THE WRONGFUL SUBJUGATION OF WOMEN

Typically, the person who holds the hierarchical or complementarian view of 1 Timothy 2:12 says something like this, “Say what you want, but 1 Timothy 2 makes it clear that women cannot be in authority over men…”  Well, taken at face value as the English KJV articulates it one could agree.  When we consider the limitations of our English translations the most problematic issue is the rendering of the verb authentein as authority.  In Paul’s epistles, he regularly used the form of the Greek “exousia” when referring to the use of authority in the church (1 Cor. 6:12; 7:4; 9:4-6; 9:12; 11:10; 2 Cor. 2:8; 10:8; 13:10; Col. 1:13; 2 Thess. 3:12; Romans 6:15; 9:21).   Considering the context of 1 Timothy 2:12 it is to be probable Paul was objecting to something other than the legitimate use of authority.

It must also be noted that the verb didaskein (to teach) is linked here to the verb authentein in what is called a hendiadys (two words joined by a conjunction to make a single point).  “Don’t drink and drive” would be a good example.  So a more accurate interpretation might be “don’t teach in a domineering way”.  There are however, many more ways this verb can be translated.  While this verse most often is used to defend a male-hierarchy in church leadership, most scholars suggests that this passage is anything but clear on the issue.  Making dogma out of an unsubstantiated doctrine, as many have done on this topic, it seems, only serves to stroke the male ego and lacks considerably in edification of Christ body as a whole.  Doctrine should never be built on a hapax legomenon (a word that occurs only once in an author’s writings or a text)1. It is impossible to infer the writer’s meaning when a word is used only once, hence, to interpret a text properly we have to think about “context, context, context.”  Groothuis notes; “it is inconsistent to regard the dress code in 1 Timothy 2:9 as culturally relative, and therefore temporary, but the restriction on women’s ministry as universal and permanent.2

In 1 Timothy, Paul instructed Timothy on how to deal with heresy being spread by false teachers in Ephesus.  There is no evidence in the Epistles to Timothy that Paul was writing to establish a permanent restriction on all women in ministry for all time nor can it be established that Eve’s deception (1 Tim. 2:14) is the basis for banning women from teaching, especially in light of Romans 5:12-14 where the offence is imputed to Adam. There are provided proofs in much of the New Testament of both men and women praying and prophesying, of corporate worship and spiritual gifts that are not restrictive of gender.  There is also a number of women in the New Testament serving in leadership positions where clearly Paul is supportive of women’s participation, contradicting the idea that women are prohibited in ministry and must remain silent. (More on this in a bit)

The Origins of Female Subjugation

So where did the idea come from?  The notion that women are to be subjugated to men are found in the writings of men such as Plato, Augustine, and Calvin.  In all three we find a dualistic, hierarchical and sexist paradigm.  For example, in Plato’s work entitled, “The Republic”:

Let me further note that the manifold and complex pleasures and desires and pains are generally found in children and women and servants…Whereas the simple and moderate desires which follow reason, and are under the guidance of the mind and true opinion, are to be found only in a few (all of them men), and those the best born and best educated…

Very true.  These two, as you may perceive, have a place in our State; and the meaner desires of the (many) are held down by the virtuous desires and wisdom of the few… (Plato, 117.)

Seeing then, I said, that there are…distinct classes, any meddling of one with another, or the change of one into another, is the greatest harm to the State, and may be most justly termed evil-doing?  This then is injustice…(Plato, 138)

You are quite right, he relied, in maintaining the general inferiority of the female sex…(Plato, 138)

Plato in a dialogue between two philosophers express the notion that women are governed by emotion, where men are governed by reason.  The assumption is that men must rule over women and violating a male-dominated social hierarchy is the definition of injustice.

Augustine, both a philosopher and theologian borrowed from Plato the importance of male authority and female submission.

