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Women Can't Preach

Discussion in 'Conservative Christianity' started by FaithGraceGirl, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. FundamentalistJohn

    FundamentalistJohn Regular Member

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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Illogical. The passage does not exclude unmarried men while, at the same time, women are not even under consideration according to the wording there.
     
  3. katautumn

    katautumn Wandering, not lost.

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    Where did you get that information? Paul was, most certainly, the writer of the pastoral epistles. The only people who disagree are liberal scholars who take issue with the alleged "misogyny" they think those three books contain. But let's go out on a limb and say that maybe Paul didn't write them I fail to understand what difference that would make. Whoever wrote it was directly inspired by God. God is the author of those pastoral epistles. The writer simply recorded God's words.

    So that begs the question - who is your authority - God, or culture?
     
  4. FundamentalistJohn

    FundamentalistJohn Regular Member

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  5. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Argument from silence can be fraught, but nevertheless not inconclusive.

    if you adopt the strict 'literal, devoid of any local situation' interpretation of women not teaching, then it is not unreasonable to be just as literal with men - so designated people must be married, have children and only one wife.

    John
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  6. FundamentalistJohn

    FundamentalistJohn Regular Member

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    That is my point John.
     
  7. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Hi there,

    I had taken your point. But biblicaly and in practice there are some problems. As far as we know Timothy was not married. He would not therefore qualify to be an elder or deacon, but he, like Paul was an apostle.

    We are also confused through our history. The Greek word translated 'apostle-sent one, messenger' was translated as our word today 'missionary' in the Latin Vulgate and has come to us through that source. But biblically a missionary is an apostle.

    To be consistent no female 'missionary' can lead a church, teach both men and women or plant a church and become its recognised leader thereby. Yes many female missionaries have and are still doing just that. Our category of 'missionary' is largely a cultural one, but not an identified office' or ministry within the church. Neither is the modern pastor too,but that is another issue.

    John
    NZ
     
  8. Simon_Templar

    Simon_Templar Not all who wander are lost

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    This is a spurious argument and deliberate misuse of the text. The Apostle Paul, who is dictating this text to Timothy, was himself unmarried and he advocated that ministers for the kingdom should follow his example in remaining unmarried.

    What you are doing is forcing one meaning on a text and then saying if we deny the forced meaning you insist on, then we must also deny the clear direct statement of another text. It is a dishonest argument.

    The text of 1st Timothy 3 never says a man must be married or have children. The text never says "don't appoint an unmarried man, or a man who does not have children".

    This is like saying that when Paul says masters must be kind to their slaves that he means we must all own slaves.

    The Greek of 1st Timothy 3 doesn't even say a man must be a husband as it is often translated. It literally says "a one woman man". I am not married, but I believe that the marital relationship is between 1 man and 1 woman and that it is till death do us part. Therefore even though I am not married and do not have a woman.. I am a one woman man. It is referring to the quality of belief and character, not a mandate that a person be married.

    So you are deliberately misrepresenting that text. Not because you actually believe that, but because you want to use to dismiss what Paul says in 1st Timothy 2:12

    The idea that Timothy 2:12 is not stating a universal principle but rather only a local/cultural issue is easily refuted by the justification that Paul gives immediately after the statement. The justification for it is a universal principle built into creation itself. Thus this can't be a purely local cultural issue.
     
  9. FundamentalistJohn

    FundamentalistJohn Regular Member

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  10. FundamentalistJohn

    FundamentalistJohn Regular Member

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  11. FundamentalistJohn

    FundamentalistJohn Regular Member

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  12. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Interestingly the word translated 'wife' is the same word for women in general. Some have suggested that Paul is requiring the same qualities for a recognised female leader.

    Refuting a universal principle from the context of the letter is not that hard either.
    1 Tim 1:3-7 3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work — which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. NIV

    Here we have men. quite possibly previous leaders who have gone astray.

    Further
    1 Tim 4:1-3 4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. NIV
    2 Tim 2:14-18 14 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. NIV
    2 Tim 3:6-9 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth — men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
    NIV

    Some women too were caught up with the false teaching
    1 Tim 5:11-15 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan. NIV

    Previous church leaders and some women were promulgating error. Paul's advice was to directly address the problem in that church - appoint recognised leaders, behave decently and exhibit the life of Christ.

    And so to these verses (my inserted comments are in bold) The context is people praying together. Men are not to bring wrong attitudes and women are to dress appropriately. Recognise that men and women being together in a public meeting was not a cultural norm and could be seen as scandalous or at least culturally disrespectful.

