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74 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    Where the icons aren’t yet dry…

    This article is wonderful. It’s the world I inhabit.

  2. Dennis says:

    The Women in leadership article would carry more weight if it didn’t use weak arguments like Junia being an apostle and hosting people in your home as a form of being in church leadership.

  3. Xenia says:

    “Apostle” can refer to missionaries, and no one ever has said women can’t be missionaries.

    Whoever Junia was, he or she was not one of the 12 Apostles with a capital “A” and the word for anyone else called an apostle could mean a lot of different things.

  4. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I thought you might like that one…

  5. Dennis says:

    You assume I meant one of the original 12 with a capitol A. I didn’t. You prove my point by saying “he or she” we don’t even know if this person was a women,(thus a weak argument) let alone an Apostle with the qualifications for being a Capitol A apostle.

  6. Jim says:

    I enjoyed the Relevant Magazine article. “What to Do When You Stop Liking Your Church”. Personal liberty/freedom and cultural consumerism has replaced sacrifice as a christian imperative. Thanks for the links!

  7. Jim says:

    On the idea that Junia was an apostle… that is a pretty weak argument and there are a few other scriptures that would defy the concept. We have completely abandoned the concept of roles in society.

  8. Xenia says:

    The article on “What to do when you stop liking your church” assumes that a church service should be designed with unbelievers in mind. I strongly disagree with this philosophy and I think this is how so many churches have gone off the rails.

    I am not saying we should return to this, but the ancient Church only allowed inquirers to stand in the narthex (vestibule) for the first half of the Liturgy (Psalms, Epistle and Gospel readings, the homily) and they were sent out (“Depart, ye catechumens! All that be catechumens, depart!”) and were taken elsewhere to be instructed in the Faith. Only the baptized believers were permitted to stay for the recitation of the Creed and the Eucharist. Of course, we don’t do that anymore these days. But it goes to show how early Christians regarded the purpose of the Sunday morning service.

  9. Mr Jesperson says:

    I found this interesting satirical piece written about 4 authors of books about “Christian Manhood.” The authors are Mark Driscoll, John Piper, John Eldridge and Doug Phillips. The article was so controversial that a man who gets little blog traffic and usually very few comments ended up having 355 comments on this one: https://libertyforcaptives.com/2013/11/19/the-myth-of-biblical-manhood/comment-page-1/#comments

  10. Xenia says:

    You assume I meant one of the original 12 with a capitol A. <<<<

    No, I was just being my usual pedantic self. My apologies.

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Depends on what you mean by “women in leadership” – it’s not women in leadership that people want – they want women in the pulpit.

    I have resigned my position as congregation president at the end of my term July 1. There is a very good chance that I will be followed by a woman – as I was preceded by one.

    On the church ort chart the board is above the pastor – but I don’t think those who lobby for “women in leadership” would be satisfied. Do you?

  12. Michael says:

    Xenia…completely concur with your #8…

  13. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I think what egalitarians desire is women with full participation every aspect of the church including the pulpit.

    I support this as well, but understand why many do not.

  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    the pulpit seems to be that one tree in the middle of the garden for women — and they can’t stand it. 😉

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I just looked at the list of women on the Junia blog. There is nothing those women are noted for that a woman cannot do in a church today. Deborah although leading Israel in battle still knew her place and tried to get a man to take over – Barak (not Obama) I think.

    But nowhere do we see that any of those ladies were the head of a local congregation of any kind.

    Now to these Biblical Manhood groups – what is that all about? Is Biblical manhood different than just Manhood. Those guys who lead or speak at those are nuts, divisive and just out for the buck.

  16. Charlie says:

    At the end of Charismatic nonsense on volcanoes article

    “Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.”

    That’s almost enough to make me a cessationist.

  17. Charlie says:

    My current church has unfortunately bought into the church growth/seeker sensitive/it’s not about you model. About every 3 or 4 sermons the pastor makes some sort of comment defending the music and reminding us ” it’s not about you”.

    Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:26 that it actually is about us.

    What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

  18. Charlie says:

    #17 comment was in reference to the article

    “What to do when you stop liking your church”

  19. Em again says:

    #7-“We have completely abandoned the concept of roles in society.” that is a sobering fact – such a big, chaos causing, difference between the call to question authority (“roles”) and the call to abandon respect for it

    reading all the comments raises a question for me… does God prefer a less educated, less devoted man in the pulpit over a devout, educated woman? … i suspect the He does, if one is available, but what if there isn’t a man available? no church? hmmm…

    #8-for some time it has seemed clear to me that, if we are going to use Sunday mornings for evangelizing, we’d better have another gathering for Christian worship/devotion

  20. Dan from Georgia says:

    “Contagious” demon possession….huh…that’s a good one!!!!

    Stupid indeed Michael! Not sure I can even read the dumb article.

  21. surfer51 says:

    My wife worked in the Neonatal unit at our local hospital.

    Babies some times are born with ambiguous genitals.

    For instance some are born with a vagina with a small penis protruding from it.

    The doctors together with the parents decide which sex the child is to be, not truly knowing the gender of the babies.

    Then appropriate hormones are administered to accommodate the decision that they have made.

    Often times the wrong decision was made and the child acts out a certain sex that indicates this.

    There are cases where this happens more often than the black and white “there is only one right answer” crowd realize.

    It is indeed a grey area where there is no certainty.

    https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003269.htm

    http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/news/20030411/clitoral-surgery-bad-for-babies

    Some people transgender to become what they truly were at birth.

    This is a reality.

    In the red letters of my bible Jesus was silent on this topic.

    Should we be also?

  22. Em again says:

    #21 – should we be silent where Jesus has given no life instruction? that is a very good thing to think on tonight… grace and wisdom, Lord help us

  23. Well, Jesus never spoke about who should use which restroom, locker room or shower room – so, we have settled that one.

  24. j2theperson says:

    ***the pulpit seems to be that one tree in the middle of the garden for women — and they can’t stand it. ?***

    The idea of women in the pulpit is a big deal to men. Patriarchalists and Complementarians have used women’s perceived lower spiritual position as justification for all sorts of abuse. Regardless of whether or not women as pastors is biblically justified, it is something that should be fought for because women not being allowed to be pastors has resulted in too much abuse of women by authoritarian men. If you genuinely believe that women should not be pastors then a more effective way to prevent that from happening would be to end abuse of women by men. I suspect that most women would very happily choose to simply be wives and mothers and let men run the show if doing so did not result in a giant heaping mountain of disrespect and sometimes out-right abuse and violence.

  25. Babylon's Dread says:

    Annihilationists believe that unbelievers perish and suffer eternal loss
    … the loss is eternal
    … the loss is irreversible
    … the loss is merciful
    … the loss is exegetically viable
    … the loss is appropriate
    … the loss is known to the sufferer
    … the loss is Biblical

  26. j2 – we should create a system of sin to prevent a system of sin?

    Do you have any evidence that allowing women to be pastors would end abuse? Do you know of a single woman who became a pastor and he husband stopped abusing her?

    To blame spousal abuse on the church not allowing women in the pulpit does not seem to add up.

  27. brian says:

    I watched this three hour long series of specials on Icons and the Orthodox church. It was hard I still have the thorns from my early Christian days were I learned that every single one of these things are directly from the pits of hell and formed by Satan himself. Of course, I know in my head that’s all utter rubbish but its hard to get it out of my heart. I have a confession I was moved, and even sensed a glimpse of really experiencing God, I squashed that quick but there was a moment. Here is the link

    https://youtu.be/UQ9YYabuZHc

    The “shame game” works so of course its used, its effective

    “Did God intend death?” Short answer imo, No I dont think God intended death. I know this is somewhat unorthodox but I dont think God can do evil.

    The volcano thing is a new theme on an old schtick and it works like the blood moon why the rapture will happen in 88 selling satan Jesus coming back in 78 and all the other lies spewed out, they sell, enough said. Ditto with the demon possession thing.

