New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

NT Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, August 22 2002 Volume 02 : Number 147
[NTCP] RE: NT Church Proliferation Digest V2 #146
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - fathering, authority, and eldership
Re: [NTCP] women elders? - let us not reduce the Bible to a manual
Re: [NTCP] context, context, context....- response to TC
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops
Re: [NTCP] Women Elders: 2 John - Reply to Dick and Keith
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 05:46:34 -0000
From: Theo Kuster <theokuster * usa>
Subject: [NTCP] RE: NT Church Proliferation Digest V2 #146

Thanks for the message, I will respond soon.

Home page:
Sermon Notes for Lutheran Church Workers:
Alternative Mission Fellowship:
Mail address: 3446 1st Ave S. Minneapolis MN 55408
Home fone: 612-825-6281

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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 07:30:22 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - fathering, authority, and eldership

Greetings all:

The issue at hand, even though started through the discussion on
apostleship, is a serious one.

Paul is a model of apostolic fathering, of one who sent out and commissioned
by the Lord to go and proclaim the heart of the Father, to the Jew first,
and then the Gentile (Jesus said in John 10, that there were 'other sheep' -
Gentiles), and the heart of the Father is reconciliation, and deep intimate
relationship with those whom are reconciled. We miss the point that
salvation is not simply saving someone from hell, but entering into a deep
intimate relationship. In the past we have exhaustively dealt with this
issue as well, but none the less it is imperitive that we understand that
issue. Apostolic fathering is simply the one who is commissioned being
empowered by the Spirit, and pouring out the heart of the Father to those
who are saved and as soon as they are saved, they become the 'ekklesia' in
whatever town or region they are in.

Paul literally fathered them into the faith (read Paul when he says in 1
Cor. 4, "14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as
my beloved children. 15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you
about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father
in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. 16 So I ask you to
follow my example and do as I do"). We need fathers who will pour out their
love and affirmation through encouragement and a willingness to lay down
their lives for those they father. The goal of fathers is to equip their
children to deal with the issues of life and it is no different in the

This is where authority is relative to the relationship of those that gather
together and that the function of eldership authority is the result of being
knit together with others who recognize the stamp of the Spirit upon those
who show the marks of being a "spiritual father" or a "spiritual mother".
All one has to do is read the NT in light of this context, and we clearly
see in the writings of Paul, Peter, James and John, that they were all
"spiritual fathers" who cared deeply for those with whom they were in
relationship. They decried anyone who took advantage of other people or
"lorded it over others" as Peter puts it. They genuinely cared as "fathers"
for the flock of God.

While their authority came from their commission from the Lord Himself,
authority given by another means nothing if not recognized by those you are
in relationship with. I served as an NCO in the infantry. My authority was
based on several things. The head of the state was and is Queen Elizabeth,
and the Crown she represents is the authority from which all officers and
NCO's derive their authority. If the soldiers which were under my authority
did not recognize the highest authority, the Queen, then they would not
respect or follow my commands. However, the authority they most respected,
was that which was demonstrated and "earned" by being in relationship with
them. When I never demanded from them what I could not do myself, and when
I went out of my way to demonstrate my caring for them (a mom for them when
away from home)and taking care of their needs, and not their wants, then
they recognized that I was out to build them up, equip them to do their
jobs, and that I would lay my life on the line to protect them, because they
were "my family" (BTW, I learned more about being "family" in the army, than
growing up in my pastor/father's home!). I had earned authority from

In regards to eldership, Paul said to Titus to appoint elders in every city.
But he also said not to be too hasty to do so either. In Acts 20 Paul warns
the elders of Ephesus and gives them instruction. It can be derived from
his teaching and letters that elders function as crisis intervenors, and did
not "rule" and take over the house church gatherings. Rather they acted as
spiritual fathers, and intervened in areas of conflict resolution and such,
and when the conflict was over, they backed off and became part of the rest
of the body life expression in gathering. The same is true in my army days.
I acted in a similar fashion, and was involved in much conflict
resolution, and because I had invested time in relationship, I was listened
to. There were other occassions where that was not enough, and where hot
heads were prevailing, I had to remind them of who I was and my rank, and
that it was an "order". I do not believe that the church should be
administered in similar fashion, although I have seen a whole lot more of
this than I care to mention.

