Gender Roles Not An Essential of the Christian Faith – Guest Post by Wade Burleson

“The gifts of the Spirit in the New Covenant are never differentiated on the basis of gender.”

Wade Burleson

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=74379&picture=face-man-and-woman

Faces of a Man and a Woman

The Role of Men and Women in the Home and Church Is Not an Essential of the Christian Faith

Wade Burleson

http://www.wadeburleson.org/2018/06/the-role-of-men-and-women-in-home-and.html

A Christian’s understanding of any alleged roles of men and women in the home and church often comes from listening to a pastor’s rote teaching rather than personal researched learning.

“Be diligent … to correctly handle the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).

It seems clear through a casual reading of the Bible–much less robust research–that Jesus Christ treats men and women as equals, a behavior that was contrary to the views and practices of His fellow Jews during Old Covenant days (1500 B.C. to A.D. 70).

Though there’s disagreement among evangelical Bible-believers on this issue, to say someone who disagrees with your view is “preaching a false gospel” is foolish.

Sinners are saved by the Person and work of Jesus Christ, not by a proper, biblical view on the roles of men and women.

So those who wrongly teach that God designed only men to have “spiritual authority” and only women are to have “submissive attitudes” are directly contradicting the infallible teachings of the New Testament which state that Christ alone has all spiritual authority in His Kingdom (Matthew 28:18), that leadership in His Kingdom is humbly serving others out of the power of one’s spiritual giftings (I Peter 4:10), and that all Christians are to “submit to one another” and  to”love one another” (Ephesians 5:21; John 13:34).

But being unbiblical and restrictive on the roles of men and women does not mean these people lack the Gospel.

If, however, there is a demand for conformity to a particular interpretation on this issue, rather than granting the freedom to disagree over the role of men and women in the home and church, then we may be playing the fool.

Let me explain.

Spurgeon Says a Fool Focuses on the Non-Essentials

Charles Spurgeon once began a message on the text “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22) with an illustration of three fools.

The first fool, Spurgeon said, is the ship’s captain who goes below deck during a ferocious storm to read an encyclopedia on the nature of Atlantic winds rather than fighting to keep his boat afloat.

The second fool is the wounded soldier on the battlefield who asks the arriving medic all kinds of questions about the size, shape, and model of the gun that fired the bullet which wounded the soldier rather than asking the physician if he’s able to heal him.

The third fool is the religious person who continually argues the subtle philosophical questions about the origin and nature of evil while ignoring the absolute truth that Christ’s blood is able to cleanse his sins (Hebrews 9:14).

Spurgeon said all three fools have one thing in common:

They trifle with subtleties while they ignore certainties.

A fool is one who spends time and wastes energy on matters that shouldn’t matter.

The “role” of women in the church and home shouldn’t matter when it comes to Christian cooperation, mission work, and spreading the Good News to a world in need of deliverance.

Some Christian leaders advocate that God’s design is for men to rule and lead while women are to receive and submit. Fine. But when Christians demand others churches, evangelicals, and missions organizations conform to such beliefs, then they are in danger of “trifling with subtleties while ignoring certainties.”

A demand for conformity on the alleged roles of men and women is taking a non-essential belief and turning into a measuring stick for believing the gospel.

The Danger of Making the Gospel About Gender

The overwhelming New Testament teaching of the Bible regarding men and women in the church is clear — “gender differences are irrelevant in the church of Jesus Christ.”
The Apostle Paul says:

All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:27-28).

Paul is emphatic that there is no room in the body of Jesus Christ for racial distinctions, no room for class distinctions, no room for gender distinctions. You may disagree with this assessment, but to make faithful gospel preaching hinge on an agreement with your views on gender is foolish. People are dying.
God’s people in the New Covenant are called to serve based upon the giftings given to them by the Holy Spirit:

“I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17).

Men who refuse a woman to serve, read, lead, or teach (when men are present) seem to be twisting the gospel of freedom in Christ into a doctrine of bondage by gender.
To restrict a Holy Spirit gifted and empowered woman from edifying other believers through the free exercise of her Spirit given gifts seems to be a resistance to the Holy Spirit.
Some of the most gifted leaders, teachers, and role models are women!
The Old Hebrew Way Is Not the Christian Way

An ancient Jewish prayer from the Hebrew Siddur (prayer book) went like this:

“Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a Gentile. Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a slave. Blessed are you, Hashem, King of the Universe, for not having made me a woman.”

Hashem was the Hebrew name for the one true God. It meant “The Name” and was used by Jews to refer to God since the days of Ezekiel.
The same spirit ancient Jews possessed that caused them to believe that only men were created to rule and lead and that women were created to receive and submit is the same spirit now at work in more than a few evangelical Christian leaders.
Interestingly, the rise of the Hebrew Siddur (prayer book) coincides with the glory of God departing the Temple of Jerusalem in the days of Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 10). Jewish Temple worship continued, but it was during this Spirit-less intertestamental time period that you have the rise of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other male-only Jewish orders that were continually focusing on male “authority,” male “leadership,” and male “power.”
A preoccupation and fixation on authority (whether it be conservative patriarchalism or liberal feminism), is a sign that the Spirit of God has departed.
Jesus Christ explicitly forbids any one individual assuming authority over other adults in the Christian community (Matthew 20:20-28). In fact, after describing the imperialism of political rulers and the authority fixation of religious rulers, Jesus said to his disciples:

“It shall not be so among you” (Matthew 20:26).

The New Testament covenant of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ totally turns the world’s concept of authority on its ear.

The world is concerned about position, power, authority, prestige, control, and ruling over others. Jesus Christ teaches His followers to serve, to love, to express their spiritual gifts to their fullest for the good of others, and to never fear what any person in so-called “authority” can do to them because “All authority … has been given to Me” (Matthew 28:18).

There is to be mutual equality, respect, and submission within the home between husband and wife (Ephesians 5:21-33). There is to be mutual equality, respect and submission of men and women toward one another in the body of Christ based upon the gifts that the Spirit gives to each male and female believer who has been baptized into Christ (Acts 2:15-21; Galatians 3:28).

References to the churches’ teaching ministry and other gifts are found in Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 and not one of those passages excludes females from being recipients of any one of those gifts. 

Let me say that again in a different way:

The gifts of the Spirit in the New Covenant are never differentiated on the basis of gender.

Paul’s Teaching about Women

“But what about Paul telling women ‘to be silent’ in the presence of men, and ‘to learn’ in quietness and submission from men?” you may ask. For example, Paul writes:

 “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” (I Timothy 2:11-12).

Scripture never contradicts Scripture. Therefore, if you believe Paul is giving a general and universal principle that no woman, at anytime or anywhere, may ever teach men or have authority over men, then you believe the Scripture contradicts itself.

All the other Pauline books, including Galatians, Romans, I Corinthians, Ephesians, as well as the other New Testament books written by Peter, John, Luke, Matthew, and other early disciples of Christ, never separate the gifts of the Spirit according to gender. 

So how does one understand I Timothy 2:11-12. I give one explanation for this text here, an interpretation that is consistent with the rest of New Testament teaching regarding men and women.

But for a fuller explanation, I’d encourage you to obtain Jon Zen’s book What’s With Paul and Women. After reading Zens, you will never again feel the need to restrict women in the home or in the church.


Spirit-Gifted, Humble Servant Leaders in the Home and Church

One of the advantages of being the pastor of a New Testament church where the Word of God is respected, believed, and practiced is that both men and women lead, serve, teach, and shepherd based upon their gifts.

We believe the concept of positions of power and authority held by “elders” is foreign to the New Testament. The word elder means “older.” Look to your elders for wisdom.

Again, the notion of some raw authority in an office of pastor or elder is foreign to the New Testament. Every believer in Christ is a priest in the Kingdom of Christ.

Our church has a Leadership Team composed of both men and women. I am a pastor, but there is no inherent spiritual authority in me or any “office” I hold.

Jesus Christ alone is the spiritual authority over his people. I serve people. I love people.

I lead people only if they are willing to follow–and frankly, if I do a poor job of serving and loving, they ought not to follow.

One of these days the church of Jesus Christ is going to wake up to the fact that we have so twisted and corrupted the concept of authority and leadership that what we have abandoned the clear and precise teachings of the New Testament.

The ancient Jews kept women in the courtyard and placed a fence around the Temple grounds lest a woman feel compelled to enter the Holy Place. The sacred rituals were performed by male priests. The sacred services were led by male priests.

Modern-day conservative evangelicals and liberal feminists often violate clear teachings of Jesus Christ and seem to wish to resurrect the Old economy of Temple buildings, gender priesthoods, and religious rituals.

Jesus Abolished all the Old Economy (Old Covenant) the New Agreement (New Covenant). 

The Temple of God is no longer a building, it is the soul of a believer (I Corinthians 6:19). The priests of God are no longer just male, they are both male and female (Galatians 3:28). The rituals of God are no longer holy days, sacrifices, and feasts, but faith in Christ and love for God and our fellow man (Colossians 2:16; John 13:3).

The body of Jesus Christ is to make no distinctions in race, class, and gender. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel that sets the captives free to serve as the Holy Spirit gifts.

To revoke the privilege of a gifted, believing woman from reading Scripture or teaching men, or to have leadership in the home or church is to violate the clear and certain teaching of the New Testament.

Is there room for disagreement on this issue among evangelical Christians?

Sure.

But if conservative, Bible-believing, Christ-loving, Spirit-filled, graced people demand conformity on over the “roles” of men and women in the home and church, then we are trifling with subtleties while ignoring certainties.

Comments

Gender Roles Not An Essential of the Christian Faith – Guest Post by Wade Burleson — 831 Comments

  1. “The gifts of the Spirit in the New Covenant are never differentiated on the basis of gender.”

    Wade Burleson

    Yes. Needed to be stated.

  2. “The Temple of God is no longer a building, it is the soul of a believer (I Corinthians 6:19). The priests of God are no longer just male, they are both male and female (Galatians 3:28). The rituals of God are no longer holy days, sacrifices, and feasts, but faith in Christ and love for God and our fellow man (Colossians 2:16; John 13:3).”

    Thanks, Wade Burleson. Clearly stated, keenly understood.

  3. Christianity as I learned it was about the resurrection and redemption of humanity. Basically Jesus came to do what we were incapable of doing.

    One of the early conversations I had with my wife as I started to drift out of faith was pressing her to tell me how she knew that Christianity was real.

    It was a jerkish thing to do since she wasn’t giving me static about being no longer interested in going to church.

    She basically told me that it was real to her, that there was good and evil & she didn’t really care if the entire bible happened exactly as written.

    That’s faith.

    No one can say for certain what God means but I do think the bible is a reflection of the culture from whence it came.

    Even as Christian, I was very suspicious of those who would tell with certainty that God had only 5 purposes for me like Rick Warren in that purpose driven program.

  4. I am going to start this out by reminding everyone that I am completely DONE. The women who posted the purloined SEBTS documents online stepped on my last church nerve on Friday. The closest I’m going to get to any church is the sidewalk, with a sign.

    With that out of the way…

    I know lots of people like Wade Burleson, but Wade, you stepped on my last nerve here by trying to drag “liberal feminists” in your post. Where in the church are you seeing women in complete positions of authority over men? I’m going to tell you NOWHERE. Not even in the Episcopal Church, which ordains women and has had a woman as its presiding bishop. But she didn’t set up a feminine priesthood over men and when her term was over, she left and Michael Curry (a black man) was elected in her place. This is simply not the case in the SBC, where the purge of women from positions has been going on for the last couple of decades.

    I understand why you did it, you were trying to set yourself up as the middle ground between the patriarchs running the SBC and the “other,” the “liberal feminists.” But it was extremely uncool, untrue and uncalled for.

    And your discussion of the Jewish temple, the siddur and Jewish worship reflects a nearly complete ignorance of what goes on in Judaism today. This is not what goes on in Judaism. I’ll say it feels anti-Semitic to me and veers really close to replacement theology. I’d note that three of the four branches of Judaisum (Conservative, Reform, Restorationist) ordain women rabbis.

    I suppose what you wrote resonates with people in the SBC, which, of course, is your constituency. But I would suggest that saying “liberal feminists” are a problem and a bogey bear, along with highly inappropriate Jewish stereotyping isn’t going to translate your post to the many, many people outside the SBC who are now watching this Dumpster fire for what’s next.

    Signed, One Who Is Done, D-O-N-E, DONE. And yeah, I’m a “liberal feminist,” an SJW. I’ll own it.

    (Sorry, Dee and Deb, I had to say this.)_

  5. Jack: God had only 5 purposes for me like Rick Warren in that purpose driven program.

    “In Acts 2:42-47 these five facets of health are mentioned: They fellowshipped, edified each other, worshipped, ministered, and evangelized. As a result, verse 47 says, ‘And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.'”

    “The Five Dimensions of a Healthy Church
    1. Churches grow warmer through fellowship.
    2. Churches grow deeper through discipleship.
    3. Churches grow stronger through worship.
    4. Churches grow broader through ministry.
    5. Churches grow larger through evangelism.”

  6. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: And your discussion of the Jewish temple, the siddur and Jewish worship reflects a nearly complete ignorance of what goes on in Judaism today.

    I thought he made that distinction in his post? He said something or other about that being true of ancient Israel, he wasn’t saying that was true of Jewish people today.

    If you look at the Gospels, some of the Jewish men, even the disciples of Christ, were shocked Jesus spoke with, taught, and hung out with women, because their culture and/or religious views back then were that women were not worthy or were dangerous to be around.

  7. Regarding all the references to liberal feminism in Wade’s post.

    I’m a conservative person and not full on board with all things liberal, feminist, or “SJW.” Having said that, I think a lot of Christians (especially the complementarians) and secular conservatives misunderstand some points of liberal feminists.

    There are fringe kooks in about every group, including liberal feminists, but plenty of them are sane and have some valid critiques or concerns regarding culture or religious institutions.

    I don’t think the vast majority of liberal feminists want a matriarchy (female rule over males).

    Christian gender complementarians, on the other hand, believe and argue that male rule of females (in and out of church, depending on which variety of comp you are reading) is supposedly biblical, God’s intent, wonderful, good, etc.

    Secular, liberal feminist pleas for men (or culture) to be more equitable to women and girls is often mis-perceived by conservatives and Christians as those women being power hungry,

    Or, it’s misunderstood and mis-interpreted as these women supposedly wanting women to rule over men.

    However, that is not what liberal feminists are saying, or asking for.
    (Not most of them, anyway. You can probably find a few “looney toons” who feel that way, but I don’t know how fair it is to broad brush the entire group by the few nuts).

  8. Daisy: Secular, liberal feminist pleas for men (or culture) to be more equitable to women and girls is often mis-perceived by conservatives and Christians as those women being power hungry,

    Exactly. If you are not a feminist today – as a man or a woman – you are against a few simple things:
    – that women have as much of a say concerning their own lives as men have always had
    – that women receive equal pay for equal work
    – that society does not treat women condescendingly and belittle their achievements and opinions

    If you can’t agree to these three points, you are placing yourself outside of educated and civilised society.

    And it seems to me, some of both sides of the current sbc wars are in exactly that position: neither educated nor civilised – and multiple PhDs do not make a difference here.

  9. If we agree to disagree on whether there are roles for men and women, than not only are we asking complementarians to accept those who believe men and women can have any part in the church, but likewise those who believe all the offices are open to anyone have to accept those who do not. From what I have seen, neither camp is willing to do that.

  10. And since Paul specifies that those who do feel liberty in any area need to give up their liberty if it causes a brother to stumble, that requires those in the camp of everyone being equal to allow men to be elders.

  11. Gus: Exactly. If you are not a feminist today – as a man or a woman – you are against a few simple things:
    – that women have as much of a say concerning their own lives as men have always had
    – that women receive equal pay for equal work
    – that society does not treat women condescendingly and belittle their achievements and opinions

    If I might attempt to steer the boat very slightly here…

    To say that I (as a person included in the generic “you”) must accept the label “feminist” in order to believe things that I have already come to believe as a human being isn’t helpful here. “Feminist”, like any “-ist” label, has meant many different things over the years and, as this post and discussion together show, still means different things to different people today.

    If, in private, you need to think of me as a feminist to help clarify/categorise what I believe, then I can easily accommodate that. You can think of me as being an apple or a pink unicorn if it helps. But no -ism, not even feminism, has any mortgage on equality, education or civilisation; no more than does patriarchy own God.

  12. “The Temple of God is no longer a building, it is the soul of a believer (I Corinthians 6:19).”

    19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

    Just a minor quibble; it’s my anti-gnosticism coming to the fore. At the very least our bodies figure into it after the resurrection of the dead.

  13. …When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 1Cor. 14:26

    Here is a list of gifts I found in Romans 12, 1 Cor. 12, and Eph 4. There is no mention of gender association in any of them.

    1) apostle
    2) prophecy
    3) miracles
    4) healing
    5) tongues
    6) interpretation of tongues
    7) word of knowledge
    8) wisdom
    9) discerning of spirits
    10) giving
    11) exhortation
    12) ministering
    13) showing mercy
    14) faith
    15)pastor/teacher
    16) evangelism
    17) helps
    18) administrations
    19) hospitality

  14. One of the things that I find disheartening (but also clarifying) in the current arguments in favor of various forms of hierarchy in the churches (gender-based hierarchy is not the only one) is that while it is true that there is a discernible super-/sub-ordination relation in the archetypes that the hierarchists point to (God over the Creation, or Christ over the Church), these hierarchies have a strong, perhaps dominant, component of “self-giving love” that seems to be consistently overlooked in the arguments in favor of super-/sub-ordination in the churches and in other realms.

    God gives Himself to His creation — all the “communicable attributes” present in the world come from God. He labors on its behalf, sustaining it in existence, “holding all things together”.

    Christ gives Himself to and for the Church.

    It’s a hierarchy of self-giving love.

    Why don’t we hear more about this from complementarians?

  15. NJ:
    “The Temple of God is no longer a building, it is the soul of a believer (I Corinthians 6:19).”

    19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

    Just a minor quibble; it’s my anti-gnosticism coming to the fore.At the very least our bodies figure into it after the resurrection of the dead.

    There may be a “now and not yet” aspect to this. The end of Ephesians 2 has a “new temple” theology too: a corporate temple, founded on Christ and the apostles, that appears to at present be in the process of construction. Although it’s not finished yet, it appears that God already dwells in it through the Spirit.

  16. Irene,

    But he does call the person who doesn’t feel that liberty the weaker brother. He also continues to teach and lead them into maturity. Further, that stumbling was an actual loss of faith, not just being offended or having a different opinion. The new Christians Paul was talking about in Corinthians were in danger of drifting back into paganism and worshipping idols. I don’t think a Complementarian is going to worship idols if a woman prays during services.

  17. I guess because of my upbringing, I have never considered gender a part of my christian life. I am who I am in Christ. A child of his. My gender doesn’t mean a thing to him. I’m not going to go back to the Bible and prove this to anyone. I know in my heart it’s true. I am his, and that’s all that matters. I am free to tell others about my faith.

  18. Samuel Conner:
    It’s a hierarchy of self-giving love.

    Why don’t we hear more about this from complementarians?

    Didn’t complete the thought.

    Wade’s post looks like a appeal to “agree to peacefully disagree” on a what he argues is a non-essential aspect of theology and practice. I personally doubt that is possible. I suspect that for many complementarians, too much of the rest of theology is implicated, elements of anthropology, ecclesiology, even Christology and Theology Proper (many complementarians see gender with the Godhead, and it’s “male”).

    For me, it would be more possible to regard complementarian believers with a measure of complacency (versus an alarmed intuition that “these people are actually damaging the Body of Christ”) if their rhetoric and practice aimed toward the “hierarchy of self-giving love” that is strongly present within the “vertical” hierarchical archetypes that they point toward to justify “horizontal” hierarchies in the churches.

  19. jyjames: “In Acts 2:42-47 these five facets of health are mentioned: They fellowshipped, edified each other, worshipped, ministered, and evangelized. As a result, verse 47 says, ‘And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’”

    “The Five Dimensions of a Healthy Church
    1. Churches grow warmer through fellowship.
    2. Churches grow deeper through discipleship.
    3. Churches grow stronger through worship.
    4. Churches grow broader through ministry.
    5. Churches grow larger through evangelism.”

    I’m going on memory but the whole purpose drive program was to convince through a form of god focused manipulation that the main reason you were Christian was to get into a church.
    There was even a covenant at the beginning to prevent people from dropping out.
    It was after this that my wife’s church adopted a covenant and like muslin I too became a “done”.
    What’s listed in your comment are ostensibly things healthy churches should be. It’s not the same as a man or men or women or groups telling me personally that god has only this purpose or that purpose and that person/group are the only ones who can dictate it to you.
    This is the big issue with gender roles in the church. People are being told that God wants them to be this role or that role.
    What messes people up is that we live in a liberal democracy and they know that a lot of this garbage is just plain wrong. It’s the vestiges of culture from thousands of years ago.

  20. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Totally agree about being a done. Been one for a while. 🙂 However alt left “authoritarian-Christianity” both and male and female are not that unusual, either. Power is funny like that. Power people start thinking they know best for others, enact more rules and lead accordingly.

    Here we have legal action against parishioners who invested in and supported their local parish being sued by leaders (male and female) to aquire properties that will just sit empty. Now headquarters is going bankrupt.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/home-page-news-and-views/why-is-the-episcopal-church-near-collapse.aspx

    There are no laws preventing any women from forming a church and leading it. Thank goodness! 🙂

  21. Nick Bulbeck,

    I eschew “feminist”. I have been an egalitarian on gender since the age of 15 or 16, circa the early 1960s. I have been an egalitarian on what most people call “race” since the age of 10. And I have become an egalitarian on the issue of others’ choices of gender for a life partner since the mid 1970s. I am an egalitarian on the rights of people of any class, income, wealth (or poverty), and have been since the early 1960s. I am neither a masculinist nor a feminist. And I believe that all of the above are consistent with the teaching and life of Jesus.

  22. Samuel Conner,

    I just started reading Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It is the most frustrating and awful thing I’ve ever read. But, one positive (maybe the only one) is that Piper does spend most of his time in that first chapter talking about how men need to be kind and not authoritative. He actually avoids the word authority. It doesn’t negate the message and the flawed logic behind nearly every page, though.

  23. BTW, the scientific term “race” includes all humans as one race. The other differences we see in humans are simply genetic variations that are mostly unconnected to things like mental capacity, emotions, etc.

  24. Everything I have read from Complementarians is always so full of fear. I don’t understand what they are afraid of. It doesn’t quite feel like regular legalism (if I don’t do A, B, and C I’m going to hell), it’s like they somehow really think society will completely collapse. Which is weird, because so many of these guys are neo-Calvinists. It’s like, “once saved, always saved, unless a woman is teaching, then we’re all going to hell.”

  25. Preacher”s wife–

    Some people will drop out of fellowship if the church is completely run by women. Also, I think men in general will step back and play video games. That isn’t what we want either.

  26. Irene:
    And since Paul specifies that those who do feel liberty in any area need to give up their liberty if it causes a brother to stumble, that requires those in the camp of everyone being equal to allow men to be elders.

    I wouldn’t say that, Irene. The truth is that allowing only men to be elders is causing a lot of WOMEN to stumble. The “don’t be a stumbling block” message has been used to keep women down a lot in the church, especially over modesty. And I really think that we’re missing the whole context of where Paul is writing about that. It isn’t about legalism; It’s about protecting the faith of the weaker Christian, the one who is about to fall. Who, in this case, is the weaker Christian? The Al Mohlers of this world, or the young high school girl who is told she can be anything she wants to be–except a pastor.

    I talked about this more here, as it regards modesty, but it’s the same argument:
    https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2017/06/dont-be-stumbling-block-modesty/

    We really need to stop using that verse to keep people down. Basically it’s just used to keep those in power in power, and it does very little to lift up the honest to goodness weaker Christian, in my opinion.

  27. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    I also get your concern about Replacement Theology. It makes me very uncomfortable. Sometimes language can be imprecise. In the early years of Neo Cal, I started to become very uncomfortable with their absolute lines drawn with the “New and Old” Covenant language. There really isn’t any good terminology because it all comes with a lot of baggage. I see God in the OT as wanting the Jews to be the light of the world, too. Same with Christians. Sadly, Christendom is making the same mistakes they did! That is a bit general but works for me. 🙂

  28. Jack: ’m going on memory but the whole purpose drive program was to convince through a form of god focused manipulation that the main reason you were Christian was to get into a church.
    There was even a covenant at the beginning to prevent people from dropping out.

    Bingo. It was all predicated on churchianity. It was the mega church Bible.

  29. Preacher’s Wife:
    Samuel Conner,

    I just started reading Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.It is the most frustrating and awful thing I’ve ever read.But, one positive (maybe the only one) is that Piper does spend most of his time in that first chapter talking about how men need to be kind and not authoritative.He actually avoids the word authority.It doesn’t negate the message and the flawed logic behind nearly every page, though.

    I got that impression also — that Piper does call men to imitate Christ’s self-giving – from Jon Zens’ brief review of Piper’s older book “What’s the Difference?” and that is IMO commendable. My concern is with what I hear coming out of the wider movement, and with what I have seen at ground level in my own (albeit limited) experience. And the problem isn’t just gender-based hierarchy (as Wade notes, those who aspire to be great ought to become the servants of all). The mentality in the big independent churches seems to be that burden of protecting the honor of God’s Name does not fall on the powerful exalted leaders to lead in ways that accurately image Jesus, but on the powerless followers to conceal from public view what they are suffering at the hands of those more powerful than them.

    2 Samuel 12 comes to mind: “But the thing David had done displeased YHWH”

    One wonders if the sword (metaphorically speaking) will ever depart from this house.

  30. Lydia,

    Yes. And please note that it was a female presiding bishop who presided over the worst of this mess.

    Note also that in TEC the church properties belong to the denomination and not to the local parish, just like our building does not belong to the people who sacrificed to build it nor to us as we have this building program to upgrade it. Everybody knows that going in. But as to the original people who built the building, they are all dead. They built an episcopal church building knowing it belonged to the denomination. If people now came along and want to withdraw from the denom and take the property with them is that fair and is that right. On the other hand, times change and TEC has changed in ideas and policies, so where does fairness lie.

    But hey, somebody took a woman with prior success in the business world, fast forwarded her all the way to presiding bishop and neither her gender nor her prior business experience solved the problem.

    While headquarters is going bankrupt, TEC has untouched resources not involved in this issue, or so they tell us. It is a mess for sure. It does not bother me if ‘headquarters’ feels the pinch. There are ways to solve it, but it would take religious (not just business) compromise to do so, and personally I don’t know where I stand on that. And I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information we are told.

    If a denom changes in a liberal direction, and current conservative parish members disagree with the new changes and want to leave the denomination, should they be allowed to take the building with them, it being a building built not by them but mostly by people who are dead. Does it matter if those who leave agree or disagree with those dead people who built the church in the first place? Does it matter in which direction the denom swings? Does it matter what the separated parishioners plan to do with the building, as in what they plan to practice for religion or whether they plan to sell the property and do something else entirely with the money? And does actual ownership of the property matter in a court of law? Does it matter whether all the parish members want to leave or only some/most/those with money?

    I thought that our parish might have to face this issue at one time. But now that we are putting some monies into upgrading the building I am thinking that we plan to remain part of TEC. People are not being lied to about the issues involved; we are told how the system works. Everybody knows this before they write some check. The whole liberal vs conservative thing has hit anglicanism hard here in north america.

    I am liberal on some social issues and conservative/traditional on most religious issues, and that is an awkward position. Push comes to shove, and if it happened before I die, I would swallow my differences and disagreements with the RCC and go back over there and convert to RCC. Seeing that on my recent bone scan I lit up like a Christmas tree all over worse than any place else I will not have to face this issue, but in the interests of this discussion I want to make it plain. Should our anglo-catholic parish decide to take the offer of the RCC to join them, should we be allowed to take the property with us to the RCC when we do that? Or should the property remain with TEC? And does that throw a bit of a different light on things?

  31. I do want to be clear that I’m grateful Wade is out there as a support for the women who have come forward regarding Paige Patterson. It’s just that his post rubbed me the wrong way. That is all.

  32. Preacher’s Wife:
    Samuel Conner,

    I just started reading Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.It is the most frustrating and awful thing I’ve ever read.But, one positive (maybe the only one) is that Piper does spend most of his time in that first chapter talking about how men need to be kind and not authoritative.He actually avoids the word authority.It doesn’t negate the message and the flawed logic behind nearly every page, though.

    On the subject of avoiding the term “authority” in discussion of gender roles within marriage, in Zens’ book “What’s with Paul and Women?”, he noted that Piper’s “What’s the Difference?” discusses multiple Pauline passages but does not discuss 1 Cor 7, which is the one place in Paul’s letters where “authority” (Greek “exousia”) is explicitly discussed in the context of marriage — and in 1 Cor 7, husbands and wives BOTH have “exousia” over each other’s bodies. It’s an egalitarian text.

    It’s a curious omission.

  33. Preacher’s Wife: I just started reading Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It is the most frustrating and awful thing I’ve ever read.

    Wanting to be able to explain my complementarian faith to others, I read that book … and before I was finished, I was an egalitarian. Yes, it’s that poorly reasoned.

  34. okrapod,

    Sounds to me like your situation is more important than what an institution decides to do. My prayers will be with you as you fight.

    As to the institutions, I think you nailed it here:

    “And I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information we are told.”

    It’s definitely a choice because very few that are personally involved in the top echelons of the heirarchy of any closed system knows what it really going on.

    God bless you!

  35. I have to admit I totally don’t get the complementarian argument for roles based on Genesis 3. It’s clearly a curse. They will talk about men being cursed in those verses, but for the women, it’s God’s “design”. It makes no sense whatsoever.

    I also do not think this is an area where we should “agree to disagree”. It seems like the people who say stuff like that about complementarianism to me are always men. It’s easy for YOU to agree to disagree because you can do whatever you want as a man in the church. The way Christian men in complementarian circles treat women can be truly atrocious and often no other man will stand up and say something about it. That’s wrong.

    And Piper rings a bell to call his wife to bring him tea. Sorry, but I think men like Piper think being benevolent includes their wife waiting on them hand and foot.

  36. The key and critical passage is 1 Tim. 2:11-15, and I think Burleson’s exegesis of this passage misses the point. He, like many others, goes on the hunt (eisegesis, importing meaning into the text) of a contemporaneous Hellenistic cultural context for the passage because he cannot come to grips with the plain meaning of the text.

    The cultural context of the passage is clearly The Fall itself:

    Gen. 3:16: “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”

    It is evident that a Hebrew scripture is the cultural context, the thing Paul had in mind in 1 Tim. 2:11-15 (in fact, the more familiar with Paul’s writings one becomes, the more one realizes that this is Paul’s modus operandi):

    “11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection (“HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE”).
    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing (“IN SORROW THOU SHALT BRING FORTH CHILDREN”), if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

    2 Tim. 2:11-15 then, does not represent a new restriction or additional burden placed upon women. It says nothing that was not said from the very first pages of Scripture. It is an acknowledgment that, even though the Messiah has appeared and much of His mission has been accomplished, the earth is still under the consequences and penalty of The Fall, and will continue to be so until Messiah returns again.

    “22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
    23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

    One can accept it or reject it.

    I have nothing else to say here.

  37. Victorious,
    Well said, Victorious. BTW, I don’t mind being called “Liberal.” To me it means generous and free of bias and many other good things!

  38. Irene,

    Dropping out of fellowship is not the same as renouncing God. It’s also a conscious decision to separate, which is not at all what Paul is talking about when he mentions weaker brothers. Paul is afraid that these former pagans will see Christians eating in temples and assume they are participating in the pagan temple worship. Then they will get the false assumption that God is just one of many and fall back into pagan society. So, are there people that will stop being a Christian because a woman is praying?

    Also, that is a terribly low view of men. As though men specifically are just naturally lazy and want to check out of society. That’s as sexist as saying women just want power so they can control everything.

  39. Another problem with the kind/benevolent argument in complementarianism is that what is kind is always defined by a man, because husbands/pastors (and often men in general) are the ones who get to make the “final” decision.

    So a man can decide that his wife doing whatever he wants her to do, with no discussion, is the only way she is allowed to be “kind” in their relationship. I’ve seen a whole lot of Christian men define “not hitting her” as the only requirement for being kind for themselves, but they held almost impossible standards for their wives.

    There tends to be a large amount of tunnel vision and entitlement that comes with the ability to make all the decisions.

  40. (whether it be conservative patriarchalism or liberal feminism)

    These things are not equivalent! Most ‘liberal’ feminism is a reaction to patriarchalism.

    The real way through is equality.

  41. Leila,

    I’ve been giving a running commentary on the book to my husband. After the second chapter I said, “I just…I don’t even have words anymore!” He said, “Then I guess the book is working.”

    Seriously though, I have this overwhelming urge to just hug my husband, buy him gifts, and do all his laundry because I’m so grateful that he thinks these guys are quacks.

  42. But if conservative, Bible-believing, Christ-loving, Spirit-filled, graced people demand conformity on over the “roles” of men and women in the home and church, then we are trifling with subtleties while ignoring certainties.

    With respect, gender roles are only a side issue to men, who have not been restricted in any way. The view of these things affects everything women do in the church, however, positively or negatively, for women.

  43. Lea,

    A quote from a commenter on that cray website:

    “In the plainest meaning of the words, the “help” is the one that carries out the instructions. The “helped” is the one who gives the instructions. In that dynamic, before the fall, when was Eve ever NOT the help for Adam?? In that dynamic, before the fall, when was Adam ever NOT the giver of instructions to, and therefore the head of, Eve?? ”

    This is…a view I haven’t heard.

    I don’t think any of these guys have a correct understanding of what a strong help is…

  44. Lydia: My prayers will be with you as you fight.

    I am not ‘fighting’ anything. That is terminology which the media uses and which does not represent the spectrum of the issues. Indeed, some people want to utilize every potential option even when the evidence does not support that decision. Some/many people do not. Allowing people to make choices which are shown to be overwhelmingly useless is done for primarily political and philosophical, not medical, reasons. The time will come when people have that option curbed based on how much money is spent ‘fighting’ end of life ‘battles’ when the ‘fight’ is useless and when the treatments compromise quality of life because it is a huge problem faced by both medicare and the private insurance companies.

    There are steps that are effective. In accurate medical terminology I have chosen to forgo ‘extraordinary means’ but I am utilizing a medication which helps but does not totally prevent fractures. And I am taking one oral hormone which may or may not help achieve the same thing to some extent and by a different process. This is called quality of life approach but it does not reach the definition of ‘comfort care’ which is a different thing. Statistics mean little when it comes to life expectancy, but the stats for the category in which I apparently fall based solely on pattern and extent of metastases show a mean life expectancy of 14 months after diagnosis. The mean, of course, is only that , which is the general problem with stats. And of course the criteria used in determining the mean are flawed; like how does one know how long the condition has been active prior to diagnosis.

