New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Monday, August 26 2002 Volume 02 : Number 151
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? Women working for God in apostolic function
Re: [NTCP] Simple plea
[NTCP] New email address for Link and Hana
[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] What are apostles? Women working for God in apostolic function
[NTCP] mistaken identity
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 15:47:22 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis * cs
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Jay,

Thought I'd reply although it seems James R is bored with the conversation.

I wrote:

>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.

You replied:

>>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..."<<

Sorry, Jay, but I don't agree again. My Mom may have been an "overseer," but
it was under my Dad's headship that she exercised authority. When they did
disagree, as all human husbands and wives are bound to do, the final decision
was still Dad's. It wasn't that Mom as a person was somehow inferior, or that
God loved Dad more because he was a man, but because my parents understood
the biblical roles of man and wife -- as Paul wrote: "But I want you to know
the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of
Christ is God." 1 Cor. 11:3 NKJV

I had written:

>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.

You replied:

>>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.<<

Again, as Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus, an Elder should be the husband of
one life. If there is a plurality of Elders, it would be a group of men as
the head of their households, and head of, which in this case, would be the
household of God. It would be foolish for these men not to take the Bride,
the Church, into consideration as they Discipline, encourage, reprove,
rebuke, teach, and generally shepherd the congregation. There is a mutual
submission between the Elders of the church and people that make up that
community. But the Congregation is to obey and submit to the Elders as the
Elders are submitted and obedient to Christ.

I had written, with a true ache in my heart,

>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.

You replied:

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

Thanks. It is pretty obvious, isn't it? The divorce rate within the church is
equal to and in some regions above that of the world surrounding them. There
are too many Christian families in crisis, and not enough churches. We have
para-church organizations, like "Focus on the Family," but they are not in
relationship like the people of a local church body would be.

I had written:

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

You replied:

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

Actually, I have observed the opposite! They were all running for "Mr. Nice
Guy, Non-authoratarian Guy" award. They were so busy backing away from actual
leadership that there wasn't anyone in charge -- everything was done by vote
or consensus. It was really weird running into a bunch of guys all trying to
be Allan Alda!

I wrote:

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

Your reply:

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

As do I, Jay, as do I. God's blessings to you,

TC


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Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 16:01:21 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? Women working for God in apostolic function

>Anyway, that's my 2 cents...I enjoy being in the loop, and honest debate is
>great.
>John Fenn

Hi John,

Do you believe that whoever can post the most on a particular subject
wins the debate? Out of curiosity, do you like receiving 5 or 6 phone
calls from the same person in one day?

Please follow the simple posting guidelines which appear at the url on
the bottom of each message. I think this matter just came up a few days
ago...

QUOTE: Participants should post no more than twice a day to the list.
Individual posts should be limited to about 20,000 characters. Posts
should be composed of text only - no html, attachments, or images.
UNQUOTE.

Thank you, brother,

David Anderson


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


Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 16:31:29 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis * cs
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Simple plea

Stephanie,

Good questions! You wrote:

>>What does it mean to be interdependant, i.e., sharing the 'life flow' of
the blood of the Lamb?<<

As to your first question, I would say to focus the Body on baptism and the
Lord's Supper. The core of any Body life is Christ, and Him crucified. From
the cross flows crucifixion of self, and resurrection with Christ by the
presence of the Holy Spirit. Only those who daily pick up their cross to die,
and who daily are resurrected by the Spirit have the Life, the attitude and
character of Jesus, i.e., love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness,
faithfulness, patience, and self-control. It is like an always running stream
that satisfies: they will never thirst again! They will not have to go to any
place geographically, by baptism and regeneration the Spirit of God has made
them, their clay vessels of their bodies, the temple, the holy of holies,
where the presence of God abides continually!

(No buildings, no parking lots, no baggage!)

Any true fellowship, any true interdependence, flows from this, and it all
flows from the cross.

This is planted in church with the message proclaimed, as Christ is the
foundation of any HC. Practically, in answering your second question:

>>What does it mean in the practical sense, and how do we foster this
interdependence as we lay the foundations of the Gospel in every church plant?
<<

It has to do with the gifts a risen Savior left the church as He ascended to
help mature them into His very own image. I believe that people are the gifts
that Christ gave the church, not "offices": apostles, evangelists, prophets,
shepherds/teachers -- these individuals are indispensable to practically
fostering Christian maturity in discipleship.