We need to recognize the flow of spiritual fathering that establishes
authority and recognizes eldership. The issue is not governance per se, but
creating a spiritual family that is knit in the Lord through His Spirit, and
lives according to the word and deeds of those that reflect the character of
Jesus. If apostles do not reflect His heart, and His kind of relationships,
then I would not follow them or respect them, not matter how gifted they
were! We shall know them by their fruit.


Sam Buick
Waterloo, Ontario

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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 07:42:43 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] women elders? - let us not reduce the Bible to a manual

Thanks Michael:

Good thread. I think we ought to be careful to not reduce the Bible to a
manual as most evangelical fundamentalists [does such a beast exist? :-o)]
have done in always looking for rules/principles and rigidly applying them
to all who gather in the "churches".

If we are going to discuss the letters to Timothy and that women should be
silent in the churches, then let us be frank about them.

1. What was going on in the churches that Timothy was fathering and

2. What kind of house gatherings were going on, that Timothy had written to
Paul and expressed his concerns over women disrupting the flow of gatherings
in the house fellowships?

Timothy being young probably did not feel he knew enough or knew how to deal
with confronting such behaviour, especially if he was unamarried. He asked
for wiser counsel from Paul, and Paul graciously gave it to him.
Paul told him that women should not dominate, and especially should not
exert strong influence over men in the gatherings, and should not teach.
Also he told him that if women had questions to bring them up with their
husbands at their own home. So in that context too, women visitors at
another house, were to respect the gathering and the host, and if she had
questions, keep them for later to discuss with her husband rather than to be
disruptive in another's home.

Now looked at it within this context, the unction for women to be silent, is
NOT a universal barring of women speaking or teaching or having authority,
but is a direct application to a given situation that Timothy was facing. It
was an exception and not a rule or principle. The problem is evangelicals in
particular the conservative ones, they have reduced it to an exclusive
removed from its context.

Just my thoughts.


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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 08:02:57 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] context, context, context....- response to TC

Hi TC:

You said:
>"And I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man, but to
>in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived,
>but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she
>be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness,
>self-control (NKJV 1 Tim. 2:12-15)."

So, TC, if the culture is familiar with Judaism, which was the case with all
the churches that were established, especially since Paul modelled for his
disciples to go to the Jew first and then the Gentile, it only makes sense
he would refer to Adam and the order of creation. But what would Paul have
done in another culture? The answer is in Acts 17, where he is in Athens and
refers to Greek culture, Greek authors and mythology and schools of
philosophy. In a sense this is an argument for understanding comparitive
religions and culture, in order to better dialogue in language that can be
understood with the audience you are engaged in discussion with. So, while
you defend your position of gender preference based on Judaic culture and OT
scripture, I think Paul would behave differently in a completely foreign
culture, and would not make the argument they way that you have. No offence
TC, but the argument to make women silent or not have authority within its
context and the original audience and to take it and apply it to our own day
and culture is really weak. And it is not one I am willing to defend or
uphold. I will not strip away culture and context, and apply the words
literally in my own day. This is why we have such diverse views on doctrine
in the first place!

>Gender had everything to do with it, Sam, as I don't know any males that
>could be saved in childbearing!. Not only was Paul's teaching to Timothy
>cultural, his gender roles were based on the order of creation as well. It
>can't be explained away as cultural that easily.
>But what does this controversy matter, anyway? Most house church that I have been to
>don't believe in anyone having authority over anybody -- it would break the
>harmony of the commune ;o)

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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 08:56:25 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

TheologusCrucis * cs <mailto:TheologusCrucis * cs> wrote:

> The best analogy is that of a family, with the Elder as father. In my
> family, everyone knew that, although he took into consideration what
> we kids said, and even more consideration for what my Mom said, that
> in the end he was the one who made the decision and my Mom and the
> kids obeyed -- like I do as the Bride of Christ with Jesus as my head.
> I guess the authority structure of the house church should be that of a family,
> if we are to be true to Scripture.

