Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wretched Wednesday - Female Elders

Where did this movement of having women in the role of church elders come from? I can't understand the desire of large, established churches to theologically slit their wrists and place women in positions that the scripture forbids. 

I've actually heard the excuse that Paul isn't Jesus so we shouldn't pay as much attention to him. If that's the case, then I can say that neither Matthew, Mark, Luke or John were God, so are you going to ignore what they wrote also? Then there's (my favorite) 1 Timothy 2:12 was written for an earlier time, we're a more open, enlightened society now, etc, etc, etc. If that is true would it also be permissible to say that we are a much more populated world now so Exodus 20:13 is passe also? Oh wait, Planned Parenthood already has that one covered.


  1. Yep. Whenever those people start rationalizing away what Paul said, or saying things have changed, etc., I immediately point out that they've tipped their hands: They are assuming the Holy Spirit wasn't involved with the texts. That means they are "saved and confused" at best, and more likely, enemies of the Gospel. Either way, whatever they say next can be safely ignored.

  2. Gee, something that no one discovered in/about Scripture for almost 2000 years was suddenly discovered in the mid-20th century; "If it's new, it isn't true. If it's true, it isn't new."

  3. Women in leadership and slavery are very similar subjects.

    If we can on the basis of two scriptures forbid women from assuming leadership roles, can we on the basis of Paul REGULATE slavery?

    1. First, your statement that "women in leadership and slavery are similar subjects" is not only false but it is quite misleading. There is absolutely no sane similarity between being a slave, and being a woman that was elected mayor of a city. The entire thing is illogical.

      Most importantly Paul's letters to Timothy were about putting women in a position of teaching, they are about setting the rules of how the church was governed. Not how society is governed but how the body of Christ is governed. There is nothing that says or implies "This is how the secular world must operate in their mundane affairs."

      As for slavery, there's no hint anywhere in the bible that says the church or a congregation would hold slaves. In fact, many members of the congregations that Paul taught were slaves. As a whole, all true Christians ARE SLAVES to Christ. Read this:

      Lastly, slavery was a civil matter, not a church matter. It was the law of the land. No where in the bible does it say that Christians are above the law of the land. You may want to review Romans 13:1-7 before you argue that point.

      The only thing that I can safely assume is a bit of confusion on your part about what Paul said about slavery. Many people assume that the church endorses slavery because they are given a verse out of context and either make that assumption or are told to make that assumption. When looking at a verse you want to use to advance or condemn a point you should really read 20 verses before and after that single verse you want to use. Many people gasp and say that Colossians 4:1 approves of slavery, but if you go and read the entire paragraph (Colossians 3:18-25, Colossians 4:1) you will see that it gives instructions on how Christians should act as Husband, Wife, Child, Servant, and Master should act and treat each other. The same is true with Ephesians 6:5, a cudgel that is often used as a weapon against the church when one wants to claim that the Church is pro-slavery.

      Last thought - I have actually met real slaves, have you? I didn't see how their enslavement had anything to do with women in leadership even though none of them were women

    2. iKev,

      We can "regulate" women in church leadership based on the Pauline passages because Paul, as an apostle, was representing Christ and even stated in his letters that he received his teachings directly from Christ (1 Cor.14:37; Gal.1:11-12; Gal.2:2; Acts 26:16)

      As regards to slavery, the Bible actually teaches against taking someone and forcing them into slavery: Exodus 21:16; Deut 24:7; 1 Cor. 7:21-24; 1 Timothy 1:9-10.

      We don't just pick and choose what to believe from the Bible.

  4. They are similar in as far as picking ‘isolated’ verses ‘out of context’ can be highly misleading. Apologies if I did not point to their similarities.

    Whether you read the entire epistles or even NT backwards, nowhere is slavery condemned.

    Saying slavery is a ‘civil matter’ is escapist because slave ownership was a private affair.

    Yes it is true Paul had a congregation of slaves, but he also had slavery owners. Was there a better place to address slavery than when addressing slaves-master relationships?

    But Paul held his peace at those very crucial moments. Instead of condemning slavery he prescribed slave relations.

    Christian slave owners,including reknowned theologians were perfectly at ease with slavery. This tells you I am not making things up.

