Genesis 3: Temptation, the Fall, and Gender Roles

There is great conflict in the modern church, even among evangelicals, about gender roles in the home and at the church.   While there are extremes on both ends of the spectrums, evangelicals tend to fall into two groups.  Egalitarians assert that the Bible regards all people equally and does not assign different roles on the basis of gender.  Wives are not obligated to submit to their husbands, nor are pastoral or other church leadership roles limited to men.  Complementarians believe that while men and women have equal value and standing before God, we have been assigned different roles.  Men are to be loving, servant leaders in their homes, and wives are commanded to submit to their husband’s authority.  In the church, the roles of pastor or elder are limited to men and women are restricted from holding those roles.

Here are links to the previous posts on this subject.

  • Introductory post.  (Men, Women, Marriage and Ministry: What Does the Bible Say?)
  • Genesis 1 (In the Image of God:  Male and Female in Genesis 1:16-28)
  • Genesis 2 (A Helper Suitable for Him:  Gender Issues in Genesis 2)

I would make the following observations.

1)  These passages in Genesis are foundational, but are not really decisive. We tend to form our doctrine from the New Testament epistolary evidence and then read our perspective back into the Creation narratives.  We are all going to see certain things in Genesis that are shaped by our New Testament study.   In this post, in which I am going to examine Genesis 3, this will certainly be true.

However, it is still incumbent on each of us to attempt to do solid exegesis of the Old Testament passage.  We may see them through the tint of our views formed by NT studies, but we must be careful not to do exegetical violence to the OT passages.  NT study enlightens OT study, but proper exegesis of the NT never invalidates exegesis of the OT.

2)  Egalitarian interpreters work hard to provide explanations for the half-dozen or so key NT passages that seem to teach egalitarianism.  The “mutual submission” of Ephesians 5:21 somehow invalidates the call for wives to submit in Ephesians 5:22.  Words are defined carefully so that passages like 1 Corinthians 11, when identifying a man as the “head” of his wife, do not really advocate a position of authority.  They interpret the stuffing out of some of those passages.  But the task of the egalitarian expositor is always to demonstrate that the passage does not say what it seems to say.  It is the egalitarians’ duty to show us why the passages do not mean what they seem to mean.

The complementarian has an easier task.  We demonstrate that passages mean what they seem to mean.  Submission actually means submission.  Headship is headship.  Servant authority is servant authority.

So here is my fundamental point: there is a consistent complementarian ethic in scripture that runs from Genesis 1 through the passages in Paul (and Peter).  The most natural interpretation of Genesis 1, 2 and 3 supports complementarianism.  The role of women under the OT law also demonstrates complementarianism.  Jesus seems to have been a complementarian.  Paul’s and Peter’s teachings on women are most naturally seen in a complementarian light.

So, while my exegesis of gender issues in Genesis 3 will certainly not convince the ardent egalitarian, it is one more spoke in the smooth-rolling wheel of complementarian hermeneutics.

Genesis 3: The Fall and Curse

It is pretty obvious that whatever is going on in Genesis 3 is significant to gender issues in the rest of the Bible.  It is here that Adam and Eve bring sin into the world and death because of sin.  There are also some fascinating gender dynamics going on in the passage.  Then, God delineates the curses on the Serpent, on man and on women.  The curse on women in Genesis 3:16 is obviously crucial.

“Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

Paul uses this passage as the foundation for his gender teaching in 1 Timothy 2.  In verse 11 of that passage, Paul exhorts women to “learn quietly in all submissiveness.”  He states in verse 12 that it is impermissible for women to hold authority over men in the church.  Paul then gives the theological bases of his pronouncement.  In verse 13, he points out that man was first in order of creation.  Then, in verse 14 he refers to our passage and says,

“Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

This post will be focused on two dynamics in this passage.  First, we will look at how Adam and Eve related during the temptation.  Then, we will examine the curse God placed on woman because of sin and try to figure out what was meant by those words in Genesis 3:16.

Gender Issues in the Temptation and Fall

The facts of the fall would not be debated by most evangelicals.  The Serpent appears and, twisting the words of God, induces Eve first and then Adam to eat the fruit from the tree from which they were forbidden to eat.  This is a great passage to show the pattern of Satan’s temptations and develop an anatomy of sin and temptation.  That is not our focus here.  We are simply examining gender dynamics in the Fall.

I would make the following observations.

1)  God spoke to Adam

In Genesis 2, God gave his instructions about the Tree of Knowledge to Adam, before Eve was created.  It was evidently Adam’s job to communicate God’s commands to Eve.  He did not seem to do that job very well.

When God spoke to Adam, he simply prohibited eating the fruit of the tree.  When Satan tempted Eve, she said that they were not allowed to eat the fruit, or even to touch it.  Where did she get that idea?  God did not say it.

Is it possible that the key dynamic in the fall is Adam’s failure to properly instruct his wife about the commands of God?

2) Adam was with Eve while she was tempted.

Am I the only one who grew up with the idea that the Serpent found a moment when Eve was off by herself and tempted her?  Then, after she sinned, she went and found Adam and badgered him until he took a bite.  That was the picture I always had.

Then, as I studied this passage I saw verse 6, which says that after the Serpent’s temptation, “she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”  She ate, then she turned to her husband who was right there with her the whole time.

During the time of Eve’s temptation, when she was being enticed to violate God’s command, Adam was standing there listening.  What would have happened if Adam had spoken up?  Perhaps if Adam had said to the Serpent, “That’s not what God said,” things might have turned out differently.

It appears that the primary cause of the sin was that Adam failed to accept the role God had given him.  Instead of leading Eve, instead of standing between her and the temptor, he blended into the background.  It seems to me that sin entered the world partially because the man God created did not take the place of leadership God gave him.

Again, I understand the limits of this evidence.  It will not convince the ardent egalitarian.  On the other hand, it is simply one more passage that easily dovetails with the complementarian position.

The Curse on Women and Men

Sin has consequences, and in Genesis 3:14-19, God spells out those consequences, first on the Serpent, then on the woman, then on the man.  God guarantees the ultimate destruction of evil by the seed of the woman, making this passage (called the Protoevangelion) one of Genesis’ most significant passages.  But once again, our concern is more limited and specific.  We are looking at the gender issues.

It would be no surprise to anyone that egalitarians and complementarians view this passage differently.  Egalitarians say that male authority was not part of God’s original intent and that the Fall and the curse of Genesis 3:16 actually instituted patriarchy and male dominance.  Of course, Complementarians say this is not accurate.  We believe that gender roles were part of God’s creation.  The curse was not the institution of gender roles, but the perversion of them.

Genesis 3:16b makes two definitive statements.  “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

The first statement is probably the most difficult to understand.  What does it mean that the woman’s desire would be for her husband?  The second statement is a little more straightforward, less debated.  The husband will rule over his wife.

It is important to note that this is a curse – a consequence of sin.  And this statement – both halves – is a declaration of fact, not an imperative.  God is not telling us what should be, but what will be.

“Your Desire Will Be for Your Husband.”

This seems to be the key question here – what does it mean that a woman’s desire will be for her husband?

The key word, “desire” is only used three times in the OT.  It appears in Song 7:10 and seems to refer to sexual desire.  It also appears in Genesis 4:7, just a few verses after Genesis 3:16.  This would seem to be the most significant context in determining our meaning, because it appears so close to the verse in context, and because it is also used in contrast to the word “rule” in both passages.

In Genesis 4:7, Cain finds himself jealous and angry at his brother, because his offerings were rejected by God while Abel’s were accepted.  God warns him that sin is trying to take him, rule over him.  He says,

“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Sin’s desire is “for you,” as God warns Cain.  Sin is desiring to dominate and control Cain.  Actually, this meaning is not completely absent in Song 7:10.  The sexual desire can have a possessive aspect.

The word “desire” has the connotation of a strong desire to control or master something.  Sin wants to possess and control Cain.  The Lover has the desire to possess sexually in the Song.  And here, the women has a newfound desire to control and dominate her husband.

The man’s response?  He now rules over his wife.  He does not just lead her or serve her.  Now, as a result of sin, he dominates and controls her.  The curse is that what the woman seeks (to dominate and control her husband) will be frustrated by the husband’s dominance over her.

So, what am I saying?

1)  The original intent of God was that a man and a woman would work together (complementing each other).  He gave us different roles, but they were meant to be used in cooperation, love and support of one another.  Man was to lead his wife, not to dominate her.  Woman was to help her husband, to be his partner and support.  God’s intent was for a man and a woman to be different, but not in conflict.

2)  The curse is that the intent of God was marred. Men, instead of being loving leaders, would become dominating, controlling, even oppressive.  Women, instead of being willing helpers, supporters of their husbands, would seek to dominate and control them.

It is not authority that was the curse, it is the “battle of the sexes.”  God designed us with key differences – that predated the Fall and survived it.  What the Fall did was corrupt the complementarian nature of our differences and made them competitive.

Men were never meant to dominate and oppress women.  We were to be leaders – godly leaders.  In the Kingdom, all leaders use their authority to bless and prosper those they hold that authority over.  The idea that women were put here on earth to serve the whims and needs of a man is a corruption of the created intent – not a fruit of it.  Sin corrupted the complementary roles we were intended to have and created the competitive, oppressive, battle between the sexes.

3)  This view, that the Fall did not add something to creation, but corrupted what was already created, is borne out by the first part of the verse. In that, the process of childbirth was cursed with pain.  Women were naturally designed to give birth (duh).  The curse was not that they would give birth, it was that they would give birth with pain.

The curse in the second half of the verse follows that same template.  Authority was always a part of all that God created.  The Fall and the Curse did not create authority, it perverted it.

A Word about Authority

Some interpreters have been doing a remarkable thing in recent days – asserting that concepts of authority and submission are contrary to the ways of the kingdom.  That is a hard assertion to make from scripture.  I’ve been working on a post about this, but I’m not ready to post that yet.  Let me give you the short version though.

Authority is a part of everything that God creates.  He made the world and gave man dominion.  He created the home and put parents over children and gave men a special responsibility to lead. I believe that there is even authority within the Godhead (see a lengthy discussion of the “Eternal Subordination of Christ here.)

The problem is not with authority, it is with our view of authority.  Human beings seem to see authority as the right to oppress, dominate, control and use others.  It is not such.  In the Divine order, authority is always used to lift up and bless the person over whom you hold authority.  The Father glorified the Son.  Jesus Christ, the absolute Lord of all, uses his authority to save, bless and exalt us to the heavenly places!

So, does the Bible teach that I have authority over my wife?  I believe that it does.  But what does that mean?  Does it mean that my wife exists as a slave to my needs?  Am I to use her as I please?  Is it my job to “keep her in her place”?  Absolutely not.  That is not God’s intent.  It is a corruption of that intent.

I am to use the authority God has given me to bless my wife.  I do not lead her so that I can have the best life I can have, but so that she will have the best life she can have.  Authority is an obligation to bless, to lead into God’s grace and mercy.

Yes, authority is a part of everything God creates.  But it is a godly authority, not an earthly perversion of that authority.

A Word to the Men

While the main focus here is the statement about women in verse 16, there is an interesting dynamic in Genesis 3:17.  Remember what I said about Adam standing there beside his wife and allowing her to fall into sin?  He did not use his authority to bless his wife and lead her in the paths of righteousness.  He abdicated his responsibility and followed instead of leading.

Look at verse 17.  It seems to buttress that idea.

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you.”

What is Adam judged for here?  He “listened to the voice of (his) wife.”   No, gentlemen, sorry!  This is not an excuse to ignore your “nagging” wife.  It is a hint as to how things went wrong. God gave Adam a command and expected him to lead his wife in obedience.  But Adam followed instead of leading.  Because he did not take up the authority God gave him and lead his wife into the ways of God, she fell into temptation.

Gentlemen, when we do not take up the mantle of SERVANT leadership that God has given us, the consequences in the lives of our families, our churches, our lives is disastrous.  The world needs men who lead – not by human standards of dominance and oppression.  It needs men who determine that they are going to be servant leaders, devoting their lives to blessing their families and churches by being all that God called them to be.

May it happen, O Lord.


  1. Dave Miller says

    Okay, I’m going to make a request (which I fully know will be ignored). That’s the nature of the blog!

    It would warm my heart if we would discuss Genesis 3 and the proper exegesis of that passage. Okay, I know I brought some other things up, so I opened the door. But could we focus on this passage in the discussion?

    Pretty please?

    • Christiane says

      “Okay, I know I brought some other things up, so I opened the door.”

      DAVID, I’m reading along, trying to follow the logic, knowing I can stay on topic (almost),
      but then . . . I see . . . those words. . .
      “I believe that there is even authority within the Godhead”

      (link deleted by editor)

      • Dave Miller says

        I think I made a strong biblical case for the historic doctrine of the Trinity – which includes ESS. If you don’t like that, fine.