As for your last question:

>>How then, is this interdependence maintained, and how can we best serve
this mission without creating a new law?<<

I don't think we have to turn anything into a new "law." We will have to
resist temptation to be conformed by how the world gets things done without
faith in God, i.e., managerial techniques and organization; we will have to
resist temptation to create some sort of "job descriptions" that will fit
into some type of organizational "flow chart."

I think unity is the key: that the Elders, as defined by Scriptures, lead
according to Scripture, that the Deacons serve according to Scripture, that
the gifts go (apostles), evangelize (evangelist), encourage and edify
(prophets), lead and teach the others shepherds/teachers), who as they do
what they have been gifted to do with the rest of the Body in turn accept
their place of submission and exercise, as they are being built up and
encouraged, the spiritual gift given to them by the Spirit for the
edification of others.

It would be in practice the realities that baptism and the Lord's Table
signify and to some extent are -- this IMHO is what would mark a truly
functioning church, 1st C or 21st C.

Just my opinion, though. God bless, Stephanie,

TC


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Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 19:14:47 -0400
From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] New email address for Link and Hana

There is now a new email address for Link and Hana Hudson:

<Linkh * mcdowell.main.nc.us>.

I can also be reached at <Link * world-missions>.

I will be using these adresses rather than my att address. Please make
the appropriate changes in your address book.

This message is for those who would email me for personal purposes or
email lists I have chosen only. If you are a spammer marketing services,
this email reached you by mistake. Please remove the addresses listed
above, and all other addresses from your mailing list.

Link Hudson


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


Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 08:20:43 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

Tony D. wrote:

> I think it sums up what the Holy Spirit
> seems willing to do with available women,
> whatever we may interpret scripture to
> say .... 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.

Sounds like you've got your mind made up, brother ... despite viable
evidence to the contrary. I'm not so sure. Also, we might be wise to
distinguish between what *is* and what *should* be in the Church. According
to God's word. Blessings on sister Bindu Choudhrie's ministry and the
people brought into the kingdom, and discipled, through her. But please
recognise that when she is publicly teaching and having authority over men
in her congregation(s) she may *possibly* be doing something which runs
contrary to God's will. And that it is important for NT church planters to
clarify if that is indeed what the Bible teaches on the matter. In other
words, our little on-list "debate" might not be such a waste of time at all.
I've rather enjoyed it. We would do better to pray for the rapid expansion
of God's kingdom throughout the world, done without the diluted blessing
which comes from diluted obedience. Due in part to diluted understanding.
Think?

Jay F. had written:

>> 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."

To which Link H. replied:

> 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?'

Link, I'm no scholar (as you know), particularly when it comes to
Greek-- perhaps Mike S., or somebody with more training than me, will step
in to better enlighten us. But I am a *careful* student of God's word.
Therefore I checked out Jay's claim above and he is correct about the noun
form. Although my "Bible Works" computer program identifies DIAKONON in
Rom. 16:1 (about Phoebe) as a feminine singular noun, a quick search on the
*same exact* Greek form yielded only one other hit-- Rom. 15:8:

"For I tell you that Christ has become a servant [DIAKONON] of the Jews on
behalf of God's truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs ..."

So obviously the "Bible Works" folks only mean that it is feminine *in
context*, not in form. It is a masculine form.

"In an age where feminism is an issue, it should be noted not only that this
woman held a prominent office in the Cencherean congregation, but that the
word 'diakonos' is a *masculine, not a feminine form*. Phoebe was a
'deacon,' not a 'deaconess' (as some English versions render the word)."
-- David H. Stern. JEWISH NEW TESTAMENT
COMMENTARY.Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament
Publications, 1992, p. 439 (emphasis mine).

The word Jay mentioned, used in 1 Tim. 3:12 ...

"A deacon [DIAKONOI] must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his
children and his household well."

