Women in church

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Re: Women in church

#76

Post by Philip » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:51 am

DB - I'm not questioning your personal sensibilities - or arguing against your stance.
DB: The question then becomes, can we use the basic principle Paul gives Galatians 3:26-29 and the specific examples of apostle, deacon, and prophet and extrapolate that to apply to the offices of pastor and elder as well?

And that is why I can't make any dogmatic statements regarding what Scripture teaches about women and the specific offices of pastor and elder.
Fine. Noted.
DB: As I said earlier... I don't know.
And so, if we don't KNOW... is the response to just not worry about it? Do it even if questionable?

The biggest related questions I have about this, is how could it not be intentional that Paul excluded women in his criteria? Especially combined with his further statements. And how come no female disciples or later apostles chosen to lead the Church, if the model was meant to include them? How can that make any sense whatsoever.

Actually, in 1 Timothy 2, where Paul says,

"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. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

he DOES seem to assert a reason for his teaching in this matter that goes back to how men and women were created and events in the Garden of Eden - things that explain that his instructions had nothing to do with the societal traditions of his time.

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Re: Women in church

#77

Post by DBowling » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:43 am

Philip wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:51 am
DB: As I said earlier... I don't know.
And so, if we don't KNOW... is the response to just not worry about it? Do it even if questionable?
No... if I don't know then I am inclined not to make dogmatic statements regarding topics that Scripture is vague or unclear on.
The biggest related questions I have about this, is how could it not be intentional that Paul excluded women in his criteria? Especially combined with his further statements.
This is where the spiritual role of deacon plays a significant role in my thinking.
In 1 Timothy 3:12 Paul describes the qualifications for a deacon in masculine terms.
Yet in Romans 16:1 the same Paul describes Phoebe (a woman) as holding the position of deacon in the Church of Cenchreae.
That indicates to me that the masculine verbage that Paul uses in 1 Timothy 3:12 is not meant to exclude women from the spiritual office of deacon.
And how come no female disciples or later apostles chosen to lead the Church, if the model was meant to include them?
Again I question the accuracy of that assertion.
According to Romans 16:7
Junia (a woman) was "outstanding among the apostles"
So I would point to Junia as an example of a woman who not only held the spiritual office of 'apostle', but Paul says she was 'outstanding' among the apostles.
Actually, in 1 Timothy 2, where Paul says,

"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. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

he DOES seem to assert a reason for his teaching in this matter that goes back to how men and women were created and events in the Garden of Eden - things that explain that his instructions had nothing to do with the societal traditions of his time.
I disagree...
In 1 Timothy 2:14 Paul explicitly points out that Eve was deceived.
Paul is not claiming that Eve became a sinner because of her gender.
Eve became a sinner because she was deceived.

Which goes back to the point that Paul is making in 1 Timothy 2:11.
Despite the cultural norms of the time, Paul is telling Timothy that women need to be trained... women need to be taught.
Why?
So they won't be deceived and fall into sin in the same way that Eve was.

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Re: Women in church

#78

Post by Philip » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:32 pm

DB: In 1 Timothy 2:14 Paul explicitly points out that Eve was deceived. Paul is not claiming that Eve became a sinner because of her gender. Eve became a sinner because she was deceived.
But I didn't say that - so why assert I did? I said nothing about Eve becoming a sinner because she was female. What I DID note was that Paul refers back to the Creation and order of things - an order with purpose that he refers to: "13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve;" So why would he otherwise even refer to their creation order? And btw, they BOTH sinned!
DB: Which goes back to the point that Paul is making in 1 Timothy 2:11. Despite the cultural norms of the time, Paul is telling Timothy that women need to be trained... women need to be taught. Why? So they won't be deceived and fall into sin in the same way that Eve was.
But he never actually says that a lack of training was his intention - you've merely read that it into the text. Again, if he wanted to suggest key caveats about how his gender specific instructions should be otherwise understood, he could have clearly fleshed such out - but he did not. And God didn't inspire him to.

