I don’t know of many more controversial issues in the church than issues regarding women in ministry. It is not controversial whether or not women can do ministry or be effective in ministry, but whether or not they can teach and preside in positions of authority over men. The most controversial issue aspect of this issue, of course, is whether or not women can hold the position of head pastor or elder in a local church.

There are two primary positions in this debate; those who believe that women can teach men and hold positions of authority over men in the church and those that do not. Those that do, normally go by the name “Egalitarians.” Those that do not, go by the name “Complementarians.” I am a complementarian but I understand and appreciate the egalitarian position. In fact, the church I serve at most often is an egalitarian church. (However, I don’t want you to think that my complementarianism is not important to me. There is much more to complementarianism than whether or not a woman can preach!)

There are a lot of passages of Scripture which contribute to the debate, but one stands out more than all the others. 1 Tim. 2:11-15:

“A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”

I don’t want to debate whether or not this passage teaches either position. I am simply going to assume the complementarian position and attempt to deal with the sting of “I don’t allow a woman to teach.” It does have quite a bit of sting.

I like to make the Scripture pragmatically understandable. In other words, I want to not only understand what it says, but to rationally understand why it says what it says. Why does God give this instruction or that? What practical rationale might be behind the instruction of God? I know that we cannot always find it and our obligation to obey transcends our understanding but, in my experience, more often than not, our understanding of the command can accompany our obedience so that we are not so blind.

“I do not allow a woman to teach.” We think of this as coming from God. God says, “I do not allow a woman to teach.” Teaching is something that requires _________ therefore, women are not qualified. You fill in the blank:

1. Intelligence

2. Wisdom

3. Love

4. Concern

5. Rational

6. Persuasiveness

While I think the sting of this passage assumes that Paul is speaking about one of these, I don’t choose any of them. I think Paul (and God) has something different in mind.

The other night, at 3am there was a sound in our living room. Kristie woke up, but I did not. She was looking out there and saw the lights go on. She got scared.

Pop quiz: What did she do next?

a. Got a bat and quietly tip toed out there to see who it was.

b. Got a gun and peeked around the corner.

c. Woke me up and had me go out there.

Those of you who choose “c” are both right and wise. You are right because that is what happened. (It was my 2 year old Zach who decided it was time to get up.) You are wise because that is what normally happens and is typically, for those of you who have a man in the house, the best move. Why? Because men are better equipped to deal with these sort of situations. There is an aggression that men have, both physical and mental, that is more able to handle situations that might become combative. That is the way we are made.

Now, let me give my short and sweet answer as to why Paul did not allow women to teach:

Paul did not let women teach due to the often aggressive and combative nature that teaching must entail concerning the confrontation of false doctrine. Men must be the teachers when combating false teaching. However, because the role of a teacher in the church is so often to combat false doctrine, and because false doctrine is always a problem, generally speaking, the principles are always applicable. The “exercising of authority” is inherently tied to teaching and its necessary condemnation of false doctrine.

The combative nature of teaching is particularly relevant to a broader understanding of the characteristics of men and women.

The best illustration in the real world that I could use to help you understand what I am saying is that of a military commander in charge of leading troops into battle. Of course there might be an exception here and there, but do a study and you will find that no matter what the time or culture, men are always leading here. Why? Because men are simply better equipped and more followed. There are certian areas where men and women have a unique stature. I believe, like in military, the position of head pastor is the same. Not only are they better equipped for the issues that will arise, but they are followed more readily.

Let me give you another example: Two years ago, my wife was confronted by another couple who did not believe that she was doing what was right. She used to do princess parties where she would dress up as a princess (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty) and go to little girls’ homes and entertain them for an hour or so. She was really good at this. After we moved from Frisco to Oklahoma, she still had one party on the schedule. She called her boss and let her know that she could not do it since we had already moved. Her boss became very angry and began to threaten her. She also said that she was going to bring in her husband (who was a lawyer) and sue Kristie. Kristie became very scared and did not know how to handle this situation, especially since her boss was now using her husband as part of the threat. She told me about this and I told her not to speak to her boss anymore, but to let me handle it. I did. I stepped in and confronted both her boss and her husband’s threats concerning the issue. In the end, they backed off.

I felt that it was my duty and obligation to step in and be strong on behalf of my wife as the situation became confrontational. Kristie is both tender, gentle, and, in those situations, frightened. She was going to give in and travel back to Texas to perform this last party even though she would lose money in the gas it took to go there and back. Her boss refused to pay her mileage.

My point is that men are conditioned to handle confrontation better than women. It is not that Kristie could not have done the same thing as me, it is just that this was not her bent. Women, generally speaking, are not bent to deal with confrontation the same way as men. Teaching in the church involves, more often than not, confronting false understanding.

Can women teach? Absolutely! Can women understand and think as well as men? Most certainly. But the bent of a man is better able to handle the type of teaching that is always necessary in the church.

Would I let a woman teach from the pulpit from time to time? Yes. Paul is not restricting women teachers over men in the absolute sense. The infinitive here, “to teach” is in the present tense which suggests the perpetual role of teaching which exercises authority (confrontation).

The role of head pastor, I believe requires confrontation. That is not all there is, but it is there and it is very important. It is because of this, I believe, Paul said that women cannot teach or exercise authority over men.

See follow-up posts here and here.

Comments are open again. Be safe. Read the rules.


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    1,432 replies to "Why Women Cannot Be Head Pastors"

    • Leslie

      Michael, I have not thought of the issue in the way you have handled. Makes absolute sense to me. Thanks!

    • Mr PSb

      Interesting post. This is the first time I’ve ever heard this line of reasoning on the issue. All too often people misinterpret the Scripture and make God out to be a Chauvinist when He isn’t.

    • JohnO

      Sorry, couldn’t disagree more, at least with the argument you present here.
      Are you suggesting that the only way to deal with argument and disagreement in the church (over doctrine, dogma or anything else) is to be more aggressive and confrontational than your opponent?
      Whatever happened to tenacity and grace?
      Is confrontation ‘always’ present in authoritarian teaching? I always find the best way to ensure an entrenched position is to be confrontational and aggressive. Subtlety, tact, persuasiveness and rationality (as well as even temper) are far more effective. All of which, arguably, women are far better at than men.
      If a man thinks that he will win an argument with a female leader by being more aggressive, he is nothing more than a bully. And, quite frankly, there are few women I know, in ministry or otherwise, who are prepared to tolerate a bully.
      There may be many ways to argue from a complementarian stance over teaching. This, I might suggest, is not one of them.

    • Ms. Jack Meyers

      Michael, you’re a Calvinist complementarian. I’m an Arminian egalitarian. I respect our differences and I usually find the ways you articulate your positions thoughtful and persuasive, even when I ultimately disagree with you.

      But this is, hands down, one of your worst arguments ever.

      Realize that you are arguing that 100% of women ought not to be allowed to serve as head pastors based on the generalization that women are less aggressive and combative than men are—and the only examples you cite in support of that are anecdotes involving one woman. Your wife.

      Beyond that, there’s two other glaring problems with your argument. Even if men in general are more aggressive and combative than women in general, that isn’t the case 100% of the time, as I’m sure even you will admit. Some women are aggressive and confrontational (*raises hand*). If a willingness to be aggressive and combative is a requirement for the pastorate, then women who fit the bill should be allowed to pursue it regardless of the general tendencies of their sex.

      But there’s another problem. Numerous studies have been published calling into question whether or not the wisdom on men being more aggressive and competitive than women is a nature or nurture construct. For example, see this study which found that in matrilineal societies, it was the women who were more competitive and aggressive. So until we’ve seen a world where women are constantly encouraged to speak their minds boldly and pursue careers outside the home, I won’t believe that the majority of men are just naturally more aggressive and competitive than women. I mean, you said it yourself: “[M]en are conditioned to handle confrontation better than women.” Key word there “conditioned.” Seems to me that conditioning women to handle confrontation is a much sounder solution than wholesale discrimination against them.

      Truth be told though, I’m happy to see this post. If a thoughtful, intelligent complementarian such as yourself really can’t come up with a better justification for religious discrimination against women than argumentum ad uxorem, then it’s just one more indicator to me that Christian patriarchy is doomed to go the way of Christian slavery. The sooner the better.

    • cherylu

      Michael,

      I am not arguing against your position in general or even the reason you give in this post that you think is why God said what He did.

      I think my question is one of wondering how the conclusion you came to follows from the II Timothy passage you quoted above. I think I am missing something in your progression of logic here or something.

    • Cheryl Schatz

      I am in full time ministry to the cults and in my gifts I continually have confrontation with false doctrine. I do my best to handle that confrontation with respect to the one who has been misled as I would want to be confronted if I was the one who was wrong.

      Michael, you said:
      ” However, because the role of a teacher in the church is so often to combat false doctrine, and because false doctrine is always a problem, generally speaking, the principles are always applicable. The “exercising of authority” is inherently tied to teaching and its necessary condemnation of false doctrine.”

      Confrontation regarding false doctrine is unlike confrontation of a 6’4″ knife wielding house invader. While some women are gifted with the ability to deal with an aggressive intruder, not all women would go there. Yet when it comes to the spiritual, God does not say in His Word that He gifts only men with the ability to confront false doctrine. I have dealt with false doctrine since 1988. I was the only one in my very large city who had an effective support group for ex-JW’s and hundreds of former cultists (and some current cultists who dared to attend the group!) came through the door of our home and were confronted with the gospel in a way that they could understand it. As a result many chose to follow Jesus and they found their place in evangelical churches.

      So if only men have a “bent” for spiritual confrontation then why is it that God gifts women for spiritual confrontation in a way that matches the biblical way of respect and gentleness so that those who have been deceived may be open to God who may then grant them repentance?

      And whatever is a “bent” anyway? I hardly think that it is a male organ. If only males have the ability to spiritually confront and deal with error, then what am I? Am I an anomaly? Am I in sin for using my gifts of confronting spiritual error and the gift of wisdom and knowledge to understand how to untwist the twisted theology to free a person’s mind to receive the gospel?

      In the area that I started there were 750,000 people and no one was able to help these poor unreached cultists as I was. Pastors came to me for help because they had not been trained how to reach these people using an understanding of the cults own language and mindset. Should I have been turning away men from my group? Or is my gift that employs spiritual confrontation meant for women alone and the men are out of luck?

    • Rebecca

      Michael, I am in a mixed bible study class on Sunday mornings. Mixed meaning, male and female and all ages and levels of scriptural understanding. We have 5 teachers that rotate with the lessons. Are you saying, that females should not teach males even in a Sunday school class or just from the pulpit?

    • Cheryl Schatz

      As a side note, Priscilla was actively involved in confronting error and she did it privately so that Apollos was not embarrassed in public. She taught him the truth more accurately. Apparently God was not embarrassed with gifting her nor was He embarrassed that she used her gifts to confront spiritual error. If God, who is the author of all of our spiritual gifts, was willing to gift a woman and then call attention to that gift by putting it in His Word for both men and women to read about the gentle confrontation, then why would we say that only men have a “bent” to confront spiritual error?

    • Marv

      Michael, thanks for a thoughtful post. My objections are in regard to your statement:

      “Paul is not restricting women teachers over men in the absolute sense. The infinitive here, “to teach” is in the present tense which suggests the perpetual role of teaching which exercises authority (confrontation).”

      1. I have serious doubts whether the present tense of the infinitive “to teach” implies that Paul allowed women to teach “from the pulpit” occasionally.

      2. Paul does not restrict women as “teachers over men.” This is largely a misperception from some translations. The infinitive “to teach” is simply not connected syntactically to “a man.”

    • Paul

      Oh my! To quote Dinesh D’Souza from a recent lecture I heard “I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony; I don’t know where to begin!”

      So to be brief, I’ll begin with Philip B. Payne’s newest Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters. Every reader of this post, starting with you Michael, is highly encouraged to take up and read Payne. Whether or not you agree is secondary to the immense gift this text is to the Church. If your complementarian position is correct, it will be better grounded by engaging Payne’s findings. If incorrect, it should be adjusted accordingly.

      For extensive quotations and modest comments on each chapter, see my review series, still in progress.

    • Samantha

      I am a women. I have a bat. And your theology is unfounded. You should check the historical context in which Paul writes before you bring in attacking a stranger in your house.

    • C Michael Patton

      Couple of things:

      1. Certianly there are exceptions. But exceptions do not provide the rule any more than Debora in the OT as a Judge presented the ideal situation. In fact, I am more inclined to see that these exceptions prove the rule.

      2. This is not an argument or an exegesis of the complementarian viewpoint or, as I said in the post, of the Tim. passage.

      It is simply, assuming the complementarian position (please get that), an explanation of the question of “why?” Why can’t women teach men. It may not even be the only reason, but it is helpful to gain perspective.

      I do think that you will find that Paul always assumes that in your teaching, there will be confrontation of false doctrine that is necessary. I do believe that men are better equipped to confront issues with authority. Not only because it is their bent, but because people will respond more to male confrontations of this type. I could give all kinds of anecdotal stories and personal experiences, but they only go so far. But this post was only meant to go so far!

    • Don

      First, there is no such animal in the Bible that is called anything close to “head pastor” except perhaps Jesus. So I would prefer to unask the question.

      Rephrasing to some more Biblical terms, Why cannot a woman be a pastor? and your response is because a pastor will need to confront error and men are made to confront more than women are.

      At the MOST what you have stated is a generalization, something that MIGHT be true of men when considered as a group and compared to women.

      Did Deborah fail to confront the enemies of Israel? Or Jael? Or, closer to home, how about Prisca (and Aquila) teaching Apollos his error.

      First you choose how to interpret 1 Tim 2:12 in a non-egal way, as you know they are egal readings that are also possible, and then you seek to justify it with this “confront-ability” argument, knowing again that this is simply not true for all females?

      I have learned from you in other areas, but in this case, your argument is simply self-repudiating.

    • C Michael Patton

      Folks, let me state this very clearly:

      -This is not a place for self-promotion. Please don’t respond by only linking to some stuff you have done. I am sure that it is good, but rest assured that I know the issues here.

      -This post is not about debating the comp/egal issue. It goes without saying that if you are a committed egal, you are going to think that this is a poor argument sense you are starting with an egal reading of the relevant text! This post is simply one complementarians understanding of why women are not as effective at teaching in the church. There is most certainly a lot of rational being read into this, but this is the process of making your theology pragmatically understandable.

    • cherylu

      Michael,

      Again, I am not disagreeing with you that men are generally more aggressive and combative then women.

      What confused me (and what I was trying to get at in my first question to you) is that the II Timothy verses give the reason Paul is saying what he does–however that is interpreted. And I don’t see how you are coming to your conclusion from those verses.

      But from your reply above, I guess maybe you weren’t basing your reply on those verses at all? But then, can you give us Scriptural backing for your belief that Paul (and God) made the statements they did for the reason you gave?

      I guess my bottom line question is, “Why do we have to come up with some reason for what Paul said other then the reason he has already given us?” If the reason follows logically from what Paul has told us, it makes sense to me. If it does not, then it seems like we are only ignoring the reasons Paul has already given–for whatever reason–and trying to come up with a reason of our own from observation of human nature and psychology.

      Does that make any sense to any one but me?

    • C Michael Patton

      Rebbecca,

      I think that the ideal is for only men to be in teaching roles that imply a position of authority.

      Having said that, I think that the church has become so timid in so many ways, that it is very hard to find a proper illustration. In Sunday School classes, where the teacher is not in a position of authority, but simply an educator, I don’t have any problem with women teaching men. I think that they can provide an essential educational perspective that the church must allow. It is only in the positions of authority that require teaching in accordance with that authority that is at issue here.

    • Paul

      Michael:
      Assuming the complementarian position for the sake of your argument is precisely what the Church has been doing (in North American certainly) far too long and I do not find it “helpful to gain perspective” if the ground from which you argue is exegetically weak, theologically tenuous, or plainly false.

      If your belief that women are less able to confront false teaching by virtue of the fact that they are women, and if this position does not comport with 1 Tim 2:11-15, then your position is nothing short of gender discrimination. I feel like I’m losing my mind, not reclaiming it here.

      I urge you to spend time with Payne’s research.

    • jim

      My take on this subject:

      My wife feels men make better pastors/teachers. I disagree and point out to her she has never had a woman pastor. She feels they are stronger for those tougher issues pastors deal with, I tend to agree, but perhaps it is wishful thinking.

      This I know to be true!! In Genesis 3 , the woman messed up…(sorry, it’s in the bible) However this is where I tend to have problems Michael with you on this issue.

      So Eve gives to Adam, he eats, and they both hide from God,…
      In this confrontation with God , Adam hides, and when asked if he had eaten of the tree, he doesn’t answer Yes immediately but goes on a spew about the woman who God gave to him, gave him to eat , as if that would help!(LOL) Anyhow , my point is that the first man didn’t handle the confrontation with Eve or God very well the first go around. God scolds him (vs 17) for not standing up to Eve……..So much for keeping the only law or commandment he had to keep!!

      As always , enjoyed this article……but for this subject….tend to come out Egalitariian in principle.

    • C Michael Patton

      Cheryl, it makes perfect sense. I don’t think that Paul extends his reasoning much here, therefore, I provide rational.

      If further explanation is not necessary for you, then no biggie. But a lot of us find ourselves scratching our head attempting to make sense out of the “why?”

      As one complementarian just said to me through email about this post: “I had struggled with this topic for years, but could not defend it other than referencing the scripture. Thanks for your effort in trying to put some rationale to it. Well written, sir.”

    • Cheryl Schatz

      Michael,

      If women cannot teach in the church in an effective and authoritative manner (as refuting false doctrine) then doing so would be a sin. This would mean that those women who do the “sinful” thing would be offending God and He certainly does not set up people in sinful activities as His representatives. If women teaching this way is truly a sinful thing, then God would never supply His own female “sons” with the ability and power to accomplish this task. But the fact that He has gifted women in this area and continues to gift women is proof that God has not created a new law that attributes sin to women who refute false doctrine. God simply cannot sin. And it would be a sin for Him to gift women with the gift of teaching and the authority to refute false doctrine and and then tempt them to sin by using their gifts.

      The most logical understanding is that God gifts people (including women) and it is His will for them to use the gifts He gives them for the common good.

    • C Michael Patton

      Paul, I understand your passion here. But think of this post as primarily written to Complementarians or Egalitarians who want to understand one complemetarian explanation about women, don’t think of it as an argument for my position.

      Sometime, with some issues, it is ok to assume. Just like when I write about the resurrection of Christ, it assumes the incarnation and the existence of God. There are times for defenses of the incarnation and existence of God and these times are very important, but sometimes we have to be given liberty for our assumptions to exist so that we are not continually laying foundations and perpetually stuck somewhere else.

      Trust me when I say that I have studied this issue with some of the best egalitarians there are. My position is not held due to lack of information or understanding. Just saying “read this person or that” is an ever present linchpin of stagnation and, often, faulty assumptions (hopes?) of ignorance.

    • C Michael Patton

      Jim, I agree. This is why I always wonder why Paul uses the Adam Eve illustration! It would seem that Adam was just as deceived as Eve. But, it would seem, that Paul does not see things this way. Paul does not see Adam as being persuaded by the serpent. He does not say why Adam did eat, but Paul’s belief is that he was not deceived at least in the same way as Eve.

      His lack of explanation lead us to posts such as this. This post does not come from this passage exegetically, but logically and experientially as I wrestle with the “why?”

    • C Michael Patton

      Cheryl,

      I don’t think that it is sin for a women to teach necessarily anymore than it was a sin for Debora to be a judge. I just don’t think it represents the biblically ideal situation for many reasons including what was said above.

    • Cheryl Schatz

      Michael,

      I am just curious. You say that you have studied this issue with some of the best egalitarians there are. Have you viewed my DVD series “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” If not are you open to seeing a view that has been described as an explanation of the hard passages on women in a way that there is no contradiction? If you are willing to review the series, I would be willing to send it to you. I am more than willing to put my work out in order for you to try to correct me. My own view has been described as the best that some have ever seen. What do you think? Are you game to having a toe-to-toe with a woman who claims to refute false doctrine? After all it appears that teaching is not a sin, but refuting false doctrine just might be a sin for a woman?

    • C Michael Patton

      No Cheryl, but I will support you in your efforts! When men are too scared to pick up the bats, sometime the women have to!

      I am sure your series is very good. If you want to send it here to the Credo House for us to have in our library (as we have a section devoted to this and have both sides represented) that would be great! I just have to be honest with you and say that I probably won’t have time in the near future and do not see myself serioiusly revisit and engaging in this issue anytime soon other than what I do here. Not that it is not important, but there is only so much time and I spent loads of time on this a few years ago.

      Please don’t misunderstand me, I just have so much that is sent to me all the time from people wanting me to review it. Sometimes I do if it is the “topic of the hour” for me.

    • Don

      If you spent “loads of time” on this some years ago, you are missing some of the best arguments for egalism, which is of course your choice.

      If you wish to become free, Payne is a great place to start.

    • JohnO

      His lack of explanation lead us to posts such as this. This post does not come from this passage exegetically, but logically and experientially as I wrestle with the “why?”

      The problem is, your explanation is not logical. It is based on what appears to be a very limited experience into the bargain. As someone said earlier, the issue of a woman’s confrontational ability (for want of a better phrase) is as much an issue of nurture as nature. If, in your social circles, women have been told that they are ‘lesser’ than men in certain abilities, then it is logical that your experience will be with women who do not exhibit such characteristics which you attribute to men. It seems to me that there are as many here who could provide the anecdotal evidence to support the opposite conclusion to which you come.
      Your argument, therefore, is fundamentally flawed as it is based, by your own admission, not on exegesis or even theology, but in a flawed statistical analysis.

    • Amy Jo Garner

      CMP – I’ve read many cogent arguments for the complementarian view, but this is not one of them. All I know from your post is that your wife dislikes confrontation and that you are willing to step in on her behalf. I know nothing about the fitness of a woman to be in a position of authority in the church.

      You could have provided examples of female head pastors who failed in their positions because they were unwilling to confront wrong teachings. However, I and others (and probably even you) could provide examples of male pastors whose churches were destroyed because they were not willing to confront wrong teachings. We would end up just going back and forth providing countering examples.

      Assertiveness is something that any person – male or female – can learn, so I don’t see how this is a qualifier for fitness to be a head pastor.

    • C Michael Patton

      Don, it is a faulty assumption to say that because I am not of your position (“freedom”?) I have not studied the issue. It is a conversation stopper.

      I could just as well say that if you come and spend a week with me a the Credo House and let me explain it to you will be convinced of my opinion (and I might even believe that!). However, this is not an argument.

      Finally, this is not about arguing for the merits or demerits of each position. It is about explaining how this particular complementarian explains one aspect of the issue.

    • C Michael Patton

      Amy, this is not an arguement for the complementarian position.

    • Cheryl Schatz

      Michael, you said:

      No Cheryl, but I will support you in your efforts! When men are too scared to pick up the bats, sometime the women have to!

      Does this go for “spiritual” bats too? If so, then color me confused. How could you support someone in ministry doing something that God forbids me to do? Or is this an example of unwillingness to confront sin? I don’t know as I find this confusing to say the least.

      I don’t think I am willing to give a copy of my DVD to collect dust. Honestly, it is not a big time waster. Only 3.5 hours of visually interesting pictures and graphics along with the exegesis. A preview can be found on line at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e9TL5TWdac

      Michael, if you are willing reconsider even if it would be to provide a review for my own personal “sin” issues 😉 I would send a copy for your own late night viewing pleasure. Otherwise I think I’ll pass on the shelf full of dust collectors.

      And thanks at least for being willing to engage me a bit here. The fact that you fail to condemn your sisters in Christ is a bonus point for you (as long as we are not in sin, of course!) You are a precious brother in Christ, for sure.

    • C Michael Patton

      John, it is an issue of humanity and sociology as much as anything else. It would bring about the same issues as, say, having a woman general who leads an army into battle. Can they do it? Possibly. It is best for them and for the troops? Absolutely not! However, people could respond by giving exceptions and other sociological studies. In the end, pragmatically, it rarely happens. Why? That is a good question. It is so obvious that sometime the simplicity gets lost in the debate. Here, I am afraid, the simplicity of my reasoning can get lost, but need to as long as you keep perspective.

      The effectiveness is not measured only by those who are leading and their theoretical capabilities, but the troops who respond.

      Paul sees the church in such terms. Just because the church has gotten so weak in so many areas does not mean that this is the way it is supposed to be and we should accomidate to these weaknesses.

    • Sprockett

      Hot Potato Issue!!

      My Wife and I are both Complimentarians, based partly on scripture but also on our life experiences. In general Women nurture, it’s built into their physiology. If you want proof, find any office full of career minded woman and bring a newborn in, you will be astonished at the change. I’ve seen woman who are as tough as stone go glassy eyed at the site of an infant, they want to nurture, that’s part of God’s design.

      There are exceptions of course, but Michelle and I both know woman who have lost their marriages because they could not balance an aggressive work life with a marriage that requires their tender side. It works for some I’m sure, but neither of us has seen it work.

      Men don’t have that nurturing side (or not as much), a man who is in a position of authority has no dual nature to deal with. That’s not to say that women can’t be in positions of authority, but if she tries to have it all then trouble will ensue. And maybe not for her, but for her children or husband.

      In the position of a pastor it’s even more tenuous, if they dedicate themselves to the ministry then maybe it will work. But someone in that position needs to be a stronger leader than a good nurturer, they need to be able to stand in a position of authority when the situation demands it. Not many woman can do that effectively, and when they do it damages their image and they lose respect. You can spin this any way you want, but it’s very very difficult for a woman to be in a position of authority in the church and still maintain a high level of respect.

      We don’t care if women teach or even preach for that matter, but neither my wife or I could attend a church that had a woman in a position of authority, it just leads to problems. While looking for a home church this was one of our doctrine questions, we got some interesting responses.

      I’m an Arminian Complementarian just to mix things up a little, I think scriptures pretty clear about the issue and to Michelle and I it’s just common sense.

      -Paul-

    • Rebecca

      Is the conflict about women in a position of authority or is it about what authority really is? In other words, some may consider teaching a position of authority, a leadership position and some may not. Personally, I don’t yet have discernment on how to tell one from the other. Does a teacher simply present the information and encourage participation? Or is he/she viewed as an authority figure. Do others equate leadership with authority?

      Michael, let me speak of what I do know with some conviction. Most of the men I know in this generation and recent past are avoiders. They do the opposite of what you speak about. They may be more physically fearless…in fact, too many are foolishly physically fearless but few are fearless when it comes to confronting another while calm. Most men confront only after their buttons have been pushed and then it’s non productive and out of control. True, women are gentler but I find they are also firm and willing to address an unpleasant situation before spewing! I’m speaking mostly of seasoned men and women.

      Also, if women are known talkers and have generally superior communication skills than men, why did God bless us with such? Notice all the parables Jesus had to use? He found how many ways to break it all down to mostly men in order to rid them of that “deer in the headlight” look.

      Lastly…at least for now…on Adam and Eve….Eve was fooled. Yes, she was charmed. But…Adam was willing to throw her under the bus. He let her “sin” for him…or so he thought. He played stupid…and that never happens anymore, right? Then he cowarded out when God questioned him. He did not protect Eve. He not only blamed God, he blamed Eve. Is that our legacy? I mean, which was the weaker of the two. Where was Adam’s spine? I have seen women get burned. I have seen far more many men get burned again and again and again. So, in my world, that rationale doesn’t hold up. Men have more ego and pride…not always a good characteristic for leadership….if Christian leadership means to serve. I’m not saying you are wrong about the positions of authority ..just wrong about why.

    • C Michael Patton

      Cheryl,

      I don’t believe what you are doing is “sin”. In fact, from what you have describe, you are not in any definite position of authority over men. I support Mary Joe Sharp as well. I don’t think either one of you are pastors in authority over any specific group. This is where I draw the line.

      You can be the commander of the army or you can be an educator on battle strategy. An educator on battle strategy is not particular to a sex, being a commander, in my opinion is.

      Women can confront issues and be very effective. But confronting people is different. I think that this is where the “authority” issue comes in. And this is why I limit my understandings of the restrictions to the head pastor (or equivalent since someone is about to jump on the legitimacy of “head” pastor 😉 )

      Hope that makes sense.

    • JohnO

      Michael,
      OK, I see where you are coming from, but respectfully disagree.
      I understand why you might argue that an army may not follow a woman (we’ll leave Joan of Arc out of the equation for the moment), but again this is based on a static view of cultural and societal norms. If you will not allow even the possibility for women to ‘grow into’ positions of responsibility, or more to the point, allow for men to come to accept the leadership of a woman, but persist in applying outdated stereotypes, then it is no wonder you reach the conclusions you do.
      Can you think of no successful female ministries which undermine your assertion? Can you not allow for the possibility that such ministries can become accepted and of use within the whole church?

    • C Michael Patton

      Rebecca,

      Would you think a commander of an army going into battle should be a male or female? Who do you think would be more effective and why? Which is ideal? Who do you think that the troops would respond to more? Why?

      I know that you can bring up exceptions ad infinitum, but if you are honest you will say that men are more effective leaders in this case. My rational here is not much different. I think that Paul sees the church, with regard to preaching and teaching, the same.

    • Amy Jo Garner

      CMP, if you’re not arguing for the complementarian position, then what is the point of this post? You tell us that you are complementarian. You list a few reasons someone might take this view. You offer an alternative viewpoint. Is that not an argument in favor of the view you hold? You basically said, this is what I believe and here’s one reason why. That is an argument by definition is it not?

      argument: a fact or assertion offered as evidence that something is true

    • Rebecca

      Michael, I didn’t bring up exceptions. I want to believe that men make better leaders. In a way, that would make it easier on me. But I am troubled by the weakenesses of men in leadership that I see and hear about too often. I am seeing few men with the characteristics needed for true shepherding. That troubles me.

      Now, you didn’t respond to my thoughts on the first man cratering under or to Eve. He followed her as if she was the authority. What say you?

    • C Michael Patton

      Amy, I understand how this could be understood as such.

      An argument would give the reasons why I am a complementarian. This post does not do this at all. It is simply an attempt to explain why I, as a complementarian, believe that Paul said that women cannot teach. There will complementarians that disagree with this as well as egalitarians.

      I just don’t want the intent of this post to be misunderstood. I want to keep from having people come on here and turn this into a straw man argument supporting their position.

      My reasons for being a complementarian are scriptural, societal, genetic, and due to personal experience. At best, this would be ancillary to my argument.

    • C Michael Patton

      Rebecca, it is very possible that this is what got him into trouble!

    • Don

      CMP, I accept your claim that you studied the gender issue a few years ago.
      But this is an issue that does not go away, it is like abortion in the US political arena.
      Either human life begins at conception or it begins some other time. Either God in the new covenant makes distinctions based on physical things or he does not.

      My point is simply that you are missing out (by your choice) on some of the better egal arguments by declining to study more current ones. Payne is excellent, even tho I do not agree with him on everything. Cheryl has some arguments I have not seen elsewhere and which comps have yet to respond to.

      Plus your argument in this case amounts to a possible rationale for more male pastors than females, at best, even given your assumptions. It is in no way showing that ONLY male pastors are God’s design.

    • Danny Zachairas

      Not sure how to phrase this so it doesn’t get flagged as “debating” and thus deleted 🙂

      I find this to be one of the absolute strangest arguments for the complimentarian position I’ve ever read. You use a personal example (which doesn’t even talk about confronting false doctrine but a personal threat). You and I are in the exact opposite position— my wife is much better at standing up to people than I am. Does this therefore make her more fit for pastoral leadership? I believe there are some God-given differences between men and women besides genitals, but this is not one of them.

    • C Michael Patton

      Rebecca, I too am troubled by the lack of male leaders. Frankly, think that there are many reasons, but one that is very important, in my opinion, is that men are not taught to be men anymore. They don’t know what it means. They are taught that they don’t have too many essential differences between them and women. They are taught that they don’t have a particular role. They are taught to supress their masculinity and embrass their “feminine side.” It is confusing. In the end, I think we need more people who are complementarian leading the church and expressing this value with greater confidence and boldness.

      Men will still be wimps because we are still sinners. Adam still followed Eve.

    • C Michael Patton

      Been great folks, but as always, there is only limited amount of time I can spend on this.

      Keep things on track and cordial.

      Our mods will be keeping an eye on things here even if I can’t.

    • Rebecca

      Michael, my difference with you was they why factor. I think leadship skills are few and far between. I think noble men are few and far between. That’s a problem for church leadership. Who takes up the slack?

      You say,”it is very possible that this is what got him into trouble!” “That”? What is “that”? Eve got him into trouble or Adam got himself into trouble? I’m just using your argument or explanation of why men should be leaders. If they do, I feel you need to find a better reason. Maybe they aren’t better leaders. Maybe that was God’s plan. Maybe there’s a lesson there. Maybe it has less to do with leadership than we think.

      I agree that men are encourage too much to find their gentler, more feminine side. But I believe that before that, man turned the reins over and somebody had to steer. It’s amazing what you learn to do and how you adapt when it’s dumped into your lap! Are the blurring of the sexes a 20th or 21st century phenomenon? Are does it stem from Adam not jumping in front of Eve and knocking that apple out of her hand and saying to Eve with all the authority God gave him,” You will not eat that! Don’t even think about!”??

    • C Michael Patton

      BTW: I think that Robet Webb’s Women, Slaves, and Homosexuals provides the best hermeneutical defense of the egalitarian position. It is very well done and came very close to convincing me. At the very least, committed complementarians should have engaged Webb.

    • C Michael Patton

      Rebecca, I think you are assuming (understandably) that I am saying more than I am saying. I am not saying that women cannot be leaders. I am not even saying that women cannot lead men. I am simply saying that for certian things (including certian positions in military and the church) women should not be in such a position and it it better suited for men. I could give dozens of positions that are not suited for men, but are better held by women.

      Just because our sinfulness keeps us from the idea, does this mean that we should not strive for the ideal? Men are going to be imperfect leaders to be sure. But this is the reason why, I believe, Paul felt it better for a man to hold positions of authority in the church.

    • John Hobbins

      Unlike some of the egals on this thread, I am an egal but don’t think for a moment that Paul was egalitarian in his thinking about congregational leadership. He was a traditionalist in many ways. He was a traditionalist when it came to teaching and the exercise of authority in/over an assembly of men and women. Those were responsibilities normally reserved for men in his day. He didn’t think the Gospel was meant to fix this. From his point of view, it wasn’t something broken in the first place.

      I interact with Michael’s post in greater depth here:

      http://ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com/ancient_hebrew_poetry/2010/02/why-michael-patton-is-wrong-about-women-in-ministry-and-why-i-dont-want-to-change-his-mind.html

    • C Michael Patton

      Okay,

      I have spent the last two hours plus going through Payne’s arguments (not that this is what the post is about!)

      Good stuff, but I failed to find anything original that egalitarians have not been saying for some time now. I don’t see anything that “updates” me to the issue and no real unique arguments. It is just run of the mill stuff that I have read many many times.

      So, up-to-date! (I guess)

      I would still say that Webb’s approach is the best I have seen.

    • Rebecca

      I think you might be misunderstanding me as well. I was challenging your “reasons” about why you think we are instructed to have men in positions of authority…not challenging that scripture tells us so. That’s a given to me. If God says it, that settles it. If that’s what you had said, no comment from me then. But you tried to explain why you thought God ordered it that way. My response was to your reasons. I think your reasons have been proven wrong….and I’m not even happy about that. I wish you were right. But I don’t think you are.

      Seerms there are 3 discussions going on here:
      1. What is authority? Teaching, preaching, leading, organizing?
      2. What does scripture tell us about authority and the roles of men and women in the church?
      3. What are the reasons? Can we know? Do we know? Does it matter?

      Ideal. I love ideal. I strive for ideal. But I also struggle with it. I live in a fallen world and I have to meet that world where it is and in the process ask God to give me direction and show me when I’m splitting hairs and missing His point.