Dear TC,

From the burning bush The Lord sent Moses to the Elders. This was
before anything else happened in connection with their being the chosen
people of God. Yet, elders were already God's provision for the
government of life. It is not a coincidence that elders are the source
people of youngers. Now that said, it is also clear that we are not
talking about fathers or even household heads. We are talking about
heads of tribes or clans. These are grandfathers or great grandfathers.
I'm sorry about what this does to pastor's egos, but while all elders
are shepherds, all shepherds are not elders. Elders are source people
for shepherds. Except for that, your drawing from what the old creation
reveals about the government of life is right on!

Yours in Christ,


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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 06:04:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

- --- Steffasong * aol wrote:
> In a message dated 08/21/2002 10:07:41 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> TheologusCrucis * cs writes:
> > Gender had everything to do with it, Sam, as I don't know any males
> that
> > could be saved in childbearing!.
> Hello dear brother TC. Not for anything, but do you know of any woman
> who can be saved in childbearing?

I know one thing: IF it hadn't been for my own childbearing, I could not
have cared less about God, church, or anyone else. Before I had my child
the world's suffering was to me something to laugh at... when I had my
first boy, I wanted God to be with us for HIS sake... I could not have
cared less about myself. And through the children, I learned to love other
children and God Himself.

But of course, this is MY own experience. I DO believe that childbearing
is necessary, I don't like birth control, and I believe that barren women
can be just as blessed by caring for the children of others.

But this is not salvation in the sense that we are saved by Jesus...
remember, that was said BEFORE Jesus came.

In a way, we might say women are men's temptation that makes them fall, or
their fear that makes men gay. Mothers also make their boys gay if they
treat them like little girls. So childbearing CAN bring a curse upon you,
make you sin. But when women bear children for their men, they are being
saved. In fact, I see the infertility of the developed world as a curse
upon them for not sharing with the poor of this world. The rich always
become infertile throughout history! While the blessed poor are rarely

Just some thoughts..

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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 06:08:14 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

I'mhaving a hard time understanding what all this argument of female
apostles is al about. After all, if I can't preach in church, i can always
train my SONS to do so, and through them, I will be preaching, or
teaching. I can also teach my husband if I know more than him, and he cvan
then preach or teach what I taught them.

What is the need of my speaking in public? None at all.

I can also save people I individually find on the street, I can preach to
children, right?

So why go against what Paul said, when we can do as much useful work
without breaking the rules he gave us. For some reason he gave them. And I
have seen more than one man get exited in churches when young women stand
on the pulpit... big sin!


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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 06:12:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Women Elders: 2 John - Reply to Dick and Keith

Sounds to me like the righteous lady is THE CHURCH, not an individual


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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 09:49:02 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

I had written:

> "This is a great mystery, which speaks of Christ and the Church." Guess
> which one we are. When Job was going through his labor pains, his wife
> couldn't handle being in the delivery room, but he was saved in child
> birth just as we are. "For unto us a child is born, and unto us a Son is
> given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder..."

TheologusCrucis * cs <mailto:TheologusCrucis * cs> wrote:

> Jay, Jay, my allegorical friend... ;o) Unfortunately you have to
> explain Paul -- who was not being allegorical in his written
> instructions to Timothy -- saying, in plain Greek, that he did not
> allow women to have authority over men, because of their differing
> roles in creation and the fall. And suprise, suprise, Sgt. Carter --
> you didn't even engage the text of 1 Timothy 1:11-15 at all!

Dear TC,

I didn't respond to that text, because, in present company, Joanne is so
much more qualified to speak to that passage than I am. Her Book,
"WOMEN, GOD'S PLAN NOT MAN'S TRADITION", is the best study that I have
seen on the place of Women in the economy of God. I defer to her in this.

> (Very glib, there, about Job. I wonder if he would have thought of his
> experiences in such an allegorical light?)

There are many things that we just will not understand until we get to
the end, and I'm sure that is true for Job as well.