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Re: Women in church

#79

Post by Kurieuo » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:42 pm

I haven't looked hard into the relevant passages, as I've never had someone really take a hard position against women teaching in a church. Or, perhaps, never really had it out with someone. I'd considered such very old school, perhaps had by those in the distant past who also wouldn't want women voting or getting an education. And therein, perhaps, is a bit of social bias attached to my day and time where women have largely been treated equally (though many today obviously would disagree).

With that said, there is a lot of significance being ignored as I see with Paul using "I". Consider 1 Cor 7:12 where he writes: "To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her."

In 1 Timothy, Paul so many times says, "I". It is how he sees things should be. Perhaps that doesn't make a difference to some. But, what about things like women adorning themselves with proper clothing (not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly adornments)? Heck, pretty much every church going woman today has likely broken that one. Paul's concern here is that he wants women to dress modestly and in a godly manner, and there are cultural biases in Paul that makes him see such as inappropriate (which would have been inappropraite in his time). Today, many godly modest women braid their hair and dress up with jewelry -- it's almost expected as a sign of reverence towards God.

Yet, Paul carefully prefaces his words with "I want", "I urge", "I do not allow", "I", "I", "I".

So then, we hit 1 Tim 2:11-12 that many fixate upon, which says a woman should be quiet and not teach men. Paul is entitled to his opinion, and it carried weight to those he was talking. But then, we must understand why Paul has such biases, and the time and place he is within -- because that is all encasulated as I see in the "I" of Paul.

Paul as we know was a Pharisee "greater than all" who'd stop at no cost to push Judaism with all it laws and safeguard his people in righteousness (until he encountered with Jesus and completely flipped). One could also bring into the discussion OT Law, where there were certain practices women were to adhere to with head coverings and much, much, more -- all of which Paul would personally endorse. And yet, we are apart of a new covenant, one that allows Gentiles to enter in relationship with God and not simply Israel. Since Paul's ministry was to the Gentiles, could this possibly be why he often prefaces with an "I" and creates an "I" distinction?
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Women in church

#80

Post by DBowling » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:10 pm

Philip wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:32 pm
DB: In 1 Timothy 2:14 Paul explicitly points out that Eve was deceived. Paul is not claiming that Eve became a sinner because of her gender. Eve became a sinner because she was deceived.
But I didn't say that - so why assert I did? I said nothing about Eve becoming a sinner because she was female. What I DID note was that Paul refers back to the Creation and order of things - an order with purpose that he refers to: "13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve;" So why would he otherwise even refer to their creation order? And btw, they BOTH sinned!
OK...
But would you agree with me that in 1 Tim 2:14 Paul's focus is on why Eve sinned?
Would you agree with me that creation order has nothing to do with WHY Eve sinned?
Would you agree with me that gender has nothing to do with WHY Eve sinned?
Would you agree with me that Paul explicitly states that Eve sinned because she was deceived?

Back three verses to 1 Tim 2:11
Would you agree with me that Paul is explicitly stating that women should "learn".
Would you agree that 1 Tim 2:11 establishes the context for 1 Tim 2:11-14?
DB: Which goes back to the point that Paul is making in 1 Timothy 2:11. Despite the cultural norms of the time, Paul is telling Timothy that women need to be trained... women need to be taught. Why? So they won't be deceived and fall into sin in the same way that Eve was.
But he never actually says that a lack of training was his intention - you've merely read that it into the text.
That's because its right there in the text to read.
In 1 Tim 2:11 Paul explicitly talks about the need for women to learn.
In 1 Tim 2:12 Paul talks about the appropriate behavior of women while they are being taught.
In 1 Tim 2:13-14 Paul talks about why women should learn.
And the reason Paul gives for women to learn is to avoid being deceived and falling into sin like Eve was.

The key for understanding 1 Tim 2:11-14 is the context which is set up by the text itself in 1 Tim 2:11.