        But any further attempts to belittle others with ridicule on this comment thread will be deleted. We are trying to elevate the discussion, not descend into the gutter.

  2. Bess says

    “”It appears that the primary cause of the sin was that Adam failed to accept the role God had given him. Instead of leading Eve, instead of standing between her and the temptor, he blended into the background””

    How is there any “Adam shoulda, coulda” before sin enters the world? Wouldn’t the relationship before sin have been unaffected by sin? Implying that Adam didn’t do what he was supposed to do before the actual fall would seem to be implying that Adam and Eve were not in a completely sinless state before the fall. The sin was eating of the tree. Isn’t the reason we don’t do what we should or could because of the effects of sin? How could Adam have failed to do something he was supposed to do if sin had not entered into the world yet? God didn’t say to Adam – “why did you fail to lead your wife” – the sin was “did you eat of that tree?”

    • says

      I refer again to Genesis 3:17, in which the curse falls on Adam because he “listened to his wife – and then ate.”

      Was Adam supposed to stand by in silence and wait for Eve to sin?

      The coming of sin is a process in Genesis 3, which culminates in the fall when they ate the fruit. It starts with Eve listening to the temptor, twisting God’s Word and then being seduced. A contributing factor is Adam’s silence.

      The fall is a process, with contributing factors along the way.

    • says

      There is some debate on the standing of Adam and Eve before the fall. Were they perfect? Just innocent and untested?

      They obviously were not Christ-like in perfection, because they fell. They were innocent and untested. However, I think it may be a stretch to infer that this means that every action prior to the eating of the fruit was just and right.

      • Bess says

        Thanks for your comments regarding authority. The world has certainly distorted the concept of biblical authority.

        On the issue of Adam and Eve prior to the fall, remember that God had given only one commandment: that they were not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It thus appears that, as to all other possible sins they could have committed, they were utterly innocent: it would never have occurred to Adam to, for example, curse God or kill Eve. The only sin he was aware of was eating of the forbidden tree. And, of course, this is exactly what the tempter used to tempt Eve.

        Adam did not sin until he ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree. This is seen in God’s response to the hiding Adam: “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

        Thus, you cannot glean from Scripture that, at the moment Adam ate of the fruit, he had already sinned or had already failed God by failing to lead or protect his wife. He had been given no such commandment, and God did not identify that as his sin.


        • Dave Miller says

          If, as I believe, Adam was given authority (godly, servant-based) over his wife prior to the fall, then it would not be accurate to say that the only command he had was not to eat.

          He had been told to multiply and fill the earth. Those were two commands given in addition to the prohibition on the tree. So, I guess I do not think it is accurate to say that there was only one command.

          I’m not sure we are that far apart here (maybe we are – who knows?). But I am agreeing that the eating of the fruit was the sinful act. However, I think that this act was the end of a process at which both Adam and Eve made unwise choices contrary to the will of God.

          It was a process that led to the sin. Part of that process was Adam’s failure to do his duty as a godly leader.

          • Bess says

            An unwise choice contrary to the will of God = sin.

            We know Adam an Eve were naked and unashamed = they were innocent. You seem to be saying that if they were lazy and the garden was unattended that would have = the sin of eating of the tree? The only sin they were capable of committing was eating of the fruit because that was the one thing they were told to specifically not do. Can you give me the Biblical basis for saying Adam failed to lead his wife prior to sin entering the world? You don’t need this argument to prove completerianism.

          • Dave Miller says

            I was only countering your assertion that they only got one command.

            They were told to tend the garden. To multiply and fill the earth. They received a series of commands. I would guess that disobedience to any of those commands would have been sinful, right?

            All that is theoretical and conjectural, of course. They violated the command against eating the fruit.

            But, when Adam was judged in Genesis 3:17, it was for “listening” instead of leading.

          • Bess says

            “They were told to tend the garden. To multiply and fill the earth. ”

            Where did God say if they didn’t do those things they would die? Were they capable of being tempted to not do those things? When sin had not entered the picture yet?

          • Dave Miller says

            That is true. But what would have happened had Adam and Eve not eaten the fruit, but didn’t fulfill the other commands?

            We are dealing with conjectures here.

            However, it is clear that Adam did not speak when Eve was being tempted. It is also clear that Genesis 3:17 calls him on that silence. I think the way that is worded is significant.

            Yes, the sin was eating the fruit.
            But the events that led up to that sin were factors that contributed to the fall.

          • Bess says

            But the events that led up to that sin were factors that contributed to the fall.

            Is that conjecture or can you support that Biblically? it seems like the events as you describe them would have been sin themselves?

          • Bess says

            But what would have happened had Adam and Eve not eaten the fruit, but didn’t fulfill the other commands?

            Without sin they were pleased to do what God wanted them to do. The only temptation to sin was the tree. you seem to think there were other temptations in the Garden?

          • Dave Miller says

            My bottom comment (which is currently 20, but will be 21 when I leave this comment and will continue changing!) answers this. In an effort to bring it all together, lets move to the bottom.

  3. Bess says

    And understand that we absolutely believe that Adam and Eve were created to complement each other. But think of their pre-fall state as that of little babies – could you say “look the little boy baby failed to protect the little girl baby” They were absolutely innocent and knew nothing about failing until “their eyes were open and they saw they were naked.” The only temptation to sin was the temptation to eat of the tree – nothing else. Only one thing they could fail at.

    And I think that by the time we get to the NT teachings on complementarianism – that when we follow the Bible’s outline on what complentarianism is – not how the world defines it and the straw men people will bring up – but what the Bible is actually teaching it’s a way to get back to that relationship before the fall.

    • Dave Miller says

      I’m not sure I understand the pre-fall condition of Adam and Eve as well as I’d like. Some call it perfect. The old Dispensational term was innocent.

      Certainly, they had not fallen into sin. But neither were they perfected like Christ, or like we will be in glory.

      They were adults, undoubtedly naive (as per your “babies” illustration above), in the Image of God, untouched as yet by sin. Beyond that, I guess I need to narrow that down a little farther.

      • Bess says

        The only temptation was the fruit. For Adam to have been tempted not to do what he was supposed to do would have been Adam being affected by sin that hadn’t entered the world yet. The only shoulda coulda before the fall was “Adam should not have eaten that fruit.” Not Adam should have done xyz – the relationship before the fall was a perfect, I believe complementarian relationship – Adam led as a servent leader and Eve followed. They each had their specific roles.

        • Dave Miller says

          I guess I’m not sure that exegesis supports your assertions. God gave several commands.

          • Bess says

            Where does God make the “commands” to be fruitful and have dominion equal to the command not to eat of the tree? You’re saying that there were more possibility of sins than just eating of the tree?

          • Dave Miller says

            You made the statement that God gave only one command. I pointed out that God gave Adam and Eve several commands. That was my only point there.

          • Bess says

            There seemed to be only one command that could have resulted in disobedience and that was “don’t eat the fruit”

            On listening to his wife – the sin wasn’t the listening it was the sin of eating the fruit.

  4. Dave Miller says

    I hate when we run out of layers on the comments – so this is in response to #17 – putting it back all the way to the left.

    Okay, I will concede your point for the purpose of argument. There was only one sin that could have resulted in the fall. But does that mean that everything they did leading up to that moment of sin was justified and righteous? I think that is what you are saying.

    I am saying that eating the fruit resulted in sin. Agreed.

    But I am also saying that a series of choices that Adam and Eve made leading up to the moment contributed to the final bad choice they made to sin. A process of bad choices (which all took place within a few minutes time perhaps) led to the sin.

    Are you saying that everything they did right up to the very moment they ate the fruit was sinless in God’s eyes?

  5. Bess says

    Here’s my thing Dave Miller and then I let this go for others to have their fun with. I don’t think you can prove Biblically that there was anything Adam shoulda coulda done in pre fall world. I think when we try to go back and impose what we want to believe into Scripture that we weaken our argument. Complementarianism doesn’t need this point. Adam and Eve were innocent, there relationship was perfect – it’s what God intended the relationship between men and women to be. It’s what we are striving to get back to and I think the NT gives us the prescription to get as close as we can back to the relationship in the Garden.

    To imply that Adam wasn’t doing something he should have been doing before the fall is to imply that he was affected by sin or actually sinning before sin entered the world. I guess I don’t buy the process thing – for us sin is a process. For Adam the only temptation was the fruit – nothing else. He could not have had the temptation to not be the husband he was supposed to be because there was no sin to affect him.

    • Jim G. says

      Hi Bess,

      I understand what you are saying, but I don’t think our goal is a return to innocence. We are going to be, as Christians, more than Adam ever was. We will be fully adopted sons and daughters of God, re-created in Christ. Just a minor point though, considering the rest of what you said. Good discussion.

      Jim G.

  6. Bess says

    “”But I am also saying that a series of choices that Adam and Eve made leading up to the moment contributed to the final bad choice they made to sin. A process of bad choices (which all took place within a few minutes time perhaps) led to the sin.

    Are you saying that everything they did right up to the very moment they ate the fruit was sinless in God’s eyes?””

    I’m saying in a pre fall world there is no process of sin because that whole idea of process is what we have in a fallen world not the pre-fall world. You seem to be saying they could sin before eating the fruit but it wasn’t considered sin?

  7. Bess says

    “Are you saying that everything they did right up to the very moment they ate the fruit was sinless in God’s eyes?””

    Do you really mean to say this? You think they sinned before Adam ate the fruit?

  8. Dave Miller says

    Everything they did was perfectly justified right up to the moment they suddenly committed a sin?

    Isn’t it more reasonable (and biblical) to see sin as it usually is – the result of a process of unwise choices. Here, we are talking about choices over a few minutes time.

    • Bess says

      “……process of unwise choices. Here, we are talking about choices over a few minutes time.”

      It’s a process of unwise choices NOW because of sin. Was there a process before sin entered the world?

        • Dave Miller says

          Again, no disagreement. My point is that the sin did not magically happen in an instant. It was a process that developed bringing Adam and Eve to that moment where they made the fateful choice.

          And part of that process was Adam’s failure to assert the truth that God had spoken to him when Eve was being lied to by Satan.

          I guess we’ve hammered this one to death.

      • Jim G. says

        Hi Bess,

        I would say that process was called “temptation.” Adam should have kicked the snake in the teeth when he said “Hath God said…” :0)

        Jim G.

        • Bess says

          Temptation is right and the ONLY temptation was to eat of the fruit – I don’t see how Adam could have been tempted to not be the husband he was more than capable of being in the pre-fall world. My first question was “how could Adam have not being doing what he was supposed to be doing as a husband when there was no sin because that would have been sin.” Sin is what makes us not do what we should and could. The only thing Adam and Eve were forbidden was the fruit. Nothing else. They were in a state of absolute innocence with the only thing they could do wrong was eat the forbidden fruit.

          • says

            So, Adam and Eve’s every instinct was right and just right up until that nanosecond in which they chose to sin? That seems to be what you are saying.

            I am saying that the Serpent appeared to them and began a process of temptation that lasted perhaps several minutes, an hour – who knows? During that time, as the temptation grew, Adam and Eve began to get confused.

            Eve engaged the Serpent instead of turning away.
            Adam listened and did not speak what he knew to be true. He followed instead of leading.
            As the temptation went on their confusion grew and they became more and more seduced. Finally, Eve gave in and ate, then handed the fruit to Adam and he ate.

            It was a process of temptation. And in that process, Adam failed to be what he was supposed to be – a force for righteousness in Eve’s life.

            The idea that they were 100% perfect until the nanosecond in which they decided to sin seems absurd, doesn’t it?

          • Bess says

            “The idea that they were 100% perfect until the nanosecond in which they decided to sin seems absurd, doesn’t it?”

            No, I don’t find it absurd at all in a pre-fall world. If there was no sin, then there could be no effects of sin. The sin that caused the fall was eating the fruit. There’s no sin until there’s sin.

            Now I know that you infer from Gen 3:6 that Adam was present the whole time the Serpent is tempting Eve and that may be true, but I think it’s more likely that there’s a break in time between verses 5 and 6 where Eve decides “hey this fruit looks good, ooh tastes good, here Adam” and the Serpent may not have been there at the time. I think this is supported by everything going on in vs. 1 -4 where the conversation is very clearly between Eve and the Serpent – no mention of Adam, or of the Serpent speaking to the man and the woman. Also it should be noted that when Adam and Eve are together they are said to be together. For example vs 7 & 8 they are described as being together when they: 1) discovered they were naked 2) they sewed fig leaves 3) they heard God and 4) they hid. It’s all they, they, they, they except where Eve’s talking to the Serpent. Does 3:1 “… and He said to the woman” imply that she’s alone? So could it be that when we get to vs 6 and it says “her husband who was with her” has Adam just arrived or was there a break in time? And to me in English the So at the beginning of vs 5 seems to mark a break in time. Perhaps you can tell me about the Hebrew there. Also when the blame game begins Adam doesn’t blame the Serpent for tempting and deceiving him or them but he blames the woman only, indirectly blaming God.

