New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

NT Church Proliferation Digest Friday, August 23 2002 Volume 02 : Number 148
[NTCP] women in ministry and elders
[NTCP] hot tips for a better list
[NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] Women Elders: 2 John - Reply to Vanessa
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 08:47:32 -0700
From: kruppnj * open (Nate Krupp)
Subject: [NTCP] women in ministry and elders

For those who might be interested, our writings present a strong case for
women in ministry, leadership, and elders -
WOMAN by Joanne Krupp
GOD's Simple Plan for His Church by Nate Krupp
Leadership in the New Testament by Nate Krupp
- - all available from Preparing the Way Publishers - www.ptwpublish

Nate and Joanne Krupp, 2121 Barnes Avenue SE, Salem, OR 97306, USA
Telephone 503/585-4054, Fax 503/375-8401
Check our web page at
"But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these other
things shall be added to you." - Matthew 6:33

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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 12:34:56 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] hot tips for a better list


In the spirit of mutual priesthood, we essentially allow anyone on the
internet step up to the microphone and speak their peace on ntcp.

Would you please post no more than twice a day to ensure fairness?
Otherwise you might be remembered as one who "loved the preeminence." It
should be obvious that a group this size can generate far more words than
working people could read.

Also, if you receive the daily digests and want of respond, just change
the subject line to reflect the content of your message.

Lastly, please do not send "me too" agreement messages to the list. We
are having a discussion - not taking a survey. Send this type of message
privately to the author of the message or explain why you agree to the

I haven't checked the stats lately but the last time I did the list had
grown to over 100. No doubt many of these daily contend with the
possibility of information overload.

Thank you, evangelism-minded brothers and sisters,

David Anderson

>U*subscribe, please! I've been trying to get this message through and it
>keeps bouncing back to me telling me one message or another, but not
>unsubscribing me. Link, if you are reading this, can you help? Please do
>whatever needs to happen to unsubscribe me, not because of disinterest or
>disagreement but I didn't realize the volume of emails I'd receive and this
>is a work email. It might be listed either as Llane * cbpref or
>concierge * cbpref -- the first defaults to the second. I'm not sure which
>address your server picked up. I may rejoin at another time when I have
>time to pick it up at home. Thank you very much.
>Blessings upon you,
>Lonnie Lane
>Coldwell Banker Preferred
>Phone: 484-531-5821 Fax: 610-828-9057
>Concierge * CBPref

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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 15:43:30 -0500
From: "Tony Dale" <tdale * thekarisgroup>
Subject: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

I have watched (some) of the correspondence with great interest. Where
do you guys find the time to write so much and often with such passion.
I guess tent-making keeps many of us so busy that we can only watch with
interest from the sidelines most of the time.

Today I received the following from Victor and Bindu Choudhrie. The
Lord has used them to help initiate thousands of home churches across
central India. I think it sums up what the Holy Spirit seems willing to
do with available women, whatever we may interpret scripture to say. I
for one love to sit at Bindu Choudhries feet and learn from her.

Dear Chawezi,

Greetings to you from central India.

Church planting is like a two winged bird. If you strengthen one wing by
training only men then it cannot fly. Strengthen the women's wing and
church planting movement will take off like a bird.
June: We scheduled a women's training seminar on Multiplying Churches
from the 15-19th June, which was attended by 45 women leaders. These
were women who were voluntarily working in various ministries either
independently or with their husbands. During the seminar we taught many
topics connected with Great Commission such as Prayer Walking, Spiritual
warfare, Breaking curses, Taking your cities for God, The First Century
model of House Churches, Multiplication etc. After each session women
were divided into small groups to discuss the topic. A feedback was done
to see how much they had imbibed and the result was very encouraging. We
have a prayer manual on intercession called "Prayer Warrior" which they
learnt to follow. Each evening we had games which was hugely enjoyed by
all us. The women were empowered to baptize and establish multiplying
house churches. All the women who attended the seminar were very
enthusiastic and made goals to achieve it.