It is the natural order among people that women serve their husbands and children their parents, because the justice of this lies in (the principle that) the lesser serves the greater… This is the natural justice that the weaker brain serves the stronger.  This therefore is the evident justice in the relationship between slaves and their masters, that they who excel in reason, excel in power.3

Notice the similar language in Augustine which originated with Plato.  Augustine’s “justice” consist of a lower class (women, slaves, and children) being subject to the authority of the higher class, i.e. men.  Here we see how a class-based, hierarchical society was formed in the church structure as the natural order of things.

John Calvin also inferred a doctrine of male authority and plagiarized on Augustine’s class-based society:

[Regarding Ephesians 5:22] Wives, submit yourselves. He [the apostle] comes now to the various conditions of life; for, besides the universal bond of subjection, some are more closely bond to each other, according to their respective callings.  The community at large is devided, as it were, into so many yokes, out of which arises mutual obligation.  There is, first, the yoke of marriage between husband and wife; secondly, the yoke which binds parents and children; and, thirdly, the yoke which connects masters and servants.  By this arrangement there are six different classes, for each of whom Paul says down peculiar duties.  He begins with wives, whom he enjoins to be subject to their husbands, in the same manner as to Christ – as to the Lord.  Not that the authority is equal, but wives cannot obey Christ without yielding obedience to their husbands.

[Regarding Ephesians 5:23] For the husband is the head of the wife.  This is the reason assigned why wives should be obedient.  Christ has appointed the same relation to exist between a husband and a wife, as between himself and his church.  This comparison ought to produce a stronger impression on their minds, than the mere declaration that such is the appointment of God.  Two things are here stated.  God has given to the husband authority over the wife; and a resemblance of this authority is found in Christ, who is the head of the church, as the husband is of the wife.

And he is the savior of the body.  The pronoun HE is supposed by some to refer to Christ; and, by other, to the husband.  It applies more naturally, in my opinion, to Christ, but still with a view to the present subject.  In this point, as well as in others, the resemblance ought to hold.  As Christ rules over his church for her salvation, so nothing yields more advantage or comfort to the wife than to be subject to her husband.  Tor refuse that subjection, by means of which they might be saved, is to choose destruction.4

  It is not difficult to see the influence of Augustine’s dualistic, hierarchical and sexist philosophy in John Calvin’s commentaries.

These ideologies have been passed down from one culture to another, from one century to another and from one man to another and are as alive and well today as they were when Augustine penned his words.   This dogma has been authoritatively laid down by the church as unquestionable “biblical truth.”  Yet its basis rest with only established opinion and assumption and survives only on what one thinks is true rather than on any real biblical evidence.

Today, men such as John Piper and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood continue to portray a male dominated hierarchy as God’s will for humanity.  It is crucial to recognize that John Piper and the other authors of the complementarian text entitled, “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” base their conclusions not on the Scripture itself, but rather on John Calvin’s patriarchal commentaries:

Calvin properly interpreted 1 Timothy 2:11-15… He acknowledges exceptions to the general rule but argues that these exceptions pose no threat to the ordinary and constant system of government.  As if anticipating the current debate, Calvin says, “If any one bring forward, by way of objection, Deborah (judges iv.4) and others of the same class, of women we read that they were at one time appointed by the command of God to govern the people, the answer is easy.  Extraordinary acts done by God do not overturn the ordinary rules of government, by which he intended that we should be bound.”

Paul’s appeal to Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:13-14 makes clear the ultimate source of appeal: Scripture itself.  Thus, for theological and historical reasons, the church or the elders cannot elevate women to a formal office of rule or instruction over men without violating the whole spirit of the law

However, they make no distinction between Scripture itself and John Calvin’s interpretation of it and in doing so they confuse the patriarchal traditions of men with the will of God.  Others, such as Jacob Prasch, will give some allowances for women in ministry however limitations and conditions are enjoined.  And like Piper and many others, the residue of Calvin and Augustine’s class-based sexist hierarchy is evident:

Whenever God used the women in Scripture under certain conditions and certain circumstance there was always a male authority figure present, even in the New Testament with Junia, the couple that helped Apollos and so forth.  There will always be a male authority figure, the reason being that women are more venerable to spiritual seduction.6

When Prasch says God uses women in Scripture under “certain conditions” and “certain circumstances,” in effect he is agreeing with John Calvin’s assessment that “extraordinary acts done by God do not overturn the ordinary rules of government…,” an assessment lacking Biblical substance.  Prasch limits women’s role in church ministry strictly to women and children, forbidding any women an office equal to or above that of the man.   In a mini-series between May and July of 2016 women who serve in any form of leadership role over men it is implied they are a Jezebel and he dismisses them as feminist who have crept into the church.

authentein

The Greek verb authentein, translated “to usurp authority over” in 1 Timothy 2:12 is a bit of a hermeneutical anomaly as it is only used here and is not used anywhere else in scripture.  Nor was this verse used by Paul as a model for church leadership.  According to Leland Wilshire, the verb authentein had a number of meanings in Greek literature other than “to exercise or usurp authority.”  Most of them were related to some form of violence, including ritual violence done in the worship of a false god or goddess.  In the Septuagint, the word “authentas” was used to refer to parents who sacrificed their children in worship to a false god.7   Between the years 200 B.C. and 200 A.D., some form of the word authentein had one of the following meanings.

  • “doer of massacre”
  • “author of crimes”
  • “perpetrator of sacrilege”
  • “supporter of violent actions”
  • “murderer of oneself”
  • “perpetrator of slaughter”
  • “murderer”
  • “slayer”
  • “slayer of oneself”
  • “authority”
  • “perpetrator of evil”
  • “one who murders by his own hand”8

Authority was one of the many possible meanings for the word “authentein,” it was by no means the most common meaning during the 400 years spanning the New Testament era.  There are many other possible interpretations of “authentein,” based on all the meanings available, it can include prohibitions against perpetrating or supporting violence, sacrilege or even murder against men.

Turning again to the context of 1 Timothy 2:12, the grammar in this passage changes from the plural “women” in verses 9 and 10 to “a women” (singular) in verses 11-15, then back to “women” (Plural) in the next chapter.  The type of “usurped authority” mentioned in 1 Tim. 2:12 cannot be biblically justified as an authority ascribed to men “husbands” because of the mysteries surrounding the verb nor can the subjugation of women be affirmed.  Because of the many different meanings of the Greek verb authentein dogma is not defensible, especially if it is understood as it was used in the 400 years spanning the New Testament era and the historical setting and culture of the time.

The word authentein was considered vulgar by many in history much as “child molestation,” or “pedophilia” does today.  Both are considered violent crimes against children and normal people look upon such an act with great disgust, the thought of such an act is so offensive it makes some people ill.   This is the connotation of the word authentein.

 It is possible that Paul may have had a specific woman in mind or he could have been referencing the goddess.  It is most likely what Paul was dealing with was the cultural problems in Ephesus.  Ephesus was the center for the temple of Artemis and the pagan ideas the women held were opposite of what is taught in Scripture.

The hierarchy of their priesthood was dominated by women and worship was directed to the “mother of the gods,” whose name was Cybele, known as Artemis by the Greeks.  Men were permitted to become priest, but only if they first renounced their masculinity for life through the act of ritual castration.  It would appear that Paul was addressing asceticism that led some of the early church fathers to seek to exercise control over women.  It is an historical fact that throughout the history of Ephesus and Asia Minor that women had a tendency to dominate men, they expressed this domination through acts of violence ranging from murder to ritual castration.  In light of this context, more likely than not, Paul’s intention was to prohibit the false teaching of asceticism as well as the violence against men that was traditionally associated with it.  Not to mention, there is no other Scriptural support for the doctrine that women cannot hold a church office and be in authority over a man.  An accurate translation of 1 Timothy 2:12 would read, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to support violence against a man.”  If you throw in 2 Timothy 2:15 it is nonsensical to suggest a woman is saved by having children.  It makes more sense that it is connected to the mystery cults of the Amazons who looked to Cybele for protection in child bearing.

