at Emanuel Enid

    https://youtu.be/inD956hvIMA
    https://youtu.be/6ZAi_VNdqs4

  154. Mercy wrote:

    (point 1)
    But, likewise, there seems to be strong emotion here against the role of male pastors.
    (point 2) Do we throw out the Word and intention of God just because there are flaws in the views of such men as Piper?

    Point 1. I don’t care if some preachers are men.
    I don’t think anyone else on this thread minds that, either.

    Point 2. Not sure what you mean here. It’s the complementarian interpretation of the Bible that only men can and should be preachers.

    There are egalitarian resources which show that the complementarian understanding of such Bible passages is incorrect.

    It’s not ‘clearly God’s intent’ that only one biological sex should have one position or role but not another, or that one sex should be prohibited from some role or another.

    It’s only “clear” to you if you’ve been indoctrinated to read the Bible in a certain way, to read it through a filter that assumes male hierarchy was God’s design.
    I grew up like that and used to read the Bible like that too.

  155. ishy wrote:

    I am wondering if Emily had the same experience, but going to SEBTS for me and taking theology and Greek was a consistent argument for egalitarianism, except they always reneged at the end. “Oh well, no submit isn’t in that verse, but… women have to submit because that’s biblical!”

    One guy who used to post here (and some famous complementarian guy whose name escapes me at the moment) argue that the “submit” in Ephesians 5:21, although it’s directed at ALL Christians does not apply to married Christian men.

    LOL. And they say they take the Bible seriously, literally, don’t allow their biases to color how they view the text!

  156. By the same logic, mothers shouldn’t be teaching their sons either. Only men should teach them table manners, and toileting, and looking both ways to cross the street, and picking up toys, tying shoes…. Mothers should only be teaching their daughters.

  157. Mercy wrote:

    But I stand my ground on the emotionally charged responses.

    I really haven’t seen a lot of emotions. A few people may have expressed frustration or anger, but even out of those, they had some well grounded reasons. They weren’t purely ranting and doing nothing but ranting.

  158. @ ishy:

    It’s strange to see how so many churches and Christians keep wanting to maintain or erect hierarchies, though Jesus Christ (and the rest of the NT) de-emphasized hierarchy and authority in favor of a level playing field for all.

    But you have so many churches today who want a hierarchy of men- to- women and clergy- to-laity.

    Jesus said it was not to be like that.

  159. Daisy wrote:

    One guy who used to post here (and some famous complementarian guy whose name escapes me at the moment) argue that the “submit” in Ephesians 5:21, although it’s directed at ALL Christians does not apply to married Christian men.

    I was just thinking about that guy! I couldn’t remember where he was from, though.

    It really is a classic example of an extrabiblical argument. I was trying to remember the source, too, but couldn’t. Maybe Ware? Sounds like something he would argue.

  160. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    My husband says that he doesn’t see what I see at church, maybe just because he’s a man.

    Mm-hmm, sounds familiar. I was saying in a post above that I’m one of the few conservatives I know of who see sexism beyond the most blatant, obvious types, such as rape, men beating women, etc.

    Sexism comes in different degrees, extremes, and flavors, and all of, minimal to extreme, ends up harming women, girls, and society in some fashion or another.

  161. Off the subject, but remember the folks in Port Acres ( near Port Arthur) here in Texas. They were starting to recover from the flooding from hurricane Harvey, and this morning they had 13.5 inches of rain, and many homes in that community flooded again.
    The local ABC station interviewed residents and most were saying, ” enough” and we’re looking at moving out of the area.

  162. Daisy wrote:

    It’s strange to see how so many churches and Christians keep wanting to maintain or erect hierarchies, though Jesus Christ (and the rest of the NT) de-emphasized hierarchy and authority in favor of a level playing field for all.

    It’s even weirder to me when I consider Calvinist worm theology. I mean, if everybody only wants to do evil and even being a Christian doesn’t solve that, then wouldn’t what they want to do be the wrong thing?

    Of course, I don’t think the New Cal leaders really believe worm theology applies to them</em. They are special snowflakes!

  163. Mercy wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    Mercy wrote:
    But I stand my ground on the emotionally charged responses.
    – – –
    (isy replied):
    I’m feeling like you have responded as emotionally as anybody else and have been unclear as to why. What are you saying exactly?

    (Mercy reply):
    No emotion on my part, just observations. The men and teachings we have seen are despicable.

    While we try to uphold the respect and value of women we are in danger of trashing some valued and good men.

    I suppose what I have seen played out recently in the other realms of society is also at risk of being played out in the church arena.
    That’s all.

    This sounds like the “me too” concern trolling I’ve seen on conservative TV shows and on Twitter, and it grates on my nerves.

    I think it’s misplaced worry, and it’s another method to get women to shut up about their negative experiences in culture, or on jobs.

    I keep seeing people claiming to be upset that
    1. women publicly discussing sexual assault or harassment will minimize rape (really, how so, because I don’t see that at all),

    2. and that some innocent men will be fired from their jobs over sexual harassment hysteria.

    I’ve so far (and we are like four months into the Me Too movement) have not seen any of this happen.

    I find it odd that for once, while women are being heard and believed Re: sexual harassment, a lot of people (generally who are anti- feminism), run out immediately to make these issues all about men and how men can be “hurt” by women discussing how women have been hurt by men. It’s so tone deaf.

    How does a topic that hurts women that is about women and women are talking about get turned into a Men’s Cause and “let’s all pity men.”?

  164. Forrest wrote:

    Thersites wrote:

    Forrest wrote:

    Shepherd=Pastor

    Your text implies Shepherd=Elder=Pastor, that will come as news to all the “pastors” that place themselves above “elders”. I am still missing the unmistakable directive for the office of pastor.

    Just quoting the verse from the bible, Thersites. People interpret things in many different ways and abuse the scriptures to fit their own views. We always need to go back to the bible and read it in context for ourselves instead of just accepting what men say about it. What I see there is a biblical authority for the pastoral role. That does not mean I agree with what the *churches* have done with it.

    Is the original language indisputably male?

    I always wonder about such things, knowing that we are all quoting translations.

  165. I have all of this put another… G$d said, I believei it, that settles it. Basically, the logic does not matter… if you disagree with such a such position, you are rebelling with G$d.
    For example, some YEC take this path…. They do not care what the physics says….. They just believe what they think the Bible says, peroid.

  166. ishy wrote:

    I also think that while there are of course extremes on both sides, talking about something is the only way it can be fixed. And things like “You’re too emotional” is exactly the kind of language abusers use to silence their victims when they are telling about their pain.

    Months and months ago, this would come up every so often on the threads on this blog.
    There’s always one person (every so often) who chimes in that he or she is supposedly against male on female sexism, but by golly, the bigger danger is the nation (or church) turning into a Matriarchy.

    Women have never had all power in this nation or in its churches – men always have. The idea that women are trying to turn things into a Matriarchy is laughable, but more so is the idea that we have the MEANS to do it. (But most of us do not want to do it. Wanting equality of opportunity is not the same things as wanting control of or power over).

    Also see this animated GIF, as it sums up the issue well (this is how some men (and women) perceive women seeking equality):
    https://media.giphy.com/media/2ohBHnGAWLY1G/giphy.gif

    Because the woman in the animation gets ONE ice cream scoop for every two or three the man gets, he thinks the situation is MISANDRY!

  167. Mercy wrote:

    I’m completely baffled by this line of comments. I am a Christian woman who believes in the authority of Scripture. I do not approve of twisting passages out of context. I see the complementarian bent as wrong. But, likewise, there seems to be strong emotion here against the role of male pastors. Do we throw out the Word and intention of God just because there are flaws in the views of such men as Piper? While i abhor what such men have said and done to bolster their own egotistical control i feel that we women have taken it to the opposite extreme. And that is just as bad. We must always return to the full counsel of God. Often, that is lackng when our emotions are running high.

    I am not against male pastors. I do question the restriction to male only, however.

  168. Mercy wrote:

    You put words in my mouth.

    All I can go by is the posts you’ve made in this thread.

    My hunch, based on those posts, is that you are a “soft complementarian.”

    You likely think it’s “biblical” that women not be allowed to work as preachers, but you also think it’s bad that men in the church are mean to women.

    I could be wrong, but that’s what you seem to be implying or getting at in your posts above.

  169. @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    I sometimes think all that “wise counsel” stuff is code speak for “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” – it’s all C.Y.A., designed for them to cover for each other when and if they get into trouble over extra marital affairs or whatever else.

  170. Jerome wrote:

    Were these empty words for women?
    What exactly are the “key pulpits” Akin wants/wanted these brothers and sisters to fill?
    What are “key positions in our seminaries” Akin wants/wanted these brothers and sisters to fill?

    Good catch.

  171. Lea wrote:

    I think the fact that theology about women causes so much pain to people like Emily, and to women and girls all over this part of the Christian world is a good indication that it is wrong. It creates hard hearts in its followers. There is too much evidence of this.

    I agree with you, but too many complementarians are willing to disregard the actual daily lives and lived experience of girls and women.

    They don’t care that their ideas, opinions, and interpretations have real world impact on actual people.

    Their interpretation of the Bible (and defending it) is more important to them than how that interpretation plays out in the lives of people.

    One case in point: Tim Challies’ review of Ruth Tucker’s book on how complementarianism contributed to her domestic abuse – he told his readers to stay away from her book, don’t read it.

  172. One of the advantages of my ‘non-denominational’ seminary was that we had a wide range of beliefs and denominations represented. One of the areas in which women faculty taught M.Div. students was in Biblical Languages. Since Piper isn’t concerned about competence in those teaching future pastors, it would be logical that there might be a lack of competence…

    I am annoyed by the fact that these folks tend to focus only on the “gender role” issue while completely ignoring (minimizing and denying) the passages in the Bible where there are clear instructions for getting rid of abusers from a congregation. Sometimes, these guys sound like the church in Corinth.

  173. emily honey wrote:

    The Society exists to cultivate academic gifting and professional development in Women at Southeastern at both the college and seminary level.

    The way this gets accomplished is through regular meetings, mentoring relationships from professionals in academia, career networking, colloquiums, round-table discussions, and more

    … where married women (and all women are married! only harlots and liberal man hating feminists are single past age of 25) will be taught how to graciously submit to their husbands.

    Some round table discussions will also include recipe swapping, where our lady guests will learn how to bake delicious muffins.

    Follow up courses will include how to…
    – thoroughly remove all suds from sudsy drinking glasses
    -how to winsomely give driving directions in such a winning feminine way to lost male drivers that they won’t feel as though their masculinity is threatened.

  174. ishy wrote:

    I feel like it’s a similar line of reasoning to those who say that confronting abusers in the church hurts the church. I think non-Christians see right through Christians who are just pretending that they have no problems and that is a way worse testimony to faith. Denying there’s a problem just results in that problem continuing and compounding.

    Agreed. And this is also a very big and recurring problem.

  175. ishy wrote:

    He said, “We have to know everything the Bible is saying to us.”

    I’m not sure if I completely understand what he meant by that, but one thing I’ve noticed in the last few years is that even among all the groups that say they take the Bible literally and seriously, none of them agree with each other 100%, even on some of the topics I’d consider more mundane.

    It makes you wonder. You have all these people who claim to respect the Bible and interpret it at face value, yet, they all still disagree with each other on a bunch of subjects.

    I wonder what the point is in having a supposedly inerrant, spiritually authoritative book if nobody can agree on what it means, or how to implement what it says.

  176. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Thersites wrote:

    One often discussed topic was reading a historian and disagreeing with their conclusions.

    But this is a case where we have the actual writings. For example, the seven letters of Ignatius clearly show he believed in the central role of bishops. I don’t see how this can be open to interpretation. Same with the Didache, 1 Clement, and other early writings.

    “Traditions of men”?

  177. Daisy wrote:

    I think non-Christians see right through Christians who are just pretending that they have no problems and that is a way worse testimony to faith. Denying there’s a problem just results in that problem continuing and compounding.
    //
    Agreed. And this is also a very big and recurring problem.

    I have been thinking since I posted that about how many evangelicals really don’t know any non-Christians or they have shut down from the non-Christians in their lives. I’m the only Christian in my family, and they are pretty blunt about how they feel about Christians, and I can’t help but see many of their points.

    But a whole lot of people I knew in college and seminary lived in tiny bubbles their entire lives. Christian schools or homeschooled. Was in church 3-4 times a week. Straight to Christian college. NonChristians were evil, bad influences and the only proper way to talk to them was by Bible bashing them.

    My first day at Liberty, my roommate’s mom threw a tantrum in the housing office because she asked my dad where he went to church and he said “That’s her thing.” Of course, that meant I would be a terrible influence on her precious daughter and that was a big problem. To the girl’s credit, the first week of school, she came up and apologized for the way her mom behaved. I encountered that kind of attitude a number of times there being from a non-Christian family. God has a sense of humor, though, because it was that girl who I found stranded with a broken down car in the middle of nowhere on fall break. I made sure she got home even though we had to rent a trailer to fit everyone and their stuff.

  178. Daisy wrote:

    I wonder what the point is in having a supposedly inerrant, spiritually authoritative book if nobody can agree on what it means, or how to implement what it says.

    That’s what led me to investigate early church history. I wanted to see how they understood things. Even though the early church did not appear to have women bishops and priests, they did allow women to teach men (Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa were taught theology by their older sister Macrina) and their most venerated saint was (is) a woman. Maybe not perfect, but much better than what the YRRs are pushing. If the YRRs want to stand on early church history they need to give greater respect to women. Maybe that is one of the reasons they don’t go back further than Augustine (he was a true misogynist).

  179. Daisy wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    He said, “We have to know everything the Bible is saying to us.”
    //
    I’m not sure if I completely understand what he meant by that

    He literally meant he (as a Christian of only a few years) had to know how to interpret every verse in the Bible with perfect clarity. The fundamentalists would say “inerrant and infallible” when they really mean their interpretation was infallible, even if they really hadn’t studied the verse much.

    His argument actually went on for about an hour on how he had to know everything right now and he could know because people like Piper already knew. I didn’t think of it then, but later I decided that if that were true, God would have given us a several thousand volume textbook theology set, not a book about people and their relationships with God and each other.