      I have a theory. The CHURCH….Build men up oages and wake up the passive. Make it a mission to develope real men, Godly men. Warriors. If the church really did that, I feel soon afterwards, women wouldn’t feel the need nearly as much to apply for leadership roles. You can’t just legislate leadership. You have to first find and develope leaders. The church needs to require men to be leaders. Women love their families. If too many men are passive, women will step in just to protect their own, just to protect their futures. That’s why you see more women bringing children to church. Not enough leadership at home and not enough at church. Maybe the church needs to take this a tab bit more seriously.

    • Rebecca

      By the way, I have ten children….5 boys and 5 girls. I am told I am a very effective communicator. My husband is not so much. I could say something, my children listened with one ear. My husband could say the exact same thing and my children listened as if he was EF Hutton! The world stopped spinning. Maybe that is what you were trying to say Michael. I have to fight for it. My husband does not. If I were a military leader and I could be…I’d have respect but I’d have to fight for it in a way that a male counterpart would not. What is that? It’s something spiritual God has given man? It’s a gift? And he hasn’t honored it?

    • Don

      I like Webb a lot, but I see Spirit trajectory as being but yet another rationale to be egal; that is, even if Spirit trajectory is not accepted as Webb wrestles with it, it is not needed to be a Biblical egal, it justs adds to the pile of reasons. Besides his book, his CDs from recent CBE conferences are not to be missed.

    • Cheryl Schatz

      Michael,

      Well if I now understand you correctly, I am not in sin for correcting the doctrine of men, but I would be in sin if I took authority over any man. Well I guess I am guilty of that, so am I in sin?

      Years back we have a very aggressive and independent minded JW come to the support group. His ultimate purpose was to bring all the ex-JW’s back to the fold and I was a bit of a bump in the road for him although he had a lot of curiosity about me. Ultimately as he was one that was “in the truth” he tried to take over the group. I stopped him. I asked him why he came to the group when he didn’t listen and wouldn’t stop talking. He said he came to hear what Cheryl had to say and I told him that if this was the case to sit down and be quiet so that he could listen to what I had to say. He sat down and listened. I never gave him opportunity after that to speak and in the end he met with me privately every other week for about a year as he pondered many of the things regarding Christian doctrine that he had not seen clearly before.

      So was I in sin for taking authority over this man? I believe that all the “sons” of God have have been given the authority to use our gift. I was the one teaching and since I could not teach with the interruptions, I took authority over his ability to speak. He had to either remain silent and listen or leave. Without the authority to use my gift, I could not function as God intended.

      Another time I had a disruptive ex-JW who thought that talking about Hitler’s skinning of Jews was appropriate and funny fodder for discussion. I reprimanded him privately on this one and he was offended that he couldn’t continue to talk in this coarse way, but he obeyed me and the issue was resolved. Was I also in sin for taking authority over this man’s ability to talk in a coarse manner in the group?

      It seems to me that when God gifts a person, whether a man or a woman, they are also granted the authority to use their gift unhindered. It is the teacher’s responsibility to use that authority so that the church may learn. It is not their responsibility to use authority in any way that is self-serving.

      Does this make sense? Or have I been in sin all along for taking authority over men?

    • Bryant

      Lets watch the movie 300 Leonidas and his wife both seem able to portray authority with power lol

    • codepoke

      I’m a male comp turned egal due to persuasion from the scriptures over a span of 20 years. I was not hot-headedly committed to either position before, and still am not though I will defend egal when asked. I’ve not read the comments, but I have read your “no debate” rider.

      Yours is an interesting perspective, though it would not have been persuasive to me in my comp days, and is less so now. It’s extra-biblical and sets up a false dichotomy. Paul does not explain himself, so your attempt to explain his position for him must of necessity be extra-biblical. You may, of course, be right, but the argument lacks force when it lacks the foundation of scripture.

      The false dichotomies are that leaders must be confrontational and that women cannot be spiritually gifted confronters. The briefest look at the success women in every area of society dissolves the argument here. To say leaders gifted in confrontation have one extra tool at hand is defensible. To say fewer women than men are gifted in confrontation is defensible. But to say confrontation is the defining gift of leadership and since all women lack that gift, that therefore no woman can be a leader is so manifestly false as to discredit the comp case.

      I fail to see where this post should reduce the sting a woman feels when her gifts are silenced by a perceived misinterpretation of scripture.

      And, since I’ve not read the comments I’m only guessing here, but I’d be shocked if a couple women didn’t feel a certain permission in your post to demonstrate in these comments that they’re quite comfortable confronting perceived error.

    • Kim S

      Rebecca, I too am troubled by the lack of male leaders. Frankly, think that there are many reasons, but one that is very important, in my opinion, is that men are not taught to be men anymore. They don’t know what it means.

      Women, as multi-taskers, are so quick to jump in and fill holes wherever a deficiency is noticed. We have embraced equality so much that we fail to see the beauty in our created uniqueness. There certainly are times when it is necessary for a woman to lead a man, but it should be in instances where a male spiritual leader is not to be found or is lacking in spiritual maturity. Years ago a friend of mine found herself pastoring new believers in China because there were no men to do this. But her goal was to disciple the men in order that they may step into their God appointed places of leadership in the newly formed churches. Her goal was not to remain a pastor/teacher of men, but to come along side and help build the men up, then step back.

      There are many similar situations we could name. It is important to ask, “Lord, how will you be most glorified in this situation? And what would you have me do?”

    • KR Wordgazer

      I think the whole argument of “he’s more fit (here, “confrontational”), so he should lead” falls apart when we look at the overall pattern of Scripture– particularly in the New Testament.

      The overall pattern is that the gifts and the callings of God are not according to the flesh. God doesn’t necessarily choose the oldest in the family, the largest, the strongest, etc. Why, then, has God apparently given the gift of universal leadership in every home and church, based purely on the flesh? He has apparently chosen the physically strong to have authority over those who are by nature physically weaker; the ones whom society already favors, has He chosen over the ones who are most often oppressed; the ones who naturally see themselves as privileged to take and hold power– these He has chosen to be in charge, and the lowly, He has chosen to submit.

      Does this fit in with the overall pattern of Scripture? I don’t see it. I see the opposite. God calls whom He will; and He tends to like to overturn what looks right or natural to us. I think any reading of the Scriptures that results in leadership by divine right, given to the powerful over the unempowered, does not reflect the heart of God and thus, cannot be a correct interpretation.

    • […] who writes the Parchment and Pen blog, has posted a rather brave piece on the issue entitled Why Women Cannot be Head Pastors.  His primary argument is that women should not be head pastors because women are not as capable […]

    • Lisa Robinson

      Michael, I usually stand in wholehearted agreement with just about everything you write. But I must admit I’ve having trouble following your logic here. If headship were tied to ability, then women would have no ability for the confrontational requirements of leadership outside of the church. You may argue that the business world is different but not according to the criteria that you are setting up. If women lack for authority in the church, they would lack for leadership in non-church sectors and practically, that simply isn’t the case.

      It would also follow that women would not make good apologists, yet they exist. I’m thinking specifically of Mary Jo Sharpe and women like her whose chief ministry is debating highly educated and well versed individuals who hold to a non-christian worldview. The comparable position in a secular arena would be attorneys and other positions that require confrontational advocacy. According to your assertions, women would not be successful in this area but again, that is not the case.

      I think the biblical support for this is wanting. I see no correlation of authority with supposed innate feminine qualities that would render a woman ineffective in a head position. In fact, in the case of Priscilla and Aquila confronting error in teaching, many speculate that Priscilla took the lead on this since her name appeared first. Rather, the issue of authority is tied to the creative order that promulgates headship and submission whereby the party that probably could run the show, yields the right to do so.

    • Bryant

      I never take this seriously because it naturally works that men are in positions of authority point blank period. Take no offense egad’s or women it is the way it is in society, especially in the business environment as plainly as can be seen from the perch down in all companies. Why that is, is beyond me I suppose there is a bit of confrontational aspect in all contacts between people especially men they have a tendency to bow up to one another, women on the other hand observe and rightly so since weakness can be accessed from the sidelines. Now none of this has any bearing on the text that is primarily used to support a complementarin view, however one thing has always been in view as can be ascertained from ancient cultures. Men have always been in positions of authoritarian leadership roles. For example of the 40 kings of Judah and Israel all are men. Even in other ANE cultures men are ruling the roost as far back as antiquity. The few exceptions I believe lay in the Egyptian monarchy which may have resulted by default i.e. assassination, assimilation or simply the male is a child, to young to rule.
      Now fast-forward to Paul’s time, nothing probably has not changed in this mind-set of men being in authority, it is a rarity that women in general down through the ages are in positions of great authority, granted a queen here and there by default I believe because of no male successor. It has only becomes a litmus test since the introduction of dynamic equivalence back in the late 60’s early 70’s, as an example the NIV. I wouldn’t stick my neck out on the line, since I could be wrong here, but this does seem to a product of thought only in the last 30 or so years. So how does one justify beyond the 30 years back to antiquity for male leadership to be the predominant form of authority? History as governed by God’s Glory. I am not saying women are not part of this plan, just that the majority has been men. Perhaps Men are more accursed than women, since sin passes thru the genealogy of men, think Mary ladies

    • TL

      “Would you think a commander of an army going into battle should be a male or female? Who do you think would be more effective and why? Which is ideal? Who do you think that the troops would respond to more? Why?”

      The commander of an army should be the individual who is most knowledgeable and skilled. History has shown us that in most cases that is going to be a man since men are the ones who most often end up fighting. But that is not always the case.

      It is not unusual that Christians like all people, choose to honor stereotypes, simply because we are human. Even today we have the best world class ski jumper in the entire world who is not permitted to be challenged by those who are almost as good, simply because she is a female. So, even though she is hands down the best and everyone knows it, men still don’t want to have to be bested by her and honor her skills.

      In my estimation, that is what it’s all about.

    • KR Wordgazer

      Sorry, but “this is the way it has always been, so it must be God’s plan” doesn’t work for me– not in a fallen world.

      As for the idea that people respond better to the authority of men– same issue. 50 years ago, people responded better to the authority of white men over that of black men. Did this support the right of whites to lead, or simply the prejudices of those being led?

    • Spencer Barfuss

      I always thought that the Timothy passage on God not giving women the right to teach or have authority over men in the church was related to God’s order of creation, being that God created Adam first, and then Eve. And also, that Eve was deceived first. Just as there is a hierarchy of authority within the Trinity, and in marriage, there is a hierarchy of authority within the church.

      Like you said Michael, it doesn’t mean that women aren’t as good at teaching as men are (I actually think that there are some women who are much better communicators of the Word than men…). But it does mean that God has not granted them authority or the right to teach over men. It’s by design…

      So, in saying that, I don’t think the statement you made about women is a very good argument. There are some women who definitely gravitate to confrontation more than men do. So in that sense, I don’t think that argument holds ground.

      On a webdesign related note, I think it would be helpful to have threaded comments, where people can reply to specific comments, and the visual of who’s commenting on who’s post is more organized and readable. I freelance design/develop websites on the side (including WordPress). So, if you need some help with that, I could definitely help you set it up.

      Anyways, thanks again for your post…

    • Ms. Jack Meyers

      #61 Bryant ~ Take no offense egad’s or women it is the way it is in society, especially in the business environment as plainly as can be seen from the perch down in all companies.

      Except that studies have found that businesses which include women in their top leadership do better than businesses that are led exclusively by males.

      Just further proof that if you want true complementarianism between the sexes, look to egalitarianism.

    • Heidi

      May I mildly suggest that your own experience teaches you that women are not lesser than men in the expertise of confrontation?

      Perhaps there is a cultural context or local phenomena that is being addressed in the scripture, such as a personality that they couldn’t deal with very well and therefore had to pull rank?

    • Heidi

      I would add an example: Judith. You can’t get more confrontational than a beheading.

    • Johnfom

      Michael,

      I’m not debating the issue itself here, it’s the usefulness of the presentation that I’m going to question.

      The anecdotal presentations are heavily culturally biased to a particular section of a particular culture. It can’t even be said that the ‘non-confrontational’ woman is the overwhelming norm even in US culture. There are sufficient exceptions to question the validity of the rule.

      Move out of US culture and the picture is even more heavily weighted towards matriarchal societies and women whose bent is is towards argument and teaching.

      What you seem to have done here is show that you are better suited to be a head pastor than your wife, perhaps choosing that as a typical representation of those you tend to meet in your sub-culture, and then extrapolate that, expecting it to help make sense of the passage for other cultures.

      Most of the women I have met in contemporary Australian, Scottish, Greek, and those few I have met from Central African cultures are at the least equally conditioned to exercise authority in confrontational or aggressive situations. They are the norm in those cultures, not the picture you painted

      Your stated aim was ‘I like to make the Scripture pragmatically understandable.’ To my experience, this post may pragmatically explain the position to a minority subculture in the US but runs counter intuitively to many other cultures and would actually bring further confusion to the passage in those cultures.

      In light of this, I don’t see the point of the post.

    • Lionel Woods

      I thank God that we only have one “head” pastor in all of the Church Jesus Christ, because as far as I can tell the greatest false teachers throughout all of human history have been men 8)

    • C Michael Patton

      Although I cannot keep up with the comments any more on this post, I have edited the post to include the military illustration as I think it finds the closest parallel to what I am addressing here.

      Hope it helps.

    • EricW

      Read MAN AND WOMAN, ONE IN CHRIST: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters, by Philip B. Payne (Zondervan 2009).

      I’d love to see how many complementarians continue to make their standard arguments after interacting with Payne’s book.

      (Note: Some facility with NT Greek is expected of the reader, though non-Greek readers will still benefit from reading it.)

    • Alexander M Jordan

      Hi Michael,

      I agree with you that men generally men are more suited by God-given temperament to be confrontational, although of course there are exceptions to this. And I agree that confronting false teaching is a critical part of what those leading the church are called to do.

      I think it is sound to infer, as you have, that since Scripture explicitly directs men to leadership roles in the church (elders/pastors/teachers), that there must be something within male temperament that is best suited to this task.

      Some women have a gift of teaching, and some may be better able than certain men to confront, but nevertheless God has ordered it that in the church men are to teach and to lead.

      This does not mean that all men are, by virtue of simply being men, qualified to teach– one must also be gifted by God. I believe that would include having a temperament that is willing and able to confront false teaching.

      From the Genesis account of the fall of man and Paul’s comment on it in 1 Timothy 2, Eve’s fall was one of being deceived while the man both neglected his God-given responsibility to lead and protect his wife and also rebelliously ate the forbidden fruit. His sin seems not a problem of having been deceived as of being rebellious and shirking his responsibilities.

      Since Paul uses this account to argue that men should be teachers and women refrain from teaching, I infer from this that there is something about the female temperament that is more prone to deception. And perhaps something in the male temperament is more prone to pure rebellion. But certainly Paul makes his argument based on the notion that there is something different in the way God has created man vs woman that leads to the different roles they are to assume.

      Following this directive then has nothing to do with whether women are intelligent, gifted and able to teach. Yet in the church God has designed it that men assume teaching roles.

      Similarly, in Scripture men are called to be the head of their household simply by virtue of the fact that they are men and this is their God-given role, not because they are necessarily intrinsically more qualified to be a leader. In some households the wife may be the intellectual, educational or spiritual superior, but nonetheless she is to submit to her husband.

    • Jennifer

      Hi Michael,

      I’m not arguing the content, I just think your argument is weak. I’d be very interested in hearing some strong support and exchange of ideas on what Paul’s motives could have been, and why he felt God was guiding this advice about women in pastoral leadership. But your argument seems to be that men are better suited to lead worship because. . .your wife is timid?

    • Sue

      Michael interprets 1 Timothy 11-15,

      “Paul did not let women teach due to the often aggressive and combative nature that teaching must entail concerning the confrontation of false doctrine.”

      And then Paul wrote,

      “Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”

      My guess is that Paul would have said that men needed to be combattive if that is what he intended. However, in direct contrast he implores men to stop fighting. If it is the aggressive nature of men which enables them to teach, then Paul is desguising his argument very well, by pointing out that it is the combative and aggressive nature of men that needs to be reprimanded in 1 Tim. 2.

    • tj m

      hey Michael,

      can you tie in the rest of the verse as a reason for Paul’s (God’s) explanation of why women shall not have authority over man? I agree you have a point of why, without bending or twisting scripture and I believe it has something to do with the responsibility God gave to man…something man failed to do when satan was deceiving Eve.

      thankx
      tj m

    • KR Wordgazer

      Michael, you said not to debate, so I won’t. Suffice it to say that I disagree with Alexander Jordan’s interpretation of Scripture on every level. I would ask you, Alexander, to consider re-examining such positions as reading “head of the household” within the description of the husband and wife (not the husband and the household) being in a head-body relationship. Thank you for your consideration.

    • Hodge

      Michael,

      The problem is that this speculative rationale ignores Paul’s argument. I know you think you have supplied what is not there, but I would suggest that you have supplied what is not meant to be there or implied.

      1. Paul doesn’t exclude from head pastor, he excludes from the functions of elder. Hence, it would not only exclude what is considered to be a head pastor today, but any woman who performed those functions over a man.

      2. You said: “Would I let a woman teach from the pulpit from time to time? Yes. Paul is not restricting women teachers over men in the absolute sense. The infinitive here, “to teach” is in the present tense which suggests the perpetual role of teaching which exercises authority (confrontation).”

      The Greek verb is aspectual, not tense oriented, and the infinitive here certainly is not meant to convey the duration of the action, but further defines the verb. This idea would also contradict the absoluteness in which Paul castes his argument by rooting in the created order.

      Would you argue that Paul just doesn’t want people to perpetually walk any longer as those without God walk in Eph 4:17 because it’s a present infinitive, and therefore, only refers to perpetually living like them. So it’s OK to sometimes live like a godless person according to Paul’s instructions?

      3. I agree with those who have critiqued what you’ve said by only superficially considering Paul’s own reasons for his conclusion.

      A. Men were made before women, so as to convey God’s desired order of their roles.

      B. The woman was deceived and the man was not.

      C. The woman’s role is found in motherhood rather than in fatherhood. Hence, her role is compared to the Christian/Jewish Haustafel, where the father is given reign over the household in general for discipline and instruction and the boys specifically.

      Adam isn’t seen as combative in A, B, or C. The issue has to do with authority in the household. I agree that men are made for this, but not because they’re more aggressive than women. I think that observation is experiential and cultural in nature. Paul’s argument is a universal one from the created order, however, and experiential arguments that stem from the perceived psychological dynamic concerning gender and conflict I think falls short of the mark Paul intended.

      I would also add: Do you not think there is conflict in women’s ministry? Women are still permitted to teach other women and children. I believe there is plenty of conflict involved there, as my wife would tell you.

    • Sue

      Hi Hodge,

      You write,

      “The infinitive here, “to teach” is in the present tense which suggests the perpetual role of teaching which exercises authority (confrontation).””

      You imply that the verb authenteo qualifies the verb didasko (to teach) . BDAG gives authenteo the meaning of “to assume a stance of independent authority, give orders to, dictate to.”

      So would you, if you used a lexicon, agree that this phrase means, “to teach with a stance of independent authority, giving orders and dictating?”

      My deepest apologies to Michael for this engagement.

      However, if men here are going to claim some kind of teaching authority, they must be prepared to defend their statements. It is difficult for women to respect those who arbitrarily infuse the word of God with meanings which cannot be derived in a logical way.

    • Roger Allen

      First of all there is no example of “Head” pastors or “assistant” pastors or “youth” pastors in scripture. It’s just “pastor”. So, it’s out of order right from the start. Strictly man’s doing. The scriptures make it VERY clear regarding the qualifications for elders and overseers and they are “masculine” just like the Godhead.
      Why would a woman want the title of pastor anyway? If you have gifts why not just serve? Well, we all know why. Recognition and power. Nothing new under the sun. One thing God hates with a passion and that is aggressive females who like to emasculate men by usurping authority over them (Ahab and Jezebel, oh and by the way be sure to tell the people that it was me who sicked the dogs on Jezebel). Give aggressive women an inch in this respect and the next thing you will have is a feminine Godhead. It’s all happened before. If the men would stand for truth instead of caving in because they will have to sleep on the couch the church might have a true revival. It amuses me to see how people will try to twist scripture to support their desires. You are playing a very dangerous game messing with the Lord’s order. Best to seek His face for a fresh dose of “the fear of the Lord” while there is still time. Are you so deceived that you really believe you can rebel against His known will to serve Him under your terms? You would be better off tieing a millstone around your neck and jumping into the sea. And I must add that all Christians are in “full time ministry”. Do not give up your day job to be a pastor. Paul set the example to follow regarding that issue.

    • Hodge

      Hi Sue,

      authenteo is not qualified by didasko. They are two separate functions. They both limit the verb epitrepo “I permit.” This is seen by the meristic pattern that is created between didasko and esuchia mantheto and that created by en upotage and authenteo. V. 11 goes with v. 12. That’s important to note.

      Having done an extensive study of authenteo, I do not agree with the view you hold that authenteo carries a negative connotation. That sort of lexicography has been discredited for some time. What you are reading in BDAG is a carry over from a poor methodology that once employed etymology as a determining factor in the definition of words. The context is clear that authenteo is in contrast to en esuchia, and it does not carry a negative connotation. Hence, permission is not granted to a woman to exercise any kind of authority over a man, but to remain in complete submission to the elders to handle disciplinary matters.

      “It is difficult for women to respect those who arbitrarily infuse the word of God with meanings which cannot be derived in a logical way.”

      Sue, can you explain to me your understanding of lexicographical methodology, both appropriate uses of diachronic and synchronic information? It’s easy to accuse, but not so easy to substantiate the claim you’re making.

    • Gary Simmons

      Since authenteo and didasko have an overlapping semantic domain — namely that of directing/instructing — it is not impossible for it to be a hendiadys. Sorry Egals, but it is a possibility from the text.

      If Paul does not give a rationale, as Michael says, then that is because it is assumed that the readers knew the rationale, whatever that may be.

      I will admit that I skipped the last fifty comments, so maybe Michael clarified this already, but it seems to me that he is arguing that women in a head pastoral position are not the ideal, and he attempts to give a (partial) rationale as to why one may believe that.

      Michael, your concept of the aggressiveness factor holds true the experience of many, but not all. You yourself note that. I would like to contribute to this by addressing the scenario of women as counselors.

      If a woman is head pastor, and head pastors are (unfairly) expected to be marriage counselors/therapists, then what are the threats of counseling a male in a one-on-one setting? Generally, they are a danger to her. A male who objectifies women cannot successfully be cured of that by one-on-one time with a woman. He won’t take her seriously.

      Now, the reverse situation is why a male counselor should always leave his door open a crack, just to avoid any rumors of immorality, since rumors happen and they hurt even without a shred of evidence.

      Because, in the eyes of sinful men, women are sex objects, and head pastors will at times need to address male sexual deviancy, there is a special case in which it is very difficult for a female pastor to do so.

      Of course, one could also look to Genesis 1 and simply say that “God created in a hierarchy even in Genesis 1, and there was neither coercion nor force, but neither was there distrust and a demand of egalitarianism among the cosmic elements.” From there one could say that perfect peace does not necessitate egalitarianism.

    • Sue

      My understanding is that although context does play an important part in determining the meaning of a word, it can only help the reader decide among a range of all the possible meanings of the word. A word has a distinct range of meanings and cannot be taken to mean something outside of that range.

      If this were not so, we could never communicate unexpected information to anyone. We would always have to assume the most expected meaning out of all word meanings for the context. But this is not the case. People can communicate meaning outside of what is expected because words do have meaning, although this meaning is represented by a semantic range.

      This puts the onus on complementarians to demonstrate that “to exercise authority in an appropriate way” as to lead in church, is one possible meaning of the word authenteo. The question is fairly simple. Does “to lead” as in lead in church fall within the semantic range of authenteo? Is there any evidence for this?

      I know that Michael does not want this discussion. I feel always as if there is an attempt to simply assume the meaning of this word, and not use the scholarly tools that we have.

    • Sue

      Gary,

      You write,

      “it is not impossible for it to be a hendiadys. Sorry Egals, but it is a possibility from the text.”

      But Dr. Koestenberger, who is a complementarian, has spilled endless ink demonstrating that it is not a hendiadys, because he believes a hendiadys is favourable to the egal position.

      I personally don’t have an opinion on this. It is like watching ping pong.

    • Steve Allen

      Hi Mr. Patton.

      First, I am also a complementarian.

      I usually enjoy reading your thoughts; and this was no exception. However, this time I enjoyed reading this post, not because it was right, but because it was not. It got me thinking, though. (I can’t fault you for not taking it seriously, as so many writers don’t. Thank you for that.)

      My response is way too long to include in a comment. Instead, I have posted it on my own blog: http://ps27-4.blogspot.com/2010/02/complementarianismwhy.html

      (Thanks for providing a topic on which to write: I had run dry, and you broke my writer’s block. :))

      I would be curious to know your thoughts in response to the argument presented there.

      Comments on my blog are also moderated, but feel free to respond: I’ll be sure your comments get through, even if it takes a while.

      Or you could email me directly (I’ll see it a lot faster.)

      In Christ,

      Steve Allen

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      I also have to challenge this statement.

      “What you are reading in BDAG is a carry over from a poor methodology that once employed etymology as a determining factor in the definition of words.”

      In fact, BDAG does not use etymology as a determining factor in its entry on authenteo. It does not make any mention at all of the etymology of authenteo. Thayers, however, provides an etymological analysis of authenteo.

      BDAG uses other occurences of authenteo to determine its range of meaning. This is accepted lexicography.

    • Hodge

      Gary,

      There is no way it is an hendiadys. If Paul wanted to associated the terms then he would have, at the very least, placed the terms in proximity to one another. Instead, didaskein appears at the very beginning of the clause and authentein andros as far away as possible from it. It is clear from the context that the functions of the elder are in view: teaching and exercising disciplinary authority. They are two distinct functions.

    • Hodge

      “In fact, BDAG does not use etymology as a determining factor in its entry on authenteo. It does not make any mention at all of the etymology of authenteo.”

      No, BDAG does not mention where it’s getting it’s negative definition. It is clear, however, from whence it stems. It is from the old view that authenteo carries negative authority because it was thought to be somehow connected to autos-thentes “murderer” it had the negative connotation to assert oneself over the life of another. MM states that it is really from autos-entes “master.” Either way, the meaning “to domineer” (as BAGD originally had it) or “to assume a stance of independent authority, give orders to, to dictate to” comes from the comparison of the word used by Thomas Magister “autodikein,” which can be split up as “self directed,” or “assuming a stance of independent authority.” I would simply say that we ought not chop words up in order to gain access to their semantic range, but to view them in context. The most important context for us, of course, is 1 Timothy (the only place in the NT where it is used).
      Now, one could use the phrase “to have authority” in both positive and negative contexts, so the word cannot carry its context, which seems to be what you want it to do. I still have not seen a context where it is used as an abusive authority, but this still would not bind the semantic range of the word. Since it is also contrasted with kureuein “to have authority” in positive contexts, and in the present context refers to the authority that an elder has, there is no sense in taking it as negative. Hence, it’s semantic range speaks of authority, and what kind of authority must be established by the context, since words to do not carry their contexts with them.
      Furthermore, it would be absurd to suggest that this is a negative authority because Paul limits it to men. Are women, therefore, allowed to assert themselves negatively over other women and children? Why limit this to men? If it were truly negative, which it clearly is not, the instructions would have been universally applied to both genders.
      Finally, since didasko is not combined with authenteo in meaning, and there is no negative connotation to didasko, the case you seem to want to argue cannot be made.
      The pattern is clear, authenteo contrasts en upotage and creates a merism. Submission vs. authority, not good authority vs. bad authority. The context just does not bear out the negative view. And since we gain our understanding of the word from context, this is the primary one cited in the Lexicons with which we have to grapple.

    • bethyada

      Assuming complementarianism we have Paul saying women are not to teach because:

      it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

      Paul is giving 2 reasons. The first is grounded in creation (pre-Fall) and presumably is related to the roles God intends for men and women. The second is grounded in the Fall. I can see at least 2 ways that the Fall could have relevance,

      1. Generic distinct characteristics of men and women that tempt them in various ways;
      2. The curse that resulted from the fall.

      Your argument Michael is addressing the first of these two: a characteristic of men or women which you identify as: the ability of men to confront people who teach falsely; ie. not just false teaching.

      The problem I have with this is that while the beginning of your argument is found in this passage, the specifics of the characteristic (confrontational) is not. We may not be given the actual characteristic and your suggestion may be as good as any other, though a search thru the qualities of eldership that follow this passage may be warranted.

      Further, I am not certain that men are more confrontational. Your example suggests men may be more willing to face potential threat, or physically defend their family, but this is not completely the same as confrontation.

      But if you wish to retain the theory of confrontation (I am not saying I agree with this) it may be possible to find it in second way the Fall may speak to this: ie. the curse.

      One could argue about the effect of the curse on the woman, and that may be relevant, though Christians are to fight the effects of the curse and this may be argued for a Christian woman teaching. But what of the effect of the curse on those being corrected? It is possible that errant men (and women) are more receptive to men because of the Fall. Then it would not be the corrector that is the reason, rather the correctee.

      (I concede that the mention of deception rather than curse in Timothy may argue against this proposal)

    • ScottL

      Somewhat tied to the topic at hand is what I believe is an unhelpful understanding of the biblical teaching on elders and shepherds (pastors). We have kind of done unjustice to these roles, creating titles like senior pastor, worship pastor, associate pastor, administrative pastor, etc, all the while having the elders as the more hidden group behind the scenes that no one knows.

      Pastor is a gift and function, not a position or title. They are gifted in specifically caring for and overseeing sheep. I would say elder is more the ‘position’ (though I am not a fan of that word with all its ideas), and the elders are given many functions, one of them mainly being to shepherd the flock, though a particular elder might have the stronger measure of gifiting as shepherd. So, the elders really are the pastors, but there is room for other pastoral gifts and that person not necessarily function as an elder-overseer in the local congregation.

      I can’t see any of the gifts being gender oriented. Hence, why Philip could have four daughters who were prophetesses (Acts 21:9) and women prophetesses in the OT. Hence, why Priscilla could be a teacher (could she have had a teaching gift seeing her role with Apollos?). Hence, why we have tons of women shepherds, whether or not we want to recognise them in our midst.

      So, I would hope we all agree women can be gifted as shepherds, since it is a gift. But, as I mentioned, I would also say that it is possible that not all shepherds function as elders in the church. Thus, it is possible for a women to function as a pastor, but not function as an overseer-ruler-elder in the church. But, the question is, can women serve-function as elders?

      I am quite open to the option of women functioning as elders, but I think we must allow women to function in their gifts no matter if one is complementarian or egalitarian, whether the woman’s gift is as shepherd, evangelist, teacher, prophet (prophetess), etc, etc.

      People will get on with their gifts and ministries whether or not an official body recognises them. I believe in recognising official leadership within the church, since the Scripture points out the importance. So I’m not up for a loosy-goosy view. But, there have been many not ‘recognised’ (men as well), but have got on with the gifts and ministries God has given them.

      But I think we need to get back into the teaching of Scripture and study what really are elders and overseers-bishops (they are synonyms in the NT) and shepherds.

    • Mindaugas

      I’m a male in the egalitarian fellowship of churches since 1993. We have had many female pastors and leaders in various ministries. However, I agree with Michael. There are an exceptions, but please, don’t turn it into a rule. It wasn’t very good here.

    • Cadis

      I’m coming in late and have not read all the comments but I did read about 2/3’s of them.
      I think that women are not allowed to teach or have authority over man has little to do with whether a women has the ability to do those things, or if she is engineered to handle the task..it’s not about a woman’s capabilities, it is about both men and women submitting to God and each other. God has designated and required this of the male. Just because I am capable to take out the neighbor’s trash does not mean that I am held responsible to do so or that when it piles up the sanitation police will require an answer from me.
      As a woman I could probably out teach some men I could probably lay a beating physically on some men but that is not the issue..the issue is submitting to God and each other in trust and love. God has designated the role of pastor to the male and he is responsible and will give answer to God for that position. God has required it of him.

    • Matt

      Here’s a good read on the subject: http://www.intervarsity.org/mx/item/4175/download/

    • dac

      I am with Lisa R –

      CMP – your argument is a fail, but your conclusion is correct.

    • Jim

      I think it is an excellent post, Micheal. A missing element, however, is the reason Paul gives this dictate… (1) The Creation Order and (2) The Fall… These truths transcend time and culture. In order to justify women as pastor/preachers you have to play loose with the plain sense of the text.

    • Brian

      Michael,

      I appreciate your post. But, one question I have involves the “Would I let a woman teach from the pulpit from time to time? Yes.” comment. If, in your own words, “Because men are simply better equipped and more followed.”, then why allow a woman to speak “from time to time”? And how often could that be; once a month, once a quarter, once a year? My interpretation of your second comment means a man will always be more effective. That, its open door or closed door, not “from time to time”; one or the other. If you would, please elaborate for my understanding. Thank you.

      Brian

    • EricW

      RE: authentein, and whether it’s negative or the phrase is or is not a hendiadys, etc. – Read what Philip B. Payne writes about it in his aforementioned (by me) book, Man and Woman, One in Christ. I suspect the chapter in the book is largely based on this NTS-published paper of his:

      http://www.pbpayne.com/wp-admin/Payne2008NTS-oude1Tim2_12.pdf

    • JJ

      Why should a woman “not teach or exercise authority over a man?”

      Michael, if I understand you correctly, you state that:
      1) the arguments for complimentarianism is based on 1 Timothy 2 and
      (2) upon the logic of “I do not allow a woman to teach.” We think of this as coming from God. God says, “I do not allow a woman to teach.” Teaching is something that requires _________ therefore, women are not qualified. ”

      You say that we can fill in the blank. Your argument is that those who hold your view have filled in that blank with the wrong item. Rather it is agressiveness of males that must be in that blank.

      Correct?

      This seems fraught with problems. Why is it that we need to come up with some “reason” for this?

      I would reject absolutely anything that would go in that blank. Women are absolutely great at ministry, teaching, and handling tough challenges (at least as great as most men.) No, the reason for women not exercising authority over man within the church, Paul said, is tied to the Creative order.

      Personally, I believe a woman CAN teach in the Church, as long as she is doing so under the authority of the leadership of the church. Like you, I see a fundamental difference between teaching on occasion or in a SS or with Children, etc, and teaching as full time head pastor.

      Even in the most conservative churches that I have been in, I have seen women teaching from the pulpit nearly every week. How so? They sing. Singing is certainly teaching. And it is probably MORE effective teaching than a sermon. But clearly, this singing is under the authority of the pastoral staff (or should be). And that is the distinction.

      What a great discussion! Thanks!
      JJ

    • Lisa Robinson

      And let’s not forget that there are wimpy men as well who couldn’t confront their way out of a paper bag.

    • Gary Cummings

      Brother Patton,

      No exegesis you presented, only an assumption of the rightness of your position. That is a flawed way to do theology. I was held to your view about women, then went to seminary. There were a few women in my preaching classes. At first I was a little stunned, but then I heard a first rate sermon by a young woman. I then thought the only difference here is the gender issue, not the content or her sermon. I do not think Jesus or Paul would have a problem with her preaching NOW. I think a woman can be part of a pastoral team.

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      I will post an example of authenteo used with a negative connotation and then you can post an example of it used with a positive connotation. Fair?

      “Wherefore all shall walk after their own will. And the children will lay hands on their parents. The wife will give up her own husband to death, and the husband will bring his own wife to judgment like a criminal. Savage masters will authentein their servants, and servants will assume an unruly demeanour toward their masters.”

      (3 cent. AD) Hippolytus (d. AD 235) On the End of the World. De consummatione mundi, in Hippolyt’s kleinere exegetische und homiletische Schrften, ed. H. Achelis in De griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller, 1.2 (Leipzig: Himrichs, 1897), 239-309.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Sue and Hodge, please be respectful of Michael’s request not to debate the issue of comp vs. egal. I do have the “authority” to delete comments if need be.

