New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Saturday, August 24 2002 Volume 02 : Number 149
Re: [NTCP] Women Elders: 2 John - Reply to Vanessa
Re: [NTCP] Women Elders: 2 John - Reply to Vanessa
[NTCP] 2 post per day maximum
Re: [NTCP] 2 post per day maximum
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? - female bishops
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops
Re: [NTCP] Getting aquuainted
Re: [NTCP] participating
Re: [NTCP] participating
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
[NTCP] Simple plea

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 10:04:38 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Women Elders: 2 John - Reply to Vanessa

Link to Sam,

You argued that Greco-Roman culture was male dominated, and that the
restrictions on women were there for cultural reasons.

You also argued that in Hebrew and Greco-Roman culture, the woman was in
charge of household affairs, women the home church is within a domain where
a woman can have authority.

Does anyone else see an inconsistency here? The arguments seem to be
"Because the culture in the first century was X, scriptures Y and Z do not
apply today." And "Because the culture in the first century was X, we
should do the same today."

The real issue here is revelation. Paul based his comments on women not
teaching men on an argument from scripture. I've read arguments that Paul
was addressing the 'cultural backdrop' of a city with women priests. But
the text doesn't argue for women not teaching men based on the cultural
backdrop, but rather on scripture.

Do we have the authority to disregard scriptural teachings by dismissing
them as culturally irrelevant?

Paul bucked many cultural traditions of his day. The pagan culture was
poythesitic, yet Paul taught monotheism in spite of that. Jewish culture
circumcised Gentiles. Paul taught against circumcising Gentile believers.
Why? Because his teachings were based on revelation, not on the culture.
Paul was 'culturally relevant'-- but within the bounds of divine revelation.

So if first century culture were male-dominated, and Paul felt that women
should be bishops, why didn't he speak out to correct the
culturally-influenced error? Why does he, instead, 'back up' what the
culture was teaching?

The main issue we are tealing with is whether or not Paul's epistles are
inspired.

On II John,

>>The tense structure of the Greek points to a PERSON, not a church.<<

As far as I know, there is no 'allegorical' tense structure in Greek, used
specifically for singulars, so the fact that John uses a singular here
should be expected if he is speaking allegorically.

I don't see how John could be speaking of a literal individual, since he
switches back between addressing the lady and 'ye' (plural.) Also, the odds
of John writing FROM a house church led by one woman female bishop acting as
'lord' over the flock, TO another house church with a female 'lord' over the
flock is just too unlikely of a scenario, imo. The idea of a female bishop
being called a 'lord' after Jesus teaching not to call any man 'master'
seems far to unlikely. Please address my previous post on the issue.

I would be surprised if you could find one commentary or any other Christian
who had studied the epistle independantly who believes that the lady is a
female house church leader besides yourself. Every comment I've read seems
to see the lady as a woman.

>> 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.<<

Assuming the author is the apostle John, and John also wrote the book of
Revelation (and that 'John the elder' in Ephesus wrote none of these)--
Johanine writings contain a lot of allegory. Have you ever read the book of
Revelation? Considering the fact that your style of interpretation of that
book is likely more allegorical than my own (I presume from your
eschatalogical leanings), it is ironic that you would say that John's
writings are not allegorical.

Something else to keep in mind is that an epistle calling the church a
'lady' might be a little safer for security reasons. If the word 'ecclesia'
were used in the salutation, someone who found the letter might associate it
with the Christians. Something else to keep in mind is that the book of
Revelation, also Johanine, speaks of the _bride_ of Christ, and the marriage
supper of the Lamb. So recognizing the church as a 'lady' is in keeping
with Johanine theology.

Link Hudson


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Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 10:04:38 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Women Elders: 2 John - Reply to Vanessa

Link to Sam,

You argued that Greco-Roman culture was male dominated, and that the
restrictions on women were there for cultural reasons.

You also argued that in Hebrew and Greco-Roman culture, the woman was in
charge of household affairs, women the home church is within a domain where
a woman can have authority.

Does anyone else see an inconsistency here? The arguments seem to be
"Because the culture in the first century was X, scriptures Y and Z do not
apply today." And "Because the culture in the first century was X, we
should do the same today."

The real issue here is revelation. Paul based his comments on women not
teaching men on an argument from scripture. I've read arguments that Paul
was addressing the 'cultural backdrop' of a city with women priests. But
the text doesn't argue for women not teaching men based on the cultural
backdrop, but rather on scripture.

Do we have the authority to disregard scriptural teachings by dismissing
them as culturally irrelevant?