    Scariest bible verses mine is Matthew 27:25

    I have to hand it to the evangelicals meeting with Trump, that is a good move, he actually might win and he may just be scary enough to listen to some of them. Which does not bode well for humanity.

    I am not a closet annihilationist I am a very up front universalist.

  28. Mr Jesperson says:

    I tried to get through the link about icons, but could not. I am just too much of a neo-iconclast. Too many mentions about Mary used in what is generally considered to be idolatrous ways by most evangelicals. I see a bigger problem with people making too much of living celebrities in our culture. If we only saw Jesus for who and what He really is, all of this stuff would be so clearly silly and empty. One infinite creator instead of a bunch of little people and art and other stuff that mere men created that time will eventually reduce back to the dust that they came from in the first place.

  29. j2theperson says:

    Firstly, I don’t believe that women in the pulpit is sinful. And my point is not that it will end abuse but that right now the belief that it is sinful for women to be in the pulpit is a contributing factor to an overall worldview that degrades and dismisses women and sets them up to be abused–not only by their husbands but also by the church in general. Removing that stricture would not solve the problem, but it would be removing one of the stressors that contributes to the problem.

  30. LOL – women in the pulpit is not the sin I am speaking of – going against God’s order is. You even said it didn’t matter if it was biblical or not – just that it must be done to end abuse.

    It’s like everything else – there are plenty of women led churches around – just like there are plenty of homosexual led churches. I can’t stop what is already going wrong, I can only speak for what is right.

    I will say that I have been involved only with men led churches these past 35 yrs and not once did I “feel led in my heart” to abuse my wife. So I think there must be something else at work here.

  31. Surfer – I do not claim that women should not be in ministry – far from it. The thought seems to be that idf women cannot attain the role of pastor / elder that they have somehow been banned / excluded from ministry. I do not see a connection.

    But I am old and my mind and spirit are probably calcified and not open to these “new things of the spirit” 😉

  32. I always thought Kathryn Kuhlman was nutty. But then my earliest introduction to her was Mad Magazine in Junior High (1962) which did several parodies of her.

    Mad Magazine was the source of all true information back in the day. 😉

  33. Babylon's Dread says:

    The Wittenberg Door was my go to for ‘discernment’ back in the day.

  34. j2theperson says:

    ***I will say that I have been involved only with men led churches these past 35 yrs and not once did I “feel led in my heart” to abuse my wife. So I think there must be something else at work here.***

    I did say that it was a contributing factor–not that it was the only factor. It’s very easy to find multiple examples of men and churches who have extrapolated the teaching of male headship out to the degrading and abuse of women. I don’t see complementarian and patriarchal churches and teachers preaching as forcefully or as often for the respect and good treatment of women as they do for the concept of male headship. As I said earlier, if this doctrine had not been misused so often and with such devastating results to women, most women probably would be more than happy to stay in their “place”. I don’t see patriarchal and complementarian churches and teachers willing to deal with whatever else is at work in the abuse of women within their ranks, so, given that I don’t even think women being in the pulpit is a sin, I think that doctrine might as well be thrown out since it’s promoting so much abuse.

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    J2 – are you saying that you think abuse of women is higher in the Christian church than in the general population? If it is lesser and especially if it is much lesser than in the general population, then I would say that church is working just fine – just as we would expect (perhaps foolishly) that we would see less alcoholics in the church than we would see in the general population.

    For you to say ” I think that doctrine might as well be thrown out since it’s promoting so much abuse.” is irresponsible.

  36. Em again says:

    i will have to read the discussion on women being fit to pastor a church, but
    there is one consideration that may have added to our sisters in times past not being good candidates for the job – to be blunt, there were menstrual cycles to consider then, she couldn’t run down to the store and pick up a box for the month and, more importantly, perhaps, there was no prohibition of marriage (wisdom lost thru time), so, if she was fertile, she’d have had to have a nanny on site in order to do her job… AND she wouldn’t have had a good woman at home keeping her grounded 🙂

  37. Michael says:

    “It’s very easy to find multiple examples of men and churches who have extrapolated the teaching of male headship out to the degrading and abuse of women.”