  180. ishy wrote:

    I had one of the founders of CBMW as a professor and he bragged about how he would choose his daughter’s husband from “famous well-known Christian families”.

    Someone maybe should educate him that arranged marriages is more about Hindu and India than American Christianity.

    So his daughter gets no say so in who she marries?

  181. refugee wrote:

    “Traditions of men”?

    But doesn’t the NT fall into that category? My “Sesame Street” training causes me to question when “one of these things is not like the other.” If we reject those “traditions of men” then why should we not reject the NT? What differentiates the written tradition?

  182. @ Daisy:

    They aren’t doing that and are actually doing academics. I have a comment in moderation that gives a few more links from SEBTS perspective that I posted right after that comment.

    But I don’t think soft complementarianism goes with women functioning as a holistic human being in scholarship, even if they are in an approved teaching subject.

    You also see statements like, “We need more female theologians and more female scholars on our book and reading lists.” Then why can’t they teach theology at seminary, then? I also think church history and philosophy, two “allowed” hiring disciplines, inevitably includes an inseparable relationship with theology and you end up teaching theology while you teach those disciplines.

    Though some women and men in these environments have that mentality you describe. I was so confused when I found out about Dorothy Patterson and her beliefs and Mary Kassian’s beliefs and SWBTS Homemaking, and so on.

  183. Daisy wrote:

    So his daughter gets no say so in who she marries?

    No, of course not. He made her sign a covenant with that exact language! At 13!

  184. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    but the patricians chose to leave their church organization out.

    They left it out of the Bible but it dominates much of their historical writings. They very clearly did NOT leave out their church organization from their writings. This is the problem.

    Perhaps, then, their writings might be considered in the same light as such passages as those where Paul clarified “this is not the Lord, but this is what I think myself…”

  185. His exact words were “I have to know she will marry a good Christian, so I made her sign a covenant at 13 that I would chose her husband. I mean, how else would I know he wasn’t a good Christian unless he was from a well-known, famous Christian family?” This was a theology professor, BTW. Who equated “good Christians” with “well-known” and “famous”. He only taught Grudem in all of his classes, too.

    I honestly don’t know if that’s what happened in the end. My class actually roasted him for saying that and with extensive Bible references.

    She did, however, marry into a “well-known, famous” Christian family…

  186. John Piper holds strange and unsubstantiated views of women.

    So what else is new?

    Guy really needs to be on South Park. He’s a cartoon of himself.

  187. ishy wrote:

    She did, however, marry into a “well-known, famous” Christian family…

    Like Circe Lannister into House Baratheon, or like Sansa Stark into House Bolton?

  188. ishy wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    “You’re equal in worth, just not equal in role.”
    ~ ~ ~
    Especially since it seems like the roles they assign women are the ones they don’t really want…

    Quoting Man Who Has It All parody account (on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter):

    “I believe men are equal but different. For example, they are much better at cleaning and I think they should celebrate that”
    -Claire, CEO.

    for more:
    http://umirror.in/6-reason-why-you-should-follow-man-who-has-it-all/

  189. Daisy wrote:

    Someone maybe should educate him that arranged marriages is more about Hindu and India than American Christianity.

    But how else can you keep the bloodline pure?
    Just ask the Pharoahs of Egypt or the Spanish Hapsburgs!

  190. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Thersites wrote:

    One often discussed topic was reading a historian and disagreeing with their conclusions.

    But this is a case where we have the actual writings. For example, the seven letters of Ignatius clearly show he believed in the central role of bishops. I don’t see how this can be open to interpretation. Same with the Didache, 1 Clement, and other early writings.

    Something about the Didache:
    A third of the book is how to spot a phony preacher/false teacher/con man.

  191. ishy wrote:

    No, of course not. He made her sign a covenant with that exact language! At 13!

    And he gave her a ring…

  192. Muff Potter wrote:

    Questions lead to more questions, which can in turn lead to heresy, apostasy, and quite possibly your (generic your) eternal destiny. Better to just accept and rest in what the clergy tells you (generic you).

    “Questions lead to Thinking.
    Thinking leads to Doubt.
    Doubt leads to Heresy.
    Heresy must be Dealt With.
    Blessed is the mind too small for Doubt.”
    — Warhammer 40K

  193. ishy wrote:

    I think you are completely wrong on this. I think there can only be good men if women are also elevated.

    Not in the Zero-Sum Game.
    In the Zero-Sum Game, you win by making the other lose, climb up by pushing the other down.
    And when it comes to Men & Women, these guys are into the Zero-Sum Game on steroids.

  194. Muff Potter wrote:

    Over time their religion and the enclaves in which it’s practiced will dry up and blow away like so many Walmart bags snarled in chain-link fences.

    But how much collateral damage will they do in the meantime?

  195. ishy wrote:

    I was just thinking about that guy! I couldn’t remember where he was from, though.
    It really is a classic example of an extrabiblical argument. I was trying to remember the source, too, but couldn’t. Maybe Ware? Sounds like something he would argue.

    I believe the guy was one of the Kens, possibly the guy I dubbed “flag Ken.” If I’m not mistaken, he had a German flag by his screen name.

    I’m not sure if he arrived at that conclusion on his own or read it somewhere. But he felt that the “everyone submit to all” in Eph 5.21 was not meant for married men.

    He also cited extra biblical sources to back up his views, but when I had done so earlier on another point, he claimed that was a “liberal” practice.

    Mutual Submission is not a Myth | by Marg Mowczko
    http://margmowczko.com/mutual-submission-is-not-a-myth/

  196. Max wrote:

    refugee wrote:

    It’s like they’ve all been put under a spell.

    The Pied Piper and his band of Piperites at work.

    Remember bad Christianese End Times movies?
    Once you take The Mark, you immediately become fanatically Loyal unto Death to The Antichrist.

  197. elastigirl wrote:

    not so with the american christian masses huddled in their stuffy american tents, breathing each other’s exhales. their brains befuddled from lack of oxygen.

    Breathing each others’ exhales or each others’ farts?

  198. K.D. wrote:

    “Cook my supper, raise my kids, give me ‘relations.’” All while weighting 110lbs, looking like a model from Pl*yb*y, acting like a demon in bed, a saint in public, especially at church….never questioning the authority of the man.

    Don’t keep handing me straight lines…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgxPq4isAI8

  199. Steve wrote:

    1. There’s nothing in the Bible about seminaries.
    2. Therefore there’s nothing in the Bible about who should teach in seminaries.

    “When Priscilla and Aquila heard [Apollos], they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.” Acts 18:26

    Result: “[H]e was a great help to those who by grace had believed. For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.” Acts 18:27-28

    And nobody had a hissy fit.

  200. ishy wrote:

    Especially since it seems like the roles they assign women are the ones they don’t really want…

    And, we stuck in those roles for life ………… A life sentence?

  201. elastigirl wrote:

    it’s not that the comments are unkind or misogynistic. it’s listening to men analyze any-woman’s fate like she’s a plant specimen or animal specimen. like a test subject in a science experiment being given various treatments of biblical.

    trying to find the formulation that is least harmful to any-woman but still biblical in these analytical experiments.

    The Cold Equations of the Analytical Experiments?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cold_Equations

  202. @ ishy:
    My wife’s parents once told me that they really had to really vet my sister-in-law because they weren’t sure if her parents were Christians. Then they met some of her family friends who were Christians so they felt ok about it.

    I’m glad I don’t get judged by my family dysfunction. I hope my daughter marries a good man. No matter where he is from, if he is a good man who will love and respect her, I will be thrilled

    I couldn’t believe they said this to me. I still feel like I am constantly being evaluated by them. What makes it worse is they didn’t know that my dad had an affair when I was in high school and later abandoned our family for a time. A year after this conversation my mom committed suicide. Before my mom died, my family presented a perfect Christian family facade to the world. It was all a lie. My dad still tries to live in that lie, while I am seeking to live a life that acknowledges the reality of what has happened.

    All this to say, the idea that marrying into a “famous Christian family” will protect your kid from hardships is so dumb. My parents were both teachers in our small town in Virginia. We knew almost everyone in that community, and almost no one knew the kinds of things my dad did and my mom’s struggles with mental illness and despair. We don’t actually know many of the people we think we do.

  203. @ ishy:

    I was a devout Christian for many years, but due to a few reasons starting a few years ago, I’ve been out of the Christian bubble. I’ve not completely rejected the Christian faith, but I have severe doubts, so I’m kind of somewhat agnostic. (It’s hard for me to explain what I am now.)

    But it’s definitely easier for me to see how Non-Christians perceive Christians than it was before.

    Good on you for helping that stranded college class mate of yours. I think that’s an example of you being a good Christian.

    One problem of several I’ve had with the faith is I have honestly not seen too many self-professing Christians (in real life or online, outside a few on these types of blogs) who actually DO stuff to help people.

    This is foreign to me, because my Mom especially (and my Dad) are both Christian, but they put their faith to work. They would mow lawns of sick neighbors, drive sick neighbors or sick church members to doctor appointments, etc.

    And I tried to actually do things for people, too, not just utter platitudes at them or say “I’ll pray for you” and then walk off.

    Since my mom died, I haven’t come across too many Christians who put their faith into action. They like to TALK about their faith but not do much with it, or some (like the Andy Savage churches) mis-handle their faith (protect abusers, not the victims).

    It makes me feel glad that you offered practical assistance to someone in need.

  204. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    That was interesting information.

    I guess my Journey of Doubt is a little different from yours.

    My issue is, as I said, that we have this book that all these different denominations say they respect and believe in, but they can’t agree on what it means or how to apply it.

    In regards to your struggle with the Bible at the moment, (the canonization formation etc), that never has bothered me too much personally. Which I don’t say to diminish your struggle, just that I guess all the reading I did years ago made it a non-issue for me.

    Not only did I read a bunch of books about the history of the Bible, transmission of its text (during my studies on atheist arguments against the Bible), but I ran into some King James Version Onlyists way back when, which caused me to study up on how we got the Bible today.

    Then, I got into a year or two study (where I did a ton of reading) about Roman Catholicism. Studying up on Roman Catholicism got into issues of interpretation, canonization, etc.

    I don’t remember all of what I read in detail on all this stuff, expect the Bible text is trustworthy and that canonization (how the books were selected) is not my cause of concern.
    It’s the plurality of interpretation from all these groups who say they’re ‘sola scriptura’ and/or that they “gave us” the Bible, etc. That’s been one of my main hang ups with the Bible.

  205. Daisy wrote:

    expect the Bible text

    The word there should be “except.”

    In other words, after spending several years doing a ton of reading about the Bible, I walked away not having problems with the canonization process or textual transmission, etc.

  206. Daisy wrote:

    It’s strange to see how so many churches and Christians keep wanting to maintain or erect hierarchies, though Jesus Christ (and the rest of the NT) de-emphasized hierarchy and authority in favor of a level playing field for all.

    Hierarchies for power to be in charge and profit, but when someone up the ranks goes off the rails with all of that power and profit, then sin leveling, because at that point,

    “We’re human and anyone can make a mistake or experience an ‘incident’. Happenstance. As soon as everyone gets over it, we’ll resume our rank in the hierarchy.”

  207. emr wrote:

    “When Priscilla and Aquila heard [Apollos], they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.” Acts 18:26

    Also in Romans 16:3, after commending the deacon Phoebe, Paul writes:

    “Greet Priscilla and Aquila”

    No less than Charles Spurgeon noted, of the order of the spouses’ names:

    “He named Priscilla first, because she was first in energy of character and attainments in grace. There is a precedence which, in Christ, is due to the woman when she becomes the leader in devotion, and manifests the stronger mind in the things of God. It is well when nature and grace both authorize our saying, ‘Aquila and Priscilla,’ but it is not amiss when grace outruns nature, and we hear of, ‘Priscilla and Aquila.'”

  208. Mary27 wrote:

    It’s a good thing Piper’s viewpoint has not been applied to missions (yet).

    Nor has it been applied to aging.

    As mentioned earlier: there are no atheists in foxholes and no complementarians in hospice. Once a spouse’s mind goes, the other steps in and makes decisions, regardless of theology.

  209. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    But how much collateral damage will they do in the meantime?

    Quite a bit I’ll wager. We’ve seen stories of zealous Calvinists, even some from ‘apologetics’ ministries who are now full on atheists. There are also tales of kids who when confronted with College Science as applied to human origins, have now renounced their former faith because they can see no sensible fulcrum point between the two.

    I’m an optimist, I believe the Church Universal will endure and emerge from the rubble just like Hamburg and Dresden did. She’s tough, resilient, and believes in a better future for all.

  210. Daisy wrote:

    Mercy wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    Mercy wrote:
    But I stand my ground on the emotionally charged responses.
    – – –
    (isy replied):
    I’m feeling like you have responded as emotionally as anybody else and have been unclear as to why. What are you saying exactly?

    (Mercy reply):
    No emotion on my part, just observations. The men and teachings we have seen are despicable.

    While we try to uphold the respect and value of women we are in danger of trashing some valued and good men.

    I suppose what I have seen played out recently in the other realms of society is also at risk of being played out in the church arena.
    That’s all.

    This sounds like the “me too” concern trolling I’ve seen on conservative TV shows and on Twitter, and it grates on my nerves.

    I think it’s misplaced worry, and it’s another method to get women to shut up about their negative experiences in culture, or on jobs.

    I keep seeing people claiming to be upset that
    1. women publicly discussing sexual assault or harassment will minimize rape (really, how so, because I don’t see that at all),

    2. and that some innocent men will be fired from their jobs over sexual harassment hysteria.

    I’ve so far (and we are like four months into the Me Too movement) have not seen any of this happen.

    I find it odd that for once, while women are being heard and believed Re: sexual harassment, a lot of people (generally who are anti- feminism), run out immediately to make these issues all about men and how men can be “hurt” by women discussing how women have been hurt by men. It’s so tone deaf.

    How does a topic that hurts women that is about women and women are talking about get turned into a Men’s Cause and “let’s all pity men.”?

    That may be true in some but that is not my view. The #metoo movement has unleashed the ugly raw truth and we have seen that all levels of society have been touched. It should never be turned around into a men’s pity movement. No one will pity Nassar for the justice that was handed down for his crimes against girls and women. And believe me, I really wish Andy Savage and his ilk would get proper punishment in this life. I am eager for justice. I hate what Jules Woodson must still be enduring. So no, I do not in any way condone feeling sorry for men. These are abuse issues.

