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6 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2008 - 2:14AM #61
LiveOak
Posts: 119
Dear Dave, An, Ted and Co.,

Dave's post #52 gets to the heart of why there are a lot of interpretations that are different, and why it can be difficult to determine what the author intended. The church titles often sprang from their purpose: I minister to people at church, but I am not a minister; I have a mission to evangelize, but am not an evangelist or missionary; I am old, but I'm not an elder. In Luke 16:13-15 Jesus chose twelve of his disciples (all men, right?), whom he designated apostles, and this became both the duty and title of the Twelve. The term is used exclusively for the Twelve, until the gospel spread to the Gentiles, whereupon it not only becomes a title for Paul, but then in places seems to refer to any missionary - the duty that gave the title its name. So did Andronicus and Junias have the same title and authority as the Twelve men that Jesus chose, or where they missionaries, or were they outstanding in the opinion of the apostles, as some translations choose. This is where my mind gauges "most probable", "possible", and "unlikely" (currently in reverse order).

And while I agree that the women you (An) mentioned were excellent workers for the Lord, I'm not sure how you drew some of your conclusions. For example, Priscilla and Aquila certainly were an effective team, but sometimes Priscilla is listed first and other times Aquila is listed first. (Sometimes different translations were different on the same verse, so I went back to a Greek Bible to determine which was right (I am useless for anything in Greek except picking out proper names) and that was also inconclusive - perhaps Dave can clarify.

While the church in Laodicea (possibly Colosse) met at Nympha's house as you state, Colossians 1:7 and 4:13 suggest that Epaphras was more likely the initial missionary in Colosse, Laodicea and Hieropolis, and continued to work in these three towns. Acts 12:12 suggests that the church in Jerusalem met at the home of Mary, the mother of Mark (at least on this occasion), but I don't see where she was mentioned as a leader of the Jerusalem church.

In terms of greetings at the end of the letter, I would assume that these people were not the main recipients of the letter, which were addressed at the beginning of letters. If I were to write a letter to my old church, I might send it to the elders or preacher, but at the end I would write "Give my love to Nancy and Harry" (my dear friends, but did not hold an office), "Say 'Hi' to Amy, Jaime, Danielle and John" (in the singles class I taught, though they taught me as well). I'm somewhat surprised by the length of Paul's greetings when he had yet not been to Rome.

God bless you on your exams, An!

Dave
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2008 - 2:36AM #62
Anesis
Posts: 1,542
" but it was men who pastured them."

LOL! I think I've done this typo so much that my 'o' key must have switched places with my 'u' key!

One quick note about the 'twelve': imho, since they were Jesus' closest friends, it would only make sense that they were men. It is apparent that there were women disciples, but that the twelve were those he especially chose. It seems to me that Jesus needed his buddies to chum with and support him, much like friends today do. They were his more intimate crowd, and just as I used to have about five very close friends, I think Jesus had 12, and of them, he had three that were particularly close. I do not think there is any more significance to them all being male than simply to avoid the appearance of evil. Too many people might presuppose too much, if there were one or two women who were part of the twelve.

For me, there is nothing to indicate in the Bible that women should not hold a pastorate or that they are not welcome to be elders, as long as they have the same stringent guidelines as men; that is, the wife of but one husband, manages her family well, and is well respected and honorable before man and God. i will not hinge a whole doctrine on two verses, while in the context of the bigger picture, they simply don't fit.

Thank you for your blessings...I think I will need them this time!
An
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2008 - 3:12AM #63
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

LiveOak wrote:


And while I agree that the women you (An) mentioned were excellent workers for the Lord, I'm not sure how you drew some of your conclusions. For example, Priscilla and Aquila certainly were an effective team, but sometimes Priscilla is listed first and other times Aquila is listed first. (Sometimes different translations were different on the same verse, so I went back to a Greek Bible to determine which was right (I am useless for anything in Greek except picking out proper names) and that was also inconclusive - perhaps Dave can clarify.




Ac 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome and came unto them.
Ac 18:18 ¶ And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
Ac 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Ro 16:3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:
1Co 16:19 ¶ The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

the scrore looks even to me; 6 of one/ half of the other

Non Quis, Sed Quid
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2008 - 3:21AM #64
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

LiveOak wrote:

While the church in Laodicea (possibly Colosse) met at Nympha's house as you state, Colossians 1:7 and 4:13 suggest that Epaphras was more likely the initial missionary in Colosse, Laodicea and Hieropolis, and continued to work in these three towns. Acts 12:12 suggests that the church in Jerusalem met at the home of Mary, the mother of Mark (at least on this occasion), but I don't see where she was mentioned as a leader of the Jerusalem church.