            But to get back to the point – What you seem to be saying is that Adam failed in his leadership role before he ate the fruit – so there were actually things Adam and Eve could do before eating the fruit that we would know as sin today but they would not have been sin before the fall? Or are you saying the fall was eating the fruit plus failing as a leader to Eve? I understand you keep saying process, but that’s through the prism of a fallen world. If he sinned alonged the way than that first sin is what causes the fall and of course we know that’s not what happened cuz God’s reaction had nothing to do with Adam’s supposed failure in leadership, but the disobedience in regards to the tree.

            You haven’t convinced me that there could have been some sort of process that leads to sin, that wasn’t itself sin. I think that’s making a distinction the Bible doesn’t make. To me it really is as simple as zero sin then boom eyes are opened innocence gone. Once innocence is lost everything’s on the table, but we cannot comprehend what the Pre-fallen world was.

  9. Bess says

    We gotta go feed the kids Dave. Thanks for the dialogue. Maybe you can kick around the idea “Was there a process of sin in the pre fall world” Which you seem to believe but to me the pre fall world was sin free so this idea of a process of sin is the effect of sin on the fallen world. And I think that’s the main point here – How could there be any shoulda, coulda in a pre fall world where sin had not messed everything up? I look at the world pre fall as what I think we believe it will be in the end – no sin to tempt us in any way, just absolute communion with God – we want to do whatever He tells us because sin has no more affect on us.

  10. Dave Miller says

    For the record, this is the kind of discussion that I love to have. We have had a lively disagreement, but it has been focused and cordial. I’m headed to Applebee’s, so I will give someone else the last word here. Or at least the last word until I down my salad!

    • Bess says

      So where’s my gold star? I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this, but I agree with everything else you wrote so you’re not doing so bad!

      Another year of Upward begins tomorrow and of course one kid has to be at church at 8:30 and another kid doesn’t have a game til 1:00 and my youths are leaving on a mission weekend. So I will leave the discussion now. You’ve actually helped me organize my thoughts more on this subject, just not the way you may like!

  11. K Gray says

    Interesting discussion. Heading another direction, what strikes me is this: “The problem is not with authority, it is with our view of authority.”

    I would disagree and say the problem IS with authority, and secondarily with our view of authority. As a Venn diagram, one circle would be “Against Authority,” the other would be “Against Misuse of Authority,” and the two would overlap. And IMO the “Against Authority” circle (which includes any view that authority is inherently not good or not of God) might actually be larger.

    This is a profound, foundational issue. It changes everything.

    Ha ha! In order to post this comment, I must click “Submit.”

  12. K Gray says

    Interesting discussion. Heading another direction, what strikes me is this: “The problem is not with authority, it is with our view of authority.”

    I would disagree and say the problem IS with authority, and secondarily with our view of authority. As a Venn diagram, one circle would be “Against Authority,” the other would be “Against Misuse of Authority,” and the two would overlap. And IMO the “Against Authority” circle (which includes any view that authority is inherently not good or not of God) might actually be larger.

    This is a profound, foundational issue for Christians.

    Ha ha! To post this comment, I must click “Submit.”

  13. K Gray says

    Hey and I guess I submitted twice! (youth group called and I forgot I already posted this, sorry).

  14. says

    Ok, I’m sick and hyped up on cold meds and cough syrup, so pounce on this all you want:

    Is the specific act of eating the fruit the sin or is it really the blatant disobedience? Was it not that eating the fruit was sinful only because God had said not to do it?

    I know there’s not a practical difference: the action showed the disobedience. But is there one for theology’s sake or am I standing too close to the microwave and thinking there’s a point here?


        • Bess says

          And I thought it was just me. It’s been a long day and I find I’m not getting anybody’s point anywhere 😉

          • says

            Bess, I don’t even get my own question this morning. Too much cold medication.

            The name of the tree is actually unimportant. God could have called the tree “Fernando” and then said “Don’t eat” and eating it would have been sinful. The disobedience was the sin.

        • Christiane says

          DOUG, I hope you feel better soon. Start drinking a lot of water to hydrate those inflamed tissues, get extra sleep if you can, and here is an old French-Canadian remedy:
          boil up some water and pour it into a large bowl;
          add some Vicks Vapor Rub to the water;
          lean over the bowl, cover you head and the bowl with a towel to make a ‘tent’, and breathe the steam. Sometimes the old remedies work better than all that over-the-counter junk.

          I think some extra sleep will help you the most, but drink lots of water.

  15. says

    The arguments for complementarianism are really based on reading the statements in Genesis, for example, as prescriptive and not descriptive. While there is a certain element of authority in command situations, the ethical considerations and the eternal purpose for the statement can never be ignored. I remember once, when the wisest man I ever met ask me, “Have you ever thought about the fact that every last soul on the face of the earth at one time could be the elect of God?” I answered, “No.” the reason was obvious: my eschatology would not permit any such thing. Then seven years or so later I was setting in my study looking at Jonah 3:4,9, when it hit me.” Jonah’s prophecy concerning Nineveh which was stated unconditionally, which he desired to be fulfilled, and which had not the, “If you repent, God will spare you,” clause. That prophecy had another purpose, one which Jonah recognized, one of which the King of Nineveh could only guess. In Jonah 4, we find that Jonah had all along expected that God’s purpose was to spare the city with an unconditionally stated prophecy which was not fulfilled. That led me to see that the prophecies of gloom and doom in the NT could likewise be unconditional but have the purpose of bringing people to repentance. That would be consonant with those verses in the Old and New Testament which suggest an alternative scenario for the last days, namely, of a Gospel success so great that it wins the whole earth and every soul in it for a 1000 generations. A side aspect to it, but of great importance, is this working out of the issues of authority. It is very easy to fall into patterns of authoritarianism, a pathology that is destructive of much good. People think of authoritarianism as the pattern of authority demonstated in the Bible, but the truth is biblical authority of a better sort, authoritative and healthy, beneficial in its effects. A study of societies with issues in the area of authority must point how destructive such approach is. Just consider Germany, Russia, and China as prime examples. Authoritative, healthy kind of authority, can degenerate in to authoritarianism, destructive forms of authority. Now look at the complementarian view and ask yourself this question: Where are the checks and balances to keep it from deteriorating into big I and little you, superior and inferior. Mention was made of authority in the Heavenly realm, but there the health and love are absolute, there one has no worry about a wicked inclination, there responses can always be couched in terms of love, as the rule is also so guided. But here on earth, with madness resident in every last soul of man (Eccles.9:3) even though not necessarily evident, what will check the inclination to dictatorial practice? The eqalitarian verses are in the Bible for a purpose, and the complementarian casts them aside or explains them away at eternal peril to himself as well as those over whom he claims to have the right of rule.

    Nay, such egalitarian verses are there to put a check to that madness which will evince itself sooner or later – if it is left ungoverned. This return to biblical Christianity is not really very biblical; it has a sickness in it that fails to recognize healthy and wholesome ways. Take for example, the issue of woman being under authority. Even in the Old Testament, Abraham is told to do, mind you he the man is told by God to do what Sarah says about Hagar and her child. If authority was as much as the complementarians say, there would be no exceptions in the Bible, but Holy Scripture is the Book of Exceptions. Even our salvation is an exception, being an exception to Divine Law which, if enforced with no mercy and grace allowed, would otherwise in its execution end inevitably in our ETERNAL RUIN! BUT GOD’S LOVE, MERCY, AND GRACE MAKE FOR AN EXCEPTION. John Robinson, the pastor of the Pilgrims who did not make it to the New World with his flock and who was invited by the Dutch to participate in the great Calvinistic debate of Dordt, declared, “Who knows what new light is getting ready to break forth from God’s word.” His statement is clear: There are depths to the Divine word that defy the greatest minds, depths of mercy and love and grace and kindness and more. John Bunyan like Jonathan Edwards could foresee the possibility of an ending for the earth made more glorious than we could even imagine in our wildest daydreams of prosperity and peace. Gentlemen and ladies, I tell you, the depths of the book inspired by omniscience is beyond our comprehension, and even where we think we can see and clearly understand it, we are in over our heads like my friend who thought a mountain stream was only two-three feet deep because he could see the grains of san rolling along the bottom. It wasn’t; it was 18-20 feet deep, and he almost drowned.

    Years ago I started looking at the Bible in terms of its being inspired by the Omniscient Being and that it should reflect that depth of profundity commensurate with its inspiration. I tell you it does reflect it, in ways so subtle that even the keenest minds have difficulties with grasping what is being said though the word speaks in the simplest terms. My explorations led me to find that all of the doctrines are apparently two-sided, apparently contradictory (that is the seem to be irrconciliable, our human minds can’t reconcile them), producing tensions in the human mind which are desirable, beneficial, helpful. These two-sided truths produce a tension in human minds which enable believers to be balanced, flexible, creative, and magnetic. The dialectic of Hegel and Marx are the two sided truths yanked apart and applied in contention in order to manipulate people for ulterior purposes. God’s dialectic is the use of two poles to produce a tension that enables balance, flexibility, creativity, and true attractiveness or, in short, maturity.

    Today’s scientific methodology suffers from being too analytical. As Dr. Jesse Moody put it back in the 60s, “We are suffering from the paralysis of analysis.” What we need is a scientific method that is synthetical rather than analytical. Analysis is a necessary part of the process, but by itself it becomes destructive. A two-sided approach (and this is not dualism as it is monergistic revealing the truth in its fullness) would allow a greater perception and insight into the impact of reality of any and all kinds. Egalitarianism like wise must have its checks and balances. Egalitarianism run to excess is anarchy just as complementarianism run to excess is really a dictatorship. “Balance, Balance, Balance.” Brothers and sisters.

    • K Gray says

      Here is a dialectic:

      God’s Word is so magnificent it goes beyond dialectic and is more akin to a shining orb. Which is why we can’t comprehend the beauty of gender roles.

      But it is simple in essence, available even to children and the simple-minded. Which is why we/they accept gender roles.

      • John Fariss says

        With no offense meant to Brother Randall, what you say (Dr. W) makes sense to me. And from another perspective: if “gender roles” are prescriptive, why doesn’t the Bible somewhere say, “Women shall do the following. . . ,” likewise “Men shall. . . ,” and “Ne’er the twain shall meet”? The comment that does not click at all for me is K. Gray’s, “God’s Word is so magnificent it goes beyond dialectic and is more akin to a shining orb. Which is why we can’t comprehend the beauty of gender roles” and “But it is simple in essence, available even to children and the simple-minded. Which is why we/they accept gender roles.” It is not only an over-generalization made without any supporting evidence, except presumably the writer’s perceptions (and not Scripture), it is an debate-ender, along the lines of, “God revealed to me. . . .”

        John Fariss

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          I got the same rendering John.

          What confuses me with this view is that it is OK for a woman to be President, leader in a company, leader in the world, but then when she comes home or goes to church she has to hide this part of her and become gender role minded. Tell me gentleman, could you do this? Scripture has been given that I believe show women in ministry and leadership, but I don’t understand why she gets to use her God given talents for the world, but not the church. Shouldn’t it be the other way around or at least both? This is what is confusing to me in a huge way. She can build the world but not the church.

          • says

            Its kind of a leap from saying that women are not to have a certain role in the church to saying that women are to have NO role in the church.

            Just because the Bible says that women should not be pastors does not imply the things that you infer.

            IT seems that you create a false comparison. It is not all or nothing. If God established certain roles, why would you say that the only way for a women to have an impact would be to abandon that role? Wouldn’t a woman best be able to accomplish God’s work by walking in line with the Word?

            Essentially, you have set up a false contrast. If women cannot have EVERY role, they cannot have ANY role?

        • K Gray says

          John Fariss you are right. Dave Miller asked us to stay with exegesis; what I wrote was conclusory. I did not mean to imply “God revealed to me’ or end the conversation. Rather, I had strong reactions to Dr. Willingham’s lengthy, reference-heavy comment. I decided not to respond point by point but to borrow his form (dialectic) to express several responses in simple fashion.

          I’m a layperson.

          Sometimes I think the average layperson who has a simple, orthodox understanding of the Bible on gender issues is being told that he/she is unenlightened, incapable of “getting it,” and “at eternal peril to himself as well as those over whom he claims to have the right of rule.” (Conversation ender!)