... is also masculine in form, although it *primarily* differs from DIAKONON
by being a plural (lit. "Deacons must be ..."). Nevertheless, it is closely
related to the word Paul uses in Rom. 16:1 about Phoebe. So at least Jay's
reporting of the data is sound enough. It is his interpretation of the
info, plus his related inferences, which you are right to challenge.
Bottom line: there is sufficient evidence to convince many reputable
commentators (and me) from both the Bible (see above, also 1 Tim. 3:11-13)
and from ancient historical sources (PLINY'S LETTER TO THE EMPEROR 10. 97
[2nd cent. A.D]; APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS [also 2nd cent. A.D], several
places, to name a few) that women functioned as deacons in many different
local congregations-- that it was a viable practice derived from apostolic
practice itself or by carefully interpreting the inspired NT writings.
There were likewise prophetesses, both in ancient Israel (Exo. 15:20;
Jud. 4:4; 2 Kgs. 20:14; Isa. 8:3; Luk. 2:36) and in the early Church (Act.
21:9). No denying it ... nor would I want to.
Less clear however, is the evidence that there were women apostles,
overseers, and/or elders ... in official capacities, that is. The
scriptural evidence is scanty and ultimately too open-ended for me to take a
non-mainstream position. Call me a coward; I want to be biblical in my
beliefs.

It is true, as Sam B's article mentioned, that John Chrysostom (4th
cent. A.D.), a native Greek-speaker, believed Junia to be an apostle:

"Oh! how great is the devotion [Gk. FILOSOFIA] of this woman, that she
should be even counted worthy of the appellation of apostle!" (COMMENTARY ON
ACTS, Homily XXXI).

But he is the only "Church Father" who mentions her at all. I ran a
computer search on "Junia" (through 38 volumes of writings) which yielded
only this one hit. Therefore I can't tell whether his opinion was just a
fluke ... or more centrist. It's nevertheless worth a fair hearing, I must
say. I also thought there was something substantial in Chrysostom's
explanation of 1 Tim. 2:12:

"In what sense then does he say, 'I suffer not a woman to teach?' (1 Tim.
ii. 12.) He means to hinder her from publicly coming forward (1 Cor. xiv.
35), and from the seat on the bema, not from the word of teaching. Since if
this were the case, how would he have said to the woman that had an
unbelieving husband, 'How knowest thou, O woman, if thou shalt save thy
husband?' (ib. vii. 16.) Or how came he to suffer her to admonish children,
when he says, but 'she shall be saved by child-bearing if they continue in
faith, and charity, and holiness, with sobriety?' (1 Tim. ii. 15.) How came
Priscilla to instruct even Apollos? It was not then to cut in sunder private
conversing for advantage that he said this, but that before all, and which
it was the teacher's duty to give in the public assembly; or again, in case
the husband be believing and thoroughly furnished, able also to instruct
her. When she is the wiser, then he does not forbid her teaching and
improving him" (Ibid).

More things to consider. More opportunities to meditate on God's
marvelous word!

MICHAEL
Jerusalem


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Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 08:23:35 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

T.C. wrote:

> ... you woke up on the
> sarcastic side of the bed ...

Sorry, brother. Didn't mean to rub you raw. Truth is I *usually*
wake up happy ... and on the sarcastic side of the bed. It is my actual
personality. Ask Link. What I present on this list is a sort of
"saccharined-down" version of my real self since I noticed (with help) a
while back that I was offending people left and right. Now I usually
re-check posts before sending them out to make sure most rough edges have
been "filed down". Sometimes I wince at how "sugary" I end up sounding to
myself in my written communications. In truth, I *love* "from-the-hip"
verbal sparring ... as a means of learning/teaching. Complete with sarcasm,
irony, AD ABSURDEM, etc. "Straight, no chaser," I always say. But alas, I
belong to a minority in this world. :-(

I guess that in my last post to you I figured we had such a good
relationship, on and off list, that I could "let my hair down" a little with
you. I probably need to pin it back up again, huh? That's okay. It's good
practice for communicating with folks outside of Israel. Here Jews born in
the land describe themselves as SABRAs (i.e. "pears from a cactus"-- painful
to harvest, but oh SO sweet the fruit on the inside! ... once a person works
past the "prickers," that is). ;-) How I love that part of living and
ministering in Israel! My "prickly" personality finally found some place
where it fits ...