    J2, I agree.

    “J2 – are you saying that you think abuse of women is higher in the Christian church than in the general population?”

    That depends on how you define abuse.
    If emotional and spiritual abuse are included it very well may be higher than that of the general population, especially in evangelicalism.

    I can make as good a case from Scripture and reason for ordaining women as I can for the abolition of slavery…seems good enough for me.

  38. j2theperson says:

    ***“J2 – are you saying that you think abuse of women is higher in the Christian church than in the general population?”***

    I think that abuse specifically justified by the doctrine of male headship is higher in the Christian church than in the general population.

  39. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Come on Michael – if we are going to throw in the kitchen sink, I think there is a great deal more stress and abuse of women just in the general work place.

    My argument is that we toss aside doctrine (we can argue the doctrine at another time) just because some abuse the doctrine does not follow..

    The fact that Tony Jones is a dog does not impact this doctrine at all.

  40. Michael says:

    The Calvary Chapel in J2’s area was a textbook example of a pastor who engaged in ongoing spiritual and emotional abuse of his wife until the poor woman finally set herself free from the rat bastard.

    I hope she’s in a much happier place…he is still a respected pastor in the movement.

    His template is the same one I’ve seen used dozens of times since then.

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “I think that abuse specifically justified by the doctrine of male headship is higher in the Christian church than in the general population.”

    But the only guys who fall for that are already abusive — they just now have a new justification. I know I am pissing up a rope, because we will get a bunch of ladies come on and tell their story.

    But really, do we think there are guys out there who were married 10 yrs, treated their wives like queens and got saved in a man led church and overnight became abusers. I think this belittles real abusive actions.

  42. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I don’t write about the general workplace and if I did, I would be able to point to places where the glass ceiling has been shattered and some progress is being made toward equality.

    My position didn’t change solely because of abuse…I still value doctrine and Scripture before temporal concerns.

  43. Michael says:

    “But the only guys who fall for that are already abusive — they just now have a new justification.”

    I would say that they already had the potential to be abusive…most of us do.

    The ability to justify it is the problem…

  44. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “The Calvary Chapel in J2’s area was a textbook example of a pastor who engaged in ongoing spiritual and emotional abuse of his wife until the poor woman finally set herself free from the rat bastard.”

    How many other doctrines are you willing to change just because a pastor or leader abuses them. The RCC used to with hold the cup from the congregation – do we dump communion?

  45. Cash says:

    On annihilationism–I agree with all of Dread’s points in #25, especially that it is a biblically viable position to take. Eternally conscious torment is also exegetical. However, it’s weakness is that it denies the great mercy of God, shown to us so plainly in Scripture.

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, I didn’t want to go back through women in the pulpit – I was arguing making doctrinal changes based on some worldly action.

  47. j2theperson says:

    ***But the only guys who fall for that are already abusive — they just now have a new justification.***

    And my position is that the churches that hold to that doctrine have done so little to prevent its abuse and misinterpretation that I don’t think they deserve to have that doctrine anymore.

  48. Michael says:

    MLD,

    As I’ve already said (and written three articles about) I didn’t become an egalitarian because of abuse issues, but was persuaded by scripture and reason.

    It’s not a slam dunk case by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s enough that I’m willing to embrace it.

  49. Michael says:

    Greg Laurie has been addressing wives on Twitter…

    “Some women work so hard to make good husbands that they never manage to make good wives.”

    “Wives: remember to notice what he has done (not only what he hasn’t done).”

    “Challenge: Tell your husband how much you love and respect him. Tell him what a great guy he is and do that consistently for 3 months.”

    and so on…

    One can only hope he addresses men with his counsel afterwards…

  50. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, re Greg Laurie example) I agree 100% that the teaching is crap. Isaid way up earlier that all of this Biblical Manhood stuff is made up – there is no difference between Biblical Manhood and just regular old Manhood.