    If people are afraid to die, then the church has failed. If people have overwhelming reasons why an added month or two to life may be crucial to meet some other commitments, and if they are willing to sacrifice quality of life to do that, that is different and personal. I am 84 and have four chronic and progressive and potentially fatal diseases/conditions. I have lived with the possibility of sudden death for decades (asthma) and I am used to the idea.

    When I was still quite young I ran across the idea that one should live one’s life in such a way that when it came time to die one had no business left to attend to except the matter of dying. I have tried to do that my whole life, not perfectly but certainly well enough that I see no unfinished personal business for which I am responsible based on my own choices. It is a very liberating concept. I recommend it.

    That said, I believe there should be laws permitting assisted suicide as well as actual euthanasia when required. I do not believe that gratuitous suffering is a religious virtue. Unavoidable suffering for a cause, sure Suffering due to persecution, sure. Suffering just because we cannot cure this or that-yet-no. This is one place where I differ with the RCC. If suffering for its own sake is good, then we should not be trying to cure things in the first place. That latter, of course, has been an idea taken up by some individuals from time to time in the name of religion. No. Just no.

  45. Lea: With respect, gender roles are only a side issue to men, who have not been restricted in any way. The view of these things affects everything women do in the church, however, positively or negatively, for women.

    So true. When I got fed up and said something to hubby, he said he didn’t notice, maybe just because he’s a man.

  46. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I understand why you did it, you were trying to set yourself up as the middle ground between the patriarchs running the SBC and the “other,” the “liberal feminists.”

    I’m sure Wade means well, but yes.

    There is a huge issue in the church where people feel the need to shore up their bonafides (I am comp, conservative, not a SJW, etc) before they feel like they can be heard. This inclination in too many churches to shut your ears when you hear someone who disagrees or takes a different positions is a HUGE problem. Not saying Wade is like that, but he is in that world. Many people in that world conscious or unconsciously feel the need to ‘affirm such and such’. That Sam Rainer guy who wrote about the SBC being a dumpster fire felt the need to go on about how he really did practice gender roles at his church so it’s ok to listen to him. NO. Let’s listen to everyone who has information and knowledge to give!!!

    I’ll listen to the crazy rantings of people like Doug Wilson and Tim Bailey because I want to know where these things are coming from. You can listen, assess and agree or disagree with people who aren’t on your ‘side’. So tired of this stuff.

  47. Lea,

    I’ve heard it a lot. But in the plainest reading in Hebrew, God is most often referred to as a “help.” So…that logic on the “plainest meaning” just doesn’t work. Besides, my daughter asks for help all the time, does that mean I then become subordinate to her?

  48. Irene: And since Paul specifies that those who do feel liberty in any area need to give up their liberty if it causes a brother to stumble, that requires those in the camp of everyone being equal to allow men to be elders.

    OR maybe men should give up their liberty so as not to cause their sisters to stumble. Unless men are actually the weak ones here, which seems to be the point many comp folks make. In which case, they really aren’t up to the level of spiritual maturity to be in charge of anything.

  49. Nick Bulbeck: To say that I (as a person included in the generic “you”) must accept the label “feminist” in order to believe things that I have already come to believe as a human being isn’t helpful here.

    I read a quote from oddly enough an actress iirc, that said only bad people get labels. Label the sexists, and the rest of us are just people.

  50. Dee and Deb might be interested to know they received mention this morning in a post at the Get Religion blog concerning the subject of complementarian doctrine and the Paige Patterson controversy. Richard Ostling is the author.

    https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2018/6/4/beyond-dallas-the-onrushing-churchtoo-furor-may-spell-trouble-for-biblical-complementarians

    Deb, I thought you were still a Southern Baptist. Ostling said both you and Dee left the SBC. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  51. singleman,

    I am most assuredly a member in good standing of a Southern Baptist church with no plans of making a change.

    In the early years of TWW, I was very discouraged with conservative Baptist churches in the Raleigh/Durham area which have for the most part gone in a Reformed direction. Was the nearby seminary a factor in this shift???

    My husband and I decided to take a break from the organized church. After a time, we found a small Southern Baptist fellowship in a country setting, and we transferred our membership.

    My church is definitely not Neo-Cal and women are highly valued. 🙂

  52. Lea: There is a huge issue in the church where people feel the need to shore up their bonafides (I am comp, conservative, not a SJW, etc) before they feel like they can be heard.

    i.e. Having to Virtue Signal about their Pure Ideology and Loyalty to the Party Line.
    Otherwise they are Enemies to the Tribe.

    “Pledge alliegance to the Flag,
    Whatever flag they offer…”
    — Mike and the Mechanics, “Silent Running”

  53. ishy: And Piper rings a bell to call his wife to bring him tea. Sorry, but I think men like Piper think being benevolent includes their wife waiting on them hand and foot.

    “I Got Mine,
    I Got Mine,
    The World’s The Way It’s Meant To Be,
    I Got Mine…

    “I Got Mine,
    I Got Mine,
    I DON’T WANT A THING TO CHANGE
    NOW THAT I GOT MINE!”
    — Glenn Frey, “I Got Mine”
    (You should have seen the hypergolic reaction to this from Eagle’s regular troll…)

  54. Leila: Wanting to be able to explain my complementarian faith to others, I read that book … and before I was finished, I was an egalitarian. Yes, it’s that poorly reasoned.

    When you’re airtight arguments and God Saiths actually convince the reader in the other direction…
    That’s Bad.

  55. okrapod: If a denom changes in a liberal direction, and current conservative parish members disagree with the new changes and want to leave the denomination, should they be allowed to take the building with them, it being a building built not by them but mostly by people who are dead.

    This is an issue that has come up to my knowledge in both the SBC and PCUSA to PCA churches. IIRC, the local body generally ending up keeping the building, although I don’t know all the particulars.

    These are different denominations than yours, of course. It is a squirrely thing and I don’t know that there is a right or wrong answer always.

  56. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I am going to start this out by reminding everyone that I am completely DONE. The women who posted the purloined SEBTS documents online stepped on my last church nerve on Friday. The closest I’m going to get to any church is the sidewalk, with a sign.

    And yet another Walks Away From Omelas…

  57. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    okrapod,
    I am so sorry about the bone scan. But I’m so proud of you for the way you seem to be handling things!

    Indeed. I have always enjoyed your commentary, okrapod. Agree, disagree no matter. There is always something to chew on. I wish you the best in all things, always.

  58. Lea: A quote from a commenter on that cray website:
    “In the plainest meaning of the words, the “help” is the one that carries out the instructions. The “helped” is the one who gives the instructions. In that dynamic, before the fall, when was Eve ever NOT the help for Adam?? In that dynamic, before the fall, when was Adam ever NOT the giver of instructions to, and therefore the head of, Eve?? ”

    Bet that guy’s well chuffed that God is his “very present help in trouble”.

  59. Lea: This is an issue that has come up to my knowledge in

    It has also come up among the Lutherans. The school of my g’kids was a part of a very conservative Lutheran denom, the LCMS. They are more conservative than SBC, in my opinion, in that they also are liturgical and hierarchical and traditional, all of which are conservative positions in theory if not totally in practice.

  60. Preacher’s Wife: Besides, my daughter asks for help all the time, does that mean I then become subordinate to her?

    This is a ‘plain meaning’ of help they often miss. Weaker ask the stronger for help. People with less knowledge or skill ask for help from those with greater.

    Their logic is poor, as happens when you began with the end in mind.

  61. One of the English words that can be used to translate parakletos is ‘helper’ which is interesting since Jesus said he would ask the Father who would send ‘another parakletos’. Another? One already and another to come? Surely the Divine Persons are not in some helper role; surely that must be a conspiracy on the part of the translators..blah and blah.

    And when God looked at Adam and said it is not good for him to be alone God must have misjudged the situation. Surely he meant that it was good how Adam was doing and if only he had an apprentice or a servant or such it would be even better. But alone? What does not good to be alone have to do with anything? Is it to be believed that Eve was not to help with his aloneness but rather to facilitate his work output or something. Does that explain why Adam had his mind apparently blown when he saw Eve, he was so thrilled with the amount of work that could then be accomplished? Does any sane person believe that narrative as told that way?

  62. Tandt:
    The key and critical passage is 1 Tim. 2:11-15, and I think Burleson’s exegesis of this passage misses the point.He, like many others, goes on the hunt (eisegesis, importing meaning into the text) of a contemporaneous Hellenistic cultural context for the passage because he cannot come to grips with the plain meaning of the text.

    The cultural context of the passage is clearly The Fall itself:

    Gen. 3:16: “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”

    It is evident that a Hebrew scripture is the cultural context, the thing Paul had in mind in 1 Tim. 2:11-15 (in fact, the more familiar with Paul’s writings one becomes, the more one realizes that this is Paul’s modus operandi):

    “11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection (“HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE”).
    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing (“IN SORROW THOU SHALT BRING FORTH CHILDREN”), if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

    2 Tim. 2:11-15 then, does not represent a new restriction or additional burden placed upon women.It says nothing that was not said from the very first pages of Scripture.It is an acknowledgment that, even though the Messiah has appeared and much of His mission has been accomplished, the earth is still under the consequences and penalty of The Fall, and will continue to be so until Messiah returns again.

    “22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
    23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

    One can accept it or reject it.

    I have nothing else to say here.

    Tandt.
    You quote extensively, which is something that always attracts my attention on blogs. The handling of Scripture always carries the possibility of influencing the impressionable, or vulnerable.

    You process the scriptures incorrectly. You do not follow the unfolding of the text.( in this case Genesis) You then have difficulty interpreting doctrine from the original error, and proceeding through following text, as well as the following historical timeline.

    Go back and review your comment. Here is your original error point:

    THERE WAS NO FALL
    Adam died the same day he ate the fruit. Death and fall, are different words. They mean different things. If you wish to find and example of a “Fall”, your example would be Lucifer.

    The gender rolls you advocate as ideals, are in fact flaws in the Creation. Just as diabetes is a flaw. Crime is a flaw. Death itself is a flaw. The entire Creation is filled with flaws.

    God subjected the Creation to frustration. Subjugation of women, is something that happens. It is not a goal. Sexual domination of women happens. It is not a goal. There are many things that happen, and are never goals.

  63. Lydia:
    Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    I did not know there was a “good” comp. I thought the people who coined the term, defined it? Is it being rehabbed?

    There is no “good” comp ….. only varying degrees of bad.

  64. Nick Bulbeck: To say that I (as a person included in the generic “you”) must accept the label “feminist” in order to believe things that I have already come to believe as a human being isn’t helpful here. “Feminist”, like any “-ist” label, has meant many different things over the years and, as this post and discussion together show, still means different things to different people today.

    You are, of course, completely right. Labels are often not helpful, especially since they can mean many different things and are often so emotionally charged. So I would say that the 3 criteria I named above (agency, equal pay, equal respect) make me a feminist, not a Feminist. Strangely, the CBMW crowd (the usual suspects like Piper, Grudem, Moore, Mohler, etc., not to forget their BFF, CJ) would probably agree with me there – the 3 core values mentioned above would make me a feminist in their eyes, albeit an evil Feminist.

    So – for me – small-f feminism is just a shorthand for agreeing to these 3 core values, whereas capital-F Feminism is, of course, a very different animal with a whole structure of critical theory behind it. I do not agree with some parts of that although I must admit that I do not know very much about it beyond a few things.

    The fact that I need to use shorthands such as “feminist” to describe someone who thinks that women should have equal agency, pay, and respect, shows how far humanity still has to go if it is to ever achieve these values not only for men and women, but for all groups. ATM we seem to be backsliding …

    If you think that all humans should be treated equally well, then “humanist” might apply 😉 …. but that opens another can of worms.

  65. It’s really hard to view comps as harmless and people I must just agree to disagree peaceably with when comp is literally something that affects almost every area of a woman’s life, while men benefit from it. I’m a 3rd generation preacher’s kid. I’ve seen how it works. I know the drill. And I know who really benefits. I want no part whatsoever of it.

  66. Nathan Priddis: You quote extensively, which is something that always attracts my attention on blogs.

    Me too. Especially a great big wall of quoted text, bible or commentary, and then some sort of ‘see, that proves everything, done’. Tends to bode ill for discussion.

    Much more interesting to hear people’s reasoning themselves.

  67. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): Hey Nick,
    Tandt isn’t being sarcastic. He has commented on other blogs supporting strict Complementarianism.

    As I wrote to Nick below the other post where Tandt posted comments, it really IS very difficult to know it these days.

    OTOH, he might be a very cunning egalitarian who really wants to push comp the edge of reason, and beyond …

  68. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): There is no “good” comp ….. only varying degrees of bad.

    A sliding scale, with womens choices subject to the whims of any man in ‘leadership’ or merely standing nearby.

    Great system, that.

  69. Gus,

    Sigh. If wimmenfolk would just stay in the kitchen, where we belong, we wouldn’t have to deal with all this mess!

  70. “Gender Roles Not An Essential of the Christian Faith”

    Several years ago as the New Calvinist movement penetrated SBC ranks, the infamous Dr. Mohler suggested that a “theological triage” be used in the SBC to distinguish the “essentials” of faith within the denomination. Such triage would be used like emergency responders do in a disaster to prioritize primary, secondary and tertiary victims needing attention. Dr. Al, of course, was trying to get Southern Baptists of different theological persuasions to focus on essentials, rather than debating non-essentials such as non-Calvinist vs. Calvinist beliefs … it was a diversionary tactic. It was an interesting way to look at things, but he didn’t list soteriology (God’s plan of salvation) as a first level theological issue in his triage! As a non-Calvinist whosoever-will sort of guy, I would place God’s plan of salvation at the top of the list of Christian priorities – Jesus did, it’s called the Great Commission.

    Where would TWW readers place gender roles in a theological triage? The New Calvinists are acting like the “beauty of complimentarity” is at the top of their list of essentials, just below authoritarian patriarchal control of the church.

    https://albertmohler.com/2004/05/20/a-call-for-theological-triage-and-christian-maturity-2/

  71. Tandt: The key and critical passage is 1 Tim. 2:11-15, and I think Burleson’s exegesis of this passage misses the point. He, like many others, goes on the hunt (eisegesis, importing meaning into the text) of a contemporaneous Hellenistic cultural context for the passage because he cannot come to grips with the plain meaning of the text.

    The cultural context of the passage is clearly The Fall itself:

    Gen. 3:16: “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”

    I trust you recognize the Gen. 3 passage as negative, adverse prophetic words from God. They are conditions the two will encounter outside of the garden. If you see that as a command for the husband to rule over his wife, then all males must work in the field of agriculture only; must sweat (no air-conditioned offices) and eat only plants.

    It is evident that a Hebrew scripture is the cultural context, the thing Paul had in mind in 1 Tim. 2:11-15 (in fact, the more familiar with Paul’s writings one becomes, the more one realizes that this is Paul’s modus operandi):

    “11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection (“HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE”).
    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

    Notice the first few words of verse 11 that are routinely ignored….”Let the woman (singular) learn….” so she will not be deceived. Women in that culture were not allowed to sit at the feet of teachers as the men were so Paul is encouraging this. That’s what makes the story of Martha and Mary so encouraging since Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus in a position of learning and He somewhat chided Martha for being so distracted while praising Mary for her interest in the more important thing.

    Paul was appealing to their logic and common sense….since Adam was formed first…it’s now the woman’s turn. LET HER LEARN so she will not be deceived as Eve was.

  72. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): If wimmenfolk would just stay in the kitchen, where we belong, we wouldn’t have to deal with all this mess!

    A half-century ago, as a young husband I attempted to persuade my better three-fourths that she should do just that. Talking about a mess – I had one on my hands with my wimmenfolk! After a little talk, we’ve been complementarian ever since – we complement each other’s spiritual gifts as well as house-hold chores (I’ve even been known to cook a meal and wash the dishes).

  73. Tandt: “HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE”

    If you believe that verse in Genesis is prescriptive, do you also believe that men can only eat what they personally harvest from the ground, and that they must eat bread only while sweating?

  74. Max,

    “Where would TWW readers place gender roles in a theological triage? The New Calvinists are acting like the “beauty of complimentarity” is at the top of their list of essentials, just below authoritarian patriarchal control of the church.”

    I didn’t think cosmetology was catagorized under triage …..

  75. Irene: And since Paul specifies that those who do feel liberty in any area need to give up their liberty if it causes a brother to stumble, that requires those in the camp of everyone being equal to allow men to be elders.

    I think the Bible tells the weaker members to stop passing judgement on the stronger members.

  76. Max,

    I’m a fixin’ to go wipe down and label the jars of 3 batches of cherry jelly that hubby and I made together. We both cleaned and pitted cherries, we both did dishes …….
    He picked cherries, because he’s 8″ taller than me; I went up in the attic to get jars, etc, because ….. he’s 8″ taller than me …….

  77. Victorious: If you see that as a command for the husband to rule over his wife, then all males must work in the field of agriculture only; must sweat (no air-conditioned offices) and eat only plants.

    Looks like I was typing basically the same thing as you at the same time. Tandt illustrates the problem with wooden literalism and taking passages out of context. Your reply is very good.

  78. Nick Bulbeck: “Feminist”, like any “-ist” label, has meant many different things over the years and, as this post and discussion together show, still means different things to different people today.

    Yeah, I don’t go by the feminist label myself, though I am sympathetic to some of their concerns, because too many other conservatives (and I am a conservative myself) associate it with a whole bunch of things that do not apply to me (such as, supporting abortion, voting Democrat, etc).

    The word comes fraught with a lot of meanings (negative) to most conservatives, so I find it’s best to not identify as “feminist.”

    Do I believe in equality for women? Yes, but as the term has been co-opted by liberals, it’s taken on other associations in the United States, other than purely equal opportunity and respectful treatment of women.

  79. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): He picked cherries, because he’s 8″ taller than me; I went up in the attic to get jars, etc, because ….. he’s 8″ taller than me …….

    Now ‘THAT’ is the “beauty of complementarity” exercised in a practical way!

  80. Tandt: It is evident that a Hebrew scripture is the cultural context, the thing Paul had in mind in 1 Tim. 2:11-15 (in fact, the more familiar with Paul’s writings one becomes, the more one realizes that this is Paul’s modus operandi):

    “11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection

    One more thing about this “cultural context.” The word “silence” is a bit misleading since it’s used a couple other times in the NT by Paul but it’s been translated (correctly) as “in a quiet fashion.”

    2Th 3:12  Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread

    It’s been erroneously translated and interpreted as not being able to speak in assemblies at all. Again, no more than selective literacy to promote a particular agenda which is oppressive to women.

  81. drstevej: Is the gift of gab gender-neutral?

    I was engaged to a man who talked non-stop, and the few times I tried to talk about anything, his eyes would glaze over, and he would act bored.

    So, I would shut my trap, and he’d immediately resume talking. The guy never, ever shut up, and was very self-absorbed.

    To this day, I resent the hell out of gender stereotypes that say all women talk more than all men. So false.

    Do Women Talk More Than Men
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/do-women-talk-more-than-men/

  82. Ken F (aka Tweed): Tandt illustrates the problem with wooden literalism and taking passages out of context.

    I like that term…wooden literalism! Thanks, Ken and I’m happy we agree!

  83. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    I’m a fixin’ to go wipe down and label the jars of 3 batches of cherry jelly that hubby and I made together.

    I’m driving through 5 states to come to your house for dinner tonight!

  84. Samuel Conner: Why don’t we hear more about this from complementarians?

    Because the primary interest and focus of complementarians is not to love and respect women, but to control them and have power over them.

    All that complementarian talk about “servant leadership” and “equal in value just not in role” is to keep the women from noticing what’s really going on (or from caring about it), that they are being “nicely” and “sweetly” subjugated. So the men get to be in charge.

    (Their other ulterior motive is to use complementarianism as a battering ram against social issues they disagree with.)

  85. Daisy: I resent the hell out of gender stereotypes that say all women talk more than all men

    My wife is quiet-spoken and chooses her words carefully in a conversation … but our daughter can talk the bones off a chicken!

  86. Preacher’s Wife: I just started reading Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It is the most frustrating and awful thing I’ve ever read. But, one positive (maybe the only one) is that Piper does spend most of his time in that first chapter talking about how men need to be kind and not authoritative. He actually avoids the word authority. It doesn’t negate the message and the flawed logic behind nearly every page, though.

    But Piper is the same guy who coached women to stay overnight in an abusive marriage or what not.

    Even the “nicer” types of complementarians and their nicer tone on complementarianism are dangerous and sexist at the root, something the ‘nicer’ ones have a difficult time understanding or accepting.

  87. Just a brief comment that does not speak at all to the larger issues that Mr. Burleson has raised in this post. I only want to speak to a factual error which, if Mr. Burleson wishes to speak to people who do not share his view on the larger issues, needs to be corrected.

    When he takes up the question of Paul and women in the church, he refers to an article that he wrote (c. six years ago?).

    “So how does one understand I Timothy 2:11-12. I give one explanation for this text here, an interpretation that is consistent with the rest of New Testament teaching regarding men and women.”

    His explanation is simply wrong. I don’t mean that I interpret it differently or I disagree with him (I’m not interested in speaking to that in this comment). I mean he is wrong. He claims that the Greek text has the defintive (sic) article before the word woman:

    “Paul gives instructions to “women” (plural) in the beginning of chapter two (i.e. how to dress modestly, live of life of good works, etc…), but beginning with verse 11, Paul switches from the plural noun (women) to the singular noun (woman). The definitive article “the” is in the original Greek (i.e. “the woman”), not the unfortunate translation “a” woman (NIV; NASB). Paul moves from instructions to women in general (vs. 9-10) to a very direct instruction for a specific woman in verse 11.”

    It does not have the definite article; it’s not there. Seeing that his interpretation depends on it, his interpretation is wrong, too. It’s also novel–which may explain why he couldn’t supply any scholarly support for it.

    There are many thoughtful and experienced people in the SBC who know enough Greek to check his claim. If they do, they will dismiss his argument out of hand. If Mr. Burleson wants to speak up for women’s full equality in the church’s ministry, he mustn’t put out such a painfully weak argument to support it. It may also keep people from reading the book he recommends, which I’m guessing makes a much stronger case.

  88. Preacher’s Wife: Everything I have read from Complementarians is always so full of fear. I don’t understand what they are afraid of. It doesn’t quite feel like regular legalism (if I don’t do A, B, and C I’m going to hell), it’s like they somehow really think society will completely collapse. Which is weird, because so many of these guys are neo-Calvinists. It’s like, “once saved, always saved, unless a woman is teaching, then we’re all going to hell.”

    Lately, complementarians are posing complementarianism as a “cure” for “gender confusion.”

    I wrote a blog post on my own blog mentioning that complementarianism actually creates gender confusion for some people, it does not erase it or clarify gender.

    Gender complementarianism in its present form has been around for about four decades, but it’s not eroded or prevented the rise of transgenderism and etc, so why they think their comp is going to fix stuff like that now, I have no idea.

    Some guy at Julie Anne’s blog thinks (naively) that doubling down on complementarianism will halt or cut down on sexism in churches, even ones that are already very firm on believing in and teaching complementarianism.

    I’ve tried explaining to that guy at Julie Ann’s SSB blog ’til I am blue in the face that if complementarianism did not help fight sexism before the “me too” and “church too” movement etc, (but actually contributes to it, which it does!), doubling down on complementarianism is not going to fix it.

    The definition of insanity is trying the same thing repeatedly but expecting different results each time.

  89. To me, it doesn’t sound like the commentators here understand feminism as it is taught in state universities. They do not teach equal respect, but women taking all the power. In case you don’t believe me check out what Canadian philosopher and professor Jordan Peterson says about it.

  90. Irene: Some people will drop out of fellowship if the church is completely run by women. Also, I think men in general will step back and play video games. That isn’t what we want either.

    One reason of several why I dropped out of church attendance is complementarianism.

    If you visit forums, blogs, and online groups for egalitarian (and other non-complementarian) Christian women, a lot of them are done with complementarianism, so they stop attending churches that promote or defend or believe comp.

  91. ishy: I’m driving through 5 states to come to your house for dinner tonight!

    There sweet tea and lemonade in the fridge, along with a German chocolate cake …….
    tonight’s fare: taco salad (haystacks), with homemade refried beans, home canned jalapeños …….

  92. Leila: Preacher’s Wife: I just started reading Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It is the most frustrating and awful thing I’ve ever read.

    (Leila replied),
    Wanting to be able to explain my complementarian faith to others, I read that book … and before I was finished, I was an egalitarian. Yes, it’s that poorly reasoned.

    Wow. Probably not the sort of testimony the authors of RBMW would want to hear, LOL.

  93. You think you all have a problem? Hah. The whole idea that Adam was created first is off the map for some of us. There is no evidence that our species once existed as a solitary male.

    Now, that said, some folks not too long ago thought that they could trace back the male line via the Y chromosome and come to an original male. They ended up saying, IIRC, that Adam was a unique mutation among existing human like primates (earlier human species) and was or played a role in the evolution of sentient modern humans. An unexpected larger, healthier and smarter individual with incredible sexual success in passing on the mutation. Unfortunately since it would have been a Y chromosome mutation the male progeny would have carried the evolutionary step forward, not the female. What I was reading was written by some journalist, so it was understandably limited. But anyhow they thought they had found Adam. But not a similarly mutated X chromosome.

    Hey, makes as much sense as Mohler et al. And it does have its uses since many a divorced woman swears that she was formerly married to a mutant.

  94. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): There sweet tea and lemonade in the fridge, along with a German chocolate cake …….
    tonight’s fare: taco salad (haystacks), with homemade refried beans, home canned jalapeños …….

    *is halfway through Alabama*

  95. ishy: I have to admit I totally don’t get the complementarian argument for roles based on Genesis 3. It’s clearly a curse. They will talk about men being cursed in those verses, but for the women, it’s God’s “design”. It makes no sense whatsoever.

    I also do not think this is an area where we should “agree to disagree”. It seems like the people who say stuff like that about complementarianism to me are always men.

    It’s easy for YOU to agree to disagree because you can do whatever you want as a man in the church. The way Christian men in complementarian circles treat women can be truly atrocious and often no other man will stand up and say something about it. That’s wrong.

    And Piper rings a bell to call his wife to bring him tea. Sorry, but I think men like Piper think being benevolent includes their wife waiting on them hand and foot.

    I agree. With all of it.

    As for the wonky Genesis interpretation – the complementarian men will always make themselves exempt and hold these wacko interpretations to uphold the idea that men controlling women is “biblical.”

    They get to have their cake and eat it too. They don’t have to live by the same rules they put women under.

  96. I posted about this last thread the other night, but Christian author Lisa Bevere was saying on one or two of her Facebook group posts that people who have been wounded of victimized by a pastor or church should stay mum about it, so as not to bring disrepute onto God’s people.

    She did toss in a caveat about calling police if necessary, but the main thrust of her commentary was telling anyone who’s been hurt by churches, Christians, etc, is to basically just shut up about it already and grieve in private.

    There’s a tweet about it here:
    https://twitter.com/JoyParadeBlog/status/1004568618447691776

  97. Irene:
    To me, it doesn’t sound like the commentators here understand feminism as it is taught in state universities. They do not teach equal respect, but women taking all the power. In case you don’t believe me check out what Canadian philosopher and professor Jordan Peterson says about it.

    A funhouse-mirror genderflip version of Comp Patriarchy.
    “I am Me and He is She and We Are All Rule 63’d.”
    Like Communism & Objectivism — total opposites on the surface, identical beneath.
    “No Right, No Wrong, Only POWER.”

  98. Victorious,

    The standard Greek lexicon (BDAG) offers two alternatives for the word in question: “1. state of quietness without disturbance, quietness, rest…. 2. state of saying nothing or very little, silence….” So you are, I guess, partly right, but context determines which word-meaning fits the best. So Acts 22:2 (Paul is speaking to the crowd in Jerusalem): “And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew language, they became even more ‘in a quiet fashion?’ [or] ‘quiet?'” So it’s not a wise tactic to say that the word has been erroneously translated. Besides, “in a quiet fashion” doesn’t go very far to remove the basic problem that I Timothy 2 presents.

  99. Lea: Comments are a dumpster fire of course:
    “Good thing my wife belongs to me, not my pastor, that I’m her head. I don’t have any problem telling her or her rude, disrespectful, intrusive friends no.”

    And complementarians expect single women such as myself to want to marry complementarian men why, exactly?

    I’m okay with either remaining single, or marrying a considerate atheist or perhaps marrying an egalitarian Christian man.

    Great job at killing single complementarian men’s chances at getting wives, comps! You comps are a perpetual-single making factory.

    You make marriage look terrible for women, so of course they’re not going to want to opt in and marry a male comp.

  100. Lea: I don’t think any of these guys have a correct understanding of what a strong help is…

    God is referred to through out the Old Testament as Israel’s “Help.”

    Going by their interpretation of “help,” that would mean God is a lesser, weaker being, only there to act at the bidding of Israel, like make Israel sandwiches, because that’s all God is good for.

  101. Irene:
    To me, it doesn’t sound like the commentators here understand feminism as it is taught in state universities. They do not teach equal respect, but women taking all the power. In case you don’t believe me check out what Canadian philosopher and professor Jordan Peterson says about it.

    I believe Rush Limbaugh originally coined the term “Feminazi” to refer to this type of X-Treme Feminism. (But since then, broadened it to mean “any broad who doesn’t agree with me”.

    I call it “Female Supremacist” (funhouse-mirror genderflip of “Male Supremacist”).

    And the Male Supremacists can point to such Female Supremacists to justify anything they do in return.
    “It’s Us or Them. Kill or Be Killed, Eat or Be Eaten.”

  102. Daisy: Great job at killing single complementarian men’s chances at getting wives, comps! You comps are a perpetual-single making factory.

    You make marriage look terrible for women, so of course they’re not going to want to opt in and marry a male comp.

    That’s what Patriarch-arranged Christian Courtship(TM) is for.
    Such men can only get married if the women have absolutely NO choice in the matter.

  103. Lea: Many people in that world conscious or unconsciously feel the need to ‘affirm such and such’.

    You kind of have to, because most conservatives (secular and Christian) assume if you part ways with them at all on any issue, you must be a liberal and/or a feminist, and you will not be heard.

    Because I sometimes occasionally see the point feminists are trying to make and mention I think they have a valid point when I am on secular conservative blogs, I’ve been mistaken by other conservatives for being a liberal, and a barrage of insults from them to me starts.

    They only back down and treat me with a modicum of respect when I explain no, I’m not a liberal feminist, I’m a conservative like you who just doesn’t agree with most conservatives on “X.”

    The left wing guys can be bad about this stuff, too.

    I cannot voice certain views online without being told by the liberals that I am a homo-phobe, Islamo-phobe, or “whatever- o- phobe,” or a hater, just because I don’t fully share the liberal view on some issue or another.

  104. I Fear A Cage:
    It’s really hard to view comps as harmless and people I must just agree to disagree peaceably with when comp is literally something that affects almost every area of a woman’s life, while men benefit from it. I’m a 3rd generation preacher’s kid. I’ve seen how it works. I know the drill. And I know who really benefits. I want no part whatsoever of it.

    With that backstory, your handle “I Fear a Cage” is very appropriate.

  105. Nathan Priddis: Tandt.
    You quote extensively, which is something that always attracts my attention on blogs. The handling of Scripture always carries the possibility of influencing the impressionable, or vulnerable.

    AKA “IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN!”

    Though Tandt’s accompanying quote really should be “quotes” plural. A full-auto barrage of Bible Bullets worthy of a Calvary Chapelite, doubleplusduckspeaked like an MP3 playback loop. THAT automatically sets off all the alarms.

  106. Victorious: Notice the first few words of verse 11 that are routinely ignored….”Let the woman (singular) learn….” so she will not be deceived. Women in that culture were not allowed to sit at the feet of teachers as the men were so Paul is encouraging this. That’s what makes the story of Martha and Mary so encouraging since Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus in a position of learning

    I love the way you linked the two…let the woman learn. [so she can go on to teach, perhaps? Like Pricilla]

  107. Geoff Smith: So it’s not a wise tactic to say that the word has been erroneously translated. Besides, “in a quiet fashion” doesn’t go very far to remove the basic problem that I Timothy 2 presents.

    How about “the word has been erroneously emphasized?” It is, as I mentioned and I’m sure you’re aware, being used to silence women in the church in whatever scenario determined by those in authority.

    I am convinced that there are many so-called-commands about women that are words written to Paul from those newly converted Judaizers who are used to the laws and regulations practiced in synagogues. Paul quotes their concerns and responds to their letters by emphasizing the freedom from those legal, oppressive, and unjust practices.

    I’ve read that Paul used what’s called an “expletive of dissociation” by Greek scholars. The word would be translated “What?!” or “Nonsense!” or “No Way!!” today. Apparently it’s used in the following verses in 1 Cor. alone:

    1 Cor. 1:13; 1 Cor. 6:2; 1 Cor.6:9; 1 Cor. 6:16; 1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Cor. 7:16; 1 Cor. 9:6; 1 Cor. 9:7; 1 Cor. 9:8; 1 Cor. 9:10; 1 Cor. 10:22; 1 Cor. 11:22; and 1 Cor. 14:36

    In other words, Paul is refuting many of the issues causing confusion in the church of Corinth. Knowing this, many of the verses being taught as mandates, are actually being refuted by Paul as erroneous.

  108. Daisy: drstevej: Is the gift of gab gender-neutral?

    I was engaged to a man who talked non-stop, and the few times I tried to talk about anything, his eyes would glaze over, and he would act bored.

    I had a coworker who would call and proceed to talk about himself for an extended period of time…I learned the only way to get him *off* the phone was to start talking about Myself.

  109. Irene: To me, it doesn’t sound like the commentators here understand feminism as it is taught in state universities. They do not teach equal respect, but women taking all the power. In case you don’t believe me check out what Canadian philosopher and professor Jordan Peterson says about it.

    Really Irene? The guy who thinks makeup means a woman is basically asking for it??? Sheesh.

    What university did you go to, where you took a class in ‘feminism’ and learned this?

    The only time I have seen women talk about taking over is of the ‘why don’t we try it this way for the next 500 years or so, just to even things out’ variety. Which is an obvious joke.

  110. Irene: To me, it doesn’t sound like the commentators here understand feminism as it is taught in state universities. They do not teach equal respect, but women taking all the power. In case you don’t believe me check out what Canadian philosopher and professor Jordan Peterson says about it.