      Thanks.

    • #John1453

      Good Grief. Even if I were a complementarian (I’m on the fence), I wouldn’t be one for the reason you give.

      I’ll be back later, I have to go bang my drum in the woods . . . .

    • EricW

      I believe, like in military, the position of head pastor is the same.

      The role of head pastor, I believe requires confrontation. That is not all there is, but it is there and it is very important.

      “…the position of head pastor….”

      “The role of head pastor….”

      Hmmm.

      Where does one find that “position” or “role” clearly described in Scripture? E.g., where does Paul tell Timothy or Titus or someone to appoint a “head pastor” in every church?

      The argument presented here seems to be based on eisegeting one’s church traditions or customs or practices into the Scriptures.

    • Don

      In other words, when someone asks a question that does not even use Scriptural terms, do not expect the answer to be Scriptural either.

    • EricW

      “The argument presented here seems to be based on eisegeting one’s church traditions or customs or practices into the Scriptures.”

      …and thereby discovering that the Scriptures support one’s practice or position or argument. 🙂

    • Kim S

      Obviously we are all aware of the result of an assertive, take charge, call the shots Eve and a passive, go along with it Adam.

      So God says…”OK man, you blew it, so now I charge you with the responsibility of being the leader, and it will be a difficult burden to bear. And woman, you used poor judgement and rushed ahead, so I charge you with the responsibility of assisting and supporting–and woman, you’re going to long for man’s position of authority.”

      And isn’t that exactly where we’re at? It’s not about our abilities at all. It is about our position. Jesus is submissive to the will of the Father, but fully equal. Women are called to be submissive to the authority given to man, but are fully equal.

    • Rebecca

      Kim S, very well said. Very good discernment. You kept it simple…simply profound. I was picturing Jesus reading all of this…including my own comments and shaking his head side to side. We get so scholarly, we miss it entirely. We miss the obvious. And to think we thought that ended with the Pharisees. HA!

    • TL

      “Obviously we are all aware of the result of an assertive, take charge, call the shots Eve and a passive, go along with it Adam.”

      I don’t know if you are joking or not, because that is not at all the picture painted of the woman or the man. Good exegesis requires more thought.

    • EricW

      TL: The first two paragraphs struck me as being facetious, but even if the third one was written with a straight face, I couldn’t keep one while reading it. Nor could I figure out what Kim S (he? she?) is actually saying.

      I am Joe’s (novel) / Jack’s (film) state of confusion. 😕

    • Colby E. Kinser

      My research includes this particular area, but I won’t write a long post!

      I agree with your conclusion, but not your argumentation – primarily because your argument does not come from the text, and because it is somewhat anecdotal. I know of several women I would rather have facing an intruder than their husbands!

      The argument from the text has to do with spiritual authority (as do the passages in 1 Cor 7 and 1 Cor 14). I would be a fool to say that I have nothing to learn from mature Christian women – they “teach” me all the time. What Paul is talking about here is the exercise of spiritual authority within a church setting.

      The argument begins in Gen 1-2 (as Paul notes), as God creates Adam as the covenant head and Eve as the “ezer” (suitable completer, companion). He represents the family before God (even though each one can relate to God directly). She has the responsibility to help him represent the family well. They are equal in creation, but not equivalent. (“Covenant head” does not mean I’m a covenant theologian.) God maintains these roles throughout the Fall and Redemption in Christ, both in the family and in the church family.

      Where this gets interesting to me is then in defining what “submission” really is. It is not that the woman submits to the man’s person, his gender, or his title. Rather, her submission is her commitment to his true success as the covenant head. This is a commitment she can make even during the times when he is doing very little toward his success as the covenant head.

      To develop these ideas takes far more space than this post allows. But, suffice it to say that the spiritual authority in the church mirrors the same function as the covenant head within the family.

    • Don

      Covenant head, what eisegesis, this term is not found in Scripture.

    • C Michael Patton

      Once again folks, this is not an exegetical post. I said as much in the post. Many of you are critiquing with wrong assumptions.

      This post assumes the complementarian position and attempts to give but yet one explanation as to why, practically speaking, this might be the case that women cannot teach.

      In every worldview test, one must pragmatically defend their position. This does not mean it is right or wrong necessarily, it just give a further explanation as to why this might be the case that such and such is true.

      Like with the Law. There have been countless extrabiblical attempts to explain how the dietary laws of the OT might have been in place. Some good, some a stretch. But they are pragmatic and extra-biblical reasons. This does not make them wrong or, in any sense, unjustified.

      When it come to this issue, pragmatically speaking, my argument is that people respond to the authority of men more than women. As well, men are more inclined to assert the type of authority that is necessary in certain circumstances.

      I had a egalitarian professor once argue to me that men and women had no essential differences other than reproduction. He felt that he must hold to this in order to substantiate his case. I said, “What about physical strength?” He said that there were German women that we stronger than many men!! With a straight face! He really was basing his theology on these exceptions.

      I find that so many of you are doing the same thing here.

      Common sense must have a place to play. One can give all the exceptions that they can, but this does not divert of the reality of the big picture.

      Keep on track. I don’t mind arguments so long as they are not about Egalitarianism and Complementarianism. You can argue, as a complementarian, that this argument that I am making here is not good. That is fine. In fact, some of you have brought up some good points about the headship (which I don’t think answers the why question at all). But at least they are attempt to answer why it is that women cannot teach men.

      Others have brought up the deception part of Paul’s argument. What does it mean that Eve was deceived and Adam was not? That is a very valid question. I would love to hear more about that from you.

      But as it stands, I feel as if my illustration is very good and helps in the understanding of this issue. 🙂

    • C Michael Patton

      Also, please no more about the word “head pastor” not being in the Bible. That is so tangential it does not deserve to be talked about here. You should know that we are simply talking about positions of teaching authority, eldership (not in a modern protestant sense), and leadership over men in the local church. If you don’t like the term “head pastor” that is your soap box, but, valid or invalid, not one for discussion here.

    • Colby E. Kinser

      The phrase does not appear, but that doesn’t mean it’s eisegesis. The term “Trinity” doesn’t appear either, but it’s not eisegesis to conclude the Trinity from Scripture.

      The concept of covenant head is rather easy to establish Scripturally. I realize some responsible exegetes don’t agree with that, but there’s a good argument in favor of it, starting with Adam, then Abraham, then Moses, David, and Christ. All the functions are demonstrated. Christ, in that role, is called the “head” of the body more than once, reflecting the same idea as what the phrase “covenant head” means.

      But … lest we get too far into a debate, the lack of the phrase occurring in Scripture does not equate to eisegesis, whether or not my exegesis is correct.

    • Don

      I am one that actually believes the Bible is sufficient for faith and practise, so why add to it with terms not found in the Bible.

      Yes, there are covenants associated with specific people. Yes, there is a creation covenant, but there is nowhere any statement that Adam is covenant head, this is just a human tradition for some. There are lots of traditions associated with the creation account, we saw some others stated by Kim above, but it does not mean that is what the Bible teaches.

    • Hodge

      EricW,

      Payne’s argument is problematic and ultimately unconvincing. I would say for grammar what I say for lexicography. When half of the examples don’t bear out the rule, then it is not a grammatical rule. (Cf. 2 Cor 7:12; 1 Thes 2:3, 5; Instead, it’s simply an observation that ouk oude can link similar elements (whether they are combined as a hendiadys is a completely different issue; I would say only a few of his examples display that). The question becomes: are the two infinitives to be linked as a single idea in 1 Tim 2:12?

      The immediate book itself is helpful, as Paul uses the construction in 1 Tim 6:7 to refer to polar opposites. In 6:16, he uses it to contrast what is done (not seeing) with what cannot be done (see). I think in this latter case, Payne seems to be making the argument with these types of parallels that they some how are the same idea. They actually are two different ideas. They are related, but that is not the issue at hand. It is whether the relation is one that would cause us to see it as a single idea. This simply is not the case here.

      Secondly, the idea that the two verbs in 2:12 are one idea must come from their semantic domains, not the use of oude, as is clear from Payne’s own examples. There is no evidence that I am aware of that didasko and authenteo have any overlap. Certainly, we can see that one who teaches may have authority, but one who teaches may also have a mouth with which he teaches. This does not mean that the idea of the physical mouth and the idea of teaching are one and the same.

    • C Michael Patton

      Folks, we are not going in this direction.

    • Hodge

      Whoops, sorry Michael. I didn’t read you there. I’ll just respond to Sue on another day. Thanks

    • C Michael Patton

      Hodge, I was not speaking of your conversation. It is actually pretty good.

      I was talking about the legitimacy of the designation “head pastor.”

    • EricW

      Hodge:

      Dr. Payne welcomes comments/criticisms re: the arguments he makes in his book:

      http://www.pbpayne.com/?page_id=42

      I’m sure he’d respond to your criticism. In fact, I’d hope it would be one he’d post so we all could read his response.

    • Jugulum

      CMP,

      I’m with you on the basic idea of venturing a pragmatic explanation. You’re not trying to prove your position–people shouldn’t be evaluating it on those terms. You’re assuming that the Bible teaches complementarianism, and offering a possible explanation of the reason for it. So people shouldn’t expect exegesis.

      On the other hand, Paul actually does indicate the reason. If your suggestion has nothing to do with the Adam/Eve/deception thing, then it wasn’t God’s reason. (Or at least, Paul gave a reason–so it’s less likely that your suggestion was really part of God’s reason.)

      Even aside from whether your suggestion makes sense by itself.

    • Hodge

      OK, back on track:

      “This post assumes the complementarian position and attempts to give but yet one explanation as to why, practically speaking, this might be the case that women cannot teach.”

      I would actually argue that what you have argued here is not complementarian, but a tenet of patriarchy. Patriarchy argues toward authority for men from a deficiency in the woman and a greater ability in the man. Complementarianism, however, seems to argue that both may have equal ability, but are assigned two different roles/jobs according to their gender (and I would argue that it because of the role of motherhood in the woman). Obviously, men and women are made differently, but differentiation and lack of ability (i.e., in this case the boldness to be aggressive and confrontational) seem to be two different things. I would argue that women have just as much of an ability to perform the role of the man, but that it would destroy her created purpose of motherhood and the reflection that God sets within her and her husbands relationship of the gospel and the order of His Church.
      In other words, Complementarianism argues that both genders are made as the image of God, but are assigned two different roles, as also seen in their biology (and I don’t mean to say above that they have the same physical ability since they are physically divided into gender). Patriarchy, however, tends to see the man and woman, not only divided physically into their respective roles, but also spiritually, mentally, etc.
      Do you think that your argument fits the former or the latter? And if so, where does Paul’s argument touch lack of ability? Practical theology works out what is in the text. I don’t see how your argument is a practical working out of what is there, nor do I see that it complements what is there, which is really my main issue with it. I don’t mind supplementing arguments, but not when they do not work out the arguments presented in the text.

    • C Michael Patton

      Hodge, I don’t know what type of complementarianism you have come to know, but complementarianism does not argue for equality in ability at all. That is why the sexes complement each other: one sex has abilities that the other does not have. We believe that men have deficiencies in many areas that women fulfill. Same thing with regard to women.

    • C Michael Patton

      Jug, I agree. I would tie in the “decieved” to my argument above, but have a hard time doing so. I simply do not know what Paul mean when he says that Eve was decieve and what the implications are. However, it could be her weakness which would tie in here quite a bit. I am simply not ready to go there.

    • Hodge

      OK Sue, since I have the green light from Michael, let me answer you:

      If you want positive uses of authenteo from the Patristic era, then we have much more to work with there. Instead of citing the numerous examples that Lampe gives in his lexicon, concerning the word used in positive contexts, one use of which refers to God’s authority (Does God’s authority have a negative connotation?), I would simply refer you there.

      I would also like you to quote the passage in Greek for me, since I don’t have access to it from where I am right now. What you quoted me, along with what Lampe quotes, proves my point about context determining a words connotation. If it can be used positively and negatively then it is the context that determines that connotation, not the word itself. (Not to mention that we’re going a couple hundred years past Paul to find its meaning.) But I would like that in Greek. Thanks.

    • C Michael Patton

      Am I missing something? Is there anything new in payne’s book that has not been said by egals for the last 20 years. I am with Blomberg…nothing new. http://www.denverseminary.edu/article/man-and-woman-one-in-christ-an-exegetical-and-theological-study-of-pauls-letters/

    • Hodge

      Maybe I’ve misunderstood and this is my own brand of complementarianism, but I have always seen arguments that stem from belief in human sameness, but gender differentiation. In other words, what is different is the biology of the male and female for the purpose of family and the reflection of Christ’s relationship with His people. So they are physically different, but mentally and spiritually have the same abilities due to their shared human nature. I have only heard the other arguments made by the patriarchy groups, but I could be mistaken.

    • Rebecca

      OK, thinking outside the box here. We learn and grow when we are required to get out of our comfort zone. To keep doing what we do best rarely stretches one. Could it be that since Adam showed weak leadership that God required it even more in order to stretch man? And could it be that Eve chose to be deceived and to not believe God, the Authority and therefore, God put her with all her abilities and talents in submission to stretch her and teach her about authority and obedience? Could it be that this is one of the ways that GOD demonstrates that He is God? By making us work in positions that don’t come naturally to us? Don’t know if you understand what I’m saying. That maybe, man does not possess all the talents and diversity for leadership that women possess and that women have always struggled with obedience and their emotions and too much of an eye for bling? Don’t everybody have a meltdown. Just a question.

    • Don

      Payne says in his comment on Blomberg’s post. “The problem with treating “assume authority” as though it refers to the assumption of properly granted authority is that all eighteen instances of αὐθεντέω from the first century BC to the sixth century AD with the meaning “assume authority” refer to assumption of authority that has not been properly delegated, as I show on pages 365-70 and 385-94.”

      If someone thinks authenteo means something else, they need to interact with Payne.

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      Thanks. I am not sure if I have the Greek for Hippolytus, but rather two English translations – one complementarian and one traditional.

      I am aware that if you pass on to a later time period, there are examples of the word being used with reference to God as our absolute master. But no one can take God’s place. Perhaps several centuries later, it was also applied to a pope. I am not sure. It is also used with the notion of usurping other people’s authority, and taking things that do not belong to you.

      However, staying within the time period, I am asking if there are any examples at all of a context which shows that it can mean “to lead in church” or to lead in a positive way.

      We do know that church leaders were told explicitly that they were not to kurievein their flock. That is an absolute command to church leaders in 1 Peter.

      Likewise, women also are not to authentein (kurievein.)

      Unless someone can produce a use of the word authentein which does not mean “to wield coercive or controlling power”, I must come into all discussions with the assumption that we do not have the data to argue that authentein means “to lead in church.” Academically, I have no other choice. I would be misrepresenting the facts otherwise.

      I know that people trust me to be truthful on this, because I do have the data for several of the occurences of authentein on my blog, and I have interacted with many scholars on this topic.

      In the end. I don’t have a good interpretation for this chapter. I have to let it go, and I know many academic, secular scholars who find the Greek of this chapter challenging to say the least.

      Michael,

      Often I prefer the academic debate, since I deplore all personal comments made on the internet. I have so much respect for your family life, for you and your wife, that I cannot bring myself to comment on the focus of your post except to acknowledge appreciation of your commitment to honesty and transparency. Your personal writing always touches my heart.

    • EricW

      CMP:

      Re: why one should buy and read Payne’s book, even if much of it has been said before:

      I think Payne has put forth the arguments in a more exacting and detailed and extensive way, and has also (both in the text and in the footnotes) explicitly and pointedly called out Moo, Kostenberger, Grudem, et al., re: some of their statements and arguments.

      That’s what makes Payne’s new book required reading, IMO, for both egalitarians and complementarians.

      And, for those interested in textual criticism, his argument that 1 Cor. 14:34-35 is an interpolation based on markings in Vaticanus as well as the history and geographic occurrence of the variant readings and the text’s inclusion and omission, is interesting reading.

      I think that Payne’s conclusion that 1 Cor 11 is not about head coverings but about hair length is something that future commentators need to consider. Not just the possibility, but also how Payne supports his argument.

      Read all of Blomberg’s review, as well as all of Payne’s even longer response!

      The book is less than $20 at Amazon.com, and for that price, it should be a no-brainer purchase for those grappling with this issue, whether as a comp or an egal.

      In other words, if you want to weigh in on the issue in the future, I think you have to be self-informed re: Payne’s treatments of the relevant texts and how he documents the support for his conclusions.

      And as one who knows NT Greek, there are some interesting grammatical and lexical discussions.

    • Minnow

      Foolish probably to comment since you take away the real issue by saying that you are simply unwilling to entertain the idea that your interpretation is wrong.
      Never the less, your arguments here are weak as well. Using your wife to represent all women is not fair or accurate. Maybe she is the exception rather than the rule. The majority of women I have met are fully capable of confronting any issue presented to them. Additionally they can often do so with a whole lot less bravado. Habit–AKA men are more readily followed–does not prove that men are more worthy or capable leaders. Finally, I think you are reaching too far into the future with your “suggestion” that what Paul is saying only applies to the role of senior pastor. It is hardly something he would have been concerned with give the culture in which he was writing.

    • manu21

      Hi Michael! You are a guy very smart and very onest! Thanks Gad for you. But I chalenge you…is possible be a calvinist egalitarian, don’t be scary :). I know that a fist can speaks more than a thousand words, but believe me the woman is not to weak 🙂 Anyway is posible that ” Doctrine Develop within the Canon”?It’s posible a completarian become an egalitarian? Are you sure that Paul was prescriptive and not descriptive? ? And your argument sounds more subiective than obiective. Sounds a”folk theology” ! God Bless You (I am honest)

    • Davis

      As one who leans towards complementarianism I do not think you have done it any favours with this example Michael. Sorry!

      The church is full of men who have abdicated their responsibilities like a lot of little Ahabs. Men can be as timid and as frightened as your Kristie I’m afraid. They can also be very lazy.

      However, one reason put forth why Paul stated that women could not teach was because of the dangers of being in authority as Christian leaders under Nero – they were very likely to be killed. How true this is I do not know, but if you’re going to talk about the physical strength of men being a prime reason as to why Paul recommended male leadership, the argument that it was highly dangerous to be a female Christian teacher under Nero would make more sense to me.

    • EricW

      So will the next post be entitled:

      “Why Women Cannot Have The Right To Vote”

      😀

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Biblical patriarchy in the church explained irenically.

      Well done, CMP!!!

    • PamBG

      Will you wife come to my house and help me unlearn how to deal with confrontation, since I’m obviously not a proper woman?

      I have:

      1) Dealt with an aggressive landlord who threatened to sue me when he suddenly decided to break his own lease and charge me an extra 75% on my rent to pay for extra heating bills he had not anticipated.

      2) Dealt for 3 years with the friendly neighborhood sociopath who came to the parsonage and constantly threatened to kill me if I didn’t do as he said. (n.b. Handling this guy didn’t require aggression, it required assertiveness and confidence)

      3) Dealt with the teenagers who repeatedly attempted to vandalize the church. That particular church’s expenditure for repairs decreased by about 60% when I was the minister. (n.b. Dealing with the teenagers didn’t require aggression, it required assertiveness and confidence)

      4) Stood up in front of the congregation and told them to stop spreading false and malicious rumors about a member of the wider the community. (N.b. this didn’t require aggression, it required me to have previously earned the trust and respect of the congregation – which is what “authority” is – and it required assertiveness and confidence.)

      5) Dealt with sexual misconduct in the congregation. This also did not require aggression but required much the same as point 4.

      So when a man who is 5’6″ and weighs 130 pounds doesn’t want to physically confront another man who is 5’10” and 180 pounds, do we conclude that the first man is unfit for leadership? Or just wise?

    • Hodge

      Sue, here’s our problem:

      “Unless someone can produce a use of the word authentein which does not mean “to wield coercive or controlling power”, I must come into all discussions with the assumption that we do not have the data to argue that authentein means “to lead in church.”

      1. I believe authenteo means to have or wield controlling power (coercive is probably a bit too loaded of an English word for us to use though I would not object to it in any strict sense), so your arguing that controlling power is abusive power in and of itself is an unsubstantiated assumption. If all exercise of power is abusive then of course you would see authenteo as abusive because it is the assertion of authority (specifically here in disciplinary matters).

      2. I don’t believe authenteo refers to leading, which is more of what the pastoral analogy gives to us of an elder. I believe this has to do with the wielding of authority in Church discipline. So this authority is not one of delegation (cf. exousia), but of exercising Christ’s authority to discipline a member of the body.

      3. I think P. Leid W vi.46 shows that the word refers to a governing authority likened to the reign the sun has over the earth (which is common thinking in the ancient world concerning the sun–cf. Gen 1:16); but the attestation of the word is scarce, so context, as said before, must be king.

      4. I would still like you to address the merism I mentioned between the two polarized pairs. The contrast is not between good authority and abusive authority, but between complete submission and authority, and this is restricted only to performing this “over a man” because, according to Paul’s argument, there is a created order, Eve was deceived, and the role of women is found in the sacredness and sanctification of motherhood. Paul’s reason isn’t because authority should be practiced in a better way by women, but that they ought not have that authority for the reasons he gives. I don’t see how your limiting the term to negative connotations, and carrying certain contexts over to other contexts, fits with the rest of what Paul says here.

    • Hodge

      “We do know that church leaders were told explicitly that they were not to kurievein their flock. That is an absolute command to church leaders in 1 Peter.

      Likewise, women also are not to authentein (kurievein.)”

      So are you saying that the two terms are parallel? Because kurieuo also does not carry a negative connotation inherently. Rom 14:9 indicates that it can be a positive authority. Other contexts use it as a negative one. Thus, it is the context, not the word that carries this meaning.

      Let me give you an example:

      My Wife: “The electrician will come today to fix the light.”

      Me: “What time will he be here?”

      My Wife: “The man will be here at 5 pm.”

      Another context:

      My Wife: “The man is coming to fix the toilet.”

      Me Applying Sue’s Lexicographical Methodology:

      “The electrician’s coming to fix our toilet?”

      My Wife: “No.”

      Me: “But you used the word ‘man’ before in the context that referred to an electrician. So ‘man’ must carry with it the idea of someone who deals with electricity.”

      Do you see the problem, Sue? Words have very limited meanings. They are smaller symbols that, although carrying some meaning, are meant to be interpreted within the larger contexts of other linguistic symbols. The real issue is what does the word mean here, not what can it mean in different contexts.

    • Don

      I know Sue is a Greek scholar, but what is the person who goes by Hodge?

    • Jason Dulle

      Michael,

      I agree with you that the Bible prohibits women from being teachers, and I generally agree with your line of reasoning. The problem I have with justifying the Biblical teaching in this way is twofold: (1) it ignores the reasons Paul gave for his teaching; (2) it always invites the exceptions.

      Regarding (1), Paul’s reasons were the creation order and Eve’s deception. The latter doesn’t preach well at all, but that is what Paul said (interpret it how you will).

      Regarding (2), someone will always point to some woman (perhaps Joyce Meyers) who handles confrontation really well, and then say, “So why can’t she teach/be pastor?” That’s the drawback of using generalities, and focusing on certain abilities.

    • C Michael Patton

      Jason,

      I don’t really know what to do about the headship thing. It is very obscure as to the why. I suppose just about any “why” could fit into it with some creativity. With obscurities such as this, I find it dogmatic, yet not explanatory. In other words, I believe it, I just don’t know what the reason are for it.

      As far as the confrontation issue: I should have been more clear in the original post. But I am not saying that confrontation is not in the blood of women (you should see my wife when we fight!). I am saying that in these type of situations, more often than not, women are not bent in this direction. BUT more than this, they don’t command the respect and following here the way men do. That is why I emphasize the military illustration. However, the “robber” illustration will do as well (kind of). For example, if I were to come out of the room and a robber was in my house, I would command more respect from him than if my wife were to come out. There are many many reasons for this, but generally speaking, this is the way it is everywhere and always (i.e. it is not cultural, but part of our nature).

      To bout for exceptions is problematic for two reasons:
      1. Exceptions prove rules, not change them.
      2. Most importantly for Christian discipleship, when we accept that this is the way it is (i.e. men and women are different by design and have different gifts and weaknesses) we will start building this into men and women at an effective level where the exceptions become even more exceptional. When we don’t, we neuter society, in my opinion, the way God intended it to be.

      In my opinion, we are living in a more neutered society and we have failed to honor the role of women properly. Therefore, we still strive for the ideal and don’t compromise simply because this is just the way it is. Ideal is always what God commands, not a weak compromise because we are sinners. In other words, God commands us to be holy as he is holy even though it is not really possible. He commands us not to covet even though we are all going to. He commands things that are ideal even though it is a fallen world. We should promote the ideal, not a compromised version of it.

    • C Michael Patton

      Eric, I know you were joking with your statement about women voting, but I think it is important to realize that with other interpretations in the Complementarian camp (i.e. women are not discerning, smart, rational, etc.) that can be a next logical step. However, with what I have presented here, it cannot.

    • EricW

      Yes, I was joking, but you are correct that for some complementarians, it is a next logical step. I understand some complementarians were flummoxed about what to do with Sarah Palin being on the Presidential-VP ticket.

    • Lisa Robinson

      “BUT more than this, they don’t command the respect and following here the way men do.

      Michael, now I see what you’re getting at. As a personal anecdote, my son was almost 7 when my husband past away. But even at a young age, my son had a respect for his dad that he did not show me and that I still struggle to earn (he is 12 now). And that was even when the man was ill! I often feel like I have to adopt or more stern tone and demeanor than is warranted just to let him know who is in charge.

      But I still think it is a leap to generalize. There are reasons men may command more respect than women and not in all circles. A lot of it could just be socialization. I wonder if the same issue arises in egalitarian oriented churches that have established a culture of equality and it is common for women to be in leadership. I dunno, I think that would make a great survey.

    • Seth R.

      Or you can simply take this as Paul – a naturally combative fellow raised in a chauvinist society – as spouting off his own opinion in a context utterly alien to our own.

      When Paul doesn’t jive with actual reality, it’s not really that tough of a choice.

    • Don

      CMP wrote “Exceptions prove rules, not change them.”

      The proverb is “The exception proves the rule.” The problem is that “proves” is used in the sense of tests, or else the proverb does not make sense. This can be seen at any number of Inet sites if you do not believe me.

      So it IS true that an exception tests a rule and may mean the rule needs to change.
      It is NOT TRUE that “Exceptions prove rules, not change them.”

    • Don

      My point is that God did not make any mistakes or accomodations in choosing Deborah, Huldah, Anna, Prisca, etc.

    • Sue

      Michael,

      There have been many articles in the last couple of years on how women are better at managing investments than men. This is one reason why it is so wrong to deprive women of equal say in money management in the home. Why should women, who are doomed to a slightly longer old age, not be able to plan for their own financial support into their own old age.

      Hodge,

      I assume that you have no example of authentein which is positive in connotation, when practiced by one human to another. You then proceed to give a non comparison about electricians, and men.

      Obviously “electrician” has a very specific meaning and regardless of the context it does not lose that meaning.

      Me: The electrician was here today and he suggested that I remove the water saver from the showerhead.

      You: You mean the plumber, don’t you.

      Me: No, the plumber did not recommend it, but I was chatting with the electrician while he did the wiring for the fan, and he said that he had taken his own water saver out, and now the shower has much better pressure.

      Is this conversation possible or not? Does a word have enough of a meaning that we can actually say something unexpected or not? I suppose you are never able to communicate any information which is contrary to other people’s expectation. That is a very limited form of expression.

      With respect to other comments, I do not doubt your knowledge of Greek. You so carefully skirt the facts that I know that you know that there is no evidence for a positive use of authentein. What a state for the church to be in after 2000 years of limiting women!

      Kurieuein. What about it?

      It is used of the sun and the moon, of God and the Lord. It is used of emperors.

      It was used for the unkind way that Adam would treat Eve in Gen 3:16, and church leaders are told never to do katakurieuein. (I argue that katakurieuein and kurieuein are not substantially different on the basis of Luke 22:25 and Mark 10:42.)

      Kurieuein, katakurieuein and authentein are treated as parallel terms by Jerome. They are not eact parallels. But surely, if Christians are told never to kurieuein, they why would authentein, which has no examples of positive use at the time of the NT, suddenly take on the meaning of “lead in church.” It is simply not congruous.

    • Hodge

      Sue,

      You’ve listened to nothing I’ve said. There are positive uses for authentein. I gave you one. Did you miss it? To pretend that a few examples bind the semantic range to the negative in a word is just bad lexicography, and displays the unwillingness to look at this text honestly. You want a text that displays it as positive? 1 Tim 2:12, as the merism suggests.

      If kurieuo is interchangeable with katakurieuo, then Christ exercises abusive authority in Rom 14:9. Your analysis just does not take into account all of the evidence with either word.

      Finally, my analogy was with the word “man” not electrician. My point is that bad lexicography doesn’t understand that words don’t carry their contexts to other contexts. That’s why a single word often has various connotations, good or bad, according to the context (e.g. epithumia–I could easily make the argument you make with authenteo with epithumia, and show all of the contexts in which it is used negatively. Yet, it is also used in positive contexts, as is the word authenteo).
      I also think, Sue, that your diatribe is a bit disingenuous. You told me to supply you with a text where authenteo was positive. I did. You said you would supply me with one where it was negative (even though most scholars argue that there isn’t one during the time period in question). Instead, you gave me one from the Patristic period, where I could easily supply you the numerous examples in Lampe, as I told you before. So saying that I cannot supply it is just not true at all. You’re posturing to overstate your case. The fact is that the word in the Patristic era is used in both positive and negative contexts. The word in the era we are supposed to be talking about can be taken either way in the VERY few examples we have from the earlier period. As I stated before, the determining factor is the context of 1 Tim. That includes the immediate context of the contrastive merism and the larger context of the letter. Both bear out the positive use.

      BTW, I have no need to see it as positive. The complementarian position can survive either interpretation, since everyone sees the taking of authority over a man as an abuse and bad. My issue is simply one of appropriate methodology. However, you only have one option in your view. You CANNOT allow the word to have a positive meaning, and frankly, that makes your handling of the evidence a bit suspect.

    • Derek

      Michael,

      I feel you brother. You were stating your position, not arguing it. But you had to have known that simply stating your position on a subject as violatile as this on a blog as popular as this would simply not satisify.

      As I read through the myrid of comments and your occasional responses (a hand full at a time) the image of a lone soldier battling his bravest surrended by a multitude from over the tracks came to mind.

      Keep blogging.

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      You told me to supply you with a text where authenteo was positive. I did. You said you would supply me with one where it was negative (even though most scholars argue that there isn’t one during the time period in question)

      I missed your example of authenteo as positive. Honestly. This time I will check back more frequently.

      And which scholars argue that there isn’t a negative example during the time period in question. There is even a negative example provided in Grudem’s Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, where he agrees with Payne.

      In the footnote of Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, page 680, Dr. Grudem mentions an example which refers to a “hostile” relationship, and the meaning “compel” seems appropriate. If it is a hostile relationship, then one presumes it has a negative connotation.

      I also argue that in Romans 14:9 it is acceptable for God, the Lord, to kurieuein, to have absolute control and power, but this is not ever said about church leaders that they are to kurieuein.

    • Sue

      PS

      I will respond to the other issues when this one is resolved. It is too confusing if they are not treated in a sequential fashion.

    • C Michael Patton

      Derek, lol…thanks brother.

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      I have been checking back to your previous comments.

      Furthermore, it would be absurd to suggest that this is a negative authority because Paul limits it to men. Are women, therefore, allowed to assert themselves negatively over other women and children? Why limit this to men? If it were truly negative, which it clearly is not, the instructions would have been universally applied to both genders.

      This is what I have never seen. I have never seen any indication that Paul or Christ instruct men to kurieuein, katakuriuein, authenein, or even exousiazein over other people of any kind, except within the fully reciprocal relations of marriage.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      “There have been many articles in the last couple of years on how women are better at managing investments than men. This is one reason why it is so wrong to deprive women of equal say in money management in the home. Why should women, who are doomed to a slightly longer old age, not be able to plan for their own financial support into their own old age.”

      That is out of left field. Do you keep company with only Muslims. The complementarianism that I advocate and that I find fellowship with would not have a problem with women managing finaces at all.

      To be fair, I am sure there are some of the fundamentalist variety would would typlify what you are talking about, but not most that I know of at all.

      Either way, that is far far off topic and has nothing to do with this present discussion. Lets agree to agree on that one. 🙂

    • C Michael Patton

      Lisa, as I said before, you can study military and war throughout the ages and across cultures and you will find that 99.9 percent of the time, men are in command of the battles (even when they are not directly fighting).

      In this, I find parallel to the spiritual battle that we are in and the position of a pastor. Exeptions do nothing to upset this norm and should not be used to neutralize what seems to be a clear intention of God.

      There is simply no shame in saying that there are areas where men make better leaders and where women make better leaders. We should capitalize on it. But when opposition finds offense, in my opinion, it creates fallen potential and less effective societies and churches.

    • C Michael Patton

      About the relationship between teaching and authority, I think you guys are entering into a classic case of “over-exegesis”! Semantic domains and relations and gramatical structures are certianly helpful, but the context is enough here. No need to jump into the type of diachronic lexical studies to understand that Paul see a relationship between the two. They are different aspect of the same thing: leadership in the church as Paul is talking about it.

    • Rebecca

      OK, I have to add my 2 cents to this very heady discussion. Michael. you keep referring to “exceptions” when I’m not so sure they are exceptions. Men have predominately ruled society. We get that. But if that argument is OK, then what about the argument that men have caused more chaos than women? More men have been corrupt by power than women. I know, I know. I too have to assertion that the more you are in the limelight, the more you are a target. The more you lead, the odds go up that you will fail. So as the number of women in leadership goes up, so too the female white color crime and other failures.

      Still, for whatever reason men are in a position of power, I don’t think that the corruption of their power and the failing institutions can be considered mere exceptions. It shows men to be pretty inadequate leaders. So I see this inadequacy more as the norm. Now I say this still believing in the interpretation of positions you have noted concerning 1 Tim. 2:11-15. I just feel your rationale has too many holes in it and want you to come up with something more realistic if these scriptures even really need explaining/defending. If we dissect this too much, are we not in danger of missing a greater lesson?

    • Sue

      Michael,

      I am sorry but I had no idea that you would take it this way.

      I was just taking an example from my every day life, that women are now thought to be better at investing, but in many families the men make the final decisions in the area of investing. I don’t know any complementarian families where the wife does the investment and pension planning. just my luck.

      I don’t even associate with any Muslims at all. I don’t know any in my area.

      I mentioned this in order really to contrast it with the military. Who would be better at running an organization – a soldier or a business executive. In Plato’s Republic, the warriors were beneath the philosophers as leaders of state.

      With my example of investing, I am trying to take something which we have read about, that women ARE better at managing investment funds, and then ask why this would not make them better leaders of families, and countries, – and churches. i am trying to get at your design argument.

      Anyway, I will not be upset if you delete this particular post. I really was not trying to be either off topic or inaapropriate. And I most certainly did not intend this as inflammatory.

    • Sue

      PS,

      I like talking to Hodge. Where else can I meet someone who is willing to engage in a diachronic study of lexicons. 🙂

    • Hodge

      “I also argue that in Romans 14:9 it is acceptable for God, the Lord, to kurieuein, to have absolute control and power, but this is not ever said about church leaders that they are to kurieuein.”

      Which contradicts your previous statements. If kurieuo is an abusive authority, then Christ should not have it either. If it is only speaking of authority in general, and must have its connotations determined by its respective contexts, and authenteo is parallel to it, then your argument that it carries a negative connotation within itself fails.

      If your argument now is that the authority is positive when wielded by God, but negative if wielded by men, and therefore, it is never given to them, then I would ask from whence this presupp comes? Why are church members told to obey their elders? They are not all in a marital relationship with them. The authority to discipline in Christian theology is Christ’s authority, and according to the Lord Himself, he exercises that authority through humans. So I see no contradiction in saying that authenteo is ultimate authority, since that is the disciplinary authority about which we’re talking.