In any case, I got what I got concerning Job as the result of a
revelation, not to stretch the rules too far, I share part of it with
you below. The rest I will send to your email address If anyone else
should want the whole thing, I would be happy to send it to anyone


In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was
blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.1

We would like to urge that Job is not only a type of Christ, but a type
of the "body of Christ, the fullness of Him who fills everything in
every way."2

More, we would urge that the purpose of God the Father is the "whole
measure of the fullness of Christ."3 Finally we would urge that Satan,
in his many revelations is God's instrument in the perfecting of God's

Most specifically, we would like to focus on the problem of pride, and
God's remedy

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."4

In this light we would like to take another look at the following passages:

"One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and
Satan, (which means the accuser) also came with them. The Lord said to
Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the Lord, "From
roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." Then the Lord
said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on
earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and
shuns evil." "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you
not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You
have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are
spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike
everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." The Lord
said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but
on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the
presence of the Lord."5

1 JOB 1:1, 2 EPH 1:23b, 3 EPH 4:13b, 4 PRO 16:18, 5 JOB 1:6-12,

Job was the most righteous man in all the earth. In many other ways
also, he was like the body of Christ. It was God who brought him to the
attention of Satan, who was already aware of his existence and
righteousness. It was God who gave permission to Satan for the
destruction of everything that Job had. Clearly, in context, Satan was
bound in his ability to touch the family and things of Job. It would
have been illegal for Satan to act without God's permission. God
released him to destroy all that Job had. And: "In all this, Job did not
sin by charging God with wrongdoing."1

"On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord,
and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the
Lord said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the Lord,
"From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." Then
the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no
one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God
and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited
me against him to ruin him without any reason." "Skin for skin!" Satan
replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out
your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you
to your face." The Lord said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your
hands; but you must spare his life."

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with
painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then
Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat
among the ashes."3

Having destroyed Job's familial and material wealth, but not his
"legalistic righteousness",4 Satan, still not satisfied, went back into
the presence of the Lord. The Lord, not satisfied with anything less
than unconditional victory, continued the war, throwing Job in the face
of Satan once again. This time it was the vitality and health of Job's
body which Satan was given permission to destroy. The destruction was
stopped just short of death.1

"His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity?
Curse God and die!" He replied, "You are talking like a foolish,
(morally deficient) woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not
trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said."

In the midst of all this destruction, God was still winning.

After seven days of silence, Job's three friends started in on him.
After giving them enough room to hang themselves, the young man, Elihu
began to speak.3

Somehow, Elihu prepared the way for God to speak. After addressing
matters pertaining to inner attitudes of the heart, identifying them by
animal word pictures, God concluded by saying: "He looks down on all
that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud."4

At that point, Job saw something

"Then Job replied to the Lord: "I know that you can do all things; no
plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my
counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not
understand, things too wonderful for me to know. "You said, 'Listen now,
and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.

1 JOB 1:22, 3 JOB 2:1-8, 4 PHI 3:6b, 1 MAT 24:22, 2 JOB 2:9,10, 3 JOB
32:1-6, 4 JOB 41:34,

To be continued:

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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 10:11:46 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

response to TheologusCrucis continued:

- -14-

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I
despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."1

It is clear from Job's response to God, that for all of his
righteousness, there remained in Job a self confidence which left room
for pride. Job thought he understood more than he did. He thought he
knew more than he did, and God brought His discourse on Job's problem to
a climax by putting His finger on pride. It was pride that made Job
blind to God. It was destruction that removed the beam from Job's eye.6
As soon as Job was able to see, the war was over:

"The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He
had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of
oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three
daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and
the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women
as beautiful as Job's daughters, and their father granted them an
inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred
and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth
generation. And so he died, old and full of years."1

Moving now from Job to the Body of Christ, Romans teaches, what the
Gospels, and the Book of Acts reveal by command and example, that the
Gospel is "first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."2 For want of
another term, we call this the priority principle.

"There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil:
first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for
everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."3

The Bible knows only three kinds of people, Jews, Gentiles and
Christians. Christians, or the Body of Christ is composed of those who
formerly were Jews and Gentiles:

"Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and
called `uncircumcised' by those who call themselves `the circumcision'
(that done in the body by the hands of men)--remember that at that time
you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and
foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God
in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have
been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our
peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the
dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its
commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one
new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to
reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to
death their hostility."4

"He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those
who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one
Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but
fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built
on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus
himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined
together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord."5

First the Gospel, then trouble, finally glory, "first for the Jew, then
for the Gentile."