    I’ve already said that there are kooks and nuts in every group, including liberal feminists, but it’s not true that all of them want women rule over men.

    As for Peterson:

    Jordan Peterson’s Anti-Christian Vision
    http://dailycaller.com/2018/06/03/jordan-peterson-anti-christian-vision/

    Peterson, as far as I read and understand, uses archetype theory and mythology to argue that because society has always had male rule, that it’s abnormal for it not to, that feminists should go along with male rule, because most cultures have had male hierarchy since day one.

    Which assumes the thing it’s trying to prove.

    Just because most cultures have been patriarchal since day one or describes themselves as such in their literature does not mean male hierarchy is good or fair for girls and women.

    Peterson assumes that mythos never changes (so that humanity can look to it as a guide) – just read a good critique that says, yes, it sometimes does change.

  111. Geoff Smith: Besides, “in a quiet fashion” doesn’t go very far to remove the basic problem that I Timothy 2 presents.

    Doesn’t it? It’s pretty hard to learn something if you are constantly talking…

    He didn’t tell Pricilla to be quiet.

  112. Irene: In case you don’t believe me check out what Canadian philosopher and professor Jordan Peterson says about it.

    Peterson is sexist.

    Peterson came out with some comments (I think this was in a New York Times piece) suggesting that women (and feminism) are to blame for the violence sprees of “Incels.”

    Ergo, Peterson seemed to suggest in the interview that women should be forced (by whom, the government in each nation?) to marry off all these “incel” guys.

    (Doesn’t matter what the women want.)

    But then, after much push back over this, Peterson claimed he was misunderstood and tried to walk back his comments.

    Peterson then began saying that culture should encourage monogamy, and that should help the sexist Incels to get dates and wives.

    Peterson basically blames women for the sins and flaws of men – just as your average complementarian does.

    Jordan Peterson’s moment of fame — and the dangers of patriarchal pseudoscience
    https://www.salon.com/2018/05/22/jordan-petersons-moment-of-fame-and-the-dangers-of-patriarchal-pseudoscience/

    I would be very wary of appealing to Peterson to make anti-feminist points, as he has his own set of issues.

  113. Headless Unicorn Guy: That’s what Patriarch-arranged Christian Courtship(TM) is for.
    Such men can only get married if the women have absolutely NO choice in the matter.

    And then they try to convince them they can’t leave under any circumstances. I feel so sorry for women raised in this terrible environment! I pray they get out before they get stuck.

  114. Victorious,

    In my own personal experience, there are some women (men, too) that need to remain silent in the churches. There are also some women (men, too) who should be heard.

  115. Daisy: Going by their interpretation of “help,” that would mean God is a lesser, weaker being, only there to act at the bidding of Israel, like make Israel sandwiches, because that’s all God is good for.

    By the by. (This is especially for Irene and Lydia if she is still on this thread.)

    Be super careful when fighting the extremes of liberal / secular feminism who you choose to quote on that score.

    I say that because some of the “anti feminists” you quote are anti- equality for women.

    Peterson, who Irene uses as a resource, may speak to the excesses of liberalism and feminism, but, he does not fully and truly support the equality of women.

    Peterson mostly supports sexist assumptions and gender stereotypes about women to bolster his points-

    Peterson defends the status quo, (which would have men in charge, since they always have been in charge of women and culture), and he thinks feminists (and all women) would be happier to just let men lead, because that’s what men are good at and more adept at, by doggies.

    One time on Twitter, Lydia RT (re tweeted) a tweet by some guy who was saying that some women just want a man’s wallet, so he was saying that women can be just as bad as men are.

    (That RT showed up in my Daisy Twitter feed.)

    Okay, when I sent that guy a tweet describing how most of my female family have been the victims of male gold-diggers (including myself, my ex took financial advantage of me of years, for many thousands of dollars)…

    That guy Lydia RT replied to me by suggesting I was lying, and he, and maybe one other guy friend of his, started lobbing sexist comments at me like, “why don’t you go make me a sandwich.”

    Just because a man (or woman) critiques secular feminist over-reach does NOT mean that individual is “pro-woman.”

    A lot of the men (and some women) who speak out against feminism online (to defend men) are sexist, they are members of “M.R.A.” (Men’s Rights) type groups who perceive women as being threats.

    These are not the people you want to go to in order to find arguments against the errors of militant feminism.

    Some of the people tweeting or writing books about militant feminism actually dislike women (they don’t even like “softer” forms of feminism):

    They like sexism just fine, they argue against equality for women, they claim that sexism in Western nations is over-stated, etc. – they are part of the problem.

    Those types of secular critics of liberal feminism are very much like the “softer” gender complementarians.

    Soft Gender Comps aren’t overtly abusive to women and don’t strike or beat women or openly defend such behavior, but, they still favor a scheme that favors men over women and keeps women oppressed, and they try to use the Bible to justify it.

  116. Lea: I had a coworker who would call and proceed to talk about himself for an extended period of time…I learned the only way to get him *off* the phone was to start talking about Myself.

    I’ve keep running into these types of people, since I was a teen. Classmates, siblings, co-workers – even as an adult.

    I tend to do all the listening and consoling, but the minute I go to these same people months later needing to talk about me or some problem I was having, they’d make up excuses and leave, or avoid my calls, etc.

    My ex didn’t want a give and take relationship. He wanted me to sit and listen talk about himself and his life for hours. He never took an interest in me, my life, or my opinions.

  117. Daisy: Lately, complementarians are posing complementarianism as a “cure” for “gender confusion.”

    I wrote a blog post on my own blog mentioning that complementarianism actually creates gender confusion for some people, it does not erase it or clarify gender.

    Gender complementarianism in its present form has been around for about four decades, but it’s not eroded or prevented the rise of transgenderism and etc, so why they think their comp is going to fix stuff like that now, I have no idea.

    Some guy at Julie Anne’s blog thinks (naively) that doubling down on complementarianism will halt or cut down on sexism in churches, even ones that are already very firm on believing in and teaching complementarianism.

    I’ve tried explaining to that guy at Julie Ann’s SSB blog ’til I am blue in the face that if complementarianism did not help fight sexism before the “me too” and “church too” movement etc, (but actually contributes to it, which it does!), doubling down on complementarianism is not going to fix it.

    The definition of insanity is trying the same thing repeatedly but expecting different results each time.

    I think it causes more gender confusion. My husband is a chatty, emotionally intelligent, with a more sensitive personality, who has an eye for colors and decor, hates sports, will not hunt for sport & loves classical music. That went over really well growing up in a gothard/ATI/hard comp background.

  118. Lea,

    No, it doesn’t. “Let a woman learn [in a quiet fashion] with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain [in a quiet fashion].” I think this translation is clumsy. There is not an English version that I checked that sounds much like it. But the problem is not just the double-use of the word for ‘quiet.’ It is the double use of that word combined with ‘not permit’ and ‘all submissiveness.’

    And what Paul DIDN’T say to Priscilla is irrelevant to what words mean in I Timothy.

    I’m not taking a side in the debate! But if one side of the debate says things that are simply wrong, they discredit their cause. If the WW comment section is a place for frustrated people to let off some steam, that’s fine. And WW provides–as factually as they can–people and events that provoke real anger and frustration. But if the comments section wants to be a place where people can learn and share and compare ideas, then a commitment to what’s true is imperative. If I recall correctly, there are a number of people with earned doctorates who made up the original membership of The Council for Biblical Manhood, etc. Their arguments require serious arguments in return. That’s all.

  119. Samuel Conner:
    One of the things that I find disheartening (but also clarifying) in the current arguments in favor of various forms of hierarchy in the churches (gender-based hierarchy is not the only one) is that while it is true that there is a discernible super-/sub-ordination relation in the archetypes that the hierarchists point to (God over the Creation, or Christ over the Church), these hierarchies have a strong, perhaps dominant, component of “self-giving love” that seems to be consistently overlooked in the arguments in favor of super-/sub-ordination in the churches and in other realms.

    God gives Himself to His creation — all the “communicable attributes” present in the world come from God. He labors on its behalf, sustaining it in existence, “holding all things together”.

    Christ gives Himself to and for the Church.

    It’s a hierarchy of self-giving love.

    Why don’t we hear more about this from complementarians?

    It is given lip service in the phrase “servant leadership”.

  120. Victorious,

    I think that is a better way to put it. But as I said to another poster on this board, it’s the ‘not permit’ and ‘all submissiveness’ that make 2:11-12 so difficult.

    I might say that the issue itself has been erroneously emphasized. Paul does speak to it, but he speaks to many, many things–often far more frequently than women in the church–that are routinely ignored. Who gets to decide just how important this issue is that it takes up so much time, energy, and money, and requires a parachurch organization to come in and rescue it (The Council for Biblical Manhood)? That’s a cultural problem, not a spiritual one.

  121. Daisy–ok! Forget that I mentioned Peterson. Do you understand (or agree) that the universities are teaching militant feminism, which is different than saying everyone deserves respect (I agree) or that you would like women to use their gifts in the church (I agree) or even that you would like the head pastor of a church to be a woman (I disagree with that)? I would like us to define what we are talking about here.

  122. I Fear A Cage: I think it causes more gender confusion. My husband is a chatty, emotionally intelligent, with a more sensitive personality, who has an eye for colors and decor, hates sports, will not hunt for sport & loves classical music. That went over really well growing up in a gothard/ATI/hard comp background.

    That is one of the main points I have in my blog post about this.

    Comps define “biblical manhood” or “biblical womanhood” to mean such specific things that if one falls outside those parameters, it leads to confusion.

    Comps tend to define girl to mean “one who likes to wear the color pink, hold pretend tea parties and play with Barbies.”

    That was the definition I received as a girl growing up in complementarian churches and in a comp family. Problem is, I was a tom boy. I hated pink and did not care for Barbies and tea parties.

    Because I did not live up to the Christian box of “girl” it made me feel as though there was something wrong with me, and I had failed God.

    There is more than one way to be a girl, and it does not have to be the complementarian way.

    Their stifling definitions of “boy” and “girl” can cause boys and girls who don’t fit to feel left out and confused.

  123. Irene: Daisy–ok! Forget that I mentioned Peterson. Do you understand (or agree) that the universities are teaching militant feminism, which is different than saying everyone deserves respect (I agree) or that you would like women to use their gifts in the church (I agree) or even that you would like the head pastor of a church to be a woman (I disagree with that)? I would like us to define what we are talking about here.

    I think I adequately addressed most to all of those points and questions you raise there up thread in several posts, some were in reply to you, some were in reply to other people.

    I’m a conservative who has voted Republican my whole life, by the way. I’ve never been a liberal, Democrat or a feminist.

  124. Point number six on a church website’s “our distinctives” page:

    Family is a focal point. Property and buildings are intentionally “men friendly” because the family and church are strongest when men are present and leading.

  125. Lea:
    Lea,

    A quote from a commenter on that cray website:

    “In the plainest meaning of the words, the “help” is the one that carries out the instructions. The “helped” is the one who gives the instructions. In that dynamic, before the fall, when was Eve ever NOT the help for Adam?? In that dynamic, before the fall, when was Adam ever NOT the giver of instructions to, and therefore the head of, Eve?? ”

    This is…a view I haven’t heard.

    I don’t think any of these guys have a correct understanding of what a strong help is…

    Perhaps, then, they see themselves in a position to give instructions to God.

    I can’t help thinking of Adam and his cheeky, “This woman that YOU gave me…” response to God to absolve himself of blame and responsibility for his own actions.

    And these comp men who are in the news just seem to be carrying on in the tradition established by the first adam.

  126. Daisy: I tend to do all the listening and consoling, but the minute I go to these same people months later needing to talk about me or some problem I was having, they’d make up excuses and leave, or avoid my calls, etc.

    They’re selfish, that’s all. I hope you find some people in your life who aren’t, Daisy.

  127. Daisy,

    To expand on that ‘selfish’ thing, friend and I have talked extensively about ‘givers’ and ‘takers’. To have only takers in your life is exhausting.

  128. Lea, I challenge you to look at University of Oregon’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I assure you, this is not a joke about women taking a turn running things.

  129. Geoff Smith: Their arguments require serious arguments in return. That’s all.

    Eh, I could argue with them till I was blue in the face and they would never care, because I’m a woman and their hearts are hardened against me.

    I have no interest in persuading people that I am equal. Quite frankly, I don’t care what argument is used.

    I could argue with you about the rest, because I do disagree with a number of points, but the arguments are out there from actual scholars – who believe the oppose of the CBMW ‘scholars’.

  130. Irene: Do you understand (or agree) that the universities are teaching militant feminism

    I mean, I went to a university and they didn’t teach me any ‘militant’ feminism. I am sure someone, somewhere is teaching something dumb about every subject imaginable though. I don’t think it’s too relevant to this thread.

  131. When you can find something that both Al Mohler and Paige Patterson can agree on – even form an alliance on – it’s got to be bad. They were two peas in a pod on hyper-complementarianism … actually make that four peas in a pod, their wives were buds on that, too.

  132. refugee: Perhaps, then, they see themselves in a position to give instructions to God.

    I mean, even in their example…didn’t GOD give the instructions to Adam???

    These guys are illogical and their arguments are based solely in their emotions 😉

  133. ___

    Essential Substantive Scriptural Positioning?

    Of valuable Interest:

    Wartburg, I would appreciate it if you would extend the courtesy extend to many others here on this blog to my gracious efforts to assist others encouraging them to read scripture for themselves and thus thereby follow Christ Jesus with clarity deserving His position. For four years I have been needlessly prevented (for what ever reasoning) from having a real-time genuine conversation with anyone.

    Your consider— this issue is respectfully requested.

    Thank-you!

    ***

    Pastor Wade,

    You wrote:

    “Some Christian leaders advocate that God’s design is for men to rule and lead while women are to receive and submit. Fine. But when Christians demand others churches, evangelicals, and missions organizations conform to such beliefs, then they are in danger of “trifling with subtleties while ignoring certainties.” -Wade Burleson

    Respectfully, it is disconcerting that you felt the need to reference the utilization of a book publication instead of firming up your post position with the clarification of scripture.

    What is substantial IMHO , is the position that the Almighty takes in the Garden Genesis account where He speaks of Man as being Male and Female in a combined stature, and not separate entities. This is very significant when discussing these profound current Christian New Testament Church issues with scriptural dynamics.

    Your consideration is appreciated,

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ; ~ )

    – –

  134. Daisy: And complementarians expect single women such as myself to want to marry complementarian men why, exactly?

    I’m okay with either remaining single, or marrying a considerate atheist or perhaps marrying an egalitarian Christian man.

    Great job at killing single complementarian men’s chances at getting wives, comps! You comps are a perpetual-single making factory.

    You make marriage look terrible for women, so of course they’re not going to want to opt in and marry a male comp.

    To answer your initial question: Because you’re only a woman who doesn’t know what’s best for you. It’s okay, though. They’re right here, ready and willing to tell you how to live your life, down to the smallest detail, if necessary.

    In total agreement that they make marriage look totally unpalatable. (However, all they have to do is point to the verses about suffering for the sake of Christ… there! All better!)

    Unfortunately, there are still a lot of brainwashed women out there who think they have no choice. Thus, the system perpetuates itself.

  135. Irene,

    If people decide to leave because ladies are utilizing the spiritual giftings that God gave them—then that is their problem not ours. Won’t be too much of a problem since there’s far more women in church anyway.

    By the way, let’s not go from one extreme to the other. No one is suggesting that churches should have only female leadership. All we want is for each person to develop the gifting that God gave them. Refusal to allow any women in leadership is blocking the plan of God. The same reasoning that rejects the call of God in women, too often will also promote unqualified other people to leadership just because they are smooth talkers who make everyone feel good.

  136. refugee: In total agreement that they make marriage look totally unpalatable. (However, all they have to do is point to the verses about suffering for the sake of Christ… there! All better!)

    Then they tell you marriage is to make you ‘holy’ not ‘happy’. Which sound fun.

  137. Lea,

    I agree with this. I think who mention ‘militant feminists’ or ‘liberal feminists’ are taking a few on the extreme edge & acting as though this is what all who claim the label feminist are like. It doesn’t reflect reality as it is, rather as Christians would like to see it in order to have something to rail against. This is a depressing habit in Christian culture & laughable if you actually know who ever world is being parodied this time. Sigh.

  138. Geoff Smith:
    Victorious,

    I think that is a better way to put it. But as I said to another poster on this board, it’s the ‘not permit’ and ‘all submissiveness’ that make 2:11-12 so difficult.

    I might say that the issue itself has been erroneously emphasized. Paul does speak to it, but he speaks to many, many things–often far more frequently than women in the church–that are routinely ignored. Who gets to decide just how important this issue is that it takes up so much time, energy, and money, and requires a parachurch organization to come in and rescue it (The Council for Biblical Manhood)? That’s a cultural problem, not a spiritual one.

    Also, Paul said “*I* do not permit…..”, *I*, not God. Is emulating Paul the same as emulating Jesus?

  139. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    No, but when Paul speaks/writes apostolically, he speaks authoritatively on the Lord Jesus’ behalf. “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope….” So *I* do not permit isn’t Paul’s private opinion. At the same time, I should say that this does not make the complementarians right! It’s just not the right hill on which to stand, etc.

  140. <b
    Irene:
    Do you understand (or agree) that the universities are teaching militant feminism, which is different than saying everyone deserves respect (I agree) or that you would like women to use their gifts in the church (I agree) or even that you would like the head pastor of a church to be a woman (I disagree with that)? I would like us to define what we are talking about here.

    Do you understand or agree that many Christian colleges or seminaries are teaching militant patriarchy? Both of the ones I attended are. And they use the word “complementarianism”, which is often argued by soft comps that isn’t the right definition.

    Words can have multiple meanings and there are crazy, militant people on both sides. Probably in a fairly equal amount.

  141. Lea: Then they tell you marriage is to make you ‘holy’ not ‘happy’. Which sound fun.

    I guess you can’ be holy if you’re not married.

  142. Geoff Smith:
    Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    No, but when Paul speaks/writes apostolically, he speaks authoritatively on the Lord Jesus’ behalf. “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope….” So *I* do not permit isn’t Paul’s private opinion. At the same time, I should say that this does not make the complementarians right! It’s just not the right hill on which to stand, etc.

    Apparently, “Greet your brothers with a holy kiss…” isn’t he right hill on which to stand, either.

  143. On one occasion Paul stated that he was giving his own opinion and had no command from the Lord about some matter. I tend to assume that in this case since he did not say that then he was probably thinking that he was speaking with apostolic authority on the matter. Perhaps not; an argument from the lack of specific evidence is iffy at best, but the idea is worth considering.

    In this case we have no record that Jesus made a specific statement on the issue, so what we have is (a) Paul and (b) conjecture as to what Jesus would have said if he had specifically said anything.

    I think that Paul was speaking with apostolic authority, but that does not mean that the statement was not culture and time specific to that circumstance. Such a statement might have a totally different meaning and impact now and here. Or not.

  144. okrapod: On one occasion Paul stated that he was giving his own opinion and had no command from the Lord about some matter. I tend to assume that in this case since he did not say that then he was probably thinking that he was speaking with apostolic authority on the matter. Perhaps not

    Or maybe he was only speaking from authority when specifically said ‘not I but the lord’. Equally valid way of looking at it imo.

  145. Just throwing this out there with all the language talk, but in Greek an equally valid translation could be “I am not permitting…” which implies the injunction may only be temporary and not timeless. Also the word for Authority should be translated in a way that conveys force or violence, such as “Usurp Authority.” One of the big problems with Bible translations is how political the process is. Lifeway doesn’t even sell NRSV translations because of the gender neutral language, and they effectively destroyed the 2011 NIV for the same reason. Some verses continue to be translated a certain way, because that’s how it’s always been done. And the most of the major translations are done by evangelicals. Make no doubt, they are good translations, but they are all flawed in some respects.

    It seems to be that the comp side has been so much more vocal and prolific with their message. Also, the comp interpretation is the traditional one, which means it is the interpretation our parents, grandparents, and great-great-great grandparents were familiar with. That may hold a lot of sway for some people.

  146. Lea: Or maybe he was only speaking from authority when specifically said ‘not I but the lord’. Equally valid way of looking at it imo.

    I think that not I but the Lord would be authoritative, but it would be the authority of Jesus, not apostolic authority. When invoking I have no word from the Lord but I say would also be authoritative but it would be Paul’s authority as an apostle. And when he just passed an opinion about people castrating themselves he abandoned all claims to any authority while doing so.

  147. Preacher’s Wife,

    “But, one positive (maybe the only one) is that Piper does spend most of his time in that first chapter talking about how men need to be kind and not authoritative. He actually avoids the word authority. It doesn’t negate the message and the flawed logic behind nearly every page, though.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    nice-sounding, perhaps. but subjugation with kindness is still subjugation. bah! (an edited-down sound of my feelings)

    i think most of them are very saavy and coy (we could say, manipulative) with what they really believe versus how they present it. (of course a few of them are real clodhoppers)

  148. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    That’s a good point! Maybe it should be–there are enough macho Christian leaders around who might benefit from the humbling this would require. In fact, the western church is probably disobedient in this area. Because once a complementarian says, “Well, it’s just cultural; we shake hands instead,” he’s given up the game, hasn’t he?

  149. Lydia: I also get your concern about Replacement Theology. It makes me very uncomfortable.

    Same here, I reject it (replacement theology) too. There are also fundagelical sects who go whole hog in the other direction, even to the point of trying to breed a perfect red heifer for the new temple in Jerusalem.

  150. Daisy: Comps tend to define girl to mean “one who likes to wear the color pink, hold pretend tea parties and play with Barbies.”
    That was the definition I received as a girl growing up in complementarian churches and in a comp family. Problem is, I was a tom boy. I hated pink and did not care for Barbies and tea parties.

    In My Little Pony terminology, you were a Generation 4 Rainbow Dash in a Generation 3 Tea Party world.

    B/G: In the history of the My Little Pony franchise, “Generation 3” is considered the all-time low point — all fluff and cutesy and tea-party dress-up. “Generation 4” is the current incarnation “MLP: Friendship is Magic” and Rainbow Dash – a fiercely-competitive brash Pegasus tomboy type – is one of the six main characters. When Lauren Faust rebooted the show in 2010-2011, she was trying to get away from “girly-girl” cartoons and give the target audience of little girls some other “ways to be a girl”. When she was ten years old and playing with Generation 1 Ponies, she’d send them off on adventure quests to save the world instead of gushing over fashions and tea parties.

  151. Preacher’s Wife,

    “Everything I have read from Complementarians is always so full of fear. I don’t understand what they are afraid of. It doesn’t quite feel like regular legalism (if I don’t do A, B, and C I’m going to hell), it’s like they somehow really think society will completely collapse.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    i think they are afraid.

    i think it boils down to fear of losing their comfort zone.

    i think their comfort zone is located in their ego and their libido.

    the 2 bullet points are fear of woman and fear of homosexuality.

    doctrine invention to the rescue! complementarianism is a nice and tidy way to control everyone else to preserve their comfort zone. what a racket.

  152. Geoff Smith:
    Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    That’s a good point! Maybe it should be–there are enough macho Christian leaders around who might benefit from the humbling this would require. In fact, the western church is probably disobedient in this area. Because once a complementarian says, “Well, it’s just cultural; we shake hands instead,” he’s given up the game, hasn’t he?

    Don’t forget the invocation of “What’s Yours is Mine and What’s Mine is Mine”.

  153. elastigirl: the 2 bullet points are fear of woman and fear of homosexuality.

    Because homosexuality is about as un-manly-man as you can get.
    Because a bigger, stronger, more dominant, more Manly Man can use you like you use a woman.

    (I have a longer essay explaining male supremacy’s love-hate relationship with male homosexuality, but every time I try to post the comment it vanishes into the void.)

  154. Headless Unicorn Guy: When she was ten years old and playing with Generation 1 Ponies, she’d send them off on adventure quests to save the world instead of gushing over fashions and tea parties.

    I don’t know that I ever saw the original cartoons, but man I loved the toys! I had the stable too.

  155. Meanwhile, my daughter just came in singing “Father Abraham had many sons…” I stopped her and we had a discussion about why it’s better to sing “Father Abraham had many kids…” and that it might take awhile, but eventually it would catch on at church.

  156. ishy: Do you understand (or agree) that the universities are teaching militant feminism, which is different than saying everyone deserves respect (I agree) or that you would like women to use their gifts in the church (I agree) or even that you would like the head pastor of a church to be a woman (I disagree with that)? I would like us to define what we are talking about here.

    Do you understand or agree that many Christian colleges or seminaries are teaching militant patriarchy? Both of the ones I attended are. And they use the word “complementarianism”, which is often argued by soft comps that isn’t the right definition.

    The secular universities teach Female Supremacy and the Christian colleges teach Male Supremacy. Total opposites on the surface, identical beneath. And their True Believers will always be at each others’ throats.

    Sometime in the Eighties, there was an SF novel by Norman Spinrad titled A World Between. The plot was a world with an egalitarian society that got targeted for conquest by two interstellar factions — one the Ultimate Male Supremacists, the other the Ultimate Female Supremacists, all True Believers. With the lightspeed limit, both factions pretty much fought a war of propaganda to convert planet after planet to The Cause. And this egalitarian culture is caught in the middle between two One True Ways.

  157. elastigirl,

    Oh man, RBM&W literally says that if you don’t model their version of masculinity and femininity then your kids will be gender confused and/or gay and they heavily implied feminism leads directly to lesbianism. What!? How is this still a thing! Again, this book is sooooooo bad!

  158. Preacher’s Wife,

    ““Everything I have read from Complementarians is always so full of fear.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    to follow on with my thoughts, their sales tactic in selling their doctrine is fear.

    –invent a culture war and rally an army by poking at their insecurities and ick factor.

    –play the God card and invoke fear of hell-fire and ejection from the christian club for not being a real christian.

    …and bada-bing, bada-boom you are in good company, all of whom will further your cause to protect your comfort zone and generate income for you, too.

  159. FW Rez: Point number six on a church website’s “our distinctives” page:
    Family is a focal point. Property and buildings are intentionally “men friendly” because the family and church are strongest when men are present and leading.

    And that means zippo to women like me who’ve never been married and never had children.

    And there are more and more never married/ childless adults in American society as time marches on. They really ought to figure out how to appeal to singles not just married guys with kids.

  160. Lea: They’re selfish, that’s all. I hope you find some people in your life who aren’t, Daisy.

    Thank you. I think I’ve about given up. None of my Aunts have wanted to be there for me, either. But thank you for the well wishes 🙂

  161. okrapod: That said, I believe there should be laws permitting assisted suicide as well as actual euthanasia when required. I do not believe that gratuitous suffering is a religious virtue. Unavoidable suffering for a cause, sure Suffering due to persecution, sure. Suffering just because we cannot cure this or that-yet-no. This is one place where I differ with the RCC. If suffering for its own sake is good, then we should not be trying to cure things in the first place. That latter, of course, has been an idea taken up by some individuals from time to time in the name of religion. No. Just no.

    Well said okrapod, and I shout AMEN from the back pew.
    Shmuley Boteach says pretty much the same thing; suffering sold as a good thing, is a concoction conjured up by Christianity (both Catholic and Protestant variants).

    Boteach’s essay can be read here:
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/religions-must-repellent-idea_b_2478914.html

  162. Lea: To expand on that ‘selfish’ thing, friend and I have talked extensively about ‘givers’ and ‘takers’. To have only takers in your life is exhausting.

    I think some of this falls under the heading of “emotional labor,” which women tend to do more often than most men.

    I’ve been on both sides of it. I’m normally the one who listens and consoles, but I’ve been on the other end of it on occasion (especially after my mom died).

    I at least am aware that being emotionally needy can be very, very draining on the person who is doing the listening and consoling, which is why I am not always calling up people in my life (usually aunts) to lean on them.

    A Guy’s Guide To Emotional Labor
    https://www.askmen.com/dating/dating_advice/a-guy-s-guide-to-emotional-labor.html

    Although anyone is capable of performing emotional labor, in reality this work overwhelmingly falls on women.

    Often, men don’t even realize that it’s happening or that it takes women deliberate effort — effort that has become second nature after years of conditioning, that is.

  163. Wade, please correct me if I am wrong. I read your previous post on “The Woman Error in 1 Timothy 2:12” that you referenced in this post. You make the point that there is a definite article before the word “woman” in both v. 11 and v. 12, and before the word “man” in v. 12. You state, “The definitive article “the” is in the original Greek (i.e., the woman) not the unfortunate “a” woman (NIV, NASB).” This then allows you to translate it “the woman, and the man,” thus making your point that it is about a specific woman and specific man, and not men and women in general. I am reading the Nestle Aland 26th and 27th editions, and that is categorically not the case. All three of the references (twice to the woman, and once to the man) are anarthrous. There is no article present. Can you explain this please. Thank you.

  164. FW Rez: Point number six on a church website’s “our distinctives” page:

    Family is a focal point. Property and buildings are intentionally “men friendly” because the family and church are strongest when men are present and leading.

    THAT is a HIGHLY-EXAGGERATED take on a point from the old “Church for Men” website (and its accompanying book Why Men Quit Going to Church). That site & book was an analysis and speculation on how to make churches more “man-friendly”; their thesis was that a lot of churches structured and acted more attractive to female than male.

    Wouldn’t be the first time someone took a legit (if arguable) premise and ran it into the ground as a One True Way.

    “I am not a Darwinist.”
    – Charles Darwin, late in life

    “I am not a Marxist.”
    – Karl Marx, late in life

  165. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    Lea,

    Feminism ….,, Just another word that has been twisted and redefined .,,

    My Dear Wormwood,

    I refer you to my previous epistle on Semantics, specifically the redefinition of the Enemy’s words into their “diablolical meanings”.

    Your Ravenously Affectionate Uncle,
    Screwtape

    P.S. Nowhere do we corrupt so effectively as at the very foot of the Enemy’s altar!

  166. Irene: Lea, I challenge you to look at University of Oregon’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I assure you, this is not a joke about women taking a turn running things.

    I’ve acknowledged in several posts above that like any group (including conservatives, Christians, and complementarians) there are going to be some crazies, extremists, and kooks.

    That some women who identify as feminist may be advocating in university courses of papers ‘Female Rule of Males’ – and I’ve seen some suggesting or joking of it on social media – does not encompass all of feminism.

    Anecdotally, most secular / liberal feminists I’ve come across in comment fields on blogs or in interviews in mainstream media, are asking for perfectly reasonable things, like for women not to be sexually harassed on jobs by men, or equal pay for equal work, etc.

    However, many conservatives have a tendency to confuse and conflate – (either obtusely or deliberately) – women asking for equality and fairness in career and marriages to mean, “Oh noes, the women want a matriarchy and to stomp on all men.”

    That’s not what all or even most of them are teaching.

    Many secular, liberal feminist women I’ve seen online (on social media or in comments on web sites) are married to men (happily), and they are mothers to biological children. They don’t all hate men or hate children or hate “the family.”

  167. Lea: I don’t know that I ever saw the original cartoons, but man I loved the toys! I had the stable too.

    When I was 10 yo, I had my own, real pony ……. a stud Shetland. I would disappear into the bottom-land woods for hours ……. always riding bareback …… Tonto, going it alone … always winning.

  168. Lea: I had a coworker who would call and proceed to talk about himself for an extended period of time…

    We had a guy in local Furry Fandom who was infamous for that — except in-person, not over-the-phone. His name even became a verb for getting cornered by a compulsive motormout. They guy literally NEVER stopped talking. (And after the first dozen times you heard the exact same words from him, it stopped being interesting.)

    The only time I ever heard him stop talking was once when he took a right cross to the jaw. Interrupting or out-shouting him wouldn’t work. He would just hit “Pause” until your voice faltered, at which point he would resume from the exact syllable where he left off.

  169. okrapod: I think that Paul was speaking with apostolic authority, but that does not mean that the statement was not culture and time specific to that circumstance. Such a statement might have a totally different meaning and impact now and here. Or not.

    When we find a statement of Paul’s that obviously contradicts another of the same topic, both require further study. If Paul was advocating (actual) silence for women in 1 Timothy but advocating orderly worship by each contributing their gift in an assembly (1 Cor. 14:26), we know one is being interpreting incorrectly.

    When those who advocate husbands’ authority over wives ignore 1 Cor. 7 where Paul clearly teaches mutual authority for both. One is obviously contradicting the other or one is speaking to a particular situation for resolution and not meant to be a forever principle for every situation.

    As I mentioned previously, it’s important to understand and evaluate Paul’s words in light of the letters he is responding to for clarification. Unfortunately, many of those questions have no quotes which would make it easier to understand, but a study can be done rather easily to determine those instances i.e.

    1Cor. 7:1  Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

  170. Irene: Lea, I challenge you to look at University of Oregon’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I assure you, this is not a joke about women taking a turn running things.

    There are conservative Christian men (some of whom may be Republican) who believe in Reconstructionism or similar extreme views.

    They don’t believe women should attend college or work outside the home. Some of them don’t believe women should have the right to vote or they express dismay that American women were given the right to vote.

    Some of them want to live under Old Testament law, where adulterers will be stoned to death.

    Julie Anne on her SSB blog at times does updates on one of these flakes. I think his moniker is Kevin “Womb Tomb” Swanson(?) who thinks birth control pills are immoral.

    Complementarian pastor Mark Drisoll has referred to women in very degrading terms.

    Douglas Wilson married a known pedo to a young lady ostensibly because he felt it would keep the pedo guy from molesting kids or from being attracted to them in the first place (which it did not).

    These guys get these odd views from their sexist interpretations of the Bible. They think it’s their God given right or duty to “rule” women.

    I’m a little more concerned with them on their religious quest that they think is God-approved than I am with a crack-pot women’s studies author on some campus who writes about the Matriarchy.

    Complementarian Christian men have the power, platform, and influence, and millions of dollars to promote and sustain their ‘Male Rule Of Women’ theology, via tithes / donations from Southern Baptists.

  171. Headless Unicorn Guy: We had a guy in local Furry Fandom who was infamous for that — except in-person, not over-the-phone.

    He would do it in person too, but he was only there rarely and usually we would just let him talk.

    Nice guy, but I was very glad the day I realized when I was ready to go I could just start talking about myself for a sec!

  172. Lea: I mean, I went to a university and they didn’t teach me any ‘militant’ feminism. I am sure someone, somewhere is teaching something dumb about every subject imaginable though. I don’t think it’s too relevant to this thread.

    That’s true.

    The heading of this thread is something like,’Gender roles are not essential to the Christian faith,’ but the subject is being side tracked a bit to, “But there are some feminist writers on (secular) school campuses who are so much worse, they want a matriarchy!!”

