New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, August 20 2002 Volume 02 : Number 144
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 16:32:32 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Sam B. wrote:

> I agree with you John. But, like a lot of debates,
> I am sick of it all. I have appointed female elders
> and I will not cease from doing so either.

Not that I ever debate ;-) ... but I think that John's and your
(Sam's) views on the topic may be blurring some important scriptural
distinctions. We were talking about "possibilities" in the Rom. 16:7
passage about Junia being an apostle. The ambiguity about the grammatical
gender of her(?) name (though I think weight of evidence is on the side of
it being feminine) and the questions about the phrase EPISEMOI EN TOIS
APOSTLOLOIS ("noteworthy among the apostles" or "known as apostles")
mitigate against arriving at too firm of conclusions on the topic. Think?
Mike S. brought up linguistic evidence that suggests "noteworthy among the
apostles" is to be preferred. Wouldn't we all be wise to factor this into
the equation?
Most of the extra-biblical evidence from the article you cited is VERY
interesting to *me*. But I would have to scrutinize it for its veracity
before giving it any real weight. Perhaps Tertullian was right. Perhaps
not. I do not know. But I'm glad you posted the info.
Nevertheless, the real issue for me is that we were talking about
"apostleship" and women. Not eldership or pastorship. We weren't talking
about women in the Church "teach[ing] or to hav[ing] authority over a man"
(1 Tim. 2:12). IMO, it is not wise to allow our *inferences* from the Bible
to carry more "umph" than actual statements from inspired writ which seem to
contradict such inferences.
Can a woman be an apostle and NOT "teach or to have authority over a
man"? Could there possibly be female apostleship that is directed, not to
men per se, but toward women and children? That is where I think the
discussion needs to go. What we need to explore together. If some women
are apostles as naturally as some spiritually-gifted women may be, let's
say, merciful (a ministry with apparently no gender-related qualifiers),
then why the above limitation by Paul on whom women may teach or over whom
they may exercise authority?

Mike S. wrote:

> But what does that imply, then, about
> Jesus? That he gets his authority from
> BOTH heaven and earth. Now, you might
> say, "Hey, wait a minute, Jesus is God
> --He IS the authority!!! It don't matter
> what I say or don't say, He is still the
> authority no matter what."

I think I follow you here, Mike. Although my understanding (and this
relates back to the Trinity discussion on the "Getting aquainted" thread) is
that Jesus didn't receive *ALL* authority in heaven and on earth *until
after* the Father raised him from the dead and ultimately, after he was
seated on the *same* throne (... you GO Sam B.!!!) in heaven beside the
Father as co-regent of the universe:

"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has
been given to me. Therefore go ...' " (Mat. 28:18, 19).

"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something
to be grasped, ... but made himself nothing, ... And he humbled himself and
became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him
to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at
the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under
the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory
of God the Father" (Phi. 2:6-11).

So what I gain from this perspective is that even Jesus' authority is
*derived* from the Father ... whether those on earth recognise it YET or
not. Can you see where I'm headed?

> What am I saying? That a person's
> authority, even Jesus' authority, is,
> when one considers the practical day
> -to-day out-working of that authority,
> dependent on the giving of that
> authority from two rather different
> directions: from God and from the
> people who are willing to be led by
> that person. The answer is `yes' to
> both questions.

I think, Mike, that it is important for us to distinguish between
*possessing* actual authority (the Matthew text does say Jesus currently has
"*ALL* authority ...") and people's subsequent *recognition* of that
already-possessed authority. This, I think, has implications for and
application to the "sender-sendee" discussion we were having, and the
question of whether Christ's delegated authority to send apostles rested in
the local body as a whole or primarily in the servant-leadership of that
same congregation.

> I think two things are interesting. That
> word `complete' which makes me think that
> involving everyone was a rather important
> thing to do. And, secondly, that word
> `with' which in this case is SUN ("with").
> As you might know, and this isn't a hard
> and fast rule, but more often than not,
> SUN connects LIKE things; unlike META
> ("with") which tends to be used when UNlike
> things are with each other. So, there is
> some interesting balancing going on here.
> I'll have to think some more about this one.
> Though I think this tends to illustrate what
> I was saying above about authority in the
> church. It's both/and. It's `yes' to both
> questions.