Gender Equality

To rule over or lord over is a carnal appetite.  In Genesis 3:12 Adam stated; “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”  The word “with” is eem having the specific meaning of “equally with,” this prepositional prefix is usually unrepresented in the English.  From the beginning God created male and female to be equal, until the fall, that’s when everything changed.  God told Eve; “…thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” Gen. 3:16.  Most men would take this as a positive, it is not.  Most men would understand this as the divine assignment of the husband’s leadership role over the women.  This in no way asserts a male dominance over females and we should always remember that for a man to “rule” his wife only came into play after the fall.  In 1 Corinthians 15:22 Scripture tells us; “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”  In the natural, our union and nature with Adam is demonstrated in the fall, it is seen in death, i.e., the carnal.  But in Christ, our union and nature is in the recovery of life bought in His death, burial, and resurrection.  So to, our nature is now of the divine (2 Peter 1:4) and in Christ we have escaped the corruption that in the world through lust, this includes mans “rule.”   Paul taught equality within the body of Christ.  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).  The differences of gender makes no difference in Christian privileges and responsibility.  Both male and female are “kings and priest unto God” (Rev. 1:6).   National, social and even gender distinctions vanish and the cruel injustices done to women by man is diminished as they, just as the man, are under the eternal obligation of the gospel, which has freed them from the unworthy bondage of men giving them their true place in the world and the church.

  1. http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Hapax_legomenon.html
  2. Good News for Women, A biblical Picture of Gender Equality. Groothuis;  https://www.amazon.com/Good-News-Women-Biblical-Equality/dp/0801057205?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0
  3. (Questions on the Heptateuch, Book I, 153) ed. John Wijngaards, http://www.womenpriest.org.)
  4. . (Joyhn Calvin, Commentary on Galatians and Ephesians, trans. William Pringle, 1 June 2005, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 19 August 2014, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom41.iv.vi.v.html)
  5. (Paige Patterson, “The Meaning of Authority in The Local Church,” Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, eds. John Piper and Wayne Grudem, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991) 260.)
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHAiwIE5EVI
  7. (The Wisdom of Soloman,” The Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) 28 April 2003, http//www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/Septuagint/chapter.asp?book=29&page=12.
  8. (Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Philo, Appian of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Harpocration, Phrynicus); Wilshire, 28-29

Some idea’s, content, and quotes in this article was also taken and used from:

http://juniaproject.com/defusing-1-timothy-212-bomb/

I Suffer Not a Women: Rethinking 2 Timothy 2:11-15 In Light of Ancient Evidence; Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger; 1992 Baker Academic a division of Baker Publishing Group.

A God I’d Like To Meet: Separating the Love of God from Harmful Traditional Beliefs; Bob Edwards M.S.W. 2014.

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12 thoughts on “THE WRONGFUL SUBJUGATION OF WOMEN

  1. Mike,
    An excellent article, thank you for the effort and research. Your writing is succinct and organized so well, consider making an e-book on Amazon, and/or getting your writing published.
    I read all of your thread with Bob, and this comment by Jacob Prasch is quite telling:
    “God never usurps the man’s authority.” That is scary indeed. I sure do not see this idea of the supremacy of “man’s authority” in the gospels, or anywhere. Maybe Jacob forgot to read the following.
    Jesus is talking to the crowd and His disciples in Matthew 23:8-12 NKJV
    But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ,[b] and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
    In Acts, Paul addresses the mob in Jerusalem, and testifies of his conversion.