          I was suggesting that what God chooses to reveal about gender is available, through the Spirit, to all including the child-like and simple-minded. It doesn’t require a trained scholar. So, I agree with the main post about simplicity v. long, difficult explanations to get beyond plain reading. But — agreeing with Dr. Willingham about the depth and beauty of God’s inscrutable wisdom — some things He hasn’t revealed. Among them, IMO, are why He created man first, why the woman was tempted, why the man listened to the women, why they ate, why God cursed the man and woman as He did, and why He has told men to be as Christ in servant leadership and wives to submit to their husband’s leadership (to roughly paraphrase applicable Scripture).

          More shorthand and no exegesis!

          • John Fariss says

            K. Gray,

            I did not mean to offend you, and if I did, please accept my appologies. I appreciate the spirit in which you responded. And lay-person or clergy–and I both hate the distinction and believe it is non-Biblical at best–we are all just students of the Word.

            Merely as food for thought, let me ask you: are you sure that who was created first, or for that matter, who surcumbed first to temptation, is all that significant, especially in terms of the so-called “gender roles”? Granted, God could have created both Adam and Eve simultaneously, but He did not; from the fact that one came first, and then the other, does it automatically follow that each is restricted to certain duties and roles? Or is that somethig we have read into the text? Actually, I would suggest that it is not possible to derive much of anything from this order of creation (and several other texts that “complimentarians” use to “prove” their point) in regard to proscriptive gender roles–UNLESS one comes to the text with the presupposition that there are indeed God-established gender roles. THAT is my hobby-horse: presuppositions. Too many Christians (including me) approach the text with presuppositions or assumptions about it, and most of the time, we have never articulated what our presuppositions even are. They are ingrained in us, whether by society, culture, family, or church. And in order to “rightly divide the Word,” we must (1) recognize the presuppositions with which the Biblical authors (and their original hearers) approached the text, (2) what our presuppositions are, and (3) what difference in interpretation that may make. From Paul’s writings, we know there are differences in the Jewish and the Greek understandings (“Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,” 1 Cor. 1:22). In other words, they each approached the text and the Gospel with different presuppositions. Paul was able to understand this, and deal with it. Probably, the most famous example is his sermon in Athens about the “unknown god,” which he would never have offered to a Jewish audience, but made perfect sense to a Greek one. And if there were differences in the presuppositions of two people who lived at the same time, are there differences in ours and theirs? I am simply saying we must seek the same understanding of our presuppositions. Blessings my friend!


          • Debbie Kaufman says

            KGray: The thing about even your comment above is that we do not have the Holy Spirit in us revealing as well. That you could possibly be wrong. I believe you are. And I have no problem with you living this way if you believe this is correct Biblically, the problem comes when you believe all women should live or believe this way when I see the Bible saying differently and as I told Dave above, I believe if holds a woman back to a select few things, stifling her gifts to a small degree. And for me that is just not good enough.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            The church in scripture didn’t hold those back who were gifted in any area. The church allowed and encouraged health of both the church and the people, men and women. The church today is more destructive to people than it is healthy. That is a big problem. We should know better, yet we continue to slap down and break down people and for what??? Christ stopped this when he confronted the Pharisees. Paul the Jews.

          • Frank L. says

            “”Merely as food for thought, let me ask you: are you sure that who was created first, or for that matter, who surcumbed first to temptation, is all that significant, especially in terms of the so-called “gender roles”?”

            Creation order IS very important theologically, so much so that Paul explicitly states who “sinned first.” Now, you don’t have to agree with Paul, but you still have to acknowledge what he said.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Frank: I would say come visit our church sometime and see how it’s supposed to be done. After discussion here I kiss the walls of our church. :)

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Bess: I would comment on what you wrote in your last comment but I would surely be deleted. :)

          • Bess says

            Debs, your Enid cult is infamous in the SBC and you yourself as a product demonstate that your church is not at all how “it’s supposed to be done” Unless someone chooses to be indoctrinated into a hatred for all things SBC that is. Your church is famous for claiming the SBC is intolerant but you are the most intolernt of dissenting opinions of anyone posting on any SBC blog. You have shown yourself to be incapable of disagreeing with anyone without being hateful, condescending, and arrogant. Not a ringing endorsement for what pap you learn in Enid. Oh and since the pastor at your cult thinks that insulting people on the internet is ok as long as you post the smiley here have two :) :)

          • Christiane says

            BESS, I am a Roman Catholic as you know, and I frequently tune in to the telecast at Debbie’s Church in Enid to hear the sermons. I have not seen any ‘sign’ that they are ‘a cult’.

            On what actual evidence do you base that accusation, or is it just a slander against those good people?

    • says

      Dr. Willingham,

      The last time we had a discussion, it ended with you admitting that you had your facts mistaken and then you proceeding to insult me. Hopefully, this time will go better.

      Personally, I really can’t follow much of your reasoning here and it appears to me to be more “stream of consciousness” than logical argument. The one thing that I do take issue with you on is what you said somewhere in the middle of your discourse:

      Nay, such egalitarian verses are there to put a check to that madness which will evince itself sooner or later – if it is left ungoverned. This return to biblical Christianity is not really very biblical; it has a sickness in it that fails to recognize healthy and wholesome ways. Take for example, the issue of woman being under authority. Even in the Old Testament, Abraham is told to do, mind you he the man is told by God to do what Sarah says about Hagar and her child. If authority was as much as the complementarians say, there would be no exceptions in the Bible, but Holy Scripture is the Book of Exceptions.

      First, I don’t know of any “egalitarian” verses in the Bible. Come to think of it, I don’t know of any “complementarian” verses either. All I know is that Scripture clearly speaks about men and women and, when we carefully examine all the relevant verses, It seems to teach a Complementarian viewpoint.

      Secondly, you’ve referred to this passage in Genesis 21:12 about Abraham and Sarah previously and both times you have stretched the interpretation beyond the pale in order to devise some sort of exception to the Complementarian viewpoint out of it. Unfortunately, you have failed to read this text properly.

      In the passage, Sarah is angry with Hagar’s actions and calls on Abraham to cast her away. Abraham’s immediate impulse is to deny his wife’s request for the sake of his son. God, however, intervenes for Sarah and tells Abraham to “listen” to her (i.e., fulfill her request).

      Notice that it took God’s intervention in order for Abraham to perform his wife’s request. God doesn’t rebuke Abraham for not listening to his wife, but rather simply tells Abraham to fulfill his wife’s request. So there’s no BIG EXCEPTION to the idea that Abraham was the head of this household. You’ve taken your interpretation much too far in your assessment of this passage.

      Additionally, you seem to ignore that while this passage is clearly not what you want to make it, there is the passage of 1 Peter 3:6 where Sarah is commended for obeying Abraham, going so far as calling him “Lord”.

      Consistent hermeneutics demands that you move from clearer passages to more ambiguous ones. If there’s a better case of needing to follow that hermeneutical pattern, I don’t know what it is. In the end, as before in our previous discussion, you’ve seemed to reject the traditional position for all the wrong reasons.

      • K Gray says

        Debbie, of course people can believe and live in the manner they choose! And good Christian people disagree. I thought this was a discussion in which people state what they believe and why.

        I agree with the main post.

        You believe I am wrong, and so be it, friend. I would not count this as a brick wall issue.

      • K Gray says

        John Fariss, thanks for your gracious response.

        I would not derive anything from the order of human creation, except for other Scripture which refers to it.

  16. D. Webster says

    I think there were several “sins” in this situation. Before the eating of the fruit there was apparently, a switch from believing what God said to believing what Satan said. Also Eve added to the “don’t eat” with “don’t touch it.” Also there is Adam. Was he busy dressing and keeping the plant in front of him and oblivious to the conversation going on with the serpent and Eve so that he didn’t “abandon” his protector duties until, he looks up, “sees” a change in Eve’s appearance, i.e. the “light that covered her was out, she was different and she’s offering him the “forbidden fruit”. Adam chooses to eat and “be like Eve” rather than say, “No” and go to God, ask what to do about Eve’s “condition” and find out he has to die and be resurrected to redeem her.

  17. D. Webster says

    I would like to add, continuing with the idea that there was a process leading up to the sin of eating the fruit, is not every man and woman, boy, girl tempted to sin the same way? 1)drawn away of their own lust and enticed. Lust conceives and brings forth sin. And sin when it is finished, brings forth death. Eve looked, thought it over and lusted. Adam looked at Eve, thought it over and lusted for her, more than he desired to obey, submit to, revere God.

  18. says

    I really appreciate this post Dave. I have often described myself as a reluctant complementarian because of the way so many comps drive the authority issues until they sound like oppression issues. But this post seems good to me. But I do have one issue, and that is the conclusion for comps about the role of pastor. I can see what you say about men and women being different and complementary. But when you get to roles in the church we are on different ground. You say,
    ‘It is the egalitarians’ duty to show us why the passages do not mean what they seem to mean.’
    But I disagree. It may be for another post but comps have a long way to go- for me at least- to prove that the 1 Tim and 1 Cor passages have anything to do with the office of pastor.
    But again, I like this view of Genesis very much. I would say something about the importance of the tree being the Knowledge of Good and Evil but I wont here. I will just say, it is very important and the proof of that is that it was in fact, recorded in scripture.

  19. Frank L. says

    “”The church today is more destructive to people than it is healthy. “”

    Debbie, please speak for your own church and not mine. I don’t doubt that the church you participate in is grumpy, negative, disfunctional, and off-base biblically — you’ve pointed this out more than once.

    However, our church–though not perfect–is a blessing to many people each week. We feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and visit those that are lonely. If you asked people if our church does “more harm than good,” they’d probably slap you (and then come ask me for absolution).

    Please, don’t make pronouncements about churches you know nothing about. Feel free to say what you know about your own church as you do on a regular basis, but put away your broad brush.

    I am not disputing your analysis of your own church, just defending my own church family.

    • Bess says

      Oh my goodness, I just about joked on my water. 😉 Thanks for that laugh.

      My church is also a wonderful church – not perfect by any means but it is definately not destructive. I also know many other churches that are not destructive.

  20. says

    To Bro. Randle: I was not aware of my insulting you. Indeed, I never think in such terms. In the give and take of debate things are said that can be easily misconstrued, when the person making a statement might well have another purpose in mind. I think there is both a complementarian as well as an egalitarian emphasis in Scripture. There are times, when we need to hear and heed someone with the knowledge for taking certain actions like the missionary who said to his son one day, “Son, drop to the ground now, and crawl this way.” His son did it immediately, and it saved his life as a poisonous snake was on the limb of a tree above his head. Had he remained there the snake might have struck with fatal results. On the other hand, the authority of a parent over a child never extends to the sickness of abuse of either a physical or a sexual kind, and there must be some kind of checks and balances to the assumption of authority that unchecked leads to such evils. The Bible is two-sided. Unfortunately, our minds and thinking processes involve filters which keep us from seeing the evidence of a contrary nature to what we think is there. I think of Jonah 3 as a case in point. For years I never saw the reality that Jonah’s prophecy was unconditional, that there was no, “if you repent clause, God will spare you,” that the King’s very own statement indicates such had not been uttered, that Jonah understood that it was the purpose God had for the prophecy that counted and not the literal statement as such. There are statements on eqalitarianism in the Bible just as there are statements on complementarianism, and none of them,when taken in the whole biblical context, lack checks and balances. It is strange that the people who advocated religious liberty were the Baptists. They actually put it into legal practice. Dr. George W. Truett in his Centenary Address on Charles Haddon Spurgeon declared, “That Calvinism pressed down on the brow of man responsibility.” Could it be that one of the secrets of the Book was that of Checks and Balances which made its way into to our form of Constitutional or Covenant Govenant. Could this be some of the new light to which John Robinson pointed in his famous remark? From my perspective as a student of Intellectual History which is concerned wih ideas and their influence on history, I think the Bible being inspired by the Omniscient God reflects that profundity of wisdm commensurate with such inspiration. I have looked to the people who believe that the Book is word inspired, inerrant, and infallible, people who have commented on its awesome depths, people whose very lives have revealed the power of this Book to bring sanity and wholesomeness to their lives. Holy Scripture can do it in the case of a man with a third grade education, the man with a high school diploma who is a body shop mechanic, and the advanced scholar of many degrees, I have witnessed such things, have seen and felt its effects in others as well as myself. One thing that strikes me is how a person can grow and develop under the influence of the Bible. I have also seen how they can go off into a cul-de-sac. I got into one of those once myself. What happens in a polarized situation is that you find an ironical pattern developing. You keep applying what you think is the truth, and you keep getting bad returns. Eventually, you might keep on ignoring the returns. In which case you can go off into insanity. Polarized ideas and polarized applications are perhaps one explanation for insanity. I once told the chairman of a Psychology Dept. of a major state university what my research in church history had revealed. He was quite interested as he was doing research on ideas at that time. He wanted me to do a Ph.D. in Psychology, but I just wanted to preach. My wife said, “You’ll be sorry.” She was right, for now I realize how important such a study might have been for dealing with theological controversies.