      However, it is clear that authenteo is applied to lesser beings than God in a positive way, and hence, does not mean “ultimate authority.” It simply means “to have authority,” and context molds it as it will.

      Grudem’s example is disputed by others, but my reference was more toward the analysis made by G. Knight, MM, etc. I don’t agree that none of them are negative contexts. My point was that it is not cut and dry that they are, and they do not negate the positive ones.

      This whole thing for me, Sue, is about methodology. Your argument simply does not consider the context for the meaning of authenteo in this context. Instead, it attempts to transport the negative connotations of a foreign context onto the word and then use the word to argue against the flow of the text itself. That is not an appropriate methodology.

    • Hodge

      BTW, any discussion of authenteo that is beyond 1 Tim 2:12 is going to be diachronic by definition. That’s why an appeal to other contexts that are removed by genre, time period, culture, etc. is going to be the weaker side of the argument being made, which is why I want us to discuss the contrastive merism. It’s a hapax, so the only synchronic study that can be done is to stay within the letter.

    • Michael T.

      CMP I have to agree with what some others have said here. With all due respect to you as a person this is one of the more poorly reasoned arguments you have put up here. You attempt to take what might be true for SOME women and make it true for ALL women. Furthermore, even if your assertions about women were true (though only based upon the anecdotes of your experiences with one women) this would not logically exclude them from being in leadership, but only indicate that there may be a greater percentage of males equipped for leadership then females (face it there are many males who are ill equipped for leadership in the arena you are concerned about).

      P.S. Your analogy about military’s is becoming less true all the time. The Israeli Army for instance has women in all ranks of the military, even the special forces, and the U.S. military is slowly heading that direction. The Army just promoted the first female four star general and the Navy recently put a female in charge of a major group of warships (Expeditionary Strike Group 2).

    • C Michael Patton

      Michael,

      Once again. This is not an argument for complementarianism. This is a possible explanation of why, given that complemtarianism is correct (for the sake of argument) women are not able to teach and preside in positions of authority over men in the church. It is a very plausible explanation and makes quite a bit of sense to me. And exceptions do not make this argument any less forceful! Especially if the exceptions are not effective or ideal!

      I don’t know what position that you end up with, but one thing that is lacking here in the comments is any alternative explanation from a complementarian. That is what I am looking for. Not charges of poor arguments from those don’t agree with the complementarian position. It is a given that this would not find favor to them.

      Anyway, not only do I think it works, but it is very helpful to understand this way. I just don’t really know if this is the reason why God does not want women to preside in positions of authority. It is, however, the best explanation that I know of.

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      If kurieuo is an abusive authority, then Christ should not have it either.

      I searched this thread and I cannot find where I said that kurieuo was an abusive authority.

      I believe that authentein eventually might have been used with rerference to God, and I believe much later of supreme church leaders, in a later age when hierarchy in the church was compared to imperial power.

      However, it is clear that authenteo is applied to lesser beings than God in a positive way

      Is there an example of this?

      Actually I am confused about how to proceed. Were you going to offer a use of authentein for humans that was positive in connotation? I have been looking for a citation and date.

      Here is the example which Grudem and Payne agree applies to a hostile situation.

      BGU 1208 (27 BCE): “I domineered(?) (Καμου αυθεντηκοτος) over him, and he consented to provide for Calatytis the Boatman on terms of full fare, within the hour.”

      It’s a personal letter, not the journal of a judge or law giver. The control exerted may have been justified, but it was about a citizen coercing another citizen in a hostile way. I would be glad to link you to the entire letter in Greek if you wish.

      The next argument is that context is enough. If it were, we would not have this interpretation history for Gen. 3:16b,

      your recourse (return) will be to your husband (NETS from the LXX)

      thou shalt be under thy husband’s power (Douay Rheims from the Vulgate)

      thy lust shal pertayne vnto yi hußbande, (Coverdale)

      thy desire shalbe subiect to thine husbande, (Geneva Bible)

      thy desire shall be to thy husband (KJV)

      You will want to control your husband, (NET Bible)

      It is an interesting trajectory, isn’t it? I am not sure if you will argue for the early and traditional meaning because God allowed it to predominate for 1700 years, or for the Reformation meaning, or for Susan Foh’s translation because it depends the most on context.

    • Steve Allen

      Mr. Patton,

      I think my comment above got lost in the shuffle of the debate over the underlying Greek.

      I have offered, as you have requested, an “alternative explanation from a complementarian,” here: http://ps27-4.blogspot.com/2010/02/complementarianismwhy.html

      Now, I posted it last night, and was unaware of the clarification that you are not, in fact, making an argument for complementarianism, but are rather speculating on God’s reasoning behind it. So you’ll notice that I do include, toward the beginning fo the post a “charge of poor arguments”.

      However, ignoring that, I would be honored if you would look at and consider it. 🙂 I hope you find it useful.

      In Christ,

      Steve Allen

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      I was not angry at all. Sorry you took it that way. I was just kidding about the Muslims. All I was saying is that the form of Complementarianism that you seem to be setting up is rare in my circles (and those, I believe, are representative of the better brand).

      I do think that men hold positions of ultimate responsibility in the family before God. Whether that translates into them directing the finances or recognizing that the wife is better at that does not affect this. My sister and her husband are complementarian, but she does all the bills because she is more responsible in that area. This does not violate the complementarian position (as I hold to it).

      Men and women hold positions in many many cases according to their gifts, but for those issues that give rise here (i.e. leading men and being the ultimate authority in church and home —and, I would add, government— is ideally suited for men.

      However, I don’t see it as a sin when men don’t function properly in their roles and women have to take charge (like throughout the book of Judges). In other words, I don’t think women sin here. However, I think that such a situation is the product of a sinful corruption of society. I also believe this sinful corruption is fueled by the minimization of role distinctions, not appreciating and encouraging men to be men and women to be women.

      My complementarian positions requires that the fullness of the position be promoted, not simply one of its components such as the proper place for men and women in the church.

    • C Michael Patton

      Rebecca,

      I don’t think that corruption of men in leadership is an exception. I don’t remember ever saying that or even addressing that issue. It is certainly the case that men will sinfully use their positions and lead contrary to God’s will. So will women. In every role there will me a high percentage of cases where men and women fulfill their role in a sinful way. Same thing with motherhood and fatherhood. So this has no bearing, as far as I can see on this conversation.

      The exceptions have to do with those, such as in the case with women military leaders, who are put forward as illustrations that disprove my propositions.

      For example, I could make the argument that God exists based upon the Moral argument for the existence of God. I would argue that God has placed within us a moral compass that tells us right from wrong. I would argue that this is evidenced in many ways such as the universal belief that lying is wrong.

      The atheist may come and give exception after exception (and I have had this happen too many times to count) where there were people, and even small societies, that believed that lying was good. However, this does not detract from the general principle that God has created us with a moral compass that says lying is wrong. Romans 2 even promotes such even though there are going to be exceptions.

      It is the same here in my opinion. There is a compass that God has placed within the sexes that is evidenced throughout history. You can call it repressive or cultural or whatever (and sometime I might agree depending on the issue). But when you have the rule established, illustrated in Scripture, and supported by propositional teaching in Scripture, I tend, like the case with lying (or homosexuality, murder, or whatever), to believe that the issue is very well established and that societal norms here are representative of God’s design, not sinful corruption or repression.

    • C Michael Patton

      Man I am staying in this thread a long time. You guys are great. And what a civil tone everyone is keeping. I have not deleted a comment at all today! (And that is saying a lot!)

      Anyway, thanks.

    • Michael T.

      CMP,
      Here is the reason I think your arguments is faulty in more detail, and then what I think the solution is.

      1. It assumes something to be true which just isn’t true. I would hardly call the women I know the “exception”. The vast majority of women I know in my Church groups, in my education, and in my professional life are just as willing to vigorously defend the Truth as I am, and are in some cases more zealous in doing so then me (I don’t typically pick fights on these issues). My law school class (a profession which is all about arguing) was over 50% women who were almost without fail willing to argue tooth and nail for whatever position it was they supported. To me your assertion in this matter would only lend fuel to the fire of those who argue that the commands of Paul in this regard are purely cultural. Maybe something has happened in the 15 years between you and me, but your description of women just doesn’t seem to fit with reality as I have experienced it. Thus your statements from my perspective are almost an argument against complementarianism.

      2. There is a vast qualitative difference between a physical fight and a intellectual one. Using this as an analogy is ridiculous. No one would deny that females are typically smaller in stature and thus less equipped (barring some self-defense training) to handle a large aggressor. Are you going to also argue that their brains are smaller and unable to process that which a man can? I just don’t think there is a relation between being willing to engage in a physical fight and being able to engage in a intellectual one. There really is no argument here to speak of for or against since the reasoning is non-sequitar.

      So what are the better explanations??? I think if I were a complementarian (which I’m obviously not) I would just say that God by is sovereign decree created women to be subservient to men and any attempt to be other than this is a sinful act of rebellion which is a result of the fall (or whatever a kinder and gentler complementarian would say here). Now of course I don’t agree with this and find it shamefully ugly, but it is a better argument then what you gave. “God made it that way” is a much easier position to defend (and harder to attack).

    • Sue

      Michael.

      Of course, most men want their wives to handle the bills. LOL What a nasty job!

      I was refering to overall strategic financial planning for one’s later years. Due to studies which demonstrate that women have a slight edge on portefolio management, are much more risk averse, and so on, I sincerely believe that women are more suited for being the leaders in the home with regard to the overall financial picture. They are also more connected to the concerns of the individual members of the household at any one time.

      So, I was offering this in contrast to your position that women should not lead in church because they don’t have enough innate combativeness and aggression. I am arguing that on this basis, women ought to be the natural and recognized leaders in the home, where risk aversion is significant, and aggression is not very helpful. I would also argue that women should be political leaders also.

      And I find it odd that aggression would be the most necessary requirement for leadership in the church, when it is not mentioned in the scripture as an attribute of an elder.

    • Sue

      societal norms here are representative of God’s design,

      Michael,

      Whoa! Wait a minute. I thought that complementarians were supposed to be counter cultural and it was the egalitarians who had caved to societal norms.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue, once again you show your stereotype! 🙂

      Hence the word “here”

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      “I was offering this in contrast to your position that women should not lead in church because they don’t have enough innate combativeness and aggression.”

      It is not simply aggression, but also the respect that is afforded to men in this situations that women have to struggle to find (and often cannot). I hope that this is clear because it is very very important to my illustrations.

    • C Michael Patton

      Also, I still would not have a problem with the financial stuff. If the women is better at handling it, then that is the responsible thing for the man to do…let her handle it.

    • Michael T.

      CMP,
      “It is not simply aggression, but also the respect that is afforded to men in this situations that women have to struggle to find”

      Is that a cultural thing, a reflection of the fall, or the way God made things??? I don’t see how this is an argument for your position since by this argument African-American men shouldn’t be pastors either. You certainly aren’t suggesting that are you?

    • C Michael Patton

      Michael, your response does not assume the complementation position, which my entire post does! Therefore, I don’t think we are going to find common enough ground to move forward… at least with the way I have intended for this post.

      My illustration does work. Just because women are able to be aggressive in certain things does not mean that it is representative of their abilities in others. I fully grant that women can defend the faith in general and can be aggressive in general. But one thing that the positions of pastor (over a congregation) assumes to Paul is personal confrontation, oversight, sometimes aggression (in a biblical way), and MOST IMPORTANTLY, the ability to command a respect. There is a certain amount of this that some women can attain (AND YES, there are exceptions), but, the rule here is the men are much more suited for this type of position. Hence, in my opinion, Paul did not allow women to be in leadership position of this type.

      Is Paul speaking idealistically? In other words (as the “idealistic complementarian” argument goes), does Paul exhort to the ideal here, yet, we, as Christian, understand there there will be exceptions in individuals and, even, cultures, that we must tolerate and do the greatest good with what we have? Maybe. I am willing to entertain this and find some biblical warrant for it (e.g. the Book of Judges). However, does this mean we adjust or compromise our position based on the fact that the ideals cannot be met? No. Why would we. We don’t do this in any other area. We don’t say “Well, God calls us to be holy, but we all know we are sinners, so it ain’t gonna happen. So let us not exhort people to do what they cannot (i.e. be holy).

    • Michael T.

      CMP,
      See post 177 about “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”

      Your argument about commanding respect in order to be in leadership of a church is not one I think you want to push too hard.

    • C Michael Patton

      I am not using “command” in a way you think. I am saying that men, in certian positions are more inclined to receive respect. Same thing with women. I am not sure you really want to argue that this is not the case. That is when this type of discussion loses all common sense in favor of an agenda. I have been there way too much to enter the ring with such again. 🙂 There are some things that are simply beyond obvious.

    • Sue

      Michael,

      Why can’t women command respect? Some Christians do not think of women as those who function as equals, so they diminish women’s ability to command equal respect.

      Does aggression command respect anyway? Or is it the physical ability to take someone on? Should only tall, strong, aggressive men be leaders? Would this favour some races over others?

      Bother. I feel like Winnie the Pooh or Humpty Dumpty. I can’t decide which.

      I think your meaning eludes me.

    • Michael T.

      CMP,
      I’m not trying to push an agenda. Simply pointing out logical steps to which your thinking leads. And on the contrary I think I understand perfectly what your getting at. I just think it logically leads down a path that is not one anyone (for the most part) wants to take You write “I am saying that men, in certian [sic] positions are more inclined to receive respect.”

      Couldn’t one just as easily write “I am saying that white people, in certain positions, are more inclined to receive respect [then black people]”??? I mean if it is about respect there are many white people who (out of fallen racism) would not respect a black pastor. I have personally seen this. Not saying anything about Mr. Obama’s policies (I voted against him because of them) but there was a sizable portion of the American public who voted against him and wouldn’t have voted for him if he was a Tea-Party Republican. Your arguments could apply to them just as easily as women.

    • C Michael Patton

      Well, Sue, I do think women can command respect in certain areas and men can in certain areas. I simply think that it is natural that it is much more natural for men in these types of positions of authority. Can I put my finger on exactly what it is? No. There are probably many many factors that are involved, but I don’t think any of them are cultural seeing as how it has universally been the case (like with the military illustration). It is just the way we are built. Why is it that, universally, women are seen as the more ascetically pleasing of the sexes and they represent beauty more? Are there cases where women are not? Certainly, but …. You know what I am going to say!

      It does have to do with aggression. But, more broadly, it has to do with masculinity in general. Bigger, deeper, voice, stronger, more aggressive, less fear, more one tracked in their mind, less emotional, on and on we could go with the possibilities.

      It is the case the smaller, high voiced, fearful men will be less effective in positions of leadership. Certainly, when it comes to some types of leadership. Does this mean that God cannot use them in this area? Not at all. But this takes nothing away from the direction I am going here.

      In these type of areas, it is hard to argue against the reality that men, thoughout history, have been the commanders of more respect.

      This alone does not make it right, but I am not making any sort of case on this ALONE. I am assuming my position and simply trying to explain the “why” question.

      By the way, you are certianly one whom I have a lot of respect for. Expecially based on our conversation here. 🙂

    • C Michael Patton

      Michael,

      “”I am saying that white people, in certain positions, are more inclined to receive respect [then black people]”???”

      Yes, but it would be for completely different reasons and would only be able to prove its case culturally. There would not be a theological basis to back it up or any type of essential distinctives that would justify such. Therefore, when this is the case (when we are talking about pastorate, military, and the like) it would lack all warrant.

      If you are talking about with certian sports, the distinctions (stereotypes) might apply, but even then, they would most certianly be individualistic.

    • C Michael Patton

      One of the biggest problems (other than the obvious biblical) that I have in the corner egalitarians seem to paint themselves into (and one that I think you all are close to) is the idea that you have to say that there are no distinctions between men and women other than physical/reproductive. I have had egalitarians understand this and actually attempt to defend this fort explicitly. This is where it gets outside of common sense and begins to look more like flat earth arguments to me.

      Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. They simply think differently. Respond differently. Carry themselves differently. Have different nuances about their character. Have different emotional make-ups. Use their brain differently. On and on we could go.

      To say that these differences do not predispose them, as a sex, toward one area of gifteness above another is, to me, impossible to defend and lacks a great deal of common sense.

      All I am saying here is that the pastorate is one of those distinctive places where these distinctions find application. It is not about who is smarter, who is more rational, or, even, who is more apt to come up with correct answers.

    • Michael T.

      CMP,
      Last post I promise. Only wanted to say that some may disagree with you (those who use the Bible to support slavery for instance) about the thing about African American’s only being cultural. On the other hand many would argue that the issue of women and respect is purely cultural and is in fact slowly being overcome.

      I guess at the end of the day if I were to say that in order to be a complementarian I would need a reason underlying what Paul said which explains why things are that way, the reason you gave would fall woefully short of providing such a reason. Maybe it just is my experience, but my experience has been that women are increasingly being given authority and commanding respect in those positions of authority. As such I tend to see the issue of women and respect as cultural rather than inherent in the order of the universe. I also think the men of my generation are much more accustomed to having women in power and seeing women as equals then perhaps the generations before me. We shall see how things play out in the next few decades.

    • Sue

      more one tracked in their mind

      Michael, NOBODY is more one tracked then I am!!

      But you have clearly grounded your argument on the physical differences between men and women. Egalitarians agree with this. What other differenndes are there that we could agree on. You claim they are obvious.

      I could see a big difference in connectedness and risk taking. Men are much more willing to take life threatening risks. I don’t think men should be in charge of any endeavor where muman life is not dispensible.

      Actually I am kidding. There is more difference between any two indivituals than between men and women in general.

    • C Michael Patton

      Sue,

      “Michael, NOBODY is more one tracked then I am”

      Touche.

      If you really mean that, don’t you think that these differences lend themselves to certian areas more than others? Come on…you can follow me here!

      You seem to be very close to a complementarian for that (not women in ministry) is its primary driving factor.

      If so, then we may be just a hairs breath apart. I would just advocate that we educate and encourage the sexes to capitalize on these differences.

    • Sue

      It is the case the smaller, high voiced, fearful men will be less effective in positions of leadership.

      That’s funny. I have list of complementarian theologians that I would love to sent this too.

      They may be short and squeaky voiced, but they don’t seem to be fearful.

    • C Michael Patton

      Michael, you could be right. Lots of very good people on both sides of the issue here. I certianly would not say that this is an essential.

    • #John1453

      Given that leaders in Christ’s kingdom are to serve and submit to others, and given that women are much better at that than men, it is therefore the case that only women should be leaders in the church.

      Given that leaders in the church are not to commit sexual sin and to be faithful to one wife, and given that women are by far more faithful in marriage and far far less likely to rape or sexually assault minors, it is therefore the case that only women should be leaders in the church.

      Given that women are far better at listening and taking into account the opinions of others, and given that a key aspect of leadership is listening to and engaging followers, it is therefore the case that only women should be leaders in the church.

      Given that women in America are the primary conveyors of spiritual teaching to the next generation, and given that men generally do a pathetic job of same, it is the case that only women should be leaders in the church.

      Given the commands in the Bible to honour God’s name and to live with nonChristians in such a way that Christ is known and respected, and given that it is almost always men that bring disrespect upon Christ (Swaggart, etc.), it is the case that only women should be leaders in the church.

      If we are to base church leadership on inherent natural statistically predominant characteristics and stereotypes, then I submit that it is patently obvious that only women should be leaders in the church.

      Plus, no woman would be “lame” enough to write a post like the one that started this thread; that fact alone is enough to support a women leaders only policy.
      (Fill “**” with your own adjective; women of course will fill it with nice encouraging adjectives, while men will insert blunt rude ones).

    • EricW

      #John1453, you make some good points.

      Were one to list what qualities/characteristics/requirements are necessary for the extra-Scriptural role/position of “head pastor,” I think one could find Scriptures and readings/interpretations of Scripture that would favor women over men as well as those that would favor men over women. It all depends on what qualities one considers to be necessary or ideal or best or mandatory for such a role/position.

      But since the role/position of “head pastor” is an extra-Biblical one, and more one of practice and custom and tradition than something that is explicitly described and prescribed in Scripture for the churches, the very fact that one envisions there being such a role colors one’s ability to determine what the Scriptures teach about the nature of such a role/position. By seeing in one’s mind such a role/position, one already has a vision of what that role/position – and hence what that person – looks like or should look like.

      The very fact that Christ compared His church and instructed His disciples against the way the gentiles ruled their people suggests that the nature of church “leadership” should be something other than the typical hierarchal and patriarchal structure that most of the “nations” have.

    • #John1453

      ” it is hard to argue against the reality that men, thoughout history, have been the commanders of more respect. ”

      Given that men throughout history have used their physical strength, money, and power to take and demand respect rather than earn it, that proposition fails to prove anything other than men can beat up women if they don’t get the respect they demand.

      The position of women in places of lesser respect is primarily a function of socially structured inequality, not lack of ability. Our society, and basically all others, are fundamentally misogynistic and biased towards men. So, gee whiz, why is it surprising that men turn up more often in positions of power and respect?

      So, if we are going to use these sorts of criteria for leadership, then I’m all for testing like they do for fire department applicants: hence phsyical strength, fitness and stamina tests for pastors with minimums to be obtained before ordination. Also, we’ll have to start lion breeding farms, because no shepherd of God’s people worth his salt should be put in a position of leadership without first killing a lion in the act of attacking a sheep. No sissy chess players need apply.

      In addition, psych evaluations indicating minimum leadership scores will be mandatory.

      Really, its not surprising that since men are deciding who gets to be a leader in church, that they choose criteria that favour men.

      And since no one else has raised the obivious, in these obviously biased against women criteria, I’ll do it: men are much better at flatulation than women, so that should also be a criterion for a good leader, as should be shoe size and type of underwear (only humans who wear boxers can be a leader–that should get rid of most women and all the sissy men).

    • #John1453

      The most obviously bestest reason for excluding women from leadership are vague ambiguous reasons that are impossible to prove, favour men, are based on culturally ingrained from childhood stereotypes, and only make sense for men, such as the following: “I simply think that it is natural that it is much more natural for men in these types of positions of authority. Can I put my finger on exactly what it is? No.”

      Woman to ordination committee: “Why can’t I be ordained as a head pastor?”

      Ordination committee to woman: “We can’t put our finger on it, but you just shouldn’t be, that’s all. We don’t know why you won’t get respect, but you won’t, so just leave it at that, OK? Now behave yourself and go get pregnant”.

    • EricW

      (cont’d and modified/corrected from my comment 192.)

      The very fact that Christ compared His church and instructed His disciples against the way the gentiles ruled their people or the Pharisees and scribes ran things suggests that the nature of church “leadership” should be something other than the typical hierarchal and patriarchal structure that most of the “nations” and religious institutions have.

      Yet, again and again and over and over in church history we have churches set up with men at the top being called the equivalent of rabbi/teacher/father/leader, being authoritarian and against women, etc.

      The Lord says Ουαι to all such persons.

    • Minnow

      Comment 185–We absolutely are different which is why excluding one or the other from a certain “role” within a given group seems so rediculous to me. In essence you are saying I am unable to gain any new, different, valuable perspective from you because you are not me but because I am me and you are not you should be able to gain everything you need from me. I would never say we are not different I do say our differences make ALL the various roles we have richer and more effective when we allow one another access.

    • #John1453

      Good points EricW. Here’s what Ben W III has to say in the same vein: “Almost all forms of ancient religion were all about priests, temples, and sacrifices. This was as true of Greek religion and Roman religion, as true of Babylonian religion as Assyrian religion, and it was true of Biblical religion as well— just read the book of Leviticus for example. In Jesus’ day Jewish religion focused on Torah, Temple, and territory— the three Ts. But something radical happened in the Christ event, and it was a game changer.”

      One can read the rest at: http://blog.beliefnet.com/bibleandculture/

      in the blog entry for Thursday, February 11th.

      regards,
      #John

    • EricW

      #John1453:

      I believe egalitarianism re: church leadership will eventually win out, not because the church will have caved in to the culture, but because the complementarian arguments for “nature” and “roles” will no longer be tenable based on both reading and understanding the Scriptures in light of and in view of their culture and history and language, and because of what we know about women vis-a-vis men in ways that are uncluttered by past or ancient prejudices and presuppositions which can no longer be held with a straight face by those who live in non-agrarian or non-militaristic/imperialistic cultures where the production of large families is not a civil or national or economic requirement or necessity.

      The question is not “if,” but “when” – i.e., will it be sooner or later?

    • Rebecca

      CMP, allow me to clarify what I was trying to say about exceptions. I was not saying that it was you who suggested that corruption of men in leadership is an exception. But it seems to me that you have used “exceptions” plenty in your defense of “why” some women are qualified to be in a position of authority According to you, if any are, they are the exception. I was taking my “exception” cue from you. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander? My position is that the corruption by men is NOT an exception. That was my assertion, not yours. I believe it is more the norm. Therefore, if it is the norm rather than the exception that men are inadequate leaders, then it’s back to the drawing board. All the physical and emotional and spiritual reasons you have stated won’t work. But if you believe that strong, assertive women are the exception and I don’t and I believe that men have a history of being inadequate leaders and you don’t, then you lose me and I lose you. Your reasons seem to me to be the challenge here for you. It’s not enough for either one of us to say that we think men or women are more fit because we just think that’s the way it is or that’s been our personal experience. I’m 60 years old. Do my life experiences trump yours? I raised 5 sons and 5 daughters. Does that mean my experience is superior? It seems originally your attempt what to expain why. And maybe to get this discussion going? But what now. You have a theory as to why and so do others. Personally, I love it when I can find a male leader than is stronger than myself. You have no idea how encouraging that can be. And you have no idea how few and far between it is either. Yes, men have been emasculated. I suggest that they (men) “gave it up”. Where was their strength in fighting for their maleness? Adam blamed Eve. Nothing has changed. Now you are blaming society and other reasons. It is what it is. Men forfeited it! As far as women go, after all the years in a “man’s world” and all the years of suppression, just what kind of strength, determination, agressiveness, boldness, courage did it take for women to forge through those barriers? Was that not a battle?

      So I can accept God’s order. I don’t even have to understand it. I just don’t find your reasons valid and as this blog goes on, they get weaker to me. I mean that with the greatest respect. I think there is a risk that some will unnecessarily be rubbed the wrong way and miss the benefits.

    • #John1453

      Because men are more naturally inclined to be leaders, it of course follows that women should not be allowed to vote, as indicated in 2001 by a woman senator:

      “TOPEKA, Kan. — A female state senator says if women’s suffrage were being voted on today she would not support it, because the 19th Amendment was the start of a decades-long erosion of family values.

      “I’m an old-fashioned woman, Senator. Kay O’Connor told The Kansas City Star. “Men should take care of women, and if men were taking care of women (today) ‘we wouldn’t have to vote.”

      Delores Furtado, co-president of the Johnson County League of Women Voters, had asked the 59 year-old Republican to the league’s “Celebrate the Right to Vote” luncheon, and O’Connor responded: “You probably wouldn’t want me there because of what I would have to say.”

      Furtado said she was shocked by O’Connor’s view. As a state senator, Furtado said, “she is the beneficiary of a system she doesn’t support.”

      O’Connor said she does vote. But she said she believes that if men had been protecting the best interests of women, then women would not be forced to cast ballots and serve in the Legislature. Instead, they could stay home, raise families and tend to domestic duties, she said. The 19th amendment giving all U.S. women the right to vote was ratified in 1920. O’Connor said the amendment began a societal shift that eventually, encouraged women to trade homemaker roles for careers.”

      As Helen Kendrick Johnson, anti-suffragette argued in 1913: ” As men threw off the yoke, the sex relations began to assume their natural position. Man was the protector, woman the protected. In the natural relations, the protector is at the service of the protected, and that is the state of things to-day. I order to be preserved in bodily, mental, and spiritual freedom, woman must yield with grace to the hand that serves her. In order to protect, man must see to it that this freedom he has won is kept sacred and inviolable. He cannot be at once a tyrant and a guard. This freedom removes from woman all disabilities save those of sex.”

      Let natural inclinations determine our decisions! If a gay person has natural inclinations for the same sex, why surely we must follow natural inclinations! Men are naturally inclined to receive respect and be leaders!! Gay men are naturally inclined to be intimate with other men!! Let us hear a resounding round of applause for natural inclinations!! Because of course we all know that it is logical and reasoned to derive “ought” from “is”. Men are natural leaders in fact, therefore they ought to be leaders. “Is” to “ought” that should be the rallying cry from our pulpits. Natural inclinations to binding obligation and deference. Who could be so bind as to deny that?

    • artisan

      Very late to this thread, and I’m not arguing the comp/egal issue, but the argument put forth here for why women do not command the respect men do (with regard to the teaching issue, etc.) is…a bit mystifying. It seems to be one man’s experience applied to the broader issue.

      I am a woman, and I can assure you no man who crosses my path automatically “commands” my respect – or trust, unless he demonstrates by his own faithfulness to the Word of God that he has earned it. Doesn’t matter who he is. He can’t do it. I am not impressed by a man’s height, the tenor of his voice, his ability to be aggressive or combative, etc., – none of these things make him any more a man of God, and therefore entitled to my respect, than the guy down the street. Those characteristics – lent by testosterone – are simply differences, and taken to the extreme, become the hallmarks of a bully.

      That said, women can be just as combative/confrontational as men…and are usually better at expressing themselves verbally in the heat of battle. So all of this, in itself, proves nothing.

      So I guess I don’t get the OP argument.

      A couple of random thoughts:

      As a moderate comp, I do understand the Creation Order argument, but what I find frustrating in most male-dominated churches in that women are so often deprived of substantive or challenging opportunities to exercise/refine their gifts – so, most simply get on with it elsewhere.

      And to whomever mentioned the persecutions under Nero, and the possibility that Paul was trying to protect women by not allowing them to teach…well, women have always been martyred for their faith, and untold numbers have refused to renounce Jesus, though it cost them their lives. We don’t talk about them as much as we talk about the men, but yeah, these women, nameless and faceless for the most part, absolutely command my respect. They are leaders.

    • Hodge

      John,

      Michael isn’t arguing from what is to what ought to be. He is attempting to find one of the reasons why X might be true. In other words, he is saying that X is true, and perhaps, one of the reasons why X is true is that Y is true. I have simply disagreed that Y is true, but he is not arguing that X is true because Y is true, only that it is one possibly reason why X is true. As I said, I don’t think this reason is complementary to the passage, but you need to deal with it as an ad hoc argument, not a primary justification for the practice.

    • Hodge

      Sue,

      “I searched this thread and I cannot find where I said that kurieuo was an abusive authority.”

      Because you linked it to katakurieuo, both here and on another thread, which has to do with lording authority over someone (i.e., abusing authority). Now, if you believe that katakurieuo means “to have God’s authority over someone” then fine. We’ll work from there. In that view, no one can have authority over anyone else without sinning, since katakurieo is to be linked to kurieuo, athenteo, and exousia in your mind. Why are members of the local congregation commanded to obey their elders, and why are they commanded in the first place? Are the apostles sinning by doing so?

      “BGU 1208 (27 BCE): “I domineered(?) (Καμου αυθεντηκοτος) over him, and he consented to provide for Calatytis the Boatman on terms of full fare, within the hour.”

      The reason why people dispute this passage, and ironically it is usually cited as a support for the positive view of authenteo, is because kamna has to be added in order for it to have the connotation of coercion. I’m not sure why it’s translated “I domineer.” Is that your’s or Grudem’s or Payne’s? It should be “building authority.” In fact, I would translate it “building a rapport (lit. building authority) with him.”

      I agree with Kostenberger concerning Philod, who you cite on your own blog: “Ought we not to consider that men who incur the enmity of those in authority (συν αυθεντουσιν) are villains, and hated by both gods and men”

      Your argument that there is not enough of the fragment to consider a translation is, I think, stretching. The best part of the manuscript is around authenteo. But even if we dismiss these two (the only two references before our time period), then what are we left with Sue, but the Patristic period as secondary diachronic information (which supports my position, not yours) and the very text of 1 Timothy as primary synchronic information?
      I agree with you, we ought to translate it as Jerome did dominari in virum “to have authority over a man,” as long as you don’t perform reverse lexicography and get your lexical meaning of dominari from the English concept of “domineer.” The Latin word bears out the same semantic range as authenteo “to have authority,” nuanced by its respective contexts.

      BTW, haven’t you had this discussion a few times:
      http://www.dennyburk.com/let%E2%80%99s-get-technical-the-meaning-of-authenteo/

      And I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but 1 Tim 2:12 is the case of the positive meaning in our time period; and if you dismiss the other two above, it is the only case of the word in our time period. That in all likelihood means that Paul is using the word as he wishes in this context, so we ought to get our meaning from it. I think it is important to note that Paul did not use katakurieuo when it was more readily available and clearly understood in the light in which you are attempting to present authenteo. So let’s let Paul define for himself what he means by the term.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      The reason these kinds of discussions are so difficult to resolve is that we begin with differing starting points/assumptions.

      Is what Paul wrote in 1 Timothy inspired revelation or not? Is this just Paul speaking on his own initiative? Is his argument therefore culturally relative and not applicable to us today?

      I come from the point of view that this indeed is inspired text and that the argument Paul is making is one rooted in essential truths about the nature of man and woman as created by God. The fact that Paul writes as a man and that the society he came from was patriarchal is irrelevant. Paul is not speaking on his own here, he is speaking the inspired word of God.

      The truths Paul emphasizes in his argument are the order of creation and the fact that Eve was deceived, not Adam. Paul’s argument does rest on differences between men and women. So Michael Patton’s original post speculates about which specific differences between men and women might be behind God’s command that women not teach in the church.

      Paul states that the order of creation, with man being made first, has implications as to man’s authority over woman. I also see in Paul’s argument a strong implication that somehow woman is more prone to be spiritually deceived. Paul’s argument about who should teach in the church seems based on the Creator’s design of man and woman. They have been given different roles and tasks to accomplish, roles for which their God-assigned gender, and capacities related to their gender, play a critical part.

      Now Michael’s arguments that behind this commandment is man’s tendency to be more combative, or that he is more respected by virtue of maleness, seems to me to be getting away from a more direct implication of Paul’s argument—that men are more fitted for the teaching role by nature because something about the way God created man makes him less prone to spiritual deception than woman.

      Now of course, that is not to say that men are not prone to spiritual deception, but the text to me clearly implies that this is a greater weakness in woman than in man.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      EricW, #198: “I believe egalitarianism re: church leadership will eventually win out….”

      And I believe more people go through the wide gate than the narrow gate.

      What’s your point?

      P.S. The largest C/church in the world is the Roman Catholic Church. I’ll give you 10 to 1 odds and I’ll bet you $10K that they won’t ordain women to the role of priest or bishop in the next 10 years.

      Bet?

    • Don

      Alex,

      You draw huge inferences that are not warranted by the text.

      Yes, there is a mention of the order of forming (NOT creation) of Adam and Eve but it is you that eisegetes authority into this verse, it is not there.

      You want to read authenteo as normal authority, but there is NO evidence for this, but lots of negative authority of some kind. No man is told he can authenteo in the Bible.

    • EricW

      TUAD:

      I am largely referring to Protestant Evangelical churches. I should have clarified that. No, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches won’t ordain women priests or bishops or cardinals or metropolitans or popes. Ain’t gonna happen in this life.

      But being able to make the argument to Americans that women cannot preach to men or teach them, or be head pastors of churches simply because of their sex, is going to be more and more difficult to do, and will come to be viewed as more and more ridiculous in the years to come, including among Evangelical Protestants.

      Let’s take this up in 25 years and see if I’m right.

      It has nothing to do with gates, wide or narrow. It has to do with Truth. And this Truth will indeed divide.

      Do you have ears to hear? 🙂

    • Tom D

      I think the resolution here is in not trying to explain why Paul didn’t permit this, but in trying to prove he was wrong in writing this without appointing yourself as editor in chief of the book.