    I think I’ve been personally damaged more over my life due to Christian gender complementarian role teachings I was exposed to in church, family, and in Christian material (books, etc), than I ever was listening to secular, liberal feminist stuff I heard or read about when younger.

    The church is claiming THEIR gender role stuff is God’s intent and design.

    I’m not aware of any liberal / secular feminists who preface their works by writing, “Thus saith the Lord…,” or, “As it says in the Scriptures…”

    Where-as complementarians are trying to make their gender doctrine into a litmus test for Christians (arguing that it’s biblical and from God), or offer it as a solution to secular culture.

  173. Victorious: If Paul was advocating (actual) silence for women in 1 Timothy but advocating orderly worship by each contributing their gift in an assembly (1 Cor. 14:26), we know one is being interpreting incorrectly.

    And have we not heard multiple possible explanations for that situation. All I know for sure is that they can’t all be right.

  174. Sòpwith: Respectfully, it is disconcerting that you felt the need to reference the utilization of a book publication instead of firming up your post position with the clarification of scripture.

    Didn’t apostle Paul sometimes quote from secular works in making points in the New Testament?

    I don’t think biblically proof texting always solves everything, but may actually be partially responsible for a lot of these disagreements to start with.

    Complementarians say they and only they have the correct intrepretation of the Bible, and they say egalitarians are interpreting it incorrectly.

    Both sides point to the Bible to make their case, but that has not resolved anything. Sometimes it’s not enough to just quote a verse.

    Complementarians like to ignore historical background or the context of a verse when quoting it as being normative at egalitarians.

    Biblicism: What is it and Why Does it Make Baby Jesus Cry?
    https://peteenns.com/biblicism-make-baby-jesus-cry/

  175. refugee: To answer your initial question: Because you’re only a woman who doesn’t know what’s best for you. It’s okay, though. They’re right here, ready and willing to tell you how to live your life, down to the smallest detail, if necessary.
    In total agreement that they make marriage look totally unpalatable. (However, all they have to do is point to the verses about suffering for the sake of Christ… there! All better!)

    I left that bubble a long time ago.

    Every so often, I chat with an older Christian lady from my dad’s church. She’s quite nice in many ways, but is still living in that bubble which can make it awkward or frustrating to talk with her at times.

  176. Daisy: Biblicism: What is it and Why Does it Make Baby Jesus Cry?
    https://peteenns.com/biblicism-make-baby-jesus-cry/

    Whenever anyone tries to hit me up with “The Plain Meaning of Scripture”, I always think of Hal Lindsay’s “plain reading” where the plagues of Revelation were all “plainly” effects of Global Thermonuclear War and the Plague of Demon Locusts was “plainly” helicopter gunships armed with chemical-weapon “stingers” and piloted by long-haired bearded hippies. Kinda restores your perspective on “plain readings”.

  177. Avid Reader: By the way, let’s not go from one extreme to the other. No one is suggesting that churches should have only female leadership. All we want is for each person to develop the gifting that God gave them.

    I am always mystified by people who think because I rant and rail against complementarianism that I must hate all men or I want women to rule over men.

    Which I don’t.

    I’ve actually spent more time on these blogs discussing how women have let me down. (I have verbally abusive women family members and friends I’ve discussed, and one of my worst bosses ever was a woman.)

    I sure as heck don’t want a matriarchy, where women rule all men, but I’m not a supporter of patriarchy or its watered-down brother, complementarianism, either.

  178. Lea: Then they tell you marriage is to make you ‘holy’ not ‘happy’. Which sound fun.

    Years ago, I used to visit this Christian forum where the married people were always flip flopping on this.

    They’d go on and on about HOW HARD marriage was, and the men would gripe about their wives, the wives would gripe about their husbands.

    So we singles would ask, “Why then would we want to get married” then the marrieds would always back track and gush about how great marriage was.

    Motherhood, same thing. Some mothers will gripe about how painful labor was, how exhausting it is to be a mom, but when you say,
    “Oh good, I wasn’t planning on having kids anyway,” they do a total 180 and try to convince you how great motherhood is.

  179. Beakerj: I agree with this. I think who mention ‘militant feminists’ or ‘liberal feminists’ are taking a few on the extreme edge & acting as though this is what all who claim the label feminist are like.

    I mention that in one post on my blog.
    Part of the problem with conservatives (of which I am one myself) is a lot of them don’t go to the primary sources, but rely on second-hand summaries of what feminists believe.

    Conservatives will tune in or read stuff by Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and other prominent conservatives.

    These conservative media guys either mis-characterize or mis-understand what liberal feminists are saying,
    OR, they will cherry- pick the most crack-pot, wacko femnists with the most crazy or extreme opinions they can find, and parade them on their shows, as if to suggest that such crack pots are representative of all feminists.

    Of course, liberal news sites are just as bad. I’e seen them do the same thing to conservatives.

    That’s why it pays to get out of your own bubble (regardless of which side you’re on), and read straight from the horse’s mouth. Don’t merely rely on your favorite right or left wing blogs or news sites.

    Once I started reading liberal feminist writers first hand for myself (not regurgitated by Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, etc) I came to see that they’re not as looney as they’re all made out to be.

    I don’t agree with liberal feminists on everything, but they’re reasonable on some topics.

  180. Preacher’s Wife:
    Samuel Conner,

    But, one positive (maybe the only one) is that Piper does spend most of his time in that first chapter talking about how men need to be kind and not authoritative.

    I think he does not mean what you may think he means by “kindness”. My ex-SIL would joke that he was a “benevolent dictator”. By “benevolent” he meant that, when in the right mood, he could do nice things. However, his “kindness” was motivated by a desire to impress others and make himself look good, and with the idea that his wife now “owed” him big time in services. I think he actually believed the lie he told himself about that… that he must be “kind” or he wouldn’t have bought that beautiful expensive china doll he couldn’t afford (for a one year old who was never allowed to touch it) or whatever. He was right about the dictator part though… and that part shouldn’t be underestimated when these guys talk about kindness and authority in the same breath

  181. ishy: Do you understand or agree that many Christian colleges or seminaries are teaching militant patriarchy? Both of the ones I attended are. And they use the word “complementarianism”, which is often argued by soft comps that isn’t the right definition.

    Even the complementarians who are supposedly doing comp right (according to comps) such as Paige Patterson at the Southern Baptist seminary was participating in cover ups of rapes of Christian women students by Christian men students.

  182. Headless Unicorn Guy: When Lauren Faust rebooted the show in 2010-2011, she was trying to get away from “girly-girl” cartoons and give the target audience of little girls some other “ways to be a girl”.

    That’s good. Complementarian churches sure don’t permit or present too many ways for girls to be girls or boys to be boys.

    I wanted to link you to a video or story from a few year ago where a pastor (I think it was an Ind. Fundy Baptist?) is at the pulpit telling parents to slap their sons if the son wasn’t rugged enough.

    He was also saying to parents it’s OK to let your daughters play sports, but the second practice is over, you force them to shower, toss on a dress and make-up.

    I can’t find that link, but there’s this:
    Christian fundamentalist schools teaching girls they must obey men
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/accelerated-christian-education-christian-fundamentalist-schools-are-teaching-girls-they-must-obey-a7066751.html

  183. Headless Unicorn Guy: The secular universities teach Female Supremacy and the Christian colleges teach Male Supremacy.

    The Christian colleges that teach male supremacy tend to teach it all over the place in mandatory bible classes and chapel and so on and so forth as I understand it.

    Meanwhile I went four years without ever sitting through a feminist theory class, as I suspect do most college students.

    I don’t think these are at all equivalent in impact.

  184. Headless Unicorn Guy: We had a guy in local Furry Fandom who was infamous for that — except in-person, not over-the-phone.

    His name even became a verb for getting cornered by a compulsive motormout. They guy literally NEVER stopped talking.

    …. The only time I ever heard him stop talking was once when he took a right cross to the jaw.

    Interrupting or out-shouting him wouldn’t work. He would just hit “Pause” until your voice faltered, at which point he would resume from the exact syllable where he left off.

    That sounds like my ex fiance, only the only time he would shut his mouth was when we went to restaurants, he would pause long enough to tell the waiter his order, then to chew and swallow his food.

    In all seriousness, in the several years I was dating and engaged to this guy, he never, ever inquired about me, my job, how my day was going, and,

    I only tried to do the talking maybe about 3 – 4 times over a period YEARS, and he resented even that.

    The moment I’d pipe down, he’d resume talking about whatever he had been talking about before and never asked me any questions about what I had said.

    Your ex Furry Fandom acquaintance and my ex fiance’ must have been related in some way. Two peas in a pod.

  185. Preacher’s Wife: Everything I have read from Complementarians is always so full of fear. I don’t understand what they are afraid of. It doesn’t quite feel like regular legalism (if I don’t do A, B, and C I’m going to hell), it’s like they somehow really think society will completely collapse. Which is weird, because so many of these guys are neo-Calvinists. It’s like, “once saved, always saved, unless a woman is teaching, then we’re all going to hell.”

    Love this! And so right on, about Calvinists’ inability to actually live out what they claim to believe. If everything is predetermined and ordained, what’s there to sweat over? Even if those ‘evil’ women grasp power, didn’t God ordain them to do so?

  186. Headless Unicorn Guy: Whenever anyone tries to hit me up with “The Plain Meaning of Scripture”, I always think of Hal Lindsay’s “plain reading”

    In the 1980s, he wrote a few more similar books, in one of them, he was predicting that the U.S.S.R. would usher in the end times. We’re now in 2018, and there is no USSR, and we’re all still here.

  187. Daisy: Even the complementarians who are supposedly doing comp right (according to comps) such as Paige Patterson at the Southern Baptist seminary was participating in cover ups of rapes of Christian women students by Christian men students.

    I heard that story about the abused woman with my own ears during that time…

  188. truthseeker00: Love this! And so right on, about Calvinists’ inability to actually live out what they claim to believe. If everything is predetermined and ordained, what’s there to sweat over? Even if those ‘evil’ women grasp power, didn’t God ordain them to do so?

    That’s also to encourage the fear of proving your election. They have really made a works-based religion, but claim that if you follow all the rules, then that proves to everyone you are elect.

    However, they seem to give special dispensation for leaders to make big errors that they do not make any allowance for in members. So I don’t think many of those leaders really believe it all. I think they just covet that feeling of absolute authority.

  189. Muff Potter: Same here, I reject it (replacement theology) too. There are also fundagelical sects who go whole hog in the other direction, even to the point of trying to breed a perfect red heifer for the new temple in Jerusalem.

    And as I noted at Interent Monk some three weeks ago, said fundagelicals open themselves up for manipulation by the Israeli government (who are themselves in Survival Mode).
    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/80663#comment-1112850

    “IT’S IN REVELATIONS, PEOPLE!”

  190. ishy: That’s also to encourage the fear of proving your election. They have really made a works-based religion, but claim that if you follow all the rules, then that proves to everyone you are elect.

    Once “Proof of God’s Election” was getting rich. Filthy stinking rich.

    Now it’s having Perfectly Parsed, Utterly Correct Theology.

  191. ishy: However, they seem to give special dispensation for leaders to make big errors that they do not make any allowance for in members. So I don’t think many of those leaders really believe it all. I think they just covet that feeling of absolute authority.

    And being the Ones on Top Holding the Whip.

  192. Preacher’s Wife,

    “Everything I have read from Complementarians is always so full of fear.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    thoughts are coming more into focus, here.

    –they are afraid of observable things and behavior that do not conform to what they see as ‘the plain reading of the text’.

    –their faith is in the infallibility and inerrancy of the text.

    –their faith is in the text.

    –they are afraid the text will be demonstrated fallible and errant.

    –the cornerstone of their faith is only as sure as observable data bearing it out. evolution cannot be true. homosexuality has to be a choice, a chosen lifestyle, or else the source of their faith no longer tenable. or else their god is not God.

    –the text is their god (despite protestations to the contrary)

    ….i’d be afraid, too.

  193. ishy: jyjames:
    Another predatory pastor is brought into the Light with his misdeeds: https://meighanmaia.wixsite.com/blog/blog/silenced-no-more

    I read that story. It sounded exactly like grooming to me. Super creepy!

    Not just “sounded like”, Ishi.

    That was reminiscent of the chat logs on “To Catch a Predator”:

    “I’m Chris Hansen, Dateline NBC, and we’re doing a series on men who cruise the Net for sex with underage teens.”

  194. Preacher’s wife, ok, let’s read 1 Timothy 2:12 in Tyndale’s translation (which is now the newly published October Testament): I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to have authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    I don’t know if we can say he translated it wrongly. That leaves either deciding it was cultural or deciding if still applies.

  195. Daisy,

    I wanted to respectfully disagree with your take on Peterson. I’m not sure why. I’ve found his take on the Bible particularly helpful. Reading certain things metaphorically or archetypically as he advocates has helped me stay engaged with the Bible rather than just walking away.

    Let me start by saying, if I shared your interpretation of what he is saying, I would not want anything to do with it either. That would be disgusting. I don’t think that is what is going on. If you still disagree after this, that is perfectly fine with me. Also, I could be wrong. He could be a bad, sexist guy. I don’t thinks so, but again, I could be wrong.

    Peterson is a follower of Karl Jung, whose theory of psychology was about archetypes. Think of 100 people coming up with a story about a brave man. Then 100 groups combining these stories. Then 100 of these groups combining these stories. That would lead to an archetypal story of bravery. What I think Peterson is saying is that in myths and stories across culture, society is represented by male characters and nature is represented by female characters. Society can protect you, but it can also be a tyranny. Nature gives you life, but it also is chaotic and can kill you. That isn’t to say men and women are all this way, but that these ideas are represented in myths and stories by men and women. Peterson thinks that when people call the university system, for instance, a patriarchy that needs to be torn down, what they are saying is that they want to tear down society. Sometimes society needs to be torn down, when it is a tyranny, but sometimes it is an important structure that protects us.

    In reference to “enforced monogamy,” that is a term of art in anthropology that refers to a societal incentive system that values monogamy over promiscuity. I know I would never want to force anyone to marry, but I do think monogamy is better for society than promiscuity or polyamory.

    The Daily Caller article was funny to me. It is basically saying, “Jordan Peterson doesn’t understand Christianity like I do, therefore he isn’t one.” It reminds me of a scene from Parks and Rec where some people are arguing that Twilight is too Christian, and others are arguing that it isn’t Christian enough. I’m interested in what someone has to say when they are in that weird middle place where there are accusations from both sides.

    One final point and then I’ll shut up. What really frustrates me about Peterson and in conversation in general is how our experience shapes so much of what we say. It seems like guys like Peterson talk like they live in a world where fundamentalist evangelicalism doesn’t exist, and in a way they do. Peterson lives in Toronto and has taught at Harvard and the University of Toronto. How many evangelicals does this guy actually know? 10? Many people who comment here grew up in evangelical churches, so we can’t imagine a world in which evangelicals don’t exist, even though there aren’t actually that many of us in the world. This shapes our perspective in certain ways. Looking around me in the large, state university that I teach in, I don’t see a ton of evidence of patriarchy. But when I look in an evangelical church, I see it ALL OVER THE PLACE. I don’t know if it is actually possible for people not to look at there experience and extrapolate it out for all of humanity. It may be something we can’t overcome. That is what someone like Jonathan Haidt thinks for instance. Haidt says that the only solution is to constantly be talking to people we disagree with. I try to do this as much as I can, and when I do it in a genuine way, I find myself better off for it.

  196. I think Wade’s article is worthy of consideration. In quoting Paul, Wade rightly emphasizes “dividing the word correctly”. In following a link he provided regarding an article he wrote on 1 Tim. 2:11-12, I believe he is incorrect on his insistence on the direct article. Would someone with some expertise check this? This is an important topic and must be supported with correct exegesis. Thanks Wade for your good work and caring heart!

  197. Muff Potter: Well said okrapod, and I shout AMEN from the back pew.
    Shmuley Boteach says pretty much the same thing; suffering sold as a good thing, is a concoction conjured up by Christianity (both Catholic and Protestant variants).
    Boteach’s essay can be read here:
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/religions-must-repellent-idea_b_2478914.html

    Thanks for this! I have fought with this idea in my mind for a long time. The worst was when I was in biblical counseling.

    I don’t think anyone actually acts on the idea to get more suffering, they just tell other people to.

  198. Daisy: Your ex Furry Fandom acquaintance and my ex fiance’ must have been related in some way. Two peas in a pod.

    Two of them… Now THAT’s scary.

    My “ex furry fandom acquaintance” was a Legend in his own Mind and a Running Joke in everyone else’s. And he was completely clueless. Much later, he was diagnosed as bipolar (manic-depressive). Now I wonder if he was also higher up the Autism Spectrum than the usual Aspies you find all over fandom.

  199. Daisy: Part of the problem with conservatives (of which I am one myself) is a lot of them don’t go to the primary sources, but rely on second-hand summaries of what feminists believe.

    Conservatives will tune in or read stuff by Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and other prominent conservatives.

    Just another example of the Media Echo Chamber effect.

    And with today’s Social Media, it’s possible to go for years in your own little Echo Chamber without ever encountering anyone who doesn’t Agree Completely With You.

  200. Headless Unicorn Guy: And yet another Walks Away From Omelas…

    Weren’t you the one who reminded me that LeGuin was writing about a very real situation among SF writers, specifically MZ Bradley and her husband? I can’t remember if it was you or my friend Deirdre, who has been in touch with one of Bradley’s adult children, a very angry adult child, I might add.

  201. Preacher’s Wife: One of the big problems with Bible translations is how political the process is. Lifeway doesn’t even sell NRSV translations because of the gender neutral language, and they effectively destroyed the 2011 NIV for the same reason.

    The problem really isn’t the translations, the problem is that the churches do not teach how we are supposed to read the Bible. Reading the Bible isn’t just about reading the words. It isn’t just about knowing the context in which it was written. It isn’t about reading the commentaries written by others. The only way to truly understand the Bible, is to read it with the Holy Spirit. I grew up with the KJV and I still prefer it, but even though that is a “conservative” translation, I am an egalitarian because I read the words in consultation with God. We believe that the words were written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so we should only read them under the Spirit’s guidance.

    However, many churches are afraid of Holy Spirit and have seemingly removed that part of the Holy Trinity from the equation. They don’t want the Spirit to cause trouble and upset their hierarchy and authoritarianism. Which is NOT the historical position of Baptists, that believes in the priesthood of ALL believers, with the only hierarchical position being the head of the Church, which is Christ. And, Christ leads and speaks to us through the Holy Spirit.

    The Bible is important, but too many raise up the Bible, almost to the point of ideology. The Bible is the inspired word of God, but the Spirit IS God.

  202. Jarrett Edwards,

    “The only way to truly understand the Bible, is to read it with the Holy Spirit.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    the problem is that every pastor, every church, every denomination, every translating team believes they are reading it with the Holy Spirit.

  203. elastigirl: they are afraid the text will be demonstrated fallible and errant.

    Yes. I think they are afraid if they question anything their faith will go.

  204. elastigirl,

    I think their view of God is the problem – much more like Zeus or Molech than the God revealed to us in the Bible. If God was like they think, of course they should be constantly terrified. People did not seem to be terrified around Jesus, which is very good news.

  205. LeRoy: In following a link he provided regarding an article he wrote on 1 Tim. 2:11-12, I believe he is incorrect on his insistence on the direct article. Would someone with some expertise check this?

    I have no expertise, but it is easy enough to find an interlinear on line, and it looks like ‘a’ and ‘the’ are not actual words in the greek but are added by the translator, I suppose either because of some grammatical necessity by some greek grammar rule or else because that made sense to the translator.

    I do think that under the circumstances somebody who is an authority on greek grammar needs to explain that to the general public one way or the other if an issue is going to made of it for doctrinal purposes.

  206. Ricco, yes! I think trying to see other people’s perspective is our only hope of being balanced.

  207. Max: “Gender Roles Not An Essential of the Christian Faith”

    Several years ago as the New Calvinist movement penetrated SBC ranks, the infamous Dr. Mohler suggested that a “theological triage” be used in the SBC to distinguish the “essentials” of faith within the denomination. Such triage would be used like emergency responders do in a disaster to prioritize primary, secondary and tertiary victims needing attention. Dr. Al, of course, was trying to get Southern Baptists of different theological persuasions to focus on essentials, rather than debating non-essentials such as non-Calvinist vs. Calvinist beliefs … it was a diversionary tactic. It was an interesting way to look at things, but he didn’t list soteriology (God’s plan of salvation) as a first level theological issue in his triage! As a non-Calvinist whosoever-will sort of guy, I would place God’s plan of salvation at the top of the list of Christian priorities – Jesus did, it’s called the Great Commission.

    Where would TWW readers place gender roles in a theological triage? The New Calvinists are acting like the “beauty of complimentarity” is at the top of their list of essentials, just below authoritarian patriarchal control of the church.

    https://albertmohler.com/2004/05/20/a-call-for-theological-triage-and-christian-maturity-2/

    That is pretty sobering, even for someone with few illusions left of anything Calvinist. This whole thing is really as bad as it looks. I find myself at a loss for words, as I think how few people would believe what is really at work here.

  208. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    The path of the predatory Christian leader is so formulated and scripted, one wonders if there are classes or seminary courses for:
    1 – how to entrap a teenage girl (i.e., this guy and Savage et al) or
    2 – how to groom the church ladies (i.e. Hybels and Tchividjian et al) or
    3 – how to go after the young boys (i.e., Pressler et al).

    The predators have their practiced ruse while the rest of us are trusting and stymied, trying to figure it all out. Maybe that’s why they don’t want women in their seminaries, to keep their schemes and secrets concealed and under wraps.

  209. Headless Unicorn Guy: AKA “IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN!”

    Though Tandt’s accompanying quote really should be “quotes” plural. A full-auto barrage of Bible Bullets worthy of a Calvary Chapelite, doubleplusduckspeaked like an MP3 playback loop. THAT automatically sets off all the alarms.

    Or as a friend used to put it, “So, when dem folks are done beatin’ one another bloody with their bibles, who cleans up the mess?”

  210. Max: “beauty of complimentarity” is at the top of their list of essentials, just below authoritarian patriarchal control of the church.

    Interesting how out in the highways and the byways of the mission fields, neither gender roles nor church hierarchy authoritarianism rank. Everybody works together (Christian Bible-faithful folks) in the hinterlands, to save souls and to save lives, literally. The rest is gravy.

    But then recently some home front church hierarchies have diminished or demolished their missionary efforts anyway. So to them it’s irrelevant to work together globally to save souls and lives, so long as they build and maintain their own home dynasties.

  211. Victorious: I am convinced that there are many so-called-commands about women that are words written to Paul from those newly converted Judaizers who are used to the laws and regulations practiced in synagogues. Paul quotes their concerns and responds to their letters by emphasizing the freedom from those legal, oppressive, and unjust practices.

    I’ve read that Paul used what’s called an “expletive of dissociation” by Greek scholars. The word would be translated “What?!” or “Nonsense!” or “No Way!!” today. Apparently it’s used in the following verses in 1 Cor. alone:

    1 Cor. 1:13; 1 Cor. 6:2; 1 Cor.6:9; 1 Cor. 6:16; 1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Cor. 7:16; 1 Cor. 9:6; 1 Cor. 9:7; 1 Cor. 9:8; 1 Cor. 9:10; 1 Cor. 10:22; 1 Cor. 11:22; and 1 Cor. 14:36

    In other words, Paul is refuting many of the issues causing confusion in the church of Corinth. Knowing this, many of the verses being taught as mandates, are actually being refuted by Paul as erroneous.

    This is not only very likely, it makes the most sense out of passages that otherwise make no sense. And yet conservatives have been brainwashed that such ‘possibilities’ are merely attempts to avoid the commands of scripture by God-hating liberals. Trust me, I’ve heard the line a hundred times. It is pretty impossible to have a reasonable discussion about serious reasons for re-examining what you have been told with people who have been caustically set against others.

    And to think, should this be the case, today’s comp/conservatives are basically pushing the very ideas Paul was rejecting. Try getting them to consider that and see how far you get.

  212. Lea: Yes. I think they are afraid if they question anything their faith will go.

    All or Nothing.

  213. okrapod,

    Not an expert in Greek grammar, but I have finished my Greek and Hebrew Language requirements for my MDiv and I think I can answer this question. Granted, I have not read Wade’s linked article yet, so I really don’t know what exactly he’s arguing. Greek has a definite article (the), but no indefinite article (a, an). Typically if a word does not have any article in Greek you could provide and indefinite article in English. So in John 1 of the Jehovah’s Witness Bible it says “the Word was a God” instead of “the Word was God.” It’s a technically plausible translation. Typically, you would never add a definite article if in wasn’t there in the Greek. What is odd about this passage in 1 Timothy is that Paul begins talking about women, plural, then in vs 11 he suddenly switches to woman, singular. Some argue that because of the situation in Ephesus Paul is singling out a particular woman is assuming and grasping authority and teaching heresy. There is no definite article there, but it would make a lot of sense if there was one. Others assume that Paul is talking about Womankind and therefore this is a universal command. Frankly, 1 Timothy 2:8-15 is a strange text and I have not yet read two scholars that completely agree, so I would not exactly put all my eggs in this particular basket.

  214. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Weren’t you the one who reminded me that LeGuin was writing about a very real situation among SF writers, specifically MZ Bradley and her husband? I can’t remember if it was you or my friend Deirdre, who has been in touch with one of Bradley’s adult children, a very angry adult child, I might add.

    I think it was me.
    A week or two ago, one of my writing partners told me “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas” was a parable about that coverup scandal. Maybe like a lot of skilled thematic storytelling, it is open to multiple interpretations.

  215. elastigirl: –they are afraid the text will be demonstrated fallible and errant.

    That really is too bad. My faith in Jesus of Nazareth and belief in his supernatural agency stands on its own merits. I do not require an inerrant and infallible Bible, nor do I require some iron-clad Euclidean style proof.
    It’s simply what I choose to believe of my own volition.

  216. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    I don’t think my ex had any mental health disorders. He was just very slow and very self-absorbed. I one time intentionally tuned him out in one of his weekly phone calls to me (I browsed through a catalog with the phone up to my ear), to see if he would notice, and he never did.

    That is how our calls and F2F dates went: he would do all the talking and never stop to ask for my input or thoughts, nor did he ever ask me how my week was going.

  217. Daisy: In the 1980s, he wrote a few more similar books, in one of them, he was predicting that the U.S.S.R. would usher in the end times. We’re now in 2018, and there is no USSR, and we’re all still here.

    Ya’ gotta love ol’ Hal anyways. He’s still pluggin’ away and pitchin’ on Daystar (fundagelical tv). Prolly’ still makin’ some decent bucks too!

  218. Muff Potter: Ya’ gotta love ol’ Hal anyways. He’s still pluggin’ away and pitchin’ on Daystar (fundagelical tv). Prolly’ still makin’ some decent bucks too!

    He used to have a weekly show on TBN, I don’t know if it’s still on that channel or not

    He once got into hot water with Jann and Paul Crouch because he openly criticized the Wealth and Health Gospel on their network, and I think he criticized another pastor by name during his show, and they had a policy against that.

  219. Irene,

    Starting in vs 11, it could legitimately read, “Let a woman learn in quietness and all submissiveness. But I am not permitting a woman to teach or usurp authority over a man, but to be in quietness.” It’s not a big difference by any means. For me, “I am not permitting” could imply that one day Paul will permit or that perhaps in other places he is. To the best of my limited knowledge, there is nothing in the Greek to indicate which English form to use since Greek doesn’t differentiate between simple present and present continuous. Also, Paul is not negating authority of any kind, but the overbearing totalitarian kind. Secular writings of the time used this word to refer to people who bullied or coerced others. He’s also not dictating silence; but a quiet manner. So, the whole verse isn’t necessarily quite as stark and cut and dry as it’s been presented to me before. All that to say, our English translations are phenomenal translations of a 2000 year old text. But a committee full of Western, white, evangelical men, is still going to have a certain world view and bias. Just like I have as a Western, white, “liberal” woman.

    Right now my husband is studying and teaching Romans, and if you haven’t heard there’s been a bit of a dust up between Piper and his band of Reformers and N.T. Wright, Dunn, and Sanders over the New Perspective of Paul (which is a misnomer, since it is really just a 1st century version of Paul, but it’s kind of a long explanation for a comment on a blog). Anyway, Romans is hotly contested and a lot of the popular translations, especially NIV and sometimes ESV, have a definite slant in the way they translate some stuff. It’s frustrating, but it’s illustrative of how translations can have agendas.

    It is really easy to find interlinears and language resources online, my favorite Greek and Hebrew resources are:
    http://biblewebapp.com/study/
    and
    http://biblehub.com/interlinear/1_timothy/2-12.htm

  220. Max: Where would TWW readers place gender roles in a theological triage? The New Calvinists are acting like the “beauty of complimentarity” is at the top of their list of essentials, just below authoritarian patriarchal control of the church.

    All about “Who Gets to Hold the Whip? MEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

  221. elastigirl:
    Jarrett Edwards,

    “The only way to truly understand the Bible, is to read it with the Holy Spirit.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    the problem is that every pastor, every church, every denomination, every translating team believes they are reading it with the Holy Spirit.

    But, they clearly aren’t when they teach that you must come to the same conclusions that they have. While I do believe that the scripture is everlasting and unchanging, I don’t believe that the meaning of each verse is universal. It is the Holy Spirit that guides us on how to apply a scripture to our lives. And, how the Spirit moves me to apply a scripture to my life might be entirely different than how the Spirit would guide you to apply the same verse to your life.

  222. Jarrett Edwards,

    “I don’t believe that the meaning of each verse is universal. It is the Holy Spirit that guides us on how to apply a scripture to our lives. And, how the Spirit moves me to apply a scripture to my life might be entirely different than how the Spirit would guide you”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    ok, i think i like you. that’s refreshing.

    i do think the absolutes are very few. really and truly, no one will go wrong in this life or the next settling down with “love your neighbor as yourself”, and letting all the theological consternation go. what a happy way to live.

    loving God “with all your heart, soul, and mind” is much less straightforward. but there is lots of room for each person to decide that for themselves.

    at least, anyone who presumes to tell me how does so at their own risk.

  223. Muff Potter,

    “–they are afraid the text will be demonstrated fallible and errant.”

    “That really is too bad.My faith in Jesus of Nazareth and belief in his supernatural agency stands on its own merits. I do not require an inerrant and infallible Bible, nor do I require some iron-clad Euclidean style proof.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    i fantasize about an undeniable discovery, like an alien being, or The Dead Sea Scrolls Part 2 confirming the “expletive of dissociation” mentioned above, that throws an undeniable wrench in wooden interpretations of scripture that christian legalists love to foist on people.

    what fun to watch them scramble!

  224. Gus: So I would say that the 3 criteria I named above (agency, equal pay, equal respect) make me a feminist, not a Feminist. Strangely, the CBMW crowd (the usual suspects like Piper, Grudem, Moore, Mohler, etc., not to forget their BFF, CJ) would probably agree with me there – the 3 core values mentioned above would make me a feminist in their eyes, albeit an evil Feminist.

    You and me both, Gus!

    #Hi5

    I appreciate your reply, regardless. I should say that, if you [generic and personally] tell me you consider yourself a feminist, my working assumption would be that it probably means we’re agreed on the very things you describe.

  225. Anyway, trains.

    The stopping train appears to be making good time ahead of us, so at least we shouldn’t grind to a halt before Polmont as we have done earlier this week. Going quite slowly the noo, but it’s hard to draw any conclusions from that because the line speed is only 40 at this point anyway. It’s nearer Enbruh that line congestion really begins to stack up; we always land a few minutes late at Waverley, but that’s not really a problem.

    Lesley had no end of bother getting out of Glasgow Queen Street yesterday, OTOH, because a signal failure just north of the station meant that only one train could get in or out at a time and nothing was moving. She eventually got the Carnoustie train (golfers will recognise that name) which normally leaves too early but on this occasion was delayed by 40 minutes.

    IHTIH

  226. Gus: If you think that all humans should be treated equally well, then “humanist” might apply …. but that opens another can of worms.

    You’re not wrong there! I did consider using the label “humanist”, but decided against it… broadly, I’d sooner identify as humanist than as christian these days, though. As you say, it’s difficult to know what another person will think when one uses any given label, but I suppose I’d put it this way: With a lot of folk who call themselves christian, I don’t – on balance – want them thinking I’m one of them.

  227. Ricco: Haidt says that the only solution is to constantly be talking to people we disagree with. I try to do this as much as I can, and when I do it in a genuine way, I find myself better off for it.

    This is a good point. TBH, I don’t do it often enough. It’s often struck me recently that, in small-p protestantism, the belief in an indefinite number of churches exacerbates this problem. If I don’t like “my current church”, then I can simply walk off and find another one, or even plant “my own church”. Thus, “churches” become mono-cultures in which we’re never really forced to learn to love people who are unlike us.

    Of course, there are leaders who disagree with this, advocate for membership covenants to keep people in “their churches”, and say that you should never leave “a church”. But you don’t see them laying down their rights over “their churches” and integrating with the rest of the local church.

  228. Anyway, that’s enough consecutive comments for one morning. We’re not far fae Waverley the noo anyway.

  229. ishy: So a man can decide that his wife doing whatever he wants her to do, with no discussion, is the only way she is allowed to be “kind” in their relationship. I’ve seen a whole lot of Christian men define “not hitting her” as the only requirement for being kind for themselves, but they held almost impossible standards for their wives.

    This to me is the obvious huge flaw of the comps teaching. I was young, but now I am old. To tell young men that there assumptions are right is just folly to to the highest degree. On the face of it, it is just silly. Women in general predominately have so much more wisdom in the raising of children, relationship with her husband and the extended family. If you tell a young man not to listen to his wife, well that is just folly in my opinion.

  230. Observation:

    People say that God inspired some people to write down certain things long ago for our instruction.
    Maybe so, but God does not seem to have inspired the those writers to explain these things in terms which people in some distant future would understand as to either the meanings or the applicability of those writings. He also did not leave precise information about who exactly wrote all of it down, or where exactly the writers of the gospels got their information. He did not make sure that the rules of the ancient language in which they wrote would be preserved for future generations, not did He make sure that the language itself was a precise language of the educated classes of that era. And He does not seem to have made sure that the writers first recorded what the questions was before they wrote down what their answers. He did not provide us with ancient cultural anthropologists and historians who provided us with the ‘cultural’ information we need for adequate understandings of the ancient writings.

    I wonder why God would do that?

    All this would have occurred just before God abandoned us all to our own devices unaided by any divine presence much less divine help. This abandonment is variously seen as either ‘the death of the last apostle’ or else the apostasy of the early church associated with its political involvement (think the emperor and the first ecumenical council).