    It was the study of church history which exposed the reality of the two-sidedness of biblical teachings. When I started looking at the word of God with reference to its two-sided presentations of a variety of truths and of giving full faith and credit to both sides as they are presented along with the inevitable tension they produce in the human mind, it was quite a moving experience. I was especially thrilled with the insight that humans normally do not like tensions. They try to get rid of them, but sometimes they find a tension can be beneficial. A tension, for example, can enable a person to be flexible, to be objective, scientific, gathering data on the one hand as the case might require and on the other hand be subjective, warm, supporting when that is appropriate.

    What we all desire is that relationship between husband and wife, ministers and churches, political leaders and citizens, etc., which is the most wholesome, healthy, beneficial, and helpful. The Bible teaches a two-sided nature of responsibility that allows for exceptions, when God in His providence appoints such. Consider, for instance, a mother who must raise her children due to the decease of the father. Or consider how Lottie Moon apparently did some things as a missionary which were in the 1800s regarded as only the responsibility of male missionaries. It is reported that someone evidently asked her whether she had ever been ordained, meaning to put her in her place. She is said to have replied, “I was never ordained, but I was foreordained.” That there are exceptions in the Bible should remind us tht the Bible does not always mean what we think it means or what our poor little methods detemine it to mean; it means what God wants it to mean. And here I refer back to the unconditional prophecy of Jonah which he sat down to see if it would be fulfilled as he desired…even though back in Israel he had said God intended to spare the Ninevites that Jonah wanted destroyed. There is another issue in the prophecy, and that is the rule about prophets being stoned who uttered prophecies that are not fulfilled. There is likewise the issue of an Old Testament prophet thinking of God as so great in mercy as to be concerned even with the babies of the Ninevites and the beasts of the field, where as we read our New Testament prophecies and think only of the fact that they are sure fire predictors of what must happen without any reference to God’s purpose in making them. THAT WORD PURPOSE IS A KEY TERM IN THE ISSUES WHICH WE ARE DISCUSSING. I have often overlooked or, even worse, failed to consider what might God’s purpose be in some statements in Scriptures. Along with that is this issue: HOW ARE GOD’S TEACHINGS INTENDED TO EFFECT OUR BEHAVIOR TOWARD HIM AND OTHERS? WHOLESOMENESS IS, I THINK, CLEARLY IN VIEW.

    • K Gray says

      Dr. Willingham, the complementerian view is balanced in at least four ways that immediately come to mind:

      – Equal standing. Dave Miller described it: “Complementarians believe that while men and women have equal value and standing before God, we have been assigned different roles.”

      – Love one another. A general commandment to all Christians in their relationships with one another, inclusive of Scripture which describes specific situations (e.g., in speech, in disagreements and conflicts, in parents and children, in considering others’ interests and welfare, I Cor. 13, and so forth).

      – Sacrificial servant-leadership. In Ephesians Ch. 5 the specific example for husbands is Christ the head of the church giving Himself up for the church (laying down his life).

      – Loving servant-leadership. Eph. 5 again, instructing husbands to love their wives “as their own bodies,” “even as himself,” to nourish and cherish, no one hates their own flesh, seeking holiness and blamelessness as he would for himself).

      These limitations are built into the complementerian view. I do not know what limitations are given for the egalitarian view in practice, or what the ultimate goal is. That is probably elsewhere on this board so I’ll look around.

  21. Jim Champion says


    The issue I see is that far too many men focus on the commandment given to the women and conveniently forget the command given to them and the far tougher command at that. I have always contended that if men Loved their wives as commanded there would be no need for this series of posts and certainly no worries by men that their wives were not quite submissive enough.

    • K Gray says

      Everyone does seem fixated on submission, you’re right. Actually the instructions to husbands look pretty imposing! Heavy risks on both spouses; human sin WILL occur, no one will do it perfectly. Still….

  22. says

    It is very easy to deceive ourselves, to fail to grasp underlying realities. The Trojan Horse from Greek History is a good point with reference to complementarianism which does not allow for exceptions. That is a deal breaker in my book. In 53 years of Christian living, in six years of intensive research in Church History, in 28 years of pastoring, in 3 years of Social Work in Missouri and Kentucky Welfare Depts, in Black History research, proposing a doctoral dissertation in that field, and in a Doctor of Ministry project in Christian Love and Race Relations, also a Master’s in Intellectual History with a thesis tracing a doctrine and its effects on human conduct over a 100 year period, in years of biblical research, the two-sidedness of biblical teachings became firmly established in my thinking as the truth and reality of the Christian Faith. Consider the Trinity & Unity of God, the Immutable nature of God and yet the evidence of a change in respect to the fact that Jesus assumed human nature, the full Deity and humanit of Jesus of Nazareth, Verbal Inspiration with its Divine and human aspects, and other biblical teachings. Consider the fact that man was created both male and female and, while they are definitely complementary, they are definitely equals in the sight of God. If God did not allow for exceptions why Miriam, Deborah, and a host of other females in the Old and New Testaments?

    The idea of a tension in the mind produced by a two-sided teaching, a tension which enables one to be flexible, to be objective, scientific, fathering evidence and/or subjective, warm, affirming, loving, supportive as the situation might require, is something of value. Human minds do not ordinarily like tensions and seek to jettison them, but tensions can provide the sort of freedom of give and take which are often needed. The folks whom I found in church History to be most balanced, flexible, creative, and flexible were those in that peiod from approximately 1740-1820, the period of the First and Second Great Awakenings, the establishing of religious liberty (among other liberties) and the launching of the GreatCentury of Missions.The word of one participant in the latter part of that period was well summed up in the word, “marvelous.” Cf. The Circular Letter of the Ketockton Baptist Association for 1816. O yes, look at the description of the Farmer Preacher of the Baptists by William Warrent Sweet (Methodist Historian of the University of Chicago) ad his comment about the fact that to the Baptists more than any other group goes the credit for religious liberty being established by law in this country. And also read John Leland’s Memoirs/Writings for a comment of three pinches of calvinism and two or Arminianism for the idea of two-sidedness…andnote how balanced the fellow was who took Thomas Jefferson a 1500 lb Cheese about 1801.

    • K Gray says

      Agreed, God’s Word contains many creative tensions which defy logic and have great beauty and mystery.

      You had raised a point about limitations (“checks and balances”) to which I responded.

      You also posit that the complementerian view should allow for exceptions, because God has done so (Deborah, Miriam), and because extraordinary women have led out in His kingdom (Lottie Moon). I agree, because there those exceptions are in the Bible, as clear exceptions rather than the rule.

  23. says

    Exceptions are also a rule, a counter-balancing rule. They constitute the other side of the paradox so to speak. Treating an exception as merely an exception misses the point, because our very salvation is by the rule of exception, that is, exception to the rule of justice, judgment, and punishment. Anomalies drive us to acknowledge that the exceptions are more than just that. When one sees the incongruity between the actual and the desired effect of the application of a one-sided principle, that incongruity or anomaly should move one to look again at the original principle to see if there is a counter-balancing apparently or seemingly opposite idea which considered and utilized when and where appropriate in the application will make for a more wholesome result…ordinarily. While paradoxes have had a long history in the biblical and Christian faith, we seem to know little about them and how they function, the result of a polarized approach to scriptural teachings, a recipe for trouble ahead.

    • K Gray says

      I agree that the terms “rule” and “exception” are artificial and in some ways inapposite when referring to God’s plan for genders, even though I used them. That said, what I hear you say, in essence, is “chill.” (Phrase borrowed from my children). A good thought, flexible and healthy in many ways, but providing little guidance for practical application. The words in Scripture provide great practical guidance for we simple laypeople.

      I leave the hermenautic(s?) to Dave Miller; I speak from the perspective of a simple-minded layperson.

  24. Christiane says

    Perhaps the understanding of complementarians about ‘exceptions’ to the rule, may also give rise to the understanding that activity that might PREVENT these exceptions from taking place in the Church, might not be the kind of activity that honors God’s Will. ?

  25. Dave Miller says

    The so-called exceptions come primarily because egalitarians either a) do not understand or b) twist the views of the complementarians.

    Deborah is not a problem for complementarian teaching. Miriam. Esther. Mary or other women in Jesus’ earthly ministry. None of them are a problem to a consistent complementarian hermeneutic.

    • says

      But this is my personal problem Dave. a ‘consistent complementarian hermeneutic’ demands a ‘literal’ reading of the text. If we say that the Tim and Cor passages mean what they mean how does that translate into consistency? Silent means silent. Have no authority surely means have NO authority. Yet, there are women who had authority- Deborah- there are women who spoke and taught. Our consistent complementarian answer has been that women can’t be pastors but how does that fulfill the literal reading of these verses? And if we nuance these verses to make them fit a pastoral prohibition then how is our nuancing different from the egalitarians? Do you see my problem here?

    • says

      Basically, many (not most, not all) e-gals read the clear biblical passages related to gender roles the way they do is because they WANT to read it that way.

  26. Debbie Kaufman says

    Joe: You are right. I do want to read it this way. I want to be able to do whatever I feel God calling me to do and that would include in the church. I do want it to be in the Bible. I do want God’s permission and blessing. You are right, I do not want to believe that God would restrict women with a passion for spreading the Word of God and what they have learned to men and women to teaching women and children only. It’s hard to know that I as a woman am restricted by some to be in a prayer group, hospitality, teaching women or children’s classes and that is all when my passion runs so much deeper and has since I was a teen.

    • Dave Miller says

      Debbie, the issue is what the Bible says, not how you or me or anyone else “feels” or “wants” on the subject.

    • says

      And God did not call any woman to preach/teach in the church because in His word He said that was for men only. Therefore, any desire you have to do any such thing is not from God because He does not contradict His word.

      Does the phrase “suck it up and deal with it” mean anything to you?

  27. Debbie Kaufman says

    Dave: That is where you can I would disagree. This is how the Holy Spirit leads. How does a missionary know that God calls him or her to be a missionary. How did you know God was calling you to be a minister? We are Christians. Yes, we are human, but look in scripture. Paul knew to go places and not to go places. The Holy Spirit guiding him.How does that happen? Through the Bible, yes definitely. But also through feelings, thoughts. If it lines up with the Bible, which I would disagree with you that women doing far more than compelementarians allow them to do, is in scripture. It’s not God holding us back. It’s some in the church.

    • Dave Miller says

      For sinful people, our feelings and desires are often contrary to God’s Word. We are not let by our feelings. We bring our feelings and desires captive to Christ in all things.

  28. Debbie Kaufman says

    I want to know how you can actually believe that wanting to teach more than women and children is sin. How wanting to teach God’s Word to men and women is sin. Because that is in essence what you are saying. We have feelings Dave. God put them there. He gave them to us and God didn’t do it by accident. Yes, in our humanness we sin with those feelings, but as Christians we sin far less than some would have us believe. This being one.

    • Dave Miller says

      God gave us feelings, but like all things in the fall, sin has corrupted them. My experience in counseling is that most people’s feelings run contrary to God’s Word and need to be brought under the authority of God.

      The worst thing to do is to place our feelings in an authoritative position over the Word of God.

  29. Debbie Kaufman says

    Joe: That answer is no answer. And you were doing so well. It thought your answer on preaching so that others have a desire for the word was very good.

    • says

      Well I don’t know how I’ll be able to sleep tonight knowing I dissappointed you.

      Oh, and you had a typo. Let me help you out.

      Joe: That answer is not the answer I wanted to hear.

  30. Debbie Kaufman says

    It’s the Word of God and then God convicting through the Holy Spirit, using the Word as a sword(feelings) that we realize our need of a Savior. I could go on and on. Baptists do not want feelings but that is not scriptural.

  31. Debbie Kaufman says

    Joe: That has been discussed and since I believe scripture interprets scripture you have to deal with the passages where women were leaders, were in ministry and like Strider that has not been done by complementarians. All scripture has to be included here not just popcorn verses.

    • says

      That has been discussed and since I believe scripture interprets scripture you have to deal with the passages where women were leaders, were in ministry and like Strider that has not been done by complementarians.

      THAT IS A FLAT OUT LIE. Wow, Debbie, for someone who complains about people saying things that aren’t true about them, you sure seem to do your fair share of bearing false witness.

      Even a cursory reading of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – the standard for Complementarianism, (published OVER 20 YEARS AGO!!!!), shows that Complementarians have looked at each and every case to which you refer over and over again. Just because you are either ignorant of this or you don’t like their answers doesn’t entitle you to lie about what has or hasn’t been dealt with by Complementarians.

      Next time fact check before you go spouting things that aren’t true.