I was actually playing the "devil's advocate" in that post, T.C. In
essence, I agree with your position. If you'll notice, I have been
championing -- alongside you, Link, and a few others-- a view that gives
preeminence to God's word, carefully studied, using good hermeneutics. But
what you wrote left you open, in my mind, to a charge that I thought needed
to be addressed: that you seem to believe we each should share with the
human authors of Scripture the same basic assumptions about women, gender
roles, etc. in order to be truly biblical.

Your 8-23-02 answer to that post did not, I think, truly face that
charge head on. To clarify this point will perhaps help others to see the
merits of allowing the word of God to make its own case. Some questions:

1) Is only the text of Scripture inspired? Or are the worldviews of the
Bible writers likewise inspired?

2) If only the text is inspired, then how can we avoid what you termed
"transcription" (Aug 19 "What are apostles" thread)?

3) What do we, as 21st century (modern, post-modern) believers, need to
share in common with the human authors of the Bible to rightly
interpret/apply their writings for our times?

I eagerly await your thoughts on this topic, T.C. ... which topic, by
the way, has *very* practical significance for the "women
apostles/overseers/elders issue. As well as other subjects related to NT
church planting.

Your "prickly" (only on the outside) brother,


MICHAEL
Jerusalem


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Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 06:10:14 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Deborah wrote:

>I eagerly await your thoughts on this topic, T.C. ... which topic, by
>the way, has *very* practical significance for the "women
>apostles/overseers/elders issue. As well as other subjects related to NT
>church planting.
>
Dear Michael,

Not to grieve J.R.'s attention span, but perhaps I could make just a
couple more comments on the subject of "women in the church". Jim, I'm
guessing that discussion of putting an end to slavery probably got
tiresome for northerners, and perhaps even for the southern slave
owners, but I doubt the subject ever got tiresome for the slaves.

I think it's also clear that "an appearance of evil" can be different
from one culture to another. The place of women in "cousin's" nations,
and in the U.S. for instance. But one thing is for sure, the ground is
level at the foot of the cross. I really would be difficult to discuss
who ought ot be in charge, if only we could get there.

I have a confession to make: I have as hard a time as anyone, finding
the grace to love an obnoxious, controlling woman, but I also have to
admit that I have the same struggle with obnoxious controlling men. So,
I'm not pleading the case for either. If women are going to start
behaving like men, there needs to be a serious improvement in the the
male role models. The fact remains, John saw, "a great wonder in
heaven", and it looked like a woman. Perhaps with more input from our
wives, we might get there a little quicker.

While I'm coming clean, I should also admit that a point made a few days
back, (Forgive me, because I can't remember who made it. I think perhaps
it was Vanessa.) has also occurred to me. Perhaps Women should not stand
up in the meetings because the weakness of males is that, we have too
much difficulty maintaining the right focus when we are looking at
women. I think, however, that is our problem, not theirs, unless of
course, they are wearing hunting outfits, and their motors are running.
I do believe that there is a place for "proper attire", and that women
should not have their motors running in church. (Something about the
glory, and the covering, I think.)

The only other reservation I have is that there is an awful lot of
warfare that goes on at the "leadership" level. This is not to say that
there aren't a lot of casualties in the congregation. I think men get
over their wounds a little faster than women, but, again, that may be
part of our weakness rather than our strength. Relative insensitivity is
not necessarily a virtue in the Kingdom of God.

Well, so much for the confessions of a "woman" wannabe, and apologies to
brother Rutz.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 09:04:42 -0400
From: "Fred Jeavons" <fjeavons * jtc.on.ca>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] What are apostles?

It occurs to me as this discussion has proceeded that there have been
perhaps three methods used to come to a knowledge of the truth. First, both
sides of the issue have used scripture to support their opinions. Second,
reason has been used...this is true and this is true therefore this is true,
again by both sides. And third, observation has been used..."it's happening
a lot and being blessed so it must be okay."

My question is this: Who knows the mind of the Lord on this? In fact, does
anyone even know if it matters to Him?

Do we not all have the anointing? Does it not teach us about all things? Do
we not have the mind of Christ?

Do any of you hear the Lord's thoughts on this or am I asking the question
prematurely as debate can precede spiritual understanding. But how will you
know when the truth is arrived at? Will it be a consensus of opinion...?