An, i favor your position (at least intellectually; in RL I would personally be uncomfortable in a woman lead church); but,  Nymphas was a man. Thats a unique use of the Greek that probably means born-again; but i see nothing in scripture or in the use of the language that indicates feminine gender.

Non Quis, Sed Quid
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2008 - 3:23AM #65
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

LiveOak wrote:

. Acts 12:12 suggests that the church in Jerusalem met at the home of Mary, the mother of Mark (at least on this occasion), but I don't see where she was mentioned as a leader of the Jerusalem church.




At best she would have been a groupleader of a house church that was a part of the Church at Jerusalem

Non Quis, Sed Quid
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2008 - 9:23AM #66
miami-ted
Posts: 981
Good morning all,

One other consideration, and yes I readily admit that this is not actually said verbatim in the Scriptures, but since we seem to be discussing a lot of not necessarily what is actually said as opposed to what is meant by what is said, I throw this out.

There are two references in the New Testament also written by Paul's hand that may give some explanation as to why God would not want women in these positions.  Certainly in the position of head shepherd/pastor.  We read in 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness...' and again in 1 Timothy 2:12-14 'And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived fell into transgression.'

Now, if we believe that Paul wrote under the authority of the Holy Spirit just as all the other writers of Scriptures, then we must also agree that the Holy Spirit led these two passages to be included in Paul's letters.  If, we believe that to be the case then we must also agree that just as Paul sees that the first woman was ultimately responsible for being deceived, God does also.

Now I'm going to apologize profusely, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry because I know that this post is going to cause a lot of hard feelings towards me, but as far as the Scriptural references you must be angry with Paul and not me and ultimately with the Holy Spirit.  I also want to point out that while we are arguing what the correct translation of the Greek is in the many other passages that have been brought up in this discussion, I don't believe there is any such problem in these two.  Paul, I believe it fairly obvious, laid the responsibility of original sin squarely on the shoulders of Eve.  I understand that in other places the blame is spread out among the two and I personally agree that Adam was just as much responsible, but what I am pointing out here is that Paul, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, did not hold them equally responsible.

Therefore, in summation, it is very possible that God has chosen not to honor a woman as shepherd/pastor of a local fellowship for this very reason.  Now, as a personal viewpoint, I have listened to many, many women pastors and in my experience, when we come to the parts of a wrathful God, there is much equivocating.  What I mean is that when we speak of God's destroying all of his creation through the flood and when God's word tells us plainly that he was responsible for wiping out the nations that held the promised land by the sword and by death and when God's word accounts for us all the times that God brought about the deaths of the wicked and the unbelieving, I find that many women do not want to believe this about God.  Yes, I understand that there are also many men, but I believe on a total numbers basis that my experience has been that it is almost universal among women pastors that they quickly sidestep this issue and in fact often claim that those parts were the ones added to the Scriptures by human thoughts and hands and do not accurately represent the loving God that loves all people.

I believe that just looking about on Bnet will support this finding.  I have been on these boards for years and when the issue of God's wrath comes up and the thousands upon thousands who died at the very hands and commands of God comes up, invariably women respond with, 'Well, that's not the real God.' or 'How can you believe that a loving God would really have done those things?'  This is because of their nurturing side and I fully understand that and I do not condemn them for their feelings, but is that who God wants leading his people?  Some who aren't willing to teach the full counsel of God.

Throughout the New Testament Scriptures every single one who touches the subject of salvation, and most assuredly Jesus himself and Paul in his letter to the Romans, is absolutely unswerving in their claim that salvation comes only through Jesus and all others are condemned to the pit.  Women are generally not willing to promote this doctrine and I can only see in the Scriptures that God wants us to be bold and forthright about what is at stake in the souls of people.


In Christ, Ted.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2008 - 10:52AM #67
Leight
Posts: 1,438
....I for one will remain under the Pastorate of my Pastor until God calls me elsewhere, even as He has presently called me under her ministry....for ultimately thats what it is all about, being led by Gods Spirit......and thats to me the important thing, because I know that behind it all there is the truthful, honest and doctrinally sound Hand of God....I know it in my heart of hearts, and there is no error, non, indeed even as Deborah was a leader,,,,,even as there where deconess'es who participated in the mysteries of the faith.........it is God who calls and it is God who qualifies.....
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2008 - 11:31AM #68
Anesis
Posts: 1,542
“laid the responsibility of original sin squarely on the shoulders of Eve.”
   
  It was on them both because they both sinned and they were both cursed by God. Eve simply did it first. You are right where it appears that God held Eve more responsible in the one verse. However, we cannot take scripture in bits and pieces and if you look at the broader picture, both are accountable.
   