  211. Daisy wrote:

    Mercy wrote:

    You put words in my mouth.

    All I can go by is the posts you’ve made in this thread.

    My hunch, based on those posts, is that you are a “soft complementarian.”

    You likely think it’s “biblical” that women not be allowed to work as preachers, but you also think it’s bad that men in the church are mean to women.

    I could be wrong, but that’s what you seem to be implying or getting at in your posts above.

    I actually walked away from church. It has been a long journey of reorientation. I’m still grappling with some issues. From Roman Catholicism to Evangelicalism… you won’t find any sympathy in me to do church. Quite the opposite. But that does not negate my faith. It has had the opposite effect. I’m still learning, bringing truth into areas that had presented problems.

  212. ishy wrote:

    Why did they canonize what they did and leave out the rest?

    That’s one of my questions too ishy. The old original King James Version included The Apocrypha. I’ve always found them fascinating and well worth worth the read.

    From what I can surmise, they (the apocrypha) were never meant to have equal footing (by way of canonization) with Scripture in the old KJV, they were there solely as a kind of historical context, provenance, and romance.

  213. Muff Potter wrote:

    Quite a bit I’ll wager. We’ve seen stories of zealous Calvinists, even some from ‘apologetics’ ministries who are now full on atheists

    The Puritans did give rise to the Unitarians within 3 generations.

    I used to think this was a horrible insult. Unitarians are some of those liberals I’m supposed to hate. I’m not a Unitarian because I believe in the Trinity, but I do think they have some good points. It is fascinating that the American Puritans changed so much so quickly. I’d love to read more about this transition by a non-Calvinist, or just anyone who doesn’t worship Jonathan Edwards.

  214. Daisy wrote:

    “wise counsel” stuff is code speak for “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”

    It’s a club.

  215. Ricco wrote:

    The Puritans did give rise to the Unitarians within 3 generations.

    John Adams, 2nd president, became Unitarian. He is one of my favorite, although quirky, characters of the revolutionary leaders.

  216. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    I think you are completely wrong on this. I think there can only be good men if women are also elevated.

    Not in the Zero-Sum Game.
    In the Zero-Sum Game, you win by making the other lose, climb up by pushing the other down.
    And when it comes to Men & Women, these guys are into the Zero-Sum Game on steroids.

    No, not just a Zero-Sum Game on steroids. More like the Hunger Games.

  217. Ricco wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:

    Quite a bit I’ll wager. We’ve seen stories of zealous Calvinists, even some from ‘apologetics’ ministries who are now full on atheists

    The Puritans did give rise to the Unitarians within 3 generations.

    I used to think this was a horrible insult. Unitarians are some of those liberals I’m supposed to hate. I’m not a Unitarian because I believe in the Trinity, but I do think they have some good points. It is fascinating that the American Puritans changed so much so quickly. I’d love to read more about this transition by a non-Calvinist, or just anyone who doesn’t worship Jonathan Edwards.

    Maybe it has something to do with Puritans/Calvinists being nearly pantheist. Once you have a God who becomes dependent on His creation’s existence so that He can meticulously control every atom (or else He won’t have His “Sovereignty” attribute to boast of), having God being Triune in nature becomes meaningless. His essence essentially permeates every atom until it’s all just one big Unitarian blob.

  218. Daisy wrote:

    Mercy wrote:

    (point 1)
    But, likewise, there seems to be strong emotion here against the role of male pastors.
    (point 2) Do we throw out the Word and intention of God just because there are flaws in the views of such men as Piper?

    Point 1. I don’t care if some preachers are men.
    I don’t think anyone else on this thread minds that, either.

    Point 2. Not sure what you mean here. It’s the complementarian interpretation of the Bible that only men can and should be preachers.

    There are egalitarian resources which show that the complementarian understanding of such Bible passages is incorrect.

    It’s not ‘clearly God’s intent’ that only one biological sex should have one position or role but not another, or that one sex should be prohibited from some role or another.

    It’s only “clear” to you if you’ve been indoctrinated to read the Bible in a certain way, to read it through a filter that assumes male hierarchy was God’s design.
    I grew up like that and used to read the Bible like that too.

    The original question under discussion was the validity of the position (or office) of pastor, not whether it could be filled by a male or female. If the office is invalid then the question of who occupies it is moot. In the Christian faith the only way of validating any belief is by going back to the scriptures. This, I believe, was the underlying point. It is then possible to have a discussion about different interpretations.

  219. @ Daisy:
    “How does a topic that hurts women that is about women and women are talking about get turned into a Men’s Cause and “let’s all pity men.”?”

    I don’t see anybody doing this here.

  220. Daisy wrote:

    In regards to your struggle with the Bible at the moment,

    I agree with you on the reliability of the Bible. My struggle is with the implications of my belief that the Bible is true. Since I accept it, why don’t I also want to accept all the teachings and traditions passed down by the same men who gave us the NT? The same people who gave us the Bible also gave us the central role of bishops and priests, liturgical worship, infant baptism, transubstantiation, perpetual virginity of Mary, venerarion of saints and icons, etc. These are all affirmed by the patriotic writings. If we Protestants reject so many of these things, it seems incongruous to not also reject the NT. What gives us the authority to pick and choose?

    Daisy wrote:

    It’s the plurality of interpretation from all these groups who say they’re ‘sola scriptura’ and/or that they “gave us” the Bible, etc. That’s been one of my main hang ups with the Bible.

    Mine too. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of different and conflicting streams of Protestants all claiming to be following the clear meaning of the Bible. They cannot all be right. Eastern Orthodoxy is tempting because of its theology and historical roots. But it would be quite a shift to make. That is my struggle right now.

  221. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    The Gospels and Epistles contained in the NT came from the apostles, not from the supposed *church fathers*. The *church fathers* will have had their own agenda.

  222. ___

    “Fighting The Symptom(s) Rather Than The Virus, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Dee: “I contend that the lack of female wisdom for pastors in training has contributed to the incompetent responses to reported abuse by groups of men and pastors such as:

    John Piper
    Ligon Duncan
    Mark Dever
    Al Mohler
    Matt Chandler
    CJ Mahaney
    Andy Savage
    Chris Conlee
    Pastor Steddon
    Denny Burk
    Danny Akin
    Albert Mohler”

    The Gospel Coalition
    9 Marks
    Acts 29
    The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary SBTS
    Desiring God
    Council of Biblical Manhood

    Dee, What these men and their 501(c)3 religious organizations have in common is Calvinism. Calvinism, as you may recall, is simple repackaged Augustinian Gnosticism.

    Calvinism not unlike Augustinian Gnosticism that came before it, is made to give the true appearance of Biblical Christianity. The God represented by this false theological religious system is made to look like the God represented in the Bible and His holy words.

    If these men and their 501(c)3 organizations are following an age old religious deception, how can they be true to the very God in Heaven, and His wonderful words recorded in the pages of scriptures.

    Q. If their very foundation is false how can any real good come from it?

    May I respectfully remind you that that it is best to fight the disease or virus, rather than the apparent symptom(s).

    Calvinism is a spreading virus infecting all it touches, Its discovery and cure needs to be addressed directly forthwith.

    “I have hides Thy word in my heart that I may not sin against Thee.” (1)

    In His Service,

    ATB

    Sòpy
    —-
    (1) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cOoeQoRHZVs
    Calvinism, 101: Best short Calvinism reference:
    The Five Points Of Calvinism
    Defined,Defended, Documented
    David N. Steele, Curtis C. Thomas
    https://www.amazon.com/Five-Points-Calvinism-Defended-Documented/dp/0875528279/ref=sr_1_1/144-9478068-3185137?ie=UTF8&qid=1517142734&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Five+Points+Of+Calvinism+Defined%2CDefended%2C+Documented

    https://www.christianbook.com/the-five-points-calvinism-2nd-ed/david-steele/9780875528274/pd/28279?event=ESRCG

    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&an=Steele&tn=The+Five+Points+Of+Calvinism&kn=&isbn=

    ;~)

    – –

  223. Daisy wrote:

    @ Muslin, fka Dee Holmes:
    I sometimes think all that “wise counsel” stuff is code speak for “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” – it’s all C.Y.A., designed for them to cover for each other when and if they get into trouble over extra marital affairs or whatever else.

    I think I mentioned this the other day, but a pastor at SBC Voices said when he was youth pastor, his senior pastor told him that if he ‘messed up’ with one of the girls they’d have to fire him but they’d find him another job.

    Which is exactly what happened with Andy. And a really terrible incentive system, and disregard of young girls.

  224. ishy wrote:

    I encountered that kind of attitude a number of times there being from a non-Christian family.

    That this behavior and treatment of a fellow believe is so UN christian should be obvious on its face. It is astounding to me. I’m sorry.

  225. ishy wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    So his daughter gets no say so in who she marries?
    No, of course not. He made her sign a covenant with that exact language! At 13!

    I know you’ve told this story before but I missed that. Oh no!!!! Insanity.

  226. Muff Potter wrote:

    There are also tales of kids who when confronted with College Science as applied to human origins, have now renounced their former faith because they can see no sensible fulcrum point between the two

    Someone told me about a med student who had a faith crisis when they saw that male and female skeletons have the same number of ribs.

  227. Forrest wrote:

    The Gospels and Epistles contained in the NT came from the apostles, not from the supposed *church fathers*. The *church fathers* will have had their own agenda.

    This is true, but it does not tell the whole story. What the church fathers did was sort out the authentic apostolic writings from the non-authentic. It was a long and messy process that was not resolved until the early 4th century. This means that there was no sola scriptura for the first 300 years of Christianity because there was no universally agreed upon scriptura. There is no getting around the fact that the early church fathers decided what books should and should not be included in the NT. The question is whether or not they got it right. I believe they did. But that has implications on the other “apostolic” traditions they passed down.

  228. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    There are hundreds (if not thousands) of different and conflicting streams of Protestants all claiming to be following the clear meaning of the Bible. They cannot all be right.

    Obviously.

    At the same time, why would you think that either the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox would be totally correct either? I don’t mean to sound ugly here, but I am wondering how much you may be looking for the truth as compared to how much you may be looking for certainty? One can be certain and still be wrong. Or not.

    Objective truth on the one hand and subjective certainty on the other hand are not conjoined twins.

  229. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t mean to sound ugly here, but I am wondering how much you may be looking for the truth as compared to how much you may be looking for certainty?

    This is not being ugly – it’s exactly my dilemma. It’s looking like there is no perfect form of Christianity – the church has always been messed up in one way or another. It comes down to choosing which version to settle on. But one thing I do know is the YRRs who stress theological precision are on the wrong track. That hoped-for precision does not exist.

  230. Mercy wrote:

    Decades of being a church member and walking away has left me with one opinion…. seminaries are dangerous institutions which are teaching unbiblical philosophies. They are not of God. This isn’t a male/female issue only. Men like Piper have made it so. But it is far bigger. The Gospel is not understood. It is not taught. And graduates who go on to be pastors are leading people over cliffs of eternal damnation. I believe that is the most important fact.

    Wow! You spoke the truth in just a few sentences. Amen to everything you stated!

    There comes a time when one (whether female or male) has to ask this pertinent question:

    “Is John Piper truly a saved man? I mean, really a born again believer and follower of Jesus Christ (the Jesus of our Scriptures, that is) ?”

    In studying Sharia, the Islam Laws, I find it interesting that Piper’s understanding of women, lines up perfectly with the caste systems and the mistreatment of women, who know absolutely nothing of Jesus Christ.

    In my Bible study this morning, worshiping Christ in spirit and truth in my home, I have some questions for Piper regarding these truths from Scriptures:

    Matthew 28:1-10 “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightening, and his clothing as white as snow.”

    “And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.”

    “But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

    ” “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee, there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.” ”

    “And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by His feet and worshiped Him.”

    “Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

    What a fascinating revelation from our Holy Scriptures, to say the least. I often wonder how the deviant and rebellious male pastors of our day (including Piper and wolves like him), address these Scriptures which point out the faith and works of women back in Jesus’ day? And to fully understand the love towards these women, by the Risen Jesus Himself, in addition to an angel of the Lord……….I am in awe and wonder at this beautiful scene, and how much Jesus loves women!

    It is verses and truths such as these, that I KNOW without any reasonable doubt, that I am loved and valued by our King, our risen LORD Jesus Christ!

  231. Lea wrote:

    That this behavior and treatment of a fellow believe is so UN christian should be obvious on its face. It is astounding to me. I’m sorry.

    I’m tough and I mostly rolled my eyes at people like that, but those are the same people that were miffed that their in-your-face gospel explanation wouldn’t be immediately accepted by someone they chased down on the street.

    There were a lot of people there that didn’t realize that someone is not going to become a Christian unless they saw Christ in people over a long period of time.

  232. And if I may add a few notes of pondering to myself here, please bear with me……..

    1) How in the world did those women go off on their own, without the escort of a man, to the tomb of our Savior?
    2) Why did those male guards shake with fear and “became like dead men.” After all, according to the viper-speak of Piper, “Men were the only ones created to LEAD.”
    3) Why did the angel speak to the women, after all, weren’t women regarded as the “lesser” back in Jesus’ day as well? Shouldn’t the angel have waited around for a man to come to Jesus’ tomb in order to give them the instructions for the disciples?
    4) The angel invited the women into the tomb to see where Jesus had been placed…..why did the angel do that? According to the Piper’s of our day, women lack the intelligence skills to observe and calculate in a logical, reasonable way.
    5) The angel instructed the women to go and tell the disciples the our LORD is risen, and He will meet them in Galilee. Why did the angel trust those women with his important instructions? Wasn’t he worried that they would mess up and not get the story straight? After all, according to the Pipers of this world who sharpen their teeth against women, “it is not proper for women to give men directions (or instructions)?
    6) The risen Jesus actually met the women while en-route. These amazing women met our Risen LORD, held Him at His feet, and worshiped Him (no Bethlehem church building required to worship our Savior). And our Lord Jesus, said “Rejoice!,” and instructed them once again to go and tell His brethren to meet Him in Galilee. SO WHY DID JESUS TRUST THOSE WOMEN TO CARRY OUT HIS INSTRUCTIONS? Did He make a grave error in trusting women to do His work…….should it not have been men instructed to follow through with this important task?