    Again, I wonder why God would do that?

    Or not. Maybe we are not supposed to go ‘back to the bible’ as our sole resource. Maybe God did not abandon us. Maybe-God does not allow himself to be limited to those limitations which we attribute to him. Maybe faith is more than ‘the bible says’ especially since even the best among us cannot agree on what it says or what it means or what we are supposed to do with that.

    Just a thought for consideration.

  231. okrapod,

    Yeah, I know. Errata all over the place, was/were, extra words, fly by seat of the pants punctuation. Step over it. I have said before that (a) I almost failed freshman english and (b) I type faster than I think and (c) comprehensive and accurate editing is beyond me.

    But I am a heck of a good homeschool math teacher for a certain sixth grader. So leave me be.

  232. okrapod,

    I truly enjoy your passion, and sincerity, I will add my view, ( knowing full well, it will be lampooned, such is life).
    Paul says not to exceed what is written, we have, and with That we now have, how many accepted genders, when for around 6,000 years two would suffice.

    To me we struggle with things that were settled for us, in the church anyway, the self identified most tolerant of our secular society, turns out to be at least as intolerant as the Bible thumpers, religion by design should be intolerant. Everybody is peddling heaven, no one is selling hell.

    The O.T. Was simple but not easy, just obey the law ugh, lots of ceremonies and blood, but still it was all black and white, as Nike said Just Do It…..

    The N.T. Is easy but not simple, as LEA says it just all faith, I agree to a point in that. It becomes a heart issue, but Paul said we can know what is the way to go, yet we have still managed to lose our way.
    IMO it is because we have exceeded what was written, ( we do have the inerrant word, through the Greek,) we do know what it says, but to follow what it says is easy but far from simple, we are seeing all these male leaders fall, because to walk “ THE WAY” is. It not simple….

  233. elastigirl: i do think the absolutes are very few. really and truly, no one will go wrong in this life or the next settling down with “love your neighbor as yourself”, and letting all the theological consternation go. what a happy way to live.

    You also never go wrong feeding the hungry, and taking care of widows and orphans.

    I agree with you, yes.

  234. Nick Bulbeck: Thus, “churches” become mono-cultures in which we’re never really forced to learn to love people who are unlike us.

    I think this is part of why the catholic church is so much more diverse, in my experience. You can pick a different parish, but other than that you’re probably all going to same place.

  235. okrapod,

    Reply 1 of 2

    In your very moving comment further up the thread (which may, or may not, have been intended to move, but there it is) you touched on matters of life and mortality with great frankness and honesty. I feel the only way I can properly honour it is to be equally frank.

    I concede first that none of us knows How Long We’ve Got. The train on which I sit as I type may derail at 100 mph between Winchburgh and Linlithgow and I may not survive the journey home. But this is unlikely to happen. (Ironically, as I typed that, we slowed down for a signal and are now stationary in exactly that section.) Nonetheless, in context, it is not meaningless to ponder the fact that we may not have you at Wartburg for as long as we’d like.

    I do not want to leave it too late to say this; like Ken A (and possibly others of our many Ken’s), I have been moved often by your wisdom and have appreciated your presence and contribution both in the years in which we’ve both been regulars together. It has been a privilege, and will continue to be, for as long as.

  236. I’m fairly certain that no complementarian would say that differing with them on the roles of men and women means you are going to hell, at least none of the mainstream complementarians.

    What they would reply is that those denominations that have approved women’s ordination for the most part have also abandoned other key issues of the Christian faith. So while women’s ordination itself might not be an issue of salvation, the approach to Scripture that leads to it tends also to lead to other things.

    If you consider the TEC, ELCA, and PCUSA, for example, we have churches that long ago approved women’s ordination but now also have abandoned the exclusivity of Christ for salvation, biblical teaching on human sexuality, the final infallible authority of Scripture, and many other things that touch on essential Christian doctrine. The complementarian would argue that the same hermeneutic that produces women’s ordination taken to its logical extent would lead to other things.

    There is some evidence for this in this thread. We have some commenters complaining that Wade is trying to stake a middle ground between complementarianism and liberal feminism. For these commenters, not going all the way into other liberal feminist issues is not enough.

    The question is whether the hermeneutic that leads to women’s ordination necessarily leads to capitulation on other issues. That’s something that can be debated. Those who say it does not can point to some evangelical churches that allow for it but have remained biblical on the issues noted above. For example, the Assemblies of God, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and some other groups.

    I would say the issue with that is that while those groups allow for women’s ordination, they don’t really practice it all that frequently and that men remain in leadership by and large.

    The idea that spiritual gifts are not limited to men really is a very weak argument. I don’t think any complementarian would say that God gives some gifts to men and not to women. No complementarian that I know would say that God doesn’t gift some women to teach. They could even say the gift of apostleship is given to women as well provided Paul is not talking about capital-A apostles, but nobody except those on the Pentecostal fringe believes God is appointing men or women as capital-A apostles today anyway. Even egalitarians would agree that there are no Apostles today like Paul, Peter, etc.

    The question is the location of the proper exercise of those gifts. Also, being ordained is not the only way to exercise a gift. Lots of men in the church have the gift of teaching but are never ordained to the office of pastor or elder.

    Full disclosure: I would fall into the complementarian camp, but I don’t believe the Bible prohibits women teaching men altogether. And I think a lot of what Piper and Grudem say about what women can and can’t do in the church is ridiculous (you know, things like those lists of positions in their book where they let women serve in positions 10 or lower or comments about female police officers).

  237. jyjames: Interesting how out in the highways and the byways of the mission fields, neither gender roles nor church hierarchy authoritarianism rank.

    Yes, Southern Baptist women can give their lives (some have literally) on foreign mission fields to spread the Gospel, but don’t let anybody see them preaching in America!

    jyjames: But then recently some home front church hierarchies have diminished or demolished their missionary efforts anyway.

    Shortly after New Calvinist David Platt assumed leadership of SBC’s International Mission Board, he “retired” 1,000 career missionaries (predominantly non-Calvinist) . After accomplishing that mission, he is now in the process of transitioning out of IMB to pastor again. Platt cited a funding shortage to keep veteran missionaries on the field, but SBC found $60 million during the same time to plant 1,000 new churches in America (predominantly New Calvinist). What should have been SBC’s priority … continue to spread the whosoever-will message to lost people throughout the world or plant reformed theology in the U.S.? And the truly amazing thing is that millions of clueless non-Calvinist Southern Baptists continue to finance this rebellion! It doesn’t surprise me one bit that the SBC is coming apart.

  238. drstevej: Wonder how Paige’s speech preparation is coming?

    It’s probably not the same one he initially intended to deliver. However, I doubt seriously that he will take the stage. Surely … surely … some messenger is prepared to make a motion to remove him from the program at the beginning of the conference, to be followed by an overwhelming vote to do so (unless the parliamentarian declares it out of order).

  239. Robert: If you consider the TEC, ELCA, and PCUSA, for example, we have churches that long ago approved women’s ordination but now also have abandoned the exclusivity of Christ for salvation, biblical teaching on human sexuality, the final infallible authority of Scripture, and many other things that touch on essential Christian doctrine.

    Good

  240. okrapod,

    Reply 2 of 2

    As a declared agnostic, I am now free of the obligation to all the BiblicalBiblical as I now call it, though even as a Christian I was of much the same view. The Bible itself declares (indeed, it quotes Jesus himself as saying) that God gave us his very self, in the person of his son among us, and then his spirit among and in us. The bible never says that this was a mere blip before God finally gave us a more perfect revelation than God As Man, in the shape of 10% more scripture.

    I have no problem in facing up to the inconsistencies and contradictions in the bible, because I have no need to pretend that the bible is God, nor even infallible in itself. Also, I can easily imagine the possibility that the Holy Spirit would present us with a limited and fallible bible, with its many different voices, if his intention was never that we trust it but trust him. The idea being that we ponder the limited and fallible bible and its examples of people like us grappling with questions we, too, must grapple with. They also grappled with questions that aren’t major issues any more, and likewise, we must grapple with questions they never dreamed of. As we do so, we could learn to walk in step with the spirit, and find our own voice such that we could say (like the early church) “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…”.

    This is not the same as saying the holy spirit creates confusion (though I’ve been accused of claiming that!). It’s saying the holy spirit creates diversity.

    Of course, all this is hypothetical, because there is no Holy Spirit any more. Or so we’re told.

  241. Robert: The question is whether the hermeneutic that leads to women’s ordination necessarily leads to capitulation on other issues.

    Not every difference of opinion is capitulation. I’m not here to throw stones at people who read the Bible in a more conservative way or who believe that religious systems are an unmitigated good in the world. I used to think that way. Then some tragic life experiences shook up my world and it was either find a new way to believe or stop believing. If that is capitulation, then lock me up.

  242. truthseeker00: That is pretty sobering, even for someone with few illusions left of anything Calvinist.

    I suppose the neo-Cal brethren would call my thoughts on Al’s theological triage another conspiracy theory … but, darn it, we Non-Calvinists would stop theorizing if the New-Calvinists would stop giving us so much evidence to support the theories!

  243. Nick Bulbeck: This is a good point. TBH, I don’t do it often enough. It’s often struck me recently that, in small-p protestantism, the belief in an indefinite number of churches exacerbates this problem. If I don’t like “my current church”, then I can simply walk off and find another one, or even plant “my own church”. Thus, “churches” become mono-cultures in which we’re never really forced to learn to love people who are unlike us.

    Great point! You would really like Haidt’s book Tue Righteous Mind. It is about the evolutionary foundations of morality. It has really opened my eyes to understanding people with different moral foundations than I have.

  244. Ken F (aka Tweed): I think their view of God is the problem

    False teaching/theology always has a wrong view of God, man, sin and salvation. Within SBC, Non-Calvinists and New-Calvinists accuse each other of that … perhaps not directly, but in the respective theologies they hold. It is impossible for two distinctly different theologies (particularly re: God’s plan of salvation) to coexist in a single denomination; thus, the New Calvinists are in a gradual process of making reformed theology the default in belief and practice in the SBC.

  245. Benn: will be lampooned, such is life).
    Paul says not to exceed what is written,

    I appreciate what your are saying, even when I see some things a tad differently. So let me say this, and I do not mean any personal offense to either you or to those who agree with you.

    So Paul said not to exceed what is written. In First Corinthians, which the intro to my bible says was most probably written in 55 AD, the NT was not available at that time. The gospels were not written yet, as far as we know. I am checking with ‘author and date’ in the intro to each writing in my bible. Paul was the first to write stuff in what we now call the NT. So what is it that was written that Paul was talking about? Did he refer to the OT and if so what in the OT since he was prone to quarrel with how people considered the OT law, so if not the Law then what? Was it a prophecy? Read in context it does not seem to have been. Was Paul saying don’t listen to anybody but me and only follow what I say if I have put it into writing? That does not seem to be how he worked even when he disagreed with such big league players as Peter.

    So, don’t go beyond what is written. Here is an excellent example of where we have to go beyond what is actually written (spelled out) to try to determine what he even meant by that statement.

    It is one thing to believe that scripture is true. It is quite another thing to claim for scripture beyond what it claims for itself. I think that bible-only people do go beyond what scripture actually says, and I think that they are unaware of what they are doing.

  246. okrapod: I have no expertise, but it is easy enough to find an interlinear on line, and it looks like ‘a’ and ‘the’ are not actual words in the greek but are added by the translator, I suppose either because of some grammatical necessity by some greek grammar rule or else because that made sense to the translator.

    I explained in a post much earlier in the thread that Burleson is simply wrong. There are no definite articles in the Greek text where he says they are. Another poster later in the thread pointed out the same thing. I posted my critique on Burleson’s web page, but as of last night, it has not been published.

    There is nothing ambiguous about this. The presence or absence of a definite article in Greek is a translation issue, but if the “the” is not there, it is not there!

    I do think that under the circumstances somebody who is an authority on greek grammar needs to explain that to the general public one way or the other if an issue is going to made of it for doctrinal purposes.

  247. Daisy,

    Yes! I understand that we are living in a day and an age where the bible’s view perceived, may not necessarily, categorically, sufficiently be good enough in all cases, conditions, situations, opportunities, and circumstances.

  248. Robert: If you consider the TEC, ELCA, and PCUSA, for example, we have churches that long ago approved women’s ordination but now also have abandoned the exclusivity of Christ for salvation, biblical teaching on human sexuality, the final infallible authority of Scripture, and many other things that touch on essential Christian doctrine.

    Oooh, scary.

    Or maybe this is just the kind of scare tactic’s people use to keep you trapped in a church that considers you to be inferior. ‘Where else are they going to go?’ to quote some ‘well respected’ person in evangelical land.

  249. Nick Bulbeck: Of course, all this is hypothetical, because there is no Holy Spirit any more. Or so we’re told.

    Yes. We are also told that there is no church any more, only man made organizations.

    So,

    I will ask the Father…send you another advocate/comforter/help..
    I will build by church…gates of hell be (deleted)
    If I be lifted up all men will come to me
    And the idiocy of I am Way, Truth, Life

    We talk about narcissism. Classic case of psychotic level of narcissism.
    Or not.

    You are no more an agnostic than I am. We all dwell in the land of Don’tKnowForSure.

    Poor ole Ehrman. Started out as evangelical, became self identified as agnostic, then started saying atheist, then said actually an agnostic atheist (not sure there is no god). Bless him. I wish he could stop tormenting himself like this.

    We all don’t know for sure. Paul said we don’t know for sure. Faith. Grace. Stuff like that. There must be something essential to the current battles we encounter that requires something more powerful than certainty. Maybe we have to have deficits in order that His strength be made perfect in our weakness. Maybe if we really ‘know and know that we know’ there is no room left for faith/grace and we will be destroyed because of that lack of access to the divine strength.

  250. Nick Bulbeck: Also, I can easily imagine the possibility that the Holy Spirit would present us with a limited and fallible bible, with its many different voices, if his intention was never that we trust it but trust him.

    Paul himself said ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.’

    Can we not talk about how if you truly believe in an ‘inerrant’ bible, you have to believe that we don’t understand everything?

    ‘For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.’

    I have always sort of casually dismissed people who claim to know the end of the world/revelations dates because the bible says ‘no man will know’ when the world will end. Perhaps I should casually dismiss people who claim to fully understand every little thing, and their interpretations, because I know they don’t know fully.

  251. okrapod,

    ” I think that bible-only people do go beyond what scripture actually says, and I think that they are unaware of what they are doing”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    …perhaps making such remarks as “Jesus says…” and “scripture’s command” in reference to Paul’s opinions. it’s a bit shocking to hear such things articulated.

  252. Max: It is impossible for two distinctly different theologies (particularly re: God’s plan of salvation) to coexist in a single denomination

    Is it truly, Max?

    I am in a different sort of denomination than Baptist now, one with more structure and consistent training of ministers and consistent theology. But the people in the pews certainly can and do differ with ‘official’ doctrine. I think people travel so much between denominations at times and they may never truly lose what they were taught as children, even if they change their minds, or expand their knowledge, in some ways. It seems to me that peaceful coexistence with people who disagree with you on a few points of doctrine should not be so difficult. But that assumes no wish to control what other people think.

  253. okrapod: It is one thing to believe that scripture is true. It is quite another thing to claim for scripture beyond what it claims for itself. I think that bible-only people do go beyond what scripture actually says, and I think that they are unaware of what they are doing.

    Excellent points. What a revelation it was to realize that when Paul writes about scripture he is probably NOT writing about himself! I think in emphasizing this particular verse, it is not taught as what it actually is.

  254. Robert:
    I’m fairly certain that no complementarian would say that differing with them on the roles of men and women means you are going to hell, at least none of the mainstream complementarians.

    You would be incorrect about this. The New Calvinists who leads the SBC, teach that gender roles are a soteriological issue. Not holding to their idea of gender roles is a proof to them that you are not saved. Bruce Ware and Denny Burk, along with Al Mohler, have written extensively on the issue.

    New Calvinists hold authoritarian structures as the image of the gospel, and marriage the ultimate picture of leadership and submission, a theology they call eternal subordination of the Son. Though some like Mohler have claimed to not believe in eternal subordination of the Son, Mohler’s seminary still teaches this theology through Bruce Ware, so I have trouble believing him.

  255. okrapod,

    Fair enough, but if you look at the next generation of church leaders they recited what the apostles wrote at length, Just one example the letter Clement wrote from Rome to the church at Corinth, you torches a few men for their behavior, they had orally accepted the early writings and were using them to guide and shepherd, long before the cannon was complete and accepted.
    Many also believe that Clements letter was so powerful that because it came from Rome, yada yada yada, ground laid for the bishop of Rome had a greater authority than the other Bishops. Have you ever read the didache?

  256. Lea:
    I am in a different sort of denomination than Baptist now, one with more structure and consistent training of ministers and consistent theology. But the people in the pews certainly can and do differ with ‘official’ doctrine. I think people travel so much between denominations at times and they may never truly lose what they were taught as children, even if they change their minds, or expand their knowledge, in some ways. It seems to me that peaceful coexistence with people who disagree with you on a few points of doctrine should not be so difficult. But that assumes no wish to control what other people think.

    I think it’s generally true on the issue of salvation. But I also think that there are only a few major categories of soteriological beliefs: salvation by personal faith through Jesus alone, salvation by works, salvation by election. Those have shades, but I actually think most people and religions fall into the salvation by works category, even a lot of Christians.

    I have been in a church which was half “once saved, always saved” traditional Baptist and half New Calvinist. They didn’t talk to each other even though they claimed they were getting along. Each group stayed in their little clique.

    There are a lot of other theological issues that I do think people are able to cooperate and disagree, but the most common sources of disagreement end up not being theological at all, but on who controls the power and where the money goes.

  257. Benn:
    Many also believe that Clements letter was so powerful that because it came from Rome, yada yada yada, ground laid for the bishop of Rome had a greater authority than the other Bishops. Have you ever read the didache?

    Yes. Are you advocating for the Catholic position on tradition or what?

  258. Robert,

    “The complementarian would argue that the same hermeneutic that produces women’s ordination taken to its logical extent would lead to other things.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    so, let’s deny half the world agency and a voice for the sake of keeping things the way we like them on other issues. because our interpretation is the only correct one, anyway.
    —————

    “There is some evidence for this in this thread. We have some commenters complaining that Wade is trying to stake a middle ground between complementarianism and liberal feminism. For these commenters, not going all the way into other liberal feminist issues is not enough.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    advocating for a woman’s freedom to exercise 100% of her agency, voice, and to participate in all levels of society just like a man is taking things a bit too far, isn’t it.

  259. elastigirl: advocating for a woman’s freedom to exercise 100% of her agency, voice, and to participate in all levels of society just like a man is taking things a bit too far, isn’t it.

    +1

    IOW ‘why can’t you be happy with whatever crumbs of agency we men chose to give you, ladies?’

  260. elastigirl:
    advocating for a woman’s freedom to exercise 100% of her agency, voice, and to participate in all levels of society just like a man is taking things a bit too far, isn’t it.

    Can you imagine how most men would respond if the rules they want to put on women were suddenly on them?

  261. ishy: 2) Tim Fall has done some research and found a video where Al Mohler has admitted he was in a secret society at SBTS called Dodeka. Only for “elite” white male students.

    Is this real? #runstoinvestigate

  262. __

    “Before Egalitarianism, IAM?”

    hmmm…

    And once upon a time, the Lord made some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists,some shepherds, some teachers: that the saints might have all things necessary to work and minister with all to the edifying of the body of Christ till we —every one in the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God —would grow up unto a perfect man after the measure and fullness of Christ.

    Thinking the matter through, apparently the Lord has done his homework and made a plan…

    huh?

    High speed screws in the water?

    What?

    Sorry to bust your bubble folks, but both Complementarianism and Egalitarianism are both proverbial strawmen argument(s) designed to divide the body of Christ; —to deny it of its power and effectiveness when in a day and time where the fields are significantly, and visibly white with harvest.

    Time is precious. Go fish.

    ATB

    Sòpy

    ;~)

    – –

  263. Lea: Then they tell you marriage is to make you ‘holy’ not ‘happy’. Which sound fun.

    And after you see their Holiness, you want NO part of it.

  264. “I will be praying every day that you will cling to the whole Bible as the Word of the living God and at the same moment give that Word to every lost person on this globe, knowing that Christ died for all and that every man, woman, boy, and girl who comes to the Lord Jesus in saving faith will be saved.” (Paige Patterson, Christianity Today, 8 June 2018)

    The conclusion of Patterson’s letter to Southern Baptists. If you read between the lines, he articulates the difficulties ahead for traditional SBC members as New Calvinism sweeps through the ranks preaching a gospel contrary to “Christ died for all.”

  265. Lea: ishy: 2) Tim Fall has done some research and found a video where Al Mohler has admitted he was in a secret society at SBTS called Dodeka. Only for “elite” white male students.

    Is this real?

    If it is, this will not end well for Dr. Al.

  266. I can’t help but wonder if their knowledge of each other’s secret societies was one of the things they blackmailed each other with, while putting all their friends in power.

  267. I was wrong, it was a video of Patterson claiming Mohler was in a secret society. I had about five different tweets all saying different things. Anyway, there is historical record of this group at SBTS and several people have shared that.

  268. drstevej:
    Is the gift of gab gender-neutral?

    I think both genders can have the gift of gab. While women, generally speaking, have been labeled as the ones who like to talk a lot, I think we would do well to consider that men can talk just as much. Think of all the sports’ radio stations. Those men talk on and on and on about sports – for hours! And the majority of callers are men. Then there’s talk radio, the majority of hosts which are men. They are able to gab nearly non-stop, except for commercials. All that to say, the gift of gab can be attributed to both genders, depending on the person.

  269. okrapod,

    I appreciate hearing your perspectives at TWW more than I might express. Thank you for your wisdom. With all selfishness, I hope you can continue blessing us for a good long time.

  270. ishy: Sorry, Todd Wilham!

    Max: If it is, this will not end well for Dr. Al.

    Googling “SBTS Dodeka” gets this about Herschel Hobbs:
    http://equip.sbts.edu/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/sbjt_071_spr03_dockery.pdf

    Page 14, top right: “During his years at the seminary Hobbs developed strong friendships and created a wide-ranging network that would serve him well throughout his life. Many of these relationships grew out of his involvement in a “secret supper club” called Dodeka, the Greek word for twelve. Each year, twelve couples were invited to join this exclusive group. Herschel and Frances were received as members during their first year at the seminary (see My Faith and Message, 63).”

    So, a bit of evidence that the club exists, or did at some point.

  271. Max,

    I noticed that nuance as well.

    While framing his statement in very humble verbiage his hubris was on full display in this quote “I have … desired to bequeath to the world an orthodox denomination…”.

  272. Robert: We have some commenters complaining that Wade is trying to stake a middle ground between complementarianism and liberal feminism. For these commenters, not going all the way into other liberal feminist issues is not enough.

    What I pick up from Pastor Wade’s post is that he wants to make it clear that while he takes a position that women are equal to men that he is not a liberal.

    I don’t agree with labels when it comes to a lot of what we’re talking about here.

    This is about right and wrong.

    Daisy has declared herself “conservative” and yet supports full equality for women, and there’s a fair number of commenters have the same opinion.

    Women and men are equal. In every single way. Under the law, in ability. Women can be evil, men can be evil, women can be good, men can be good.

    A woman is perfectly capable of having position of authority. There are many world leaders that are women, women in congress and the senate and I firmly believe that it is only a matter of time before Americans elect a female for President (note – not starting a political discussion, I do not mean any particular person)

    This does not negate the biological differences between men and women but that’s got nothing to do with equality.

    I have said again and again that the bible reflects the culture from whence it came. If Christians accept that Jesus was the son of God then I find it interesting that none of the gospels state that he was an elitist in any way, shape or form. The gospels don’t support the position that men have any special place. Ok, the disciples were guys but is it possible that women didn’t get any billing because the gospels were written in a patriarchal culture? Because there’s ample evidence that women were part of Jesus’ group, they were the first to find the tomb.

    Paul was educated as a pharisee. Of course the letters attributed to him reflect that.

    Using the bible as a how to manual for running a society is a non starter. It’s a history, philosophy, interaction with the divine (or a mythology depending on your point of view).

    These folks get all literal about gender roles yet seem to enjoy a pork sandwich, or surf and turf at Red Lobster!

    This just gets annoying at best but takes a darker turn. If you’re telling me Christianity is about love and we’re taking the bible literally then you can’t ignore all the “put to death” admonitions in the old testament, or the God-ordained slaughter of enemies – this scares me about fundamental outlooks, this is why people commit terrible crimes. This is why abuse runs rampant.

    I don’t care what the bible says. Men and women are equal. Period. Full stop.

    The great irony is that equality that people have worked for so hard has it’s origins in the Christian missive to love thy neighbour and treat others as you would treat yourself.

    It’s free lunch day at work – my ham and pineapple pizza awaits.

  273. okrapod,

    Sorry for the sidebar comment on bishop of Rome.
    I am for the little C Catholic position, as in catholic /universal one true church, but no on the RCC

    Just saying that some historians say that Clements letter was so powerful that it, ( the letter) gave the seat of the bishop in Rome more credibility, than other bishop seats throughout the church, and no I don’t subscribe to that.

  274. ishy: 2) Tim Fall has done some research and found a video where Al Mohler has admitted he was in a secret society at SBTS called Dodeka. Only for “elite” white male students. https://twitter.com/ThouArtTheMan/status/1004962520661090304

    If it’s indeed true, it will mean the collapse of his ‘Eastern Front’ so to speak. And after that, there’ll be nothing to prevent Ivan from driving all the way to, and laying waste to his Berlin (so to speak).

  275. Robert,

    Robert, may I suggest that you may be lumping together groups that do not agree with each other in your opposition to the stated groups. And you may be not understanding certain beliefs/ doctrinal positions of christian traditions other than you own once they have morphed a tad from what might be expected.

    For example: The Anglican churches, of which TEC is one, believe in prima scriptura but not in sola scriptura. What that means is that one may use tradition and reason in searching for answers where scripture is not clear, but that in the final analysis scripture is the final word whether one understands it or not. That is not abandoning the final authority of scripture as you seem to have characterized it, but it is neither the evangelical nor the catholic approach.

    There are other areas where your characterizations miss the boat a bit. One obvious one is in the area of saying that only fringe pentecostals believe in apostles. Technically that is pretty close to what one could say, but actually in believing in and practicing and adhering to the concept of apostolic succession the RCC and those others who also do that have maintained the idea of the apostolic office and function.

    But here is the real problem I want to address. While evangelicals, which I assume you are, object to what they see as other groups abandoning core christian ideas, we also look at evangelicals and think that they have abandoned core biblical principles and practices. In fact, I think that evangelicals are pretty big in the abandoning business. So where does all this lead? Could there be something afoot here more than just the woman issue? Could it be that we differ in something far more basic and pervasive than the issues either you or I have cited? Like what is church and how does it/should it function. Like what is or is not literal in the NT. Or like what is or is not for today as opposed to what was for then but not now-think the charismata.

    In considering these things we do differ, but when looking at the NT and the history of christian thinking and practice there is much to be said for and against both your position and my position on many things. One thing that we do need to do, however, is be precise and accurate in things which we criticize lest we be seen as not all that correct.

  276. ishy: We wondered how these guys were all so well connected. I think we might have a clue now.

    Southern Baptists should have sent Mohler packing while the window was open in 1993, especially after his SBTS convocation address where he declared his plans to “reform” the denomination. The man is slick, I have to give him that much.

  277. Benn: and with That we now have, how many accepted genders, when for around 6,000 years two would suffice.

    This is not a “now” issue. It has been around for thousands of years.

  278. Nancy2(aka Kevlar):
    okrapod,

    I am so sorry about the bone scan. But I’m so proud of you for the way you seem to be handling things!

    Ditto! Blessings to you, Okrapod! I always appreciate reading your posts. They’re filled with the wisdom of many years of life’s experiences.

  279. Daisy,

    Oh no, Barbie is evil in those circles. I mentioned her once and you would have thought I committed the unforgivable sin.

  280. The scariest thing to me about all this Dodeka stuff is that while it sounded like Mohler “repented” of the white supremacy thing, apparently the idea of them being elites didn’t bother him at all. And both him and Patterson are guilty of orchestrating takeovers against the wishes of the whole denomination. What kind of man does that?

  281. okrapod,

    Profound!
    I would rather have the access to the divine strength! Though I must admit the thought scares me on some level.

  282. Nick Bulbeck: I do not want to leave it too late to say this; like Ken A (and possibly others of our many Ken’s), I have been moved often by your wisdom and have appreciated your presence and contribution both in the years in which we’ve both been regulars together. It has been a privilege, and will continue to be, for as long as.

    @Okrapod,
    As one of the many Kens, I fully agree with Nick. You always bring very good balance to the conversation. I have learned a lot from you.

  283. Benn: To me we struggle with things that were settled for us, in the church anyway, the self identified most tolerant of our secular society, turns out to be at least as intolerant as the Bible thumpers, religion by design should be intolerant. Everybody is peddling heaven, no one is selling hell.

    I’m not lampooning, but how has it ever been “settled”? Sure there’s intolerance across the whole secular and religious spectrum but on the whole all faiths have pretty much free reign here in North America. Cripes! They’re buying jets, building massive houses, raking in the dough – all. tax. free. If that’s oppression then sign me up!
    I agree that religion by design is intolerant. But the oppression and abuse of many religious groups upon their own people is not acceptable. There is no reason for me as a non-christian to “tolerate” it. I’ll call the cops.

  284. ishy: The scariest thing to me about all this Dodeka stuff is that while it sounded like Mohler “repented” of the white supremacy thing, apparently the idea of them being elites didn’t bother him at all.

    Wouldn’t you love to know who belonged to Dodeka for the last 50+ years?!

  285. Bridget: This is not a “now” issue. It has been around for thousands of years.

    Note that Benn specified 6000 years.
    (6022 years, actually, according to Bishop Ussher. Armageddon should have gone down 22 years ago.)

  286. Muff Potter: ishy: 2) Tim Fall has done some research and found a video where Al Mohler has admitted he was in a secret society at SBTS called Dodeka. Only for “elite” white male students. https://twitter.com/ThouArtTheMan/status/1004962520661090304

    If it’s indeed true, it will mean the collapse of his ‘Eastern Front’ so to speak. And after that, there’ll be nothing to prevent Ivan from driving all the way to, and laying waste to his Berlin (so to speak).

    “Two broken Tigers afire in the night
    Whisper their souls to the wind;
    We wait in the ranks for the final assault to begin.
    It’s been almost four years that I’ve carried a gun,
    Back home it will almost be spring,
    The flames of the Tigers are lighting the road to Berlin…

    “Oh, quickly we move through the ruins that bow to the ground;
    The old men and children they send out to face us they can’t slow us down,
    And all that I ever
    Was able to see
    The eyes of the city are opening
    Now it’s the end of a dream…”
    — Al Stewart, “Roads to Moscow”, 1973

  287. Speaking of gender roles, the New Calvinist complementarians over at SBC Voices have brought out their wimmenfolk to chime in on things. It’s strange, I don’t ever recall them inviting blog pieces by female members of their tribe before. Maybe the new reformers want to come out more female-friendly than the SBC traditionalists, who are being portrayed as dirty ole men.

    https://sbcvoices.com/women-you-are-not-the-backup-plan/

  288. Max: Speaking of gender roles, the New Calvinist complementarians over at SBC Voices have brought out their wimmenfolk to chime in on things.

    (sound of dog whistle)
    “HERE GIRL! SPEAK! SPEAK!”

  289. Max:
    DEB … perhaps you can employ some investigative reporting re: DODEKA

    I just alerted Wondering Eagle along the same lines; let’s see what Intel he can dig up.

    And as far as I know, “Dodeka” is Greek for “twelve”.
    Could these guys have thought of themselves as the New Twelve Apostles?
    (If so, that one-ups both Skull & Bones AND the Bohemian Club…)

  290. okrapod,

    Took a long, long time to escape my fundagelical, inerrancy roots, but – and I will have to do my homework to find it – I recall reading that before so-called ‘orthodoxy’ insisted that these texts we call ‘scripture’ were ‘the Word of God’, the ancient believers considered the reference to be to Jesus.

    That would certainly cast a different light on all of the theology that we debate so fiercely. Might even force us to release all those liberal heretics from the prison of ‘refuse to bow to the authority of scripture’ that we locked them up in, and take a second look at what they were saying all along.

  291. Robert: I’m fairly certain that no complementarian would say that differing with them on the roles of men and women means you are going to hell, at least none of the mainstream complementarians.

    What they would reply is that those denominations that have approved women’s ordination for the most part have also abandoned other key issues of the Christian faith. So while women’s ordination itself might not be an issue of salvation, the approach to Scripture that leads to it tends also to lead to other things.

    I rejected complementarianism years ago, and my views on biblical interpretation have shifted, but I remain am a conservative.

    I wouldn’t say my biblical hermeneutic is conservative or liberal because I think both sides get it wrong.

    I’m wary of people who think anyone who rejects comp automatically turns liberal, or rejected comp due to liberal feminism, none of that has been true for me.

    Most comps probably would say that rejecting comp won’t send you to Hell, but they imply it, or they imply it will lead you to reject Christ and hence it is a Gospel level issue. You pretty much laid out that very case in your own post.

    I have seen some of them equate gender role theology to Gospel level importance in some of their blogs.

  292. Headless Unicorn Guy: “Dodeka” is Greek for “twelve”

    I assume that means there is, at any given time, 12 active members of the secret society. When one moves on, he is replaced by another recruit who passes the test. There must be a blood pact between them to stay mum on their goals and agendas. Over the years, the Dodeka members end up in high places and assist others in the society in moving up the ranks. Would make a great book and movie, HUG!

  293. ishy: 2) Tim Fall has done some research and found a video where Al Mohler has admitted he was in a secret society at SBTS called Dodeka. Only for “elite” white male students.

    Come to think of it, you can’t get more “elite” than God’s Spesul Pets, The Predestined Elect…

  294. Headless Unicorn Guy: “Dodeka” is Greek for “twelve”.
    Could these guys have thought of themselves as the New Twelve Apostles?

    In their secret meetings, perhaps they channel the spirit of John Calvin to guide them.

  295. Bridget: This is not a “now” issue. It has been around for thousands of years.

    Jesus talked about categories of eunuchs, including some who were eunuchs from their mother’s womb. Whatever that was, perhaps undescended testicles or perhaps ambiguous genitalia, or who knows what, Jesus did not condemn them and said that they would be given compensating realities to make up for their lack of children.

    We need to be careful to not condemn or belittle people whom Jesus has authenticated as valuable persons. That bit about made themselves.. I have a real problem with that, but I cannot prove from the text that Jesus had as much problem with it as I do.