    “Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.” 2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent.
    Then he said: 3 “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today. 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5 as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished”.
    Please note that Paul jailed the women also. Why, if the women were “silent” and not making any impact on the community of Jews? The women were active in evangelizing, just as on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fell on men and women equally.
    Paul says he was “at the feet of Gamaliel”. The tradition of the Jews was to be subject to the Rabbi, if you were a Jewish man chosen to follow one in subjection of what the Rabbi told you; it was a great honor for a Jewish man to do such. Jesus taught the opposite in Matthew 23.
    Jacob Prasch is mixing what is Jewish tradition, not only with his “offense” at women speaking forth the Gospel, but his “headship” doctrine includes churches that have “coverings” from other churches. This is an hierarchical, chain of command system, that in one way ensures support and recognition from different churches that are relied on.
    Also, God spoke to Abraham about what Sarah said to him: Gen 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
    I think the whole issue in Jacob’s mind with the “authority’ issue is way off track, and taken way out of the proper context of scripture. If anyone is making “authority over others” a priority in what they deem ministry, they are coming from the flesh, not from a humble servant of the Lord that obeys His call and lead. I agree with you Mike, that Jacob needs to retire. It’s possible he is on meds for his physical problems, because his emotional and mental stability just does not seem to be there.
    One more thought about “God never usurps the man’s authority” This is what Jesus told His disciples: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
    10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
    :11 Give us this day our daily bread.
    12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
    13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:10-13
    I think we all know whose authority will not be usurped.

  2. Bob, just so you know. The questions that I had sent to Jacob by way of Tim Wirth and which he choose not to address, were also sent to Moriel Ministries to a Jane Pedersen. The response I received was this:
    Jane Pedersen
    Thu 7/14
    Dear Pat,
    Thank you for the email. Moriel Canada will forward your questions and concerns to the other leadership. We are sorry that you will no longer be tuning in and listening to Moriel TV and we are sorry to see you go. We do have lots of DVD & CD/MP3 here available at the office and if there is something that we can provide you from the collection as a gift and study aid, please just let us know.
    If you have drop box we can also provide a download for you as well.
    Please email us again if you have any further concerns.
    In Christ
    Moriel Canada.

    I’m not holding my breath on any further communications from them or Jacob and the only “further concerns” I have are warning others. If Jacob so chooses to address the issues and questions, great but that is his responsibility not mine or ours, speaking for all who were dismissed in his last video. Hopefully some of what is pointed out in the other articles here and on other blogs will be of help to others in seeing the error in Prasch’s teaching on this topic and they won’t be deceived by it.

  3. Bob, I’m not that worried about Jacob Prasch, this article was written to refute 2 Timothy 2:12 and the bad translation of it. My wife and others did try to contact Jacob via Tim Wirth and he choose to dismiss it. It lays at his feet, not mine. I will take my stand that women can hold a high office in the church. If we disagree we disagree, I’m good with that. I have searched the matter out as there are to many examples give in the New Testament alone providing proof of equality between men and women and the freedom to serve the body of Christ in ministry. This ends the matter for me! Thanks!

  4. I would reject the idea out-of-hand, Mike. Yes, I do believe it would work and aren’t we supposed to take things directly to the other? I don’t know about a requirement of a third party being involved. If that’s a problem, I could see about contacting Jacob and asking if you could email him, or talk to him, directly. I think he would remember me and would allow communication with you.

  5. Bob, you really think that will work? The only way to Jacob is through a third party. I’m not doing that, its not scriptural. Thanks though, and God Bless!

  6. I would suggest that you consider sending Jacob a communication expressing your points and concerns, all immersed in humility, grace and completely devoid of judging. Simply an inquiry whereby you seek clarification on some things. Hopefully he’d give you such, then you could ask how such is consistent with other scriptures.