NT Wright makes the same point
The key to the present passage, then, is to recognise that it is commanding that women, too, should be allowed to study and learn, and should not be restrained from doing so (verse 11). They are to be ‘in full submission’; this is often taken to mean ‘to the men’, or ‘to their husbands’, but it is equally likely that it refers to their attitude, as learners, of submission to God or to the gospel
...
Why then does Paul finish off with the explanation about Adam and Eve? Remember that his basic point is to insist that women, too, must be allowed to learn and study as Christians, and not be kept in unlettered, uneducated boredom and drudgery. Well, the story of Adam and Eve makes the point well: look what happened when Eve was deceived. Women need to learn just as much as men do.
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Kurieuo (Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:38 pm)

Philip
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Re: Women in church

#81

Post by Philip » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:26 pm

DB: OK...
But would you agree with me that in 1 Tim 2:14 Paul's focus is on why Eve sinned?
Would you agree with me that creation order has nothing to do with WHY Eve sinned?
Would you agree with me that gender has nothing to do with WHY Eve sinned?
Would you agree with me that Paul explicitly states that Eve sinned because she was deceived?
Yes to all.

Listen, I didn't desire this issue turn into a big argument amongst brothers. But I did want to make people address the very obvious questions and implications. So I'm not going to relentlessly debate this further. Everyone needs to make up their own minds about what is proper, per how they parse the relevant Scriptures. But I DO see a consistency across Scripture that God views parts of men's and women's roles differently. I do see Christ showing submission - in a way that in no way shows Him to be inferior. I don't think women are inferior in any way. But I do take Scripture very seriously, and I'm often disheartened to see people attempt to interpret it per their personal desires, modern sensibilities, and beliefs about what society should see as proper or not - so these things make me wary in how Christians sometimes decide the truth of Scripture. I'm not a black and white literalist - I realize there are important nuances to consider. But I also know that, sometimes, what is NOT said can be as important as what actually IS. Or when instructions that would appear simple and straight-forward are questioned by appealing to complex considerations and technicalities. Not always, but often.

So, I'll leave it at that. But I do like hearing opinions and input to consider that might challenge me. I hope I wasn't too aggressive in my questioning - as I know I sometimes (often? :roll: ) can be.
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Kurieuo (Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:36 pm) • 1over137 (Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:42 pm)

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Re: Women in church

#82

Post by DBowling » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:26 pm

Philip wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:26 pm
So, I'll leave it at that. But I do like hearing opinions and input to consider that might challenge me. I hope I wasn't too aggressive in my questioning - as I know I sometimes (often? :roll: ) can be.
I actually enjoyed this discussion ... Thank You!
:)
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Philip (Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:39 pm) • 1over137 (Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:42 pm)

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Re: Women in church

#83

Post by Philip » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:48 pm

If we really want to argue difficult verses, how's about 1 Timothy 2:15: "Yet she (Eve) will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." (Saved by keeping her barefoot and pregnant? :lol: Did that Paul have some issues or what? :P )

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Re: Women in church

#84

Post by Kurieuo » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:54 pm

There is a natural arugment to be made to "adam" being the headship of creation, and "adamah" who came from "adam". This is the argument Paul appears to be making in saying men were created first. The order of creation therefore is one where man is the head and leader, the one ultimately responsibile for his family, whereas woman is brought into being to complement and help man (because to extend an olive branch to women, God kind of saw that men were imbeciles who needed a great deal of help ;)).

So then, by and large, really, by extension, there is an argument to be made there in regards to church structure. Yet, God often uses those considered lesser to be leaders. There are times and occasions where I see that women leadership, while not the general rule, is right and even necessary. There is no fixed rule as I see that women could not therefore lead, it's just that, it is more correct in the natural order of things for men to do so.

I think NT Wright shares a valid insight re: 1 Tim 2:11-14, but I don't believe that is where it can be left. There are clearly additional words that don't fit in with Wright's fixation upon women being taught. There is more to Paul's words, and Phil is I think correct to see more too them.

