New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, August 29 2002 Volume 02 : Number 153
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (silent women)
[NTCP] NEW TOPIC!!! Equipping And Releasing Seminars
Re: [NTCP] NEW TOPIC!!! Equipping And Releasing Seminars
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 08:40:39 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

David A. wrote:

> Remember how Paul on occasion
> TEMPORARILY advised against
> marriage "in the present distress"
> knowing that Christians were shortly
> gonna be made into human torches.

That might be one angle from which to interpret women's silence in 1
Tim. 2:11, 12; 1 Cor. 14:34. We haven't discussed this directly, but I do
NOT believe in absolute silence for women during church meetings-- I believe
in prophecy, tongues, instruction for other ladies and children. And
singing ... oh yes, singing! Plus more. With that said, I again feel the
need to reiterate my point that it is better to take our primary cues from
the flow of a passage and (secondly) the rest of the canonical Scriptures,
rather than from some supposed "backdrop" of -- in this instance-- an
impending persecution. Corinth was one of the least persecuted churches
during Paul's lifetime. There certainly weren't many external problems for
the congregation at large when Paul visited, or when he later penned his two
known epistles to them. This is evidenced by Act. 18:1-18 and the content
of both 1st and 2nd Corinthians. Corraborated by Clement of Rome's (late
90s A.D.) non-canonical letters to the same troublesome (but not troubled)
group. Therefore, I think it is best to see how Paul makes his own case for
the Corinthian church's "present distress: He wrote in 1 Cor. 7:26ff:

"I suppose therefore that this is good because of the *present distress* --
that it is good for a man to remain as he is .... But this I say, brethren,
the *time is short*, so that from now on even those who have wives should be
as though they had none, .... For the form of this *world is passing away*"
(emphasis mine).

His urgency is in fact eschatologically driven. It is no less than the
"form of the world [beginning to pass] away". Not Nero's tee-kee torch
party's nor Diocletian's practice of the same. I think we see here another
example of that tension between the "already" and the "not yet" which is
evident throughout so much of the NT.

> These two passages (Tim and Cor) thus
> do NOT dictate an absolute silence, ...

Agreed! For the same reasons you stated.

I'm pressed for time right now brother, but you make some interesting
observations about tenses which I would like to explore. Right now, I've
got to pass this disk off to my loving (and *rightfully* not-always-silent
... but what a quiet and gentle spirit she has!) wife who is headed out the
door to work. And to send this off to the list.
Blessings for your thoughts David, and for everybody's "wrestling"
with these difficult texts together.

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 11:49:36 -0400
From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (silent women)

Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (silent women)

From: Andrew_Skatoff * dom

In my efforts to resist the urge to un*ubscribe from this group I have a
suggestion.

I've been trying to keep up with oceans of opinions and chatter about
this women in leadership issue. I'm not sure I see the discussion being
very fruitful for the group at large anymore. (maybe I'm in the minority).

Maybe it would be a good idea to designate a separate group for this
discussion. I'm not sure this topic ought to dominate a group designated
for general church planting discussion as it has for the past three or
four weeks.

Anyway, just looking for some relief. Feedback welcome.

- -Andrew


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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 13:37:03 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: [NTCP] NEW TOPIC!!! Equipping And Releasing Seminars

Hi List:

I have begun to see the house church phenomena as a much broader reality and
expression. For several years, all we really had was 'meetings' all be it
good ones, but none the less, they were 'meetings' in houses/homes.
The focus when we gathered was fellowship, worship, ministry, the word, the
Lord's table and anything else the Lord wanted to do.

The last six months have been the most edyfying and frustrating I have ever
known.

I am NOT content to have 'meetings.' My quest is a quest for intimate
relationship with the Lord Jesus, and with those who belong to Him. We may
indeed gather in homes, but the expression of life is expressed in the
diversity of meeting points and gatherings. The revelation I have received
is that we need to be open to gather and meet and connect in a variety of
places (locations), and a variety of kinds of gatherings (social,
relational, task focussed, or other reasons to gather). As such I was
awakened in my own spirit by the Lord, that we need to view all of life as
not only sacred, but also all of life is forming and shaping us and giving
definition to who we are in Christ and with one another. This is why we need
the variety of expression and gathering places. As such I have concluded
that we need some, dare I say, STRUCTURED time for instruction/equipping,
and also a definitive EXPRESSION of releasing those who are equipped. I
have concluded that most of this has to be done APART from the regular times
of connecting and relating with our house church network. I believe Paul deliberately
equipped and released people into ministry (the school he set up in Ephesus
in Acts 19 and 20). As such I believe that we need to deliberately plan to
teach and equip and release others into the ministries that the Lord has
called them into.