    To explain the Christian position on slavery we have to move beyond everything Paul said about slave-master relationships. If you don’t, you have no reason to oppose slavery.

    To the subject of women in Christian leadership.
    We ONLY have the two Pauline injunctions against it. No argument against that.

    1. Women evidently operated in the gift of prophecy( Acts 21:9, 1 Corinthians 11:5)
    2. Prophecy is rated far higher above Teaching ( 1 Corinthians 12:28)
    3. We also had Old Testament women prophets like Anna (Luke 2:36)

    While we can strain real distinctions between prophecy and teaching, the underlying idea behind them is communication of the Word or the Mind of God. Biggest difference between them is one learns and applies their mental faculties to exercise one while the other,none of this is necessary.

    In the light of these facts, I have wondered whether Pauline injunction was not compelled by contemporary circumstances. For instance, if women were expressly forbidden from accessing scriptures( Old Testament) , they obviously would have much difficulty teaching the gospel. And for this reason he forbade them from teaching.

    We have since then grown into a society where women and men have equal access to scriptures but we persist on putting them down. When last did you read anything theological by a woman?

    The same people who insist on women not teaching men because ‘Paul said’ are at pains to explain away slavery because ‘Paul said’. That’s my point

    1. Fazul – wow - so many logic fails so eloquently presented, I'm impressed. But I should expect no less from someone who has publicly said "there is zero difference between the IS thug who beheads a hapless captive and Billy Graham" which is a brilliant logical failure.

      First of all, slavery is not "a private affair", it was a civil matter because it was legal, and slavery was written into the oldest known law code, the Code of Hammurabi. It was codified in almost all ancient civilizations, including the Greek provinces of Rome in 45 AD. Slavery has existed in numerous forms throughout recorded history and was considered legal throughout the world and it has only been 42 years since the UN’s the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which outlaws slavery) was ratified.

      You called slavery a “private affair” – there’s a legal term for that “private affair”, it’s called Kidnapping.

      The legal end of slavery is, in a historical context, an incredibly modern concept, in fact it was only four generations ago when my ancestors fought to end slavery in North America. However slavery continues, I’ve traveled the world and actually met slaves, the ones I met were economically enslaved by an oppressive employer in an oppressive regime. There are millions of young men and women (boys and girls) trapped in sexual slavery around the world, Paul is speaking to all of them, why do you want to deny his voice?

      On a secular level why should Paul condemn slavery if it were perfectly legal? The consider this: would the word of God have gone out across the Roman Empire if Paul were executed by the Roman leadership for inciting slave revolts? And most importantly: what was on God’s mind when the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write down these epistles and mention slavery? My guess is “get along with each other” because that is what Paul wrote.

      To infer that Slavery was condoned by the NT because it’s not overtly condemned is a huge logical fail. You can read my entire blog and see nowhere that I condemn divorce, are you going to go out and say that I condone it? Because God didn’t say to cut the heads off of people that don’t believe that Jesus is their savior are you going to infer that He condones it?

      As for women teaching, you really, really missed the point. When Paul wrote 1 Timothy 2:12, he chose a very specific Greek grammatical construction. The phrase “to teach” (didaskein in Greek) is a present tense infinitive instead of an aorist tense infinitive. The aorist tense is a close-up photographic snapshot of an action, picturing as little as one particular occurrence. The present tense is a wide-angle movie camera shot of an action, picturing a continuous, habitual, ongoing condition—a state of being.

      So “to teach” (aorist) means to teach on a given occasion, while “to teach” (present) means to be a teacher. When Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:12 that he does not permit a woman “to teach” (present), he is not saying she can never teach on any given occasion in church. Instead, he is saying that a woman should not be the continuous, ongoing, habitual teacher. That’s the Greek grammar says, and it’s why preachers MUST be fluent in Greek to teach properly.

      When did I last read anything theological written by a woman? Just a few moments ago. In fact I have links right on this blog to several theological blogs written by women; Marsha West, Amy Spreeman, Michelle Lesley. You just need to open your eyes. And your heart.

  5. You have just cherry picked verses on slavery and done what you are preaching against.

    Both Exodus and Deut were particular that Israelites were not to keep their brethren in bondage.