Paul bucked many cultural traditions of his day. The pagan culture was
poythesitic, yet Paul taught monotheism in spite of that. Jewish culture
circumcised Gentiles. Paul taught against circumcising Gentile believers.
Why? Because his teachings were based on revelation, not on the culture.
Paul was 'culturally relevant'-- but within the bounds of divine revelation.

So if first century culture were male-dominated, and Paul felt that women
should be bishops, why didn't he speak out to correct the
culturally-influenced error? Why does he, instead, 'back up' what the
culture was teaching?

The main issue we are tealing with is whether or not Paul's epistles are
inspired.

On II John,

>>The tense structure of the Greek points to a PERSON, not a church.<<

As far as I know, there is no 'allegorical' tense structure in Greek, used
specifically for singulars, so the fact that John uses a singular here
should be expected if he is speaking allegorically.

I don't see how John could be speaking of a literal individual, since he
switches back between addressing the lady and 'ye' (plural.) Also, the odds
of John writing FROM a house church led by one woman female bishop acting as
'lord' over the flock, TO another house church with a female 'lord' over the
flock is just too unlikely of a scenario, imo. The idea of a female bishop
being called a 'lord' after Jesus teaching not to call any man 'master'
seems far to unlikely. Please address my previous post on the issue.

I would be surprised if you could find one commentary or any other Christian
who had studied the epistle independantly who believes that the lady is a
female house church leader besides yourself. Every comment I've read seems
to see the lady as a woman.

>> 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.<<

Assuming the author is the apostle John, and John also wrote the book of
Revelation (and that 'John the elder' in Ephesus wrote none of these)--
Johanine writings contain a lot of allegory. Have you ever read the book of
Revelation? Considering the fact that your style of interpretation of that
book is likely more allegorical than my own (I presume from your
eschatalogical leanings), it is ironic that you would say that John's
writings are not allegorical.

Something else to keep in mind is that an epistle calling the church a
'lady' might be a little safer for security reasons. If the word 'ecclesia'
were used in the salutation, someone who found the letter might associate it
with the Christians. Something else to keep in mind is that the book of
Revelation, also Johanine, speaks of the _bride_ of Christ, and the marriage
supper of the Lamb. So recognizing the church as a 'lady' is in keeping
with Johanine theology.

Link Hudson


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

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 13:39:57 -0400
From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] 2 post per day maximum

(note from forwarder: Most people are unable to follow the instructions
to leave the list and thus send their requests to the entire list. The
list software looks for such posts and thus the word in question below is
cloaked via a *)

From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>

Please remember the guidelines for this group. One is two posts per day
maximum. The other is no posts that just say 'yes, I agree' 'amen' ,
'great post' etc. without offering any additional commentary.

In the past couple of days, I've read two u*subscribe requests. Most of
us are enjoying the conversation and learning, but some people can't
handle high volume. Volume is high on this list only rarely, but a few
days of multiple posts by a few users can drive others off the list.
There are dozens of people on the list. If everyone posted many times per
day, our mail boxes and hard drives would quickly fill up.

I am moving to Marion, North Carolina this week, do so it will be
difficult for me to keep a close eye on this list for the next few days.
Normally, there are no problems. If anyone wants to unsuscribe in the
meantime, email from the account you are receiving at 'unsubscribe ntcp'
or unsubscribe ntcp-digest' to mailto:majordomo * homechurch


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


Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 14:21:00 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] 2 post per day maximum

Hi all,

The idea here is not to squelch any brother or sister but just to work
toward fairness. Of spreading your thoughts over a few days that others
may read and respond.

Would you, for example, challenge me if you knew that I would always
reply with a barrage of posts, thus guaranteeing myself the last word on
every matter? I doubt it.

The point: Just relax, enjoy sharing and taking your turn.

God bless you as you travel, Link. Keep in touch.

David Anderson


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Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 14:27:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Women Elders: 2 John - Reply to Vanessa

- --- Samuel Buick <aom_canada * hotmail> wrote:
> Dear Vanessa;
> The tense structure of the Greek points to a PERSON, not a church.

OK, so doesn't the Bible refer to the Church as a bride, which is a
person? As a body, which is also of a person. There are many other
examples where the church is personified. although I don't know the greek,
I'm sure if the Bible writers would refer to the Church as a BRIDE, they
could also use a structure that refers to it as a person.

Vanessa


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

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 14:32:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

Paul said women should be silent when in a congregation. Some of the best leaders need not speak to lead. Like I said before, one can lead better by
training well our sons to be leaders and supporting our husbands than by
spending time on a pulpit leaving the children in care of others.