      The only way to overcome his very deliberate statement is to remove the section. I never heard it put the way it has been explained here, but don’t think it matters if Michael’s point of view is correct of not. God’s point of view as enscribed by Paul is the real issue, and without a re-write of the text, it is painfully clear.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      Don,

      12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 1 Tim 2:12-14

      Paul makes a statement in verse 12 that commands that in the church, women are not permitted to teach or exercise authority over a man. He follows that up by stating, “For Adam was formed first… etc”, which is very clearly his explanation of why he does not “permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man.”

      I don’t see any huge inferences here.

    • jim

      I must admit, I couldn’t read all of the responses….some were way over my head. I understand how the text seems to scream men teach women, women are to be silent. But I still can’t bring myself to actually give complete assent to this view.

      In fact, I believe that the authority of the church lies not with man vs women but plays out in a much easier scenario.

      In most churches it is not the authority of elders or men that the ministry of the church operates on but the majority wish of its members. (Which are both men and women) Church members vote on important issues after hearing the information from all sources. If the female had no authority over a man then why not just let the men vote and be done with it?

      Are all churches in sin, because we allow them a “say” in the functioning of a church. Is this not leadership, and could this not be in direct subbordiation of what certain men, including deacons/elders may have wished.

      Are not all equal before God……if men have absolute authority over women for no othe reason than gender……Well…….. should we limit the number of women in churches because they might out number us…….

    • AcesLucky

      “Teaching is something that requires _________ therefore, women are not qualified. You fill in the blank:”

      Add # 7: A superior knowledge of the subject.
      – – –

      “She was looking out there and saw the lights go on. She got scared. Pop quiz: What did she do next?”

      Woke me up and had me go out there.
      – – –

      “Because men are better equipped to deal with these sort of situations. There is an aggression that men have, both physical and mental, that is more able to handle situations that might become combative. That is the way we are made.”

      I always thought it was because men are typically “physically” stronger, and in that sense is the wiser choice.

      Pop Quiz:
      My wife is a paramedic. I trade futures. We see a woman (or man) collapse and is in need of medical help. Who is better equipped to handle the situation?

      …and once again the answer is: ” Superior knowledge of the subject.”

      I believe you would agree immediately if you were the person that collapsed!

      Another Pop Quiz:

      Who was the first person to be awarded TWO Nobel Prizes (and in different fields, no less)?

      a. Albert Einstein
      b. Willian Faulkner
      c. Bertrand Russell
      d. Marie Curie
      e. Barbara McClintock
      f. Elizabeth Blackburn

      Answer: Marie Curie

      Superior knowledge is not limited by gender. Application and ability to teach said knowledge should be the only criteria worth qualifying. And would a MALE paraplegic be even less qualified to teach doctrine than a healthy woman?

      If you are right, Mr. Patton, “turn the other cheek” turns meaningful application into yet another platitude.

    • Don

      Alex,

      What you quoted is an English translation, in that case, the translator’s interpretation and eisegesis already did the job you are supposed to do for yourself.

      When one studies the Greek, one finds that what you quoted is FAR from being the preferred translation, it is just one of many possible ones, and in this case, one that has made most of the critical exegetical decisions for you.

      In a letter from Paul to Timothy, who was Paul’s spiritual son, it would be expected for Paul to use terms Timothy knew, from their close association. And we are NOT Timothy.

      It is arrogance to claim to know more than is possible to know about some text. It is better to be humble. This is a basic principle of protestant interpretation for 100’s of years.

    • #John1453

      Re 202. I disagree and continue to contend that CMP is arguing from is to ought, from the nature of men as we find them to what their rights, responsibilities and obligations should be. That is, from “is” to “ought”. Without any scriptural or logical support he assumes that the “is” that we find has a teleology that provides the “ought”, and thus providing an essential premise to his argument. I deny the truth of his undeclared assumption.

      Here is Tarzan giving a sermon to his flock at First Jungle Baptist Church on why he must be the head pastor:

      Tarzan: Me thumpa chest. Me leader.

      Jane (one of the congregants): Huh? I don’t follow.

      Tarzan: You no thumpa chest. No hurt boobies. Not leader you.

      Jane: So you’re saying that biological differences between us give you the right to be the head pastor and to deny head pastorship to me?

      Tarzan: Yes [thumps chest]. See?

      Jane: See what? That your chimp has better reasoning powers than you?

      Tarzan: Give respect [thumps chest].

      [Lion enters the church, Tarzan attacks]

      Tarzan: No. Fear. Jane. Tarzan attack lion.

      [Jane pulls out her Colt .45 and lays out the lion in between the pews]

      Tarzan: See. You no respect thumpa chest.

      Jane: You mean I’ve advanced beyond primitive and pagan notions of authority and respect? No disrespect, Tarzan, but at least I can read my Bible.

    • #John1453

      Oh, I get it, men are less apt to be spiritually deceived than women:

      Pelagius: woman
      Arius: woman
      Socinius: woman
      Benny Hinn: woman
      Joseph Smith: woman
      etc.

      Gee, I sure wish that men had been given more authority then we wouldn’t have had all these heresies and we wouldn’t have had all these church splits. We’d be drinking pure doctrine in a united church.

    • Kay

      c michael,

      In the past I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. I found your postulation here surprising. How could it ever be reconciled with: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty,” “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” or “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world…”
      Christians are in a spiritual battle, not a physical battle.

    • Kay

      “Now Michael’s arguments that behind this commandment is man’s tendency to be more combative, or that he is more respected by virtue of maleness, seems to me to be getting away from a more direct implication of Paul’s argument—that men are more fitted for the teaching role by nature because something about the way God created man makes him less prone to spiritual deception than woman.”

      So, then what is that “something”? If all men are created with that “something,” it breaks down on the fact that all men don’t naturally take the lead. That’s where your argument fails.

      As c michael said earlier, “Men will still be wimps because we are still sinners. Adam still followed Eve.”

    • #John1453

      Kay, the same thot occurred to me.

      Look at Saul, natural born leader, and acknowledged as such by God, Samuel, and the Israelites. God took away his leadership and gave it to the last and youngest of Jesse’s sons, David, who was not at that time seen as a leader. David became a leader because of God working through him, because he was a man after God’s own heart.

      Seems to me the same principle works in the New Testament. God works through our weaknesses to display his strength and glory.

      Paul ditched John Mark because he didn’t stick it out, and so JM had to travel with Barnabas. Obviously not leadership material. But it was John Mark who ended up writing the Gospel of Mark and who is mentioned several times in the NT.

      The greatest leaders of the church have not been the so called “natural” leaders, but those who depended on God and lived sanctified lives. So it is not the case that God made men into natural leaders so that they could naturally lead the church. Those are not the kind of leaders that God desires or needs. God would much rather be glorified by working through the weak so as to glorify himself.

      Does this not then “pragmatically” qualify only women to be head pastors rather than men (assuming that it is true that they are naturally the “weaker” less “leaderly” sex)? Such is the useleness of so-called “pragmatic” arguments.

      God works through the weak regardless of whether they are men or women.

    • #John1453

      And what is this “natural” aspect of men that commands respect? It is the lower tone in voice, the louder voice, the more frequent and longer direct eye contact, the frequency of conversation interruptions, and the larger size. Linguistic research has shown that change in dominance / submissive positions results in changes in voice tone, loudness and diction (e.g., a president of a company talking inside the office versus talking on the witness stand). Many of these aspects (e.g. language, eye contact) are learned.

      loudness and lower tones are also why we fear a lions roar more than a mouse’s squeak, and why thunderstorms command attention.

      And of course, all these traits are why men obviously “should” be given respect automatically.

      On those pragmatic grounds we should respect thunderstorms and get insight from them.

    • EricW

      As I’ve suggested before, I wonder if the idea that only men can be head pastors or deliver the Scriptures to the congregation is a holdover from the Catholic/Orthodox Church idea/role/position of the male priest?

      Evangelical Protestants have largely rejected the sacraments and the concept of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, which in the aforementioned Churches has to be confected and administered by the priest.

      But they have retained as a “sacrament” the reading of the Scriptures (which for many is also equated with, or a replacement for, the gift of prophecy; hence they’ve also dispensed with the gift and office of prophecy and prophet). Indeed, the reading of, and instruction/exhortation from, the Scriptures is considered to be, and has become, the primary purpose of the church meeting. “Worship” is often just a warm-up preparation for receiving “The Word.”

      But though they retained this “sacrament,” they did not reject with the idea/position/role/function of the priest the idea that only a man is fit or proper or best suited to leading the church or administering this or any sacrament. Hence, they continue to invest these roles of head pastor/Scripture reader/teacher in men only.

      Just some thots.

    • Kay

      “My point is that men are conditioned to handle confrontation better than women.”

      c michael,
      I have to ask – by whom who are men conditioned to handle confrontation?
      Also, if one must be “conditioned” to do it, then it is not an inherent quality of males.

    • #John1453

      Also, given the pragmatic criteria, hermaphrodites need not apply to be a head pastor, regardless of their chromosonal make-up.

      Also also: Kay, very astute point regarding “conditioned” and “inherent”. Three cheers for you. Actually, only 2.5 cheers because only male leaders deserve the respect of 3 cheers.

    • Rebecca

      I find it interesting that scripture says man was not deceived. So he knew what he was doing. He was not mesmerized as Eve must have been. And he chose to follow her in her deception, in her sin. So does this show one is weaker (woman) when it comes to being deceived and one (man) is weaker when it comes to lying and passivity? And where does that get us? Women are deceived easily? What do we do with all those women who have the gift of discernment? Consider them flukes, exceptions? Could it be as simple as because Eve …not her heirs…but because Eve was deceived and sinned, she lost her right to lead? Could it be because Adam turned a blind eye and was passive…not necessarily his heirs…but because of his sin and the nature that surrounded it, God forced the responsibility of leading on Adam? If God clearly defines who is in charge, who leads, then there can be no “passing the buck” as Adam did. And if we inherited “the sin”, then why would not have inherited this particular consequence as well? As anyone considered that being forced to lead is not all it’s cracked up to be? God always picks the weak to lead so we might know it can only be by His might. God could have taken Adam by the collar and said,”You whimp! You’ll never lead. You blew it!” Maybe it went more like,”I’ll make a man out of you, a real man if that’s the last thing I do….today! And if your wife gets lost or deceived ever again while on your watch, you will take the hit for her and have Me to answer to! ” Of course, we know God never ends a sentence with a preposition!

    • #John1453

      Great observation and question, EricW. Here is what BWIII has to say on the introduction of the Romish hierarchy:

      And so it is that the author of 1 Peter is not saying something novel when he throws down the gauntlet and says to his Christian audience “but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, so that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” ( 1 Pet. 2.9). This friends is the Magna Carta of Christian identity and Christian freedom, and among other things it means we are all laity, and we are all priests. We will unpack the implications of this wonderful verse in a moment, but first we need to answer a question— if what I say is true, what went wrong with Christian religion, and when did it happen? Why do we continue to have a clergy club and laity conferences for non-clergy? I’m glad you asked.

      What happened, already beginning in the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. is the same thing that happened to God’s people as recorded in 1 Samuel— they wanted to be like other nations, other peoples. They wanted a king and a kingdom–and of course you remember that God obliged them and gave them Saul, not exactly what they were hoping for. Be careful what you wish for, as God may let you have it–and then he will let you have it (in another sense), when you use it to distance people from God. Well the church, especially after it became a licit religion in the 4th century A.D. thanks to Constantine, the church longed to be like the other religions with priests, temples and sacrifices, and more to the point they longed to be like God’s OT people with priests, temples, and sacrifices, and they got what they wished for. The OT hermeneutic was applied to NT ministry and so it was that ministers became priests, churches became temples, the Lord’s Supper became a sacrifice, Sunday became the Sabbath sacrificial giving became tithing— all in defiance of what Peter says and means in 1 Pet. 2.9. And of course the ultimate irony happened when Peter who wrote 1 Peter was turned into the first Pope— and he is still surprised about that!!

    • #John1453

      Re Rebecca @#221

      I have been thinking similar thoughts, though more along these lines: Adam, a man, knew he was doing wrong and jumped right into it anyway. Consequently, it’s much better, pragmatically speaking, to be led by men who dive right into things that they know are wrong or sinful and lead others after them, than it is to be led by a woman who gets deceived.

      It’s all so eminently rational, logical and obvious. And, of course, pragmatic.

    • Don

      The point is both the man and the woman in the garden sinned, one did it while deceived, but lost her deception quickly as shown by her response, while the man was NOT deceived, he did it knowing it was a sin, and furthermore, continued to blame the woman and also God for his plight. What a leader to follow! He is an example of what NOT to do, while the woman is a good example in quickly realizing her mistake and honoring God in Gen 4.

    • EricW

      I think the more one tries to defend and justify and explain patriarchal Christianity as being the right reading and understanding of Scripture, the deeper the hole one digs for one’s self.

      It is clearly not the only way to read Paul or Genesis, or the “plain reading/meaning of the text(s).”

    • Rebecca

      Re: #John 1453: Kind of like, if you’re going to go off of a cliff, you’d have more comfort and peace of mind knowing that at least your male driver did it on purpose (road rage…Pee Wee Herman,”I meant to do that!”) rather than some female because of trusting the wrong person for directions, made a wrong turn and over you go! I hate it when that happens!

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      Can I ask if you are still planning to provide a citation for an occurence of authenteo with a positive connotation. Otherwise, I think we should assume that there isn’t one.

      This would mean that any interepretation of 1 Tim. 2:12 needs to take into account that giving authenteo a positive connotation is only a speculation and is not reflected in the majority translation history of that verse.

      I acknowldge that you have several other arguments to bring in and some of them are quite worthy. However, I stress that they can only be speculative, and they do depart significantly from the traditional interpretation of that verse.

      We need to ask if a doctrine of this importance to our church life should be decided on this one verse. Especially when it goes against the stated goals of organizations like World Vision which state that women MUST HAVE equal participation in decision-making at ALL levels, in the family, in the workplace and in the church.

      The inferior position of women, in terms of physical abuse, povertly, health, education, etc. is a stake on global scale.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      To #John1453, Kay and Don:

      It is Paul who in 1 Tim 2 (v12) makes the argument that men ought to be the teachers in the church because (v 13), a) man was formed first and b) Eve was deceived, not Adam.

      To me his statements strongly imply some quality that man not woman has, that makes the man more suited to this role. I don’t think Paul simply makes this statement and means nothing at all by it. So I inferred some things from the text that I think are validly implied.

      Of course men can be spiritually deceived, and not all men are qualified to teach in the church simply because they are male. These verses also don’t address whether women have ability to teach. But they do say that, by design, God wants men to teach in the Church, not women, and that the reason for this is most certainly connected with how God created man and woman.

      Don,

      You accuse me of arrogance in my interpretation and yet your whole comment is not very humble in tone. First you say I’m allowing the translator to do the job I’m supposedly to do for myself. Why should I not rely upon a well-regarded translation when I don’t speak Greek?

      You claim the translation I’ve quoted is far from being the preferred translation— I see, I guess you know this because you’re the world’s expert on Greek translation? In any case, you admit this translation is indeed a possible option. I agree and that’s why I’m using it.

      I have no idea what terms you’re speaking of that you claim Paul used for Timothy’s benefit alone, since you don’t specify.

      Finally I don’t claim to know precisely what Paul means when he makes these statements. I do claim that my inferences are valid from the text and that Paul clearly argues for male teachers as God’s design.

    • Kay

      “the “plain reading/meaning of the text(s).”
      EricW,
      In regards to the supposed “plain reading/meaning of the text(s),” I see this as one of the most midleading concepts being taught today. Practically, the slightest peek into the Hebrew and Greek quickly reveal the inadequacies of that idea. Yet, people buy into it.

    • #John1453

      Rebecca, I can see your point. With a woman driver you’d at least have the comfort of believing that you know where you’re going and you wouldn’t see the crash until it was happening. Whereas with a man you’d see the train wreck coming way before it actually happened and you’d have to live through the experience of knowing it’s inevitable and you can’t stop it. Option C might be the woman is driving and the man thinks he knows best and that the woman is lost and so he grabs the steering wheel to give it a crank to the left, and . . . over the cliff we go.

      I like option A best.

    • EricW

      Alexander:

      You make some good points, and if the Greek, or the entire passage, were simple, one could argue from an English translation.

      But I don’t think one should isolate 1 Tim 2:12 from 2:8-15.

      And when one begins to translate and interpret the entire paragraph (as it’s formatted to be in NA-27), one is confronted with a myriad of perplexing issues of translation and interpretation and application and implication.

      I would like those who debate the meaning of 2:12, whether from a complementarian perspective or an egalitarian one, to expand their discussion to deal with the entirety of 2:8-15, presenting a consistent argument and translation and hermeneutic that ties all that Paul says here together, and is not at variance with things he writes elsewhere.

      Bon courage!

    • EricW

      Correction:

      I should have written 1 Tim 2:12-14 and not simply 2:12 with reference to the part that I think needs to be interpreted in light of all of 2:8-15. I.e.:

      … I would like those who debate the meaning of 2:12-14, whether from a complementarian perspective or an egalitarian one, to expand their discussion to deal with the entirety of 2:8-15, presenting a consistent argument and translation and hermeneutic that ties all that Paul says here together, and is not at variance with things he writes elsewhere.

    • #John1453

      Also, pragmatically speaking, one shouldn’t forget the male-led African church, a bastion of doctrinal purity and service to women. Could you imagine how much worse poverty, rape, child abduction, prison visitation, interchurch warfare, incest, slavery, AIDS, starvation, etc. would be if women ran the church? It’s pragmatically obvious that men are the better leaders. And of course the problem of child rape and sodomy would be much worse if the RC church had women priests. And, don’t forget the obvious and pragmatic argument that the first step is women priests and bishops, and the second step is rampant homosexuality and gay pastors. Oh wait, the first gay Episcopalian bishop was a man, elected by men and not a lesbian elected by women. God obviously made men the natural church leaders to save us from all that. Lastly, there is the long line of disastrous female leaders that come quickly to mind like Ted Haggard, hmm no he’s a man, Todd Bentley, hmmm no he’s a real man ’cause he got tats. Gee, can’t think of any significant failed women leaders. Oh yeah, there’s Joan of Arc. She got burned at the stake for being a heretic. Wait a minute, she was actually burned at the stake for being successful and she got sold out to the English and thrown under the bus by . . . . (wait for it) . . . men. If Mrs. Calvin had been running Geneva instead of her hubby John, I’m sure Servetus would have had a lot more company in those flames. Golly, the track record of the natural church leaders (men) sure is impressive.

    • Rebecca

      Has anybody gotten any of their answers…not speculations but answers they feel strongly are from the Holy Spirit? I’m wondering how many have spirit filled answers as opposed to educated answers?

    • C Michael Patton

      Have not been able to keep up with any of the responses since yesterday. I am sorry. Just way too busy.

      I expect everyone is going out of their way to be respectful here. The moderators are looking at this and they will take appropriate actions to any disrespect (on either side of the issue!)

      Just to let you all know, I am doing a series on Theology Unplugged about this particular issue. Already finished a couple of broadcasts. They were a blast. Pretty soon, all of you will walk through the narrow gate with me! 😉

      Keep it safe!

    • KR Wordgazer

      About 1 Tim 2 — why does Paul use the Adam and Eve illustration? I think it’s related to the controlling command in v. 12: “Let a woman learn!”

      Why was Eve deceived? Could it be because being created later, she had less information and experience than Adam, and the problem was her lack of learning?

      Why shouldn’t a woman in 1st-century Ephesus teach? Because Paul has commanded that first, she be permitted to learn.

      I agree that reading according to the “plain text” means that we often read all kinds of assumptions of our own into the text. But surely we can glean some information from the fact that the only item put in actual imperative (command) tense here is “Let a woman learn.” As such, it must exercise some control over the rest of the section.

    • C Michael Patton

      OK, I did read a couple of the responses.

      Listen folks (and there are not really many that I am talking about here—just one): this is a theology blog that is for mature adults. Belittling and being downright childish wastes people’s time and has no place here. It is fine for those who “hit-and-run” but this is coming from a very consistant user of this blog. You probably know who you are. You have been warned many times. Your arguments are not mature nor profitable in this environment. You probably ought to go to a forum where this is more typical. Continue with this and you will be banned.

    • Kay

      “I don’t think Paul simply makes this statement and means nothing at all by it.”
      Alexander,
      I’m not saying that Paul means nothing at all by it. Some conclude that the mentioning of Adam and Eve and the created order is dealing with men and women in general. But if Paul’s mention of Adam and Eve along with created order and deception was about ALL men and ALL women in general, then should we conclude that all men are not deceived and all women are deceived like Eve?
      Which we obviously know is not the case.

      There is more to see in the context of this passage that brings out the importance of Paul’s mention of creation, deception and Adam and Eve. Paul’s meaning has to be about something other than all generic man and woman. What readers miss is that the subject here is deception, not authority. Paul does not say that “the man is to have authority over women”, but that Adam was not deceived, while Eve was deceived.

      Paul does not say that “the man is to have authority over women”, but that Adam “was not deceived.” You would have to ignore the context in order to make Adam’s authority the subject.

      If all women are still prone to be deceived, why would Paul ever have instructed them to teach women younger than themselves? (Titus 2) – Instead of the blind leading the blind, we’d have the deceived leading the deceived. Or even worse in many cases deceiving the most easily deceived – the children.

    • JohnO

      Michael,
      The somewhat tongue-in-cheek posts have been very entertaining and, quite frankly, serve to highlight the ludicrousness of the original assertions. Your attempt at a justification for Paul’s reasoning has been shown to be seriously flawed in many ways and, to be honest, you could put an end to it by accepting that your initial assertions are indeed flawed and that another method of justification would need to be found. You have been unable to counter, effectively, any of the ‘nature’ arguments.

    • Don

      Alex,

      Your translation is an admitted masculinist translation, I use it myself along with many others, but I know its bias, the translators believe that males are to lead the church and home, this affects their translation choices.

      By your choosing this translation, you let the translators make many many decisions for you, similar to when one chooses to be Catholic and one lets the pope and church councils make many decisions for you.

      For example, it is possible that Paul is opposing a pre-Gnostic teaching at Ephesus that claimed Eve came before Adam and Eve was not deceived. So 1 Tim 2:13-14 are DIRECTLY opposing the false teaching. However, I am not sure of this, it is just a possibility.

      As another possibility, it is entirely allowed by the Greek to understand that Paul is setting up a temporary prohibition for a woman at Ephesus, that is in effect while she is learning.

      So you see that you are CHOOSING to make a universal prohibition out of something that may not be that at all. And it is something that affects about half the believers, limiting them from serving God.

      Think about it, do something a woman teach somehow become wrong simply because she is a woman or because it is true or not. That is, suppose it would be correct for a man to teach it. If a woman teaches it, is God dishonored? How can this be?

    • C Michael Patton

      John,

      Certianly I would agree that the majority here have seen my illustration as flawed, but there are many notable exceptions! (Sorry, could not help it).

      My illustration is certianly not a bad one and no one has shown this with any degree of satisfaction. Both my “robber” and the military illustration are very strong.

      I would ask you this about my middle of the night illustration:

      If you were to hear a simular story and in this story there really was a robber, but in this story the man made the women go check and she was hurt while he hid and called the police, what would you think of the man? What would 99% of the world think of the man? You would think that he did not do “his job” and was not acting like a man.

      However, if the reverse were true and the man was the one who went and got hurt, it would be tragic, but there would not be any complaints.

      This serves to help people understand that there are stereotypical differences that people accept that are justified in people’s minds, even if they cannot express, philosophically, exactly why.

      The same is true with the military illustration. There are essential differences between men and women. These play out in expectations (even with night invaders) and in leadership areas (such as pastoral roles). If this is true, complementarianism is correct, even without the Bible’s testimony.

      But that is not my point. My point is that the illustration serves as but one way that we can see this playing out in real life.

      As a side note, there have been many emails from many people who do agree with the illustration and find it helpful. BUT, there are a significant number of complementarians on this blog who don’t like the illustration.

      Either way, we don’t have time for immaturity here, no matter whether the belittling effect are affecting you or not!

    • #John1453

      I’m intentionally using reductio absurdum to point out the absurdity of the original argument. I’m also making rational points and using logical argument to demonstrate the errors. I’d hardly call it childish or wasteful of people’s time. It would be disrespectful to simply dismiss an argument and engage in name calling, which is not what I’m doing. I’m engaging the argument and showing where it leads and revealing its true grounds, and thus demonstrating its fallaciousness. I believe that the assertions in the original post are extremely offensive, and wrong, not because I am egalitarian (I’m not), but because they based on an entirely wrong form of argument. I don’t see that any of the posters have have found my reductio or other arguments to be childish or wasteful of their time. I also don’t find that anyone has been able to come up with counter arguments that demonstrate that my arguments fail.

    • Hodge

      Don,

      “but lots of negative authority of some kind.”

      Would you like to cite us one indisputable example within the time period of 1 Timothy. Or are you referring to Patristic evidence, which displays both positive and negative uses–hence, a neutral use of the term is the only valid conclusion for the term.

    • JohnO

      Michael,
      You say yourself, these are stereotypical situations you are presenting. They are as much a product of culture and context as anything. They certainly cannot (and have not) been shown to derive in any effective way from God’s order of things (however you view it).
      Your assertions cannot be supported by exceptions – because there are as many on either side.
      Kay made the point that you are convinced there is ‘something’ that makes male and female different, yet you cannot define what that is other than by anecdotal evidence; which has been shown to be flawed.
      Furthermore, your ‘middle-of-the-night’ and military illustrations merely serve to underscore cultural stereotyping and have only the most tenuous connection to church leadership.
      Sorry, but I think you’ve lost this one and accept defeat graciously.

    • Rebecca

      Michael, your illustration: did the first man protect his wife because he was big and strong or because he was brave. My husband is 5’9 1/2″. He thinks he’s 10 feet tall…until he gets around someone that’s 10 feet tall and very angry! He admits that he knows when to retreat. Coward or wisdom? I do think he’d try to protect me by finding an equalizer…maybe ME!

    • Hodge

      Eric,

      This is completely irrelevant to the truth of an issue.

      “But being able to make the argument to Americans that women cannot preach to men or teach them, or be head pastors of churches simply because of their sex, is going to be more and more difficult to do, and will come to be viewed as more and more ridiculous in the years to come, including among Evangelical Protestants.”

      So will making the argument that homosexuality is wrong and homosexuals shouldn’t be ordained as ministers. Evangelicalism goes with the flow of the culture. Your statement itself is indicative of modern culture. So what? The culture’s (and that includes the evangelical culture’s) view of what is normative vs. what is ridiculous and abnormal is not relevant to Christianity. God determines the norms through the Scripture and His historic Church, not the sensibilities of the blind.

    • Hodge

      “It is arrogance to claim to know more than is possible to know about some text. It is better to be humble. This is a basic principle of protestant interpretation for 100’s of years.”

      In order to say what is possible to know about a text, one would have to know what was not known and impossible to know. This is the conundrum of agnosticism. Ironically, what is impossible to know is impossible to know. Yet, if you know what is impossible to know then you are claiming to know more than is possible about a text. Arrogance is not hidden by deflection.

    • C Michael Patton

      Rebecca,

      If you heard a noise in the middle of the night and your husband made you go check, there are many issues there. He needs to protect you no matter how small he might be or how large you might be.

      It is just my opinion, but I believe this is true. Those who deny such are normally letting their philosophical ideaology get in the way of the way God has created the world and blaming it on cultural relativism.

    • Hodge

      John,

      I understand why you don’t get the difference because it is subtle. But the point is that everyone would already accept Tarzan’s authority in the jungle. The conversation would flow from one of the apes wondering if he had authority because he can thump his chest louder. There is a difference. The former assumes that he does in fact have authority, and the latter simply wonders why. Again, I don’t agree with the reasoning, but they are two different issues. If you wiped out the latter, the former would still exist.

      “Oh, I get it, men are less apt to be spiritually deceived than women:

      Pelagius: woman
      Arius: woman
      Socinius: woman
      Benny Hinn: woman
      Joseph Smith: woman
      etc.

      Gee, I sure wish that men had been given more authority then we wouldn’t have had all these heresies and we wouldn’t have had all these church splits. We’d be drinking pure doctrine in a united church.”

      I think Paul is arguing from the fact that the woman was deceived because the man didn’t do his job in shepherding through right teaching and authority. He said nothing, even though she misunderstood the command and was deceived by the serpent. There is nothing in Paul’s argument to suggest that men are not also deceived, but that when each does not do his or her proper role, it provides an avenue for the devil to come into the community and throw it off it track.

    • #John1453

      I’ll eschew reductio, humour and creative writing and go straight for the science:

      T. William Altermatt, Ph.D., “The Chivalry Script and Stereotypes about Women”

      In my research, I examine a cultural script that I have labeled “chivalry,” characterized by themes of men protecting and providing for women. Chivalry as a cultural phenomenon is unusual in that it is possible to pinpoint its origins with considerable accuracy. In the 11th century, the medieval knights who had once protected Europe against Viking invasion jeopardized the social order through continuous warfare among themselves. In an effort to control the knights, the Roman Catholic Church reconstructed the knight�s role to include the protection of women, the weak, and the oppressed. During the Crusades, the role of knight (who literally is chivalry, a word derived from the same root as cavalry) was transformed from brutal mercenary into, in the words of Pope Urban II, “the true soldiery of Christ.” Over the centuries, the military and equestrian aspects of chivalry faded and gave way to a script describing gallantry, bravery, and deference to women. Chivalry�s survival from the 11th to the 20th century can be seen in its employment as an explanation for sex differences in aggression (Eagly & Crowley, 1986), helping (Eagly & Steffen, 1986), and the sentences and conviction rates of criminal defendants (Steffensmeier & Kramer, 1982). Despite its invocation as a post-hoc explanation of sex differences, little research has been done to explore the chivalry script or to assess, quantitatively, its influence on behavior.

      Chivalry: Discrimination or Respect?
      The chivalry script leads men to behave toward women in a way that is different from the way they would treat other men � a pattern of behavior that fits the definition of discrimination. But does this discrimination have negative consequences for women? Perhaps chivalry is a gesture of respect that acknowledges the differences between men and women and affirms the positive traits associated with women. On the other hand, if chivalry is interpreted as assistance, then perhaps chivalry helps to perpetuate the stereotype that women are less competent and independent than men are.

      Research that I have conducted indicates that the chivalry script is related to both of these beliefs, which I separate into two stereotypes about women, one negative and the other positive: the belief that women are less agentic (less able to effectively achieve goals and wield authority) than men; and the belief that women are more “virtuous” (morally responsible) than men.

      The rest of the study, and the results, can be read at

      http://vault.hanover.edu/~altermattw/research/overview.htm

    • C Michael Patton

      John, I don’t think a proclamation of victory on your part is either helpful to the conversation nor true in the slightest.

      “Kay made the point that you are convinced there is ‘something’ that makes male and female different, yet you cannot define what that is other than by anecdotal evidence; which has been shown to be flawed.”

      Who said I cannot present other evidence? This was one illustration and certainly not meant to be an exhaustive case for the complementation position. I have said this time and time again. Certainly I could give hundreds of lines of arguments, both physiological, psychological, biblical, cultural, social and the like. Anyone who has broached this subject even in the slightest (or even read “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus!) has seen this. I have just give a unique glimpse through this illustration how men and women are different and responded to differently. All people have been able to do is give “evidence” to the contrary from an occasional exception or to demonstrate how men have lead sinfully in the past (which is the worst example that could be brought up as everyone knows that we are sinners and there are abuses of leadership!)

      Let us not simply proclaim victory by fiat here 🙂

    • Don

      Sue has already given such a negative connotation example.
      If you go back father, it means murder, which is about as negative as one can get.

      So authenteo is a word that is NEVER told for anyone to do in Scripture. Making a claim that it is positive needs an example, Sue gave a negative.

    • C Michael Patton

      It is odd these type of argument that are being made. Besides the corner you have to paint yourself into when many of you act as if there are not essential differences other than reproductive and physical between men and women by God’s design, but you really have to call any type of proclamation of essential differences as stereotypes and, therefore, wrong. And you proclaim that the exceptions somehow neutralize the norms and cause us to no longer draw data from the norms. If science did this, then there would be no advances and we would always be bowing to the least common denominator among ALL.

      However, what do you do when Peter stereotypes women in such a way?

      “Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as the weaker partners and show them honor as fellow heirs of the grace of life. In this way nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1Pe 3:7 NET)

      Is this a stereotype? I have the feeling that I could make the exact same claim in a different context and you would be jumping all over me bringing up the exceptions of women who are NOT weak. In this, you would nullify quite a bit of God’s word.

    • Matt Evans

      Example of a woman who is not weak: Xena. 😉

    • C Michael Patton

      John,

      Just engage the arguments and don’t belittle them through emotional fiats. Your tone, while it might be effective (which is your argument) does not make it proper on this blog. There are rules and you have repeatedly broke them in the past. I am just addressing a typical way that you begin to respond which I, as the owner of this blog, must moderate. If I, as the teacher, do not think it is productive to the conversation, whether or or against my position (which I am obviously NOT moderating—nor have I ever—good arguments against my positions), I call the shots as I am responsible to keep people’s time from being wasted. I don’t always do this and I leave it up to others, but I am involved in this thread, have noticed it, and have given the warning. You might not agree, but let this be the end of it, agree or not.

      Don’t get sidetracked on this issue, just follow the rules.

      You have a lot of good things to say very often, but this is not a typical web-forum. Go out of your way to be respectful please.

      Thanks!

    • #John1453

      I hope that all readers are clear that I’m not JohnO.

      The point of the negative examples is to indicate that there is no evidence that men are consistently better leaders than women because of alleged natural gifts. The evidence is in fact all the other way, that men have consistently not been good leaders at all, or at best they present a bag of mixed results. There are no historical evidentiary grounds upon which we can make any useful comparison between men and women as leaders. At best it might come out a wash.

      Second, the point of the examples of current women is that women who do get leadership opportunities do shine. Any one in the fields of law, medicine, the military, business, etc. will attest to that. There is no contemporary evidence that the inherent biological differences between men and women pragmatically enable men to naturally be superior leaders, or to handle or demonstrate leadership better than women.

      Third, the examples of cultural conditioning indicate that all of the historical leadership differences between men and women can be accounted for by discriminatory stereotypes, modelling, archetypes, and social stratification, etc.

      Fourth, Gray, the author of “Men are from Mars . . .”, does not have any degrees from recognized insitutions and his book has been thoroughly discredited for over a decade.

      I could go on, but I have a meeting to go to.

    • C Michael Patton

      John, that is not evidence for anything. They are simply assertions that have already been discussed. You are begging the question a great deal here.

      This issue of bad leaders (which is the only one that is not question begging) who are men does not say anything for or against either position. Everyone agrees that the fall has brought about an abuse of authority and everything is tainted by sin. It would be like saying that since there are sinful teachers (men or women) who abuse authority, this is an argument against the institution of teaching itself!

      We are working to redeem the world here and looking for God’s ideals. God’s ideals is that men and women don’t sin at all, no matter what they do. We don’t disqualify these ideal simply because there are billions of examples where sin is ruling. We still proclaim the truth and teach God’s principles even though there are abuses.

      Bringing up positive example (of men or women teaching) does nothing either. It is simply the same thing in reverse.

      My post is about finding characteristic behaviors in men and women that typlify the sexes and give us indications of essential and God given differences.

      Do you really want to argue that there are no essential God-given differences between men and women? Really?

    • C Michael Patton

      BTW: Couple of things John:

      That post was very good and expressed the same type of thoughts in a different manner. If you would have done that and then provided those examples from earlier, it would have been just find. Either way, thanks for the adjusting even if you don’t agree with the rules and how they are applied to you.

      Everyone (and John):

      I am writing a follow-up post to this which carries on this line of thought. If you all wish to wait until later tonight to continue to engage in this, that would be wonderful. 99% of the readers do not read comments this far down anyway. But they will read some on the new thread and I think that this discussion is too helpful (and time consuming for me!) to let it get lost. We need to put it back in the light some. So I hope you wait.