July: Once again the same women were gathered when a week long training
seminar was conducted in the third week of July. I was present to see
for myself how they imparted the teaching, and I was very happy to see
so many women excited about sharing the Gospel with other women and

training them to become church planters.
August: The trained women are now busy conducting seminars in their own
areas. Right now 13 seminars are being conducted in different areas of
central India. Women leaders are going to other areas as resource
persons so that there is not too much inbreeding. I will keep you
informed about the progress from time to time as I get feedback.
Interesting Story: Chandrika, wife of an evangelist who is totally
illiterate, attended some of our seminars went back to her remote
village and in spite of severe persecution in the village, has so far
baptized nearly 35 women.
I covet your prayers as women begin to impart teaching about the Great
Commission that they will eventually prepare a big army of foot soldiers
for church planting.

We remain grateful for making resources available for us.Please continue
to pray for us.
Thanking you.
Your fellow worker in Christ.

Let's pray for this over here, rather than just debating what is, and
what is not, possible/acceptable for the role of women in the churches.

Tony Dale
tdale * thekarisgroup

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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 18:26:41 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

> Here's the problem, and this is the reason that I mentioned Phebe. Phebe
is not identified by a female form of the word "Deacon", but the same
gender, same word "Deacon" as it is applied to men, where it is written that
"Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and
their own houses well."<<

Very interesting. Do you have a quote backing this up from bearded Bill or
another Greek scholar? Is there any reason to think the masculine was used
because the male word was used for the church 'title?'

> 1 Timothy 3:12. Should I therefore conclude that Phebe had a wife?

Some interpret the following verse to refer to female deaconesses. There is
no parallel verse about female bishops:

1 Timothy 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober,
faithful in all things.

A woman can be a deaconess without teaching men. But what happens if you
put a woman over a house church with men in it? How can a woman minister in
such a situation without teaching and exercising authority over the men? If
her husband is in the church, she is put in authority over her own husband.

> Where ruling the home well is concerned, it may be more difficult to find
a "Proverbs 31" husband than it is the find a "Proverbs 31" wife.<

I suspect there have been a lot of Proverbs 31 husbands--men who took their
seats with the elders in the city gates, largely because of the support of a
godly wife.

Why didn't the wife sit in the gates with the elders in Proverbs 31?


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Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 23:43:36 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis * cs
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?


You wrote:

>>Well, well, well ... that certainly raises the question of whether we
are supposed to "sanctify" (... or do I mean "petrify?") 1st cent.
mediterranean culture-- which really was diverse as all get-out. Let's see,
we had the Latins, the Greeks, the Asians, the Syro-Phoenicians, the
Egyptians, ... oh and that biblically insignificant group (so prone to
cultural assimilation, I might add) called the Judaeans. Plus others.
Along with all their various subdivisions. But let's just play along.
T.C., just 'cause it was *done* that way back when the NT was written, does
that mean *we* have to do it that way in our particular settings?-- in our
modern and post-modern culture(s)? Must we share the same assumptions as
did the Gospel writers and Paul in relation to women, gender roles,
authority, and the Church to be truly biblical in our polity expressions?<<

Woke up on the sarcastic side of the bed, did we? OK.

I would like to say that I don't believe the Church is to replicate 1st C
culture in whatever their diversity or pluralism. Perhaps you would read my
response to Stephanie, as I covered this subject a little bit. Of course we
must make room for the differences of the cultures -- that was kinda my
point, actually. It seems like we don't get the mindset of the first Century
writers when we come to interpret Scripture because we just assume they were
like us.

I think I'm pretty safe in saying that Greek, Roman, and Hebrew culture very
much exhibited and shared the family structure called Patriarchy. I've read
Homer, Virgil, and the OT. I'm sure there were some differences in how they
functioned from culture to culture, and that it evolved and changed over time
culture to culture, but they all were all basically Patriarchies.