    I used to like Wayne Grudem until he was al caught up in the Biblical Manhood / Womanhood thing. But you know what – that doesn’t change my view on God’s order for pastors / elders.

    You and J2 think it should impact doctrine and I say no. What it does show is perhaps those guys should be banned from the pulpit.

    ““Challenge: Tell your husband how much you love and respect him. Tell him what a great guy he is and do that consistently for 3 months.” – Dr. Laura gives the same advise – so?

  51. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Let me say the loud amen to your comments on “biblical manhood”.

    I believe there is a theological case to be made for egalitarianism…and complementarianism has a strong, traditional, case as well.

    There is no disrespect intended for complementarians… there is huge disrespect for those who use it as a tool for abuse.

  52. Em again says:

    well, i have to stand on MLD’s side of this discussion – even tho, good points are being made from the other side
    weak men abuse women… the problem in the churches may be how to grow strong men?
    not saying that women can’t get into a mode of discontent and really sour a home
    but putting women in the pulpit isn’t the answer … IMHO … giving them a voice, a standing and place of respect would help… i think i’ve seen an undercurrent of elevating the superficial to the place of virtue and that should never be – not in church

  53. j2theperson says:

    I suppose I should also add that I hold a very low view of evangelical’s doctrine–how they arrived at it and how much authority it carries. I am not a catholic, but at least they have some kind of history and tradition to their view points.

    Evangelicals on the other hand, with their twisted and incorrect view of sola scriptura–just me, God, and the Bible–make crap up all the time and torture verses to mean anything they want them to mean. My impression is that they ultimately have a very low view of doctrine. I certainly don’t take what they say seriously anymore. I would not be arguing that Catholics or Orthodox churches should change their doctrine. But since evangelical doctrine is so worthless as it is I don’t have any problem saying, “Hey, that teaching results in abuse. Thrown that teaching out.”

  54. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,
    I understand the arguments on both sides. The offending statement to me that began my comments was this from J2
    “Regardless of whether or not women as pastors is biblically justified, it is something that should be fought for because women not being allowed to be pastors has resulted in too much abuse of women by authoritarian men.”

    Which basically says (and J2 probably doesn’t believe this) – it doesn’t matter what the Bible says – it is just good public policy that we change. I disagree and no needs to agree with me. As I said above, the Church is already full of women led and homosexual led pastors.

  55. Michael says:

    MLD,

    You like to equate women in the pulpit with practicing homosexuals in the pulpit.

    I don’t.

    I can make a scriptural case for women, not for gays.

  56. j2theperson says:

    ***Which basically says (and J2 probably doesn’t believe this) – it doesn’t matter what the Bible says – it is just good public policy that we change.***

    I think that large swaths of evangelicals carry no intellectual or moral authority to hold any sort of doctrine. The most cruel, demeaning teachings I’ve heard about women have come from people who (a) hold a hard male headship view of women and (b) have no religious training or education to speak of. Doctrine from people like that is no doctrine at all and can legitimately be swept away and ignored for whatever reason under the sun. Yes, they’ve “biblically” justified their view, but I don’t care because ultimately they just make the Bible say whatever they want it to say.

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – that wasn’t my point to equate. I was equating objections folks raise when their side has already won. To the women, hey women are already allowed to be pastors. To the homosexual community – hey homosexuals are already allowed to be pastors.
    Just not in my church 😉

  58. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Yes, they’ve “biblically” justified their view, but I don’t care because ultimately they just make the Bible say whatever they want it to say.”

    Well heck – that’s my view of dispensationalists and I choose not to go to those churches – just as you have chosen not to go to a man church.

  59. j2theperson says:

    That is helpful to adults, but it is not helpful to girls who are being raised in abusive churches that they have no choice in attending.