However, I doubt that God would consider it sinful for a woman to speak in group. It is a recommendation, rather, I think. But just in case, I'll let
my husband speak, or I'll speak with him over my head. Or I'll teach
children or small groups. I wonder if Paul said women should not teach? It seems to me he only said they should not speak in church to interrupt: to
go ask their husbands if they have questions.

Vanessa


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Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 18:15:12 EDT
From: CWOWI * aol
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

Hi all,
Vanessa...I'll add a couple things which agree with you and add a
bit...actually Paul didn't tell women to be silent...Greek doesn't have words
for 'wife' and 'husband', it relies on the context to determine if the text
means 'married women' ie wives, or 'married men' ie husbands.

That being the case, in I Cor 14:34 he is referring to wives being silent,
asking their husbands at home, under submission as the Law says. And if you really examine it, the Law doesn't address 'silence' in particular, in fact,
in Gen 16:1 Abraham obeys Sarah. The Law is talking about respect and honor
and family order, not silence. Consider for instance Deborah, a judge of
Israel...again, the issue isn't silence, but order in the family.

The issue in Corinth was as much cultural as anything. I think most of us
have studied how women were kept separate from the men in a meeting, and with the freedom in Christ wives were calling out to their husbands for
understanding...thus the confusion and lack of order during a service which
prompted Paul's teaching here.

The issue is the same in I Tim 2:13-14 where Paul says (properly understood) I do not allow the wife to teach/instruct or usurp authority over her husband...

The issue isn't teaching, it's usurping authority, publicly
teaching/instructing the husband/putting him in his place so to speak. Again,
the issue is order.

...now to that end I say that Joyce Meyers is NOT usurping authority over
Dave, or Marilyn over Wally, or Francis over Charles Hunter...their
respective husbands recognize the gifts within their wives and give them
total freedom to go with it...certainly perfectly in line with what Paul says
here in I Tim 2:13-15.

I might also add historical data about the Corinthians. Their city motto was
"Knowledge and Freedom", basically they had an attitude of 'anything goes'.
That's why they had issues with a man sleeping with his step mother, members
suing one another, total misunderstanding about marriage and divorce and
their respective places, wildfire use of the gifts of the Spirit, eating
things sacrificed to idols and walking in love, and so on. Ten major issues
in I Corinthians alone.

I once read a record of a Roman communique to a superior officer about how
easy it was to spot Christian women...they weren't wearing their (outer)
veils and they weren't walking 2 paces behind their husbands. This helps
explain Paul's admonition to obey the customs of the locale and wear their
veils, etc.

Just some thoughts...
John Fenn


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Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 19:52:02 -0700
From: "Brittian" <insearchofacity * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

Andrew,
I could not have agreed more when you said "What does He have to say?"
It got me thinking about something that I have been told all my life, to
look at what Scripture clearly says. I think you have probably heard this
before as well. That for every disagreement or notion there is clear
biblical doctrine which can explain it away. However I always found it
terribly odd that one man's clear biblical explanation was another man's
heresy, and vice versa. and you know, it seems to me that for a little
under two thousand years soulish men (and women) have been basing a great deal of division on clear biblical doctrine. I can think of a few reasonswhy this is true, and the biggest one is that it doesn't take a great dealof the cross or Christ in any believers life for them to look up a verse and chapter (or twenty for that matter) to support their natural inclinations
and to blast another believer with "clear biblical interpretation".

I know thats not whats going on here, its all very good natured. But you
might be surprised that outside this discussion group these little and quite
well intentioned yet very heady discussions have been known to destroy,
divide, and yes cripple countless believers. All based off of clear biblical
interpritation.

Getting back to your original statement about 'What does He have to say?", I think that we may be overlooking something. What we really want, and what I think this discussion list is all about, is the search for a practical
expression of Christ. We want the life of Christ, we want and we need His
incredible nature. COuld we be looking in the wrong place then, Now if I
may quote a bit of clear scripture, "You search the scriptures looking for
my Father's life, when I, real life, am with you right now." What we need
is not a better interpretation of the word deacon, or a different
translation of the 3rd vowel in 2nd John Chapter one, or a really great
teaching on womens historical place in the church and what successes or
disasters that may or may not have caused (depending on who's doing the
"great teaching), what we need, what we want, and what we must have is the Christ of the matter, nothing less. If we give anything less, one jot or
tiddle less, to each other then we have gotten ourselves into the same mess
that I think alot of us are beginning to be drawn out of.
We all have a human spirit, let's use that, let's plumb the depths of
Christ, and not settle for heady, soulishness. We need the Christ of the
matter, not another method, not more clear biblical interpretation, just
Christ.