"For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the
woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved
in childbearing if they continue in faith love, and holiness, with
self-control." 1 Timothy 2:9-15 NKJV

Adam was formed first, and Eve was taken from Adam himself as a companion and
help mate. They were both created with significant differences that were
meant to compliment each other:

"Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of
man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man comes thru woman;
but all things are from God."

Paul, in Romans 1 uses the example of homosexuality not because it is the
most grievous of sins, or is unforgivable, but because it is rebellion
against the order of creation in God making man for woman and woman for man.

"For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women
exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise the men,
leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another,
men with men committing what is shameful..." Rom. 1:26, 27 NKJV

Paul wrote,

"But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of
woman is man, and the head of Christ is God." 1Cor. 11:3 NKJV

I think its interesting that this most basic relationship represents a
hierarchy. It is one of service, self-sacrificing love and submission, but
still ultimately a hierarchy. The elder in ancient cultures was the authority
not only in their own families, but in their tribe, clan, and kinship groups.
The Word says the church functions in the same way as a family operates in
God ordained gender roles -- that is why Paul did not allow women to have
authority over men in his churches, in his miniature families.

God and Christ are One, yet the Son plays a role in voluntary submission to
the Father (Phil. 2:6, 7 "who, being in the form of God, did not consider it
robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the
form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men." NKJV) Christ is
the Head of the Church, where both men and women are considered His bride.
The man's head, or authority, is Christ, and the woman's is man. Are men and
women unequal? NO. They are both equal in God's sight and love, but they
"play" different roles.

Eph. 5:23 NKJV "For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head
of the Church; and He is the Savior of the body."

Does a modern Christian marriage have to mirror what one looked like in the
1st C? Of course not. We don't do "headcoverings (1 Cor. 11)." But we should
not abandon the creation order and the gender roles Paul said came from God
in creation.

I'll just leave you with one last quote, Michael, before I wish you a better
night's sleep tonight than the one you must have had last night, from the
wife of an Orthodox priest in a book she wrote:

"There was a point in my feminist journey when I insisted that men and women
were the same. As time passed, as I lived with the same man for decades and
gave birth to sons, I realize that this isn't true. I began to see the
difference between men and women is something wonderful, something
facisnating and delightful, something that literally creates new life.
There's no sense delineating roles down to minute levels -- my husband cooks,
I handle the budget -- but in some broad, overarching areas an engagement
with the realities of gender differences can be fruitful and positive, even
enjoyable. I enjoy being in a church with an all male priesthood." Frederica
Mathewes-Green, At The Corner Of East And Now, p. 211

Blessings, Michael,


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Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 06:15:14 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

TheologusCrucis * cs sent:

> "... I enjoy being in a church with an all male priesthood." Frederica
> Mathewes-Green, At The Corner Of East And Now, p. 211

Dear TC,

There's the rub: "an all male priesthood."

Some years ago, I was at a catholic retreat center making arrangements
for an ecumenical meeting of area pastors. It was during the time when
the ordination of women was a big issue in the "Anglican Church". One of
the sisters, apparently longing to be ordained herself asked me what I
thought about the ordination of women. I answered, "I don't think I'm
the person you want to ask, because in the sense you're talking about, I
don't believe in the ordination of men.

This to say, I think part of our problem is that the role models are
wrong. Once we truly see the church as a family, most of the gender
issues go away. In our family, there really are no issues of oversight,
not even with the kids, we all know that both my wife and I oversee the
family, and quite frankly, where families are concerned most women have
better eyesight then men. Manhandling may be another matter alltogether.

Yours in Christ,


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Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 06:55:38 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Women Elders: 2 John - Reply to Vanessa

Dear Vanessa;
The tense structure of the Greek points to a PERSON, not a church. The
style of the writer has also to be weighed in interpreting the passage, and
the writer of the epistles of John, did not use alegory to express truth.
The issue in this letter is an issue of church life in the home of a woman
leader/elder, whether we like to admit or not.