Fred J


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Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 09:19:02 EDT
From: CWOWI * aol
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? Women working for God in apostolic function

Dear David,
I'm not sure about the tone of your email to me which was..."Hi John,
Do you believe that whoever can post the most on a particular subject
wins the debate? Out of curiosity, do you like receiving 5 or 6 phone
calls from the same person in one day? Please follow the simple posting
guidelines which appear at the url on the bottom of each message. I think
this matter just came up a few days ago..."

Since I started being included in the loop about a month ago I've posted
exactly 2 responses if memory serves...well below the guidelines wouldn't you
say?

John


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Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 09:54:47 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] mistaken identity

John Fenn just wrote:

>Dear David,
>I'm not sure about the tone of your email to me which was..."Hi John,

Beg your pardon, John! Your name was on the bottom of the post that I
responded to which was actually quoted by another, whose name I was not
sure was real or just a handle.

You have undoubtedly followed the guidelines. Again, I beg your pardon.
Let us hear more from you soon.

David Anderson


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


Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 10:24:55 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

Hi all,

Realtors describe the value of a property by three words: location,
location, and location.

So, let's think CONTEXT and put on our first century sandals. Remember
how Paul on occasion TEMPORARILY advised against marriage "in the present
distress" knowing that Christians were shortly gonna be made into human
torches. He may have -temporarily- forbad speaking by women as he ALSO
did in commanding that "tongue speakers" AS WELL AS those who judge
prophecies to --be silent-- at certain times. This is a linguistic
possibility according to some of those who make such calls. Personally, I
think there is even a better answer to the silence issue.

These two passages (Tim and Cor) thus do NOT dictate an absolute silence,
imo, because elsewhere, all saints are told to prophecy and (both
genders) to teach. Paul even scolded one group of churches because they
were not teaching one another. Remember that?

Further, consider that the Greek language has many verb forms that
English does not employ. It is thus far more precise. Surely, you would
acknowledge that the KJV missed the verb tense in the place where "those
born of God do not sin." "Sin continually" or "sin habitually" would have
be more exact.

So: let women not "speak habitually" or "speak continually" is much more
suitable and accurate in this husband to wife setting at the gatherings.
Paul wanted order amidst the spontaneity. Quite likely, he was telling
these previously uneducated women (wives) not to go on and on in I Cor
14. And not to dominate over their husbands in 1 Tim 2. Notice how the
two separate elements (1.-taking domination or authority over + 2. being
silent) merge in both passages.

Nothing, btw, is more devastating to a guy's ego than to be publicly
corrected by his wife. This hasn't happened to me....yet. Lol. But I have
seen it.

If you were to tell your daughter to keep quiet while your son was
speaking, would that mean that she was never allowed to speak when they
were together later??

In 1 Cor we are talking about silence of WIVES with respect to questions
that should be asked later at home. In 1 Tim we are talking about silence
WITH RESPECT TO TAKING AUTHORITY OVER YOUR HUSBAND IN THE INTERACTIVE
MEETINGS. God knows all about the huge male ego problem and he has
graciously inserted these wonderful provisions for the sake of decorum
and domestic tranquility after the meeting, ... if you know what I mean.

If we only cut, paste, and cite verbatim the KJV, we will only have SELF
CONTRADICTIONS. God has promised something better - to give wisdom, not
confusion to all that inquire. The great promise of Pentecost was that
both sexes, young and old, would SOUND OFF!

Do you think that those NT women who prophesied, were leaving their
living rooms to go somewhere around back ? How could this be when the
express purpose of prophecy is the edification and instruction OF OTHERS
???

Bottom line: Conditional - not absolute silence. IMHO. Silence with
respect to taking authority over your husband and silence with respect to
questions that could be settled at home.

As old Dr. Anderson used to say with a big smile: "Nobody questions
whether or not women _can_ preach but whether or not they should." Yes, I
reply, they should as the Spirit gives them knowledge and utterance.

Growing up, I often heard the Pastor say: "Sister so and so will now
bring us a message in song." Never just a message. And all those
multi-million member denominations that forbad their daughters to address
the assembly - they would usually allow them to "sneak off" overseas as
missionaries and preach and teach all they wanted to. :D Yippeeeee!