      (It will also allow the conversation to be broadened a little.

    • Sue

      I don’t want to proclaim victory, but I sense that there will be no further discussion of authenteo. IMO, we don’t know exactly what was intended and this cannot be proven for sure by any method.

      Michael,

      Regarding the robber – the highest risk of injury to all women worldwide is their intimate partner. This is a fact.

      Therefore, the woman without an intimate partner to “protect” her, is less likely to be beaten up by a man than the woman who has a partner to “protect” her.

      Therefore, if women do not want to be beaten up, they should not live in the same house with a man.

      In addition, the police would not recommend that any householder, male or female, confront a robber if there is even the slightest chance that the robber was armed in any way. In fact, the police would not recommend any confrontation, and a bank teller that I know was severely reprimanded when he made the assumption that the robber was not armed and challenged him. The robber was not armed but the teller was still reprimanded.

      I find this discussion appallingly dangerous.

      Rebecca,

      I was able to argue intellectually that authenteo does not mean “to lead in church” for many years before I finally opened my mind up to God and listened to him telling me to do the thing that was morally correct and reject gender-based morality for the rest of my life. May God forgive me for not doing this earlier.

    • C Michael Patton

      Cheryl,

      You know that that is a complete diversion to another issue all-together. Come on… 🙂

    • mbaker

      Wow, why do discussions like this all always turn into someone making someone else feel badly? Like Sue, I consider that appalling among Christians of either sex. God says He is no respecter of persons, so why do we insist upon doing that? I actually thought #John brought up some very good points.

      There is a big difference in absolute authority, which belongs to Christ and Him alone, as the head of the church, and true Godly leadership in my opinion., which is supposed to serve Him, not be an excuse to have power over anyone. As sinners, saved by His grace, none of us has that right!

      I think the church as a whole in our culture is missing that part entirely.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      EricW, #206: “But being able to make the argument to Americans that women cannot preach to men or teach them, or be head pastors of churches simply because of their sex, is going to be more and more difficult to do, and will come to be viewed as more and more ridiculous in the years to come, including among Evangelical Protestants.

      Let’s take this up in 25 years and see if I’m right.”

      No need. There’s increasing apostasy and heresy within the Western Church or churches. Egalitarianism is a large part of that.

      BTW, your argument is with God and His Word. Biblical patriarchalists are obeying Scripture and egalitarians are persecuting them for their obedience to Scripture.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Rebecca, your response in comment #234 suggests that the spirit was not involved in the writing of the text. But he most certainly was but operated through the human author writing instructive information for the church and was doing so using standard means of communication. What he writes in 1 Timothy 2, which is the centerpiece of this discussion must be deciphered according to what Paul intended to write. This does warrant some investigation but does not negate relying on the Holy Spirit to open our hearts.

      Some have said it doesn’t matter why he writes he will not allow a woman to have authority or teach a man. I disagree. I think it is tremendously important as it has a bearing on contemporary expectations. While I think Hodge and Sue have teetered on the brink of debating the issue, I appreciate the rigor in which they have investigated what Paul was intending with authentein (to have authority). What may seem like a highly academic argument (and therefore seem devoid of spirit) is really getting to the heart of the issue that divides the 2 camps.

      We can certainly feel like the Spirit is providing conviction concerning an interpretation but cannot use that as any kind of proof to override an examination of what the author intended to say.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      mbaker: “Wow, why do discussions like this all always turn into someone making someone else feel badly?”

      You make it sound like that’s *always* a bad thing.

      Repentance often occurs because someone “feels badly” about what they have done or thought or should have done.

      Why women cannot be head pastors

      Thankfully, some women have repented of being pastors because they wisely allowed Scripture to overrule their feelings (which were initially hurt when they finally realized what Scripture taught.)

    • EricW

      Truth Unites… and Divides on 17 Feb 2010 at 7:00 pm #

      EricW, #206: … BTW, your argument is with God and His Word. Biblical patriarchalists are obeying Scripture and egalitarians are persecuting them for their obedience to Scripture.

      TU… AD:

      I believe Christ restored man and woman, not to the post-fall or even pre-fall conditions, but to a New Creation. I.e., He made them both, as well as Jew and Gentile, into One New Man, a New Creation.

      I think a lot of the arguments of the “Biblical patriarchalists” are based on viewing Christ as having restored man/woman to Genesis 2 or Genesis 3 relations between the sexes.

      But I think the New Creation goes beyond that, and the trajectory and implications and outworkings of the Resurrection and the sending of the Spirit haven’t been fully understood or appreciated by many.

      Do you have ears to hear?

      YMMV

    • KR Wordgazer

      May I request that “Truth Unites and Divides” not make blanket statements assuming a moral high ground on his/her part, and apostacy on ours?

      From my point of view, complementarianism can easily be equated with “divine right of males” or “male supremacy,” and is just plain wrong. I don’t see where Truth Unites has the moral high ground here.

    • mbaker

      TUAD,

      I am not questioning God’s word on it. Only how it is twisted to make women feel less than in His kingdom, or not as good as men because of Eve’s transgression. If we all can’t agree that Christ ended that part of it then we all do need to need to question whether we have repented of the old ideas or not. And if not, then women shouldn’t be involved in the church at all.

      Just saying that true repentance is definitely a two way street.

    • Hodge

      Sue,

      No matter how many times I’ve said it, you don’t seem to want to hear it, Sue. It’s almost as if you click your heels and say “there’s no authenteo, but bad authenteo when applied to men” it will somehow make it true. There is a host of evidence that it is not simply negative. The word is neutral. The context molds it to be either positive or negative, just like the word desire, or love, eat, or drink, or worship, or most other words that exist in language. As said before, your methodology is utterly misguided. You are attempting to carry the context of a few texts in which authenteo appears and use it to negate the context of 1 Tim. As I also said before, even if it you were successful at transferring a referential/contextual nuance over to a foreign context, it would not negate the complementarian interpretation of this text, since everyone sees the woman “authenteo-ing” over a man as a bad thing. I do think it creates an absurd suggestion, since “over a man,” along with the argument of order, deception, and motherly role, becomes a ridiculous and unnecessarily limiting qualification to a generic sin that should trascend genders.

      Both Philod. and BGU 1208 are most likely positive uses. We disagree on that. You cannot use these as negative in my mind, whether Grudem agrees with you or not.

      The only other uses we have are 1 Tim 2:12, which is in contrast to complete submission in a merism that tells us that this not domineering vs. godly authority, and later uses of the term in both secular and Patristic Greek. It is used positively of the sun governing the earth in a Mithraic text, as I quoted before and of God and men (in fact the bulk of the uses are men).
      I don’t know what more you want. The uses of it with God stem from the third to fourth centuries (the same time period from which you quoted me your negative context). So they’re not any later than what you gave me. Epiphanius, Eusebius, Chrysostom, etc. all use it in reference to God.
      As for the uses with men: they take up almost a page an half in Lampe’s lexicon, which is pretty substantial. He notes that the word is neutral, positive and negative, in his entries and his examples. I’m sure you have access to his lexicon. It’s pp. 262-63. You can look at both authenteo and authentia.

      The noun is used in Clement of Alexandria and Justin to refer to divine authority.

      The verb is used by Chrysostom in the 4th Cent to refer to the authority a person has over a child in the act of discipline, which fits my interpretation of the 1 Tim text as well.

      Hieronymus uses it in the 5th Cent to describe Peter’s authority that is recognized by others.

      Since we’re going to discuss the weaker diachronic data, then we should include the substantive form authentia, which clearly means “one who holds authority,” or “complete authority,” as is an official of the state or the top leader of a group.

      Both the context, our only synchronic data, and the diachronic uses, fail to support your idea.

    • Steve D

      Full disclosure: I am an egalitarian.

      That being said, I have tried to read through all of the posts. If I have missed any, and I repeat what someone else has said, I am sorry.

      What I find most disturbing about the OP is that Michael uses a poor example from the start:

      I’d like to substitute what I believe is the correct example for this discussion:

      There’s a knock at your front door, your wife answers the door (you are sleeping on the couch) it is person from a cult passing out literature what does he do?

      A. Slams the door in his face.

      B. Engages him in a discussion of her Christian faith

      C. Tells him to wait, goes and wakes you up to share your faith.

      This is, I believe, the correct example. There’s a large difference between a physical confrontation and an intellectual/spiritual confrontation. Someone who may be comfortable with a physical confrontation may not be comfortable with an intellectual confrontation.

    • Steve D

      Ooops, should be what does SHE do…

      Sorry

    • Hodge

      Don,

      I gave numerous positive examples. Do you know Greek and how to do lexicography? Can you share with me your research into the area? I already commented that the view that authenteo stems from the constituent parts that mean “self murder” is mistaken as was discredited as far back as MM. Even if you held that discredited etymology, the word authenteo would imply murder as much as butterfly implies a stick of butter that you chuck at someone.

      Sue gave me an example from Hippolytus in the 3d Cent. What about the examples from the 4th Cent that I gave? How about the ones that use the substantive in the 2d Cent.?

    • Hodge

      Sue, I had to laugh at this one:

      “I don’t want to proclaim victory, but I sense that there will be no further discussion of authenteo. IMO, we don’t know exactly what was intended and this cannot be proven for sure by any method.”

      Because you didn’t read what I wrote or because I actually did something else today beside hang out at the keyboard as I normally do. 🙂

      If we’re include all of the diachronic info from Patristic use, from whence your example came, then I’m going to be the one proclaiming victory. 😉

    • Don

      On what characterizes men and women, the only disjoint things deal with bearing or nursing kids. All else are overlapping bell curves and culture and, yes, prejudice. As an egal, whomever is best at somethings is the first candidate to do it in my family.

      The real question is not who can teach, as Paul says everyone can, but who will listen to another. Some will choose to be impoverished by their choice to not listen.

    • Hodge

      Eric,

      I think you’ve unknowingly espoused a cultic position here:

      “I believe Christ restored man and woman, not to the post-fall or even pre-fall conditions, but to a New Creation. I.e., He made them both, as well as Jew and Gentile, into One New Man, a New Creation.

      I think a lot of the arguments of the “Biblical patriarchalists” are based on viewing Christ as having restored man/woman to Genesis 2 or Genesis 3 relations between the sexes.

      But I think the New Creation goes beyond that, and the trajectory and implications and outworkings of the Resurrection and the sending of the Spirit haven’t been fully understood or appreciated by many.”

      Hence, it was argued that there is no more reason to be married. Gender roles are from Gen 1-3, Jesus argues from those passages concerning the relationship in marriage, Paul argues for appropriate sexual acts to be practiced based on those passages, etc. The roles are connected to all of that. Wipe that out. Wipe marriage out. I know you probably don’t see the connection because it doesn’t sound like you’ve thought deeply about those connections, but you’re not arguing from a Christian perspective here when the Lord, the Apostles, the Fathers, the Reformers, the Puritans, etc. all argue from those passages to the whole ball of wax that contains marriage, sex, gender roles, etc.

    • Hodge

      “The real question is not who can teach, as Paul says everyone can, but who will listen to another. Some will choose to be impoverished by their choice to not listen.”

      Why did Paul tell women to learn in silence when it came to men then? Why be in all submission? Submission to whom? Shouldn’t he be telling everyone to be in submission then, not just women?

    • EricW

      Hodge:

      I know there are implications to what I’ve expressed that may require more thorough thinking through.

      But part of it depends on how much of the eschaton is to be manifested or seen or expressed in this age, and how much must await the age to come.

      I think there is sufficient overlap in some of the things the Lord says and the Apostles teach that there is danger in both going too far (which I may in fact be doing) and in not going far enough.

      After all, in Christ there is not male and female, Paul says. And he quotes the LXX of Genesis 1:27 in saying so, switching his conjunction in the process.

      Anyway, I’ve been playing around with this perspective for awhile to examine the implications and how it affects reading the NT and the comp/egal discussion. I may ultimately go back to a more “conservative/traditional” view or I may find that this is indeed the proper perspective of what it means to experience the New Creation in the here and now.

      But thanks for your concern. I’ll consider what you say.

    • Cheryl Schatz

      Steve D,

      You said:

      There’s a knock at your front door, your wife answers the door (you are sleeping on the couch) it is person from a cult passing out literature what does she do?

      A. Slams the door in his face.

      B. Engages him in a discussion of her Christian faith

      C. Tells him to wait, goes and wakes you up to share your faith.

      Excellent example! This now compare apples with apples, which is the spiritual value that we all share.

      And for me, I would share my heart out with the cultist by sharing Jesus with them. In fact I used to go door to door to the cultist’s home and share Jesus with them. One strong JW lady said to me “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, that’s all you talk about is Jesus!” Amen! That’s all we should do is talk about Jesus.

      Thanks for such a great challenge to get back on track and away from the example of physical strength. I sure appreciated it.

    • Kay

      “If you were to hear a simular story and in this story there really was a robber, but in this story the man made the women go check and she was hurt while he hid and called the police, what would you think of the man? What would 99% of the world think of the man? You would think that he did not do “his job” and was not acting like a man.”

      c michael,
      I would hope that 99% of the world might take into consideration that all men are not physically able to do such a thing. Your illustration does a great injustice to our disabled, elderly or ill brothers in Christ. I can never imagine God setting up such a paradigm for failure for the men in that position. Imagine being a wheelchair bound husband hearing that as a sermon illustration? What if he were you, how would that work for you?

    • Michael T.

      CMP,
      Is there any possible way in your mind that one could falsify your position and reasoning short of producing the Apostle Paul to tell you your wrong?? Many here, both complementarian’s and egalitarians have pointed on the numerous missteps in logic in your reasoning. No offense but in any of my law school classes your reasoning would get an “F” because it contains so many errors in logic that it isn’t funny. Yet you won’t even admit that at the very least the argument you gave is a weak argument. I find this amusing and quite frankly deserving on John1453’s ridicule.

      Another thing I find is that you keep accusing people of raising the “exception”, yet there are so many exceptions on this matter as to make the rule non-existent.

    • Sue

      Hodge,

      I will have to appeal to the forum as a whole.

      Please, if anyone reading this thread has read or can cite any occurence of authentein which Hodge has supplied as a citation, providing an author and date, please make a comment and give me Hodge’s comment with the # and if you would put it in upper case also that would be very helpful.

      I too am busy, presented at a conference on Monday, several meetings yesterday, appt. today etc. etc.

      Perhaps, Hodge, you can help me out by placing your citation in caps. I know that I am somewhat shortsighted, and actually last night I wasted precious time reviewing every one of your comments and I just could not find a citation. I have provided two so far and I am prepared to cite more.

      One of my citations was within a century of the NT. It is generally agreed on that it is negative.

      I do appreciate your familiarity with much of the literature, but at this point I feel that I cannot proceed without your goodwill in supplying your example or examples once more. Perhaps you could preface the comment with “Hey. SUE, here are my examples!!” Thanks so much!

    • Alexander M Jordan

      To Kay, Don, #John1453 and mbaker

      Kay, you wrote:
      There is more to see in the context of this passage that brings out the importance of Paul’s mention of creation, deception and Adam and Eve. Paul’s meaning has to be about something other than all generic man and woman. What readers miss is that the subject here is deception, not authority. Paul does not say that “the man is to have authority over women”, but that Adam was not deceived, while Eve was deceived.

      Paul does not say that “the man is to have authority over women”, but that Adam “was not deceived.” You would have to ignore the context in order to make Adam’s authority the subject.

      I am not ignoring the context, but I’m not sure how you find that the subject in these verses is deception. The context is that Paul is giving instructions to the church on how it should function. The translation I am using, though some claim it is biased, puts 1 Tim 2:12 this way:

      “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”

      This verse speaks both about teaching and authority; also we know in Scripture there is a link, or relationship, between authority and teaching. Paul goes on to ground his prohibition of women teaching in the church by making a statement that is not culturally dependent, but goes back to the creation of the very first Man and Woman. V 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but s the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

      Now is Paul saying that men are not ever deceived? Obviously not, since in many other places he argues that all are deceived by sin. But when Paul makes the statement in verse 13 that it was Eve who was deceived, he makes that one of the bases of his Apostolic prohibition of why women are not to teach men in the church. Maybe, as others have commented, in the garden Adam was to have protected his wife from deception and failed to do so. Now the Spirit-indwelt man, a new creation in Christ, is challenged by Paul (not fully here, but elsewhere) to take up this task again, this time aided by the Spirit.

      Again, Paul states “I do not permit I woman to exercise authority over a man (in the church)”. Now others on this thread have taken up the argument about the meaning of Greek words used here, and I admit I’m not qualified to comment on that. But assuming that the translation I have is a valid one, Paul makes the prohibition against women teaching and having authority over men one based on design.

      Don writes, “you are CHOOSING to make a universal prohibition out of something that may not be that at all. And it is something that affects about half the believers, limiting them from serving God.” Oh how terrible I am, putting limits on women to serve! But of course I am doing nothing of the kind, I am only agreeing with what Scriptures seem to teach about how men and women are to serve. Scripture states that there is a difference in their respective roles, both in the husband and wife relationship, and in the Church.

      Also Don said, “Think about it, do[es] something a woman teach somehow become wrong simply because she is a woman or because it is true or not. That is, suppose it would be correct for a man to teach it. If a woman teaches it, is God dishonored? How can this be?

      This is a red herring and not relevant to Paul’s prohibition. Paul is not saying that women cannot teach anywhere, but only that they should not be teaching/having authority over men in the church.

      Kay said, “If all women are still prone to be deceived, why would Paul ever have instructed them to teach women younger than themselves? (Titus 2) – Instead of the blind leading the blind, we’d have the deceived leading the deceived. Or even worse in many cases deceiving the most easily deceived – the children.”

      Another red herring. But both men and women are prone to being deceived, since we are fallen creatures and still sinful. Again, this objection is not relevant to Paul’s prohibition, which specifically prohibits women from teaching men in the church, but does not prohibit women from teaching their children.

      John #1453 wrote,
      “The point of the negative examples is to indicate that there is no evidence that men are consistently better leaders than women because of alleged natural gifts. The evidence is in fact all the other way, that men have consistently not been good leaders at all, or at best they present a bag of mixed results.”

      Again, this is irrelevant to whether or not men are called to be teachers in the church, while women are prohibited from it. If only women were teachers in the church it is certain that there would be good and bad female teachers, since women are sinners just as men are. The question is has God so designed the church to have a certain role for women and a different role for men? I think yes. Does women not being allowed to teach prevent them from serving God? No, since teaching is only one way to serve God.

      mbaker contributed,
      “Wow, why do discussions like this all always turn into someone making someone else feel badly? Like Sue, I consider that appalling among Christians of either sex. God says He is no respecter of persons, so why do we insist upon doing that? I actually thought #John brought up some very good points.

      There is a big difference in absolute authority, which belongs to Christ and Him alone, as the head of the church, and true Godly leadership in my opinion., which is supposed to serve Him, not be an excuse to have power over anyone. As sinners, saved by His grace, none of us has that right!”

      Christ is the head of the church yes, and the husband is head of the wife (Eph 5:23). Having authority in the church is not about one sex lording it over the other. Now of course there has been much abuse of power by men in the church. Even so, Christ Himself was a man. He shows that it is possible to be a man and to serve others and to lead and to have authority, and all the while to be loving and respectful towards women.

      Though authority can always be abused by sinful people, it is a given in the church and God uses it to bring about the purposes He wants to accomplish in and through the church.

    • mbaker

      CMP,

      As you know I am the first agree with you when i think you are right on, biblically that is.

      However, in this post I think you have raised a much deeper question. Are women really valuable to the church other to than merely support men? This is what I think our modern church culture portrays, unfortunately, not how men in the church, without our practical support would be able to minister.

      While you and others here have given lip service to our service to the Lord, please tell us those of us who already believe Gods word on teaching should be continued to be subjected to these kinds of arguments? Don’t you think you we already get it, and support you guys anyway, so what is the problem? Why you don’t appreciate the sacrifice for us it means to do that?

    • Alexander M Jordan

      To Kay, Don, #John1453 and mbaker

      Kay, you wrote:
      There is more to see in the context of this passage that brings out the importance of Paul’s mention of creation, deception and Adam and Eve. Paul’s meaning has to be about something other than all generic man and woman. What readers miss is that the subject here is deception, not authority. Paul does not say that “the man is to have authority over women”, but that Adam was not deceived, while Eve was deceived.

      Paul does not say that “the man is to have authority over women”, but that Adam “was not deceived.” You would have to ignore the context in order to make Adam’s authority the subject.

      I am not ignoring the context, but I’m not sure how you find that the subject in these verses is deception. The context is that Paul is giving instructions to the church on how it should function. The translation I am using, though some claim it is biased, puts 1 Tim 2:12 this way:

      “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”

      This verse speaks both about teaching and authority; also we know in Scripture there is a link, or relationship, between authority and teaching. Paul goes on to ground his prohibition of women teaching in the church by making a statement that is not culturally dependent, but goes back to the creation of the very first Man and Woman. V 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but s the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

      Now is Paul saying that men are not ever deceived? Obviously not, since in many other places he argues that all are deceived by sin. But when Paul makes the statement in verse 13 that it was Eve who was deceived, he makes that one of the bases of his Apostolic prohibition of why women are not to teach men in the church. Maybe, as others have commented, in the garden Adam was to have protected his wife from deception and failed to do so. Now the Spirit-indwelt man, a new creation in Christ, is challenged by Paul (not fully here, but elsewhere) to take up this task again, this time aided by the Spirit.

      Again, Paul states “I do not permit I woman to exercise authority over a man (in the church)”. Now others on this thread have taken up the argument about the meaning of Greek words used here, and I admit I’m not qualified to comment on that. But assuming that the translation I have is a valid one, Paul makes the prohibition against women teaching and having authority over men one based on design.

      Don writes, “ you are CHOOSING to make a universal prohibition out of something that may not be that at all. And it is something that affects about half the believers, limiting them from serving God.” Oh how terrible I am, putting limits on women to serve! But of course I am doing nothing of the kind, I am only agreeing with what Scriptures seem to teach about how men and women are to serve. Scripture states that there is a difference in their respective roles, both in the husband and wife relationship, and in the Church .

      Also Don said, “Think about it, do[es] something a woman teach somehow become wrong simply because she is a woman or because it is true or not. That is, suppose it would be correct for a man to teach it. If a woman teaches it, is God dishonored? How can this be?

      This is a red herring and not relevant to Paul’s prohibition. Paul is not saying that women cannot teach anywhere, but only that they should not be teaching/having authority over men in the church.

      Kay said, “If all women are still prone to be deceived, why would Paul ever have instructed them to teach women younger than themselves? (Titus 2) – Instead of the blind leading the blind, we’d have the deceived leading the deceived. Or even worse in many cases deceiving the most easily deceived – the children.”

      Another red herring. But both men and women are prone to being deceived, since we are fallen creatures and still sinful. Again, this objection is not relevant to Paul’s prohibition, which specifically prohibits women from teaching men in the church, but does not prohibit women from teaching their children.

      John #1453 wrote,
      The point of the negative examples is to indicate that there is no evidence that men are consistently better leaders than women because of alleged natural gifts. The evidence is in fact all the other way, that men have consistently not been good leaders at all, or at best they present a bag of mixed results.”

      Again, this is irrelevant to whether or not men are called to be teachers in the church, while women are prohibited from it. If only women were teachers in the church it is certain that there would be good and bad female teachers, since women are sinners just as men are. The question is has God so designed the church to have a certain role for women and a different role for men? I think yes. Does women not being allowed to teach prevent them from serving God? No, since teaching is only one way to serve God.

      mbaker contributed,
      Wow, why do discussions like this all always turn into someone making someone else feel badly? Like Sue, I consider that appalling among Christians of either sex. God says He is no respecter of persons, so why do we insist upon doing that? I actually thought #John brought up some very good points.

      There is a big difference in absolute authority, which belongs to Christ and Him alone, as the head of the church, and true Godly leadership in my opinion., which is supposed to serve Him, not be an excuse to have power over anyone. As sinners, saved by His grace, none of us has that right!”

      Christ is the head of the church yes, and the husband is head of the wife (Eph 5:23). Having authority in the church is not about one sex lording it over the other. Now of course there has been much abuse of power by men in the church. Even so, Christ Himself was a man. He shows that it is possible to be a man and to serve others and to lead and to have authority, and all the while to be loving and respectful towards women.

      Though authority can always be abused by sinful people, it is a given in the church and God uses it to bring about the purposes He wants to accomplish in and through the church.

    • C Michael Patton

      Michael, lol. I think you are making a bit of an overstatement and it really makes it hard to take it too seriously. Conversation stoppers don’t work in law and not here either 😉

      I think the problem with you is that you are thinking I am trying to accomplish something I am not. There is certainly no contradiction or logical fallacies in my “argument.” Formal fallacies anyway. Maybe your position is a bit subjectively conceived due to your presumption, but my illustration fits well with what I am trying to accomplish.

      Other than that, we will just be going around in circles.

    • C Michael Patton

      I am going to close this thread and let the new thread take up this subject and carry on in a different way. This conversation is too good to let others miss it. I am getting dozens of personal emails about this and people want to see more about it. It looks like this post is accomplishing its purpose in more ways than one.

      Thanks for being involved.

    • Cindy

      I’m a bit late to the party.
      This is my understanding.

      Galatians 3:28
      There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Moshiach ‘Y-sha.

      As a “woman” you cannot teach or have authority over a man, but as a new creature in the Messiah you can.

      2 Cor 5:17
      Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

      You are a Bondservant anyway, you are not your own, but taking on this authority ALSO makes you MORE accountable to the Lord.
      Now in the TRUE BODY there is not a tussling for authority or teaching, but a mutual desire to edify everyone with what the Spirit of Truth has shown us to further our walk together with the Lord.

      By the way, the battle is a Spiritual one and winning depends more on faith than male or female.

      Queen Esther was never in front of a group of men and teaching, but she did more by just having faith in LORD during a huge crisis.
      And sat next to the King and helped rule all of Persia.

      Purim coming up this Adar 14.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Cindy,

      Please try to understand Galatians 3:28 in context of Paul’s argument to the Galatians. He was opposing the insistence of the judaizers that believers had to uphold a portion of the Law in order to be Christian. Under the Law, not all had access and were excluded from being a covenant people of God. But because Christ broke down the barriers that separate Jew from Gentile (see also Eph 2:11-15), these barriers no longer exist. Please read the flow of thought in chapter 3 that lead up to this verse you cite and you will find the issue is one of access not function. After all, did the slave cease to be a slave or a male cease to be a male, etc? No. It has nothing to do with function and furthermore must be correlated to other passages where Paul does address different roles.

      Also, I don’t think we can use the narrative of Esther to provide a prescription for practice under the new covenant. The fact that Esther was positioned so that the Jews could be freed does not really have any bearing upon the topic.

    • paulf

      If you discriminate against women, you aren’t being loving and respectful to women toward them. It means you look down on them as inferior, no matter how much you try to deny it.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      Paulf,

      Does following Paul’s admonition that women must not teach men in the church constitute discrimination? Did Paul give this command under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, or was Paul just speaking on his own and presenting his own bias?

      Or would you say that Paul was addressing a particular problem within the Ephesian church only, and not making a universal command? Why then did he base his argument for women not teaching on the particulars regarding the first man and woman, Adam and Eve?

      There is nothing unfair or prejudiced towards women in following the Bible’s directives. On the contrary, following God’s way leads to real freedom for the man and the woman.

      Almost all theological debate comes back to what we believe about the Bible. In this case, is the Bible written by men and therefore reflecting a bias against women? Or is it the inspired revelation from God, or as Peter describes it, “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20)?

      If it is the latter, then to imply that someone is discriminating against women and looking down at them as inferior because they hold to Paul’s teaching is a very wrong and unfair charge. One can only make this argument by by following a worldly line of thought that says men and women, although obviously different, must always have equal access and opportunities. But this ignores the teaching of Scripture that men and women were created differently by God for a reason, and that the differences connect with differing functions and roles in this life for men and women.

      Despite the fact that Paul is addressing Christians– heirs of grace and participants in the New Covenant blessings of Christ, Paul nevertheless argues that the roles of men and women continue to be different. Becoming a Christian does not mean that husbands and wives are now interchangeable roles, or that male leadership in the church has been made obsolete, giving way to some new ideal.

    • mbaker

      Perhaps not. But let us not forget that Christ died for all. To say that we are still in the patriarchal model patterned on the OT Jewish model is to disregard what Paul said in I Corinthinians 11-12.

      Like I said in a previous comment, there is no mention of pastor at all except in one place, and no mention at all of head pastor. Back in my day, it was about ministering, and folks in leadership positions referred to themselves as ministers rather than leaders. Therefore, I wonder why is this such a big issue to the church nowadays? A knee jerk response to women’s lib o or an ego thing?

      It seems to me that stressing Christ’s role, which he Himself defined as a servant in regard to others, even though He is head of the church as the only begotten Son of God, should be the deciding factor here, not who is humanly in charge.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      mbaker,

      In 1 Corinthians 11:12 Paul points to an interdependency between man and woman. The fact that there exists this interdependency shows that God designed the sexes to work together and to need one another. It also implies that one sex is not more valuable than the other.

      Yet Paul is describing in chapter 11 distinctions between men and women, or more specifically, between the husband and wife. These distinctions lead Paul to give different directives to each of the sexes.

      I agree with you that Christ models for us a different type of leadership, one that serves others sacrificially. We should also serve like that. But this doesn’t negate the teaching of the New Testament that by design, men and women, husbands and wives, are called to serve God differently than each other.

    • EricW

      Peter Kirk posted on this subject 2/22/2010:

      http://www.gentlewisdom.org.uk/?p=1678

      In 2006 he tackled this issue in 6 posts:

      http://www.gentlewisdom.org.uk/?p=51 (Part 1 of 6)

      “Peter lives in Chelmsford, Essex, UK. He started in life by studying Physics at the University of Cambridge, and worked for several years in the electronics and software industry. He studied theology to MA level at London Bible College, now London School of Theology. Then he joined Wycliffe Bible Translators UK, and after training in linguistics he served for seven years in the Caucasus region, coordinating a Bible translation project. In 2002 he left WBT, but until 2008 continued to work part time as an exegetical adviser to the same translation project.”

    • Don

      Alexander,

      The phrasing of your questions assumes your exegesis is correct. Exegesis is exactly what this discussion is all about. Unless and until you have studied both sides, you will be missing important pieces of information to make an informed conclusion.

    • EricW

      292.Alexander M Jordan on 23 Feb 2010 at 9:59 pm #

      I agree with you that Christ models for us a different type of leadership, one that serves others sacrificially. We should also serve like that. But this doesn’t negate the teaching of the New Testament that by design, men and women, husbands and wives, are called to serve God differently than each other.

      I’m not so sure about that.

      I can’t recall Jesus giving one set of instructions or commands to men or husbands who wanted to follow Him and serve Him and be His disciples, and a different set of instructions or commands to women or wives who wanted to follow Him and serve Him and be His disciples.

      E.g., Mary Magdalene seems to fit right in with all the others who were following Jesus. (I loved the way that recent movie of The Gospel of John showed her with them all at the Last Supper and during His garden discourse.)

    • jim

      Alexander:

      Is the discussion about women teaching men or more about who has more authority in the church?

      If it is about authority then consider that the church is a body of believers( all equal) In most churches final decisions on really important matters is taken before the general congregation and ALL members share their views and vote accordlingly. Thus, in essence women do participate to the same degree in the operation of a church and well they should.

      If it is about women teaching men……….I see this as a issue Paul was dealing with at that time….as for why mentioning ADam and Eve , I just don’t know…….I can just go with what I feel convicted of…….. I have no problem with a women teaching a man within the church…..

      blessing…

    • mbaker

      I just want to add a word here about where I am noticing the head pastor role seems to have gone in recent years in many churches. This is not a specific denominational thing, or a condemnation of anyone personally, but simply an across the board observation based upon the many churches I have ministered in.

      In a growing number of churches, the head pastor is no longer considered a minister to others but someone to be ministered to himself, not only by his staff, but this seems to be expected of the congregation as well. What it has done, IMO, is to make the head pastor into more of a CEO head of a corporation type of figure than a fellow servant of God.

      While some churches may desire this type of leadership, I have heard countless complaints from church members saying they feel as they are treated like employees in the church nowadays, rather than fellow participants in the body of Christ. Everything in the church revolves around the head pastor’s wishes, be it his latest idea, a new program or a new building. These churches, as a result, are going more inward in both service and leadership, rather than expanding Christianity like the early church.

      I am wondering if anyone else out there is observing this type of near monarch status some churches have given the head pastor’s role nowadays? Is this an authority issue gone overboard or a scripture carried too far afield from the Bible’s original intention of Godly leadership?

    • cherylu

      mbaker,

      I think your observation in correct. I have experienced it myself and seen it in other churches. I have also read about it from folks posting on other blogs out there. It is, IMO, certainly an authority issue gone overboard.

      I agree with the folks on these threads that have stated that the term/role “head pastor” doesn’t even seem to be a Scriptural one and that the Bible mostly speaks of a plurality of leadership in elders.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Mbaker, I second what Cheryl said, although I’ll disagree slightly about the senior position. I do believe that scripture points to a plurality of elders that governs the affairs of the church. However, I do believe there is precedent for an overseer/bishop that may be included in the eldership. That doesn’t mean person sets all the rules.

      I agree that we’ve turned our churches into corporate centers, making the top dog the CEO. Leadership is about service.

    • EricW

      cherylu:

      We’ve been in “head pastor” churches before, one medium-sized, one small. In the first, the “head pastor” played funny with the money and was improperly giving it to his mother-in-law (this was discovered by the elders when he was out of the country on a mission trip). Later the married assistant pastor had an affair with the married worship leader. In the second, the married “head pastor” not only controlled all the money/property, but was engaging in improper conduct with the girls/young women in the Bible school. But no one would deal with it because, after all, he was the “head pastor” and the one who had laid down his life for the sheep, “do not touch God’s anointed,” etc.

      Now the latest church scandal involves a well-known “head pastor” over a big church here:

      http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/Prominent-Pastor-Linked-to-Luxury-83600192.html

      When we were in the Orthodox Church, the Metropolitan of the OCA was at the top of a financial scandal until finally he was forced out or something (financial mess still ongoing). And the Metropolitan of the Antiochian Church is involved in a scandal involving abuse of authority and power, etc.

      Putting one man as “head pastor” is a recipe for disaster like building the Titanic with low-quality rivets/bolts and sending it on its way to an iceberg.

    • Lisa Robinson

      EricW,

      I think more abuse and damage have been done under the auspices of “touch not God’s anointed” than any other concept.

    • mbaker

      That was a shocking story, Eric, and one we see repeated far too often.

      I liked what that one commenter said about it:

      “This is what happens when men make much of themselves and make little of God. “He must increase and I must decrease”.”

      Greed, unfortunately, has no gender. Some of the female ‘heads’ we see on TBN are just as guilty of going overboard as the men. Joyce Meyer is one who comes to mind as well. Her clothes budget is more than most people’s yearly income.

    • cherylu

      Lisa,

      Speaking as one that has come out of the hypercharismatic movement, I have come to thoroughly dislike that phrase!

    • EricW

      cherylu/Lisa:

      In addition to the “touch not God’s anointed” mantra, this pastor believed in and taught the Bible School students the concept of “delegated authority” such that God has delegated His authority to the head pastor, giving him the vision for the church, and anyone who questions him is thereby questioning God Himself. We didn’t learn this until after we’d left the church, but it explained why hardly anyone in the church said a word in response to the issues and questions we raised which ultimately led to our leaving because they were never adequately addressed or resolved. After we left, the associate pastor warned those of us who were saying negative things about the church that we should look to the example of Korah’s rebellion re: what God does and thinks about people who mumble or grumble or complain or disagree with the leadership.