    Learning means being taught. Few women received any education in NT times. Jewish and Greek cultures saw women as unworthy of that honour. They were to listen respectfully and without interruption/

    1 Tim 2:11-14 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority (Here the Greek means to usurp authority, which makes sense in light of the local situation) over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (Some see reference to a female cult's teaching where woman was created before man, which Paul is correcting) 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. Not that women are more prone to deception (it was men leaders taking others away here in the letter, but as an example of a another woman who had been deceived.) NIV

    The context of the entire letter has clear local references. Paul was addressing a specific situation. Today we can take form that letter:
    Public decorum in gatherings and good character in public are essential
    to counter some false teachers;
    Duly recognised leaders need to be appointed, who have teaching responsibilities. The text can support women deacons at least. But The NT reveals a wider participation in all levels of the new community;
    Women can be taught, they must not be disruptive when all are together, and unless well taught and mature they should not engage in public teaching themselves. They could teach (thus be silent does not mean never teach) Titus 2:3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. NIV

    Th every obvious local situation means we cannot simply dismiss a situation specific exegesis. In fact every biblical book has its own cultural setting and original audience. We cannot properly understand the Scriptures without some knowledge.

    A good commentary, such as the one by Gordon Fee, an Assemblies of God teacher and widely acknowledged and respected NT scholar, is worth reading.

    John
    NZ
     
  13. Simon_Templar

    Simon_Templar Not all who wander are lost

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    #1 - I wasn't assuming, nor claiming to magically know what you believe. I was basing my comments off what I remembered of your previous posts. Specifically I thought I remembered you stating and/or implying that you did not take either of these passages as restrictions on who can be ordained because you viewed them as local issues rather than universal..

    Such as ...
    and...
    If your words are not a reliable indication of what you believe, then I apologize for thinking they were.

    I also didn't mean to imply that there was anything wrong with rhetorically assuming a position you don't actually hold for the sake of argument and discussion. My problem is not that I think you don't agree with the interpretation you put forward as a challenge to the anti-WO interpretation of 1st Timothy 2, my problem is that I think the argument you are using is relying on twisting the text. In other words, I don't think the "literal" meaning of the text is what you are claiming it is.

    I would liken the argument you are presenting to some I have heard who argue that if we want to use Old Testament passages that condemn sexual immorality or other moral commandments, then we must also adhere to the levitical codes dealing with food and clothing.

    It is a blatant misuse of the text because it relies upon ignoring context, and other principles necessary in good interpretation. The only people who can use such arguments are people who don't understand what they are talking about, or people who know that they are misrepresenting it and are willing to do so to defend their viewpoint.


    (for background purposes) I grew up protestant non-denom, charismatic. I was never taught about women's ordination one way or the other, but I basically defaulted to being pro-women's ordination. I was probably in my 20's before I became aware of 1st Timothy 2:12 and since my upbringing was staunchly biblical literalist, at that point I changed my mind because the bible clearly said not to do it. At that point I actually also agreed that pastors had to be married, family men, again because of the simplistic view we had of literalism. (my point is not that literal interpretation is wrong, but that we didn't understand what literal actually was)

    At that time I also believed that deacons were allowed to drink some wine, but elders and overseers were absolutely prohibited from ever drinking alcohol. We based that on the fact that the text says that deacons should not be "given to much wine" but for elders it says they should not be "given to wine". Because there was a difference we assumed it meant that elders could have no wine at all.

    Eventually once I learned more about understanding the bible as the authors actually intended, including the literary styles they used etc. I realized that those understandings were largely incorrect because they were based not on the actual literal meaning of the text, but rather on misrepresenting the authors intent in a false form of literalism.

    Back then, because the text of 1st Timothy 2:12 says women can not teach, nor have authority over a man in the Church. I took it to literally forbid ALL teaching by a woman in Church, with the possible exception of teaching only other women or children. So I didn't just see it as a prohibition of women's ordination, but actually a prohibition of a woman ever giving any kind of teaching at all, even if she wasn't ordained.
    Also, because it says 'nor to have authority over a man' I also understood that to man ANY authority at all, so I was against women worship leaders, women leading any committee of which men were also a part etc. As far as I know my brother still views it that way.

    Now, because I have a different view of Church authority (specifically I have a traditional/Catholic view) and because I understand the real literal meaning of the text, rather than the false literalistic understanding, I recognize that Paul is talking specifically about what Catholics call the Magisterium, or the teaching authority of the Church. This only applies to ordained clergy and thus women are free to teach all they want even in Church groups etc, but they do not and can not speak with the authority of the Magisterium.

    This is why Catholicism has had many great women teachers, and many great women leaders among the Saints. They just weren't ordained to Holy Orders.