    And how dare these women worship Jesus, in spirit and truth, without the presence of a man around? Do they not know anything about the Scriptures? Seriously!

    Perhaps John Piper needs to reflect upon his own heart and get his own house in order. Not a command, just a reasonable good and godly thought.

  233. Lord have mercy. What about Mary’s Magnificat?? Can Piper learn nothing from *that*? It’s in the Bible, for goodness sakes. SMH.

  234. Karen, great point! Mary Magdalene is traditionally called the Apostle to the Apostles. Hah!

  235. @ Karen:
    Thank you. I could not agree with you more. Jesus elevated and loved women.

    Whenever i feel put upon and downcast, the weight of shame that occurs when i am triggered i tend to remember :

    Jesus loves me; this i know
    For the Bible tells me so….

    So in the end, that is all that matters.

  236. Thersites wrote:

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Why does early church tradition matter to us in this topic? Because the same church fathers who handed down the roles of bishops/priests/deacons also handed down the New Testament. If we accept their authority in assembling the NT, by what standard do we reject their authority in the other things they passed down?

    My undergraduate degree is in engineering but I had more hours in history upon graduation. One often discussed topic was reading a historian and disagreeing with their conclusions. In this case I can disagree with their implementation and trust they did not distort the text in the gospels.

    The Apostolic Fathers are not historians per se. They are faithful transmitters of what the Early Church believed and practiced. Primary sources, in other words. It’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with them. It’s a matter of reading them to see what the earliest Christian Church actually looked like. The historical record IOW. That’s all. 🙂

  237. Just a wondering another thought as I read through these wise and insightful posts:

    Please bear with me, for I wonder, wonder, wonder “a lot.” My parents were subject to myriads of questions during my formative years, and I am thankful they answered with love and patience!

    Thought: As the angel instructed these courageous women, full to overflowing with servitude; and as Jesus instructed these women, who loved and recognized Him as their Savior, to go and tell the brethren (men and women) of His resurrection, I am left with this “wise counsel” concern……….

    Did the brethren receive the “wise counsel” from these women, or did they reject the “wise counsel” based on the literal fact that they were women?

    Did the disciples say, “Nope! No way! Nada!” We can’t listen to you based upon the fact that you are women! And as John Piper will foretell in the future, “It is not godly for women to instruct men! Shame on you women for usurping the authority of us male figures, us chosen disciples, all of whom are men!”

    Or, did they humble themselves and follow the instructions AND wise counsel from the women who were in the presence of our risen LORD Jesus Christ?

    Perhaps the Pipers of this world need to stop babbling on and on and listen to the Holy Scriptures, via the power of the Holy Spirit……Who, by the way, indwells in all of His brethren, both women and men.

  238. Karen wrote:

    Perhaps the Pipers of this world need to stop babbling on and on and listen to the Holy Scriptures, via the power of the Holy Spirit……Who, by the way, indwells in all of His brethren, both women and men.

    The New Calvinists have their wires crossed on their interpretation of certain Scripture. When you lean on your own understanding, you can’t hear what the Spirit is saying the Church.

  239. Mercy wrote:

    @ Karen:
    Thank you. I could not agree with you more. Jesus elevated and loved women.
    Whenever i feel put upon and downcast, the weight of shame that occurs when i am triggered i tend to remember :
    Jesus loves me; this i know
    For the Bible tells me so….
    So in the end, that is all that matters.

    Oh THANK-YOU Mercy! And you are rightly named “Mercy!” I needed to hear those beautiful and wonderful words this morning; “JESUS Love Me”…..the first song my parents taught me as a child….and His kind of love transcends all human understanding, so that we in fact, do not need to be trained in a seminary to understand this miraculous truth!

  240. Ricco wrote:

    I’m not 100% sure Piper is all there. Some of his tweets (and videos and articles) are just WEIRD.

    Piper is done; he just hasn’t quit yet.

  241. Muff Potter wrote:

    That’s one of my questions too ishy. The old original King James Version included The Apocrypha. I’ve always found them fascinating and well worth worth the read.

    From what I can surmise, they (the apocrypha) were never meant to have equal footing (by way of canonization) with Scripture in the old KJV, they were there solely as a kind of historical context, provenance, and romance.

    The Apocrypha aka the Deuterocanonical books are considered canonical in the Catholic and Orthodox churches (and the Ethiopian church has even more books). They are not considered canonical by Jews. By the time of Jesus the Torah (the Law, the first five books) and the Prophets (Joshua, Judges, 1&2 Samuel 1&2 Kings and the what the Christian Bible classifies as prophets minus Daniel) had become canon. The Writings, the third section of the Hebrew Bible, was probably finally canonized sometime around the time of Jesus (plus or minus 100 years) though some of the individual books were canon centuries earlier (there was allegedly some late debate about the Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes). Then there is a book like Enoch 1 which are outside all the canons (except the Ethiopian church) but is quoted in the New Testament, Jude 1:14–15. BTW there are other parts of the New Testament that allude to the Deuterocanonical books. The Christian church canonized the New Testament books in the first few centuries CE but the canon of the other books not till much later (aka the time of the Reformation for the western Church where the Protestants decided on one canon and the Catholics on another). Luther himself apparently had qualms about the New Testament books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation.

  242. Karen wrote:

    Mercy wrote:

    @ Karen:
    Thank you. I could not agree with you more. Jesus elevated and loved women.
    Whenever i feel put upon and downcast, the weight of shame that occurs when i am triggered i tend to remember :
    Jesus loves me; this i know
    For the Bible tells me so….
    So in the end, that is all that matters.

    Oh THANK-YOU Mercy! And you are rightly named “Mercy!” I needed to hear those beautiful and wonderful words this morning; “JESUS Love Me”…..the first song my parents taught me as a child….and His kind of love transcends all human understanding, so that we in fact, do not need to be trained in a seminary to understand this miraculous truth!

    You are right, Karen. Even little children understand this. Often, we adults lose sight of this.

  243. Max wrote:

    Karen wrote:
    Perhaps the Pipers of this world need to stop babbling on and on and listen to the Holy Scriptures, via the power of the Holy Spirit……Who, by the way, indwells in all of His brethren, both women and men.
    The New Calvinists have their wires crossed on their interpretation of certain Scripture. When you lean on your own understanding, you can’t hear what the Spirit is saying the Church.

    Yes indeed Max. I really never understood why the sheep have been indoctrinated into believing that Calvin saved the world. Since when did I, or anyone else have to trust, believe, and put my faith in a mere man named “Calvin” in order to be saved. OR, for that matter, why in the world do I have to worship any man or woman who ever walked this earth, in order to be saved and in the presence of my risen LORD and Savior in the future?

    What in the world does Calvin, Piper, or any other “great theologian” have to do with my belief in Jesus, the Christ?

    Absolutely nothing! Nothin’ at all! Praise Jesus!

  244. Karen wrote:

    SO WHY DID JESUS TRUST THOSE WOMEN TO CARRY OUT HIS INSTRUCTIONS?

    Maybe because they did not flee during the crucifixion? It looks like John was the only apostle who did not flee (he was also the first apostle to enter the tomb).

  245. @ Forrest:

    Amen Forrest. A wonderful AMEN!

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ has now, in fact, in the modal modern pseudo Christian church, has become the “gospel of gender.” Would this or could this, in fact, make our Lord Jesus, weep for His sheep?

  246. ishy wrote:

    I’m tough and I mostly rolled my eyes at people like that, but those are the same people that were miffed that their in-your-face gospel explanation wouldn’t be immediately accepted by someone they chased down on the street.

    “DAD! THE HEATHEN’S GETTING AWAY!”
    The Simpsons
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWxvEOVnAzI

  247. Karen wrote:

    Yes indeed Max. I really never understood why the sheep have been indoctrinated into believing that Calvin saved the world.

    Because CALVIN alone Has God All Figured Out, that’s why?
    How Dare God act against CALVIN’S Institutes!

  248. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    But one thing I do know is the YRRs who stress theological precision are on the wrong track. That hoped-for precision does not exist.

    But how else can the YRR;s PROVE to themselves that They Are Truly of The Elect?
    Perfectly-parsed Precise Theology is the latest of their Five Pillars, weaponized for one-upmanship smackcowns.

  249. Karen wrote:

    And to fully understand the love towards these women, by the Risen Jesus Himself, in addition to an angel of the Lord……….I am in awe and wonder at this beautiful scene, and how much Jesus loves women!

    Agreed. A point that could be missed is the fact that the early church fathers validated women by including this account in their written and oral tradition. If they were more men of their times they would have changed the story to minimize or eliminate the contribution of the women. But they didn’t.

  250. Lea wrote:

    Someone told me about a med student who had a faith crisis when they saw that male and female skeletons have the same number of ribs.

    No Skubalon?

    I remember my mother telling me about how boys have one less rib than girls, but she grew up in 1930s Boston’s Little Italy where that was apparently a common folk belief.

  251. Karen wrote:

    I really never understood why the sheep have been indoctrinated into believing that Calvin saved the world.

    Religious mind control. Surely your “pastor” wouldn’t feed you lies or half-truths?! Combine that with the fact that most sheep don’t really give a big whoop about theology, as long as you don’t touch the social functions of the church (potluck dinners, etc.). Nor do they read their Bible and pray as they ought on an individual basis – group think takes over.

    Karen wrote:

    What in the world does Calvin, Piper, or any other “great theologian” have to do with my belief in Jesus, the Christ?

    Every believer will stand accountable before God for digging their own spiritual well. Soul competency and priesthood of the believer enables them to “know” Truth by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach them, without it being filtered through the teachings and traditions of mere men. Calvin was a man; Piper is a man … each subject to errors of interpretation to support their doctrinal propositions. Both preached a lot about doctrines of grace, but seldom mention a direct experience of Grace – an encounter with the living Christ. Ever wonder why New Calvinists don’t talk much about Jesus?

  252. Max wrote:

    Ever wonder why New Calvinists don’t talk much about Jesus?

    “He must decrease, so CALVIN & I CAN INCREASE!”?

  253. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Lord have mercy. What about Mary’s Magnificat?? Can Piper learn nothing from *that*? It’s in the Bible, for goodness sakes. SMH.

    The ROMISH Bible, and Piper is Truly Reformed. “NO POPERY!”

  254. Max wrote:

    Karen wrote:
    I really never understood why the sheep have been indoctrinated into believing that Calvin saved the world.
    Religious mind control. Surely your “pastor” wouldn’t feed you lies or half-truths?! Combine that with the fact that most sheep don’t really give a big whoop about theology, as long as you don’t touch the social functions of the church (potluck dinners, etc.). Nor do they read their Bible and pray as they ought on an individual basis – group think takes over.
    Karen wrote:
    What in the world does Calvin, Piper, or any other “great theologian” have to do with my belief in Jesus, the Christ?
    Every believer will stand accountable before God for digging their own spiritual well. Soul competency and priesthood of the believer enables them to “know” Truth by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach them, without it being filtered through the teachings and traditions of mere men. Calvin was a man; Piper is a man … each subject to errors of interpretation to support their doctrinal propositions. Both preached a lot about doctrines of grace, but seldom mention a direct experience of Grace – an encounter with the living Christ. Ever wonder why New Calvinists don’t talk much about Jesus?

    Fascinating to say the least! Wow! So how can Calvin and Piper preach on “grace” when they themselves, showed or show little towards others? Would that not be labeled “double speak,” or “not practicing what one preaches,” or “foolish men?”

    I mean, truly, having a man or woman burned at the stake, to me, represents no grace as far as the east is from the west. And Piper, by all admission, finds it difficult to receive directions from a woman as it insults his doctrine of manhood!

    Wow. Grace. Hmmmm……..guess the word “grace” can be defined by a million or so, various interpretations.

  255. Karen wrote:

    “Is John Piper truly a saved man? I mean, really a born again believer and follower of Jesus Christ (the Jesus of our Scriptures, that is) ?”

    That’s the first question an Evangelical would ask, but it tends to go down a rabbit hole to run around in Soteriological Circles without getting anywhere.

    In studying Sharia, the Islam Laws, I find it interesting that Piper’s understanding of women, lines up perfectly with the caste systems and the mistreatment of women, who know absolutely nothing of Jesus Christ.

    Most important, it’s a caste system where Piper gets to be on top because of what he was born with between his legs and his Perfectly Parsed Theology.

    Especially because he is such a Perfect Specimen of the Manly He-Man — 5’4″, built like a wet noodle, thin piping voice, and effeminate Drama Queen mannerisms. (Kinda like how Ol’ Adolf was such a perfect specimen of the tall, blond, blue-eyed Master Race.)

    On any scale of Hypermasculinity, the Pied Piper would be at the bottom of the heap, one step above a Woman. (Even is he did break some guy’s neck in flag football…) And NOBODY is as obsessive about keeping those on the bottom on the bottom as those who are second from the bottom. Only difference between this ManaGAWD and a Fifties trailer-trash Ku Kluxer is MamaGAWD points to what’s between his legs and Ku Kluxer points to his white skin as justification for being on top.

  256. Max wrote:

    Calvin was a man; Piper is a man … each subject to errors of interpretation to support their doctrinal propositions. Both preached a lot about doctrines of grace, but seldom mention a direct experience of Grace – an encounter with the living Christ. Ever wonder why New Calvinists don’t talk much about Jesus?

    “Those who can, Do — those who can’t, Preach”?

  257. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Interesting interpretation of Piper theology. I fully agree with you!

    Again, just a wondering….hypothetically speaking of course, so please bear with me once again.

    When I visit the medical office, I first see a nurse, who takes my stats, then offers up some very wise instruction (counsel) to some of my health concerns/questions. Then my nurse practitioner comes in to examine me and we discuss additional health related issues. Now mind you, these are women, trained in their field of expertise, to assist my health care needs.

    So when Piper visits the doctor, does he only request men, for health care examinations? Or does he specifically instruct the women to not “instruct or give him directions” on anything because it is not proper for a woman to do so? Or does he never have any questions for perhaps he actually does believe he’s a god, or at the very least, “a little god,” aka – Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Rick Joyner – New Apostolic Reformation wolf theology?