  60. j2theperson says:

    Plus, just because I can and do attend a church that allows women in the pulpit doesn’t mean I can’t also agitate on the internet. I mean, that’s what the internet it for. 😉

  61. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    LOL 🙂 🙂

  62. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    If I thought complementarians and egalitarians weren’t just predominantly Americans in a pissing contest over who should have access to formal, institutional power in 501(c)3s I’d be able to take them more seriously than I currently do. It’s not like the Eastern Orthodox hold to sola scriptura but it doesn’t seem like they’re leaders in the women-as-priests scene.

    We don’t have formal slavery but I just can’t see how we have forsaken slavery altogether given the student debt situation we have. Economic enslavement seems to be as alive and well now as it was a millennia ago. It’s just that we’ve got fiat currency and fractional reserve banking now.

  63. Xenia says:

    Wenatchee, in the EO world, no one ever talks about the ordination of women to the priesthood except in some fringe groups but there is discussion as to whether the ancient order of female deacons should be revived.

  64. Em again says:

    doesn’t it seem that, when the corporate model (very, very successfully developed by the amoral business world of the past 70 or so years) moved into the structure of so many of our churches, the role of the pastor became grossly distorted? Christianity is not a brand… i hope that that part of the Body of Christ that sits in what are described as Evangelical churches wakes up – i pray that they do and the way things in general are going away from the recent status quo, they just might… if they don’t, then it is time to look back to the O.T. to see what happens when faith becomes just a form or worse is discarded altogether…

    prophetess Em not

  65. Em again says:

    BTW – female deacons makes all the sense in the world … there is so much ministry that can and some that should be done by women … IMNSHO

  66. Em again says:

    #63-gotta add my 2 cents worth on student loans … we have developed the most evil system of higher education – students have become cash cows for the retirement plans of the faculty and administration and these educators know it – how do they sleep at night, let alone face a classroom?

    just sayin… cuz i can 🙂

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The Lutheran Church has deaconesses – they go to seminary

    http://www.lcms.org/?pid=443

  68. Xenia says:

    In the Orthodox Church, a deacon has major liturgical duties. I do remember in my old Baptist church, the deaconesses were always the wives of the elected deacons and took care of food. flowers, and visiting. In Orthodox Churches, we also have a group of women, the Sisterhood, who take care of the domestic side of church life. Baptist deacons were (are?) analogous to an Orthodox parish council or maybe the elder board in other churches. Orthodox churches have wardens that are responsible for all the physical care of the parish that is not covered by the Sisterhood. An Orthodox deacon wears vestments and actually carries out a large percentage of the Liturgy. Our deacon is called “Father,” just as the priest is.

    All to say, the Orthodox and the Baptists (and other evangelicals?) mean different things by the word “deacon” and I suspect the Lutheran deacons are more like Orthodox deacons than baptist ones, except they cannot be women.

    To sum up:

    Deaconesses in the ancient church correspond to today’s Sisterhood ladies and probably to today’s Baptist deaconesses, too. People were baptized in the nude in the early days and female deacons helped preserve the modesty of female converts as they were baptized. The only people baptized nude nowadays are babies.

    Ancient Deacons were liturgical assistants in the ancient Church and still are in the EO and I think the RC church. Being a deacon is often the first step a man takes before becoming ordained as a priest so there will never be female deacons for that reason..

  69. Xenia says:

    The problem with the radical few who say they want to bring back deaconesses is that they want them to be deaconesses in the Orthodox sense, that is, a vested person who serves a large part of the liturgy.

  70. Alan says:

    Xenia, let me just say that as an inquirer of the EO Church, I always look forward to, and appreciate your comments. Thank you!

  71. Xenia says:

    You’re welcome Alan! I just pray to God that I am accurate in all I say here.

    May God help you on your journey!

  72. Alan says:

    Charlie, comment #17, yes, I’m with you. I’ve been in churches like that in the past.

    To me, it comes off as a multi-level marketing scheme. Your goal is to get people in the door, so that they can get people in the door, so that they can get….well, you get the point.

    What happens to people once they get in?

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