    But, again, Protestants don't really believe in any of that anyway, so I think that distorts the issue for many protestants and it almost forces an extreme, and senseless restriction against women in the spiritual life of the Church (as I used to hold) or in reaction against that it forces what I would consider a liberalization where the sacred, divinely ordained gender roles are demolished by egalitarianism.
     
  14. FundamentalistJohn

    FundamentalistJohn Regular Member

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    I believe you confused an argument from logic with my personal view however re-reading the posts I can see how this could easily happen. For the record it is the comments from Paul concerning women remaining silent and not having authority that I was referring to in my initial post. The discussion with Albion concerning the logical fallacy exposed in his argument that women are not even in consideration concerned separate comments from Paul that Albion brought into the discussion.

    My position is this: Looking closely at the portions of Scripture that discuss women and their place in the Church I found no reason to believe that women can not be ordained. Of course being Protestant I do not consider the "Icon of Christ" argument from Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Again it's not a deal breaker for me and I consider the matter what the Lutherans would call adiophora. I realize others come to a different conclusion with the same evidence and I humbly recognize that I am not infallible.

    For what it is worth I apologize for my response to you, I made assumptions and did not respond in a Christian manner. I ask your forgiveness.
     
  15. Simon_Templar

    Simon_Templar Not all who wander are lost

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    1st Timothy 2:11-15

    I'll look at 11 and 12 first which are the command, and then at 13-15 which is the explanation of the command... the "why".

    11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

    You are correct that the Greek for "exercise authority" should be translated as "usurp authority". The term means to take upon oneself authority that isn't yours. It was, in extra-biblical Greek, sometimes used to refer to murder because this was the usurpation of the power of life and death. Taking upon oneself the authority to end a life.

    The reason why the term "usurp authority" is used here is explained in Paul's next statement that women should "remain quiet". This is often misunderstood by those who fall into simplistic literalism. The Greek translated as "remain quiet" does not mean to not make noise, as in not speak, or not be involved etc. What it means is to be in a state of contentment with your lot in life. Paul is contrasting "usurp authority" taking something that doesn't belong to you, with the state of being content with what God has called you to. This reflects back to what Paul opens with in verse 11, which is the role God gave to women (and to most men for that matter). To learn quietly with all submissiveness. This is the role of everyone who is not called to the ministerial priesthood. Paul is pointing out in this passage that women are not called to that role.

    13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

    Verse 13 begins the explanation by making appeal to the created order. In appealing to this Paul is tapping into a host of imagery and typology that most modern readers are unaware of. They all deal with the idea of spiritual headship.

    It is not mere happenstance or random unimportant fact that Adam was created first and then Eve. The relationship between Adam and Eve is going to serve as the basis for most of the theology and doctrine about God's relationship with his people through out the rest of scripture. Perhaps even more importantly though, the relationship between Adam and Eve is meant to display the very nature of God himself.

    It is a huge mistake to think that male headship of family, of the very race itself, and of faith and liturgy, was purely a cultural phenomenon. It is profoundly theological and full of meaning.

    Verse 14 is particularly interesting and in my opinion telling. Adam's headship of the human race, the human family, and the covenant of creation, means that every where else in the bible, Adam is held responsible for the fall of man. Paul, the same guy who wrote this passage, in his letter to the Romans spends chapter 5 of Romans telling them all about how sin and death entered through Adam... It was Adam's responsibility, he was the head, therefore it is his fault.

    So why in verse 14 here does Paul seem to lay the blame for original sin at Eve's feet?

    Here again, Paul is tapping into a vast back-store of typology and theology. Many people understand this simply as women are more prone to sin, or women are more easily deceived etc... none of that is what Paul is getting at.

    You have to begin with verse 13. Adam was the head. Adam was not deceived. So why did the sin happen?

    The sin happened because Adam wasn't doing his job, he was not fulfilling his role (which is why he is blamed everywhere else). AND because Eve was trying to fill Adam's shoes.

    Adam's job, given by God was to keep and tend the garden. In Hebrew these are the same words used to describe the duty of the priests in the tabernacle and the temple. They don't mean just weeding and pruning the plants. They mean upkeep, but also guarding. It was Adam's job to guard the garden temple.

    Adam refused to step up and do that job as he was supposed to. Paul hints in Hebrews that this was because Adam was afraid of death (and the implied threat that the serpent might kill him).

    Consider what Paul is saying here, given what we know from the rest of scripture. Adam and Eve are standing there and the serpent comes up. The serpent starts talking to Eve, while Adam is just standing there. Paul is telling us right here that Adam was not deceived. He didn't believe the Serpent for a minute. He knew the serpent was lying and yet he did nothing.