    Perhap the Pipers of this world believe women should have never been born with a mind and a mouth? Would love to share the Christ saving Gospel with this man some day!

  258. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    But how else can the YRR;s PROVE to themselves that They Are Truly of The Elect?

    I think this is exactly why they are so obnoxious about doctrine. And I do think New Calvinism attracts people who want everything to be black and white and want to feel above others in knowing the right answers. And I do think many people are attracted to the idea that they don’t have to struggle with the answers or reach out to people and can let church leaders do the thinking and ministering for them.

    New Calvinism seems like it’s full of absolutes in the beginning, except those answers start failing in the practice of living life. For example, women and “peons” want to have control over their own choices in the long run. I don’t think many of them realize that if they give up the struggle to find truth for themselves by joining a New Calvinist church, they are also expected to give up their autonomy.

  259. Karen wrote:

    So when Piper visits the doctor, does he only request men, for health care examinations? Or does he specifically instruct the women to not “instruct or give him directions” on anything because it is not proper for a woman to do so? Or does he never have any questions for perhaps he actually does believe he’s a god, or at the very least, “a little god,” aka – Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Rick Joyner – New Apostolic Reformation wolf theology?

    Piper does waffle on what he says he believes, even in some of those articles above. Having read and heard many of these guys for a number of years, I think they are way more misogynist than they often present themselves, but they do realize that they will lose followers if they were totally honest.

    I mean, most of them backed away fast from the eternal subordination of the Son theology when reputable scholars called it heretical. But as it’s still taught at their churches and seminaries, I still think it’s either what they believe, or what they want others to believe and teach because they derive some benefit from it.

  260. ishy wrote:

    Karen wrote:
    So when Piper visits the doctor, does he only request men, for health care examinations? Or does he specifically instruct the women to not “instruct or give him directions” on anything because it is not proper for a woman to do so? Or does he never have any questions for perhaps he actually does believe he’s a god, or at the very least, “a little god,” aka – Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Rick Joyner – New Apostolic Reformation wolf theology?
    Piper does waffle on what he says he believes, even in some of those articles above. Having read and heard many of these guys for a number of years, I think they are way more misogynist than they often present themselves, but they do realize that they will lose followers if they were totally honest.
    I mean, most of them backed away fast from the eternal subordination of the Son theology when reputable scholars called it heretical. But as it’s still taught at their churches and seminaries, I still think it’s either what they believe, or what they want others to believe and teach because they derive some benefit from it.

    I couldn’t agree with you more ishy. In my former abusive Baptist church, the Assembly of god trained pastor man, showed us a “visual” of the god ordained hierarchy. Naturally, at the top of the pyramid, was a god, then next in line was a jesus, then a holy spirit, then the latter was man, and beneath that, was woman, and at the bottom, were children.

    It was quite the pyramid. Freemasonry would have loved that sermon with the pyramidal diagram and all! The pastor man was careful in not labeling it “the Eternal Subordination of the Son theology” for some odd reason. But I thought to myself, it’s no wonder there is no true and godly love in this church…only a conundrum of continuous criticism and condemnation…..of us “sinful pew sitters” for the hierarchy reigns supreme!

    I never thought of Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer, as having less authority than our Father, Who art in heaven. But then again, my former AOG pastor man believed that “getting drunk in the spirit” was a “sign and a wonder” of true salvation. Wow!

  261. Karen wrote:

    guess the word “grace” can be defined by a million or so, various interpretations

    “grace” (little “g”) is the primary theme of New Calvinism. Everything is grace-this and grace-that … grace, grace, grace. After a while, one gets so focused on grace that they miss “Grace” (big “G”). The average New Calvinist starts squirming when you talk about a direct experience of Grace – an encounter with the living Christ. There is a mistrust of personal Christian experience in New Calvinist ranks. They prefer to think of Christianity in terms of rigid doctrinal propositions about “grace”, rather than a touch of Grace in a believer’s life. New Calvinism poses one of the greatest mission fields on the planet for the true Gospel – the message of the Cross of Christ, rather than the Crux of Calvin.

  262. Max wrote:

    Karen wrote:
    guess the word “grace” can be defined by a million or so, various interpretations
    “grace” (little “g”) is the primary theme of New Calvinism. Everything is grace-this and grace-that … grace, grace, grace. After a while, one gets so focused on grace that they miss “Grace” (big “G”). The average New Calvinist starts squirming when you talk about a direct experience of Grace – an encounter with the living Christ. There is a mistrust of personal Christian experience in New Calvinist ranks. They prefer to think of Christianity in terms of rigid doctrinal propositions about “grace”, rather than a touch of Grace in a believer’s life. New Calvinism poses one of the greatest mission fields on the planet for the true Gospel – the message of the Cross of Christ, rather than the Crux of Calvin.

    Your comment thread is absolutely beautiful. Thank-you Max.

  263. Two thumbs up on this post and comments!

    Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    The real question is whether or not they were right about the NT. We all appeal to the NT, but in doing so we are agreeing that the Patristics got the NT right. If they got the NT right, why do we suppose they got everything else wrong?

    Have you ever listened to Beresford Job’s series on the tradition of the elders? He covers some of the early church fathers and their blunders. I listened to it 12 to 15 years ago and remember he brought up some noteworthy points, though i do disagree with much of his ideas about house church.

    https://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/church-practice/beresford/beresford.php#.Wm4Nm-dG3IU

  264. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Lord have mercy. What about Mary’s Magnificat?? Can Piper learn nothing from *that*? It’s in the Bible, for goodness sakes. SMH.

    It’s not just Piper’s version of “chrislam”. There is more than one non-Piperite Protestant sect in which their ‘Bible’ teachers do everything they can to minimize Mary’s role in the incarnation.

    Calvary Chapel is one such sect.

    None of them has ever been able (nor will they ever be able) to subtract one electron of mystery and magic from the person of Mary. She is in a very literal sense The Mother of God*. I believe this and I’m not even a Catholic.

    * oh yeah i know, some even here will blanch at muff’s declaration, but oh well as they say, it’s my boat and I’ll float it as i see fit.

  265. Kin wrote:

    Have you ever listened to Beresford Job’s series on the tradition of the elders?

    No, but it sounds very interesting. Thanks for the link!

  266. I think it’s appropriate Biblically for seminarians to be trained by competent men per Paul’s command for women not to teach or have authority over men. Having said that, it is vital for both women and men to cooperate and speak out and advocate for anyone who is abused.

  267. Marie wrote:

    per Paul’s command for women not to teach or have authority over men. Having said that, it is vital for both women and men to cooperate and speak out and advocate for anyone who is abused.

    Paul never commanded “women” to not teach or have authority. He commanded “a woman” not to.

    And the word for authority does not have the connotation you just used: http://juniaproject.com/defusing-1-timothy-212-authority-authentein/

    Once again, evangelicals need to stop only using the English translations to make absolute statements about what is biblical and what is not.

  268. Jerome wrote:

    No less than Charles Spurgeon noted, of the order of the spouses’ names:

    “He named Priscilla first, because she was first in energy of character and attainments in grace. There is a precedence which, in Christ, is due to the woman when she becomes the leader in devotion, and manifests the stronger mind in the things of God. It is well when nature and grace both authorize our saying, ‘Aquila and Priscilla,’ but it is not amiss when grace outruns nature, and we hear of, ‘Priscilla and Aquila.’”

    I like this.

  269. Karen wrote:

    So when Piper visits the doctor, does he only request men, for health care examinations? Or does he specifically instruct the women to not “instruct or give him directions” on anything because it is not proper for a woman to do so?

    Just like seminary professors ….. better an incompetent man tha a competent woman?

  270. @ ishy:

    It depends entirely on who ya’ talk to.
    Some fundagelical honchos will simply tell you:

    “God says what he means and means what he says…”

    No discussion, no Ifs, no Ands, and no Buts.
    The Almighty is still thundering out of Horeb through Paul’s writings.

  271. Muff Potter wrote:

    It depends entirely on who ya’ talk to.
    Some fundagelical honchos will simply tell you:

    “God says what he means and means what he says…”

    There’s not much you can do with people like that, I don’t think. But if they think I’m going to get all awe-inspired with their proclamation, they will be disappointed.

    I have had some success with showing people the actual Greek interlinear online. Most have no idea they can actually look it up for themselves and have never researched verses like Ephesians 5:22. Or that the word for “elder” is actually an adjective “elderly” and can be masculine or feminine (and both are present in the Greek texts).

  272. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    .

    Yes Nancy2, it becomes befuddling when one tries to comprehend the impotence of man verses the competence of women!

    Smile!

    And there’s that old donkey truth found in our Scriptures. God didn’t use a man nor a woman to teach, but an ass. Numbers, Chapter 22, offers up a sweet scent of righteous truth that only our LORD could miraculously perform. Who was Balaam to argue with an ass/donkey as listed in some translations?

    I was blessed to have an amazing woman of faith

  273. ___

    Dispelling The Madnesses: “The Crux Of The Matter, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    The age old debate: Man is free to choose vs. man is dead in sin and has no choice.

    huh?

    The Calvinist believes that man is so messed-up that he can not believe in Jesus.

    Yep.

    That God has to ‘make’ um believe.

    What?

    That God only makes a select some to believe in Jesus. The rest are toast.

    SKreeeeeeetch!

    This is the confines of the theological religious world system calvinist have constructed for themselves and seek to live in.

    “It is no novelty, then, that I am preaching; no new doctrine. I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines, that are called by nickname CALVINISM, but which are surely and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus. By this truth I make a pilgrimage into [the] past, and as I go, I see father after father, confessor after confessor, martyr after martyr, standing up to shake hands with me.… taking these things to be the standard of my faith, I see the land of the ancients peopled with my brethren; I behold multitudes who confess the same as I do, and acknowledge that this is the religion of God’s own church.”
    -Charles Haddon Spurgeon

    *

    They are presently attempting to ‘pawn’ it off as the real true gospel.

    (Please see your bible for details)

    The fields are with with harvest,

    Don’t be fooled by an age old Gnostic theological lie.

    Kind folk’s souls out there’ are depending on those who will bring them Jesus words:

    “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. – Jesus

    Believe in Him today, and tell others,

    …you’ll be glad you did!

    ATB

    ♪♩♪♩ hum, hum, hum …”Ooh, we won’t get fooled again…

    Sòpy

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SHhrZgojY1Q

    :~)

    – –

  274. Karen wrote:

    Perhaps the Pipers of this world need to stop babbling on and on and listen to the Holy Scriptures, via the power of the Holy Spirit……Who, by the way, indwells in all of His brethren, both women and men.

    Thanks. Also appreciated your comment on the women at the Resurrection.

    I believe it is Max here who reminds us, Bible + Holy Spirit is a winning combo. One without the other can be uninformed.

  275. @JY James

    You are welcome. Even more exciting is the fact that those four books; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are overflowing with stellar truths of how our LORD Jesus related to the common folk of faith (that is most of us), as opposed to the religious folk of authoritarian/hierarchal privilege.

    Just think for a moment…….if the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were to shut all of the women up, the spreading of the Gospel Message would have been greatly hindered!

  276. Forrest wrote:

    @ Karen:
    Yes. It is worth remembering that the political, academic and religious authorities all reject Jesus.

    Exactly Forrest! Perhaps this is why all three of the factions you listed; political, academic, and religious authorities, become grossly enraged with the local folk, when they serve and follow Jesus………without them! As if we are in dire need for their permission to do so.

    The ONLY Mediator between our Father, Who art in Heaven, and us sheep, is “JESUS.” To date, I haven’t read, nor studied the Holy Scriptures to find another mediator.

  277. ishy wrote:

    Or that the word for “elder” is actually an adjective “elderly” and can be masculine or feminine (and both are present in the Greek texts).

    This is a translation error that really irritates me.

  278. Mercy wrote:

    @ Karen:
    Thank you. I could not agree with you more. Jesus elevated and loved women.

    Whenever i feel put upon and downcast, the weight of shame that occurs when i am triggered i tend to remember :

    Jesus loves me; this i know
    For the Bible tells me so….

    So in the end, that is all that matters.

    Mercy, you are doing fine.
    If you are troubled by the things you have seen, it’s because there is something in the Church causing it.

    Either it’s your own intelligence, the Scriptures, the Spirit of God, or all the above, that have given you discernment in matters of the Church.

    The one thing for you to keep in mind, is that God is obviously not worried about the state of affairs. If he was, you would see him wringing his hands in panic.

    The opposite is not only true, this state of affairs was foretold.

    The work of the Spirit is to bring to remembrance the things the Lord has taught. Go back and read the parables of the sower, wheat and tares, the net, the mustard seed, leavin in three measures of meal. etc.

    The Lord described a process of deteriation. The Epistles expound this even further. The key is the one who endures to the end, will be saved.

  279. I think that Piper’s views are more consistent than soft complementarianism, actually.

    You also know what you’re getting.

    Soft complementarianism – their paradigms and rules and applications change depending on the weather, day, the personality of the men who are deciding things, and so on.

    Soft complementarianism would say a woman can be a CEO, President of the U.S., a principal, etc.

    But she can’t be head of her home (this is presuming the complementarianism interpretation and application of “head”) and she can’t be an elder or pastor in a church.

    It seems more consistent to me, from a logical standpoint, that if it is something inherent to someone’s gender, that a woman would need the same limitations in every area of society. Especially if the idea of the church is that it is a living representation, way of life and ethics, of the kingdom, and that is to be represented everyday in the life of the believer, not just when they are physically in a church building.

    Otherwise, does a woman metaphysically and epistemically suddenly transform into another species and way of knowing and interacting with reality when she walks into a church building, or into her home? Why is what it means to be a woman in one area changes when in another area?

    As much as I disagree and oppose John Piper’s views on women, I think he is actually more logical and consistent with his beliefs than soft complementarians.

    I think most soft complementarians are actually functional egalitarians who have cognitive dissonance going on. And to me it usually centers on views of inerrancy, which is key to their community and perhaps their livelihood, social network and perhaps job. They think of the egalitarian view of passages as denying inerrancy and tradition. So they wont consider it or admit the dissonance they have. This might just be me projecting, it’s just what I think I have observed.