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Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 06:58:38 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

The issue is a 'big deal'. The very idea of multiplying churches and giving
servant leadership to them must be rooted on and grounded on what the Lord
has said. If women cannot and should not 'lead', then the advancement of
the church in most regions of the earth has been in rebellion against the
Lord and His word! I cannot see the Lord blessing such disobedience! Can
SO it is a big deal! It is a grave concern. We need to seriously examine
the history of our theological understanding and ask the Lord if we are
looking through a human lens or His? What does He have to say about it?


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Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 08:49:00 -0400
From: Andrew_Skatoff * dom
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops


Is looking around at what the Lord is "blessing" a good way to figure out
what His highest plan is. Somewhere in the NT it says to "find out what
please the Lord" (Eph 5:10) For 2000 years the Lord has been "blessing"
all kinds of ridiculous man-centered church planting and kingdom building.
I would rather say that he has allowed it for the sake of the message of
His gospel rather than that He is blessing it. How to tell the difference?
I don't know. Perhaps to looking at the fruits is not enough. Just because
something has good fruit doesn't mean that every aspect of it is in harmony
with God's highest plan.

It could easily be the same with women leadership in the church. I think
its safe to look only to the bible as a help in determining God's design
and not to look at what "God is doing in the earth" as one of our metrics.
What do you think? I guess you summed it up at the end: "What does He have
to say about it"

~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions/planting ~ ~ ~

info page: <><><>

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 15:53:44 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Keith S. wrote:

> Simple because the Bible never
> identifies her [Priscilla] as such.
> She is known as an apostle.

Where does the Bible identify Priscilla as an apostle, brother? I
checked and couldn't find anything leading me to such a conclusion. Perhaps
I missed something ...

Jay F. replied to Keith S.

> I'll drink to that," ... not to leave
> the other undone". Peter was both.

Don't drink too soon, my friend. Peter was both, it's true (Mat.
10:2; 1 Pet. 5:1), but was Priscilla ever identified in the Bible as an
apostle? Or even an elder?

Mike S. wrote:

> I still think the major issue of women
> being elders has more to do with a
> misunderstanding of what elders/bishops
> actually do. We seem to always define
> the function in terms of power. And
> that's not the role--not for women, and
> not for men.

You're right that elders/bishops should first and foremost be
servants. And givers of their lives. But I don't think defining these
roles properly is the "*major* issue of women being elders" in the Church.
I'm fairly certain that it mostly has to do with this pesky little set of

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must
be silent" (1 Tim. 2:12ff).

If we can somehow understand a woman's "eldership," "overseer-ship," and/or
"apostleship" in terms which did not seem to ignore or recklessly explain
away that passage (and a few others), then I think many of us would give a
sigh of relief. I know I would. The truth is, I have no *personal* problem
with women functioning in *any* capacities in the Church. The only limits I
will insist on are those limits that appear to be divinely sanctioned.
That's it. And so far nothing solid has stepped up to the plate that, to my
mind, negates the force of Paul's above statement.
The "there is neither male nor female" argument (ala Jay F.) breaks
down under careful exegesis (see my comments to Dan B. in my 3-11-02 post on
the "ethnically diverse HCs" thread for a more detailed treatment of the
data there). It also seeks to counter one verse with another-- as if it
were possible to arrive at doctrine by performing a biblical balancing act

Likewise the "don't take things so literally" track (ala sister
Stephanie) is weak since we have no good reason to believe Paul was here
employing hyperbole or any other literary devices which would dilute the
full impact of his words as written. Nevertheless, we did *finally* get to
hear a female perspective on an issue directly affecting women in the
Church! Thanks go to you dear sister ... and to Vanessa!!!
The "culturally relative" and it's limping cousin, the " 'historical'
backdrop" arguments (ala Sam B.) both depend too heavily on posited
reconstructed (from what?) settings, for which there is in fact no sure
knowledge-- historical, cultural, otherwise. It is unstable ground to
interpret Holy Writ from mental constructs alone-- not based on hard data--
which, by their nature, don't allow God through the Bible to tell His own
message. It is wiser to listen primarily to the flow of thought in a
passage itself, hard as it sometimes may seem. I've gone both the above
"historical" and "cultural" routes before, looking for answers to this
difficult section of Paul's letter. Neither, however, gives primary honor
to the word of God as the source of our authority-- our "manual" (sorry Sam
B.) for how we *should* conduct church.