    In 1 Cor Paul is telling slaves not to care about their bondage

    Yes 1 Tim Paul addresses ‘menstealers’ but Paul when addressing BELIEVING slave owners only asks them to treat them nice. You want proof? Here; Ephesians 6:9 , 1 Timothy 6:1-2 An equivalent of this would be a verse advocating for monogamy among homosexuals or regulating the homosexual unions instead of forbidding it.

    1. It’s not just your logic that is flawed this time, but your facts are too. Deuteronomy specifically allows Jews to purchase slaves, but only for a time period of 7 years and when release slaves were to receive a share of the wealth their work created (Deuteronomy 15:12-14) Deuteronomy requires that masters must abide by contract terms and labor regulations including the fixed release date, the provision of food and shelter, and the responsibility for working conditions. Work hours must be reasonably limited, including a weekly day off. Slavery in Israel was a form of indentured servitude which continues on today throughout the world.

      Secondly Paul was addressing gentiles who were not under the constraints of the Mosaic covenant.

      Nowhere does Paul tell slaves to not care about their Bondage, he’s telling slave and master to treat each other with respect.

      By “man stealers” do you mean people like the African mamluks who raided other tribes, kidnapped their neighbors and sold them into the European slave trade? Or maybe the current day sex slave traders who kidnap young boys and girls and sell them into sex slavery in the Middle East and Africa like what happens millions of times in this era? That kind of thing really didn’t go on in Western Greece where Paul was preaching. Many slaves were prisoners of war, many were children sold by their parents into slavery, many were deep in debt and sold themselves into slavery, and some were prisoners who committed non-violent offences.

      Nothing in those two verses would advocate homosexual monogamy by any stretch of the imagination

      I do have to admit though, I've fallen back on my apologetics skills recently, thank you for the opportunity to enlighten you with the truth. God bless you.

    2. Please note that the homosexuality bit was an analogy. Analogy means example.

      Jews were to never make other Jews slaves but individuals could freely sell themselves as slaves. But you know what, if I am wrong and indeed Jews were free to keep Jews, you still can't explain why God would condemn slavery keeping on one hand while regulating the practice on another.

      Yes, Paul was addressing Gentiles, or more accurately majority Gentiles, but OT were the custodians of Scriptures during the entire first century. Women were at a distinct disadvantage as far as accessing Scriptures is concerned.

      Now, whatever variety of slaves and slavery existed back then, it would be unconscionable under any circumstances yet Paul wades into the subject but restricts himself to REGULATING it. Never condemning.

      I do not know what men stealers are, but if the slave owners were men stealers, then Paul left them totally confused by appealing to them to be nice to their slaves while reminding them that heaven had no place for them.

    3. Not sure where you're coming from when you say God is condemning slavery keeping on one had while regulating the practice on the other.

      One bit of confusion for many people is that the OT is rules for God's chosen people, it was with Paul that God's word opened up to the Gentiles and we gentiles are the wild olive shoot that was grafted in. The Gentile laws had to be obeyed, and again Paul did not REGULATE (again you fail to say how he regulated the slavery laws)

      It's interesting how you accuse God of condemning slavery in your 2nd paragraph and saying that He never condemns it in the fourth paragraph.

      What proof do you have that women had a disadvantage to accessing scripture? The Jews are a people of the Word, it was taught to all. (It sounds to me like you're confusing 9th century Europe with 5th century BC Judah)

      Tell me how Paul is regulating the slave trade

      Manstealers are something Fazul_ made up. I think they were east African muslims who captured their west African brothers and sisters and sold them into the European slave market.

      So it's wrong to ask someone to be nice? Please explain how that is.

  6. Not only was slavery neither overtly nor covertly condemned, it was REGULATED.

    The fickle excuse that it was provided for in the laws of the land is the logical fallacy here. The laws of the land never demanded slavery just they never demanded divorce, they regulated it. Do you wish to study Daniel and see that the three Hebrew boys defied the law of the land?

    If on your blog you had detailed instructions on divorce including how parties to a divorce are supposed to carry themselves, anyone reading your blog would rightly conclude that you condone divorce in so much as to REGULATE it. If you didn't, then the elaborate instructions are redundant or pointless.