1 JOB 42:1-6, 6 MAT 7:4-5

> They are equal before God with different God-given gender roles. I
> realize, Jay, that you have little use for what I would consider
> hermeneutics in interpreting Scripture, but I'm wondering:

"Herman" and I have never met, at least, so far as I am aware, so your
probably right about that. Perhaps you could help me out a little in
that connection; what page is he on?

> What do you suppose Paul meant the Ephesians to understand about the
> role of the Church to Christ and to gender roles in the Church? If you
> received this letter as authoritative as the Elder(s) of the Ephesian
> Church did, how would you have implemented Paul's guideline?

There are two great dangers to a man of God where wives are concerned,
the first is a Jezebel, and the second is a doormat. The Context of
Ephesians 5 is a discussion or encouragement to submission:" Submitting
yourselves one to another in the fear of God." Ephesians 5:21

"... and he shall rule over thee". That was part of the curse, when God
said it to the first woman. It was not descriptive of how things were in
the beginning. The overlording of males since that day has been the
plague of humanity, and women have taken the brunt of it. For me, Paul
could have spoken as he did just to be sure that males taking liberties
with females did not continue in the Body of Christ. In other words, the
thrust of Paul's instruction could well have been as much that wives
were not to submit to men other than their husbands, than an emphasis on
their submission to their own. It would have been nice if the message
had not gotten lost on its male listeners, but their are still many
"churches" where the pastors think and behave like roosters.

Am I advocating no submission, NO!! I am saying that the submission is
mutual, not sexist. We as men would do well to concentrate on our need
to love, not that this isn't also God's word to women as well.

Some years ago now, the saints that met in our house resolved the head
covering issue by agreement that the wives would cover their heads just
as soon as the husbands loved them as Christ loves the Church.

Something to think about.


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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 02:20:54 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

Before posting on the thread, I would like to make some moderator comments:

Please, everyone, let us remember the 2 post per day maximum guideline.

On the 21st of August, 2002, I counted:

4 posts from Samuel Buick
4 posts from Jay Ferris
3 posts from TheologusCrusis

I realize the women in ministry issue is a hot one, but let's try to keep
the volume of posts down. I had someone unsubscribe today. When messages
pile up, some people can't handle the pace. Saving up comments and putting
them in longer posts may be a solution for some posters.

Also, please no posts that quote text from another poster and say basically
"Great post" or "I agree."

**********************End Moderator Comments************************************
Now in response to Samuel Buick,

SB wrote,
> Paul may have said that the bishop should be a man, but let us never
> the historical context of the passage. The culture determined to a great
> degree whom was appointed as far as the gender is concerned.

Honestly, your perspective on this issue seems to me to be too 'liberal'
imo, and doesn't sit well with me. The same type of reasoning is used by
people trying to promote the idea that it is okay to be a practicing
homosexual and still be a Christian. Their view is a lot more shocking and
extreme, and basically boils down to a low view of scripture.

The pro-homo activists are saying that Paul argued against homosexuality
because of his culture. In his culture, he hadn't seen the beauty of
'homosexual marriage' and only knew homosexuality performed by coersion,
prostitution, etc. [excuse me while I vomit...] Basically, their method of
interpreting scripture is to take passages that don't agree with their
views, and dismiss them as being there only for cultural purposes.

> Would he not
> have said the bishop could have been a woman, if the culture of the day
> predominantly matriarchal than patriarchal in nature?

Let me ask you a question, 'parallel' to your own:

"Would not Paul have taught polytheism if the culture of the day were
predominantly polytheistic rather than monotheistic?"

Of course, the culture WAS polytheistic. Paul preached monotheism IN SPITE
of the culture.
Honestly, I find your question to be based on a liberal method of
interpreting scripture. The Lord Jesus revealed the Gospel to Paul and the
12 apostles. Paul taught people to follow the examples and traditions he
laid down.

The apostles werevery active in bucking traditions that ran contrary to
God's plan. If appointing female bishops was God's desire, would God have
allowed a small thing like culture to keep Him from revealing this to the

I could understand if you had some scriptural argument for saying that the
apostles really did appoint female bishops. But this argument, in my
opinion, basically boils down to the idea that Paul was wrong, scripture is
inadequate, and we have to use our superior minds to filter first century
culture out of the commands of God.