  In the same way, I believe that if we take the one or two verses in question out of the context of the whole of scripture we are missing the point and making huge mistakes in our understanding. In fact, the one verse where women are told to ‘be in silence’, if we read it in context, we will see that the women at that time were for once able to learn with the men, and not only did this excite them, but they actually were learning. One thing about learning is that gaining one piece of information opens the door for many questions and more learning. They were talking in the churches, asking their husbands and discussing with them in church, and trying to argue the scripture with their husbands and possibly even other women during services. That is why imho, Paul told women to be silent, and not to usurp men’s authority; they had found their freedom in an oppressed society, and they were trying to assert their own authority as opposed to simply accept equality….kind of like the feminist movement of the … 60’s and 70’s, wasn’t it?
   
  “I find that many women do not want to believe this about God.”
   
  Then they should not be candidates for clergy; nor should men who are otherwise “qualified”. All clergy – men and women alike should be prepared to give the full counsel of God, and to preach all his characteristics.
   
  “This is because of their nurturing side and I fully understand that and I do not condemn them for their feelings, but is that who God wants leading his people?”
   
  Don’t you think Jesus was/is nurturing? I think a nurturer makes a far better leader/pastor/shepherd than a firm, authoritarian disciplinarian. Sure, sometimes pastors need to discipline, but women are good at that too. After all, we tend to do more of it with our children. But we also tend to be more nurturing with them as well.
   
  “Women are generally not willing to promote this doctrine and I can only see in the Scriptures that God wants us to be bold and forthright about what is at stake in the souls of people.”
   
  While this could very well be your perception, it is certainly not mine. I have known many women who are just as, if not more, forthright than many men. Those are the kind of arguments that I could certainly not attribute to gender, but rather to the new age thought…new age being not necessarily the new age movement, although that might very well be part of it…but rather the new way of thinking about God. Indeed, there are many male pastors who lead their church to think of God as all love with no sense of justice at all. In fact, maybe it is our male pastors who have been responsible for this new way of thinking altogether. It is not a gender issue – it is a thought issue.



Off to study now...
An
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2008 - 12:23PM #69
LiveOak
Posts: 119
Dear Leight,

How do you decide how God's Spirit is leading you? How do you decide which teachers are commissioned by God and which have commissioned themselves? We have been debating here about whether a woman was leading the church in Laodicea, but either way, it was apparently the wrong person(s), for in the end, God rebuked them as wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Rev 2:14-19).

I pray for wisdom for all of us in this, for in the end we will stand alone and be judged on our own ability to follow God, and we won't be able to use our leaders as excuses. I am moved by 2 Chronicles 34:21 - the people had not been following God's words for who knows how long, then found a copy of it and realized how far they had drifted. "Great is the Lord's anger that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book." It reminds me that I need to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 and check all teaching with God's word, and also reminds me of the duty I have toward my children to make sure future generations are not ignorant of the scriptures, nor lazily follow their leadership instead of God. Again, this is my prayer for all of us, and I'm not reflecting on your current situation.

Cheers,

Dave
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2008 - 12:32PM #70
miami-ted
Posts: 981
Hello An,

You wrote:  It was on them both because they both sinned and they were both cursed by God. Eve simply did it first. You are right where it appears that God held Eve more responsible in the one verse. However, we cannot take scripture in bits and pieces and if you look at the broader picture, both are accountable.

Absolutely so.  However, while Adam fell to the same temptation that Eve fell to, the Scriptures are clear that Eve fell first and that it was her encouragement that led Adam to follow.  Yes, we are all under the condemnation of sin and I am not in any way absolving Adam of his full responsibility in his actions, but I am looking at it as Paul seems to portray in his letters and no, it is in two places, not one.  The letter to the Corinthians and the letter to Timothy both make the same point as regarding who took first initiative to disobey God.  I believe that is clear and that is plain and yes I believe that ultimately when we read the account in Genesis that God held Adam as responsible for his actions as he held Eve, but even more so Adam because of the very fact that he was created first and was supposed to have protected and watched over Eve.  Again, God is holding Adam responsible for Eve's action, however, as I read the account in Genesis when God walked into the garden in search of Adam and Adam said that he was hiding his nakedness and God asked Adam whether he had eaten of the fruit and Adam laid the blame on Eve, yes, that's another argument, but God turned to Eve and said, "What is this you have done."  The Scriptures are clear that God turned to Eve and questioned her as to what she had done before he even said another word of the condemnation to come.  Read into that what you will, but it seems apparent to me that God right there at that moment held Eve accountable for what had been done.