      If I’m against the concept of “head pastor,” it’s not just because it’s not scriptural, but it’s also based on having experienced firsthand abuse by such persons or systems. How many corrupt popes and metropolitans and kings and pastors will it take before Protestants realize the fallacy of investing a person with the title and powers of “head honcho” as well as the idea of making such a distinction between the so-called “laity” and the so-called “clergy”?

      (Puts on asbestos suit.)

    • mbaker

      Lisa,

      A question for you, both as a woman and a theology student: What is your plan for ministry when you leave DTS? Would you accept a head pastor’s role if it were offered, or turn it down?

      Just curious, because you do a lot of teaching articles on this theology blog, and very well thought out ones I might add.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      Eric,
      You wrote, I’m not so sure about that.

      I can’t recall Jesus giving one set of instructions or commands to men or husbands who wanted to follow Him and serve Him and be His disciples, and a different set of instructions or commands to women or wives who wanted to follow Him and serve Him and be His disciples.

      E.g., Mary Magdalene seems to fit right in with all the others who were following Jesus. (I loved the way that recent movie of The Gospel of John showed her with them all at the Last Supper and during His garden discourse.)

      In my comments above I was referring to Paul’s instructions to the church, which the church has traditionally regarded as statements inspired by the Holy Spirit. Paul after all, is not writing on his own. What he says is what God says and is what Jesus says. Or in other words, what Paul says has equal weight and authority as if Jesus/God said it.

      As for Jesus’ example, we see that although Jesus certainly had female followers, no women were part of the twelve Jesus handpicked to be the leaders and apostles of the church.

      Jim,
      You said, Is the discussion about women teaching men or more about who has more authority in the church?
      If it is about authority then consider that the church is a body of believers( all equal) In most churches final decisions on really important matters is taken before the general congregation and ALL members share their views and vote accordingly. Thus, in essence women do participate to the same degree in the operation of a church and well they should.
      If it is about women teaching men…I see this as a issue Paul was dealing with at that time….as for why mentioning Adam and Eve , I just don’t know…….I can just go with what I feel convicted of…. I have no problem with a woman teaching a man within the church.

      I think the two things– teaching and authority– are related in Paul’s teaching. In church government today women are represented in decision-making but that is not the same issue as whether women should be teachers and/or elders. I think the fact that Paul brings the original Man and Woman- Adam and Eve- into his explanation of the differences in function between men and women in the church shows that his comments are not just a specific response to an immediate problem. He is talking about differences between Man and Woman in general and drawing conclusions on how the church should operate, based on those differences.

      I suppose we all “go with what we feel convicted of” but conviction is only as good as the information/interpretation of Scripture one is working with. The fact that you have “no problem with” women teaching men in the church is not really relevant— what does the Bible teach on this topic and does your opinion square with what Scripture teaches.

      Some commenters seem to be making an argument that since head pastors (who are usually male) may abuse their power then we shouldn’t have head pastors? Or we shouldn’t have male pastors? I don’t really follow the argument.

      Michael in his original article didn’t define what he meant by head pastor. At my church we have many elders who also function in the role of pastor, in the sense that they teach and have recognized authority in the church as overseers for the spiritual welfare of those under them. But we do have a kind of head pastor who leads the other elders and is the main person who usually preaches, though he refers to himself as elder or pastor rather than as head pastor. Anyway I’m not sure about the biblical justification for the role of head pastor, but there is certainly biblical justification for male leadership and male teachers.

      The fact that some men in positions of head pastor have abused their power/authority is not an argument against whether men in general should be and are called to be the leaders and teachers in the church.

      I agree that there is much abuse, but I don’t think this has to do with males in power as it does with sinful men who are not leading in a biblical manner.

    • mbaker

      Alexander,

      I don’t think anyone here, at least hopefully not, would disagree that the abuse by some male pastors of their position of headship doesn’t mean any male shouldn’t lead.

      From my perspective at least, it just shows that even those appointed by God to lead can mislead if they do not have a heart to truly serve under Christ’s headship, rather than being self serving.

      I’m wondering about something else. I just received an e-mail from a friend telling me that Benny Hinn and his wife of 33 years are divorcing.

      In your view, what does this do to his head pastorship, according to scripture?

    • Lisa Robinson

      Mbaker,

      Thanks so much for your kind words. Honestly, I would not take a position as “head pastor” not so much because I believe that authority of church governance resides with the male, which I do, but because I have no interest in running a church.

      My ministry interests rests more outside the church. I hope to teach/train other leaders and help people think about their faith and how they are approaching the Bible. I’d do that for free but am hoping for employment. I am hoping to eventually get a PhD and I would like to teach at a Bible college and/or seminary. I also have an interest in writing books or other type of materials synthesizing important theological issues to a very, very lay audience. There might be other venues that I have not even thought of but probably not in a church setting. I say this flexibly because I am open to wherever God would utilize the gifts he has given me.

      Now I do realize that given my doctrinal/theological orientation that some higher educational doors might be closed to me concerning the teaching part of my aspirations But I don’t sweat that because I trust that God will open the ones that need to be open.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Lisa Robinson: “Honestly, I would not take a position as “head pastor” not so much because I believe that authority of church governance resides with the male, which I do, but because I have no interest in running a church.”

      Always nice to not have a desire that conflicts with God’s Timeless Word.

    • Roger Allen

      People please. Let’s stay with scripture and not simply repeat what we hear others say. This laziness has got to stop. Monkey see, monkey do has no place in God’s economy.

      There is no reference to “lay” in scripture. ALL Christians are in full time ministry. Please stop implying that there are two classes of Christians. The only difference is the amount of responsibility you have. People are too hung up on titles. The main responsibility of an elder (including teaching elder i.e. pastor) is that of setting an example. Also, you cannot be part of the eldership having been divorced. The requirements for elders is easy to find in the NT and makes itself perfectly clear. But of course people do not accept God’s high standards especially if these standards exclude them from there own desires. So instead of serving God on His terms they serve God on their own terms and expect Him to accept that service. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Dead works is an abomination to God. There should be nothing to discuss. The requirements for the eldership are clearly masculine (a husband of ONE wife – not meaning polygamy)

      It’s easy folks. Just read the words on the page and allow the Spirit of Truth to reveal the meaning. All this debate is totally unnecessary and only brings confusion. If you are not willing to start with a clean slate but insist on your own agenda you will be deceived and teach others to do likewise. I hope I do not have to teach you the consequences of teaching doctrines of demons to others (death by drowning Mark 9:32).

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Roger Allen: “Just read the words on the page and allow the Spirit of Truth to reveal the meaning. … If you are not willing to start with a clean slate but insist on your own agenda you will be deceived and teach others to do likewise. I hope I do not have to teach you the consequences of teaching doctrines of demons to others (death by drowning Mark 9:32).”

      The timing of your comment is remarkable. I just read this short piece titled “Devoted to Destruction” and it syncs up well with you write, Roger.

      “The fall from favor of Saul, the first king of Israel, is a vivid illustration of the consequences of rebellion and a typical human attempt to rationalize disobedience into obedience. In 1 Samuel 15, Samuel instructs Saul on behalf of the Lord, “Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (v. 3).

      The instructions are clear. But Saul engages in one of the earliest recorded examples of hermeneutical gymnastics. “But Saul and the people spared Agag [king of Amalek] and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction” (v. 9).

      When confronted by Samuel about his failure to obey the Lord’s command, Saul denies that he has been disobedient. He says, “I have obeyed the voice of the LORD. I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal” (vv. 20-21).

      (Cont.)

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Needless to say, neither Samuel nor the Lord is impressed with Saul’s creative interpretation of obedience. Even “the best of the things devoted to destruction” are still “devoted to destruction” and are, therefore, wholly unacceptable as a sacrifice to the Lord. What Saul and “the people” (upon whom he would apparently lay all blame for any deviation from the original plan while exonerating himself) would offer as a sacrifice is an utter abomination. That which is “devoted to destruction” is unholy and cannot be offered as a sacrifice to a holy God.

      Whether it’s sheep and oxen under the Old Covenant or the living sacrifice of our very selves under the New Covenant, nothing unholy can be brought into the presence of God. That which is “devoted to destruction,” that is, the sin which enslaves us in rebellion and idolatry, must be utterly destroyed. To claim certain sinful inclinations are “gifts” to be celebrated within the worshiping community is a most abominable form of blasphemy, borne of a most arrogant presumption that rebellion against God can be rationalized into obedience by offenders who always seem to find clever ways of avoiding personal responsibility for their sinful actions.

      The concluding sentence reminds me of those arguments opposed to Biblical Patriarchy.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      mbaker,

      You asked what does Benny Hinn divorcing his wife do to his head pastorship, according to scripture?

      You may have already partly answered the question yourself, “even those appointed by God to lead can mislead if they do not have a heart to truly serve under Christ’s headship, rather than being self serving.”

      Now was Benny Hinn appointed by God to lead? That’s a question I can’t answer, but I can say that if one is teaching heretical doctrine and doesn’t model a Christian lifestyle, they biblically forfeit their right to lead.

      As far as divorce, it is a very serious sin, according to Jesus’ teaching and Paul’s also. The question of whether an elder/pastor can be a divorced man is a serious one. Certainly divorce is not the unforgivable sin, but since Jesus’ teaching on remarriage is so strong and Paul seems to echo it, I’d like to study the issue further before giving an answer.

    • JohnO

      Just curious – can only a married man be an elder and hence a pastor?
      (Which is what Roger seems to be implying if we are to apply scripture literally.)

    • Roger Allen

      Of course a married man can be an elder. You miss the point. The point is holy communion and righteousness. If you understand the relationship between man and woman in marriage and the relationship between Jesus Christ and His church you will understand why the Lord requires holiness and purity from His elders. Again, it’s all in scripture. Do not base your understanding on what others say. If you do you will be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. You will also become double-minded which will exclude you from receiving anything from God including understanding. God wants all His people to show themselves approved before God, rightly dividing the word of truth. Please make scripture study and prayer your main source of understanding and not blogs. Scripture interprets scripture and that the whole counsel of God not just preferred scriptures that meet with our approval. If you are lazy and have not put in the time seeking the Lord and His truth you are setting yourself up for deception. God knows who loves Him and seeks Him and who seek the easy way. It will not work. The reason so many struggle and get led into cults is becuase they listened to men rather than our Counselor, our Spirit of Truth. You have got to get serious with the Lord. To do otherwise is to invite destruction and misery.

    • Roger Allen

      Paul said he wished all could be as him (single). so they could devote themselves fully to the Lord. Being married brings about many worldly problems (how you may please your wife or your husband). In fact being single is the preferred way to serve as an elder but it is better to marry than to burn (with sexual desire). God is reasonable and God is good….all the time!

    • Peter Kirk

      Eric, thanks for linking to my posts on this subject. I deliberately didn’t respond to this post as it “assumes the position that women cannot teach” and I don’t accept that assumption.

    • Roger Allen

      CORRECTION

      In the post above the reference scripture should read Mark 9:42 and not Mark 9:32

      My apologies to the brethern…..

    • jim

      Roger….

      I was going to let it pass but could not in good conscience.
      It was these comments:

      “I hope I do not have to teach you the consequences of teaching doctrines of demons to others (death by drowning Mark 9:32).

      My interpretaton of no big deal with a women teaching a man may not be yours. FINE!!! But in no way can you bridge that into the statement you gave above…. Let me be blunt, but I shall try to remain loving.

      “I hope that you never have have to teach we anything scriptural with an attack like that” I do not teach doctrines of demons and you judge much too harshly…..I am glad you are not GOD!!

      Sincerely in him.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Roger: “I hope I do not have to teach you the consequences of teaching doctrines of demons to others (death by drowning Mark 9:32).”

      Egalitarianism is aberrant doctrine, wouldn’t you agree, Roger?

      Incidentally, what do you think of this concluding sentence by the linked post above in #312 regarding Saul’s creative interpretation and hermeneutical gymnastics:

      “To claim certain sinful inclinations are “gifts” to be celebrated within the worshiping community is a most abominable form of blasphemy, borne of a most arrogant presumption that rebellion against God can be rationalized into obedience by offenders who always seem to find clever ways of avoiding personal responsibility for their sinful actions.”

    • cherylu

      TUAD,

      Is your conviction what you referred to above as “Biblical patriarchy or complementarianism?

    • mbaker

      Does that mean according to Roger’s calculations that anyone who is a Christian and drowns was teaching doctrines of demons? Certainly we know that is not a correct reading of scripture either.

      I thought we were supposed to be discussing the qualifications of head pastor not pronouncing dire curses on other brothers and sisters in Christ.

      Don’t think God would be too pleased with that line of thought either.

    • cherylu

      Roger,

      Did you read the rules for this blog before commenting here?

    • Roger Allen

      You cannot please everyone.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Roger Allen: “You cannot please everyone.”

      Pastor Tommy Nelson did not please everyone with the following:

      http://www.dennyburk.com/tommy-nelson-on-biblical-manhood-womanhood/

      Citing Wayne Grudem’s book, [Pastor Tommy] Nelson said that egalitarianism is the “new path to liberalism” because it effectively sets aside the authority of the Bible.

      He said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church.

      Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

    • JohnO

      Sorry Roger, maybe I didn’t phrase my question clearly enough. Let me try again. By your reading of scripture, the only person able to be an elder (and, hence, pastor) is a married man – a literal reading of Paul.
      So no single men, yes?

    • JohnO

      Sorry, forgot to say, TU..AD, meet Roger; Roger, meet TU..AD.
      eHarmony strikes again.

    • Roger Allen

      Cherylu,

      Yes, I did indeed read the rules for this blog before coming here. Thank you for asking.

      Chery,

      Do you understand that the natural person is not able to take in the things of the Spirit of God: for they seem foolish to them, and they are not able to have knowledge of them, because such knowledge comes only through the Spirit?

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      JohnO,

      Are you a LibProt Anglican living in Europe somewhere? Was it England?

    • Roger Allen

      John,

      Married men or single men may be an elder. There are many other qualities that a man must possess to be and remain an elder. They are all listed ijn the NT.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Roger Allen,

      Nice to meet ya! And a hearty welcome to this blog! Your comments are well-reasoned and edifying.

    • mbaker

      Roger Allen,

      You are right when you say:

      “There are many other qualities that a man must possess to be and remain an elder. They are all listed ijn the NT”

      That’s the point that comp/egals and egals try to make, that being male isn’t the ONLY requirement God has for leadership, yet that is the sole argument being used here by some of you.

    • Roger Allen

      Truth Unites… and Divides ,

      Thank you kindly.

    • JohnO

      TU..AD
      You may label me as you will. It makes no difference to me. But I will not accept English nationality… you can take a joke too far 😉

      Roger,
      Thank you for the clarification. I read Paul’s lists and they seem to read literally as requiring married status and children. But of course there are indeed examples of single men in positions of authority. Shame the women in similar positions crop up though, eh?

    • Alexander M Jordan

      mbaker,

      “being male isn’t the ONLY requirement God has for leadership, yet that is the sole argument being used here by some of you.”

      I don’t think that is accurate. Comments I have read here on the pro-complementarian side, including myself, have said that being male is one of the requirements, though not the sole requirement, for leadership in the church.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      JohnO,

      Yeah, you’re a LibProt.

      Anyways, I clicked on your name and discovered you’re with the Church of Scotland, not with the Church of England.

      I think what Dr. Ligon Duncan has to say about the Church of Scotland is quite noteworthy:

      “You can chart every denomination that has placed women in leadership in the last 120 years and you can chart their numerical decline in the western world and their theological decline. When our evangelical egalitarian friends whine that we are using an illegitimate slippery slope argument, this is not some sort of wild-haired spin theory that we are coming up with. It is a fact.

      Just go look at the denominational statistics, look at the denominational histories of the last 120 years and you cannot find an exception to this trend. In the Church of Scotland in 1960 when they began hammering for women elders-the argument was “we don’t have enough elders in our churches, this will revitalize our churches to get women elders”-the Church of Scotland is on chart to cease to exist in 2034. Somewhere between 1964 and 1968 was when they brought in women elders and women ministers were not far following that.”

    • JohnO

      TU..AD,
      Congratulations on the detective work. I’m impressed that you deigned to even bother checking up on your accusations. And thank you for bringing to my attention the predictions for my denomination. I should be retired by then but I shall certainly bring it to the attention of my younger colleagues so that they can find alternative employment – or maybe just being content with cooking and cleaning the house for their husband.

    • mbaker

      Alexander,

      That’s the reason I said ‘some’. I appreciate your courtesy and the support of some others here. Sometimes we women feel as if we can’t do anything right between the secular world and the church. It is refreshing to hear a less judgmental point of view once in a while.

      God bless.

    • Rebecca

      mbaker says “I’m wondering about something else. I just received an e-mail from a friend telling me that Benny Hinn and his wife of 33 years are divorcing.”

      Say it isn’t so! Benny Hinn divorcing? I bet I know what happened. He and Paula White, also divorced, are both name it and claim it folks. They saw each other across a crowded room, named it and then….. chose divorce in order to claim it! Think it will eventually be the new Paula Hinn or the new Benny White? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Hey JohnO,

      I didn’t make an accusation. All I wrote was:

      “Are you a LibProt Anglican living in Europe somewhere? Was it England?”

    • jim

      TU&D & Roger

      Through God’s grace I shall pray that God will sow some gentle seed into your callous regard for God’s truth. I am quite certain all egalitarians are not demon worshippers, nor should this blog result to insulting another believer with quotes like the following,

      “He said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church.

      Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

      You will notice that a fairly large percentage of people participating in this blog are in disagreement. Only around 40% completely agree with you on women teaching men. And I am sure most of them don’t hold the critical view you have formed.

    • mbaker

      Rebecca,

      Lol. Only a former charismatic like me can appreciate that kind of humor fully! In the words of the infamous cartoon character Leghorn Cleghorn:

      “That’s the first time somebody else shot my mouth off! “

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Jim: “I am quite certain all egalitarians are not demon worshippers…”.

      Roger, Pastor Tommy Nelson, nor I ever said that.

      You’re burning down your own strawman.

    • Rebecca

      mbaker, I hope everyone here can find humor in it no matter what side. If not done maliciously, we can at least unitedly see the humor in it all.

    • JohnO

      TU..AD,
      Maybe not a direct accusation, but rather than make a civilised enquiry you opted to throw some labels into the ring to begin with. You had already used said labels in a derogatory way earlier in this topic.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      JohnO,

      LibProt is just easy short hand for Liberal Protestant or Liberal Protestantism.

    • cherylu

      Re #339,

      Sorry TUAD, that is not all you wrote. In #335 you said, “Yeah, you’re a LibProt.”

      And re #340,

      Although I generally consider myself a complimentarian, I agree that there really does need to be a bit more grace shown here by some of you that also claim to be complimentarians.

    • mbaker

      Regarding #342: TUAD says after a long list of accusations and posts from other sources:

      “Jim: “I am quite certain all egalitarians are not demon worshippers…”.

      Roger, Pastor Tommy Nelson, nor I ever said that.

      You’re burning down your own strawman.”

      Wouldn’t be necessary for anyone to reply to this stuff in the first place if you guys weren’t saying that anyone who disagrees with your narrow views are teaching:

      “Doctines of Demons, and we would drown “(Roger)

      And you were saying things in reply like:

      “Egalitarianism is aberrant doctrine, wouldn’t you agree, Roger?”

      Seems to me like you are trying to deliberately bait some of the rest of us here who are honestly trying to discuss this issue as CMP has presented it, and hijacking the blog.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Mbaker,

      One could teach an aberrant doctrine without intending to be a demon worshipper, yes?

      Similar to the idea that one could teach a “name it and claim it” charismatic doctrine without intending to be a demon worshipper.

      Try to be more careful in your thinking.

    • mbaker

      TUAD,

      “Try to be more careful in your thinking.”

      And try to be less judgmental in your opinions if you want to be taken seriously.

    • cherylu

      From “Blog Rules”:

      “4. In everything, be courteous and respectful. This does not mean that you agree, but take the extra time to write with tact, making the most of the opportunity”

      Notice…courteousy, respect, and tact. Sometimes they have not been very evident in these threads on the comp/egal positions particularly.

      I realize that sometimes they do get lost in a disucussion with all of us and I also believe there is a time for very forceful speaking. However, it has become more of the general tone here at times today.

      Remember CMP just shut down another thread on this subject yesterday (or was it the day before?) because he was getting too many complaints about uncharitable comments. Do you want the same to happen to this one??

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Mbaker,

      One could teach an aberrant doctrine without intending to be a demon worshipper, yes?

      Similar to the idea that one could teach a “name it and claim it” charismatic doctrine without intending to be a demon worshipper.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      TUAD, you said to mbaker, One could teach an aberrant doctrine without intending to be a demon worshipper, yes?

      Similar to the idea that one could teach a “name it and claim it” charismatic doctrine without intending to be a demon worshipper.

      Try to be more careful in your thinking.

      It seems to me that your comments have been implying in a rather dogmatic fashion that whoever believes in egalitarianism must be in league with the devil or a demon worshipper.

      I myself am a complementarian but there are those here who may sincerely be wrestling with this issue.

      Now I do agree that we ought to sound the alarm about certain inroads that false doctrines are making and have made into the church, since these lead many astray. But since theological understanding progresses and changes and can be corrected over time, shouldn’t we be charitable in a forum like this, where the people who write are mostly professing faith in Christ?

    • Roger Allen

      mbaker,

      I think the fact that you are manifesting like this is an indicator that you need deliverance in this area. After all, deliverance is the children’s bread. I would be very happy to put you into contact with a deliverance worker in your area.

    • cherylu

      Roger,

      “Manifesting like this”—what on earth are you talking about???

    • mbaker

      Cheryl,

      I so agree. Thanks for the reminder.

      Just a word here: I agree with God’s word on the authority of men in the church, as I have stated many times. However, I think some men (and they know who they are), deliberately try to make women seem like rebellious jerks because we won’t put up with being treated second class Christians because we ARE willing to submit.

      I’ve personally observed that is only something very insecure men do, as well as very insecure women in our secular society( women’s lib). I don’t think Christ meant either extreme. That’s why I hold to the comp/egal point of view. I think it is more what Christ meant for both sexes, than for women to both have to submit and then be disrespected for it, while they are actually trying to honor the scriptures. I wonder if men really know what that takes from a Christian woman in a society who values women being in power instead.

      I appreciate the males here who see that and agree.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Alexander M. Jordan,

      It seems to me that you are misreading my comments.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      TUAD,

      Fair enough. So to clarify then, would you agree with the statement that those who believe the egalitarian model is one that is biblical are not necessarily demon worshippers, though perhaps they are mistaken in their reading of Scripture?

      Roger, you wrote to mbaker,

      I think the fact that you are manifesting like this is an indicator that you need deliverance in this area. After all, deliverance is the children’s bread. I would be very happy to put you into contact with a deliverance worker in your area.

      Are you serious in saying this, or is this supposed to be humorous?

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Alexander M. Jordan: “So to clarify then, would you agree with the statement that those who believe the egalitarian model is one that is biblical are not necessarily demon worshippers, though perhaps they are mistaken in their reading of Scripture?”

      Yes, although I would remove the word “perhaps” in your question above.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Roger: “I think the fact that you are manifesting like this is an indicator that you need deliverance in this area. After all, deliverance is the children’s bread. I would be very happy to put you into contact with a deliverance worker in your area.”

      Alexander: “Are you serious in saying this, or is this supposed to be humorous?”

      Whether serious or humorous (or both), I do believe that Roger would do as he said he would if mbaker were to take him up on his kind and charitable offer.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Roger,

      As a moderator for this site I am going to request that you be more gracious in your tone and not accusatory in your statements. Cheryl has pointed out a portion of the blog rules and violators do get banned. You may disagree with another’s position but do so without personal attacks.

      TUAD, that goes for you too.

      To all, please let’s keep things civil and recall the admonition of Colossians 4:6 – “let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person”

      Thanks.

    • mbaker

      TUAD,

      For any of you to even think I would need ‘deliverance’ in light of my clarification in comment # 356 shows me that you have not fully embraced the grace of God, but continue to believe in the patriarchal,works of the OT Jewish view inaread,not to mention the Muslim model of women. Would you have us wearing burkas to prove our allegiance? Why can’t we get past this silliness in the church?

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Lisa Robinson: “You may disagree with another’s position but do so without personal attacks.”

      The following would be an example of disagreeing with another’s position without it being a personal attack, yes?

      http://www.dennyburk.com/tommy-nelson-on-biblical-manhood-womanhood/

      Citing Wayne Grudem’s book, [Pastor Tommy] Nelson said that egalitarianism is the “new path to liberalism” because it effectively sets aside the authority of the Bible.

      He said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church.

      Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Moderator Lisa Robinson,

      Isn’t mbaker’s comment in #362 a personal attack on me?

      I wasn’t the one who wrote about mbaker’s deliverance. Yet she deliberately named me.

      This is a personal attack. And I don’t appreciate it.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      OK, thanks for that clarification, TUAD. Yet note that I was not alone in the impression I had from your comments, that you at first seemed to be saying all egalitarians are devil worshippers.

      I also think that egalitarianism is biblically in error and thus can lead to serious dangers. Given the prevalence of the egalitarian view in modern society, I think it’s hard for Christians not to be somewhat influenced by it. Yet I give the benefit of doubt to the folks commenting here that they are Christians honestly thinking through this issue.

      Again I want to stay on topic however I think that the following statement you made is also misguided.

      With reference to Roger’s offer to mbaker you said,

      Alexander: “Are you serious in saying this, or is this supposed to be humorous?”

      Whether serious or humorous (or both), I do believe that Roger would do as he said he would if mbaker were to take him up on his kind and charitable offer.

      I don’t think the offer sounds either kind or charitable nor funny– first it accuses mbaker of being demon possessed or demon influenced, based on no evidence at all, other than she made certain comments on this blog. And that’s not funny in the slightest.

      Also this offer assumes Christians can be demon possessed or in need of a deliverance, an assumption far from established in Scripture, and certainly hotly debated.

      Finally how do you know “Roger would do as he said”– didn’t you just meet him today on this blog? Do you think that it is right to imply that someone one barely knows is in need of spiritual deliverance, because we read a few of their comments on a blog? So his offer strikes me not as gracious, but as highly presumptuous.

    • mbaker

      Oh, TUAD, c’mon here. You have got to be kidding! I was simply quoting you and Roger. Your victim stance here is absolutely laughable considering your very pointed comments on this thread. I think we all see through that one.

      I may not always agree with CMP, but I think we should respect him and this blog enough to try to at least not try to make this a surrogate for what we believe, but deal with the issue HE has raised instead.

      Are you listening?

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Moderator Lisa Robinson,

      Another personal attack on me by mbaker in #366.

      If you let that slide, then may I assume that if I were to write the same thing to her, then that’d be okay with you too?

    • cherylu

      Yes TUAD, we can all see through that one!

    • cherylu

      Know what, I am out of here. This thread is completely out of control and I don’t wish to be a part of it anymore.

    • Lisa Robinson

      “I also think that egalitarianism is biblically in error and thus can lead to serious dangers. Given the prevalence of the egalitarian view in modern society, I think it’s hard for Christians not to be somewhat influenced by it. Yet I give the benefit of doubt to the folks commenting here that they are Christians honestly thinking through this issue.”

      On this I agree. I must admit to being disturbed by the hard line stance that equates egalitarianism with apostasy. This is not an issue that would fall within the essentials of salvation and maybe not even the significance of orthodoxy. There are wonderful servants of Christ that have come to conclusions of egalitarian through careful exegesis. The hermeneutic may be different, which accounts for the differing position. I think its grossly unfair to characterize every proponent of egalitarianism as dismissing the authority of scripture or succumbing to the spirit of this age. This may be true of some, but the extremes rest on both sides, lest we cast stones.

      Most are approaching the issue reasonably and asking how everyone’s gift can be best utilized within the body of Christ. While I may not agree with their conclusion, I appreciate the heart of service and reasonableness with which the topic is considered.

    • Lisa Robinson

      “Citing Wayne Grudem’s book, [Pastor Tommy] Nelson said that egalitarianism is the “new path to liberalism” because it effectively sets aside the authority of the Bible.

      He said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church.

      Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

      And let’s be fair here. He said the same thing of Irving Bible Church when they allowed the women’s pastor to occassionally preach a Sunday message. They made it clear that the governance structure of male eldership of the church had not or would not change as they were committed to male headship and the authority of scripture. They came to the conclusion that a after days of study and meeting as an elder board and determined that this did not violate the authoritative structure. To make an accusation of liberalism, as he did, is a HUGE leap.

    • mbaker

      Thank you, Lisa.

      I completely agree. I really think there needs to be a post, by one of you on this blog at least, stating exactly where you are on what you have espoused, as the Christian ‘egalitarian’ model. Not based upon where the secular world is, and I want to go on record again as saying I am not there. Otherwise the rest of us are going to be categorically dismissed as being extra biblical.

      I don’t think the all the nuances of egalitariarism, in the theological aspect of it at least have been properly addressed. I think instead a lot of it is has simply been assumed, as based upon the secular cultural model of women’s lib and the acceptance of the homosexual model. I am not there, and I don’t think a lot of egalitarians here are either.

    • EricW

      FWIW, I attended Tommy Nelson’s church for 5 years and taught NT Greek classes there, both during that time and afterwards, and also visited Irving Bible Church the day Jackie Roese gave her first sermon:

      http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/082308dnmetpreach.3ba3b5c.html

    • Lisa Robinson

      Really? Interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Tommy Nelson but really disagreed with his public comments concerning IBC.

      This shortly after I moved to Dallas. The really cool thing is I visited IBC during my church search, and it just happened to be right after that article came out. The senior pastor (whose name eludes me now) made a statement about the article and had nothing but good things to say about Tommy Nelson, although they disagreed. It showed a lot of class and diplomacy.

    • Don

      I agree with you Alexander, Roger was out of line. Some people do not seem to have the ability to disagree agreeably about the faith.

      I am an egal, as I see Jesus and Paul etc. as egals and I try to follow Jesus and Paul as he follows Jesus, per Paul. I see the Kingdom increasing the more believers become egal, but that does not mean that those who disagree with me are demonized. Disagreeing about the gender issue is a secondary issue. It is quite possible to love the Lord and be mistaken about something, for a variety of reasons.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      Hi Don,

      Yes, I really do think it’s possible to disagree in a more constructive way…

      How is Jesus an egal? Why then did He not appoint women as leaders of the church? Was He accommodating to the culture?

      Also, I don’t think Paul was egal at all, as his argument is that as the very first Man and Woman were designed by God differently in accordance with His purpose, so their roles/functions in the church are to be distinct.

      I realize you have said they are differing interpretations/exegesis of what Paul wrote. I think those interpretations are mistaken, not on the basis of an analysis of the Greek words Paul used, but on his argument using Adam & Eve.

      I like John Piper’s answer to the question “Should women become pastors“, which in part reads,

      Jesus was pro-woman to the max. But he did not choose women to be apostles. That wasn’t because he was enslaved to his times. It was because, in coherence with the rest of the Bible (Genesis 1-2, Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 11, and 1 Timothy 2), he believed that it would be healthy for the church and the family if men assumed the role of Christ-like, humble, caring, servant-leaders, and if the women came in alongside with their respective gifts to help carry his leadership through according to those gifts.

      Piper also says that biblically it is not just any man who can become a leader in the church, merely by virtue of being male, but rather, the “office of leadership and teaching of men is preserved for spiritual and godly men.”

    • mbaker

      An interesting little observation about Jesus choosing only men as apostles: Judas, a male, was the one who betrayed Him. Jesus obviously already knew this, just as God knew Eve would be the one to take the forbidden fruit.

      Not that it changes the exegesis of the scripture we are discussing any, but just think it was interesting that both sexes, when given responsibility by God managed to mess it up.

      Just shows how much we all need Christ in our lives every day.

    • david gibbs

      Sorry Mike, I think your reasoning and conclusion were somewhat tortured and forced.
      First of all your persistence in suggesting that the role of a head pastor primarily involves “confrontation”. Senior pastors are also required to plan, strategise, shepherd, evaluate, resolve conflicts, team building, teach, display grace etc etc. At best we may say that men are better at some of these things and women are better at others. I dont think we an conclude that men have an overall advantage over women. (It may also depend on where the chuch is located and the type of environment prevailing.)

      But more importantly are you not stereotying women? maybe your wife (I am sure she is a really wonderful person) have been socialised and raised in a particular way. Her previous job of dressing up as a princess and entertaining litle girls, was perhaps reflective of her upbringing. So maybe she would not do well as a head pastor. fair enough. But there are other women who would. Would not an Esther, a Deborah, even a converted Rahab or the type of woman discribed in Proverbs 31 make for a good head pastor?

      If we in the church make our women think that they cannot be a head pastor because: 1. We rig the job requirments to require things such as “confrontation” in order to exclude them. 2. We tell them that they are lacking in some vital and crititical attributes and 3. we teach tham to behave and act as though they are infact lacking in these atributes, then we mereley dealing them a dirty hand and engaging in self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      mbaker,

      Yes, very good point– men and women both need God very badly!
      We also really need each other.

      Being a complementarian doesn’t imply that men are any less prone to sinful temptations or that to God, women are somehow less valuable than men.

      Though obviously different in makeup physically and in many other respects, men and women are equally made in the image of God. Neither Man nor Woman standing alone fully reflects the image of God, but only together do they reflect His image.

      So I think we ought to seek out and encourage the innate strengths each of the sexes has. Also complementarians must be careful not to elevate men above women in their thinking. The fact that man has been biblically given a role that involves leadership in the church in no way implies male superiority over woman.

    • mbaker

      I am so glad we agree, Alexander. What you have just stated is one of the comp/egal positions in a nutshell, at least mine, which is held by many theologians as well.

      It saddens me that these discussions often only reflect the extremes of both beliefs, however, and that is unfortunate for everyone.

      I look forward to seeing CMP’s promised post on all the various nuances of comp and egal beliefs. I think it will shed a lot more light on a very misunderstood and often controversial subject.

    • Alexander M Jordan

      mbaker,

      Thanks, I am very gratified that you agree with some of my conclusions, which I think are very much in line with the complementarian position. But when you say your position is both “comp/egal” I don’t really follow.

      I suppose that comp and egal can agree that biblically men and women are both made in the image of God, & are of equal value to God, but the egal takes this to mean that women should also not be restricted from being leaders/teachers in the church. In contrast, the comp says that while men and women are equally heirs of God’s grace and have much to learn from each other, and furthermore men are not innately superior to women, yet Scripture nevertheless prescribes different roles in the church and the home for male and female, based on God’s design. So I’m not sure one can be a comp and an egal at the same time.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Citing Wayne Grudem’s book, [Pastor Tommy] Nelson said that egalitarianism is the “new path to liberalism” because it effectively sets aside the authority of the Bible.

      He said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church.

      Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

      EricW: “FWIW, I attended Tommy Nelson’s church for 5 years and taught NT Greek classes there…”.

      Did Pastor Tommy Nelson and you ever discuss the issue of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood? If so, how would you characterize it?

      Would you consider Pastor Tommy Nelson’s church a complementarian church or, if you prefer, a biblical patriarchy church?

      Is Pastor Tommy Nelson’s church thriving (in numerical terms)?

    • Don Johnson

      Hi Alexander,

      The 12 mapped to the 12 patriarchs and the 12 tribes. When one failed, he was replaced so there would be 12. When one died, there is no mention of him being replaced, as there needed to be 12 for the mapping to take placce.

      In the patriarchy of 1st century Judaism, women were not taught Torah very much, while men were from an early age. Before anyone can teach they need to learn and the women needed to learn a lot before they could teach at least in relation to the men. Later, Junia was an apostle of a church, but it is true that the 12 apostles of Jesus were men.

      That is, which Jesus was an egal, there were other things that were higher on his priority list during his 3.5 year ministry and one does not make someone a teacher unless they have enought knowledge and acts about the faith. But he did start things so that women could become apostles, etc.

    • mbaker

      Alexander,

      RE # 381: That’s one of the common misunderstandings I think arise about those of us who share some beliefs of both camps.