  296. Max: In their secret meetings, perhaps they channel the spirit of John Calvin to guide them.

    You really are a bit of a rascal at heart. You know that, don’t you?

  297. Daisy: I wouldn’t say my biblical hermeneutic is conservative or liberal because I think both sides get it wrong.

    Me too.

  298. Lea:
    I accidentally clicked on a crazy link on twitter quoting a Bailey. Seems like I’ve heard of this dalroc person before (https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/it-would-be-unchivalrous-to-tell-her-no/#comments)

    Comments are a dumpster fire of course:
    “Good thing my wife belongs to me, not my pastor, that I’m her head. I don’t have any problem telling her or her rude, disrespectful, intrusive friends no.”

    Oh my, Dalrock is THE example of what is most putrid and disgusting in the Christian Manosphere. He and the commenters on his blog actually despise women. They are worse than the Biblical Gender Roles guy, Larry Solomon. I have no doubt that many of those men in the Christian manosphere physically abuse their wives. They are dangerous people, to be avoided at all costs.

  299. Robert: The complementarian would argue that the same hermeneutic that produces women’s ordination taken to its logical extent would lead to other things.

    One point I just made on my blog is that the same biblical interpretation non-violent complementarian men use to defend “no women as preachers, wives should submit to husbands”

    -is the same exact biblical interpretation that sexist and violent men use to justify their domestic violence, covering up rape of Christian female students on college campuses, etc.

    Why Gender Complementarianism Contributes to Sexism and Abuse of Women and is Ineffective at Halting It
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/%E2%80%A2-why-gender-complementarianism-contributes-to-sexism-and-abuse-of-women-and-is-ineffective-at-halting-it/

  300. Max: I assume that means there is, at any given time, 12 active members of the secret society. When one moves on, he is replaced by another recruit who passes the test.

    (Stage whisper “Illuminati…”)

    Reminds me of what I heard from a Wiccan once. That the reason a coven tops out at 13 members is that over that number and you get a power struggle and schism. (What Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies for Dummies called “ten guys in socks chanting in somebody’s living room syndrome”.)

    There must be a blood pact between them to stay mum on their goals and agendas.

    (Stage whisper “Illuminati…”)

    “Or their throat shall be cut from left to right.”
    — rumored to be one of the more Lurid of blood oaths (though the sources are VERY unreliable – anti-Masonic Conspiracy Cults)

    (Stage whisper “Illuminati…”)

  301. okrapod: You really are a bit of a rascal at heart.You know that, don’t you?

    Yes. My wife tells me that all the time!

    You have to admit, Mohler’s involvement with the secret society “Dodeka” and his rise to the SBC throne is rather bizzare.

  302. Max: In their secret meetings, perhaps they channel the spirit of John Calvin to guide them.

    Now you’ve got me flashing on those lurid stories of Heinrich Himmler and human sacrifice divination rituals in the cellars of the Wawelburg.

    (“Illiuminati…”)

  303. Max: You have to admit, Mohler’s involvement with the secret society “Dodeka” and his rise to the SBC throne is rather bizzare.

    Oh yes. About one more revelation about that man and I might cross the line into some really odd speculating about some things.

  304. ishy: You would be incorrect about this. The New Calvinists who leads the SBC, teach that gender roles are a soteriological issue. Not holding to their idea of gender roles is a proof to them that you are not saved. Bruce Ware and Denny Burk, along with Al Mohler, have written extensively on the issue.

    I’m amazed at the number of conservative Christians who hold this sort of position, and not just in regards to complementarianism.

    They will tell you that belief in Jesus is the only requirement of salvation.

    I was talking to this lady from my dad’s church. I’ve shared with her how I used to have depression and still deal with anxiety.

    Her responses to me indicated that she seems to feel that if a person is “truly” saved, they will constantly have inner peace and joy.

    She would never come right out and say having peach and joy are essential to “be saved,” but she was certainly (it sounded to me) implying I must not have ever “really” accepted Jesus as my Savior (even though I had), because if I had, in her view, I’d never, ever have anxiety or depression.

    She (like many Christians on their pet doctrines) conflates believing in X, Y, and Z along with “accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior” as being necessary to be saved or to show “proof” of it.

  305. Daisy: having peach and joy

    Ha ha, “peach” – that should have been “peace.”

    (She doesn’t think a truly saved Christian could ever have anxiety and depression, so, if you do, you never really trusted in Jesus.)

  306. Off the subject. Text from young son says the temp is 112 where he is today. The text included a picture of a gallon size Degree for Men deodorant. I don’t know how they did that, but why they might is pretty obvious.

  307. Daisy: She would never come right out and say having peach and joy are essential to “be saved,” but she was certainly (it sounded to me) implying I must not have ever “really” accepted Jesus as my Savior (even though I had), because if I had, in her view, I’d never, ever have anxiety or depression.

    One-Upmanship Smackdown!

  308. okrapod: Max: You have to admit, Mohler’s involvement with the secret society “Dodeka” and his rise to the SBC throne is rather bizzare.

    Oh yes. About one more revelation about that man and I might cross the line into some really odd speculating about some things.

    (“Illuminati…”)

  309. ishy: Another horrifying story of pastoral child molestation.

    I read that one too. It tells you just how difficult it is to get these men to LISTEN. And, quite frankly, to care. I wish to use stronger words but am being polite for Dee and Deb’s sakes.

    They don’t care if a teenage girl is used and abused by her youth pastor. This is no longer an incident or two, but I direct theme. This what they are being taught, that it doesn’t matter. That it is not important. This is wrong.

  310. Headless Unicorn Guy: (“Illuminati…”)

    I was thinking more along the lines of an idea you often reference from Lewis. Spiritual evil making itself look good, or at least good enough to not be recognized for what it is. Semantics with rabies. At some point one has to stop saying ‘disagreement’ and start thinking ‘deliberate deception’.

    This comment brought to you in edited form!

  311. Daisy: (She doesn’t think a truly saved Christian could ever have anxiety and depression, so, if you do, you never really trusted in Jesus.)

    If she ever gets into a depression or a situation she can’t get out of, make sure you can be there to parrot her exact words back to her. Over and over. Same tone, same words, same delivery.

  312. Godbeforemen:
    Daisy,

    Oh no, Barbie is evil in those circles. I mentioned her once and you would have thought I committed the unforgivable sin.

    My mom wouldn’t let me have barbies when I was a kid lol.

  313. ishy: The scariest thing to me about all this Dodeka stuff is that while it sounded like Mohler “repented” of the white supremacy thing, apparently the idea of them being elites didn’t bother him at all. And both him and Patterson are guilty of orchestrating takeovers against the wishes of the whole denomination. What kind of man does that?

    Definitely interesting.

  314. Lea,

    It is much, much worse than just being wrong….. as I have posted before, I mostly grew up in a Independent Baptist church and school, (GARBC), and, unfortunately, know the thinking/indoctrination all to well.. And in the last few years, uncovered cover ups of a pedo that my teacher in the 1970’s. The guy was 15 years later convicted of horrible acts and spent many years in CA prisons. (Gots lots of docs to back this up)

    So, my point is, the cover ups by these “fundy leaders” is quite common and has been going on for years. I am coming to the conclusion that they do not know true christianity from the gospels, the very same books that they taught us from. I am totally accepting of fallen humans doing bad things, even Yahweh and Christ following people… the bible is full of examples….. but, covering it up, especially when the perverts go on to reabuse, makes my fundamentally question the faith of these leaders…. i.e. P.P. and all of the other CR people we have been hearing about, and the SBC leaders in general…. I have zero respect for these clowns…. and should be thrown out just as similar examples were in the NT……..

  315. Lea: My mom wouldn’t let me have barbies when I was a kid lol.

    When my daughter was a child we strictly limited her Barbie collection to two, maybe three, but no more. She had a friend who had masses of barbies. Barbie dressed like this, or like that or a multitude of other Barbie personas. We thought that our kid there was more to life than dressing Barbie.

    Today that childhood friend is the owner of a very successful bridal and formal wear shop and makes a pile of money in the process. My kid is a poorly paid public school teacher. Just saying.

  316. Daisy,

    I heard silimar BS in my fundy background… it is actually quite common thinking with fundies and conservative evangelicals..

  317. The world has climbed into the proverbial basket. Today at the school where my kid teaches one of the students tried to attack an assistant principal. He called for help on his walkie talkie and the cops sprayed pepper spray. No injuries.

    I am going to ask her is she wants some Barbie dolls when she gets home.

  318. Max: https://sbcvoices.com/women-you-are-not-the-backup-plan/

    This article…I want the facepalm emoji.

    As the narrative has begun to change, we are finding our churches incredibly malnourished of women who know how to teach, lead, and dig deep into the Gospel.

    They weren’t wanted. They were told not to. They left.

    This article almost blames women for not being there, instead of putting the blame where it belongs. I know women trained in ministry, serving faithfully. They are not in your denomination because you drove them out.

  319. Lea: Oh no, Barbie is evil in those circles. I mentioned her once and you would have thought I committed the unforgivable sin.

    My mom wouldn’t let me have barbies when I was a kid lol.

    When my son was about 5-6 yrs. old, I bought him a GI Joe and my husband had a fit! Not even the macho, macho man was considered acceptable. I paid him no mind, however and Joe hung around for a few years and even got a jeep for traveling….

  320. Max,

    Snort! There are not going to be any “modern day Deborahs” in the SBC . The men would never allow it!

  321. Daisy: I’m wary of people who think anyone who rejects comp automatically turns liberal

    It’s a circle. The comps reject women, so they are rejected in turn. They leave, and go somewhere that doesn’t treat them like dirt. If it is ‘liberal’ so be it.

    Of course, they’ve also made ‘accepts women ministers’ the definition of liberal…so that’s fun.

  322. Headless Unicorn Guy: Now you’ve got me flashing on those lurid stories of Heinrich Himmler and human sacrifice divination rituals in the cellars of the Wawelburg.

    (“Illiuminati…”)

    HUG were you a buffy fan? There is an entire episode dedicated to some frat guys who were sacrificing to a snake god at regular intervals in the basement to go on to great wealth and power in society…

  323. okrapod: So Paul said not to exceed what is written. In First Corinthians, which the intro to my bible says was most probably written in 55 AD, the NT was not available at that time. The gospels were not written yet, as far as we know. I am checking with ‘author and date’ in the intro to each writing in my bible. Paul was the first to write stuff in what we now call the NT. So what is it that was written that Paul was talking about? Did he refer to the OT and if so what in the OT since he was prone to quarrel with how people considered the OT law, so if not the Law then what? Was it a prophecy? Read in context it does not seem to have been. Was Paul saying don’t listen to anybody but me and only follow what I say if I have put it into writing? That does not seem to be how he worked even when he disagreed with such big league players as Peter.

    So, don’t go beyond what is written. Here is an excellent example of where we have to go beyond what is actually written (spelled out) to try to determine what he even meant by that statement.

    It is one thing to believe that scripture is true. It is quite another thing to claim for scripture beyond what it claims for itself. I think that bible-only people do go beyond what scripture actually says, and I think that they are unaware of what they are doing.

    If one knows a little of the history of ancient times – and I know precious ‘little’ – one might see that much of the issue in Jesus’ day was that the so-called ‘Church’ of the day was ruled by authoritarian teachers who, in their attempts to ‘lead’ the people in the proper way to serve God, far exceeded what was actually written in the Law of Moses. They, in their superior understanding, created theology, doctrine, creeds and principles by which the law was to be interpreted and performed. They had their ‘high priests’ (sort of like a Paige Patterson with sidelocks ) whose word was unquestionable.

    What I hear when I read the many here, and elsewhere, who disclaim the faulty teaching of falsely authoritarian rulers, are essentially the same words as Paul’s – ‘Let’s not exceed what is written’.

    Ah, but what’s a priest to do? Much like our elected representatives, who provide job security by constantly passing new laws, our church ‘rulers’ have to ‘rule’. And they get the men to submit to their authority by granting them their own little fiefdoms, over which they, of course, have the final authority.

    Jesus also spoke to the problem of illegitimate teachings, essentially casting off countless scrolls of do’s and don’t’s with a few mere words: love God and love others as self.

    Imagine, if we took his ‘words’ as The Word of God, and refused to exceed what he commanded. It would eliminate most of the scrapping.

  324. okrapod: She had a friend who had masses of barbies. Barbie dressed like this, or like that or a multitude of other Barbie personas. We thought that our kid there was more to life than dressing Barbie.

    Today that childhood friend is the owner of a very successful bridal and formal wear shop and makes a pile of money in the process.

    Ha! That is a great story.

    IIRC my mom’s objection was something about unrealistic expectations and image and so on. Eh. It’s just as well that I never wanted barbies…was much fonder of stuffed animals.

  325. Lea: It’s a circle. The comps reject women, so they are rejected in turn. They leave, and go somewhere that doesn’t treat them like dirt. If it is ‘liberal’ so be it.

    Of course, they’ve also made ‘accepts women ministers’ the definition of liberal…so that’s fun.

    I think it’s also a way the leaders keep the peons from looking too hard into it. There’s a lot more ambiguity in the Bible than most fundamentalists are taught to accept, as has been discussed earlier in the thread. I find most people I talk to with black and white interpretations of the Bible almost always start these big issue topics with some sort of assumption that drives their interpretation.

    I’ve made a semblance of peace with the ambiguity, but I remember being called a heretic by at least one person for saying so.

  326. okrapod: Today that childhood friend is the owner of a very successful bridal and formal wear shop and makes a pile of money in the process. My kid is a poorly paid public school teacher. Just saying.

    We just never know what will spark the imagination, do we?

  327. Victorious: When my son was about 5-6 yrs. old, I bought him a GI Joe

    When my son was about that age we got him some of those little green army men. They are plastic now but they were metal back then. He loved it. So now he is out in the desert in the middle east on active duty with the army. I partly blame myself. I am only half way kidding.

  328. okrapod,

    When I was a kid they got me a bike and a B-B and a batch of chicks from the hatchery and a Shirley Temple doll. And they said be grateful kid. I was, but it did not ‘take’. I spent my free time fascinated by the Home Health Encyclopedia they had, which I had to read on the sly because it had forbidden knowledge in it.

  329. Max: DEB … perhaps you can employ some investigative reporting re: DODEKA

    I hope someone can, because precious little is coming up. But of course, we all know that secret societies and conspiracy theory is all nonsense. I mean, it’s okay to believe that men would conspire and grapple for sex, power, fame, wealth and control of others – just don’t call it ‘conspiracy’. I think this is exactly where I first boarded this plane into the land of spiritual abuse.

  330. truthseeker00: I hope someone can, because precious little is coming up.

    Well, if Dodeka is/was “secret”, little would be coming up! Mohler admitted to belonging to it at Southern – calling it a sort of dinner group. Patterson & Vines painted a more sinister picture of the secret society. But as you note, conspiracies are flying about in SBC these days – hard to figure out who the good guys are among the elite, if there are any.

  331. Max: Well, if Dodeka is/was “secret”, little would be coming up!Mohler admitted to belonging to it at Southern – calling it a sort of dinner group.Patterson & Vines painted a more sinister picture of the secret society.But as you note, conspiracies are flying about in SBC these days – hard to figure out who the good guys are among the elite, if there are any.

    I’ve seen a church takeover by the New Calvinists, and read the church takeover handbook in its original form, so I have to admit I’m kinda skeptical that they are as benevolent as they want to pretend.

  332. Jack,

    I agree with everything you said, all of it.

    I think the prosperity gospel preachers are peddling another gospel, ( Paul warned us about that)

    All those guys and the gals too, Paula white, et al disgust me

  333. Lea: IOW ‘why can’t you be happy with whatever crumbs of agency we men chose to give you, ladies?’

    Also toss in a dash of,

    “But I’m a nice complementarian man! I would never hit you. I won’t let you preach or lead a man or get equal say in a marriage, but believe me when I say I really do think you’re equal in worth to me!”

    I don’t want a benevolent dictator anymore than I want or need a cruel one, either, thanks, but no thanks.

  334. Darlene,

    There are many studies out there that show that men talk more than women do (in work related areas), and men tend to interrupt women more often than women interrupt men.

    The Truth About How Much Women Talk — and Whether Men Listen
    http://time.com/4837536/do-women-really-talk-more/

    In a now-classic study, Barbara and Gene Eakins recorded seven university faculty meetings. They found that, with one exception, the men at the meeting spoke more often and, without exception, spoke longer.

    The longest comment by a woman at all seven gatherings was shorter than the shortest comment by a man. Susan Herring found a similar pattern in online discussions among linguists on professional topics:
    Messages written by men were, on average, twice as long as those written by women.

  335. Lea: HUG were you a buffy fan? There is an entire episode dedicated to some frat guys who were sacrificing to a snake god at regular intervals in the basement to go on to great wealth and power in society…

    Never was a Buffy fan.
    Firefly, on the other hand…

  336. Godbeforemen: Oh no, Barbie is evil in those circles. I mentioned her once and you would have thought I committed the unforgivable sin.

    It would depend on which group you mean. I can totally see IFB comps being “anti Barbie” because they think Barbie (or Disney and other generally accepted as being Kid friendly entitiees) is “too worldly.”

    My point is that complementarians have a very, very narrow view of how they understand, define, and expect girl-hood to look.

    So girls, in complementarian surroundings, must dress a certain way, and they are expected to enjoy playing certain games and playing with certain types of toys (such as dolls).

    If you’re a girl who didn’t fit into that box (I sure didn’t), you’re made to feel as though you are shameful, you are a mistake, you are letting down God, you’re not a “real” girl, etc.

  337. Lea: Max: https://sbcvoices.com/women-you-are-not-the-backup-plan/
    This article…I want the facepalm emoji.
    As the narrative has begun to change, we are finding our churches incredibly malnourished of women who know how to teach, lead, and dig deep into the Gospel.
    They weren’t wanted. They were told not to. They left.
    This article almost blames women for not being there, instead of putting the blame where it belongs. I know women trained in ministry, serving faithfully. They are not in your denomination because you drove them out

    I’ve said the same thing about artists and creatives.

    Why is Christianese “art” AND “STORYTELLING” a pile of pious crap?
    Where are the Tolkiens and Lewises of our generation?
    YOU DROVE US OUT AND/OR TURNED US INTO PILES OF ROCKS.
    WHY STICK AROUND WHERE YOU KNOW YOU’RE NOT WANTED OR APPRECIATED?
    Because you drove out and/or turned into a pile of rocks the next Tolkien or Lewis.

  338. Lea: Max shared this link:
    https://sbcvoices.com/women-you-are-not-the-backup-plan/

    Lea said:

    This article…I want the facepalm emoji.

    (Quote from the article):
    ~As the narrative has begun to change, we are finding our churches incredibly malnourished of women who know how to teach, lead, and dig deep into the Gospel.~

    Lea said:

    They weren’t wanted. They were told not to. They left.
    This article almost blames women for not being there, instead of putting the blame where it belongs. I know women trained in ministry, serving faithfully. They are not in your denomination because you drove them out.

    Complementarians always find a way to blame women, even if the men (or a man (singular)) is at fault.

    They already do it with domestic violence, CSA (clergy sex abuse) and modesty teachings.

    They even blame women as to why men have been dropping out of churches since the 1990s: they whine that churches are “too feminine” – oh really how is that, when most are complementarian, so that men rule?

    Women are not allowed to have leadership positions or much influence in churches, yet women get blamed for why men don’t show up.

    Anyway, you are correct.

    You cannot sit there and tell slightly over half your population that they may not lead, teach, or do anything (or else they are said to be “usurping men’s authority”) and expect them to put up with it indefinitely

    One of the main points in the book “Quitting Church” is that women were getting fed up and leaving churches to go serve, teach, and lead and use their other gifts at para-church organizations.

    Also see the book and web site:
    The Resignation of Eve: What If Adam’s Rib Is No Longer Willing to Be the Church’s Backbone?
    https://www.cbeinternational.org/blogs/resignation-eve-review

    From the CBE review of the book:

    Millions of women have given up protesting, given up trying to move forward, and allowed themselves to be convinced that they aren’t and shouldn’t want to be men’s equals in the church that dares to name itself after one of history’s most radical advocates for women–Jesus of Nazareth.

    Some women have resigned from Christianity, some have resigned from God, but many have simply developed a more insidious form of resignation, the invisible resignation that people develop when they have given up hope.

    This kind of resignation leads a woman to appear to be present when she actually left the building years ago.

    …we find that many churches are packed with intelligent, well-educated, extremely competent women who have no idea how to use their gifts in church without creating conflict.

    So they don’t.

    They may plant their gifts in the secular world, where they are appreciated, but gifts meant for the church are left rotting on the vine all around us.

  339. Daisy: I wouldn’t say my biblical hermeneutic is conservative or liberal because I think both sides get it wrong.

    I did want to clarify that up until a few months ago, I would’ve slapped the “conservative” label on to my self in regards to biblical interpretation, but the more reading and pondering I’ve done about this, I don’t think I can “wear” that label (but I’m also not a liberal on this, either).

  340. Max: “Dodeka” is Greek for “twelve”.
    Could these guys have thought of themselves as the New Twelve Apostles?
    In their secret meetings, perhaps they channel the spirit of John Calvin to guide them.

    I don’t see how their Super Secret Boys Club is in line with what Jesus Christ taught:

    Matthew 10: 26-27
    So do not be afraid of them. For nothing is concealed that will not be uncovered, or hidden that will not be made known.
    What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops.

  341. Headless Unicorn Guy: One-Upmanship Smackdown!

    The funny thing is, I really do think this woman means well, but some of her views or comments come across kind of bad, she makes me feel as though I’m not measuring up.

    She pulled something similar regarding my mother a few months back.

    I told her how when my siblings were teens, my mother made my sister take a certain album by, let’s say, “Rock Band X” back to the store because the lyrics were too dirty in Mom’s opinion, but she allowed both my siblings to keep hard rock albums, by, let’s say “Band Z.”

    After I told this story to the Lady from My Dad’s Church, this lady told me had it been HER kids, she never would have allowed them to have albums by “Band Z.”

    And that was even though I had just informed her my mom listened to “Band Z” herself and determined there was nothing “satanic” or bad about them.

    But this lady made it sound as though my mother’s faith or morals were not up to snuff – or not as much as hers – since my mother (who was a very devout Christian, but not a weirdo about her faith) let them keep the ‘worldly’ rock albums.

    I felt insulted by that but was in such shock I kept my mouth shut.

  342. “Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson says he has voluntarily stepped down from delivering the keynote sermon at the convention’s annual meeting in Dallas after being ousted from a Fort Worth seminary over his handling of sexual abuse allegations.”

  343. Headless Unicorn Guy: If she ever gets into a depression or a situation she can’t get out of, make sure you can be there to parrot her exact words back to her. Over and over. Same tone, same words, same delivery.

    That would be tempting.

    It’s very easy to say the sort of stuff to hurting people that she was saying to me, and holding to those assumptions she was holding, BUT, it only works if your life is working.

    If your life is going okay, no financial problems, no relationship issues, your mental and physical health is fine, you can easily preach that Emotional Wellness Gospel and such.

    That type of theology does not work once your life falls apart.
    And Jesus never said in the Bible that if you follow him he will wave a magic wand and remove all pain and problems from your life.

  344. Daisy: I did want to clarify that up until a few months ago, I would’ve slapped the “conservative” label on to my self in regards to biblical interpretation, but the more reading and pondering I’ve done about this, I don’t think I can“wear” that label (but I’m also not a liberal on this, either).

    This makes two of us.

    God bless you and yours.

  345. Lea: My mom wouldn’t let me have barbies when I was a kid lol.

    My Mom not only bought me Barbies but sometimes to get me to be more “girly” she would also buy me the larger baby dolls, the kind you could feed with a little bottle.

    I did have a toy play house as a kid, but I dug it because I liked miniature stuff, not that I was so much into “playing house” like other girls were.

    My Mom did give in on occasion and buy me the stuff I gravitated toward, like Hot Wheels toy sports cars and Bat Man toys.

  346. Benn,

    Gender-variance is not a new phenomenon, not by a long shot. In Judeo-Christian culture, as far as I know, gender is presented as just male or female – in other cultures, just as ancient, the variants that have been seen, whether they reside in those of physical form such intersex individuals, or those where is it seemingly more of psychological experience of ones gender, have been recognised formally & often celebrated. I go with the clarity of Scripture on the value of people, which is above & beyond what their gender expression is. I am involved with work with young LGBTQ people so this is an issue close to my heart.

    A really simple article on some of this anthropological history can be found, of all places, in Teen Vogue, so I link it here for your enjoyment: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/gender-variance-around-the-world

  347. Beakerj,

    I will look at your link over the weekend
    Is your work through a religious vain, or a social out reach?

    I believe all people are image bearers of God, the imago dei

    Kudos to you for your work…

  348. Daisy,

    I had a brother so I had all kinds of toy options other than my own. We used to have this dukes of hazard ramp thing for making cars jump.

  349. Lea,

    Comps seem to think if someone rejects comp, they either turn liberal, or, liberalism caused them to leave comp.

    I left comp not because of liberalism or feminism, but because it makes the Bible look as though it’s contradicting itself (there are examples in the Bible of women leading men with God’s approval), and, I’ve remained conservative even after rejecting comp.

    I think their false dichotomy is one thing that keeps a lot of “fence sitters” in their camp for so long: they tell people your only two choices are to
    1. stay comp, which = biblical, conservative, and godly,
    or
    2. reject comp = be a liberal, feminist, support abortion, vote Democrat

  350. Daisy: I think their false dichotomy is one thing that keeps a lot of “fence sitters” in their camp for so long: they tell people your only two choices are to
    1. stay comp, which = biblical, conservative, and godly,
    or
    2. reject comp = be a liberal, feminist, support abortion, vote Democrat

    Really good point. That was what kept me a comp until I realized I was just a less extreme Doug Wilson. Being on the same spectrum with that guy was not somewhere I wanted to be, so I really had to reevaluate my thinking. Once I did that, I realized that we are kept in our camp mostly out of fear planted in us by leaders trying to either make money off of us or gain prestige by having a big “flock.” It’s all a fake. Most people who aren’t tied up in these ideologies just try to live the life that works best for them.

  351. ___

    Daisy: “Egalitarianism is a response to complementarianism.”
     
    Yes, if you want to join that type of discussion. Sure. Fine. Yep! Go for it! But IMHO there is really no need for that type of discussion in a truly Spirit led fully scripturally functioning body of Christ. Neither is complementarianism.

    Just sayin’.

    The problem arises when these 501c3 churches begin to function in the flesh outside the parameters of sensible comprehensive scripture use and most of all NOT being holy spirit led. Bringing this little proverbial ‘Murphy’s War’ into the church means it has failed in both their understanding of scripture, and in their determination to follow the Holy Spirit consistently. It also helps if the body there is really functioning properly, with each member of the body with the liberty of functioning in their gift.

    Most 501c3 churches in the U.S. unfortunately follow the non-profit corporation model, not the book of Acts model: where all are allowed to use their gifting to build up the body, being spirit led.

    Find a fully functioning unincorporated house church, and you will notice the difference.

    —> Single, middle aged, unattached women are always welcome!

    P.S. The Holy Spirit is welcome as well!

    (grin)

    (imagine that!)

    ATB

    Sòpy

    🙂

    – –

  352. Max: I assume that means there is, at any given time, 12 active members of the secret society.When one moves on, he is replaced by another recruit who passes the test.There must be a blood pact between them to stay mum on their goals and agendas.Over the years, the Dodeka members end up in high places and assist others in the society in moving up the ranks.Would make a great book and movie, HUG!

    what a pile of nutjobs these people are.

  353. Folks, I am proud to be a liberal! To me, being a liberal means to be a person who is free to be the person God has called one to be, whether male or female. A person who is free of bias and believes that with God there is no male or female, bond or free, “Jew or Gentile,” but all are loved the same by God. Also, that “Whosoever will” may come to God, through Christ. God’s love is God’s gift and is free to ALL. It is God’s will that NONE may perish. I am a 94-yr-oldster and have these things on my mind, for such a time as this!
    Blessings!

  354. It isn’t that women need to be allowed the positions of authority men have. It is that men have business trying to be in authority over others in the church. If a man is sinning, why on earth should a woman fight for the right to commit the same sin?

  355. Florence in KY: Folks, I am proud to be a liberal! To me, being a liberal means to be a person who is free to be the person God has called one to be, whether male or female. A person who is free of bias and believes that with God there is no male or female, bond or free, “Jew or Gentile,” but all are loved the same by God. Also, that “Whosoever will” may come to God, through Christ. God’s love is God’s gift and is free to ALL. It is God’s will that NONE may perish. I am a 94-yr-oldster and have these things on my mind, for such a time as this!
    Blessings!

    You preach it, sister. The only reason conservatives are afraid of being called ‘liberal’ is that they have been told all of their lives how evil, godless and dangerous liberals are . . . scare tactics to keep people from thinking for themselves.

  356. Ricco,

    Our whole culture is moving to these false dichotomies in just about ever aspect. makes for “simple” rhetoric, but not much else….

  357. Jeffrey Chalmers,

    PS… another nasty training my fundy background did to me and is taking me a life time to over come…..they taught: A true “spirtual warror” moves through life with the “sword of the spirit” dividing good from evil….

  358. There is something almost sinister about Mohler so forcefully condemning marginalizing another human being because of race – but asserting that it is perfectly acceptable to dismiss and oppress women. He was cold, calculating and cruel, and it was very clear that the students did not accept him or his teaching. Truly a forceful takeover.

  359. Benn,

    My work is through a secular highly professional organisation, though I have done youth work at churches. These days I tend to protect my LGBTQ young people from most Christians, who never want to listen & observe what real hurting people are going through in order to really know & understand what’s going on, they just want to assume, to challenge, to tell, to dictate & to offer affirmation based on fulfilling whatever moral requirements they demand. One thing most of these young people do not associate with churches & Christians is love – & by love I do not mean just being allowed to do whatever they want – but actually feeling valuable, listened to & cared for, just as they are.

    I am very much more interested in their hearts, & what kind of person they are, rather than what gender they identify with or sexuality they espouse. It’s a very very complex field, with a huge amount that is not yet known about causation & so on, & the simplistic binary approach espoused by many Christians can cause enormous harm. I’ve never yet met a young trans or non-binary individual who wants to be that way, & who wouldn’t turn it off with the flick of a switch if they couldn’t.

  360. Sòpwith: But IMHO there is really no need for that type of discussion in a truly Spirit led fully scripturally functioning body of Christ. Neither is complementarianism.

    There is a need for it so long as comps are promoting comp and a comp view of the Bible.

  361. linda: If a man is sinning, why on earth should a woman fight for the right to commit the same sin?

    Is that what you think women desire?

  362. linda: It isn’t that women need to be allowed the positions of authority men have. It is that men have business trying to be in authority over others in the church. If a man is sinning, why on earth should a woman fight for the right to commit the same sin?

    Is being a teacher, deacon, elder, or preacher sinning?

  363. linda: It isn’t that women need to be allowed the positions of authority men have. It is that men have business trying to be in authority over others in the church. If a man is sinning, why on earth should a woman fight for the right to commit the same sin?

    And P.S.
    The same attitudes and biblical interpretation comps use to bar women from being preachers, teachers, etc, is the same exact ones they use to say that wives must unilaterally submit to husbands, which is another odious view.

  364. jyjames: Peach and joy sounds wonderful, too. Was thinking of peach pie or peach cobbler today.

    It’s a funny typeo for me, because I really don’t care for peach flavor anything (as far as sweets go, I love chocolate).

  365. truthseeker00: There is something almost sinister about Mohler so forcefully condemning marginalizing another human being because of race – but asserting that it is perfectly acceptable to dismiss and oppress women.

    This is one aspect of complementarianism that really, really bothers me.

    Most comps will condemn racism (which they should of course do), but they use the same biblical interpretative methods that white Christians in the USA in the past used to justify whites owning blacks as slaves, to justify male rule of women.

    They’ll condemn racism, but then turn around and defend sexism / patriarchy / male hierarchy as being right, true, biblical, and godly.

  366. Daisy: Her responses to me indicated that she seems to feel that if a person is “truly” saved, they will constantly have inner peace and joy.

    Rubbish. That’s the sort of talk that comes from a middle class Westerner who’s lived in the same house their entire adult life, attended the same church and never had a single real tragedy. My friends whose family members were martyred for their faith know better. Jesus was a man of sorrows. He understands and doesn’t expect us to be pollyanas.

  367. Daisy,

    I partially agree. Although they condemn racism I have seen them turn a blind eye to it. Doug Wilson has wrote a book on Southern slavery which have offended many people. Thabiti Anyabwile has recently made a statement saying that all white people are complicit in the murder of MLK. Todd Wilhelm wrote a blog post on that, and James White took issue with Anyabwile. To my knowledge, neither Wilson nor Anyabwile have been held to account by the other TGC leaders most likely because the other leaders are too busy writing anti-gay and anti-women polemics.

  368. okrapod: You are no more an agnostic than I am. We all dwell in the land of Don’tKnowForSure.

    Alternatively, you may be just as agnostic as I am!

    I’ve met a number of agnostics among professing christians over here. That is, they’re settled in a congregation but don’t actually expect “God” to do anything other than provide them with placebo-like emotional support, or receive credit when the proverbial cookie crumbles in a favourable way.

  369. linda: It isn’t that women need to be allowed the positions of authority men have. It is that men have business trying to be in authority over others in the church. If a man is sinning, why on earth should a woman fight for the right to commit the same sin?

    Linda, the issue is that women need to be allowed (just as men are) to serve in the areas of their gifts, qualifications and callings. In other words, they are also “servant leaders” and shouldn’t be denied to lead in some areas currently reserved for male “servant leaders.”

  370. Daisy: They’ll condemn racism, but then turn around and defend sexism / patriarchy / male hierarchy as being right, true, biblical, and godly.

    Such ignorance and hypocrisy is/should be obvious to believers. And to use the “selective literalism” tactic to justify it is unconscionable.

  371. ZechZav: most likely because the other leaders are too busy writing anti-gay and anti-women polemics.

    Notice how they never want to write negative articles about heterosexual men. I might still be a Christian if conservative Christian men would spend just fifty percent of their time trash talk child rapist and wife beaters. Something that is rampant in conservative Christianity. But they want to keep the spotlight on opposite of them. Gays and women. These men are not respectable.

  372. Victorious–no, don’t buy the servant leader thing one bit. All of us are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. He expressly forbade us from even the titles–such as father or rabbi–which were the honorific titles of the day back then. It is NOT that if so gifted BOTH John and Sue should be allowed to function as “pastor”, today’s equivalent of rabbi or father. It is that NEITHER should seek a POSITION of leadership or authority. That is the scriptural point. All this other whoo ha is just greek and roman paganism superimposed on Christianity.