In the quote above, you say that the culture was patriarchical. In other
messages, you do argue that the home was more matriarchal than patriarchal--
that he woman's domain was the home. If the early churches were house
churches, why didn't Paul instruct Timothy to appoint female bishops? You
can't have your cake and eat it, too. If Paul didn't appoint female bishops
because of a male dominated culture, then what do your posts about women
being in charge of the home in the first century have to do with the
discussion? Do you see the point I'm trying to make?

SB wrote,
>>A woman's authority is not political in
>nature, and neither should it be in the church, which is why I find it a
>comfort to read of the lady in 2 John. She definitely was an elder who had
>authority in the church that met in her home. I don't understand all the
>difficulty people are having with this.

You wrote an entire post on this topic. I snipped another paragraph about
this to save space.

Honestly, I've never thought or read of the idea that Paul was writing to a
female bishop who was 'lord' of the church. I don't think your
interpretation stands up in light of Jesus' teaching that indicated the
apostles were not to lord it over others like the rulers of the Gentiles
did, and Peter's teaching that elders were not to lord it over the flock of
God. One of your posts seemed to be arguing that 'the elect lady' was in
charge of a church because the Bible calls here a 'lordess' or lady. It
just doesn't add up to me.

This is how I've interpreted the verse. It seems like I've come across
other writings with a similar interpretation.

2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in
the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

I see the 'elect lady' as the church he is writing to, and the children
being the believers in this church.

Notice the greeting at the end:

II John 1:13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

Which is more likely, that John happened to be writing from a
woman-lord-bishop's home church to another women-lord-bishop's home church?
Or, that John is referring to the churches as elect ladies? I see the later
as more reasonable.

Let us consider some internal evidence from within the letter to back up
this position.

Pay careful attention to whom John addresses in these verses:

John 1:5-6
5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment
unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one
6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the
commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in

Notice that John starts off addressing the 'lady' and ends up in verse 6
talking about what 'ye' have heard in the beginning. 'Ye' is plural.
Notice how this individual 'lady' in verse 5, becomes 'ye' in verse 6. This
makes perfect sense if the lady is the church.

I don't see how these two verses can make really good sense if John is
bouncing between addressing an individual leader and the rest of the church.

What about the idea that this woman was a female bishop in charge of what
happened in the home church, and was responsible for not receiving false
teachers in the house church? I disagree with this view. Let me show you
some internal evidence from within the verse to show you some reasons why:

II John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine,
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

Is John telling a woman who is a lord-ess of the church, who hosts the
meetings, not to receive false teachers into her home? I don't believe
this is the situation the verse is addressing. Why not?

First of all, the verse says not to receive him into 'your' house--not into
'thine' house. 'Your' is plural. "Thine' is singular.

I believe John is telling the believers not to allow false teachers to crash
at their houses (as they were to allow genuine apostles and other travelling
brethren to do.) They weren't to send them on wishing them 'God-speed.'
The first century was a time when people knew about hospitality--
especially Jews and righteous Christians. The 12 went on a journey and
crashed at the houses of worthy people in the towns they preached in. They
were to stay in one house per town, and not go from house to house. We need
to keep this culture of hospitality in mind when we read about not receiving
false teachers into our homes.

Now some comments on other comments by Samuel Buick,

>3. The Great Commission, Mark 16:15, "Preach the Gospel," is to ALL
believers, and to all the church of Jesus Christ. The command to "preach the
Gospel" is to both male and female.<<

Am I mistaken, or did you suggest last year that the Great Commission was
not for all believers? Was that you who said that, or am I completely

As far as imediate context interpretation is concerned, the Great Commission
as described in this passage was given to the eleven-- all men. There is
application to be made beyond that, I believe.

>>1 Timothy 2:12 is not a blanket rule for all women of all churches. If
it were, then the women could not speak at all, for the same verse that
tells them not to teach also tells them to be silent.<<

We need to take Paul's instructions here in context. But we also need to
keep in mind that Paul offers a _scriptural_ reason for his teachings, based
on the story of Adam and Eve, and not a reason based on culture. Paul also
wrote, "I do not permit a woman..." We can assume that in other churches he
did not permit a woman to usurp authority ovber or teach a man.