T.C. is right to re-direct our focus to the *text* of Paul's inspired
letter to Timothy, the apostolic author's reasons for saying what he said
about women's roles. Now I understand that the "saved through childbirth"
part is problematic for all exegetes ... so we won't linger there. However,
before then, Paul does appear to be arguing from an order which God has
woven into creation itself (vs. 13), and from the biblical truism that Eve
was deceived first (vs. 14). Reasons which transcend culture. Whether or
not we understand all he meant by those fronted facts, it is clear enough
that the basis for his edict, limiting women in whom they may teach or over
whom they may have authority, is supra-cultural (above or beyond the issue
of culture).

If we don't understand the *reason* for a biblical injunction, it
gives us no excuse to violate what is nevertheless clear about it: that it
exists, and that it states something which we are certainly able to carry
out in our church polity structures today in our culture(s). Women (call
them "apostles" [possible, though not likely], "elders" [again, possible but
not likely], "overseers" [over what?-- but still a very distant
possibility], "deacons[nesses]" [now you're on solid scriptural grounds],
"prophetesses" [ditto for that], etc.) may NOT teach or have authority over
men in a church setting. Not my rules. God's.

Every counter example that someone might send my way needs to deal
honestly with this issue-- it will not suffice to simply pit one portion of
the Bible against itself, and think that solves the problem. It will not.
And what is more, it would speak more about that person's sub-par view of
God-breathed Scripture than to the issue at hand.

Vanessa D. wrote:

> 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.

Sister, sometimes when I read your posts I say to myself, "Now, I wish
I had said it that way!"

Your "fundie" friend,


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Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 09:44:52 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis * cs
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?


You wrote:

>>This to say, I think part of our problem is that the role models are
wrong. Once we truly see the church as a family, most of the gender
issues go away. In our family, there really are no issues of oversight,
not even with the kids, we all know that both my wife and I oversee the
family, and quite frankly, where families are concerned most women have
better eyesight then men. Manhandling may be another matter alltogether.<<

I don't agree, Jay. Once we truly start to see the church as a family we are
immediately confronted with the husband being the head of the woman, and
gender relations don't simply melt away, on the contrary they increase!

As you used your family as an illustration, I'll use mine. We had many
oversight issues! To use an insignificant but oft reoccurring issue when I
was a teen, I had to be in at a certain time -- not because dad liked making
certain rules just to make my life miserable, but because he loved me. If I
wasn't in on time, there was an "oversight issue!" My Mom had authority over
me as well -- she enforced what dad had decided was the best, even when she
didn't necessarily agree with him. Sometimes she thought he was to hard,
sometimes she thought he was too soft. But I can remember only a few times
when she disagreed with him in front of us kids.

I will agree with you in this: it is a foolish man who doesn't take into
serious consideration the counsel of his wife! Again, men and women are meant
to compliment each other, and you are right in saying that women can often
see things better that men, particularly in the area of relationships. But
biblically, after the voice of the kids are heard, after the advise of a
godly wife has been honestly weighed and considered, its up to the poor
schmuck of a husband to fall down on his knees and consult his head to make
the decision.

Frankly, and this comment is in absolutely no way referring to your comments
above, after being in the IC "ministry" for 12 years I have to say that I
have met very, very few ministers/Elders that really had a biblical
relationship with his wife and kids. And after two years of visiting various
house church in my area I can't say I've run into anything all that different. Perhaps
Paul placed an emphasis one the home, wife, and children of an Elder being in
order for a reason?

God bless you today, Jay!


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #148

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