    Why did the serpent chose to talk to Eve instead of Adam?

    God's authority is given for our protection. Adam was the one who had the authority to respond to the Serpent. He was the the one given the Authority necessary to oppose the Serpent and to protect Eve and the Garden.

    Adam didn't use his authority because he was afraid. Eve tried to step up, but the fact is she didn't have the authority. As a result she was no match for the Serpent. No human being is EVER a match for the Serpent, UNLESS they have God's Authority.

    This is why the Bible says "submit yourself to God, resist the Devil and he will flee." there is no way to oppose the devil or even to resist him, without Divine authority and that requires first that we submit to God.

    The woman (Eve) was deceived not because women are more gullible or more easily tricked, but because she didn't have the Authority necessary to resist the Devil. Adam did but he refused to do it.

    Everything Paul is saying in this passage is about authority, specifically it is about Divine Authority that God gives to man through the terms of his covenant. It ONLY operates within the terms of the covenant and any attempt to amend that or to change it fails and leaves you open to deception by the enemy.
     
  16. Simon_Templar

    Simon_Templar Not all who wander are lost

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    no problem, I was probably overly antagonistic and snarky as well.

    My family argues for sport, and for many of us that involves telling the others that they are not only wrong, but stupidly wrong :) so I've kind of developed the habit of not taking things like that too personally, or at least not holding on to them. I try not to do it but when I get into the heat of discussion, I sometimes fall into that without thinking that others might take it more personally.

    Regarding the icon of Christ, I generally agree with that, but of course I wouldn't expect you to.

    However, I think that understanding of the New Testament has to be built upon the typology of the Old. I don't believe for a moment that the roles of men and women in the bible are simply cultural because they are absolutely fundamental, and integral to the revelation of God himself as well as his plan of salvation in scripture.

    I've gone over this before, but from study of the Old Testament, I come to the conclusion that priesthood is definitively male because it is expressly linked with fatherhood and because both are direct representations of God's nature in mankind.

    Again, to most protestants I don't expect that to mean much because they don't believe that ordained ministers are priests, or that we as Christians continue to offer sacrifice. I, however, believe that both are fundamental to what the Church is, and what the Church is supposed to do.

    *edit to add*

    I've talked about some of this before as well, but as I pointed out earlier, since protestants don't have priesthood, and generally don't believe in it or want it, this whole issue is kind of a non-issue for me in protestant churches. If you don't have priesthood and you don't have sacraments, and don't believe in them, then rules pertaining to priesthood and sacraments are kind of moot.

    However, I do believe that the egalitarian philosophy of our culture is anti-Christian and anti-Biblical. That to me is more the problem. There are liberal Catholics who want Women's ordination, but it is never going to happen in the Catholic Church. Anyone who knows Church teaching knows that it is impossible. Its basically "Catholics" who don't believe in Catholicism who argue for it. But, the issue of men and women's roles is of vital importance in the culture in general, in my opinion. I believe that this is such an area of constant attack precisely because it is the one thing that the enemy has to destroy in order to try and erase God's image from mankind.

    I think that is why some of the groups you mentioned earlier have been able to have ordained women for a long time without becoming liberal in other areas. Because they accept that doctrinal difference, without accepting the ideas of egalitarianism that have brought it about in most other denominations. Yet at the same time, I would point out that those groups have often fallen into different heresies. Such as pentecostal groups that went non-Trinitarian and some that basically became Montanists.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  17. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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    My comments are in bold type.

    And I continue to see from the text Paul wrote to correct and curtail leading men and some women, possibly entire house churches astray and suggested very sensible, practical methods of doing that. He was not presenting some divine order. That 'wives' of deacons can equally be translated as 'deaconesses' is consistent with this line of argument.

    I appreciate your careful and thoughtful response.
    Bless you

    John
    NZ
     
  18. Albion

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    To be a little bit more accurate, they were offered as one piece of evidence. My view is that we do not overturn 2000 years of church history and consensus -- that transcend even the divide between Catholic and Protestant -- on a whim or because of social trends.

    There are many proofs or pieces of evidence to support the male-only clergy concept. There are almost none to support Women's Ordination and none that are strong. Mainly, the few that are used by advocates are of the "everyone's equal in God's eyes" variety which don't directly refer to women anyway.

    There has to be, in my way of thinking, something concrete or conclusive before we overturn the beliefs of Christians through all the ages. If it's otherwise, we've all been living a lie and the Holy Spirit did not actually lead his church. I can't accept that proposition, quite apart from the specifics of this issue about women in the pulpit.
     
  19. christianmomof3

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  20. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

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