>> Some have used Titus 1:6-7, "If any be blameless, the husband of one
wife, having faithful children...", but there is a difference between a
preacher and a bishop.<<

I don't know of anyone on here argying against women 'preachers.' Many
people here are house church people, who don't try to squeeze all the gifts into one
box alternatively labeled as 'preacher' 'pastor' or 'clergyman.'

The woman at the well told others about Jesus. Jesus had Mary Magdalene
tell others that He had risen. I don't think anyone has argued against
women telling others about Jesus.

>>If God called a single man with no children to be a Bishop, as Paul was,
surely this verse is not opposed to it,<<

Where does scripture call Paul a 'bishop.' Paul was an apostle. He
appointed local bishops to administrate local churches. He, and others many
of whom were probably celibate, worked together to evangelize new areas.

Running a household and raising believing children helped train a man to be
a bishop, and also demonstrated his ability to do the work. I'm a little
uncomfortable with the idea of unmarried bishops. One Reformation view was
that priests had to be married. Celibacy is a higher calling, but we don't
have to squeeze all gifted people into the 'elder' or 'bishop' box as so
many try to do.

While we are on the topic of culture, have you ever read Maimoinodes list of
requirements for a judge in Israel? Many of the 'elders of Israel' in
Jesus' day rose up through judgeships. Maimoinedes list of requirements is
similar in many ways to Paul's. The man had to have one wife. He also had
to have had children, so that he would know mercy. The list is similar to
Paul's, but adds a lot of other qualities, like being of fine appearance.
Paul's requirements for eldership probably bore some resemblence to the
requriements for eldership in the Sanhedrin.

Jesus did say to Jewish leaders 'the kingdom of God shall be taken from you,
and given to another kingdom bringing forth the fruits of it.'

>> nor would this scripture oppose a
woman Bishop if she was called of God for the work, as was Deborah.<<

I've noticed that Paul doesn't list a 'call of God' as a requirement for
being a bishop. Gifts don't even get that much attention. He mentions 'apt
to teach' in one epistle, but not in the other one. Paul does list
lifestyle requirements and character requirements. Why should we sweep away
such requirements because someone claims to have a 'call?'

>>What this verse does teach is that a person who is to be a Bishop must not
have two living companions, either husbands or wives.<<

What translation are you using? The translation I am using doesn't say
anything about not having two husbands. Mine says something about 'the
husband of one wife.'

I once had an Internet conversation with a Seventh Day Adfventist who kept
arguing for keeping the Law, including food laws. I asked him about laws
like having tassles on his garments, or not cutting the corner of his beard
cut. He thought the law about not cutting the corner of your beards
properly meant not to deface your body with a bad hair-do, like Friar

Apparently he thought a command not to cut the corners of your beard meant
not to get a bowl cut shave a bald spot on the top of your head. This just
didn't make sense to me. The command said beard, not the top of your head.
It didn't say anything about a bowl cut.

The Bible says 'husband of one wife' and doesn't say anything about a woman
not having two husbands.

>>In fact the argument can and should be made that women should exercise
authority than men in the home and those who gather in the home, for in the
OT and the NT culture of the day, both Hebraic and Greco-Roman, they did
RULE the home and govern over the entire household, while the men took care
of politics, work outside the home, the social life outside the home, etc..
The case can be made for women having a whole lot more authority in their
day than in our own.<<

I just don't get your reasoning here. In spite of all the authority women
had in the home, Paul still spoke of appointing men as bishops.

From what I've learned of Greco-Roman culture, the man who was head of
household had life-or-death authority over his whole household. If the
chief man of the house had a naughty son or nephew, he could execute that
boy legally. If his wife burnt his toast, he could legally kill her
(extreme example, and I doubt the authority was generally used this way.)
The head of the household was also held legally responsible for the actions
of anyone in his family. So the man had to rule his own house well.

Also, from what I understand, the elders of Israel as a nation and the
elders of synagogues were men. If women could be elders in the church,
wouldn't Paul--or some apostle-- have gone out of his way to point this out?

Link Hudson


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