  7. Bob I appreciate you heart felt response. And I agree, we can’t make Deborah the “rule,” however, she does serve as an example that God can and does use women in leadership roles, even over men. As far as Jacob is concerned, he doesn’t need to apologize, he needs to correct his error. Trust me, I have thick skin, I can take his roughness. But his teaching is in serious error where it concerns women. What he taught in 1 Cor. 11 in effect replaces Christ’s authority. He teaches that the head of the women is the man, that is correct, he goes on to say that she can only minister under the covering of her husbands authority. What he left out was that 1 Cor. 11:4 says; “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head “covered,” dishonors his head.” If we follow Jacob’s logic, this would mean that the man prays and prophesy’s out side of the authority and covering of Christ. He made a statement in one of his videos that caught my attention. He said, “God never usurps the man’s authority.” That is a scary thought as I’ve seen what men do with authority without accountability. Bottom line is, Jacob’s teaching in 1 Cor. 11 makes no sense, it doesn’t line up with the rest of Scripture. Like you, I just want the truth of God’s word, and I have no problem with submitting under it. But I have learned that following men always seems to lead you right into the ditch. I respect Jacob’s knowledge base, I’ve bought his books, I’ve attended some of his conferences, and up till now I haven’t had that much of a problem with his teachings. I disagree on some things, but they are not essential. But on this teaching, it seems he has left every Hermeneutical rule behind. His irritation towards a few women who were asking questions and his response that he was bored and God has better things to do with his time only tells me he should retire. My wife was one of those women asking questions, not because they were feminist but were examining the Scripture and holding him accountable to his own error. Not only does Jacob’s teaching on 1 Cor. 11 not line up with Scripture, it doesn’t line up with the context itself. I am privy to other blog sites where Jacob was out of line addressing teachings on the blog. The man doesn’t know how to correct people without being rude and nasty. This also shows me he lacks in character and leadership skills. Having knowledge is one thing, but if it doesn’t transform you into the image of Christ it amounts to nothing. And it appears he cannot take correction himself. Who is he accountable to? My last boss had a gift, he could talk anyone into doing anything. I told him that and he responded, “Will you follow me to a bridge and jump off if I ask you to?” I told him, Yes I will, after you jump first! Lead by example!!!

  8. Mike, I heartily agree with you that men who “wrongfully subjugate women” and treat them as a “B” class are not godly men, and that is certainly an element of equality among men and women, and finally, that there’s an element of “submission” that men (no one for that matter) do not want to engage in. My only point is that when it comes to the husband and wife relationship, and the relationship among believers in a Christ-honoring church, God has determined that He wants men to lead. That doesn’t mean to “rule over” (as is wrongly translated), to “subjugate” or to “bully.” A better translation is to lead by being a “guide” rather than a sergeant. I’ve seen godly men guide and lead in such a way that you want to follow their advice, counsel and/or decision about something. Nothing I’ve communicated (to the best of my knowledge) should be taken to mean I don’t believe women can minister in the church; some of the godliest people I’ve known have been women, including my wife. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore God’s order of things that when push comes to shove (not literally) and a decision on something needs to be made, in God’s best scenario, He will lead and guide through the man. An Old Testament example of Deborah should not diminish His clear teaching in the context of the church which was born on the day of Pentecost; and I would hope you’d agree the example of Deborah was the exception…we should not rely upon it now as a rule, especially with the light He’s given us in I Timothy 3:1-13, Ephesians 5:24, etc.

    I appreciate this exercise of considering the Word and what’s taking place in the church. My wife and I have experienced that unbelievable suffering and loss as a result of abusive men who have taken advantage of others, including their own wives…and some were leaders. We’ve also seen God’s chastening of them, and unfortunately, many who seemingly have left the Lord as a result of the destruction…have seen churches completely fold. But we are determined to hope that He will yet use us in His vineyard, and among His people. I want to encourage you that He wants us to learn from what we’ve seen and experienced, but at the same time, to hold tightly to what He says in His word even when some principles were taken advantage of. More and more, I believe we need each other. That’s the main reason I’m an attorney: To be available to help other believers in time of persecution. Also, we know personally Jacob Prasch…have had lunch with him and have been in meetings (several) where he’s taught. Personally, he and his wife are two of the sweetest people you could meet. Had he been giving his teaching to you and M’kayla personally, rather than over the internet, I’m sure he would have spoken much more sensitively and meekly. Maybe you or she will one day have opportunity to let him know how he seemed to come off, causing you to be offended, and give him a chance to apologize for his manner. The words “women who rant” was clearly not helpful. God bless you, Mike.