That's what He has to say, its the one Word He's been saying since the
beginning, His Son.
Yours
Brittian

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

info page: http://world-missions.org/planting <><><>


Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 02:02:02 +0200
From: "Ampe Pronk" <marcusampe * tiscalinet.be>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Getting aquuainted

(A 2, late remark on Keith August 08 message)
We not only have to preach Jesus, but He has given us the important task to
continue to look forward and to spread the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. To become one united Israel it is important that we all try to make the effort to really find out what was the Way for the Hebrews to enter the promised Land, and to wonder were we fit in in this.
Bless you.
Yours sincerely,
Marcus Ampe

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


Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 03:26:00 +0200
From: "Ampe Pronk" <marcusampe * tiscalinet.be>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] participating

Is it not marvellous that though so many temptations people got presented by
tradition, philosophy and nominational thoughts, there is always kept the
red line unchanged, and that is the Word of God = the Bible.
As Christians we have to dare to step out in the World and show are love to all those who sincerely are looking up to Jesus and to honour the Only God the Father, Jehovah or Yahweh. Trying to open are houses to those who want to step in the footsteps of Jesus and the Apostles can only bring us closer
to our task and yes even to Church-peace. (Even when we know that the path is small and that we would not be part of the majority.
Let us be by then Blessed in the smaller but a good group in the eyes of
God.
Yours sincerely,
Marcus Ampe

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info page: http://world-missions.org/planting <><><>


Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 03:17:26 +0200
From: "Ampe Pronk" <marcusampe * tiscalinet.be>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] participating

To Terry L. Jarbo, in retarded answer from my side. (I have been on holiday)
The magic about Christianity how diffused it may seem, is that, if we look
closer to it, that we notice the Hand of the Master. The Apostles preached
and proclaim to evangelise and to let the world be known that the Kingdom of God was near. After being baptised it was everybody's task to fulfil their duties as Christians. It is God who calls us and who gives us the possibilities to work for Him. So no by ordination by worldly people or we placed in functions. I think we just have to trust the Lord that He shall give us the right work to do ( which He think we are good for) Naturally you can ask how we can know which function is assigned to us, but perhaps it isjust that work which comes to us .... just by "co-incidence".

Bless you.
Yours sincerely,
Marcus Ampe

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


Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 07:23:27 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

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

> 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!

Dear TC,

This is a very helpful email! It has us on the right playing field.
Reading it, I was struck by the very strong possibility that our
discussion has been taking place "in light of" our understanding of
"church". The problem is that our understanding of "church" has not been
light, it has been darkness, and if our light is darkness, how great is
the darkness?

If The Lord would have mercy on us, and help us to think about these
things in light of what life teaches us, rather then religion, we might
be able to discover some truth about relationships, even submission in
relationships, and the truth about looking out for one another, (Did I
say, "being our "brother's keeper?), without trying to rule one another.
We might even find "plurality of eldership" right in our own homes.

> 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 to

> soft. But I can remember only a few times when she disagreed with him
> in front of us kids.

Yes, our mom's did have authority, and they were half of the parents we
were told to honor, with the promise that things would go well for us,
including length of life. I don't know how it was in your house, but I
could imagine that your parents made many decisions together. It's not
so good for the children to listen in when the parents are having a
disagreement, so I think when ever possible, parents tend to work out
the disagreements in private. At least, I think that's how it works,
when it's working right. Kind of like Elders taking "good heed to
themselves....", and out of that heed, being better able to "....take
good heed to the flock of God over the which the Holy Spirit has made
them overseers..."

> 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.

I'm not sure I would have put it that way, but I think what you have
said could be applied to his wife as well. Now elder being a relative
term, there is this aspect to it; in any group of elders, like Adam and
Eve, for instance, probably one of them is elder to the other, has "been
formed first" relative to the other. In such a case, there is a
submission even among the elders, but it is a foolish eldership where
this submission is not mutual.

> 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.

May I add I loud, and sincere "AMEN", to your observation stated here?

> And after two years of visiting various house church in my area I can't say I've
> run into anything all that different.

Yes, there are many household heads who are "running for" PASTOR. And show all the signs of insecurity found among institutional leadership.

> Perhaps Paul placed an emphasis one the home, wife, and children of an
> Elder being in order for a reason?

Yes, I believe he was trying to direct our attention to what life has
been trying to teach us all along.

Thank you TC for your loving patience in helping me/us to work this through.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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

Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 23:34:11 EDT
From: JAMESRUTZ * cs
Subject: [NTCP] Simple plea
Somebody change the subject.

Jim Rutz
Colorado Springs

End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #149

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