[While we're at it though, let me warn you all of the present glut of
"egalitarian" books written to prop up the idea of women clergy and
women's ordination. Many are not house church friendly nor carefully
researched. Look hard before you shell out.]

So, the question here is: Silence with respect to WHAT. The WHAT is
taking the floor in such a way that a woman also takes authority over
your husband.

I was in a meeting yesterday, btw, where several woman spoke unto the
edification of all without taking authority over their husbands. It
certainly is possible as many can testify. I believe that such an
arrangement was meant not only to be possible but normal.

Obviously, Christians - many fine Christians such as Michael - do not see
eye to eye on the "silence issue."

respectfully yours,

David Anderson


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


Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 15:51:29 +0000
From: "David Jaggernauth" <abccom * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

Tony wrote:

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.

What is more amazing about this story is also the fact that in the Indian
culture women are traditonally relegated to a secong class status and they
are required to be submissive to their husbands who is regarded like a God
to her. A son is more valuable than a daughter,and more desired.

That women could assert such leadership postions in the Church in such a
suppressive society is in itself proof that it must be God. May God bless
the women in the Church of Jesus Christ.

David Jaggernauth


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


Date: 26 Aug 2002 11:34:53 -0400
From: Mike Sangrey <msangrey * BlueFeltHat>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

I wouldn't claim to be a Greek expert. God appears to have given me a
knack with language (so I've been told). That's not so much to refer to
an ability to learn a language as much as just a good feel for how
language works. God is sooooo kind and generous.

Regarding the gender of words: Today we have to refer to two different
types of gender--grammatical and biological. There IS an association
between the two, but it is almost coincidental in languages which use
grammatical gender. English very rarely uses grammatical gender except
with words like pronouns and they get their gender NOT so much from a
grammatical function as much as their association to their referent.

What does that all mean? Well, just because DIAKONOS is masculine has
little to do with whether or not the role is a masculine role. PAIDION
("little children") is neuter. Is the biological gender of little
children neuter? No, of course not. In French the female sexual organ
is masculine! (What can I say--you pick up bits of trivia when you get
interested in how language works! <chuckle>) Anyway, that's quite
surprising to English ears. The French never even hear the
masculine-ness of the word (though incorrect usage jumps out at them
just like funny word order jumps out at us). The Cheyenne language
doesn't even have grammatical gender; it uses animacy/inanimacy so when
they learn English they will sometimes confuse `he' and `she'. Since
English does NOT really make much use of grammatical gender, the use of
grammatical gender appears more pronounced to us and has a much more
pronounced association with biological gender. Greek doesn't work that
way, just like a number of language today. This really boils down to
the difference of thinking in English and thinking in Greek (or another
language).

So, just because a word's natural grammatical gender is of a particular
type has little to do with the natural real-world gender which may or
may not be associated with it. The grammatical gender is there so that
sentences and paragraphs can be constructed with an economy of words
while still minimizing ambiguity.

Also, regarding the quote from Chrysostom: Technically, both Priscilla
and Aquilla explained things to Apollos (Acts 18:24ff) Having said
that, I take the 1 Tim. 2 passage as referring to husbands and wives. I
use to understand the passage as a categorical prohibition of women
teaching men. Ironically, this sets up a view that men CAN
authoritatively teach others; but what does THAT really mean?
Hmmmmm...interesting question for the Bereans to think about and which
I'll let go for now.

The words (ANER and GUNH) can be translated either as man and woman OR
husband and wife. How do we know? A language will give more emphasis
(usually called `salience') to one meaning over another. If I say
`atmosphere' you probably think of outer space or the envelope of air
surrounding the planet. You probably do NOT think of a restaurant. And
yet one can use that word to refer to the general feel of a restaurant.
In order to get you to think along that different use I have to build
some context around the word. If I use the word in its more
natural/normal sense, I do not need as much context. One sense is more
common and therefore more easily accessible by the mind. The same
appears to happen with ANER and GUNH. And, from recent research I've
read the greater weight appears to fall on the `husband' and `wife'
side. This would explain why Paul uses `she' in vs 15--he's thinking in
terms of `a wife in the church' and not "a woman in the church'.[1]

I don't have time right now to lay all the foundation which needs to be
laid down in order to support my understanding of 1 Tim. 2. But here is
where I've come to.