  280. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    On any scale of Hypermasculinity, the Pied Piper would be at the bottom of the heap

    His persona is at odds with the whole masculine shtick practiced by the complementarians, my opinion only, he seems fairly unsubstantial to be the center of such a movement. Considering the concept that for many characteristics there is more variation within men and women than there is between men and women, I could extend your point and posit that for strength, confidence and other similar measures Piper is surpassed not just by most men but also by most women.

    At least with Driscol he had the macho persona even though he was an abusive nut case. Maybe that was one of the reasons Piper was one of Driscol’s biggest supporters.

  281. Lea wrote:

    This is a translation error that really irritates me.

    Nothing irritates me more than a 30 year old “elder”

  282. This is the logical end of patriarchal (so-called “complementarian”) thinking. I’ll give Piper this: at least he tries to be consistent. But even he can’t get around the fact that eliminating half the population from full participation in the human race flat doesn’t work in real life.

    I’ll believe he and others like him are serious when they choose to have their next major surgery performed by a first year male intern rather than a female specialist surgeon with decades of experience. After all, that surgeon is going to have absolute authority over your life and well-being. And competence doesn’t matter, at least according to them.

    Yeah, not holding my breath for that one to happen.

  283. Karen wrote:

    And there’s that old donkey truth found in our Scriptures. God didn’t use a man nor a woman to teach, but an ass. Numbers, Chapter 22, offers up a sweet scent of righteous truth that only our LORD could miraculously perform. Who was Balaam to argue with an ass/donkey as listed in some translations?
    I was blessed to have an amazing woman of faith

    And that ass/donkey was a female! Haw-hee-haw-hee-haw !

  284. Thersites wrote:

    Nothing irritates me more than a 30 year old “elder”

    Though the denomination my church is a part of is about as opposite from New Calvinism as I can get, they also have many young elders, and it does bother me a bit for the same reason. They are pastors who lead services and preach and only lay members have primary decision-making positions. But they can be male or female (and in fact, I have yet to meet a male elder).

    I do wish the church elevated wise older members more often…

  285. I’m loving reading the comments on this thread! Great, well worded, educated, intelligent comments from a number of people – from both genders!

  286. John wrote:

    This is the logical end of patriarchal (so-called “complementarian”) thinking. I’ll give Piper this: at least he tries to be consistent. But even he can’t get around the fact that eliminating half the population from full participation in the human race flat doesn’t work in real life.

    Sigh. The next time he flies to a conference (and every time thereafter), I hope the pilot is a woman.

  287. Karen wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
    .
    Yes Nancy2, it becomes befuddling when one tries to comprehend the impotence of man verses the competence of women!
    Smile!
    And there’s that old donkey truth found in our Scriptures. God didn’t use a man nor a woman to teach, but an ass. Numbers, Chapter 22, offers up a sweet scent of righteous truth that only our LORD could miraculously perform. Who was Balaam to argue with an ass/donkey as listed in some translations?
    I was blessed to have an amazing woman of faith

    Your comment thread is so perfectly timed here, John. At the risk of appearing ridiculous, I will now finish the statement that I thought had been erased….

    “I was blessed to have an amazing woman of faith perform my surgery….the removal of a tumor via laparoscopy.” She is a seasoned surgeon in her field and was completely at peace with her skill level, experience, and she is genuinely the real deal as far as professing to be a born again Christian. When the church (Baptist) failed to support me through the lack of compassion via the prayer chain leader, I sought out believers outside of the institutional church to pray and support me throughout my plight. The woman surgeon and I spoke about Jesus, our faith, and when I broke down into tears and fears (the doctors though it could be cancerous), my surgeon took my face into the palm of her hands and she spoke these words,

    “You are so precious to Jesus and He sees your tears and knows everything about you. You are in His Hands for He loves you very much.”

    I wonder if Piper would be offended if that woman surgeon ministered God’s love in such a way to him?

    The ministry of the saints!

  288. Thersites wrote:

    At least with Driscol he had the macho persona even though he was an abusive nut case. Maybe that was one of the reasons Piper was one of Driscol’s biggest supporters.

    Remember a Seventies pop psychology called “Transactional Analysis”?
    Best known from the book “I’m OK, You’re OK”?

    An accompanying book (“Games People Play”) coined the concept of “Mind Games”. One of which is “Tough Guy”: A wimp hangs around REAL Tough Guys (like violent bullies) in the hope some of their scent will rub off on him. “ME TOUGH! SEE? SEE? SEE?”

  289. ishy wrote:

    Paul never commanded “women” to not teach or have authority. He commanded “a woman” not to.

    Apparently there was “a woman” in Ephesus who was throwing her weight around the church there and causing trouble.

  290. Muff Potter wrote:

    It’s not just Piper’s version of “chrislam”. There is more than one non-Piperite Protestant sect in which their ‘Bible’ teachers do everything they can to minimize Mary’s role in the incarnation.

    Calvary Chapel is one such sect.

    I chalk that up to “NO POPERY!”

    Since Enemy Christians venerate and elevate Mary, We have to denigrate and minimize her. PROTESTantism carried to its most sterile extreme.

  291. Karen wrote:

    I couldn’t agree with you more ishy. In my former abusive Baptist church, the Assembly of god trained pastor man, showed us a “visual” of the god ordained hierarchy. Naturally, at the top of the pyramid, was a god, then next in line was a jesus, then a holy spirit, then the latter was man, and beneath that, was woman, and at the bottom, were children.

    And below children were animals, and below animals were plants, and below plants were rocks.
    The Great Chain of Being, with the lord in his palace and the peasant in his mud hut, by Divine Command.

  292. ishy wrote:

    I do wish the church elevated wise older members more often…

    The YRR’s will have none of that! A balanced church needs the energy of youth coupled with the wisdom of age, young folks to speed things up and old folks to slow things down. Age doesn’t necessarily equal wisdom, but it helps!

  293. What would he think of Dr. Henrietta Mears, known as teacher to those who knew her, she was one of the greatest Evangelicals of the 20th. Century? She revolutionized Bible Study, Sunday School, saved many men and women, and influenced and taught such Evangelical luminaries as Bill Bright and Billy Graham. But, I’m sure John Piper thinks that she was wrong to teach, especially young men like Bright and Graham, since she wasn’t a man.

    I’m growing very tired of men like Piper and Mahaney, who seem to think that having a penis is akin to having superpowers, despite the fact that we are all created in the image of God, and in Christ there is no man nor woman. I am a man, but neither my intellect nor faith comes from my genitals.

  294. I would love to see a YRR UFC tournament. Driscoll would be the favorite, but is he even a Calvinist anymore? Matt Chandler is very. Kevin De Young is so crazy busy, he wouldn’t have time to train. David Platt is Radical, you guys, seriously oppressed in foreign countries.

    Don’t sleep on Piper though. He is very crazy and has been lifting in a totally Godly, biblical(tm) way to protect himself from muscular women. He has also been working on his stealth skills to follow the teenagers down to the river

  295. @ Bridget:
    Thanks! Thinking of them doing ridiculous things makes me less angry. They are just insecure people like the rest of us. They are dangerous because they don’t realize that and instead think they are 100% right all the time

  296. Max wrote:

    Yeah, a muscular egalitarian!

    I’e watched Piper on a few videos. I do believe that I am more masculine than he is. Rough and tumble Kentucky farm girl, doncha know!

  297. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    Someone told me about a med student who had a faith crisis when they saw that male and female skeletons have the same number of ribs.

    No Skubalon?

    I remember my mother telling me about how boys have one less rib than girls, but she grew up in 1930s Boston’s Little Italy where that was apparently a common folk belief.

    You mean the North End, right? Did you know it’s really gentrified now? Even Southie (where my parents were from) is gentrified now, I’ve heard.

  298. Muff Potter wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Lord have mercy. What about Mary’s Magnificat?? Can Piper learn nothing from *that*? It’s in the Bible, for goodness sakes. SMH.

    It’s not just Piper’s version of “chrislam”. There is more than one non-Piperite Protestant sect in which their ‘Bible’ teachers do everything they can to minimize Mary’s role in the incarnation.

    Calvary Chapel is one such sect.

    None of them has ever been able (nor will they ever be able) to subtract one electron of mystery and magic from the person of Mary. She is in a very literal sense The Mother of God*. I believe this and I’m not even a Catholic.

    * oh yeah i know, some even here will blanch at muff’s declaration, but oh well as they say, it’s my boat and I’ll float it as i see fit.

    I’m not blanching one bit. But then, I wouldn’t, would I? 😀

  299. The Olympics are coming up…remember this howler on Piper’s website by a fanboy convinced that watching figure skating will strengthen devotion to Piper’s gender gospel:

    https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/an-olympic-lesson-for-husbands-and-wives

    ‘watch in Sochi what the grit and the gold of complementarianism is all about”

    “The gold goes to that couple which has most mastered the skill of male leadership and female support”

    “No one yells, ‘Oppressor!’ as he leads her around the arena, lifting her up…No one calls for them to be egalitarian…the roses and teddy bears, thrown onto the ice when they have collapsed into each other’s arms at the end, are for her.”

  300. I don’t think this means that you should have incompetent men in the pulpit. It’s saying that the issue is not that women are inherently unable to teach, or that they’re incapable and stupid; but rather that God has reserved certain positions in the church for men. It’s saying it doesn’t matter how good you are at something if God has told you not to do it.

    Having said that, Piper has some really weird takes on this which I fundamentally disagree with. All that crowd are so legalistic about this and many other issues. It’s like they have to sniff out a new issue to comment on otherwise their blog traffic and book revenue will disappear. If they can’t find one, they’ll make one up.

    I still don’t really understand this issue of women in leadership, despite having looked at it from both sides. But I do know that, even if a church holds to the position of male leadership, it needs the input of women. Jesus sat with, ate with, minstered with and to, women. They were His friends. Paul travelled with women and talked with them, accepted challenges from them. Priscilla taught Apollos. Even if the buck stops with the guys (and I know there are different understandings of this), we are co-heirs and so the opinions and experiences of men and women need to be understood by the church. In the same way as it’s not meant to be clergy vs laity, with the laity blindly following where the clergy lead. We are all workers in this together, and we need to understand one another’s perspectives. That’s exactly what Piper and his ilk can’t stand. They can’t stand any challenge to their power, whether it’s from “liberals” or women or just church plebs who won’t shut up and take their medicine obediently.

  301. Mercy wrote:

    Decades of being a church member and walking away has left me with one opinion…. seminaries are dangerous institutions which are teaching unbiblical philosophies. They are not of God. This isn’t a male/female issue only. Men like Piper have made it so. But it is far bigger. The Gospel is not understood. It is not taught. And graduates who go on to be pastors are leading people over cliffs of eternal damnation. I believe that is the most important fact.

    I absolutely agree. I think Piper and his gang are actually (horrifyingly) a symptom of a much bigger problem. I know so many church people who have no idea about what God is like, what repentance really is, and have never been taught in a meaningful way what the big picture of the Bible is.

    I’ve just written and led a study of Acts for my small group, and it was painful at times. Over and over I had to explain who the Hebrews were, who the Pharisees were, no the Pharisees are not the church leaders. Yes, they’re God’s people because they’re part of Israel, but now the true followers of God are the ones who recognise Jesus as Messiah. No, the Pharisees don’t believe that. Well some of them did. And don’t even get me started on the imagery of the Lamb of God. And the thing is, it’s not their fault. These are not stupid people. They are smart and compassionate and committed to their faith, and the church is failing them.

  302. Liz wrote:

    It’s saying it doesn’t matter how good you are at something if God has told you not to do it.

    Exactly. They’re saying God gave us gifts, and then told us that we are not allowed to use them. It’s like giving a child Christmas gifts, and then telling the child he/she can’t touch those gifts. The child must put those gifts in a closet and ignore them.

  303. ishy wrote:

    Forrest wrote:

    @ ishy:
    I think this started in part because Thersites questioned the validity of the pastoral role. I responded to that and provided a scriptural regerence. As to Piper et al and the New Calvinists, they do not understand scripture and abuse it for their own ends. That means they are wrong but it doesn’t invalidate the scriptural authority for the role of pastor.

    I can see that, though it didn’t quite sound like it the way mercy said it. I do not believe in “offices” at all and believe strongly in the priesthood of the believer.

    In an ideal world, I think Jesus intended for us all to have equal authority and there are only stages of learning how to do that. I also think the church has sorely missed the entire point of “as you are going, make disciples of all nations” (the proper translation of Matt. 28:18). It’s every believer’s job. At that early time in the church, I think there was just not enough mature believers to go around.

    I think many *church* systems downplay the priestly role of the individual believer often placing a *pastor* or an *elder* in between the individual and Jesus. We each have our own place in the body (the real church) using and developing our different skills. We are responsible to Jesus directly. When a *church* puts yet snother level of supposed authority in the mix, as does Piper et al, they move even further away from the truth and subject all women to spiritual abuse.

  304. Karen wrote:

    Fascinating to say the least! Wow! So how can Calvin and Piper preach on “grace” when they themselves, showed or show little towards others? Would that not be labeled “double speak,” or “not practicing what one preaches,” or “foolish men?”

    I think it might be good to reiterate that the New Calvinists are going by a totally different dictionary than the rest of Christianity. When they say words like “grace”, they are thinking of something totally different than the rest of us.

    Grace – God elected me without my will or consent. Only a few have this honor and you probably don’t. Giving “unmerited favor” to other humans has no effect on their salvation, so it’s mostly pointless. You give favor to others who have proven they are elect.

    Elect – Specially chosen by God. If you do not immediately agree with everything the New Calvinist leaders, pastors and elders are saying, then you are clearly not elect. Furthermore, only those who have signed a covenant to pass all authority in their lives to their pastors and elders in a New Calvinist church can be elected.

    Pastor/elder – Mohler actually calls pastors and elders “elites” and implies they have the full knowledge of God and the Bible. Which would mean members (or “peons”) do not. This goes back to the idea of elect and that if you do not fully agree with the elites, you are not elect. Even questioning can get you booted out of a New Calvinist church and declared not elect.
    __________________

    Compare these things to the signs of a cult: http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm

    “The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry�or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).”