    The local 501(c)3 is NOT the Church. And in the Church NO ONE is ever prevented from exercising any giftedness. Cannot be done. True Biblical “preaching” is evangelizing, and everyone is told to do it. True teaching is discipling and everyone is told to do it.

    Now, I grant you that culturally the church has been corrupted to the point some men are elevated above all children, all women, and some other men. And now women want the same elevation. BOTH the men and the women sin when they seek that status.

    If you are “called to preach” or “called to teach” or “called to exercise the gift of administration” you will find a way. And it most definitely may be outside the doors of the local 501(c)3.

    But who cares? I believe more will be in heaven due to mama’s preaching and teaching than due to any preacher. More “pastoring” in the sense of coming alongside in tough times, being there in grief, etc is done by the people in the pew than by any pastor with a title.

    Here is a challenge to ANYONE of either gender who feels they have a specific gifting: USE IT. Local SBC won’t hire you as preacher because you are female? Who cares? They are not THE church. Find a corner and preach. Or start a prison ministry. Or take a SS class. Or start a home Bible study. Or reach your neighbors. No money and no prestige in it, but God never promised us those.

    Feel you are a vision caster? (I hate that new age concept.) Join a local church and lead by example. Just quietly do what you see needs doing. Want the church to fight poverty? You go fight it. Want to see the church take care of the environment? Take a walk with a pointed stick, a trash bag, and clean up your town.

    We have to stop doing like a certain two disciples and pushing for who gets to sit on Jesus’ right and left and start obeying.

    I’ll say it again: NO ONE should be jockeying for “leadership” and EVERYONE already CAN exercise their giftedness.

    And shoot, who says you have to attend a specific church or for that matter any 501(c)3 organization. That isn’t THE church.

    Let me recommend a book if I can remember the name–think it is 58 to 0. See if you can read it and then get back to me about this. Interesting thoughts in it.

  373. linda: Victorious–no, don’t buy the servant leader thing one bit. All of us are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Linda, please notice I put the term “servant leader” in quotes as it is one that has been invented in an effort by some in authority to placate those who object to that authority.

    If you are “called to preach” or “called to teach” or “called to exercise the gift of administration” you will find a way. And it most definitely may be outside the doors of the local 501(c)3.

    …When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 1 Cor. 14:15

    The concept of mutual ministry of individual gifts includes all of them. To imply that one must go outside the body to express that talent/gift/ability or strength goes against the very purpose of the assembly…that is edification and building up Eph. 4.

    Years ago when my husband and I were co-teaching a class on marriage, we received many good reports. Except…from the pastor. He stopped me in the hallway to admonish me for “outshining my husband.” I was astonished and asked him if he was requiring me to hide my light under a bushel. He simply walked away, but my husband and I resigned from teaching since my husband had absolutely no gifting in the area of teaching whatsoever.

    If we can’t make those who are focused on maintaining power and authority in the church, then we need to focus on and encourage those who are being told “…. “I have no need of you.” The perfect assembly is one that recognizes each member and acknowledges (in actions rather than words alone) that ” one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” 1 Cor. 12

    But who cares?

    I believe we should care.

  374. Victorious,

    “Years ago when my husband and I were co-teaching a class on marriage, we received many good reports. Except…from the pastor. He stopped me in the hallway to admonish me for “outshining my husband.” I was astonished and asked him if he was requiring me to hide my light under a bushel. He simply walked away,…”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    gawd/

    thank you, CBMW & Denny Burk and John Piper, for your stupidinfluence with your Council for Insecure, Fragile, and Delicate Manhood.

  375. Nick Bulbeck: Alternatively, you may be just as agnostic as I am!
    I’ve met a number of agnostics among professing christians over here. That is, they’re settled in a congregation but don’t actually expect “God” to do anything other than provide them with placebo-like emotional support, or receive credit when the proverbial cookie crumbles in a favourable way.

    Part 1

    That depends entirely on what ‘just as’ means and what ‘agnostic’ means.

    I wrote a really good reply and discussion to you on this topic, but realized it was long enough to be a chapter in a book and deleted it.

    You and I are coming from a very different starting place.

    For one thing culture. UK and then Scotland is a very different cultural experience that the upper south of the US. New world vs old world for one thing. When you say ‘over here’ that is entirely different from when I say ‘over here’.

    For another thing your personality and mine are very different, judging for example on job choices. You thrive apparently in a job situation which would drive me up a wall. In fact, when I left clinical work and went to work for the gov sitting at a desk I felt like I had been abandoned by God-and told Him so. That is just a personality difference.

    Third: your religious background is different from mine and your current religious expectations are things which totally do not register with me-apart from bible verses from my youth which just prove how wrong you are and how right I am.

    (continued)

  376. okrapod,

    Part 2

    You see where I am going with this. Let me break it down in little bites.

    (1) ‘settled in a congregation’ Yep. Got that right.

    (2) ‘don’t actually expect “God” to do anything…’ Like what? Some circus act? This generation expects a sign but none will be given…except… Except Jonah who can be used to illustrate the resurrection, sure, but who tried to play it his way instead of God’s way, lived to regret it, then ended up with a hugely successful revival in Ninevah.

    (3) ‘provide them with placebo-like emotional support’ Well, I do think that the peace of God which passes all understanding can be an experienced reality some times, but I personally have not lived on the level of ’emotional’ anything, as you probably sensed as I discussed my own impending death. People in health care often have to be taught to understand the emotional needs of the patient because we ourselves tend to be deficient in that area. So-I don’t know-but there certainly seem to be ‘devotionals’ written which attest to what you say. The bible does talk about ‘silly women..’ Maybe that is what you mean?

    (4) ‘receive credit when the proverbial cookie crumbles in a favourable way’ I am not at all catching on to what that means. Pie in the sky when you die? God loves me just see my new house/car? You are describing something I have not seen in church people, or saw it and did not recognize it.

    I had a crisis of faith in my twenties when my mother died under suspicious circumstances. That after I had prayed diligently for years about her condition. I have lived with conflicting explanations for life and all that goes with it all the way from an undergrad major in biology through a brief exposure to some philosophical positions to my own take on a lot of things to the fact that I seem to see things in the bible as different from the standard explanations. This is what I am talking about, but this does not seem to be what you are talking about.

    I am saying that nobody can prove the existence or non-existence of God. In watching some youtube debates between some top notch christian apologists vs some really good atheists this seems to be the only thing they agree about. Lack of proof. Everybody is saying ‘weight of the evidence’ or ‘most reasonable explanation’. To that extent everybody is agnostic-without knowledge. It just bothers me more than it seems to bother some people.

  377. Ricco: Not every difference of opinion is capitulation. I’m not here to throw stones at people who read the Bible in a more conservative way or who believe that religious systems are an unmitigated good in the world. I used to think that way. Then some tragic life experiences shook up my world and it was either find a new way to believe or stop believing. If that is capitulation, then lock me up.

    Robert’s comment makes me think of Matt. 15:14 about the blind leading the blind. For almost all my life, I blindly and trustfully followed the teachings of whatever man was in the pulpit, following in my bible and doing my best to be a a Berean. I even said many of the things he said in his comment, including that woman preachers were not the problem but seemed to be a first step down some slippery slope.

    I could say that it feels now as if the scales have been taken from my eyes. I see things much differently now. Who is to say that was or was not the Lord’s doing?

    I’m fairly certain of what Robert and the others of his tribe would say, as I spent decades in that tribe. I just don’t think they have cornered the market on truth as they appear to think. As I was once led to think.

    It is difficult not to have a checklist to follow anymore. It can be lonely not to be surrounded by others who reinforce the belief that I’ve got it right… because they’ve got it right… or perhaps only because they can sound very persuasive in their explanations.

    I am thankful for this platform and the discourse among the variety of commenters. Okrapod, Nick, Ricco, elastigirl, Sopy, Muff, the Kens, Jack, jyjames, beakerj, Daisy, Nancy2, ishy, Gram3… I could go on for pages, but my autocorrect is going nuts with the screen names. Okrapod, you are in my thoughts today. Thanks for your taking the time to wrestle with hard thoughts.

    Thanks, Deebs.

  378. Max: I suppose the neo-Cal brethren would call my thoughts on Al’s theological triage another conspiracy theory … but, darn it, we Non-Calvinists would stop theorizing if the New-Calvinists would stop giving us so much evidence to support the theories!

    Hah. Max, I left you and truthseeker (and doubtless many others) out of my list of commenters just now. But I do find many of your comments informative and helpful. You helped me to see that not all churchgoers are blind followers of churchianity, which was how it felt when I became a “done”.

  379. Lea,

    Yes! Robert is no doubt well-meaning, but he repeats so confidently the words and cliches found in the manipulative “we’re right and they’re all wrong” slogan that kept me in an abusive church way too long, it makes it difficult for me to seriously consider his words. I now have a large salt shaker at the ready to dispense grains of salt as needed.

  380. Ricco: Not every difference of opinion is capitulation. I’m not here to throw stones at people who read the Bible in a more conservative way or who believe that religious systems are an unmitigated good in the world. I used to think that way. Then some tragic life experiences shook up my world and it was either find a new way to believe or stop believing. If that is capitulation, then lock me up.

    They can lock me up too Ricco, I’ll be in good company.
    I’ve found over the years that I don’t have to sign onto anybody’s ‘package deal Christianity’
    I hold onto what speaks to my inner guts (like the ancient Jews) and discard the rest.
    In that sense I have a viable alternative to not believing.

  381. elastigirl:
    Victorious,

    “Years ago when my husband and I were co-teaching a class on marriage, we received many good reports. Except…from the pastor. He stopped me in the hallway to admonish me for “outshining my husband.” I was astonished and asked him if he was requiring me to hide my light under a bushel. He simply walked away,…”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    gawd/

    thank you, CBMW & Denny Burk and John Piper, for your stupidinfluence with your Council for Insecure, Fragile, and Delicate Manhood.

    Pathetic.

    What is funny is that your husband sounds like he was not at all offended, likely because he is secure in himself, so they were bother by this because…it makes their dumb thoughts about women more obviously incorrect.

  382. Max:
    Speaking of gender roles, the New Calvinist complementarians over at SBC Voices have brought out their wimmenfolk to chime in on things.It’s strange, I don’t ever recall them inviting blog pieces by female members of their tribe before.Maybe the new reformers want to come out more female-friendly than the SBC traditionalists, who are being portrayed as dirty ole men.

    https://sbcvoices.com/women-you-are-not-the-backup-plan/

    What’s better than a few Judas goats to lead the unsuspecting women to slaughter? (Or slavery, bondage, second-class status, derivative salvation, etc.)

  383. refugee,

    That piece was curiously skipping right over the fact that men in church have been making women unwelcome and kicking them out of All these teaching roles and seminaries and so forth.

  384. okrapod: When my son was about that age we got him some of those little green army men.They are plastic now but they were metal back then.He loved it.So now he is out in the desert in the middle east on active duty with the army.I partly blame myself.I am only half way kidding.

    My younger girls had a fascination for army men toys. (I always get a hoot out of the army men figures in the Toy Story movie, lol.) Neither has any interest in the military as adults. I did not encourage Barbie dolls for several reasons (didn’t forbid them), but they are amazingly fashionable in their makeup and hair and clothing, even with a mom with no fashion sense and limited Barbie play. Go figure.

  385. refugee: What’s better than a few Judas goats to lead the unsuspecting women to slaughter? (Or slavery, bondage, second-class status, derivative salvation, etc.)

    All the SBC elite (both non-Calvinist and Calvinist) are scrambling now to give the appearance that they are on the high road when it comes to the treatment of women. They will sing that song at SBC-Dallas and then return to their dark corners of SBC life to subordinate female believers (perhaps a little more cautiously than before).

  386. Ricco: Then some tragic life experiences shook up my world and it was either find a new way to believe or stop believing. If that is capitulation, then lock me up.

    If I may be so presumptuous, I’m going to rephrase the first sentence there. ISTM that you encountered important and game-changing and (for want of a more eloquent description) unsettling new evidence.

    Under these circumstances, I think there’s more than one coward’s way out and there’s more than one courageous way forward. You chose one of the latter. It takes more courage than people think to change one’s beliefs. To end up at the same point by a different route: I agree that what you describe is not capitulation at all.

  387. Florence in KY,

    I admire you Florence. I, too, am old … but you have a few years on me at 94! I hope other Wartburgers realize that they have heard wisdom speak in your words.

  388. refugee,

    “Does not wisdom call out?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
    On the heights along the way,
    where the paths meet,
    She takes her stand.” (Prov 8:1-2)

  389. Nick Bulbeck,

    Thanks Nick! That is a good way to put it.

    I really can’t deal with the way so many Christians talk about suffering anymore. I hate all the trite little sayings about how much we learn or how “God won’t give us more than we can handle” or all the other little cliches that get thrown at people. I’m still thinking about that article by Shmuley Boteach that someone shared earlier. It was so good and summed up some things I have been thinking lately.

    Here is the link again: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/religions-must-repellent-idea_b_2478914.html

  390. refugee: It is difficult not to have a checklist to follow anymore. It can be lonely not to be surrounded by others who reinforce the belief that I’ve got it right… because they’ve got it right… or perhaps only because they can sound very persuasive in their explanations.

    I completely agree with how lonely this feels. It seems like everyone I meet is either very into religion and checklists or has no interest in the topic whatsoever. I want to talk about these things, but I want to be in conversations where people feel free to say what they really believe. I echo your sentiment about being thankful to the Deebs for creating this space. They are really special people.

    My one principal that I hold to in this time is “I won’t say your words.” If I don’t really, truly believe something to be true, then I WILL NOT say it. This has become hugely important to me, and has lead to me not saying as much, because how many things do I actually believe for sure? I’m just not going to be anyone else’s ideological sock puppet ever again!

  391. Ricco: I really can’t deal with the way so many Christians talk about suffering anymore.

    An SBC New Calvinist church planter near me encourages his flock to look for ways to “suffer for God” as sort of a rite of passage into the gathering of the elect. Piper says “Don’t waste your cancer. Cancer is not wasted when it is healed by God. He gets the glory, and that is why cancer exists.” Brother!!

    There’s enough suffering in the world that we don’t need to go looking for more! As Shmuley Boteach said in the article you linked: “Any attempts to infuse suffering with rich meaning shows callous indifference to the heartache of fellow humans.”

    New Calvinism is populated with a strange bunch of characters with a strange way at looking at God.

  392. refugee: It is difficult not to have a checklist to follow anymore. It can be lonely not to be surrounded by others who reinforce the belief that I’ve got it right… because they’ve got it right… or perhaps only because they can sound very persuasive in their explanations.

    I am thankful for this platform and the discourse among the variety of commenters.

    May I second this? I too have felt very ‘alone’ since leaving behind all that I and my family have ever known as ‘serving God’ – and my family not understanding at all. Not that I would wish this on anyone else, but it is encouraging to know that others have come to some of the same conclusions I have, and not because they have given up on God.

  393. Ricco: My one principal that I hold to in this time is “I won’t say your words.” If I don’t really, truly believe something to be true, then I WILL NOT say it. This has become hugely important to me, and has lead to me not saying as much, because how many things do I actually believe for sure? I’m just not going to be anyone else’s ideological sock puppet ever again!

    Agreed. Which is why, when I do visit a church, I refuse to cite their preprinted creeds, prayers, etc. I am not going to blindly recite another man’s words, ever again.

  394. refugee,

    refugee: What’s better than a few Judas goats to lead the unsuspecting women to slaughter? (Or slavery, bondage, second-class status, derivative salvation, etc.)

    It seems to me that we are in a place where men are quite confused. I think that’s the kindest way that it can be said. When feminism broke loose, men were confused. And then the SBC pastors, authors, celebrated men, made sure to tighten the screws even further but to present it to, “in the kindest sort of way.“ So much so that the women ought to be “gracious” in their subordination being that the men have been so gracious to consider them equals, sort of.

  395. okrapod: For another thing your personality and mine are very different, judging for example on job choices. You thrive apparently in a job situation which would drive me up a wall… That is just a personality difference.

    You have no idea how wrong you are on this point.

  396. Nick Bulbeck: You have no idea how wrong you are on this point.

    Oh, sorry Nick. I thought you were an IT person-desk, computers, complexities, that sort of thing. But since I am not wrong about me, then I must be wrong about you, so again, sorry.

  397. truthseeker00: it is encouraging to know that others have come to some of the same conclusions I have, and not because they have given up on God

    It is important to note that most of the “Dones” are done with the institutional church, but not done with Jesus! As agonizing as it has been – to leave behind the familiar – many of the Dones now realize that it’s not about religion, it’s about relationship. Now, if you could round them all up, we would have CHURCH!

  398. Augustine: wonder where these women are today in ministry?

    My guess is that they left SBTS shortly after that Q&A session to complete their degrees elsewhere. They may have found a ministry home in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a denomination of ex-Southern Baptists that was formed when folks like Mohler & Patterson sent SBC’s “liberals” and “moderates” packing during the Conservative Resurgence. Some good people were labeled like that, including seminary presidents and professors who were terminated because they weren’t “conservative” enough.

  399. ishy,

    I am unaware of any place where Ware, Burk, or Mohler have said that if you disagree with them on the issue of women in leadership, you are not saved. And I’ve read a lot of what they’ve written. Can you point me to a source where they say otherwise?

  400. okrapod,

    The problem is that the Anglican communion has always been very diverse in what it believes about the so-called three-legged stool. Suffice it to say that for the TEC, the only thing left is “reason,” but really is experience.

    Roman Catholic Churches believe in Apostolic Succession but they don’t formally confess that there are Apostles today. I would agree that in practice it often looks as if they might as well confess it.

    You’d have to be more specific on what evangelicals have rejected. I do not identify as an evangelical anymore anyway, although my answers to Barna’s survey would put me in that group. I’m a conservative Presbyterian.

  401. Ricco,

    My simple answer would be that while changing one’s mind on many issues is not necessarily capitulation, believing that Jesus is not the only way to heaven and that sex outside of male-female marriage in any form can be morally licit is a capitulation to the culture.

  402. elastigirl,

    You’d have to defend the idea biblically that women exercising 100% agency requires them to be ordained. By that logic, most people who have ever lived in the church have been prevented from exercising 100% agency because they weren’t ordained. Men included.

  403. Jack,

    What I pick up from Pastor Wade’s post is that he wants to make it clear that while he takes a position that women are equal to men that he is not a liberal.
    I don’t agree with labels when it comes to a lot of what we’re talking about here.

    Daisy has declared herself “conservative” and yet supports full equality for women, and there’s a fair number of commenters have the same opinion.

    Sure. I support full equality for women as well. But it’s liberal feminism that says full equality for the women in the church means they have to be ordained.

    Women and men are equal. In every single way. Under the law, in ability.

    Not really. Men as a whole have greater upper body strength. Women can give birth; men can’t.

    Women can be evil, men can be evil, women can be good, men can be good.

    Sure.

    A woman is perfectly capable of having position of authority. There are many world leaders that are women, women in congress and the senate and I firmly believe that it is only a matter of time before Americans elect a female for President (note – not starting a political discussion, I do not mean any particular person)

    Sure.

    I have said again and again that the bible reflects the culture from whence it came. If Christians accept that Jesus was the son of God then I find it interesting that none of the gospels state that he was an elitist in any way, shape or form. The gospels don’t support the position that men have any special place. Ok, the disciples were guys but is it possible that women didn’t get any billing because the gospels were written in a patriarchal culture? Because there’s ample evidence that women were part of Jesus’ group, they were the first to find the tomb.

    I’m not sure I would call it elitist, but Jesus does accept worship, which makes at least him elite. Of course women were part of the group. But the same gospels that aren’t afraid to make women—who were unqualified as witnesses in first century culture—certainly would not be afraid to make them part of the twelve Apostles if in fact they were.

    These folks get all literal about gender roles yet seem to enjoy a pork sandwich, or surf and turf at Red Lobster!

    There’s a reason for this. Apparently you haven’t studied biblical hermeneutics very much.

    This just gets annoying at best but takes a darker turn. If you’re telling me Christianity is about love and we’re taking the bible literally then you can’t ignore all the “put to death” admonitions in the old testament, or the God-ordained slaughter of enemies – this scares me about fundamental outlooks, this is why people commit terrible crimes. This is why abuse runs rampant.

    I don’t ignore any of that. I would also say that if Christianity is about love, then it’s about love as God defines it, not love as defined by postmodern Western thought. God-ordained slaughter of the Canaanites was a good and holy thing. The death sentences as given in the OT were good and holy things provided they were actually enacted properly. In most cases, the death penalty was only a maximum sentence. It was only mandatory in cases of what we would call first-degree murder.

    I don’t care what the bible says.

    So, you’re not a Christian then, right?

    The great irony is that equality that people have worked for so hard has it’s origins in the Christian missive to love thy neighbour and treat others as you would treat yourself.

    That’s true.

    It’s free lunch day at work – my ham and pineapple pizza awaits.

    One of my favorites. I hope it tasted great.

  404. Max: https://sbcvoices.com/breaking-patterson-has-withdrawn-from-sbc18-convention-sermon-and-evangelism-task-force-report/

    From the WaPo comments:

    “Patterson is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by a guy in Houston against Patterson’s good buddy Paul Pressler. The lawsuit alleges that Pressler sexually assaulted the plaintiff as a boy in various places like the Houston Country Club. Patterson and SWBTS are brought in as defendants in helping to cover it up.”

  405. Robert: ordained

    If “ordained” included training and skill in dealing with scams and predators in the church, it might mean something.

  406. Robert: Sure. I support full equality for women as well. But it’s liberal feminism that says full equality for the women in the church means they have to be ordained.

    Sorry to all for multiple posts but the cut & paste doesn’t work all that great for me.

    I don’t think ordination of women is a push by liberal feminists. Lots of conservative women have been ordained. At my wife’s Pentecostal church, my friend’s mennonite church, my other friend’s Lutheran church. All of these folks are definitely not liberal.

  407. Robert: ’m not sure I would call it elitist, but Jesus does accept worship, which makes at least him elite. Of course women were part of the group. But the same gospels that aren’t afraid to make women—who were unqualified as witnesses in first century culture—certainly would not be afraid to make them part of the twelve Apostles if in fact they were.

    Well, he did claim to be the son of God so you don’t get much more elite than that. But we do have to take the bible in the context of it’s time. So women got second billing in written record but they were part of the group, not subordinate to the group. If I’m remembering the gospels correctly.

  408. Robert: There’s a reason for this. Apparently you haven’t studied biblical hermeneutics very much.

    Peter had a dream that people could be believe and still eat what they always ate. It was opening up the good news to gentiles. Pretty handy when you’re trying to sell your religion to the pagans. Look! You can still enjoy bacon…act now and as an added bonus we won’t take a knife to your nether regions!

  409. Robert: don’t ignore any of that. I would also say that if Christianity is about love, then it’s about love as God defines it, not love as defined by postmodern Western thought. God-ordained slaughter of the Canaanites was a good and holy thing. The death sentences as given in the OT were good and holy things provided they were actually enacted properly. In most cases, the death penalty was only a maximum sentence. It was only mandatory in cases of what we would call first-degree murder.

    After 9-11, I remember Franklin Graham advocated turning the enemies of America into glow in the dark shish kabobs. The president, also a Christian, did not.
    I think that these acts of god in the bible reflect the reality of bronze age warfare with respect to the canaanites. It was neither holy nor good. It was the way war was conducted and your enemies would do the same to you.
    Fortunately our armed forces in the 21st century, of which there are many Christian members do not make the wholesale slaughter of enemy noncombatants policy. Events of the past like what occurred between the army and first nations here in North America are generally looked upon as repugnant.
    As for OT punishments, God was pretty explicit. I have to be honest, as much as my kids frustrate me at times, I’ve never considered killing them for being disobedient.

  410. Robert: So, you’re not a Christian then, right?

    former Christian. The bible for me is not inerrant or infallible. I’ve never had a donkey talk to me so I’m kind of thinking that some of the stories may have been embellished.

  411. Robert: The great irony is that equality that people have worked for so hard has it’s origins in the Christian missive to love thy neighbour and treat others as you would treat yourself.

    That’s true.

    And you don’t see any irony in our agreement?

  412. Preacher’s Wife,

    If you use “seeds” you can keep the familiar s sound in the song and also avoid thinking about little goats. And if you really want to be specific you can use seed singular as Paul wrote about in Galations 3:16.

  413. Robert: The great irony is that equality that people have worked for so hard has it’s origins in the Christian missive to love thy neighbour and treat others as you would treat yourself.

    Not so. It has its origins in the first five books of Moses (Torah).

  414. Robert: These folks get all literal about gender roles yet seem to enjoy a pork sandwich, or surf and turf at Red Lobster!
    There’s a reason for this. Apparently you haven’t studied biblical hermeneutics very much.

    Don’t be ugly, Robert. But now that you mention dietary rules let me point this out. In Peter’s vision he was instructed to ‘eat’ unclean animals preparatory to the conversion of Cornelius and his household, but there is no mention in the text as to whether Peter considered this a literal and universal and perpetual commandment or not. But since only the Jews had the laws concerning the unclean animals in the vision it is apparent that this was a Jewish thing. What too make of it in perpetuity is not spelled out.

    Then there is the matter of the word that came down from the boys in Jerusalem in response to what about the Gentiles and in which the instructions included certain dietary rules which I personally have never seen taught or implemented in the gentile churches of which I have been a part.

    Then there is the issue which Paul discussed about weaker brothers who did abstain from food offered to idols. Paul instructed that the weaker brother carry the day and the one who was free to eat food offered to idols should abstain because of the weaker brother.

    So I conclude (a) that the scripture is pretty much all over the place on dietary rules as pertains to gentiles and (b) the answer is forget the rules (Peter), but obey some rules (Jerusalem) and give up your dietary freedoms when necessary (Paul).

    Maybe this sort of thing is what causes Episcopalians to try to use some reasoning along with some traditional teachings when the conclusions of scripture require it. But ‘experience’ like you said? Nah. I have never been under Jewish dietary laws, never had a vision, never even heard a sermon about the decision of Jerusalem on what one eats, and never eaten or refused to eat food offered to idols.

    One time, however, I was invited to the opening of the Sikh temple in the Raleigh area, and the Sikh who invited me made sure to tell me that the food had been offered to idols. He apparently knew something about christianity. It turned out that I could not go to the opening, so I did not get a chance to use my reprobate and probably heretical Episcopal reasoning on this after all. Too bad.

  415. Robert:
    elastigirl,

    You’d have to defend the idea biblically that women exercising 100% agency requires them to be ordained. By that logic, most people who have ever lived in the church have been prevented from exercising 100% agency because they weren’t ordained. Men included.

    There is much more to these prohibitions on women then ordination, and they flow throughout the church. You are either unaware or purposefully obtuse if you don’t see this. Especially considering the way this mindset affects advice given to women in these types of churches. The mancentric perspective is not healthy.

  416. Ummm. We all are aware, are we not, that ordination as we understand it and practice it is not in the bible. Ordination, the word of course, is not in scripture. Neither are there instructions for the ceremony or for any particular occupational title associated with it. It is a construct developed by the church in response to the biblical idea of people being ‘set apart’ for a certain job. That being the case I suppose that Paul was actually ‘ordained’ when the church set him aside for a missionary journey at the time?

    Ordination is one of the things that was carried forward rather than dropped by the reformation; which is to say a ‘traditional’ procedure. A catholic (little c) procedure. A ritual even in non-ritual churches.

    An issue remains as to whether in the churches in the NT the people ‘set aside’ for a particular task had permanent status as one who was set aside, or whether the set-aside-ness expired with the completion of the task. If it was permanent then here is evidence of a de facto hierarchical structure in the sense that some but not all were approved for certain purposes. It is was temporary then where did the idea of permanence come from?

  417. okrapod,

    So I conclude (a) that the scripture is pretty much all over the place on dietary rules as pertains to gentiles and (b) the answer is forget the rules (Peter), but obey some rules (Jerusalem) and give up your dietary freedoms when necessary (Paul).

    Your conclusion is incorrect. All of those passages are easily reconcilable if you want to. If you’re convinced that the Bible is merely a human book, then I can’t help you.

    Maybe this sort of thing is what causes Episcopalians to try to use some reasoning along with some traditional teachings when the conclusions of scripture require it.

    Reason and tradition aren’t bad. They’re necessary. But if your reason leads you to deny Scripture as God’s Word—which is the default TEC position these days on any passage of Scripture that they can’t make agree with post-Enlightenment matters—then you’re doing it wrong.

  418. Jack,

    I don’t mean this as an insult, Jack, but you really need to study some hermeneutics of the law. The law was not meant to be woodenly applied. The book of Numbers specifically says that the only crime for which a ransom cannot be accepted is our equivalent of first-degree murder. That tells us that the judges of ancient Israel applied ransoms in some cases instead of the death penalty. The case law of the OT tells us that the judges were to take the situation into account.

  419. Jack,

    Except that there are lots of passages in the OT the suggest that the Gentiles will worship the God of Israel without having to become Jews.

  420. Jack,

    I don’t see irony because equality means equality of worth, not equality of ability. Men and women are not equal in ability in every respect. Heck, men aren’t equal in ability to other men in every respect, and the same is true within the female species. Some men—and some women—are smarter than I am. I’m smarter than some men and some women. Some men are stronger than I am. Some men are better looking than I am. Some women are prettier than other women. Some women are more athletically able than other women. And on and on.

  421. Robert: Your conclusion is incorrect. All of those passages are easily reconcilable if you want to. If you’re convinced that the Bible is merely a human book, then I can’t help you.

    Many people interpret the Bible the way you do. That is undeniable. But all you willing to call people as diverse as Pope Benedict, Richard Roth, Pete Enns, Baxter Kruger, Paul Young, Athanasius, Origen, Jordan Peterson, Rob Bell, Andre Rabe, Jen Hatmaker, and Wayne Jacobsen all heretics? There is huge diversity here, but all of these people read the Bible at least somewhat non-literally. This isn’t an appeal to authority, it’s a demonstration of diversity. I don’t want to break communion or fellowship with anyone just because they have a difference of opinion about the Bible, sexuality, church tradition, or any other issue. I want to come together and share the meal with all who would come. I’m not going to be the one to turn anyone away

  422. Robert,

    I appreciate your enthusiasm for throwing yourself into the fracas, so to speak, but you are about to pluck my last nerve on this episcopal thing. First you say ‘diverse’ and that is correct. Then you repeatedly say the TEC this and the TEC that as though we were all the same. Actually, the TEC is trying to hold it all together in spite of the diversity which you mentioned. Diversity is correct. Conformity would not be correct.

    Episcopalians and Episcopal parishes are tremendously different from each other. Diverse to use your observation. At one end of the spectrum are those who emphasize the protestant aspects of the diversity some being heavily influence by calvinism even. Low church. Socially liberal. Protestant and proud of it-but not protestant enough to leave TEC. Yet. At the other end of the spectrum are the anglo-catholics. High church. Catholic but not Roman. I mean really and no kidding catholic in doctrine and practice except for a few areas. Many of these have gone with other anglican denoms-with or without permission from Canterbury. TEC has tried to hold it together with decreasing success. This is where the battle of who gets the church property comes in when congregations and even whole dioceses leave.

    This is what diversity looks like in practice. The good part is that no doctrine cops are going to show up at my door. The bad part is the difficulty of trying to, like I said, hold it all together. Both ends of the anglican spectrum disagree with the other end. When you lump us all together under the heading of TEC believes, you could not be more ill informed. We are not like people and parishes which choose their denom and then expect conformity.

    Example: My parish went from an older and liberal group with the dwindles to an anglo-catholic parish and did so by a specific decision, not by some underhanded takeover. We are so ‘orthodox’ and ‘catholic’ and ‘traditional’ that it would make your hair fall out, but we are not remotely what you describe. And there are right many parishes like this.

    Please, if you are going to criticize first get the facts. If you want to criticize my group you can find plenty reasons to do so, but so far you are not even in the ball park. You need to link us with the Catholics and the Orthodox when you are looking for things to criticize. So there you are. This ought to give you plenty of doctrine and practice to object to.

  423. okrapod,

    So your parish disagrees with the TEC leadership. Good. One has to generalize to some degree when talking about these things because the numbers are so large.

    I can say also that the ELCA and the PCUSA are non-Christian bodies, knowing full well that there are a few orthodox churches still in those denominations. That doesn’t negate the fact that at the national level, they ceased being Christian years ago.

    I’m well aware that there are a handful of dioceses left in the TEC that could be called orthodox. My local diocese is one of them. But the national TEC is no longer even remotely Christian. When you are more willing to sell a parish to a Muslim group than to the Anglican group that is in the church and wants to leave the denomination, at a national level you’ve basically surrendered any right to be called Christian.

    TEC won’t be able to hold it together. The national leadership is a different religion than Christianity altogether.

  424. Ricco,

    Many people interpret the Bible the way you do. That is undeniable. But all you willing to call people as diverse as Pope Benedict, Richard Roth, Pete Enns, Baxter Kruger, Paul Young, Athanasius, Origen, Jordan Peterson, Rob Bell, Andre Rabe, Jen Hatmaker, and Wayne Jacobsen all heretics?

    I don’t know all the names on that list. Of the ones I do, Pope Benedict, Pete Enns, Paul Young, Rob Bell, and Jen Hatmaker are definitely all heretics. Origen is questionable. He’s more in error on some things than a heretic since he lived so long ago. Athanasius is orthodox. The other names I don’t know. If you mean Jordan Peterson the currently popular psychologist, he doesn’t profess to be a Christian.

    There is huge diversity here, but all of these people read the Bible at least somewhat non-literally.

    It’s not a problem to read poetry and similar genres non-literally.

    This isn’t an appeal to authority, it’s a demonstration of diversity. I don’t want to break communion or fellowship with anyone just because they have a difference of opinion about the Bible, sexuality, church tradition, or any other issue. I want to come together and share the meal with all who would come. I’m not going to be the one to turn anyone away.

    I would say that 1) if you do this, you aren’t talking about Christianity anymore. Christianity draws lines of belief. It’s why we have creeds and confessions and 2) you aren’t consistent with this. I imagine that if someone had a view on sexuality that said pederastry was okay, you’d turn them away, and rightly so.

    I don’t mean to be rude when I say this, but the “let’s all hold hands and celebrate diversity of belief” doesn’t work on issues on human sexuality, the deity of Christ, the authority of Scripture, the infallibility of Scripture, the Trinity, and several other matters just doesn’t work.