    Read this sentence slowly so that it may sink. Not only is Paul silent on condemning slavery, he REGULATES slave relations. Why would the inspired pen of apostle Paul REGULATE such a detestable practice instead of outrightly condemning it the same way he condemns homosexuality?

    Your ancestors who 'fought' slavery are the same who embraced and defended it on the same premise of Paul regulating instead of condemning it. Why should they be credited for the same monster they created? Ok they came to their senses.

    Now,on to women teaching. I have not studied Greek and I really appreciate your point of continued teaching as contrasted with momentarily teaching.

    Like on slavery, if the only verses we had on the subject of women teaching was Paul in those two verses,we would comfortably stick with them. But as I alluded, there was the culture of the day which may have necessitated this.

    Please note I do not in any way suggest that Paul failed to condemn slavery, I submit that his inspired hand REGULATED it instead of condemning it on the basis of cultural environment of the day.

    1. - The three Hebrew boys defied the law of the land and were punished in accordance with the law, so your point is invalid. And yes I've studied Daniel and blogged considerably about it, and discussed what happened when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego emerged from the fire and why.

      - My blog never mentions divorce, so your point needlessly used up electrons which could have been put to better use.

      - Yes, Paul tells two people in a legal situation that you (seperated by 2000 years of social evolution) do not like like, to respect each other. He is not REGULATING slavery, he's telling giving instruction in interpersonal interactions. REGULATING would be setting slave prices, inspecting slave markets, setting rules on slave transportation. He's not doing anything like that, he's telling people who are in a situation to treat each other with kindness and respect. You are telling me that making the best of a bad situation is bad?

      - your attempt to diminish my paternal ancestors efforts is embarrassing. There is no evidence that any of my ancestors did anything to "create" slavery, in fact there is some evidence that they came to this country as indentured servants themselves. My maternal ancestors were chased all over Europe by wars and battles and came to the US, slave free, in time to settle in and get established before picking up arms in 1863 and wear blue.

      The monster of slavery is a lot more complex than a trite little "slavery is bad" In many cases slavery was an option that a convicted criminal could opt for instead of prison which back them was a death sentence. Educate yourself on prisons in the year 45 AD. In fact educate yourself on slavery in the Roman Empire in 45 AD

      - There's only two verses that you can find on women teaching IN THE CHURCH (by inference there's a few more), are you saying that we should deem what is permissible and what is not by the number of times it's mentioned in the bible? If that were true then the greatest sin is to worry, we are warned against that 365 times. The point of this blog is that the Bible is the word of God, maybe you can cherry pick what you want to obey and what you want to ignore, but in my faith I don't have that option.

  7. If I was a slave owner and read Paul REGULATIONS slavery, I'd have no incentive nor basis for even repenting of my slavery.

    If I was a woman teacher and I read Paul, I'd never teach men again. In fact I'd repent for my ignorance.

    We take a lot of theological liberty in dealing with slavery because it instinctively is repulsive whereas we exercise utmost conservatism on women teaching.

    On women teaching you have strict literalists. Not so on slavery.

    1. iKev,
      What you ought to do is repent of your ignorance now. You have so many logic fallacies, and so much false understanding of Scripture, that I find it amazing that you actually dare to write such drivel.

    2. Again, Paul did not REGULATE slavery, Deuteronomy 15:12-18 did for the Jewish world, for the Gentile world there were Gentile laws. Paul had to put up with not only Roman law but Greek and Jewish tradition also. When you say Regulating this tells people that you actually think that he set the laws of the time that governed slavery, when in reality he was teaching interpersonal relations. If the terms were changed from owner to boss and from slave to employee, wouldn't Paul's teaching make that relationship better? How about Guard/Prisoner? How about Teacher/Student? How about Mayor/citizen? How about Cop/Speeder? How about Cable Company/Subscriber? Being nice to each other works in ALL situations.

      In my congregation there are several women that actually refuse to get up at the pulpit on Sunday and speak because . We (meaning myself and other deacons in the church) sat down with several of the women and explained to them about “to teach” (aorist) VS “to teach” (present) because they put a lot of love and work into our congregation and need to tell the congregation what is going on. One is head of South American missions, another is in charge of collecting gifts for children in need, and so on. They teach charity and how to help those in need. Even the option to teach a special message from the Bible is open.