    “The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar�or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).”

    “The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.”

    “The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).”

  305. Forrest wrote:

    *church* systems downplay the priestly role of the individual believer often placing a *pastor* or an *elder* in between the individual and Jesus

    Even a casual reader of the New Testament would recognize this is definitely not the model for doing church as recorded there. Certainly the church must have leaders, but they are to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. There is to be no overlord in the church who rules with ultimate authority. Whose job is the ministry? Every believer has a part! If you can successfully steer the pew away from Biblical doctrines of soul competency and priesthood of the believer, you can control and manipulate them.

  306. Mercy wrote:

    teaching unbiblical philosophies

    No doubt about it. Young seminarians, particularly at SBC seminaries, are being indoctrinated to believe and ultimately to preach a particular system of philosophical thought (New Calvinism) … it’s another gospel, which is not the Gospel. The New Calvinist gospel is not good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people.

  307. Liz wrote:

    It’s like they have to sniff out a new issue to comment on otherwise their blog traffic and book revenue will disappear. If they can’t find one, they’ll make one up.

    Understanding how their business works does make their takes make more sense.

    I used to agree with you almost exactly, but I think I’m changing for 2 reasons:
    1. I’m reading the Bible differently. I’m not proof text message mining anymore. All translation is interpretation and all interpretation has a point of view. The more I learn about Greek, the less black and white these things become.
    2. I realized I’m not sure my old beliefs on women pastors was from the Bible or if it was about what my preference is based on my culture and how I grew up. I’m pretty suspicious that it is the latter.

    I understand where you are coming from, these are just my 2 cents

  308. Max wrote:

    Young seminarians, particularly at SBC seminaries, are being indoctrinated to believe and ultimately to preach a particular system of philosophical thought (New Calvinism)

    For you young seminarians listening in, Paul offers this advice: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 Amp)

    Young man, if the instruction you are receiving is not Christocentric … if your belief system is being shaped by seminary professors to emphasize doctrines of grace, rather than a direct experience of Grace … if the criterion by which the Bible is being interpreted to you does not have Jesus at its core … RUN!

  309. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Liz wrote:
    It’s saying it doesn’t matter how good you are at something if God has told you not to do it.

    Exactly. They’re saying God gave us gifts, and then told us that we are not allowed to use them. It’s like giving a child Christmas gifts, and then telling the child he/she can’t touch those gifts. The child must put those gifts in a closet and ignore them.

    I find all of this ‘competence/gifts don’t matter’ stuff to be logically poor, iow incredibly stupid. I don’t think God is incredibly stupid. So.

  310. Lea wrote:

    I find all of this ‘competence/gifts don’t matter’ stuff to be logically poor, iow incredibly stupid. I don’t think God is incredibly stupid. So.

    Been thinking …. does this make any sense??? ——

    Man: “I am made in the image of God, therefore I have dominion over the creatures of the earth.”

    Woman: “I am made in the image of God, therefore I submit to the headship and authority of men.”

  311. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    They’re saying God gave us gifts, and then told us that we are not allowed to use them

    Is it good stewardship of our own lives if we are given gifts and elect not to use them, burying them for the sake of someone else’s ego? I can’t see that being right.

  312. ishy wrote:

    elder

    I feel like elders are supposed to be more akin to your grandmother or grandfather giving you advice. You don’t always take it, but hopefully you respect the wisdom that they have and take it into account.

  313. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Woman: “I am made in the image of God, therefore I submit to the headship and authority of men.”

    Ware teaches that women are not made in the image of God, but in the image of men. Of course, it totally contradicts the Bible, and not many others will admit that’s what they believe, but I think they still do.

  314. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Been thinking …. does this make any sense??? ——

    Man: “I am made in the image of God, therefore I have dominion over the creatures of the earth.”

    Woman: “I am made in the image of God, therefore I submit to the headship and authority of men.”

    Ah, but dear Nancy, don’t you know that women are a mere “derivative” of God’s image, rather than a direct image as man is?! This is the mumbo-jumbo being served up by Bruce Ware, a leading New Calvinist theologian and professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

    “It may be best to understand the original creation of male and female as one in which the male was made in the image of God in a direct, unmediated and unilateral fashion, while the female was made image of God through the man and hence in a indirect, mediated and derivative fashion.” – Bruce Ware

    Ware is essentially saying that women are only a human copy, rather than the real deal and thus inferior to a man. Of course, Mr. Ware is also the architect of other New Calvinist errors such as the eternal subordination of the Son.

    As for me, I consider you equal in worth, Sister Nancy. It is New Calvinist complementarian doctrine that has been crafted in an “indirect, mediated and derivative fashion” to Truth.

  315. Max wrote:

    derivative fashion.” – Bruce Ware

    No one at that school has a problem with the idea that God would make something that is derivative?

    I know they don’t care about women, but how is that not a dig on God’s abilities?

  316. Lea wrote:

    I know they don’t care about women, but how is that not a dig on God’s abilities?

    Because their God is really in their own image?

  317. ishy wrote:

    Because their God is really in their own image?

    Maybe they think God understood that men like them would be threatened by an equal?

    Sidenote: A rabbi has been teaching lately and he said a very interesting thing about Adam and Eve being essentially a story about growing up. Which makes a lot of sense.

  318. Lea wrote:

    I know they don’t care about women

    I haven’t seen much indication of love for regular men either.

  319. Max wrote:

    Ah, but dear Nancy, don’t you know that women are a mere “derivative” of God’s image, rather than a direct image as man is?! This is the mumbo-jumbo being served up by Bruce Ware, a leading New Calvinist theologian and professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

    Again Max, it’s not just the Neo-Cals.
    The big honchos in the Calvary Chapel brand teach this very same clap-trap.

  320. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Exactly. They’re saying God gave us gifts, and then told us that we are not allowed to use them. It’s like giving a child Christmas gifts, and then telling the child he/she can’t touch those gifts. The child must put those gifts in a closet and ignore them.

    And all this from a cartload of Greek writing characters all run together with no punctuation huh?
    It beggars the mind, it really does.

  321. Max wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Young seminarians, particularly at SBC seminaries, are being indoctrinated to believe and ultimately to preach a particular system of philosophical thought (New Calvinism)
    For you young seminarians listening in, Paul offers this advice: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 Amp)
    Young man, if the instruction you are receiving is not Christocentric … if your belief system is being shaped by seminary professors to emphasize doctrines of grace, rather than a direct experience of Grace … if the criterion by which the Bible is being interpreted to you does not have Jesus at its core … RUN!

    YEP! Code word for “wise counsel here Max!” And may I add, never look back as in “Lot’s wife!”

  322. Muff Potter wrote:

    Max wrote:
    Ah, but dear Nancy, don’t you know that women are a mere “derivative” of God’s image, rather than a direct image as man is?! This is the mumbo-jumbo being served up by Bruce Ware, a leading New Calvinist theologian and professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:
    Again Max, it’s not just the Neo-Cals.
    The big honchos in the Calvary Chapel brand teach this very same clap-trap.

    Given the split within Calvary, is this being taught from the Btoderson camp?

  323. Thersites wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    I know they don’t care about women

    I haven’t seen much indication of love for regular men either.

    I agree.

  324. ishy wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
    Woman: “I am made in the image of God, therefore I submit to the headship and authority of men.”
    Ware teaches that women are not made in the image of God, but in the image of men. Of course, it totally contradicts the Bible, and not many others will admit that’s what they believe, but I think they still do.

    Wow! Ware seems to be adding his own text to the Scriptures. Does this man actually believe that deviant garbage filling his heart and mind? Seriously? So which pseudo-Christian caste system does he belong too?

  325. ishy wrote:

    Ware teaches that women are not made in the image of God, but in the image of men.

    Max wrote:

    “It may be best to understand the original creation of male and female as one in which the male was made in the image of God in a direct, unmediated and unilateral fashion, while the female was made image of God through the man and hence in a indirect, mediated and derivative fashion.” – Bruce Ware

    How can Ware and his ilk believe that women can possibly have souls???
    Sheesh! God just took a DNA sample from Adam and cultured Eve in a petrei dish!

  326. Thersites wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I know they don’t care about women

    I haven’t seen much indication of love for regular men either.

    You are not wrong, however they are not teaching an entire generation that men are soulless, derivative copies either.

  327. Karen wrote:

    Ware seems to be adding his own text to the Scriptures … So which pseudo-Christian caste system does he belong too?

    New Calvinism. The new reformers rely on adding text, twisting text, or taking text out of context to support the tenets of New Calvinist belief and practice. They have mastered their eisegesis of Scripture well enough to deceive countless thousands of young Americans to follow them.

  328. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Uhm, Southern Baptist!

    As a 60+ year Southern Baptist, the decline of a once-great evangelistic denomination under New Calvinist leadership has been agonizing to watch. Once known as a soul-winning body of believers around the world, the thrust of the New Calvinist movement within SBC ranks is more focused on winning souls to Calvin than Christ.

  329. Lea wrote:

    Sidenote: A rabbi has been teaching lately and he said a very interesting thing about Adam and Eve being essentially a story about growing up. Which makes a lot of sense.

    This is similar to what Jordan Peterson says about Genesis 1-3. That it is about the development of consciousness, basically that humans came awake when we discovered that we are vulnerable and therefore can hurt others.

    I think these stories make more sense when read mythically and metaphorically.

  330. Ricco wrote:

    basically that humans came awake when we discovered that we are vulnerable and therefore can hurt others.

    Ah. Also interesting!

  331. The OP quotes Piper as elevating teaching at the seminary to an “office”, as if it is something ordainable. Too bad the man does not believe in a retirement of leisure as a sacrament. It would be quite a peace offering if he did…. for the rest of us.

  332. Perhaps I am too liberal with my sarcasm, but I have witnessed too many well qualified, exceptional individuals, that were made to feel no longer welcome to serve in their seminary positions by those empowered by the “Conservative Resurgence” to be patient with Piper’s opinions. Remember all those promises that SWBTS under Dilday was not being targeted?

  333. @ drstevej:
    Max wrote:

    Certainly the church must have leaders, but they are to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. There is to be no overlord in the church who rules with ultimate authority.

    I’ve been wondering whether I should post a very interesting article I read a few days ago. It fits very well with your comment here. It seems to me that one of the difficulties is the common assumption that clergy are or should be in positions of authority. The YRRs certainly seemed engrossed with authority. And it seems to be the driving force behind ESS: they simply cannot imagine relationship without authority, even in the trinity.

    This article looks at clergy from a completely different perspective. If all clergy and lay leaders followed this ideal we would be having a very different conversation. This type of “leadership” is impossible without the enabling of the Holy Spirit: https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2018/01/bishops-and-priests-2/

  334. @ drstevej
    @ Max
    I posted a reply to Max that is in customs. I accidently included drsteve – sorry.

  335. Mercy wrote:

    Given the split within Calvary, is this being taught from the Btoderson camp?

    I live in Southern Cali fairly close to Costa Mesa and the Calvary Chapel flagship ‘campus’ where it all began.

    From what I can gather, Brodersen (he wears the mantle of head honcho at the moment) would like to be a little more progressive and not as dogmatic as the old guard who are boomers in their 60s and fast fading into the sunset.

    They long for those good old days when Papa Chuck ruled as an autocrat and was as revered and obeyed as Chairman Mao was in a bygone China.

    As HUG has pointed out on previous threads, the court intrigue there is very much like Game of Thrones or even Medici Italy in the misty past.

  336. Max wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
    Uhm, Southern Baptist!
    As a 60+ year Southern Baptist, the decline of a once-great evangelistic denomination under New Calvinist leadership has been agonizing to watch. Once known as a soul-winning body of believers around the world, the thrust of the New Calvinist movement within SBC ranks is more focused on winning souls to Calvin than Christ.

    And oh, how the Jesus of our Holy Scriptures much be weeping for His children. The very ones that He humbly went to the Cross for, on our behalf. So when Jesus literally says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30; these words from our Savior Himself, evidently are not true then, to the Baptist church system, for Calvinism, evidently, does not teach nor preach this truth from a Biblical perspective.

    In my former Baptist church, we too, were led to believe that certain “spiritually elite” men and women were to be our personal “mediators” between our Father, Who art in Heaven, and our lowly souls. Jesus, the Christ, was left out of the equation.

    And why in the world does this Calvin man, have such an impact within the Body of Jesus, Christ. I never heard of John Calvin during all of my years growing up in the church, for I didn’t grow up “Baptist.” The Good News of Jesus was proclaimed, taught, and practiced, knowing that all of us were in need of Him in our daily lives. Another words, we were to be God’s Ekklesia every day, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week…….and we weren’t taught to burn people at the stakes when they disagreed with our “theology!”

    Calvin’s belief system wasn’t Light, nor was it easy, I’m guessing.

  337. FW Rez wrote:

    @ FW Rez:
    Sorry. I missed that this had been discussed up-thread.

    That’s okay FW Rez! It was worth the review and for what it’s worth, many of us stand outside of that tribe, observing from a distance! And are full to overflowing with joy, believing in Christ alone for our salvation, and functioning quite beautifully outside of the religious tribal system. Where Christ is the true Head and Cornerstone, there is no need for a “tribal chief!”

    Blessings to you.

  338. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    From the link you provided: “Any priest or bishop who lords over his people as though he were their superior, rather than their servant, betrays the standard of the office, as set in the earliest of times.”

    The New Calvinist movement is not characterized by servant-leaders.

  339. Karen wrote:

    And why in the world does this Calvin man, have such an impact within the Body of Jesus, Christ.

    Because he is promoted by men in authority who promote him over Christ in their tribe.

  340. Max wrote:

    Karen wrote:

    And why in the world does this Calvin man, have such an impact within the Body of Jesus, Christ.

    Because he is promoted by men in authority who promote him over Christ in their tribe.

    These men have taken authority unto themselves. They were never given it by God.

  341. Karen wrote:

    Calvin’s belief system wasn’t Light, nor was it easy, I’m guessing.

    Only a goat would say that – but I am speaking as a goat.

    If you are not yet fully appalled by Calvin’s theology do a search on “evanescent grace.” Some people call this the silent point of Calvinism because Calvinists don’t talk about it.