      I follow the scriptural admonition of women not teaching men in the church, which is a comp view, and one shared by some egals. I have never had a problem with that, until it becomes a male versus female issue in that women are then assumed (by some of the more extreme comps) to be second class citizens in the eyes of God, and the church. I also see it unfairly applied, in that women are allowed to teach Sunday School and Children’s Church in most congregations who hold the strictly comp view. I find that a bit hypocritical if it is not going to be equally applied. So even comp views are prone to exceptions when it comes to women teaching.

      I also think all egals are mistakenly identified with the women’s lib movement and same sex marriage folks, as I have said before. This is unfair, in my opinion, as I have also stated on several occasions, because it does not address all the egal theological camps in the church itself. There is definitely more than one. I also think egals are thrown in with the emergents, another common fallacy. To be sure there are egals who do hold a secular view of women’s lib, and who are very liberal in their beliefs about abortion as well. However, I certainly don’t speak for them, and don’t want to give the impression that I do.

      I am just stating where my beliefs from both camps come from. Hope that clarifies it a little better for you.

    • cherylu

      Don,

      It seems to me that you are assuming a lot in your last post about why you believe that Jesus was an egal. What you have said there only works if you believe that the only reason Paul said women could not teach men is that they did not have a complete enough knowledge to do so. For those of us that look at Paul’s statements and include the fact of the creation order there and Eve’s deception as the reasons Paul said what he did, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that Jesus was an egal. He treated women fairly and as equals with men in their status as humans. But there is no evidence that I can see that he started the ball rolling for women to have the exact same roles in the church that men have.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      mbaker: “I follow the scriptural admonition of women not teaching men in the church, which is a comp view, and one shared by some egals.”

      Excellent!

      First, you rightly note that it’s a SCRIPTURAL admonition.

      Second, you follow it.

      Question: I don’t know of any egals who share this view. Can you provide a link or some references to egals who follow the scriptural admonition of women *not* teaching men in the church?

    • Rebecca

      How do we know that if women aren’t allowed to lead that it is discrimination toward women rather than men? If I give one of my son’s greater responsibility than another,one might look at it that I think more highly of the one I give so much responsibility to & less of the child I give little responsibility to. Well, I can tell you that the complaint I often heard was “Why me? Why do I get stuck with all the responsibility? It’s not fair.” That child did not consider it a right, a priviledge or reward.In all probability,I gave that kid the job to train him. Maybe it was obvious to me that his brother already was skilled.Yes,often I was tempted to save time & wanted to give it to the one trained.But I knew you don’t learn on the bench! I think about how many times as children we complained about what we didn’t have & our selfishness kept us from seeing what we did have, therefore, unable to appreciate it or share it. Often, the ones that protest the most by comparing what they have & don’t have over what they’re neighbor has (coveting), can’t see the blessings God intended. You know, the idea that God dreams bigger dreams for us than we do? If the verbage was that men are called to have more responsibility & accountability and nothing said about authority or power or best suited for, wired for, what then? Would it be more men protesting about the lack of fairness then? I wonder. Before you try to decide if I’m a egal or comp, you can’t know because I don’t know. But I question, is being submissive that terrible when it’s exercised in a Godly way? I’ve had to submit to others before that I felt were not qualified to lead. I didn’t like it. But now I am older and wiser & know that it’s my place to allow it to shape me for His glory, not mine. The closer I get to Jesus, the more I am willing to say,”Hey, you want it? If it means that much to you, you be in charge.” Be careful what you ask for! Whoever is in charge cannot take away from what I have…

    • TL

      ”What you have said there only works if you believe that the only reason Paul said women could not teach men is that they did not have a complete enough knowledge to do so. For those of us that look at Paul’s statements and include the fact of the creation order there and Eve’s deception as the reasons Paul said what he did, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that Jesus was an egal. He treated women fairly and as equals with men in their status as humans. But there is no evidence that I can see that he started the ball rolling for women to have the exact same roles in the church that men have.”

      Cherylu,
      1. Paul said that he did not now allow A woman to teach & dominate A man, but she is to learn quietly (in a manner befitting of students). The point was that this woman or women were teaching error, which Paul mentions in chapter one . 1:3: remain in Ephesus that you may charge SOME that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
      2. You assume the reason that Paul mentions Adam being created first to be something to do with privileges for the one created first. Yet Scripture does not indicate such. It is more likely that it had something to do with the fact that Adam had some knowledge in being created first that the woman missed by coming on the scene later, YET Adam still deliberately choose to sin. Eve was deceived due to the cleverness of the serpent coupled with missing knowledge. Remember Adam got to intimately view each of God’s creations in order to name them. There was a wealth of information about God that he had to have gained in the experience. THUS, the connection is that just like Eve was deceived because she had missing knowledge, so women (and of course men) today who are unlearned need to study Scripture before they attempt to teach others.
      continued………..

    • TL

      3. Around the same time that Paul wrote this he also wrote and praised Priscilla for teaching. And he commissioned Phoebe to carry his letter to Rome, which means he must have considered Phoebe the best person to answer questions and explain what he said and why he said it. Paul also praised Junia as an apostle, which includes teaching responsibilities. It is not likely that Paul would completely reverse his view on women in ministry with a couple words and no recanting of other statements and no explanations. This only leaves the explanation that Paul did NOT make a new rule never before stated in all of Biblical history, but was only confirming that women needed to learn before they hoped to teach or perform other ministries.

    • mbaker

      TUAD,

      “I don’t know of any egals who share this view.”

      You probably don’t hang with too many, I would gather from your previous comments, lol.

      However, two people come to mind here who are respected theologians. We don’t share all the same views, but they are excellent Bible exegetes:

      Roger Nicole, a Baptist and very well respected theolgian is an comp/egal: He has written an excellent book called:

      “Hermeneutics and the gender debate” in Discovering biblical equality: complementarity without hierarchy.” Edited by Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis. InterVarsity Press, 2005

      Gordon Fee, whom you have heard both Lisa and I mention as an expert on hermeneutics, also contributed to this book. He helped translate the NIV and is a professor emeritus at Regents Bible Seminary. He is also an ordained Pentecostal minster. He is more egal though.

      I think these men give a good picture of how biblical egalitarianism is meant to work.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      mbaker:I follow the scriptural admonition of women not teaching men in the church, which is a comp view, and one shared by some egals.”

      Me: “Can you provide a link or some references to egals who follow the scriptural admonition of women *not* teaching men in the church?”

      mbaker: “However, two people come to mind here who are respected theologians. [Roger Nicole and Gordon Fee]”

      So you’re telling me that egals Roger Nicole and Gordon Fee teach and believe “the scriptural admonition of women not teaching men in the church”, is that right?

    • TL

      ” and furthermore men are not innately superior to women, yet Scripture nevertheless prescribes different roles in the church and the home for male and female, based on God’s design.”

      And in this statement you display a deep contradiction. Scripture does indeed state that men and women are equal:

      26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[b] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

      There are no exceptions to their equality. But you make one that is lifelong. The belief that because a person is female, they are to be restricted from certain privileges that men are allowed, does portray the male as superior.

      Equally interesting is that this restriction upon females was never stated or observed in the entire OT. Thus, God did not exercise this distinction. Instead, God used women to teach and lead men, without offering any explanations. Yet, now that we have been freed from the restrictions of the law hierarchalists raise up a law for women only that is more restrictive and holds no promise of blessing from God.

    • TL

      “So you’re telling me that egals Roger Nicole and Gordon Fee teach and believe “the scriptural admonition of women not teaching men in the church”, is that right?”

      That would be incorrect.

    • mbaker

      TUAD,

      I said:

      “We don’t share all the same views, but they are excellent Bible exegetes”

      I suggest you read the book.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      So the question to mbaker still stands: “Can you provide a link or some references to egals who follow the scriptural admonition of women *not* teaching men in the church?”

      For she has made the claim “I follow the scriptural admonition of women not teaching men in the church, which is a comp view, and one shared by some egals.

      I’m merely asking her to provide evidence to warrant her claim that there are some egals who follow the scriptural admonition of women not teaching men in the church.

      So far she hasn’t.

    • cherylu

      TL,

      A couple of thoughts here. Because Paul wanted Timothy to stay in Ephesus and keep some from teaching false doctrine in no way proves that they were the women that were spoken of later in the verses in question. Seems to me that is a bit of eisegesis there. The “some” he was referring to could just as well have been some unnamed men as some unnamed women. I would suggest also that it is assumption that says Phoebe was the best one to explain the letter to the Romans. Could it not just as well have been that she was simply the one carrying it–maybe already making the journey? Paul certainly doesn’t tell them that they are to listen to her explain what he says. Again, it seem to me that is assumption–eisegesis–on your part.

      And if some information I have recently read is correct, there was disagreement among some of the church father’s regarding Junia’s gender. Some referred to Junia as a man and others as a woman. So I am not so sure that is a cut and dried issue either.

      That leaves the issue of Priscilla and her teaching. Two thoughts come to my mind here. First of all, this was not in a church setting, but rather a private one, so that could possibly of made a difference. Also, Paul merely makes a statement that Aquilla and Priscialla did this teaching. Is this one of those descriptive passages that simply says what happened or is it a prescriptive passage? And I don’t see that Paul either commends or rebukes Priscilla for what she did–he simply says that they taught accurately. We also know there are sometimes “exceptions to the rule.” So even if Paul was commending her, that doesn’t mean that this is the rule.

      And as far as the mention of creation goes, you say I assumed my take on it. Well, I can certainly say your take is an assumed one as well.

    • mbaker

      TUAD,

      I have already explained my position as best I can. I said I know egals who believe the same as me, meaning personally acquainted, and I’m sure you know comps who share your extreme patriarchal position, although most comp theologians don’t.

      I really don’t care to interact with you on this any longer. You can think what you want to think about me personally. I am simply asking others here who are more interested in having a discussion than submitting to a cross-examination, and obviously don’t understand some of the well exegeted THEOLOGICAL opinions on egalitarianism, to investigate it. To argue a case without good information is like folks wanting to argue with Christians about the Bible when they haven’t ever read it.

    • cherylu

      TL,

      “Equally interesting is that this restriction upon females was never stated or observed in the entire OT.”

      I don’t recall reading about any female priests or levites serving in the tabernacle or the temple, do you? The restriction was there in the Old Testament.

    • TL

      ”The “some” he was referring to could just as well have been some unnamed men as some unnamed women.”

      The word translated some, is tisin, a form of tis, and means anyone, or a group of mixed people. If Paul were speaking specifically of men, he would have use aner. Tis is an inclusive word, and when used includes both men and women. Chapter divisions are an invention of non Greek speakers. The letter Paul wrote did not have chapter divisions. What Paul said in our chapter division one, is part of Paul’s thought processes in chapter two.

      ”Phoebe was the best one to explain the letter to the Romans. Could it not just as well have been that she was simply the one carrying it–maybe already making the journey?”

      If you will do some research on the people Paul commissioned to deliver his epistles, you will find them to be much much more than postal carriers of today. For one thing women had to be protected. It was a bigger concern giving something to a woman than a man, unless she was going to be in a big group of people, which she was since the letter introduced quite a company of influential Christians. And then you still have the question of why Phoebe.

      ”And if some information I have recently read is correct, there was disagreement among some of the church father’s regarding Junia’s gender. Some referred to Junia as a man and others as a woman. So I am not so sure that is a cut and dried issue either.”

      Junia’s gender was never disputed until the 12th century. Chrysostom, one who wasn’t too keen on women, spoke a beautiful commendation of Junia.
      See http://www.womenpriests.org/classic/brooten.asp

    • TL

      ”That leaves the issue of Priscilla and her teaching. Two thoughts come to my mind here. First of all, this was not in a church setting, but rather a private one, so that could possibly of made a difference.”
      Paul makes no note about where A woman is to do her learning and no teaching. Where isn’t an issue.

      ”I don’t see that Paul either commends or rebukes Priscilla for what she did–he simply says that they taught accurately. We also know there are sometimes “exceptions to the rule.”

      His mentioning her at all (and he does more than once) is a commendation. In the Romans mention, the whole chapter 16 was a commendation for everyone mentioned.

      If it were a rule, there would be no exceptions in God’s economy of holiness and righteousness. When you see exceptions (many in this case) then we need to rethink our understanding of the “rule”. Also, the New Covenant isn’t about new rules. It is about freedom (freed from the bondages of sin) to draw near to God and freedom for all to become righteous in the manner of Christ’s maturity. He is the example for all of us, not just the men.

    • TL

      “I don’t recall reading about any female priests or levites serving in the tabernacle or the temple, do you? The restriction was there in the Old Testament.”

      I don’t recollect any mention of female priests either. But now we are a priesthood of believers. IOW we are all priests.

      I’m talking about the fact that there is no restriction against women leading men or teaching men in the entire OT. And women did indeed lead men and instruct them in the ways of the Law.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      mbaker: “TUAD,

      I have already explained my position as best I can. I said I know egals who believe the same as me, meaning personally acquainted, and I’m sure you know comps who share your extreme patriarchal position, although most comp theologians don’t.”

      Moderator Lisa Robinson,

      This is yet another personal attack by mbaker on me. She falsely claims that I have an “extreme patriarchal position.” I do not.

      Lisa Robinson, this is the third personal attack by mbaker.

      Lastly, mbaker, given that you “follow the scriptural admonition of women not teaching men in the church, which is a comp view”, I suggest that you are not really an egalitarian. It does not cohere with CBE’s statement on Men, Women, and Biblical Equality.

    • mbaker

      Get the man a binky!

    • cherylu

      TL,

      Origen from the third century and Epiphanius, a church historian who died in AD 403 both evidently referred to Junia as a male.

      And in three commentaries that I read, the large group of people that Paul talks about in Romans 16 were spoken of as people in Rome that Paul was sending his greetings too, not a large group going from where Paul was to Rome. So I still think my original idea is possible, although I may be wrong about that.

      And maybe the word “rule” wasn’t the best choice for what I was trying to say. However, no matter how much you say that in the New Covenant we are free from rules, you can in no way get away from the fact the the NT is full of commands about how we are supposed to live personally and the way things are suppposed to be done when Christians come together as a church body.

      And I have always wondered why, if men and women alike were truly allowed to be in all leadership positions in the church, does Paul, when giving instructions about their qualifications, always speak to them as men? He tells them they must be the husband of one wife. Why would that be a specific stipulation if there were women involved here too? He seems to be speaking to men to me. Or do you believe that was only stating that if the person in question was a man that he couldn’t be a polygamist?

    • cherylu

      TUAD,

      If you look back at mbakers comments, she calls herself a comp/egal and says she shares beliefs from both sides.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Moderator Lisa Robinson,

      Make that 4 personal attacks by mbaker.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      cherylu: “Know what, I am out of here. This thread is completely out of control and I don’t wish to be a part of it anymore.”

      That turned out to be false.

    • cherylu

      TUAD,

      “That turned out to be false.”

      You know why I came back? Because things had settled down and were no longer out of control. But you know what? They seem to be heading that way very quickly again. And that last comment to me that I quoted above is helping things on their way very quickly!

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Recap.

      #1. mbaker says that “I follow the scriptural admonition of women not teaching men in the church, which is a comp view, and one shared by some egals.”

      #2. I ask: “Can you provide a link or some references to egals who follow the scriptural admonition of women *not* teaching men in the church?”

      #3. She cites Roger Nicole and Gordon Fee.

      #4. I ask if that’s really correct.

      #5. TL says no, that’s incorrect.

      #6. So I say that mbaker still hasn’t provided evidence.

      #7. mbaker then says that she knows some “egals” personally who do.

      #8. She attacks me with the false claim that I have an “extreme patriarchal position.”

      #9. I also suggest that she’s not really an egalitarian given that her claim in #1 does not cohere with CBE’s statement on Men, Women, and Equality.

    • mbaker

      cherlyu,

      Have you noticed that TUAD seems to pick only on the women on this thread? Specifically the way he accused Sue of possibly lying about her spousal abuse on the other thread?

      Now I’ve been accused so far as teaching ‘doctrines of demons’ and being in need of deliverance by someone he agreed with, and even egged on.

      I think anyone who doubts that should review the comments on this and the other thread. I have tried to stick with CMP’s original topic, but I am growing weary here with the obvious bullying. I am also done here if there isn’t going to be some real equality in enforcing the blog rules!

    • TL

      Cherylu

      ”Origen from the third century and Epiphanius, a church historian who died in AD 403 both evidently referred to Junia as a male.”

      That would be incorrect. Origin referred to Junia as possibly the wife of Andronicus. I recommend an excellent book of research on this, Junia, the first woman apostle, by Eldon J. Epp. The chapter dealing with the writings of the early church fathers starts on pg. 32.

      ”the large group of people that Paul talks about in Romans 16 were spoken of as people in Rome that Paul was sending his greetings too”

      I think you are likely correct about that. Had to go back and read it again. This however lend more merit to the fact that she must have been a very special person for Paul to have chosen her, since it would have been easier to send a man who would not need extra protection in traveling.

      ”However, no matter how much you say that in the New Covenant we are free from rules, you can in no way get away from the fact the the NT is full of commands about how we are supposed to live personally and the way things are suppposed to be done when Christians come together as a church body.”

      Quite true. What we don’t have is a denial of freedom to serve God. Rather we have a greater responsibility to be without sin, a greater call to holiness.

      ”And I have always wondered why, if men and women alike were truly allowed to be in all leadership positions in the church, does Paul, when giving instructions about their qualifications, always speak to them as men?”

      He doesn’t. He speaks them to men and women. The problem is the English. It is unfortunate, but often when the Greek says ‘anyone’, the English says ‘men’, but meaning human. See: http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/1ti3.pdf

    • TL

      Cherylu,

      ”He tells them they must be the husband of one wife.”

      Actually, not. Paul says to be a “one woman man”, which is an idiom meaning faithful in relationships. It still means the same thing today, when we say soandso is a one woman kind of guy, or she is a one man kind of woman. And Paul says the same thing further down when addressing female deacons.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      mbaker: “Specifically the way he accused Sue of possibly lying about her spousal abuse on the other thread?”

      Yet another demonstrably false and specious lie from mbaker.

      That’s now 5 personal attacks.

      Now I’ve been accused so far as teaching ‘doctrines of demons’ and being in need of deliverance by someone he agreed with, and even egged on. “

      I’m being abused by lies. I merely said that I believe that he would do what he said he would. I did not say that I agreed with him that you need deliverance.

      That’s now 6 personal attacks upon me by mbaker.

    • cherylu

      TL,

      “Actually, not. Paul says to be a “one woman man”, which is an idiom meaning faithful in relationships. It still means the same thing today, when we say soandso is a one woman kind of guy, or she is a one man kind of woman. And Paul says the same thing further down when addressing female deacons.”

      If what you are saying is correct, all twelve of the translations of that verse in an online source I go to are incorrect. One says, “faithful to his wife”, with a footnote saying the Greek says, “the husband of one wife.” And one gave the possible alternate translation that you gave above. The Thayer’s lexicon gives the meanings of the words as being both man/husband and woman/wife. So from that either would be possible. Am I to believe that all of those translators have made a totally wrong choice? They include the KJV, NKJV, ASV, NASB, NIV, and RSV. Some pretty big names there!

    • TL

      Cherylu,

      see: http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/1ti3.pdf

      There are no words in Greek for husband or wife. The words for man and woman pinch hit for husband and wife, but that must be determined by the context. The more technical translations are the ones that have a footnote to explain these facts. Most Bible translations are not that technical assuming that the average reader doesn’t want to know all those details. But that is changing in our era.

    • mbaker

      Like, I said read all the foregoing comments in context, and then get this guy a binky!

    • mbaker

      Talking about TUAD, of course. And his new friend, Roger.

    • Lisa Robinson

      TUAD,

      I have reviewed the alleged attacks and don’t see how they are personal attacks. Michael himself posted a spectrum of egal/comp positions including patriarchalism. A question of where you fall within that spectrum is an inquiry into your specific position concerning what has already been identified as a legitimate range.

      As for the rest of your accusations, reciting what you had previously said is in no way a violation.

      If you can’t play nice with these ladies, then perhaps the conversation is not worth having with them.

      Thank you for your compliance.

    • cherylu

      TUAD,

      While you may not have stated explicitly the things that mbaker is saying to or about Sue, you certainly implied them, unless I am remembering totally incorrectly. By saying we needed to hear from her exhusband to know his side of the story when she claimed abuse, you were certainly casting doubt on what she said. I see no other way to take it myself. And I would also say that the implications were there in the statement you made about her probable need of deliverance as stated by Roger. Maybe you didn’t mean it that way, but it certainly could, and did come across that way at least to me and obviously to mbaker too.

    • TL

      Cherylu and mbaker,
      it’s possibly best to just ignore a person who refuses to dialogue in a respectful manner. Just a thought. 🙂

    • cherylu

      TL,

      Well, then I guess twelve groups of translators got it wrong in context! And it seems to me that is a pretty big error to make. If it doesn’t mean husband and wife, it shouldn’t be translated husband and wife. Huge difference there and one that, at least in this case, can make a huge difference in how a whole doctrine is understood.

      I’m sorry, but a conversation like this one doesn’t do much to give me confidence that we can rely on our Bibles to give us proper information. Or else it makes me wonder if certain groups at times, in this case egals but I have seen similar in other contexts, don’t just try to grab unto something and change the accepted translations down through many years of time to make it fit what they believe to be the truth. It seems to me that one of those scenarios has to be the case, and frankly, I don’t like to think of either one of them being true.

    • cherylu

      Thanks Lisa!

      And TL, I think you are right.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Get mbaker a lot of binkies!!

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Get Cherylu a lot of binkies too!!

    • mbaker

      TL,

      You are so right. Let’s ignore the obviously personally biased opionions from now on and just attack the issue, instead of each other. Always my personal goal from the beginning! Good show.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Get mbaker even more binkies!!

    • cherylu

      TL,

      I hope my last comment to you didn’t come across as disrespectful. And I not saying that is what you or any other egals are doing. I have a really hard time with the idea that our Bibles may have been giving us totally wrong information because the translators didn’t think it necessary to be that technical–that is a thought that I just don’t want to deal with at all. If they did it here, how many more times did they do it and where? I reckon it is a whole lot easier for me to think that men may be reading their own thoughts and presuppositions into the way they believe it should be translated then to think that the Book that we base our lives on for information about God and how to live as Christians has been seriously misleading us through sloppy translations and imprecise word usage!

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      mbaker, #403:: “Get the man a binky!”

      Lisa Robinson, #418: “I have reviewed the alleged attacks and don’t see how they are personal attacks.”

      You’re the moderator.

      Then saying “Get a person some binkies” is not a personal attack according to what you’ve written.

      Because mbaker started it. Didn’t she?

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Pastor C. Michael Patton: “The role of head pastor, I believe requires confrontation. That is not all there is, but it is there and it is very important. It is because of this, I believe, Paul said that women cannot teach or exercise authority over men.”

      Moderator Lisa Robinson, you’re afraid to confront mbaker, aren’t you?

    • TL

      ”Well, then I guess twelve groups of translators got it wrong in context! And it seems to me that is a pretty big error to make. If it doesn’t mean husband and wife, it shouldn’t be translated husband and wife.”

      Hmmm. That’s not exactly what I’m saying here. The technical meaning is man and woman. In context, it is not saying that the person who desire the work of overseer must be a married man, but rather that the person who desires the work of overseer must be the type of person who is faithful in relationships if he or she is married. So, one can say it relates to a married status, but the idiomatic meaning (which has been missed for eons) is one of faithfulness. In some translations that comes through better than in others.

      As for groups of translators getting things wrong, that happens all the time. This is why it’s good to look at several translations if you don’t have access to original language interlinears or aren’t too interested in original language research.

    • TL

      “I have a really hard time with the idea that our Bibles may have been giving us totally wrong information because the translators didn’t think it necessary to be that technical–that is a thought that I just don’t want to deal with at all. If they did it here, how many more times did they do it and where?”

      Well, the deal is that groups of translators do get things wrong. But it’s usually in topics or Scriptures that are difficult. The basics about God and Jesus are quite clear. There are some sections of Scripture that elude clarity because some of the words were used only once in the whole NT, or only a couple times in the whole OT, or they were metaphors or idioms that were not immediately recognized as such. Translating is not duck soup. It’s tricky difficult work.

    • TL

      Cherylu,

      I really recommend adding this link to your bookmarks….

      http://www.scripture4all.org/

    • TL

      mbaker,

      🙂

    • cherylu

      “As for groups of translators getting things wrong, that happens all the time. This is why it’s good to look at several translations”

      That’s precisely why I looked at twelve translations and they all said the same thing. The only one that said anything different was, “faithful to your wife”.

      How do you know that the idiomatic meaning is the correct one and that the way it was translated for hundreds of years and still is today with only one note of an alternate translation given in 12 versions is not the correct one?

    • cherylu

      Thanks for the link TL. I bookmarked it and will check it out later.

      And thank you for your very courteous tone through out all of these conversations. It is much appreciated!

    • TL

      “How do you know that the idiomatic meaning is the correct one and that the way it was translated for hundreds of years and still is today with only one note of an alternate translation given in 12 versions is not the correct one?”

      There are scholars who do that kind of research. And sometimes, someone is researching something else and they just find something they weren’t looking for.

      “Familiar Leadership Heresies Uncovered” by Bruce C. E. Fleming has the pertinent information. He found it in a French Bible. A French scholar had found the phrase on the tomstones of both men and women as an appropriate praise of their faithfulness as spouses.

      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Familiar+Leadership+Heresies&x=0&y=0

      An interesting point is that understanding it as a character trait causes it to fit in appropriately with the things in the rest of the list. They are all character traits, not physical requirements.

    • TL
    • TL

      Fleming also has each section of his book sold in smaller booklets. They’re actually pretty big too.

      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=bruce+c.+e.+fleming+Kindle&x=0&y=0

    • C Michael Patton

      Sorry about the problems here folks. I have not been involved in the threads for a while. I simply cannot. This blog is so large and so many comments come in from so many posts that it would take a full-time person just to keep up with all the comments! (Not to mention direct emails we get!). Me and my small band of mods are not enough.

      I have taken some definite action here, however, because many of you have expressed concern to me privately about some of the posters here.

      The thread is reopened.

      Please keep it safe and read the rules.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Hi EricW,

      If you’re still following this thread, I made an inquiry in #382. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

      Thanks.

    • EricW

      440. Truth Unites… and Divides on 26 Feb 2010 at 1:08 pm #

      Hi EricW,

      If you’re still following this thread, I made an inquiry in #382. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

      Thanks.

      From #382: EricW: “FWIW, I attended Tommy Nelson’s church for 5 years and taught NT Greek classes there…”.

      1. Did Pastor Tommy Nelson and you ever discuss the issue of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood? If so, how would you characterize it?

      2. Would you consider Pastor Tommy Nelson’s church a complementarian church or, if you prefer, a biblical patriarchy church?

      3. Is Pastor Tommy Nelson’s church thriving (in numerical terms)?

      1. No.

      2. Probably.

      3. I have no idea.

    • cherylu

      Hi TL,

      Since I have a Kindle, I bought the booklet that discusses the I Timothy passage that has been talked about so much on this thread.

      I read part of it last night. I see that the authors take a totally different approach to the whole book then any I have ever read or heard any where before. They have a different interpretation of the purpose of the book, of the sections they believe it is organized into and how they relate to each other, and therefore interpret many of the individual verses in a totally different way. The “Theological paraphrase” of I Timothy 2:8–3:7 is very different to me.

      Frankly, I really don’t think I will ever be able to go there.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      Thanks EricW for your brief thoughts.

    • jim

      Still struggling over whether we mean in this thread a women can’t teach over a man , or are we implying a woman can’t hold any authoritian position over a man in a church setting.

      Let me paraphrase: Do other men hold authority over my wife within our local church(not even mentioning the world-wide church structure….universal body of believers)

      If every man in a leadership position holds position over every woman , then my wife , who is suppose to be submissive to me( just speculative) could be disobedient by obeying another male leader.) who disagrees with me. I hope this makes some sense!!!(LOL)

      Not trying to play on words, just curious as to what extent this authority/position would adhere to.

      In Christ,

      PS Welcome back Michael, it’s been interesting to say the least.

    • TL

      cherylu,

      which book are you talking about. Is it the Think Again books? or the Discovering Biblical Equality?

    • cherylu

      TL,

      The “Think Again” booklets that you referenced in your last post yesterday.

    • TL

      Cherylu,

      OK I see what you are talking about. The Theological Paraphrase is the author’s interpretive paraphrase about 1 Tim. 2:8-3:7. 🙂

      It is interesting that he is taking the view that “the men” in verse 8 is not only referring to the “some” in chapt. one, but he also speculates that they could be overseer’s. I’m not convinced that they could have been overseers.

      What part about interpretive paraphrase bothered you.

    • TL

      Cherylu, did you read chapter 2, beginning on page 15?

    • cherylu

      TL,

      I don’t remember how far I got. It was late last night when I was reading it. Probably quit before I got that far though.

      Part of what bothered me was the item you mentioned–that chapter 2, verse 8 and following was referring to overseers, both men and women. In fact his whole premise that the main point of the book was all about Timothy staying in Ephesus to direct some folks to not bring false teachings and restore them to ministry is questionable, IMO. That is certainly a point, but I am not at all convinced that it is THE point. And from that he draws that the men and women addressed in chapter two and verse 8 and onward were all overseers that were in error and he sets out to correct them and restore them to ministry. I don’t think they were likely overseers and I don’t get at all from Pauls reminding him to stay there and correct false teaching that this is the case. I also have never heard the interpretation he gives us of Paul’s statement, “This is a faithful saying.” I have never read any translations before that renders that as, “Jesus the Logos is faithful.”

      There were several other points he made about his understanding of the whole book that were not right either, IMO.

      It seemed to me that his interpretation and understanding of the book as a whole was highly questionable. Why hasn’t any other traslator that I have heard of down through the years ever had such a take on things? He drastically changed the understanding of the purpose of the book and the meaning of several verses in the last half of chapter 2 and the first half of chapter 3 in particular.

      Considering all of that, I will have a very hard time taking anything he says about Scripture interpretation too seriously unless it is a point of proven, undisputable historical facts.

      This booklet is part of his, “Think Again” about the Bible series. He has certainly succeeded in thinking again enough to come up with a solution that he believes eliminates the problem from what he calls the “problem” verses that we have been discussing.

    • cherylu

      I said in my last comment: “Why hasn’t any other traslator that I have heard of down through the years ever had such a take on things?”

      I realized I asked the wrong question here. This was after all, a paraphrase, not a translation. I think my question should of been, “Why have we never in all of these years ever before heard this interpretation of this passage of Scripture?” Why did it take one man “rethinking” this to come to this conclusion at this point in time after all of these years? If it has been put forth before, I am certainly not aware of it–which could certainly be the case! But it is certainly vastly different than any mainstream interpretation that I have ever heard before.

    • TL

      Well, while I don’t buy that it was referring mainly to overseers, I do see that Timothy was staying in Ephesus to direct some folks to not bring false teachings. Most scholars agree with that as well.
      ” I also have never heard the interpretation he gives us of Paul’s statement, “This is a faithful saying.” I have never read any translations before that renders that as, “Jesus the Logos is faithful.”

      He writes it like thus….. “Faithful is the Word” (Jesus the Logos)”. Jesus IS The Word. John 1:1. It is possible that Paul was using one of those Hebrew poetic comparisons they are famous for. I wouldn’t say that was so far off. But his main point IMO in that section was the comparison between ‘faithful is the Word’ and the first character trait for overseers is faithfulness, which is missed when people try to view the idiom (one woman man) as a physical requirement instead of a character trait. That is one jewel, I recommend you read about starting on page 83. BTW there are other scholars and I think other translations who also see the statement ‘one woman man’ as a character trait. But I think they figured it out by logic and not from knowing about the information that Fleming listed.

      I don’t know of one book in the whole of humanity that was perfect. I don’t know of a person, a church, or a denomination that has it all right and perfect. And if they did, likely us imperfect humans wouldn’t recognize it. So the fact that I don’t buy everything he says, does not dissuade me from looking from the good things in the book, of which there are quite a few if one is patient to read. It is for this reason that I don’t turn off my ears to good teachers just because I may disagree on one or more points. I read a lot of comps books as well. IMO the balance is found by hearing both views.

    • cherylu

      I agree with balance being found by hearing both views. However, when someone interprets something so totally differently then anything in the mainstream, I begin to question his interpretion in all areas. That is why I will find it hard to take him seriously.

    • TL

      Cherylu,
      Here are some translations that recognize it’s about faithfulness in relationship. You can find them at any Bible translations website, such as Biblegateway.com

      MSG ……If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good! But there are preconditions: A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife, cool and collected, accessible, and hospitable.

      NLT …… 1 This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be an elder,[a] he desires an honorable position.” 2 So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife.

      CEV….. 1It is true that [a] anyone who desires to be a church official [b] wants to be something worthwhile. 2That’s why officials must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage.

      NIRV …… 1 Here is a saying you can trust. If anyone wants to be a leader in the church, he wants to do a good work for God and people. 2 A leader must be free from blame. He must be faithful to his wife.

    • TL

      “However, when someone interprets something so totally differently then anything in the mainstream”

      Even ‘the mainstreams” change on non-salvic issues. Look at how long we thought that slavery was acceptable in ‘the mainstreams’. It took a war for all of us (most of us) to let go of that belief. Look at how long we did Baptism’s by sprinkling, or infant baptism’s. How many other things have we as good Christian brethren fought over….. and ended up changing because we were wrong.

      • Lisa Robinson

        TL and Cheryl,

        I thought you guys might be interested in this question here that I raised on Theologica. Some interesting discussion ensued. While I do not support the egalitarian position, I too believe that sometimes its just a matter of hermeneutics and not necessarily an intrusion of liberalism. Overall, I’m really asking the question of what is the greater good as we seek to honor God and his word.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Hmm, that’s strange the link isn’t working. Try this

      http://theologica.ning.com/forum/topics/the-compegal-issue-how

    • cherylu

      TL,

      All of those still say “faithful (or commited) to his wife” except one which says “faithful in marriage”.

      That is still speaking to men–women can not be faithful to their wives can they?!?

      And sure, Christians have changed their minds on things. However, when someone comes up with a totally new understanding of the purpose for a whole book in the Bible and therefore of the interpretation of some of it’s verses, is it not going to be very suspect? And is there not a great burden of proof upon that person to show that 2000 years or church history have been wrong and he is seeing it correctly for the first time??

      Lisa,

      Thanks for the link. I read it yesterday when you first put it up but haven’t gotten back there again today. Will have to check it out again if I have time. I am interested–time becomes the factor!

    • TL

      Let me ask you this Cherylu,

      If you do not know the gender of people you are speaking to or about, do you say her or him? OK, let me answer. 🙂 the rules of grammar for I’m pretty sure all languages is to refer to the unknown in masculine terms. That’s all Paul is doing. This is confirmed by the fact that he is addressing anyone in Greek. If anyone (not men) desire the work of overseer….

      check the link at Scriptures4all.org.

      What he is NOT doing is saying men only by a back door. If he wanted to say men only, he would have clearly said it. If you read further down, he gives the same requirement of faithfulness to the women deacons.

    • mbaker

      There were some great points brought out in the Theologica discussion. I recommend taking the time to read the whole thread.

    • TL

      “However, when someone comes up with a totally new understanding”

      Not sure why you say totally new. He only had a couple new points.
      1. Fleming thinks the “some” in chapter one were overseers
      2. Fleming sees the idiom of ‘one woman man’ being a character trait and not a physical requirement, that an overseer must be male or married or have children.

    • cherylu

      He thought the main purpose of the whole book was telling Timothy how to be correcting and restoring the “fallen” elders. That is why he interpreted everything else the way he did. At least the first two sections of it. The rest he said was personal instruction to Timothy himself. He also said that the 3 sins that Paul said he was guilty of were the same basic ones the elders were guilty of. Not sure how he came to that conclusion either. That is why I say he comes up with a totally different interpretation of the whole book.