You wrote:  In the same way, I believe that if we take the one or two verses in question out of the context of the whole of scripture we are missing the point and making huge mistakes in our understanding.

I don't agree that the discussion here is taking anything out of context and that is a very weak argument.  Let me ask you.  What do you believe that putting it in your proper context leads you to believe about what is said in these three places that is different than what is being claimed?

Here again, and I am very sorry, but it seems clear to me that God both from his own mouth and through the Holy Spirit and Paul's writing seems to place the responsibility of leading the church, and throughout the Old Testament of leading the temple, to men.

You wrote:  indeed, there are many male pastors who lead their church to think of God as all love with no sense of justice at all. In fact, maybe it is our male pastors who have been responsible for this new way of thinking altogether.

Absolutely and I have already covered this issue.  There are many men who are just as not qualified to be in charge of a fellowship and I am one of them.  I have read God's word and understood his commands and I know that I am not qualified for a position of deacon or pastor to a local fellowship and I am perfectly comfortable with that.  I know that my sins have still been forgiven.  I know that I am still obligated to tell others about salvation through Christ and I know that I am to be used as an encourager and teacher in many ways, but as deacon or pastor where God expects only the very best to lead his people, I don't qualify.

Listen, I have a 15 year old son and I have sat with him many times and told him, 'Son, I want you to know that I was not trained right.  I want you to know that I did many things in my life that were not pleasing to God and that I suffered the consequences thereof.  I also want you to know that I love you so deeply that I would die for you just as Jesus died for me, but I also want  you to know that now that I am a follower of the Lord, Jesus that I will do all that I can to correct you and raise you in the way that I know you should go and you will never, never hear the words pass my lips, 'Well, he's just a child and I did a lot of those things when I was a child so he'll grow out of it and I'm just going to leave it alone,' when it comes to words or deeds that are displeasing to God.  I will never encourage him to carry a condom with him and will in fact strongly and vehemently discourage him from sexual relations before marriage, because I love him and I know the pain that those shallow relationships cause not only for himself but also for the other involved person.  I often discuss with him the silliness of men and science which stands against the word of God and have in fact told him repeatedly that I would be most proud of him when he got to college and was being taught such foolishness as the universe being billions of years old that he would have the courage to stand up and say, 'Listen, professor, I'm taking this class because I need the credit and I'm going to give you the answers that you give us to the questions on the tests, but I want you to know that I don't believe a word of it!'  Now, whether he will or not, I don't know and I honestly don't believe he will stand up and say that, but I know that inside he will stand with his faith and know it in his heart.  While the Scriptures are clear that we should be concerned with the final destiny of all souls it is our own eternal destiny that we are to persevere and know without a doubt as to the outcome.

Now, you are probably asking, what has all this to do with the question at hand?  Well, I'll tell you.  Just as there are thousands upon thousands of 'christians' who somehow have figured out that God worked through evolution to create all the physical realm, I stand in opposition to that teaching and understanding.  Just as their are thousands upon thousands of 'christians' who aren't really concerned that their children are watching the wickedness on our televisions and in our movies that portray casual sex as OK and even encouraged to have sex about as often as they take someone out to dinner.  I stand in opposition to that and while I have at some point in my life believed both of those scenarios, I know today by the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God and my Lord, Jesus that I was one of the fools that God's word speaks of.  I was the man that Paul portrays in the second half of the first chapter of Romans, but praise God!!! and his mercy and compassion, he has seen my estate and yet loved me and the whole purpose of the Scriptures were written that I can turn away from that life and turn to the life that he has set for us.  That is what I teach my son and that is what I teach everyone today.  So, I have read God's word and from what I see, the reality of women taking positions of authority in the church is not the reality that God portrays, just as I, for years did not live the reality that God portrays and in fact when these discussions come up it is you can almost feel that what is really at stake here is an issue of pride disguised as the new feminism.

Oh, I'm really in trouble now!  LOL.  Yes, An, you are correct that you and I will have to learn to agree to disagree on this issue, but I honestly think that there is a much deeper issue underlying what is going on here.  Again, I call up the Old Testament.  Over the years the Jews always thought they were doing a pretty good job of making God happy and keeping to his law despite the dozens of prophets that he sent to tell them that they were chasing after the way of condemnation.  Today, 2000, years removed from the first established churches through the work of Paul and Peter and John, etc. we have doctrines and theologies that are just as apostate as what the Jews were following and yes there are many people that will follow them.  Just as Paul warned Timothy, a time is coming...

Please know that I love you also as a sister in the Lord and my intentions here are not to drive a wedge and you are free to say, "Well, that's your opinion..."  I just pray that we will still be friends and carry on the work that God has given each of us to do.

God bless.
In Christ, Ted.
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