Okay, you make some good points here. I concede the plurals and the
use of the word HOLE ("whole"), so that it is patently obvious to me now
that there is some group decision-making and sending going on. I am forced
to back off on this point. Even in the text where the leadership appears to
be making decisions and sending, there seems to be an implied backdrop of
input from the entire local congregation (Act 15:22-27). Hmmm, interesting
...
And I understand that you are hitting at the concept of "authority"
from a more pragmatic standpoint than me, so that for you there needs to be
a practical recognition on two planes (horizontal and vertical) of said
authority in order for it to work in time and space.
Okay, I guess I can see that. I was going to bring up Caiaphas'
unwhitting prophecy, and John's commentary on it-- that essentially the high
priest's supernatural endowment that time was simply given to him from Above
by virtue of his priestly office alone (Joh. 11:49-52). Certainly not
because of his character or maturity. But the multitudes did follow him,
it's true, so that one could say there was a horizontal recognition of his
authority. And even a vertical one, as evidenced by his being granted
authority to prophesy truthfully, and by Jesus' submission to him in
answering straightforwardly when Caiaphas placed him under oath (Mat. 26:63,
64).
I still have some things to work through on the subject. Just sort of
thinking outloud ... Thanks again Mike for your thoughts.

Michael
Jerusalem


------- <><><> -------


Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 10:05:50 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis * cs
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Link,

Excellent post on the role of women in the early church.

>>The theological issue is that Paul taught against a woman usurping authority
over or teaching a man. I am really uncomfortable with one-pastor churches
that have a woman at the helm. In these churches, almost inevitably, you
end up with women discipling men, if there is discipleship going on.

Sam mentioned appointing women elders. Paul listed one of the
qualifications of being a bishop as being 'the husband of one wife' (a
'one-woman man.') This implies that a bishop be a man.

Paul also instructs older women to teach younger women. Peter's wife
apparently traveled with him -- according to I Cor. 9. If Peter's wife were
a gifted teacher, she could teach women. If she were an evangelist, it
could be easier for her to get opportunities to share with women than it
would be for Peter to do so. (I suspect the apostles would have preferred
to focus on heads of households and their houses, as in the case of the
Philippian jailer. There is a much higher rate of the whole household
repenting if the man of the house repents, according to some modern stats
I've read.)

As far as women pastoring, I see 'pastoring' as a gift of taking care of
sheep, rather than as another word for 'bishop.' Older women teaching
younger women may exercise a gift of 'pastor.'

Imo, one of the reasons there are so many professional 'pastors' who don't
meet the Biblical qualifications for elders is because the modern church
thinks that only 'clergymen' should do teaching and preaching ministry, and
so try to push anyone with a speaking gift into the 'pastor' mold. The same
thing happens with women. Many women that want to minister certainly want
the 'pastor' position open to them. The modern role of 'pastor' isn't truly
a Biblical office, anyway.<<

I agree with you here, Link!

I have often thought of God's foolishness in putting His Word in Scriptures
just out there to have all the cultures thru the ages reinterpret them into
their own images. A guy by the name of Jenkins wrote:

"The relationship between communities and the words they use, their texts and
discourses, remains tenuous, virtually in a continuous state of flux...
Behind the puzzling inky marks on animal hide and rag and wood pulp, and
echoing thru the sonic interplay that whispers or thunders on our eardrums,
communities exist. Words move among us from meaning to meaning to meaning
like murmurs rippling thru a crowd. Words describe, but, rather than being
put down with literal exactness, description becomes transcription; words are
liberated from their utterance and like noisy adolescents moving out of their
parents house to begin life on their own. Every word is encoded with a
declaration of independence from its speaker, or, perhaps better, with
articles of session... Even, maybe especially, the words of Jesus Christ are
not immune to transcription."