  342. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Wiki has labeled the submitted description of “evanescent Grace” as a hoax!

    Hmmmmm…. Evanescent grace actually is a hoax – a hoax that Calvin foisted on the world. But it is easy enough to find in his Institutes.

  343. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Karen wrote:
    Calvin’s belief system wasn’t Light, nor was it easy, I’m guessing.
    Only a goat would say that – but I am speaking as a goat.
    If you are not yet fully appalled by Calvin’s theology do a search on “evanescent grace.” Some people call this the silent point of Calvinism because Calvinists don’t talk about it.

    Hello Ken,

    For the record, my faith in Christ is not dependent upon calivism, piperism, grahamism, joyce meyerism, the shackism, wilsonism, gotthardism, macautherism, johnsonism, mohlerism, or any other person who is a self anointed mediator between our Father in heaven, and man, woman, or child.

    Speaking as a sheep, with the LORD as my Shepherd, not a man or woman, I find it mind boggling how churched folks have replaced Jesus, the Cornerstone of the Body of Christ, with a sinful man named Calvin.

    “Evanescent grace” sounds quite new age-y to me like Christianity on steroids.

  344. The failure to intervene on behalf of our children will destroy any good work that we “think” we are doing.

  345. David wrote:

    The failure to intervene on behalf of our children will destroy any good work that we “think” we are doing.

    I understand what you are saying, David, but there are several things to consider.

    We don’t know why the parents agreed to the please bargain. In some cases it may be the best option for the victim. The victim could be so tramatized that they cannot face a trial. This victim is a minor so the parents would be acting on the minors behalf and we hope this IS what the victim wants and not just how the parents want to proceed. I have a harder time with why the DA would not include jail time with this plea bargain, unless the perpetrator and his lawyer kept holding out because they knew the vitim would not testify against him in court.

    Whatever the scenarios in this case, it is more complicated than you might think when it comes to victims needing to testify for convictions leading to harsher punishments.

  346. David wrote:

    The failure to intervene on behalf of our children will destroy any good work that we “think” we are doing.

    I understand what you are saying, David, but there are several things to consider.

    We don’t know why the parents agreed to the please bargain. In some cases it may be the best option for the victim. The victim could be so tramatized that they cannot face a trial. This victim is a minor so the parents would be acting on the minors behalf and we hope this IS what the victim wants and not just how the parents want to proceed. I have a harder time with why the DA would not include jail time with this plea bargain, unless the perpetrator and his lawyer kept holding out because they knew the vitim would not testify against him in court.

    Whatever the scenarios in this case, it is more complicated than you might think when it comes to victims needing to testify for convictions leading to harsher punishments.

  347. FW Rez wrote:

    Perhaps I am too liberal with my sarcasm, but I have witnessed too many well qualified, exceptional individuals, that were made to feel no longer welcome to serve in their seminary positions by those empowered by the “Conservative Resurgence” to be patient with Piper’s opinions. Remember all those promises that SWBTS under Dilday was not being targeted?

    @FW Rez

    I don’t want to hijack the thread, but I am unfamiliar with the situation you referenced and would like to know more.

  348. Bridget wrote:

    We don’t know why the parents agreed to the please bargain. In some cases it may be the best option for the victim.

    I agree with that, sort of, in theory, but probation? That’s an insult of a sentence.

  349. Lea wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    We don’t know why the parents agreed to the please bargain. In some cases it may be the best option for the victim.

    I agree with that, sort of, in theory, but probation? That’s an insult of a sentence.

    I don’t agree with it either. It sounds like the girl was quite traumatized and this was all they could get without an actual trial. I think the problem here was with the DA.

  350. Karen wrote:

    “Evanescent grace” sounds quite new age-y to me like Christianity on steroids.

    I should have put a smiley face with my goat comment. Staunch Calvinists often state that the reason people don’t understand or accept Calvinism is because they are goats. I am a goat by that standard. But like youb, I reject that standard. 🙂

    Evanescent grace is basically vanishing grace. It is the teaching that god tricks some people into believing they are among the elect even when they are not, and then later withdraws it and judges them more harshly because they falsely acted like true believers. He had to invent it as a way to explain why not every believer perseveres to the end.

  351. I apologize, Ken, for misinterpreting your comment. No harm, I hope. I grew up in a small, rural Lutheran church congregation, where the pastor actually preached Jesus and His Word, so we never heard of individuals such as Calvin, Wesley, Spurgeon, and surprisingly, Martin Luther. I didn’t learn about Martin Luther (hence the term Lutheran), until my thirties, and even he didn’t impress me much. I guess the comment about women being good for only two things; wives or prostitutes, in the context in which is was written, denigrated my opinion of him, for I can’t fathom Jesus saying this about women.

    So the more I learn about Calvin and the Calvinistic church, the more I’m turned off of institutional churches. And having read some of Calvin’s life history, I just still cannot fathom anyone choosing to follow this man who was so harsh/evil!

    Thank-you for defining “evanescent grace” in simplistic form. I can’t imagine the LORD of the Bible being “tricky,” but then if one understands that Calvinists preach another “god, lord, or jesus,” then it perfectly makes logical sense.

    And now I understand the goat thing…….wow….I guess I’m a goat too!

  352. Karen wrote:

    No harm, I hope.

    No harm at all. I just need to get better at showing when my comments are snarky or light-hearted.

    I knew very little about Calvinism a few years ago until my sons started getting destroyed by New-Calvinism in college. I’ve learned quite a lot over the last few years as I tried to understand the harm that was done. This New-Calvinism movement is very dangerous and very disconnected from historical Christianity.

  353. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    This New-Calvinism movement is very dangerous and very disconnected from historical Christianity.

    They intentionally disconnect themselves from historical Christianity because they believe historical Christianity lost the gospel along the way. The New Calvinists truly believe they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the gospel to the church; they, alone, are the bearers of truth. What arrogance!!

  354. It’s not just the churches that are mishandling sexual abuse. The courts are getting it wrong too.

    Oklahoma blind man who brutally raped girl, 13, is spared jail http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42862942

    From the article…
    “He added that Petty will be required to wear an ankle monitor for two years, register as a sex offender, and undergo treatment during his 15-year probation.”

    The only treatment they should be contemplating is castration without an anesthetic.

  355. Forrest wrote:

    It’s not just the churches that are mishandling sexual abuse. The courts are getting it wrong too.
    Oklahoma blind man who brutally raped girl, 13, is spared jail http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42862942

    Every time I hear about something like that, I keep thinking of lynchings.
    When all other avenues of justice have been blocked…

    And in a Christianese context, it adds to the credibility of the Reconstructionists.
    You don’t hear of that happening in the future Republic of Holy Gilead (or for that matter in an Islamic Republic)…

    As Michael Moore said shortly before the 2016 general election when he bucked the conventional wisdom of his celebrity peers in predicting the winner, “A lot of voters this time around see their life as having gotten worse — he’s lost his job, he’s lost his marriage, but he hasn’t lost his right to vote. And he’s going to enter that voting booth and send one Big “F-U!” to Washington.”

  356. Lea wrote:

    Max wrote:
    derivative fashion.” – Bruce Ware
    No one at that school has a problem with the idea that God would make something that is derivative?

    As long as THEY’re not the thing that is derivative…

  357. Max wrote:

    Karen wrote:

    And why in the world does this Calvin man, have such an impact within the Body of Jesus, Christ.

    Because he is promoted by men in authority who promote him over Christ in their tribe.

    Pretty much.

  358. I’m not trying to cast Protestant tradition in too bad a light, believe me.. but things like what Piper said is very peculiar to Protestantism, in my opinion. For all of the other denominations’ faults, and patriarchal habits, they never went this far. Christendom has THOUSANDS of years of female saints that are highly respected and adored. Say what you will about the lack of ecclesiastical offices for these women in Catholicism or Orthodoxy, but they never went this far… where women are rendered completely useless.

    They’re the ones with St. Theresa of Avila, St. Brigid, and St. Joan of Arc… the list goes on. They get ridiculed for simply quoting the gospels when they say “Hail Mary, full of grace”. They’re the ones that put our Lord’s mother front and center at Pentecost in many famous paintings. It’s modern conservative Protestants who worship masculinity (no better than Muslims). But not necessarily conservative Christians in general… even the most traditional… even the ones in the middle of nowhere. I mean, St. Catherine has a monestery named after her in the Sinai. Nothing says dedication to the worth of a female Christian than dedicating a building to her that has lasted millenia.. and people living in it in complete solitude, living on pure devotion (and maybe just a little bread).

  359. It’s not a wide brush. It’s actually very small and I can pinpoint why: Sola Scriptura. A noble thought, but it has the unfortunate consequence of shutting oneself off from tradition…. millennia of tradition that enriches all of us. There are inspiring examples from the scriptures of women, but it’s not overwhelming. And in the hands of people like Piper, they will steal even that from you. Like the example “Junia/Junias” in the ESV. This is Sola Scriptura being abused by complementarians even further.

    And since Protestants ignore or are outright ignorant of tradition, no one can mention the saints. People are deprived and starved. At best, they look towards modern examples… which is not compelling enough. “My female teacher in college was a godly woman. She was much very worth learning from”. This is great and all, but it’s easily ignored. It doesn’t convict and guilt people the same way a Saint’s story does.

  360. @ Ken:
    Your earlier post appeared to cover a much wider scope than your latter. There are many variations within Protestantism, including those who have women pastors. So, I’m still somewhat confused as to your purpose. Is it to call out only those who follow complementarianism or all protestants. You seem to still be doing both.

  361. I should add: I’m not trying to insult anyone. It gives me grief, if anything. It actually takes some effort to think when Protestant tradition celebrates women. There is no “cloud of witnesses”. It is strangely absent, going back to the beginning. No one cares about Luther’s wife. There are no female pillars of the movement. It’s Calvin, Zwingli, Luther, Knox, Wesley all day.

    There are exceptions, but even these are mixed with politics and other issues. People don’t often hear about the religious impulses of Harriet Tubman, for example. She has become a mere American hero instead of a Christian one. This is a terrible shame. How many people even learn that Harriet Tubman claimed she had revelations and visions of God.. and THIS is what compelled her to fight slavery? Christians should be reading about her, but instead, we get PBS documentaries and Obama giving speeches. The secular world knows the value of her tradition more than Protestants do.

  362. @Forrest

    My point is mere female pastors in the present, while laudable, is not convicting. You’re just part of one side vs the other when you think in terms of the present. It’s easily written off.

    My point is you lack the cloud of witnesses that truly shapes and causes cultural change. Where it’s unconscious and obvious that women are valuable in the church. Every day there’s a holiday for a saint in Orthodoxy or Catholicism. In every one of their libraries, there are devotionals, icons, and books telling people about them. In some countries, you even have patron female saints. Kids can’t even grow up without knowing it and it being so obvious how worthy it is to learn from them. This is what I mean when I say Protestantism and Sola Scriptura lacks any of this. You can have all the great female teachers you want and get in a tiff with every complementarian you want — but you’ll never have the weight to convict them and ahame them. They’ll move right along and harden their hearts.. and not feel once bit of guilt about it.

  363. @ Ken:
    Sounds like your only purpose here is to promote your own brand of christendom. I think you may have misunderstood the purpose of the blog. There are abuses in many churches. The catholic and orthodox churches are not immune from this. This blog will call them out wherever they are found. You, on the other hand, are only interested in protestant bashing.

  364. @ Forrest:

    My own brand of Christendom? I’m a hermit.. I like calling myself a Catacomb Christian. If you want to join me, I’ll warn you: it’s kind of boring here 🙂

    I’m trying to encourage you (you in general) to see the worth of tradition. Not my tradition. Just the generic meaning of the word. And tradition has nothing to do with pointing to examples in the present and fighting all of these little battles piecemeal. Tradition silences in one killing blow. It doesn’t even fight battles. It just exists and wins. It’s Godzilla vs Tokyo. Half of the time, it’s unspoken and simply known and part of public consciousness. This is all I’m saying Protestantism lacks. It’s so free and open that individuals rule, rather than tradition. And it’s on individualist territory that you’ll always debate… You won’t have the traditions of female saints to back you up and win this. Nobody cares. You’ll just have to rely on abstracts when discussing doctrinal matters. If that’s what you want, be my guest. And may God bless you in this endeavor.

  365. @ Ken:
    Jesus had something to say about tradition…
    Matthew 15:3 (NASB)
    And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

  366. @ Forrest:

    He said “your tradition”. It’s not a condemnation of the concept itself. Sure, you have to safeguard against tradition, but it’s insulting to both you and me and Christ himself to equate the P’rushim with the Body of Christ. We are the Church. Not puffed up rabbis and scribes. Be happy about that and how many shoulders are worth standing on. Christ didn’t build a church that has lasted that long only to be as worthless and questionable as the people who killed him.

  367. Forrest wrote:

    Jesus had something to say about tradition…
    Matthew 15:3 (NASB)
    And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

    There is also this:
    2 Thessalonians 2:15 – “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”

    Tradition does seem to be important. Maybe the issue is the nature of the traditions. Note that Paul includes both written (scriptura) and non-written tradition. This speaks against sola scriptura. As a Protestant, I am wondering if we have thrown out too many traditions.

  368. Ken
    We have you in moderation. This is a warning. I don’t care what you think you are doing. I know how you affecting things.

  369. Forrest wrote:

    It’s not just the churches that are mishandling sexual abuse. The courts are getting it wrong too.
    Oklahoma blind man who brutally raped girl, 13, is spared jail http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42862942

    That is true. Both secular and religious groups mishandle sex abuse and other wrongs.

    It’s my view, though, that it’s a bit more tacky or shocking for religious groups to bungle such things, since they often claim to hold a higher moral high ground.

    Christian apologists like to argue that people who believe in a deity are more righteous, compassionate, etc, than atheists. That’s not always the case, though.

    I think the Bible itself holds Christians to a higher standard of morality than it does Non-Christian culture.

    I would expect a group of Christians to be more upright than Non-Christians. I would expect Christians to defend and stand with victims, but they often times, not all of them but many, protect the guilty (the abusers) and victim blame the targets of the abuse.

  370. Lea wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    When all other avenues of justice have been blocked…

    Do you want batman? Cause this is how you get batman.

    Or The Punisher.

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