Our network has begun ER SEMINARS (Equipping and Releasing Seminars) that
will focus on practical teaching and ministry that is taught in one day (4
to 6 sessions with a shared meal or two). These would include teaching on
anything that would be necessary to better equip AND release others in
ministry. I just finished a 6 part series on HOUSE CHURCH FOUNDATIONS. At
the end we had a time of intercession and release. Two weeks removed from
its conclusion, I now have three house churches ready to begin, a healing room, and a
house of prayer, as well as a home bible college ready to take off!

I plan to teach on:

1. EXPANDING THE KINGDOM THROUGH APOSTOLIC MIRACLES AND HEALINGS
2. FIVE FOLD MINISTRY - THE EXPRESSION OF THE MINISTRY LIFE OF JESUS
3. THAT ALL MAY PROPHESY - EQUIPPING AND RELEASING THE PEOPLE OF GOD IN 4.
THE PROPHETIC MINISTRY
5. DEVELOPING THE CHARACTER OF JESUS - THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
6. DEVELOPING THE POWER OF JESUS - RESTING AND MOVING IN THE ANOINTING
7. DISCOVERING LIFE IN THE SPIRIT AND THE GIFTS OF GRACE

One of the things about these ER Seminars, is that we intend on INVITING
other house church networks in the region to participate with us.

Have any of you done anything similar or even thought of doing so?

Blessings,

Sam


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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2002 14:41:40 EDT
From: CWOWI * aol
Subject: Re: [NTCP] NEW TOPIC!!! Equipping And Releasing Seminars

Dear Sam,
You wrote in part that you have received a revelation about gathering in a
variety of circumstances, etc.

I think this is vital...as they met in the '1st' church, from house to house,
we do the same. Though we have hosts and elders which form the 'main' house,
the rotation is regular. Also, we have camping trips, BBQs, and the like, and
meet 'off nights' as well, instead of the usual 10am Sunday.

Another aspect is that I see the church in 3 ways: The church in home, in
celebration with other members of CWOW and the body at large, and the church
in training. To that end I hold leadership classes where the vision and
practical information is shared.

I've also found that there are core people, outside or fringe/inquirers, and
the middle group, the largest. When we offer the church at home, in
celebration, and in training, it reaches all groups and offers those that
want to move to 'core' may.

Thanks for changing the subject...
John Fenn
cwowi


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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 09:41:44 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

Mike S. wrote:

> Having said that, I take the 1 Tim. 2
> passage as referring to husbands and
> wives .... The words (ANER and GUNH)
> can be translated either as man and
> woman OR husband and wife. How do
> we know? .... 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 test drove your thesis; this is what I found. Tell me what you
think, please. Watch what I bracket:

1 Timothy 2:1 "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers,
petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men [husbands],
2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil
and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men [husbands] to be saved and to come to the knowledge
of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men
[husbands], the man [husband] Christ Jesus,
6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper
time.
7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the
truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8 Therefore I want the men [husbands] in every place to pray, lifting up
holy hands, without wrath and dissension.
9 Likewise, I want women [wives] to adorn themselves with proper clothing,
modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly
garments,
10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women [wives] making
a claim to godliness.
11 A woman [wife] must quietly receive instruction with entire
submissiveness.
12 But I do not allow a woman [wife] to teach or exercise authority over a
man [husband], but to remain quiet.
13 For it was Adam [Heb. ADAM-- it means "MANkind" first, in it's most
masculine sense then in a more generic sense, humanity] who was first
created, and then Eve [Heb. KHAVA-- it is a wordplay on KHAYA: living thing,
but really seems to come from the root KHAVA, meaning "to bow down"].
14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman [wife] being
deceived, fell into transgression.
15 But women [added in English for better flow, but not in the Greek text--
"wives"] will be preserved through the bearing of children if they [wives]
continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint."