Today, many would become squeamish even considering the statement that men should lead. And Phil, I want to be clear, that isn't why I've supported women should be allowed to lead. It should be said, such are special cases and it would be not generally the norm. Regardless of what extreme "progressive" types might say, there ARE clear differences between men and women, and even the biology of such differences e.g., men being physically stronger than women, is something denied and called sexist today. There is no reasoning with people who hold strongly to such views.

Fact of the matter is men are stronger and more naturally leaders, which military at all times would bear out the past few millenia across diverse cultures and nations. And by and large there is a role that women are best suited to, which generally surrounds nurturing (alluded to in 1 Tim 2:15). Now, that isn't to say there aren't exceptions to such, but generally speaking, by and large, such is just naturally the case.

I'd be against an immovable view that Paul's words mean women can NEVER lead in a church. In general, I see Paul is talking from the way he sees matters and then he draws arguments based upon natural order to support his views. It is easy to dismiss Paul's cultural affinities and relegate it to just Paul's views, but then he offers up rational justifications that are harder to ignore.
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Re: Women in church

#85

Post by DBowling » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:02 am

Reading K's post sparked some additional thoughts on 1 Tim 2:13-14 which may have some relevance.
1 Tim 2:13-14
13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
I think it is interesting to note the difference the role gender plays in the creation of mankind in Genesis 1 and the creation of the family unit in Genesis 2.

Genesis 1:27-28
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
In the account of the creation of mankind in Genesis 1, Scripture does not give any creation order or any primacy to males.
God creates both males and females as his image bearers, and God gives his image bearers (both male and female) dominion over his creation.

So from the perspective of the creation of mankind as a whole in Genesis 1, men and women are given equal dominion over creation.

In Genesis 2 we have the story of two specific people, Adam and Eve.
Of particular importance in Genesis 2 is The relationship between Adam and Eve and their relationship with God. The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 leads up to verse 24.
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
The focus of Genesis 2 is the creation of the first family. And within the context of a family unit that is built on the the foundation of relationship with God, gender specific roles are very relevant, biologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Paul's comments in 1 Timothy 2:13-14 are based on the background of roles within the family unit established in Genesis 2.

Ok... so what's going on in 1 Tim 2:13-14.
In 1 Tim 2:13 Paul tells us that Adam was not deceived.
God had communicated directly with Adam concerning his rules for the Garden.
It was Adam's role as spiritual leader in the family unit to communicate that information to his wife Eve.
When Satan tempted Eve he misrepresented the rules that God had given and thus was able to deceive Eve.

In 1 Tim 2:13-14, Paul is telling us that the failure of Adam (who was not deceived) involved not adequately teaching the rules God had given to his wife Eve which left her vulnerable to the deception of Satan.

So Adam (who was formed first, who was not deceived) failed in his responsibility as spiritual leader of his family to teach his wife which lead to Eve being deceived by Satan.
This relates directly to the statement Paul makes in 1 Tim 2:11 that women in the church should should be taught.

The church should not follow the example of Adam who failed to adequately teach his wife about what God had communicated to him.

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Re: Women in church

#86

Post by abelcainsbrother » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:31 pm

I think that we need to consider that before Christ I do think God set things up for men to be in positions of power in the temple. However we must realize that we are now living in the age of grace now after Christ.This is why Jesus followed the law in order to live a perfect sinnless life(Word in the flesh) for us and so this is why he only chose men as disciples and Jesus taught the people of his day to live the law because he had not yet fulfilled everything for us to be saved.But we are now in the age of grace which allows alot more in the church than before including women in positions of power. I think it is also important for the person to be called to be a pastor male or female. As I think we would be shocked of the number of pastors who are pastors but were not really called to do it,this includes other church offices also.Not everybody is called to be a pastor,sunday school teacher,deacon,evangelist,prophet,etc so it is much more important that the person is doing what God wants them to do and not just what they want to do.Some people act like we are still under the law when we are under grace.I'm not sure if I'm communicating this properly but I think you know what I mean.
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