The instruction for not authoritatively teaching is directed to the
wife. That is, her role in the relationship is not to make sure her
husband gets things right according to her vision for the family and how
that family impacts the society around it. That's his job.

My current understanding, which is admittedly, quite novel, of "lifting
up holy hands" is that while it refers to prayer, it is prayer by men
whose hands have done good work in impacting the society around them.
Just because the people in power are botching things doesn't mean the
husband is to get angry about it. He's not to sit around the table with
the guys and complain about congressman so-n-so. He's to get to work
and, yes, pray, but more than that, to work to bring about a peaceful
and quiet society where people can live fully committed and godly
lives. The hands he lifts are to be HOLY hands. And I don't take that
to refer to a pietistic individualism.

"Salvation" refers to much more than "gettin to go to heaven".
Salvation starts here and now and on this planet and continues on after
our future resurrection and the re-creation [2]. The hard thing for us
to accept is that this salvation is to positively effect the people
around us who do NOT believe in Jesus. But, if we can get past that,
this helps in two areas. Salvation is referring to an eternal life
which starts here and now and does not split the human being into
spiritual and physical pieces. It's holistic and is to bring every
thought captive to Jesus--everywhere. This understanding of salvation
helps with other passages, too (eg. Acts 16:29-30).

First, this definition helps with 2 Tim. 2:15. Here, IMO, this does not
so much mean that the wife will be saved as much as she will participate
(somewhat indirectly, thus the passive) in bringing salvation's effect
on the society around her. Recall, we ALL are to pray that the
government leaders would lead in such a way that society is a peaceful
and quiet place to live. And the husband was to lift holy hands and he
is to lift these hands in a way that is without anger and disputing (the
opposite of peaceful and quiet)--he's to impact society (IMO). If the
children the wife raises (not that the husband isn't involved, but the
fact is that the wife and mother has the bulk of the responsibility)
continue in faith, love and holiness, she will have positively impacted
society. So, it's the "impact the people around us" which I think is a
key piece to clarifying this passage (and, actually, most of 1 Tim.).

Second, it explains 1 Tim. 4:10, "...God, who is the Savior of all
people, especially of those who believe." What is that suppose to mean
unless we understand salvation in some larger, more encompassing way.
And it also provides for, IMO, a better explanation of 1 Tim. 2:3, too.

Lastly, I've often thought that evangelism is helped by
rubber-meets-the-road, here-is-how-this-works-on-this-planet,
I'm-going-to-love-you-in-very-profound-far-reaching-ways living. If we
can convey to the world two things, they will sit up and listen to the
message of the cross: one, that self-sacrificing love works here and
now; and two, we fully accept Jesus, who is God in the flesh,
resurrected and therefore our Lord (cf 1 Tim. 3:16) and that's why we
love. In short, if what we do is effective, what we say will be heard.

- ---
[1] This is one of those things that has bothered me about the more
typical interpretation of this passage. If this is talking about a
woman's role in the church and how she is to relate to the other men in
the church, then how are these men involved in her raising the
children? If the typical explanation is right, it ends up meaning that
church stuff is men's stuff and the women are to stay focused on making
babies. And that creates all sorts of weird tensions. Is church stuff
more important than raising children?!? Is the stuff men do more
important? Is church stuff distinct from family stuff? Is church stuff
religious and society stuff the stuff the world is to control?

BTW, I'm sure some are thinking, "But, there's 1 Tim. 3:15!" But, that
does NOT put a solid wall between the church and the people around the
church. It merely says that Christians are to behave in the way Paul is
teaching; and that's exactly what I'm saying. I'll add that Paul
connects vs 16 to it and that verse highlights that God came into this
world in a way that met us--loved us--where we are at. Should not we do
the same with those outside the church? There's also a definition of
the word EKKLHSIA which needs clarified and usually surprises people;
but his email is already too long.

[2] I'm not post-millennial, though I believe the mustard tree should be
getting bigger and bigger and the gates of hell are to be attacked.

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

 


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #151

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