      But when it comes down to teaching the word of God on a regular and continuing basis, 1 Timothy is the rule. If we lose members because of this stance, so be it, we don't build our church, Jesus does.

      As for strict literalism, yeah - the bible does forbid women teaching the word of God on a regular and continuing basis, and yeah, the bible does not condemn slavery. But it does, with every mention of that institution, mitigate the damage that the practice does.

      I truly believe that if Deuteronomy 15 existed in 1487 BC and the Egyptian government followed those rules, God may not have needed Moses.

    3. Paul REGULATED a heinous act of slavery while at no point did he even remotely overtly nor covertly condemn it. You are conceding that Paul’s inspire day hand was guided by his environment so much as he restrained himself from causing a revolt. You are also splitting hairs by rejecting that he REGULATED and instead watering it down to what, suggestions?

      I am similarly suggesting that his position on women teaching were not commands but ‘instructions’. I am also saying that he was similarly guided or constrained by his culture,the culture of the day. It’s funny how you can read culture in Paul’s restrained approach to slavery but not women.

      Your congregation is unique but you are still suppressing women. Where do you draw the line between teachers and ocassional teaching? The frequency or length of the teaching or the subject? That’s guesswork.

      Deuteronomy was written for Jews not Egyptians,and Canaan promise predated Egypt.

      Maybe you should try being a slave and entrust your master to treat you right.

      It is people like you who trivialize slavery by spinning yarns that are the reason Sunday is the most segregated hour in the US

  8. The best point to leave a debate is when it degenerates into insults. I won’t compete with you in that fron but I will request you at the very least attempt to understand my posts,and if you can’t ,then request me to repeat myself. I don’t mind doing that.

    The three Boys chose God over the law of the land. That is the point. If the law if the land contradicts your Christian convictions of faith, then you are supposed to disobey the law and suffer for it. But going by your thinking, you’d gladly worship idols because that is what the ‘law of the land’.

    I don’t know whether you condemn divorce or not, but that’s irrelevant. Point is,anything for which you waste time and space instructing on is something you are not condemning!

    I’m glad you concede that the inspired pen of Paul bent to accommodate the ‘social evolution’ stage of the day. Why not on women teaching as I suggest?

    Once again, there was no law of the land that FORCED men to keep slaves. Slave keeping in each and every generation is discretionary.

    Those ‘instructions’ by Paul are inspired,and that inspired hand falls short of condemning what he is instructing. How’s that. Can you give me a reasoned response on what exactly would prevent a slave owner from freeing a slave? The law of the land? There was a law that forbade slave owners from freeing slaves? Good jokes.

    Your ancestors kept slaves, then they had a Revelation and opposed it. Had they not kept slaves in the first place in America, then there’d have been no need for fighting it.

    On to women,
    There’s only two instances where women are forbidden from exercising a gift before men while they are evidently free to exercise a higher gift over men. That is enough reason to send you digging into the exact state of ‘social evolution’ of 45AD or thereabouts when these words were penned.

    But you don’t. You are a strict literalist on women whole you suddenly morph into a historian of first century history and social evolution when it comes to slavery. I like that versatility

    1. I understand your posts, and the intention of your posts. it's quite obvious.

      You're right about the three boys, I don't understand where where you got the idea that I worship "gladly worship idols because that is what the ‘law of the land’"

      Not sure what that whole sentence that starts with divorce means, you're upset that I don't condemn HISTORY? Seriously?

      I never said that the Holy Spirit bent to accommodate "social evolution" Tell you what, give me a list of Bible verses that you want me to violate just to make you happy.

      I never said that there was a law of the land that FORCED men to keep slaves, are you accusing me of saying that

      When you say that the Holy Spirit fell short of condemning are you saying that it's just a shame that you weren't there to help God write the bible?

      What would keep a slave owner from freeing a slave? Greed.

      Please explain to me which revelation "my ancestors" received that you referred to? If you're saying it's the bible please give me chapter and verse. Your ancestors kept slaves too, did they get a revelation? Slavery is still rampant in Africa. Please explain what you are doing to prevent it.

      I've explained quite clearly and quite plainly what the bible says about women. I've got a degree in English if you need help understanding it. OK?

      May the love of Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit lead you to a greater understanding of His word and His love