  425. Robert: Pope Benedict, Pete Enns, Paul Young, Rob Bell, and Jen Hatmaker are definitely all heretics.

    Ok. Thanks for clarifying

  426. Robert: I imagine that if someone had a view on sexuality that said pederastry was okay, you’d turn them away, and rightly so.

    People who break laws and harm others should be in prison, not in church. True

  427. Robert: are definitely all heretics

    The fun thing about what you say here is that all famous Christians are heretics – all of them. Every one I’ve ever looked up on the internet is a heretic by someone’s standard. Even Athanasius: https://lehislibrary.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/athanasius-the-heretic/.

    It really boils down to a question of “says who?” Who gets to decide what is heresy and what isn’t? Is it someone like a pope? Is it a council of bishops? Is it people like you and me making it up as we go? If we claim that the Bible informs us, then we have to consider that the first full listing of the NT was by Athanasius, the heretic, in the year 367 (some people say Origen had an earlier list, but it does not matter because he was also a heretic). I do believe that the “church fathers” got it right when they formed the canon of scripture, and that there really are formal heresies as defined by historical councils. But in the end it all has to be taken by faith because there are no airtight arguments anywhere in all of this (except for the fact that the internet proves all famous Christians are/were heretics).

  428. Robert: So your parish disagrees with the TEC leadership. Good. One has to generalize to some degree when talking about these things because the numbers are so large.

    Not exactly. If we disagreed enough we would leave, but we don’t leave. Our end of the spectrum is tolerated by the denom. We don’t have to ‘disagree’ since they don’t take a stand against us. What I am trying to explain is so different from evangelical thinking that just a whole lot of people cannot grasp the concept.

  429. Ricco: I don’t want to break communion or fellowship with anyone just because they have a difference of opinion about the Bible, sexuality, church tradition, or any other issue.

    That is my feeling also. That does not mean that I do not hold beliefs, or that I would not try to convince somebody of what I think. But break fellowship over doctrine-no. There is no such thing as salvation by dogma alone.

  430. okrapod: That does not mean that I do not hold beliefs, or that I would not try to convince somebody of what I think.

    Bingo! I’m not against anyone having beliefs, just don’t break fellowship over them. I’m not a Catholic, but I wish the Reformation never happened, or never had to happen depending on your perspective. I’m tired of this evangelical rabbit hole where we split into smaller and smaller groups over smaller and smaller issues. I like the Nicene Creed and I think almost all Christians agree about it. I wish we could leave it at that

  431. Robert:
    Lea,

    So you believe that women can exercise 100% agency and not be allowed to be ordained?

    I’m not playing word games here.

    They are not truly equal Under a comp system. Period.

  432. Robert: Heck, men aren’t equal in ability to other men in every respect, and the same is true within the female species.

    And yet, you only restrict women. Maybe you should rethink your logic.

  433. Robert: I can say also that the ELCA and the PCUSA are non-Christian bodies

    Oh honey. You are way above your pay grade on this.

    I have nothing more to say to you I think.

  434. Lea: Oh honey. You are way above your pay grade on this.

    I have nothing more to say to you I think.

    I was there at his first comment on this thread I think.

  435. Max,

    Thanks, Max. I enjoy reading your comments. We have a lot in common, having lived through good times and not so good times in the SBC.

  436. Lea,
    Good comments. I’m not so sure but you might be casting pearls before someone blinded by their own convictions. I recognize the mindset. I lived it for years.

  437. Lea: Robert: I can say also that the ELCA and the PCUSA are non-Christian bodies

    Get used to this sort of talking. Used to hear every week how ungodly all those ‘liberals’ were. Then it was the evangelicals. Then it was the ‘soft’ Reformed. I am not kidding you. My poor 85-year-old mother used to ask me, ‘Why, oh why, do we have to constantly hear everyone else condemned?’ She rarely complains, but it hurt her deeply to hear every family member and friend she had condemned as a heretic because they were not Calvinist. I was sorry I brought her there. I finally sprung her, and now she sits happily under a pastor who not only believes that God loves everyone, but who actually encourages the congregation to go home and study what he taught to see if it holds up to scripture. Far cry from the ‘When I speak from the pulpit, I speak for God’ we used to get.

  438. Robert: I don’t mean this as an insult, Jack, but you really need to study some hermeneutics of the law. The law was not meant to be woodenly applied. The book of Numbers specifically says that the only crime for which a ransom cannot be accepted is our equivalent of first-degree murder. That tells us that the judges of ancient Israel applied ransoms in some cases instead of the death penalty. The case law of the OT tells us that the judges were to take the situation into account

    No offense taken. You can probably run circles around me when it comes to quoting the bible.
    But you can make the bible say anything you want.
    I do remember a whole lot of smiting in the ot.
    In the infallible bible God either said these things or he didn’t. I’ll take your word for what numbers says but by that logic even the ancient Israelites found God a little too bloodthirsty.
    Y’know maybe we won’t slaughter disobedient tykes, we’ll plea bargain to a fine and time off for good behaviour.
    I think it’s in Matthew where Jesus stated he didn’t come to change the law.
    I know there were foreigners living in Israel in the old testament but I mostly remember them being condemned. Except Ruth. Which is a bible story I kind of liked.
    But Peter had his dream and Paul said it was cool and the Romans were probably happy they could be saved without a knife to the you know what.
    So who do we believe? Jesus defending the law? God espousing the law? Paul saying don’t worry about? The ancient Israelites writing divine parking citations?

    You can hermeneutically say that Paul was bankrolled by a number of wealthy female patrons. Wonder if he had their heads shaved if they spoke out of turn?

    Just sayin’

  439. Robert,

    You’re talking about the differences between all of us. You’ve lost me on how this disqualifies women from preaching.

  440. A certain fundamentalist went up to the temple to pray, but alas he spent his time thanking God that he was not like that guy over there, or that other one, or for that matter the rest of the motley crowd at the temple that day….

  441. Robert: Men and women are not equal in ability in every respect. Heck, men aren’t equal in ability to other men in every respect, and the same is true within the female species. Some men—and some women—are smarter than I am. I’m smarter than some men and some women. Some men are stronger than I am. Some men are better looking than I am. Some women are prettier than other women. Some women are more athletically able than other women. And on and on.

    Yes, and water’s wet, bears sh#t (ed.) in the woods and the pope’s a catholic. No, wait – there a catholics just like you who would deny this pope being a catholic.

    Instead of muddying the water with all of the above, could you just explain why women – in your interpretation – are (or aren’t) capable of leading co-equally in the home and the church?

  442. refugee,

    I’m sure you’re right. But I don’t think this sweeping and mindless ‘these people aren’t Christians’ stuff should go by without comment.

  443. Lea: And yet, you only restrict women. Maybe you should rethink your logic.

    He can’t.
    He’s MALE.
    Really hard to rethink something when you Personally Benefit from it.

  444. Robert: …believing that Jesus is not the only way to heaven and that sex outside of male-female marriage in any form can be morally licit is a capitulation to the culture.

    Why the second one, Robert? Why is “sex within heterosexual marriage only” a hill to die on?

  445. Serving Kids in Japan:
    Why the second one, Robert? Why is “sex within heterosexual marriage only” a hill to die on?

    If it’s a ‘cultural’ thing it’s certainly not a *new* one, considering it is all over the OT with polygamy and concubines and slaves and so on and so forth.

  446. Serving Kids in Japan: Why the second one, Robert?Why is “sex within heterosexual marriage only” a hill to die on?

    Because HOMOSEXUALITY is the OTHER guy’s SIN, not mine.

    “I THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOOOOOOORD, THAT I AM NOTHING LIKE THOSE FILTHY HOMOSEXUALS OVER THERE…”

    For whatever it’s worth, Christian Culture Warriors have made this specific Pelvic Issue the Key to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Fred Phelps just took it to its logical conclusion and was open about it.

  447. truthseeker00: Lea: Robert: I can say also that the ELCA and the PCUSA are non-Christian bodies
    Get used to this sort of talking. Used to hear every week how ungodly all those ‘liberals’ were. Then it was the evangelicals. Then it was the ‘soft’ Reformed. I am not kidding you. My poor 85-year-old mother used to ask me, ‘Why, oh why, do we have to constantly hear everyone else condemned?’

    Because a Mass Movement can do without a god as long as they have a Devil (and his Witches hiding under every bed). You need a Vast Enemy Conspiracy Everywhere to keep your weapons loyal, inside the fortress, and whipped into a frenzy.

  448. I was at a party on Saturday and got to sit next to two United Methodist ministers, husband and wife. They were absolutely delightful to talk with. I learned that the UMC is heading for a split over the gay marriage issue. (These two ministers were former Southern Baptists, interestingly enough, and her parents had a great deal of heartache over the fact that their daughter had the temerity to stand up in a church and preach the gospel.) They both expressed to me how frustrated they are with the wasted energy, rancor, and infighting over the gay marriage issue. One of the reasons they became Methodist ministers was because the UMC has a history of some life-changing, effective, large-scale missions that truly change lives. Now all those administrative resources are going, instead, to quarreling over the gay marriage issue. One of the couple said to me, “Why do we need to go there? Jesus’ greatest commandment, that drives all the others, was to love. All this debating and writing papers is doing nothing to put that commandment to love into action.” Boy howdy. They nailed it.

  449. Leila,

    It seems like the left and right are fighting over the church to make authoritative statements on morality and how people should live. I have a better idea, lets stop fighting for the power to tell other people what to do. I think there is something inside all of us who wants our institutions to fight against those who see things differently than we do. It’s time to stop.

  450. okrapod: We all are aware, are we not, that ordination as we understand it and practice it is not in the bible. Ordination, the word of course, is not in scripture. Neither are there instructions for the ceremony or for any particular occupational title associated with it. It is a construct developed by the church in response to the biblical idea of people being ‘set apart’ for a certain job.

    Noted.

    1 Timothy 3:1-13 Overseers and Deacons: qualifications are listed here with mention of neither ordination nor pastor.

    Eph.4, Rom 12, & 1 Cor. 12 list 18 spiritual gifts, as in free, from the Holy Spirit to the Church, one (1/18) of which is pastor. No hierarchy, no cost, no gender, with the gifts.

  451. I read Jon Zen’s book on the Ephesian situation, and it was excellent. I also thought books by the Richard and Catherine Clark Kroeger and Gary Hoag on Ephesus complement Jon Zen’s book. I also enjoy reading TWW, and this if the first time I am commenting. Keep up the good work!

  452. Serving Kids in Japan,

    Because it gets at the heart of who we are as creatures and what God made us for. God made woman for man and vice versa. To deny God’s lordship over sex is to deny God altogether, given that sex is essential to fulfilling the original mandate.

    The problem, essentially, isn’t actually homosexuality itself. It’s that one cannot approve of homosexuality until after one has already rejected lots of other fundamental things about God, particularly His right as Creator to determine what is good for us and what isn’t.

  453. Gus,

    I never said they weren’t capable. It’s not an issue of ability; it’s an issue of what the Scriptures have prescribed. When you read the qualifications for elder, it’s clear they apply to men only. This wasn’t controversial in any Christian denomination until very recently.

  454. Jack,

    No offense taken. You can probably run circles around me when it comes to quoting the bible.
    But you can make the bible say anything you want.

    You can do that with any document. You can do that with any in-person conversation. The Bible is not unique in its capacity for being mishandled.

    In the infallible bible God either said these things or he didn’t. I’ll take your word for what numbers says but by that logic even the ancient Israelites found God a little too bloodthirsty.
    Y’know maybe we won’t slaughter disobedient tykes, we’ll plea bargain to a fine and time off for good behaviour.

    The infallible God gave both the highest penalty—death—and the provisions for a ransom in some cases. He left it to judges in Israel to apply the law. It’s not altogether different than our modern system that has various possible penalties that are then applied to each case by the judge depending on the circumstances.

    I think it’s in Matthew where Jesus stated he didn’t come to change the law.

    Yes.

    I know there were foreigners living in Israel in the old testament but I mostly remember them being condemned. Except Ruth. Which is a bible story I kind of liked.

    The enemies of Israel are condemned. Mere foreigners aren’t. There’s many provisions for them to live in Israel, actually.

    But Peter had his dream and Paul said it was cool and the Romans were probably happy they could be saved without a knife to the you know what.

    Peter’s dream has OT precedent.

    So who do we believe? Jesus defending the law? God espousing the law? Paul saying don’t worry about? The ancient Israelites writing divine parking citations?

    We believe all of it and endeavor to apply it as the law itself and the New Testament tells us how to apply it. We read the law in context of the history of salvation. That’s what Paul does in noting that circumcision cannot be a requirement for salvation since it was given after Abraham was already saved.

    You can hermeneutically say that Paul was bankrolled by a number of wealthy female patrons. Wonder if he had their heads shaved if they spoke out of turn?

    There’s lots of evidence that wealthy women played a vital role in the early church. The Johannine epistles and Luke’s gospel also speak to this. There’s evidence that they prophesied in churches and even taught men on occasion (Priscilla and Apollos). There’s no good evidence that they ever served in a leadership capacity as pastor or elder or capital a Apostle.

    I understand that rubs our modern society the wrong way since we have a particular view of equality. But what if our view of equality isn’t the same as God’s?

  455. Lea,

    If you are okay with professing churches denying that Christ is the only way to the Father when Christ himself says explicitly that he is the only way to the Father, I can’t help you.

  456. Lea,

    If you define equality as “every gender must be able to serve in a particular office,” that is true. That’s a twenty-first century idea.

  457. Ricco,

    I don’t agree with breaking over small issues, but the fact is that you will break with others over dogma. If someone said it was dogma that pederastry or wife-beating was divinely approved, you would break with them and rightly so.

    Everyone draws a doctrinal line. Even those who prize themselves on not doing so.

  458. Robert: There’s lots of evidence that wealthy women played a vital role in the early church. The Johannine epistles and Luke’s gospel also speak to this. There’s evidence that they prophesied in churches and even taught men on occasion (Priscilla and Apollos). There’s no good evidence that they ever served in a leadership capacity as pastor or elder or capital a Apostle.

    I understand that rubs our modern society the wrong way since we have a particular view of equality. But what if our view of equality isn’t the same as God’s?

    You’re absolutely right when we state that we can make all documents say what we want to some extent or other. Lawyers argue those points in court and I have no doubt that the same happened in ancient times.

    But there’s a gravitas added when we start to state not that this is “our” interpretation but that this is the definitive word of God versus the culture of the people of that time. When it comes to gender roles, that’s what’s happening in some churches to such an extreme that women have to be introduced and sit to present to men (if allowed to present at all), some preachers are stating that women can’t be soldiers or police officers, or pilots or doctors because they would be in position in authority over men. I get the sense that you’re not opposed to equality in secular society (as in all people are equal – at least in principle – to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness)

    But if God is just, and we all have the potential to teach and understand then why would he deny that to 52% of the population based on gender alone? Women and men both have the potential for critical thinking, so why can one not teach the other?

    When it comes to the “deeper meanings” of the old testament or new testament, I’ll confess, if there is a purpose, it eludes me. I’m sure we can go back and forth a lot, many folks with greater intellects that I have done so.

    My ideal of equality is not new. I held it long before I ceased being a Christian, my parents both worked, both taught, we went to a church for which gender roles was never an issue (in fact our pastor’s wife was a pastor herself).

    But basing on the evidence I have seen, women and men possess equal capability in every arena I can think of from flying an airplane to fixing a car to knitting a sweater.

    It just doesn’t make sense that God would endow women with and equal set of skills (like critical thinking, debating, learning etc) and then exclude them from sharing that knowledge.

    Does this mean that women cannot take part in the great commission?

    I don’t think anyone knows the mind or intent of God. But he hasn’t revealed to me that equality is a bad thing. Ok…to be honest, he’s never spoken to me personally but there we are.

  459. Jack: But there’s a gravitas added when we start to state not that this is “our” interpretation but that this is the definitive word of God versus the culture of the people of that time.

    Which Robert is clearly happy to do since he considers wide swaths of Christendom ‘nonchristians’ because they disagree with him on things.

    Good thing he’s not the one who decides.

    Robert has also tried to define comp down to simply roles in the church, but the attitude that comes from that, and the way it is wielded against women touches on every aspect of their lives, public and deeply personal. When can you ever be equal even if, as in the *mildest* comp view, men get some sort of tiebreaker vote? You can not.

  460. Pingback: Linkathon! - Phoenix Preacher

  461. Robert: To deny God’s lordship over sex is to deny God altogether….

    Hmmmm. Quite the sweeping statement there. To me, it smacks just a bit too much of Ken Hamm, and his “all-or-nothing” approach to Creationism. “If you reject this, you MUST reject the whole of the Bible!!!!”

    I find both statements just a little hard to swallow.

    Robert: The problem, essentially, isn’t actually homosexuality itself. It’s that one cannot approve of homosexuality until after one has already rejected lots of other fundamental things about God, particularly His right as Creator to determine what is good for us and what isn’t.

    I wasn’t thinking primarily of homosexuality, Robert (although I do find the attitude of many Christians towards LGBT people to be cruel, irrational and hopelessly ignorant). What about heterosexual relationships outside of marriage? Why must all of those be condemned wholesale? I’ve had my doubts on this subject for some time, and I’m grateful to see that some other believers here (like Muff Potter) have had the courage to voice similar thoughts.

  462. Serving Kids In Japan: What about heterosexual relationships outside of marriage? Why must all of those be condemned wholesale? I’ve had my doubts on this subject for some time, and I’m grateful to see that some other believers here (like Muff Potter) have had the courage to voice similar thoughts.

    +1

  463. Robert: If someone said it was dogma that pederastry or wife-beating was divinely approved, you would break with them and rightly so.

    Well, yes, but my reasons for breaking with them would have nothing to do with doctrine. I would stay far away from such people because pedophilia and spousal abuse are illegal, and even if they weren’t, they’d still be heinous and vile.

    No need to bring the Bible in on this one. Just plain, ol’ fashioned human decency.

  464. Robert,

    This is a major red herring. There aren’t any major Christian denominations going around telling people to beat their wives anymore. We have thankfully grown and people like the Deebs are doing a good job of keeping the pressure on misogynistic groups.

    Also, throwing in pederasty in a discussion that touches on the involvement of gays in the church seems too close to the slanders that gay men have too often had to put up with.

    Should the church tell people not to abuse their wives? Yes. Should the church tell people not to molest children? Yes. If someone in a church is doing one of these things, the proper response is to call the cops, not get into a doctrinal dispute. I see these as matters of law enforcement, not dogma.

    The absurd counter examples you are giving give off tons of heat, but no light. And I’m sure your counter will be “If you aren’t ok with pederasts, why are you letting the gays in?” To quote you back to you, if you can’t see the distinction there, then I can’t help you.

  465. Robert: Because when you capitulate on human sexuality, you’ve lost the gospel.

    Go there for into all nations, and tell everyone who they must be attracted to and who they can and cannot sleep with and which sex acts they are allowed to engage in

    Just doesn’t have the same ring as the original…

  466. Ricco,

    This is a major red herring. There aren’t any major Christian denominations going around telling people to beat their wives anymore. We have thankfully grown and people like the Deebs are doing a good job of keeping the pressure on misogynistic groups.

    That is correct. But there have been people (actually, there still are—see the people who advocate wife spanking) who on a doctrinal basis support wife beating. You disagree with their doctrine and draw a line there.

    Also, throwing in pederasty in a discussion that touches on the involvement of gays in the church seems too close to the slanders that gay men have too often had to put up with.

    My point is that everyone draws doctrinal lines. There are fringe “Christian” groups that advocate pederastry. They aren’t very numerous, but they exist.

    Should the church tell people not to abuse their wives? Yes. Should the church tell people not to molest children? Yes. If someone in a church is doing one of these things, the proper response is to call the cops, not get into a doctrinal dispute. I see these as matters of law enforcement, not dogma.

    False dichotomy. Yes, the first response is to call the cops. But doctrine is involved as well. There are groups—fringe groups to be sure—that will seek a doctrinal basis of such things.

    Let’s put it another way. I imagine that you would, or at least I hope you would, state that someone who impenitently molests children or beats his wife is not a Christian. Hello, you’ve just separated someone over doctrine.

    The absurd counter examples you are giving give off tons of heat, but no light. And I’m sure your counter will be “If you aren’t ok with pederasts, why are you letting the gays in?” To quote you back to you, if you can’t see the distinction there, then I can’t help you.

    The fact that you seem quick to defend homosexuality, if I’m reading you right, says a ton. That being said, yes I see the distinction in terms of psychological harm done to the abused. Theologically, both pederastry and homosexuality are violations of nature.

    But the point is that you draw doctrinal lines no less than I do.

  467. Ricco,

    Go there for into all nations, and tell everyone who they must be attracted to and who they can and cannot sleep with and which sex acts they are allowed to engage in
    Just doesn’t have the same ring as the original…

    “Teaching them to obey all [Christ] has commanded you.”

    Christ had a lot to say about adultery and embraced the OT sexual ethic. So yes, telling people who they can and cannot sleep with is part of Christian discipleship.

    Or are you prepared to tell adulterers that they are okay in the eyes of God?

  468. Serving Kids In Japan,

    Well, yes, but my reasons for breaking with them would have nothing to do with doctrine. I would stay far away from such people because pedophilia and spousal abuse are illegal, and even if they weren’t, they’d still be heinous and vile.
    No need to bring the Bible in on this one. Just plain, ol’ fashioned human decency.

    Except, of course, that across human history, spousal abuse had been widely accepted, as has pederastry. Just see “civilized” ancient Greece. The age of consent is extremely low in some countries even today. Muhammad married a 9 year old.

    Humans don’t agree on what decency is. They might agree that murder is wrong, but they don’t agree on what constitutes murder.

    You actually do need divine revelation to draw the line on these matters.

  469. Serving Kids In Japan,

    Hmmmm. Quite the sweeping statement there. To me, it smacks just a bit too much of Ken Hamm, and his “all-or-nothing” approach to Creationism. “If you reject this, you MUST reject the whole of the Bible!!!!”
    I find both statements just a little hard to swallow.

    That’s because you may not know the history of debates on this matter. Christians have debated length of creation days and other matters from the beginning. They haven’t debated sexual ethics. Sex outside of marriage has always been roundly condemned in every Christian tradition.

    I wasn’t thinking primarily of homosexuality, Robert (although I do find the attitude of many Christians towards LGBT people to be cruel, irrational and hopelessly ignorant). What about heterosexual relationships outside of marriage? Why must all of those be condemned wholesale?

    Because the Bible doesn’t know of positive non-marital sexual relationships, and if you are a Christian, the Word of God should be your authority.

    If you don’t profess to be a Christian, that’s another matter.

  470. Jack,

    But there’s a gravitas added when we start to state not that this is “our” interpretation but that this is the definitive word of God versus the culture of the people of that time.

    That is true.

    When it comes to gender roles, that’s what’s happening in some churches to such an extreme that women have to be introduced and sit to present to men (if allowed to present at all), some preachers are stating that women can’t be soldiers or police officers, or pilots or doctors because they would be in position in authority over men. I get the sense that you’re not opposed to equality in secular society (as in all people are equal – at least in principle – to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness).

    I know, and it’s regrettable, but that’s the fault of the interpreter and not the fault of the text. So, the complementarian position can be misused, but that’s true of any position.

    But if God is just, and we all have the potential to teach and understand then why would he deny that to 52% of the population based on gender alone? Women and men both have the potential for critical thinking, so why can one not teach the other?

    Well, I would disagree with complementarians who say it is wrong for men to teach women in every setting. I think even a cursory reading of Scripture would make that position impossible because we do have women teaching men. Priscilla teaches Apollos in the book of Acts, for example.

    When it comes to the “deeper meanings” of the old testament or new testament, I’ll confess, if there is a purpose, it eludes me. I’m sure we can go back and forth a lot, many folks with greater intellects that I have done so.

    I think the problem is in trying to find a “deeper meaning.” This is where some branches of complementarianism go wrong and it leads them to absurd things such as “women shouldn’t be police officers because it might put them in a situation where women are in authority over men.” They try to ground their view in some view of the Trinity or other such thing. They’re reaching hard because the Bible simply doesn’t do that.

    The Bible talks about these things in very general ways. It seems clear from the NT that wives are to submit to their husbands and that the office of elder is limited to men. But how that works itself out—especially in the marital relationship—is not spelled out in detail, which suggests that there is room for differences in how this happens from couple to couple.

    My ideal of equality is not new. I held it long before I ceased being a Christian, my parents both worked, both taught, we went to a church for which gender roles was never an issue (in fact our pastor’s wife was a pastor herself).

    It’s new in the sense that it is a twentieth-twenty-first century phenomenon. Historically, people around the world—and in many non-Western cultures to this day—did not believe that equality between men and women necessitates that all offices in church and society be open to men and women. Maybe the new idea is right and the old idea was wrong, but I don’t see much critical reflection on it. We just tend to embrace whatever the culture in which we lives tells us. And I don’t think it’s leading us in very positive directions. Large numbers of people are taking drugs for depression and anxiety. The divorce rate is very high. Males are being left behind in education. Working women frequently report sadness at not having as many children as they wanted to. Isolation and loneliness are epidemic. This is all in the West. I don’t know if all of those are related to our views of equality and the result of liberal feminism, but I think it can be argued that many of them are.

    But basing on the evidence I have seen, women and men possess equal capability in every arena I can think of from flying an airplane to fixing a car to knitting a sweater.

    Generally speaking, yes.

    It just doesn’t make sense that God would endow women with and equal set of skills (like critical thinking, debating, learning etc) and then exclude them from sharing that knowledge.
    Does this mean that women cannot take part in the great commission?

    I agree, which is why I don’t think hard-line complementarians that say women can never teach men are wrong. Its just not biblically justifiable.

  471. Robert,

    Oops, big typo: I meant:

    I agree, which is why I think hard-line complementarians that say women can never teach men are wrong. Its just not biblical justifiable.

  472. Robert: Historically, people around the world—and in many non-Western cultures to this day—did not believe that equality between men and women necessitates that all offices in church and society be open to men and women.

    Wrong. They simply did not believe in the equality of men and women. They thought men were superior. And many still do. And it shows in their theology.

  473. Robert: Because the Bible doesn’t know of positive non-marital sexual relationships, and if you are a Christian, the Word of God should be your authority.
    If you don’t profess to be a Christian, that’s another matter.

    I am a Christian. Does that mean that no matter what my experiences, or those of my loved ones or countless others has been, I should listen only to the Bible and ignore everything else?

    If so, then basically you’re saying that I should embrace “Doctrine Over Person”, which Dr Lifton identifies as one of the eight criteria for thought reform. I’m not keen on that idea.

  474. Robert: It’s new in the sense that it is a twentieth-twenty-first century phenomenon. Historically, people around the world—and in many non-Western cultures to this day—did not believe that equality between men and women necessitates that all offices in church and society be open to men and women. Maybe the new idea is right and the old idea was wrong, but I don’t see much critical reflection on it. We just tend to embrace whatever the culture in which we lives tells us. And I don’t think it’s leading us in very positive directions. Large numbers of people are taking drugs for depression and anxiety. The divorce rate is very high. Males are being left behind in education. Working women frequently report sadness at not having as many children as they wanted to. Isolation and loneliness are epidemic. This is all in the West. I don’t know if all of those are related to our views of equality and the result of liberal feminism, but I think it can be argued that many of them are.

    I agree that we are products of the culture in which we are raised. But just because that’s the way it was in the past does not mean we continue those practices into the future.

    For example people did marry young. In the Roman Empire a man could manage his estates and join the army at 14. Girls married when they had their first period. This isn’t right but in a society where you were an old person at 40 – if you could get there, then it puts the attitude in context. Interestingly Jesus was considered and “elder” at the ripe old age of 33.

    Our society (on the whole, not talking specifics as there is a lot of work to be done worldwide) we continually strive to make things better. In the North America and most other countries (at least in principle) slavery is considered repugnant. Minorities have rights under the constitution – so (again in principle) the majority cannot just ride roughshod even in a democracy. This has been proved time and again in the courts where though Christianity is the dominant faith – it cannot impose its will on all citizens. Think gay marriage – you may disagree with it but who you love is not dictated by any particular faith.

    I’ll guess that you would agree that using today’s weapons to turn our enemies cities into glass paved parking lots or indiscriminately slaughtering them to the last man, woman, child and farm animal is a huge step up from bronze age attitudes toward how warfare is conducted.

    Issues such as addiction, depression/anxiety, marital infidelity, abuse of all stripes are not unique to the 20th/21st century. It’s more open now to discuss and therefore gets a higher profile. Also women (and let’s be honest – they drew the short stick throughout most of history) have options beyond staying in terrible marriages to keep the kids fed and keep a roof over their heads. I often think that Jesus’ admonition of divorce is rooted in the culture where it was a death sentence for a woman and her children to be turned out.

    So when we look at the bible where do we draw the line between God’s intentions and the culture?

    We have conscience, we have the ability to discern right and wrong, the bible really doesn’t work as step-by-step how to manual. It’s a history/philosophy. It’s stories give lessons to reflect on.

    In our area the first hospitals set up in the era before universal healthcare (not making a political statement – I live in Canada, universal does not equal free – we pay higher taxes) many hospitals were set up by Christians – the Roman Catholic Church, the Salvation Army among others. This is Christians making things better, this is the foundation of the equality that we all enjoy – Christian and non-christian alike.

    The good old days were not that great for the vast majority of people.

  475. Robert: And I don’t think it’s leading us in very positive directions. Large numbers of people are taking drugs for depression and anxiety. The divorce rate is very high. Males are being left behind in education. Working women frequently report sadness at not having as many children as they wanted to. Isolation and loneliness are epidemic. This is all in the West.

    “All in the West”? Not true. Many of the problems you cite have been ongoing concerns in Japan for years now. And society here is so far behind the curve on women’s rights, it was only in the past year that they finally updated their laws regarding rape — for the first time in over a century. Women are still being harassed by bosses and coworkers for taking maternity leave.

    Even if you can demonstrate that these problems are due to women being granted more opportunities in the workplace (which you haven’t), then what solution do you propose? Limiting their opportunities all over again? If so, would you like society to regress just 50 years, or a full century? Or just go whole hog back to the Bronze Age?

  476. Robert: Or are you prepared to tell adulterers that they are okay in the eyes of God?

    My dad cheated on my mom and ruined my family, so no, I do not think that is ok. Thanks for attempting to read my mind.

    We are talking past each other because I am what you call a heretic. I believe Christ’s life and death accomplished something real for everyone “For God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their sins against them.” I believe that death is not a bar to God pursuing people, much like Athanasium, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Naziansus, Karl Barth, T.F. Torrance, C.S. Lewis, Richard Rohr, and Baxter Kruger. I’m not saying that you have to agree, because again, I am a heretic. I’m just saying that I have some company within Christianity.

    Maybe I’m being illogical or unprincipled. I think that every person must come before Jesus in perfect honesty and give an account for their life. I want to be there like the servant who did the most with his talents. I’m just not prepared to say what Jesus is going to say to anyone else. I think adultery is horrible and it destroys families and I hate it. If a friend was committing it I would confront them. If I know someone is molesting kids or beating their wife, I call the cops.

    If people want to share communion and pass the peace, I want them to be allowed to do that. Of course I don’t want violent criminals and sexual predators in my church. I want all people to exercise wisdom in who they choose to interact with. My point is, I don’t control anyone’s standing in the eyes of God. I can absolutely speak to the negative effects of someone’s behavior, but I cannot speak to how God sees any one person.

    Just one heretic’s opinion.

  477. Ricco,

    So really what you are saying is that there is no point to believing in Christ in this life or even in sharing the gospel and making disciples because Jesus will save people after they die?

  478. Serving Kids In Japan,

    I would say that Japan is an interesting case because it is an Eastern country that has effectively been Westernized in many ways. Mostly as a result of US involvement post WW2.

  479. Jack,

    So when we look at the bible where do we draw the line between God’s intentions and the culture?

    It’s a case-by-case determination. But one general principle would be to look at what would reflect the original created order. There are others.

    We have conscience, we have the ability to discern right and wrong, the bible really doesn’t work as step-by-step how to manual. It’s a history/philosophy. It’s stories give lessons to reflect on.

    The problem is that our consciences do not all agree. There’s general agreement on some things—murder is wrong. But we don’t agree on what constitutes murder.

    I wouldn’t say the Bible is a step-by-step how-to manual, but it does reveal God’s moral law.

  480. Serving Kids In Japan,

    I am a Christian. Does that mean that no matter what my experiences, or those of my loved ones or countless others has been, I should listen only to the Bible and ignore everything else?

    It’s not listen only to the Bible. It’s the Bible as final authority.

    If consistent, sound exegesis of Scripture says X is bad but your experience says Y is bad, you reject your experience.

    Experience plays a role, but its subordinated to Scriptural teaching.

    Besides, whose experience is definitive? Lots of people would say that there experience tells them pederastry is loving and good, that women should be beaten into submission, and so forth. Are you going to listen to THEIR experience? No, you are going to be selective, and rightly so.

    The question is how do you determine which experience is worthy to hear and follow and which isn’t. You need an objective standard for that. For Christians it is the Word of God that is the final court of appeal. Not the fact that you might know somebody who is really nice but who is engaged in what God’s Word forbids.

  481. Robert: So really what you are saying is that there is no point to believing in Christ in this life or even in sharing the gospel and making disciples because Jesus will save people after they die?

    Not at all what I am saying, although I’m skeptical of how we define evangelism. I believe that coming to the knowledge of the truth makes all the difference in the world. If someone never gets a chance to hear in their life, I don’t believe that is the end of the story.

  482. Lea,

    Wrong. They simply did not believe in the equality of men and women. They thought men were superior. And many still do. And it shows in their theology.

    You are again judging what equality means according to twenty-first-century post-sexual revolution Western definitions. The Apostles believed in the equality of men and women, but they did not define equality to mean that women must be able to serve as elders.

    What’s your standard for what equality means and why should I or anyone else accept it?

  483. Serving Kids In Japan: If so, then basically you’re saying that I should embrace “Doctrine Over Person”, which Dr Lifton identifies as one of the eight criteria for thought reform. I’m not keen on that idea.

    Indeed.

  484. Robert: You are again judging what equality means according to twenty-first-century post-sexual revolution Western definitions.

    I suppose you would rather I judge by standards hundreds of years ago, when women could not own or perhaps inherit property, were property of their husbands, could not work in many jobs. Could not vote. Etc.

    Forgive me if I think ACTUAL equality is working out a bit better. You would like your own definitions, but you yourself will never have to live with them.

  485. Serving Kids In Japan: If so, then basically you’re saying that I should embrace “Doctrine Over Person”, which Dr Lifton identifies as one of the eight criteria for thought reform.