Now it is true that when Paul arrives at the specific text in question
he changes from a plural (women) to a singular (woman-- vs. 11)-- often, as
you (Mike S.) likely know, a narrative device to signal a change in
emphasis, or specificity. However, his entire exhortation is rooted in the
oneness of God and the-thereby-derived oneness of ALL humanity--
particularly the gentiles to whom he was ministering (vss. 4-7). THEREFORE
(vs. 8)-- that is, based on the fact that there is only one God and
ultimately only one humanity-- he issues his instructions regarding all
men's prayer (vs. 8-- limited to married men?), all women's modest dress and
godly deeds (vs. 9, 10-- limited to married women?), every woman's necessary
quiet manner of learning and contrasted bar from teaching males (vs. 11--
limited to a married woman?), the parenthetical reason for that particular
restriction, grounded in the order of human creation (vs. 13) together with
the fall of all of humanity ... with the focus here on feminine culpability
(vs. 14), and all women's (admittedly cryptic) reason for not having
received judgment immediately in Eve; at least one explanation for
womanhood's continued existence (vs. 15-- existential and [I think] related
to potential birthing capabilities, therefore universal to all women).
Although mention of "bearing ... children" rightly directs our
thoughts toward marriage, it is a stretch for me to limit the entire thrust
of this passage-- particularly the restriction on womankind's
teaching/authority over mankind-- to just those who have married since
Paul's thought here centers around God's oneness and the resultant oneness
of all descendents of Adam and Eve, even those subdivisions of the one
humanity who remain single.

At a pragmatic level, I think, such restrictions on women can be set
aside FOR A TIME if extreme circumstances warrant it. Such as a new work in
an area where there are no spiritually mature males. That way the best
qualified-- if that happens to be a woman-- should be in the process of
training the "newbies" who are nevertheless "appointed" to those positions
by virtue of their character ... and gender. It would kind of resemble the
servant-- or even mother-- of ancient times who educated and disciplined the
(usually) first born male child until he reached the age in which he
inherited the entire household. After that, statuses were exchanged in an
orderly manner and both mother and slave were subject to the heir. Maybe
that is how such scenarios should be managed.

I'm pretty sure that the issue is more pastoral/teaching; not applied
to, say, English class. I can't say that for sure, but I'm fairly certain
since the entire context of Paul's letters is church-related, not school in
general. We, as Christians, don't always have freedom to change society's
rules to fit Scriptural patterns. And I'm not convinced that would be
entirely healthy anyway (ex. Byzantine Middle East, Catholic Europe,
Reformed Geneva). However, where doctrinal instruction is involved, we're
getting close to the core issues Paul is addressing in 2 Tim 2. So I
personally don't like to receive biblical or theological training--
particularly that which requires submission from me (pastor, professor,
discipleship leader, SS teacher) from a woman. In the church. At college.
Anywhere ... except our chatting together as peers, and we find out she
knows something I didn't on a doctrinal issue. Like Priscilla (yes, with
Aquilla) and Apollos.

That's where I have drawn the line as I attempt to put Paul's
exhortations into practice. I'm still open to move more conservative or
liberal depending on what kind of arguments I hear (even from women on this
issue!!!), but thus far I have been unconvinced by the "goolash" I've been
served trough the years. Somebody really has to hug the text closely to
merit my attention. Then I'll listen. As you know, I'm suspicious of most
historical/background constructs, particularly when they are given more "air
time" than the biblical revelation itself.

I am in a similar position to (my understanding of) women myself where
I, a gentile, am training Jews in their own Bible-- simply by virtue of
education. And/or age. However, my goal is always to get Messianic Jews in
the position to become a "light to the gentiles" and thus fulfill their
appointed role. I must always be ready to move aside to allow those now
"under" me to blossom in their own calling(s). This is how I think we as
gentiles should be when teaching those believing Jews who know close to
nothing. This is also how I think women should be when teaching those men
who come under their care who know next to nothing. But the goal is to move
toward personal phase-out.

Michael
Jerusalem
 


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