  32. Debbie Kaufman says

    What if like Francis Chan has said, you believe what you believe because you were fed it? What if you were given popcorn verses and fed what you believe but it is not in the Bible? What if everyone, including those who have been preachers, teachers, Christians, leaders, for years, simply said Lord show me the truth and read the Bible? What if. I did that very thing 20 years ago. Now does that make me more spiritual? NO. But I wanted to find out the truth of scripture not what I was fed long before Francis Chan challenged us to do that. I think I found that truth and in this case it is not full complementarianism. I think that is wrong based on passages that show women in capacities of ministry not even heard of in the first century being women were property and not real people.

  33. Debbie Kaufman says

    It seems this view is also based on the thought that Eve was fooled by Satan and so down through history this has been taught, but if you really look at scripture both men and women fell for false doctrine. Both men and women failed or sinned. And in the church many male leaders fall for false doctrine and have committed sins both small and great so that passage and interpretation fails.

    As for the passages you gave Joe, look at them in light of other passages that show women(and there are a great number of them) doing traditionally male roles. It’s all in scripture.

    • says

      Hey Debbie, guess what? No matter how much you blather and whine about it, with the exception of the few moderate leaning/CBF loving churches like yours, women in the SBC are not and are not going to be given the opportunity to teach men. Knowing how much that bothers you brings a big smile to my face on this cold, dreary day. :-)

  34. Dave Miller says

    Of course, Debbie, you are always welcome to your feelings. Whether you follow them or not is your choice. But I hope you understand that I’m not willing to accept your feelings as a decisive authority on gender issues.

    I have to follow exegesis, which leads me to the complementarian position.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      That is dismissive Dave and cuts off communication. That is why this issue is never settled. I also follow exegesis. I also believe scripture to be the final authority, but I also believe in God leading with the scriptures and you have not dealt with passages at all related to women but to write one sentence as to why that does not apply. I am not buying that. That is not exegesis that is dismissing. It seems like an answer but it is not.

      • says

        That is dismissive Dave

        In dealing with you, that’s the best way to be. Pat you on the head and tell you to run along now–the adults are trying to have a conversation.

  35. Debbie Kaufman says

    DR: Yes he is but he is also doing things that he is being criticized for such as giving up his ministry and following Christ. His wife is a huge part of that. Some people claim complementarianism and live as egalatarians. His wife has also taught and spoken to both men and women several times. I am not criticizing as I think she is a wonderful speaker and love to listen to her heart as well. God is doing something in Francis Chan.

    • says

      So, he can be a Complementarian as long as you approve of how he lives that out? Perhaps you’ve had the well poisoned over there in Enid as to how Complementarianism actually functions in most of our homes and Churches. I challenge you to spend some time with Bruce Ware, Tom Schreiner, Wayne Grudem, and John Piper and their wives and then tell me how God isn’t doing something equally “wonderful” in their lives as well.

      Oh, and by the way, one of Chan’s closest friends is Mark Driscoll, a very outspoken Complementarian.

      • says

        Perhaps you’ve had the well poisoned over there in Enid

        I’m sorry, but that may well be the biggest understatement in the past 327 years. (snicker, snort, larf)

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          Joe: This means that you cannot deal with my argument. I am ignoring your comments until you can deal with the text. Either deal with the text or know that your comments fall short and further my argument. :) Thanks for that though.

          Get your Bible out and dig. If you can’t do that there is nothing more I can say to you. What you find may surprise you. Is what you believe what you have been fed with popcorn verses? Could be. I think it is. I think over the years I have shown that it is.

          • says

            “Popcorn verses”?

            Is this a term you guys use in Enid to refer to passages in Scripture you don’t like?

            Because it seems that if anything qualifies as a “popcorn verse” it would be interpreting Galatians 3:28 as having to do with roles, when in fact in the context it is specifically speaking of having equal access to salvation through the blood of Christ.

          • says

            Is this a term you guys use in Enid to refer to passages in Scripture you don’t like?

            Ok, I will be sending you a bill for the new laptop you owe me after I just shot Dr. Pepper out of my nose all over this one after reading your skewering of Debbie.

    • Bess says

      “Some people claim complementarianism and live as egalatarians.”

      This is a dismissive and insulting comment. Just because complementrians don’t live out the caricutures and straw men that the egals paint doesn’t equal that they’re not living out Biblical complementarianism.

      And yes the so called “exceptions” are dealt with ad nauseum – the egals just reject the exegisis with ideas that some mean partriarchy guy from the past intentionally misinterpreted scripture to suit his nefarious plot to keep woman down. It’s the Dan Brown conspiricy theory. The Scriptures we hold are corrupted.

  36. Debbie Kaufman says

    And on this one point, I think he brings up something revolutionary and I would love to see it happen. I am doing it again, so who knows where it will lead. I may change my views on some things but on this so far I believe it stronger. I have taken the challenge again, even though I did it twenty years prior.

  37. says


    It seems to me that in this line of thought you have going here you are placing one’s desires over and above the plain teaching of Scripture. Over and over again I see in contemporary Evangelicalism the deception of Satan in Genesis 3 – “Did God really say?”

    What results is a radical reinterpretation of Scripture based on feelings and questions like “Would God really give someone a desire if…?”

    The same tired old argument is used when dealing with homosexuality. You are using the same exact existential trajectory (and the same hermeneutical trajectory as well – see Wayne Grudem’s book, Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism, for more on that) as those who attempt today to claim homosexual behavior is not sinful.

    Notice how you could substitute homosexuality into your words from above and make the same argument that hundreds of thousands IN THE CHURCH sadly today are trying to make:

    I want to know how you can actually believe that wanting to love someone of the same sex is sin. How wanting to express ourselves sexually is sin. Because that is in essence what you are saying. We have feelings Dave. God put them there. He gave them to us and God didn’t do it by accident. Yes, in our humanness we sin with those feelings, but as Christians we sin far less than some would have us believe. This being one.

    This is exactly the same argument, just with a different issue. Debbie when you resort to existentialism, you end up with liberalism of the worst kind. Just ask the European Church.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      Again DR. This is dismissive of what I have said and I don’t deal well with dismissive comments. You say the Bible is the final authority yet you continue to ignore passages dealing with women in the ministry. There is no getting around it, they are there.

      • says

        Only in your mind do people ignore passages. Go back and read my previous comments on other threads and go actually read a book or two by Complementarians instead of just listening to the bias that comes out of your Church. You will see that again you are bearing false witness.

        As for getting around passages, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you actually offer a full interpretation of any passage of Scripture.

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          Show me anywhere where you or anyone have dealt with it, then I will concede you have not ignored it. I have looked. I don’t see it dealt with in any discussion we have had. It’s why it is continually dealt with. You believe you are right. Period. I don’t. Period.

          • says


            I noted elsewhere that I wrote a comment that didn’t publish which details where the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has dealt in length with each Biblical personality and passage you threw up. And in much more detail than simply listing them as if the mere mention of each was some sort of slam dunk against Complementarianism (which they are not).

            But just for the record, you and I have spoken of the difference between prophesy v. authoritative teaching on the Dave’s post on “A Helper Suitable…”:


            Check out our conversation where I deal with the fact that prophecy and authoritative teaching are not the same and that 1 Cor. 11 gives shows us where the elders decided what prophecy to accept and which to reject (which is why the women were to be silent). And you even went so far as to accept my interpretation. Then I spoke of how Phoebe was a deacon and that women could indeed be deacons since they were not elders with teaching and leading authority. And once you look back on that, please make sure you repent for bearing false witness against a brother in Christ.

      • says

        Sorry, Debs, you had another typo. However, I’m always ready to help you out.

        This is a pretty accurate representation of what I have said and I don’t deal well with logical comments that are accurate.

        • Dave Miller says

          Be nice, Joe. I know you Bama fans are still smarting over Auburn’s national championship – you aren’t even #1 in your own STATE.

          But try to behave yourself or I will call you a Boston Red Sox fan again.

    • Dave Miller says

      Debbie, I think he is making a good point. How is your hermeneutic any different from the one he mentioned?

      You told us that complementarianism could not be true because of your feeling that its not fair, that you should be allowed to do as you please.

      I don’t equate women in ministry and homosexuality as effects, but the hermeneutic used is often similar. It is based on “self-actualization” rather than sound hermeneutics.

      I’d like to see you attempt to answer DR’s argument, not dismiss it.

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        No Dave, that is not at all what I said. I did appeal to the Bible in my statements. Reread my comments or I will explain it to you. But that is not what I said. The Bible is the final authority.

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          What I said was this. We each have the Holy Spirit. God gives each of us gifts. That is all scripture. God leads us, gives us passions. The Complementarian view denies this but it is all through scripture. Deal with this among other passages I gave. I do believe in feelings. I do believe that is how God leads as well. Everything God gives and does is for a reason and how in the world can one say it is sin for a woman to preach the Bible to men and women? It’s just not anywhere in scripture and is instead based on stereotypes.

          • Bess says

            “The Complementarian view denies this but it is all through scripture.”

            When you make a broad brush blanket statement likes this you are either absolutely ignorant of what complementarians teach or you are just downright lying.

            It is the same with the statements that complentarians don’t deal with “exceptions” in Scripture. If you actually believe that no one has ever dealt with Deborah, Miriam et all then you need to educate yourself. I hope you’re just ignorant and not outright lying. It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s interpretation of scripture but you bear false witness when you claim those you disagree with are ignoring scripture and it only shows your ignorance in what you’re railing against.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Bess: Deal with my argument. I was raised complementarian since I was in grade school. I was one because it was taught to me although I never truly bought it, I lived it. I am well aware of complementarians believe. As for lying. It’s not something I practice so if you would deal with the arguments instead of being dismissive in this manner which I do not ever accept, then we can discuss.

          • Bess says

            Debbie, you continue to show your ignorance. Obviously what you were “raised” in was the caricuture and straw men that you continue to hold on to. There are whole websites that deal with this issue. The fact that you choose to ignore those and now we can see that you must be intentionally lying to try to defend yourself does not speak well of you or your position.

  38. Debbie Kaufman says

    In 1 Timothy 5:11 Paul writes as if all young widows were not able to control their desires to be married? But is that true? In Titus 1:12 Paul writes as if all were gluttons. But was that true? Paul was addressing certain situations. I believe the same thing applies to the passages given by complimentarians.

    • says


      This may pass for Scripture interpretation in Enid, but not over here. That is one of the silliest attempts at a defense of an unBiblical position I have ever seen. You might have as well have used 2 Timothy 4:19.

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        Again dismissive. Yet what I have said is in scripture, the very scripture you say is not here, using scripture interpreting scripture. Let me lay it all out for you and you deal with this instead of being dismissive.

        Deborah, Miriam, Huldah and Noadiah. All had authority over men. Matthew 28:1-10, the Great Commission was first given to women. Acts 2:1-4, the Holy Spirit empowered both men and women at Pentecost.

        Romans 16:7 Phoebe, Junia, Chloe, are all called apostles by Paul. Joel 2:28 says that both men and women will prophecy. Scripture interprets scripture. Not to mention that Christ appeared before women instructing them to tell the others men and women that they saw him.

        The Bible clearly states that both Adam and Eve were guilty of sin. Not just Eve. Now this is just a start. This is in the Bible and there is absolutely no improper exegesis of these passages as they are so clear they cannot be misinterpreted.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            And don’t listen to women like Joni Erickson Tada because she has been speaking to both men and women for years. Writing books for both men and women for years. One of many. Anything she has said that is not Biblically true? Yet she is sinning for speaking in churches and arenas to both men and women? Preaching the Word of God? Where is this sin? But it has to be if what you say is correct. Where as she preached heresy?

        • K Gray says

          Why does the order of Christ appearing to women matter to you, if you argue that the order of creation as well as Eve’s temptation (and all Scripture thereon) does NOT matter?

          If we use either of these arguments, it should be the one actually applied in other Scripture and not the one inferred from Scripture.

          • says

            Why does the order of Christ appearing to women matter to you, if you argue that the order of creation as well as Eve’s temptation (and all Scripture thereon) does NOT matter?

            (crickets chirping in the background)

            Oh, SNAP!!!!

      • bapticus hereticus says

        D.R. Randle: This may pass for Scripture interpretation in Enid, but not over here.

        Norm (AKA bapticus hereticus): If ‘over here’ means your church, such may be the case, as is probably the case in some congregations in Enid (over there’) that have beliefs similar to your beliefs. But, I would surmise Debbie is no more speaking for Enid (‘over there’) than you are of Athens (‘over here’), in which there are, in Athens, Christians congregations that affirm women as ministers. Thus, it does hold ‘over here’ (i.e., Athens) and ‘over there’ (i.e., Enid), as it does not hold, as well, ‘over here’ and ‘over there’ among, not lost as has been asserted but rather, the good people of God.