Or Paul. We blithely assume the first century was an Enlightenment society
that gave women authority somewhere, or that the Church was a
pre-Enlightenment group that was radically egalitarian where men and women
had equal roles. We Moderns and Postmoderns transcribe the words of Paul.

In 1st century Greco-Roman world (or the Hebrew world -- "Tell us teacher, if
a man can divorce his wife for any reason, must he give her a certificate of
divorce?"), and in the writings of Paul, it is pretty easy to see without
transcription that women were not allowed equal authority to men and that in
the Church men and women were equal in salvation (neither male nor female)
but had expressly different roles, i.e., Paul in Eph. using the roles a man
and woman have in marriage to clarify a the Church's (Bride's)
relationship/role to Christ (the Husband). We have a different sense of
culture than those who wrote the NT, and we have a radically different idea
of gender roles than the 1st C.

But God's foolishness is wiser than man's wisdom! We have His Word, the
Scriptures, and God allows us to do with them what we will...

I will continue to follow this thread with great interest without
interrupting -- it has been lively and vibrant -- but I just wanted to
briefly encourage Link.

TC


------- <><><> -------


Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 15:15:00 +0000
From: ScogginsTravel * ccmail.lfa
Subject: Re[2]: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Dear Keith,
This is exactly my postion. I have found few who agree. Great to hear!
Thanks for your encouragement. We actually have more women deacons
than men.
Dick
______________ Reply Separator ______________

Subject: RE: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Author: ntcp * homechurch at lfa-internet
Date: 8/17/2002 3:37 PM
Personally I have no problem at all with women fulfilling any of the 5 fold
ministries, where i do stop short is women elders. These do not appear in
the bible and therefore I think that we have to be carefull here. I do admit
women deacons and have one in the church here.

Blessings
Keith


------- <><><> -------


Date: 19 Aug 2002 13:59:09 -0400
From: Mike Sangrey <msangrey * BlueFeltHat>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Thank you for the discussion.

On Mon, 2002-08-19 at 10:32, Deborah wrote:
<snip>
> Mike S. wrote:
>
> > But what does that imply, then, about
> > Jesus? That he gets his authority from
> > BOTH heaven and earth. Now, you might
> > say, "Hey, wait a minute, Jesus is God
> > --He IS the authority!!! It don't matter
> > what I say or don't say, He is still the
> > authority no matter what."
>
> I think I follow you here, Mike. Although my understanding (and this
> relates back to the Trinity discussion on the "Getting aquainted" thread) is
> that Jesus didn't receive *ALL* authority in heaven and on earth *until
> after* the Father raised him from the dead and ultimately, after he was
> seated on the *same* throne (... you GO Sam B.!!!) in heaven beside the
> Father as co-regent of the universe:

Yes, but I think that is a much bigger question than Jesus was
answering. The Jewish leadership was upset that their authority was
being undermined. So, Jesus asks them a question. Which puts them in a
position where they undermine their own authority. Or, at least, they
admit that their authority IS being undermined. I still laugh every
time I read that piece. Man!, was Jesus clever or what? <laugh out
loud>

<snip>

> > What am I saying? That a person's
> > authority, even Jesus' authority, is,
> > when one considers the practical day
> > -to-day out-working of that authority,
> > dependent on the giving of that
> > authority from two rather different
> > directions: from God and from the
> > people who are willing to be led by
> > that person. The answer is `yes' to
> > both questions.
>
> I think, Mike, that it is important for us to distinguish between
> *possessing* actual authority (the Matthew text does say Jesus currently has
> "*ALL* authority ...") and people's subsequent *recognition* of that
> already-possessed authority. This, I think, has implications for and
> application to the "sender-sendee" discussion we were having, and the
> question of whether Christ's delegated authority to send apostles rested in
> the local body as a whole or primarily in the servant-leadership of that
> same congregation.

I think you and I are in complete agreement when it comes to
emphatically stating that God is the authority. If He says, "Let there
be light", light happens. When he says (and I'm paraphrasing) "light
that puppy!" it gets ignited. I strongly suspect you and I would
completely agree that all other authority is derived from God's
authority. Furthermore, you and I both agree that Jesus is God[1]. So,
bottom line: He be the boss.