  9. Bob I wasn’t trying to sound like I have a chip on my shoulder. Yes I have experienced spiritual abuse in the past and I do react to it. At one time in my life it cost me everything, and I mean everything. As far as women in ministry, there are numerous examples in both Testaments of women who were either deaconess’s, prophetess, and served in leadership roles in the church. I realize that most women in history were home makers, they had the children and cared for the home etc. However, many women don’t marry, and they are free to and encouraged to serve the Lord (1 Cor. 7) Study it out, there are many examples in the New and Old Testament. I’m still studying a lot of things out on this subject and I’m not quit ready to debate on some things but I do know the English translation is not reliable, so I am searching in the Greek which takes a lot more time for the answers I need. Some Greek forms are both masculine and feminine but they always translated it in the masculine when it could be translated in the feminine, Junia is just one example. Like I said, I have a ways to go. My issue is that all in the body of Christ are under the obligation to submit one to another. There is as much responsibility on the man’s part to submit to the wife in Scripture as there is on the wife’s to the man. Men always, always, are quick to use the submission card with women but never teach or even speak of the man’s responsibility to “love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.” Never!!!! There is no greater form of submission than to surrender ones life for another. Now I know we can debate women vs. men in ministry till Jesus returns. Everyone will have to settle the issue within themselves. I have, and I am willing to accept the consequences of it before the Lord. There is just to much Scripture that points to the equality of the man and women. I will no longer sit silently by and allow men to wrongfully subjugate women and then ignore the evidence that women are not a “B” class to men and can and do serve in ministry roles.

  10. I’m not clear about your response. The issue isn’t about women in ministry, and the passages mentioned in my question don’t have anything to do with standing on the necks of women or bullying them. I’m still willing to hear what you might say to the Holy Spirit with respect to men, and only men, being elders, overseers and deacons. They are to have “wives” which makes it even more clear that in His house, He wants men leading. Serving? Of course. But at the same time leading. Much of the church as departed from what couldn’t be clearer in His word, about His house and how He wants things to be. After all, His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

    Let me entreat you, Mike…try not to sound as if you have a huge chip on your shoulder. I don’t know what your experience has been; I suspect you were spiritually bullied or witnessed it…same with me. But let’s not depart from God’s clear Word and somehow believe that putting women in places of leadership in the church, as elders and deacons, is “OK.” It isn’t OK with Him, and what He wants should be our guide. I 100% agree spiritual bullying is a horrible thing, and God will judge it. But that is not what is being addressed in the passages about male leadership.

  11. Well Bob, honestly I don’t have a problem with women in ministry, and 1 Timothy 3 still does not disqualify a women for ministry. As far as Ephesian 5, well, submissions is every bodies reasonability. Just read Ephesians 5:21 and 1 Peter 5:5. I do know for sure that 2 Timothy 2:12 is totally mistranslated and abused. I also know that any man who believes that ministry is about authority has lost the real purpose of what ministry is really about. Ministry is about service, first and foremost! It’s what Jesus taught, It’s what Jesus modeled! It’s also what the Apostles modeled. To much talk about authority not enough on serving the body of Christ! I’m sick of men who have to stand on the necks of women to feel important! They are not leaders, nor are they good examples. Personally I believe they are afraid that a women could do a better job than they can. I have also realized that they cannot answer the hard questions, and when they can’t they resort to bullying! In my opinion, they are simply spiritual thugs.

  12. So, if “gender makes no difference in Christian privileges and responsibility,” are you saying that women can be an elder (bishop or overseer) and a deacon? If so, what do you do with I Timothy 3:1-13? Also, I don’t see anything above regarding Ephesians 5:24 (maybe I missed it)?

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