        • says


          Here is another lie: “the very scripture you say is not here”

          Seriously, why aren’t you convicted that you are bearing false witness? I really don’t understand.

          Now, as far as each of these cases you mentioned. Perhaps you should do some reading. The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has pages and pages of articles that deal with each situation you mention above. Here are the links:

          Acts 2
          Joel 2

          By the way, it is another lie to say that Paul called Phoebe or Chloe an apostle. For someone who just told Joe to go read the text, it appears you need to do the same. The case of Junia is debatable and dealt with in the above links.

          Now that you’ve been proven wrong that “Complementarians” don’t deal with these texts, I think you’ve got a lot of reading ahead of you. Perhaps you should begin soon.

          As to you comment (“This is in the Bible and there is absolutely no improper exegesis of these passages as they are so clear they cannot be misinterpreted.”), I would say the same about Ephesians 5, Col 3, 1 Cor 11, 1 Peter 3, and 1 Timothy 2 (all clearer passages that you seem to either ignore or reinterpret to suit your position).

          Finally, Joni Eareckson Tada is also a Complementarian. There are some articles at CBMW that reference her as well. And she speaks at the True Woman Conferences. So your reference to her shows that you don’t understand Complementarianism or how Complementarians live out their beliefs. Perhaps that well over in Enid needs some cleaning out.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Joni Eareckson Tada may say she is complementarian, but she lives as an Egalitarian. She speaks to both men and women. The site CBMW is read by both men and women. That to me is hypocritical to preach and write that women cannot teach or preach to men yet that is exactly what those women do. A conference was given recently which housed both men and women at the conference with both men and women speakers.That does not compute with what they teach or preach.

            And DR once again you dismiss my arguments as garbage without dealing with one of them and if I hear the word Enid used in attacking one more time I think I’ll scream. That is so silly and useless, and detracts from the fact that you have not dealt with one argument I gave except to lump them all together and dismissively calling it garbage. The fact of that alone lets me know that in fact they are not garbage, but that you either won’t or can’t address them. Again.

          • says


            Again, you spout more lies. I linked all the articles on the CBMW site for each of the arguments you gave. I linked our discussion on another thread (which you claimed you couldn’t find – it took me all of 4 minutes). You lied when you said Paul called Phoebe and Chloe “apostles”. And you lied when you said I lumped all your arguments together and called them garbage when I only called the one ridiculous argument you made “garbage”.

            So I have to wonder, do you guys in Enid teach a class on how to lie when you defend Egalitarianism? Because it seems like you’re really good at it (waiting for the scream…).

          • says

            Oh, and as for Joni Eareckson Tada, it seems like once again you really don’t understand Complementarianism, or at least you believe that by pigeon-holing it and building a straw man you can simply knock it down any time someone doesn’t conform to your straw man image. This once again proves that you don’t actually know what Complementarians believe. Perhaps it’s time to read those articles and pick up some books and quit listening solely to the voices of Enid (can I get another scream…).

          • says


            The lie that you told was that “Complementarians never deal with” the arguments you presented earlier. It’s a lie because you and I discussed it previously (which you later denied and now you seem to agree happened). It’s also a lie because you continued to repeat that same mantra even after I told you that the arguments had been dealt with over and over again for the past 30 years. And it’s a lie because you claimed to have read Complementarians previously (which had you, you would have no doubt run into answers to your arguments, given that they are so easily stumbled upon by a simple Google search or by going to the CBMW website or opening Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood which was published over 30 years ago).

            So, yes, I think you were lying when you said “Complementarians never address” the personalities and passages in the OT and New that you brought up. At the very least you have a responsibility to verify your declarations before making them. Here it’s clear that you played fast and loose with the truth. And for that you don’t owe me an apology. But it certainly something you ought to admit and retract.

            As for your assessment of the mountains of writings on each and every one of those characters and texts you mentioned earlier, I find it sad. Sad because there’s no way you read even a snippet of that material and yet offered a critique of it; and sad because you made your decision to leave Complementarianism without having given it much a shot, given that you never seem to have read all that evidence contrary to your current position. And now your bias will not allow you to consider that you might be wrong.

            Finally, it’s interesting that the one thing you chose to bring up from all articles is the quote that being a prophet means God speaks sometimes through them. This is 100% accurate. Prophets do not continually utter prophecy, but only as it comes to them. This is so clear when we look at 1 Corinthians. Having the gift of prophecy and being a prophet never means God gives you continual revelation. It’s always a matter of when God chooses. As I pointed out earlier, Paul had 4 female prophets that he was around for days, yet God chose to send Agabus 75 miles with a prophecy for Paul (no one’s even yet attempted to address that – talk about not dealing with arguments). I just don’t understand how you could have a problem with a statement that is so accurate. You chose to read into those words something not there and failed to actually grasp the greater argument being made. This is why it is so frustrating to try to discuss with you.

          • Bess says

            “This is why it is so frustrating to try to discuss with you.”

            I don’t know how many times, how many people, in how many different ways, have tried to explain this to her – first that she demonstrates no understanding of what a true biblical complementenrianism actual is – and that no one can get anywhere or get anything out of trying to communicate with her. Then she ends up pretending -” I just want to talk why are people so mean to me all the time” She’s like dealing with an Asperger kid – who has no idea how to function and deal in social settings. It’s really like autism with her – she just attacks attacks attacks – accuses everybody of not dealing with scripture, then when you deal with scripture she just resorts to ad homineum and then resorts to the whining and the proclaiming that she is so much more mature, spiritual, better, walking closer to Jesus than everybody else – and all the scores of people who all have the exact same issues with her are just mean and probably not even saved and oh she thinks it’ll so be poetic justice when they end up in hell. It’s really, really sad and pitiful in a way since she seems to need the interaction on the internet so much.

          • bapticus hereticus says

            D.R. Randle: By “over here” I meant “in this thread” where many capable expositors of God’s Word can see through the garbage of that argument.

            Norm (AKA bapticus hereticus): Most of my family members are in churches that would not consider women for ministerial positions, for many of the reasons espoused here, but some are in churches that do, but I am unaware that any of my family members would consider the beliefs (and the rationale for such) of other family members that differ on this issue as garbage.

          • bapticus hereticus says

            Joe: Well, them not recognizing it for garbage doesn’t change the fact that it IS garbage.

            Norm (AKA bapticus hereticus): The ontology of the positions being what they are, I guess my family members find it useful to express their differences in a manner that does not marginalize or impede conversation.

          • says


            Not every argument used in defense of an Egalitarian position is garbage. But the one that Debbie used here certainly is. And it’s disrespectful of the hard work that both sides do in seeking to interpret the Bible. Drive-by interpretations which amount to suggestions imposed on the text with little to no merit are detrimental to the Church and as such they are garbage.

          • says

            It took at least as much thought as you’ve spent reading actual Complementarians. Are you ready yet to admit that you were lying when you said that Complementarians never deal with the passages you mentioned earlier. Or do you want to keep bearing false witness against your brothers and sisters in Christ?

          • bapticus hereticus says

            D.R. Randle: Norm, Not every argument used in defense of an Egalitarian position is garbage. But the one that Debbie used here certainly is. And it’s disrespectful of the hard work that both sides do in seeking to interpret the Bible. Drive-by interpretations which amount to suggestions imposed on the text with little to no merit are detrimental to the Church and as such they are garbage.

            Norm (AKA bapticus hereticus): We all have differing skills for discerning biblical texts, some more than others, yet for the most skilled among us, dare I say there are probably others with even greater skill. Perhaps they should visit and use speech that marginalizes our abilities? You and Debbie have a disagreement. You do not accept her arguments. Would it not be enough to express that Debbie’s arguments are weak, inadequate, wrongheaded, etc. rather than garbage? Would you state such from the pulpit about a member in your church concerning a conversation you had on the subject? My guess is no, especially given that the words we use in speech reveal more than what we wish to assert, they also reveal something about how we value the receiver and a relationship with him/her. Pastors, though not expected to be most learned members on any topic, discipline notwithstanding, are usually our best examples of generosity of spirit. My guess is such is said of you in your congregation. Last, the church has witnessed and survived many controversies throughout her history greater than the issue under consideration and she has managed to survive and at times thrive. We have had women pastors for centuries and she continues to exist and do good work. When we overstate our evaluations, we understate our seriousness. Then people have a tendency to quit listening.

          • says


            Let me ask you one question and after we discuss the issue I bring up, I’ll answer your post. Here goes:

            What would you say to Debbie, who has continually lied in saying that Complementarians (as well as myself) have never dealt with her arguments regarding the female prophets and the gifts of the Spirit? What would you say to her in the face of mounting evidence that she is not only wrong, but deceptive in her continued attacks on Complementarians? What do you say about her twisting of my use of the term garbage, saying that I “have not dealt with one argument [she] gave except to lump them all together and dismissively calling it garbage”, when in reality I only called one argument “garbage” and showed her where in the not too distant future we discussed these same arguments and where CBMW has dozens of articles on each person she presented? Isn’t bearing false witness just as serious as me calling her one argument “garbage”? And what of her repeated actions of lying? Isn’t that worse than my one act?

            Your thoughts? I’m just wondering why you’ve concentrated on this one small point I made and ignored a mountain of issues in what Debbie has said.

          • bapticus hereticus says

            D.R. Randle: Your thoughts? I’m just wondering why you’ve concentrated on this one small point I made and ignored a mountain of issues in what Debbie has said.

            Norm (AKA bapticus hereticus): For either of you (i.e., any of us) to assert what the other knows, feels, or has done is questionable at best, thus it is better to deal with what has been said and not assert cognitive- or internal-state knowledge or motivation of the other. Such is the domain of the individual and our assessments of such are speculative and should only be asserted with qualifying language (e.g., seems, appears, etc.). Our ontology is questionable given our epistemology is questionable. Arguments are best when speech is descriptive rather than evaluative, but where evaluative speech is used, can language be found that is not typically given to inflammation, yet have such adequately reflect a sentiment? I recall using, as Spock, Mr. not Dr., once asserted, very “colorful metaphors”, and was told by another that my choice of words reflected poorly on my person and educational achievements. Privately, I held to the sentiments expressed by the metaphor, but did have to publically admit that there was a better way of expressing such that did not impede subsequent exchanges. I did not concede the point I was arguing, but I did proceed using language that was more respecting of the other as person, yet still critical of the other’s position. And I am given to backsliding, too, but less so on this point as in the past, thanks to another; however, I have a whole host of other areas in which I am aware to significantly improve. Goodness knows how many I am not aware.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            DR: I find it interesting that you call me a liar and get so worked up over what? I do owe you an apology because I just now scrolled up to see you linked to articles. I honestly did not see that before. For that I apologize but it is not lying, it is human error. It is hard to follow the comments on this thread as they jump all over the page. I saw your rant today and scrolled up further. I saw the links. I am not a liar. I may be a lot of things but liar is not one. I am as honest as I humanly can be, but you do have my apologies. You have dealt with what I have asked. I know you will not like my response but here is goes:

            I have looked at the links and my problem is this, women are in the Bible all over the place. They are in obvious leadership and I just can’t buy the explanation CBMW gives any more than I can buy that they say these things then write articles and speak to both men and women publicly. It’s like partially living Egalatarian while spouting to others not to do what they plainly do.

            I also have a hard time with this sentence in one article being true. Minimizing who Deborah was and how God used her.

            That Deborah is a prophetess means God sometimes speaks through her. . Sometimes? Not according to scripture. She was a judge. She was mightily used as a prophetess. Each article minimizes what I see the Bible actually saying about each woman.

          • Dave Miller says

            Debbie, I don’t know if you saw my note, but there were several comments yesterday that got caught in the SPAM folder here. DR’s was one of them. Several of yours as well. I took them all out and brought them in here.

            There was some kind of site glitch – not sure of the cause. I’m an old guy. I know how to type but when it comes to site management, I’m often in the dark.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            And as I said before I was raised complementarian since I was young(Independant Baptist and Bob Jones supporting church) in my house we girls were encouraged to speak up for ourselves to anyone and to go for whatever dream we wanted to reach. The sky was the limit. We had the full support of our parents, even when I as an eighteen year old went to confront our then minister for calling a board meeting calling for my discipline based on a rumor that was not true.

          • Dave Miller says

            I just found three of Joe’s comments in there. I know this – if you put links up, the chances of going into moderation or SPAM folder goes way up.

            I’m trying to keep an eye on it.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Yes Dave, I saw the note this morning and so far have had no problems that I know of. Thank you.

          • Dave Miller says

            Debbie, when I read your comments and your refutations of complementarianism, I almost always say to myself, “But that is not what we believe.”