So, speaking in a theoretical sense, and, I think, in a rather too
narrow sense, one can make the distinction between `possessing' and
`recognizing'. God possesses authority, whether we recognize it or
not. However, can we then say God delegates the authority in little
authority-packages to individuals who then posses their little
authority-package and other people are to recognize that God has done
that? No, I think it's more complex than that. And therefore we need a
better model.

The thing which is missing from the possess vis-a-vis recognize model is
a third piece.

When Jesus answered the Jewish leaders, He combined both into one unit.
He very cleverly asks only ONE question. He could have "answered" the
Jewish leadership by asking two questions in order to make a
distinction, in order to set up the temporal sequence. But, by forcing
the two possible answers into a single unit, it appears to me at least,
that the recognition and the possessing co-exist. One could say they
are co-terminal and co-extensive. And, I think, the way it is suppose
to work is, that over time, people recognize more and more of the
authority the person is being given over time. The credentials, if you
will, are the people (cf 2 Cor. 3:1-6).

But, more to the point, I'm intrigued by how Paul builds his case for
his authority. He pretty clearly brings forth evidence, like a court
case, of how he has served. And let me quickly add here that the
`service' was NOT in terms of "I got to tell these people what to do,
and I successfully managed this project, etc." It was NOT the way we
build our resumes. It was, "I suffered this for others; I suffered that
for others (cf 2 Cor. 10-12); I even bore greater pain as a result of
others trying to get ahead of me by their preaching Christ (I'm thinking
of Phil. 1:15ff here). He really does make a rather strong distinction
between authority based on what WE call leadership and authority based
on what HE called service.

So, where does that bring us? Yes, there is a possessing of authority.
But the recognizing is NOT so much a recognizing of authority as it is a
recognizing of service[2]. It is NOT a recognizing of a person being
OVER, it is the recognizing of a person being UNDER. And, that person
being under is the evidence we need in order for us to submit to that
person.

- ---
[1] To me, the fact that Jesus is God is so thoroughly supported by the
NT that it is beyond any dispute. Every discussion I've ever heard
which purports otherwise focuses on little phrases and even the lack of
an article. However, when one steps back and starts discussing
paragraphs and whole sections of an original author's argument, the
point of Jesus being God becomes slap-in-the-face obvious.

[2] I tend to think I should use the term slavery here since we are so
completely confused into thinking that a leader serves by telling others
what to do. That's NOT service. Leadership is NOT service It's an
earned privilege, the earning of which was done by serving and the
maintenance of which is also by serving.

> I still have some things to work through on the subject. Just sort of
> thinking outloud ... Thanks again Mike for your thoughts.

Boy!, do *I* know what you mean! You wouldn't believe how much I've
learned by thinking (writing) out loud.

Mike Sangrey
msangrey * BlueFeltHat
Landisburg, Pa.
"The first one last wins."
"A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."


------- <><><> -------


Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 17:18:53 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

ScogginsTravel * ccmail.lfa wrote:

> Dear Keith,
> This is exactly my postion. I have found few who agree. Great to hear!
> Thanks for your encouragement. We actually have more women deacons
> than men.
>
Dear Dick and Keith, It' kind of interesting that 1 Timothy 5:1, 2:
"Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men
as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with
all purity.", and 1 Peter 5:5: "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves
unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be
clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to
the humble.", and Titus 1:5: "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that
thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain
elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:" all translate elder and
elders from the same Greek word.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


------- <><><> -------


Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 06:21:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

> I don't see any reason to think that Christ might not appear to someone
> and
> send him out as an apostle. Probably thousands throughout the ages have
> reported seeing visions of Christ.

I heard Him speak to me and give me specific instructions. My husband
thinks I had a hallucination, my doctor says it was a simple partial
seizure, and most people think I'm nuts when I tell them. But I know what
I heard...

BTW, doctors also think that Paul's seeing Jesus when he fell off the
horse was an epileptic seizure.

I have never before or after heard anything spoken like that time. Never
heard any other voice.

vanessa from Venezuela


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #144

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