            I think you are often answering a caricature of our doctrine and not what we actually believe.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            My reply to that Dave is then what do you believe? Because in my mind if that is not what you believe then complementarian has changed or morphed a lot and it’s then closer to Egalartarian beliefs than complemenarian and so what is the point and all the noise?

          • Bess says

            It couldn’t possibly be that THE GREAT DEBBIE is actually ignorant on what she speaks and owes apologies all around for bearing false witness against complementarians. Oh no not THE GREAT DEBBIE who knows all. How many people have told Debbie she doesn’t have a clue? No there is nothing that THE GREAT DEBBIE needs to learn.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            And Bess how about addressing my argument instead of this Jr. High game that I outgrew 40 years ago and address the arguments I am giving. That would be a pleasant change. Everyone gets so emotional on this and they shouldn’t. It’s ridiculous albeit a important discussion, I’m sure I won’t change your mind. But it’s always worth discussing because I think we are dead wrong.

          • says


            See above in comment #150 for my response to your latest comment to me in this thread. I accidentally hit the wrong “reply” button.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            DR: It seems you and I disagree again. You use the word lie like the word heresy. You will have to point out where you and I discussed it in this thread because I do not see it except for the links you put. Now, I am willing to discuss with you but you throwing the word lie around is frustrating to me and frankly making me angry. If we discussed it in another thread I do not remember, I am in many discussions as well as the fact that I had a blog for 4 years that I concentrated on. IOW I am human and my memory of us discussing this is not clear. It is not a lie. Oversight maybe, but to call me a liar is fighting words and I’m not going to fight like silly grade schoolers. If you have a point make it otherwise the discussion between you and I is done. If you think bullying into me agreeing with you works. It doesn’t.

          • says


            Earlier (in comment #125) you said the following:

            Show me anywhere where you or anyone have dealt with it, then I will concede you have not ignored it. I have looked. I don’t see it dealt with in any discussion we have had. It’s why it is continually dealt with. You believe you are right. Period. I don’t. Period.

            Then in the very next comment, I linked to the discussion. You claimed to have looked for it, but it only took me about 5 minutes to find it. That’s irresponsible. Additionally, something you seemed to ignore above is your declaration that “Complementarians never deal” with those passages and personalities you listed.

            Even a cursory glance through the definitive work on Complementarianism (Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by Piper and Grudem) published in 1991 or a very quick and easy search of the CBMW site (which I know you are familiar with) would result in you seeing that your statements were inaccurate.

            To not even attempt to fact check an all-inclusive statement like that before it is disingenuous. And as such, I think most folks would consider that lying, which is why I called you a liar. All you would have had to have done is admit from the outset that you failed to actually do your homework before you made that statement and retract it. That was all I was asking you to do. But instead you redoubled your efforts, still not taking the time to check your statements credibility. Again, that’s irresponsible and disingenuous. That’s why I said what I said and that’s why I stand by it (because so far, I haven’t heard a retraction of your original statement about all complementarians).

            As far as bullying is concerned – that’s all in your mind. All I’ve done is call you out for your false statement and hold your feet to the fire for a retraction. If that’s bullying, then so be it. But I call it accountability.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            DR: How many comments are in this thread alone? I also work and have a life outside of this conversation. If this is how you “win” arguments, sorry but I can’t take your view too seriously when it seems to be all about winning and losing. Attempting to falsely accuse me of lying and then attempting to prove it. There are probably comments I have not seen yet and as Dave pointed out, some ended up in SPAM which I don’t know how you expect me to read those.

            The truth of scripture gets lost in such drivel. When you want to have an honest discussion, I am always willing but I am not into playing games with this or any other subject. That’s not debate, that’s just plain dirty.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            I also apologized to you once, I think once is sufficient DR. You want me to gravel evidently or rub my face in it and you can call this pride or just wanting dignity but it’s getting ridiculous. I was wrong and did not see the links. I said this. If you want me to concede on that basis. That’s really poor Biblical exegesis. All you have to do is give me the # of the post where your comments are instead of expecting me to see them. But your calling me a liar expecting me to gravel is downright nuts. I am human. Forgive me for that. Good grief.

          • says


            I understand you hate being called out for making a completely false statement, but come on. Making me the enemy here is not helping your case one bit. Bottom line: You made a false and misleading statement (that Complementarians never deal with women like Priscilla, Huldah, Deborah, etc) and you didn’t even take the time to fact check before you did it.

            It’s not about the links Debbie. It’s about making declarations before you’ve even checked to see if you have a clue what you are talking about. It’s about making false statements like “Phoebe, Junia, Chloe, are all called apostles by Paul” when you know that neither Phoebe nor Chloe are even remotely called this (and Junia is quite disputed – see here).

            It’s that poisoning of the well that’s deceptive and misleading and the reason why I called you out. I personally think you knew what you were doing before you posted your comments about Complementarians not dealing with the people and passages you cited and you certainly knew better on Phoebe and Chloe. I never asked for an apology, but I do expect you to be honest. You want an honest discussion? Then start by fessing up to your misleading statements and then quit making more.

  39. Debbie Kaufman says

    Difference here is this DR. We are Christians with the Holy Spirit in us. Big difference between that and a lost person. This is wanting to spread the Word of God. Big difference between that and sexual desires or world desires. One is building the Kingdom.

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        Read my comment to you above DR. This is another dismissive comment and I think it’s because you cannot effectively deal with my argument. That is usually the case.

        • says


          Is that your best attempt at trying to deflect attention away from the fact that you are using the same exact argument that homosexuals use to justify their behavior?

          I’m not sure what argument I’m not dealing with, but it seems that you’ve avoided the very clear parallels of your arguments to those in favor of homosexuality. Talk about dismissive.

          • says

            Well, what do you expect. Debbie believes their are people waling around who are saved that haven’t yet repented from their sins (i.e. they’re practicing homosexuals in relationships with member of their own sex) so of course she’s going to use a similar argument.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Huh? I’m serious DR I do not understand this type of argument which is as old as the hills. I am not being dismissive, I have given scripture when the whole chapter, chapters are read, the interpretation cannot be denied yet you have not dealt with one of them but revert to this argument that is so old that it is older than I am. Deal with scripture.

          • says


            I certainly wouldn’t want to admit that I was using a pro-homosexual argument either. But the fact is that you are. And until you face the fact that existential arguements are worthless and at times even evil, you’re never going to see Scripture plainly. You will always interpret it with an emotional bias.

            As far as dealing with the passages, I left a lengthy comment which somehow didn’t post. I have it saved on another computer, which I will be able to access later tonight. It will show among other things that both I and Complementarians in general have dealt with each and every drive-by argument you have made. And in much, much more detail than referring to the text and claiming the reference is enough to establish an interpretation that is contrary to Complementarianism.

          • says

            You will always interpret it with an emotional bias.

            See, The Debbie’s main problem is that she doesn’t think. She feels things. Nothing gets processed through her brain. It’s all mush. For instance, take a look at this quote:

            You are right. I do want to read it this way. I want to be able to do whatever I feel God calling me to do and that would include in the church. I do want it to be in the Bible. I do want God’s permission and blessing. You are right, I do not want to believe that God would restrict women with a passion for spreading the Word of God and what they have learned to men and women to teaching women and children only.

            It’s not about truth. It’s not about the Bible. It’s about how The Debbie feels. You can’t have a logical conversation with something like that. I mean, Lydia, Paula, I can respect them because ok I disagree with their interpretation but at least they’re reading and trying to deal with the text. I think they get it wrong, but hey. But with Debbie it’s not like you’re dealing with a thinking, rational adult. It’s like explaining to my 7 year old why she can’t have candy til after supper. “It’s just not fair!!!!!”

          • Frank L. says

            “” the interpretation cannot be denied””

            I’m not sure where this post will end up, but I’m struck by the prideful attitude that this one person thinks that her interpretation is “inerrant,” though I don’t think she gives the Word of God that same treatment.

  40. Dave Miller says

    I have a more important question for you Debbie. I saw a show the other day about John Wilkes Booth, with the claim that he actually lived (someone else was killed in the farmhouse) and that he ended up settling in Enid and, I think, dying there.

    You guys buying that?

  41. Debbie Kaufman says

    No, although I am sure there are a few who may. But I think they are from out of town. :) I am a history purist I think.

  42. Benji Ramsaur says

    I think complimentarianism is right, but I think what Debbie is getting at with her “popcorn verses” comment is the idea of singling out a few verses here and there to substantiate one’s position instead of looking at the broad context of Scripture.

    I think this is what Jon Zens is getting at as well from what I have read from him concerning this subject.

    However, after I listened to some of the video that he did on this subject at Enid, I think he might be inconsistent when it comes to his hermeneutical approach to Scripture.

    He is considered one of the Fathers of NCT and I think a basic belief of NCT is that while the NT is informed by the OT, we should allow the NT [the climax of revelation] to interpret the OT and not the other way around. However, he came across to me as basically saying “we have got to get Genesis right in its own context before we move on to looking at other Scriptures” and it is that approach, I think, that leads people to believe that the literal land is still for literal Israel, etc.

    In other words, I think his approach is going to lead to what I call being a “bully to the NT” [i.e. not allowing the NT to speak since one is “already sure” of what must be right from the OT context alone].

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Zens is worth reading on many things [I was reading some outstanding material from him yesterday], but I think he might be having to use an “uncharacteristic” method of interpretation to justify his position.

    • Bess says

      Complementarianism does not use “popcorn verses” – it is a view that uses the whole counsel of Scripture. To throw out a phrase like “popcorn verses” is simply an ad homienum. If you cannot start with a respect for the person and that person’s belief in what Scripture has revealed then there is no point in entering a discussion. When one has to resort to personal attacks and just downright lies to defend your position – than what you’re believing is obviously not able to stand up to debate.

        • Bess says

          And again you show yourself to either be absolutely ignorant or just downright lying. Which from what we know of you is not a suprise. At all.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            And you refuse to take your Bible out and deal with this. Fine, ignoring is something I do quite well. If you can’t talk about the subject, we won’t talk at all. I am fine with that.

        • Christiane says

          For myself, I look at a group like CBMW and their advocacy for a doctrine of ESS (Eternal Submission of the Son),
          and I realize that they needed to have that doctrine to shore up their positions.

          I’m not sure what is or is not respected as ‘orthodoxy’ among Southern Baptist people, because I get different points of view from them;
          but among the Orthodox (RC’s, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, etc.), the doctrine of ESS is not taught.

          Is the teaching of the subgroup CBMW able to stand on its own merits, or must it lean on the doctrine of ESS for support?
          How is this seen among Southern Baptists of both persuasions: complementarian, and egalitarian?

          Who developed the ESS teaching?

          • Christiane says

            I have this from Ben Witherington’s site concerning the origins of ESS:

            “This novel teaching was first enunciated by G. Knight III in his highly influential 1977 book, New Testament Teaching on the Role Relationship of Men and Women (Baker, 1977)”

            and this, also from Ben WitheringtonThis new teaching on the Trinity came to full fruition in 1994 with the publication of W. Grudem’s, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Zondervan, 1994). Two chapters in this book outline his doctrine of the eternal subordination of the Son in function and authority. The impact of this book on evangelicals cannot be underestimated. Over 130,000 copies have been sold and the abridged version, Bible Doctrine (ed. J. Purswell; Zondervan, 1999), with exactly the same teaching on the Trinity and women, has sold over 35,000 copies. For Grudem the Son’s role subordination, like that of women, is not a matter of who does certain things as we might expect on seeing the word “role,” but rather a matter of who commands and who obeys.”

            My question is this:
            is there any evidence of the ‘doctrine’ of ESS appearing prior to 1977 and in any other place than the evangelical community devoted to a biblical interpretation of certain verses confirming a role of ‘submission’ for women ?

          • Dave Miller says

            You can argue against ESS, but you cannot pretend it has not been around for a long time.

            I’d encourage you to read this article – there is a long section on the history of the doctrine with links to other articles.

          • says

            If it wasn’t for a certain former blogger who L’s worships because of their extreme moderate/leftward lean, she wouldn’t even know what ESS was. For that matter, she probably couldn’t spell it. She’s just repeating what Don Quixote has said.

          • says


            For someone who is Catholic and seems to always look for ways to bring up the Early Church Fathers, you seem woefully ignorant of your own authoritative traditions in regard to the Trinity.

            From Athanasius to the Cappadocian Fathers, Orthodox Trinitarianism began by separating itself from the Arians in regard to the issue of the Substance of each member of the Trinity (homoousios), not the issue of rank, which all agreed was inherent in the Trinity. The Arians asserted, as you and other Egalitarians do, that rank determines substance. The Trinitarians separated the two and claimed that rank and substance were two entirely separate issues. And from the acceptance of that separation was born the Orthodox Doctine of the Trinity.

  43. Debbie Kaufman says

    I was not able to make it to Jon Zen’s lectures, work gets in the way for me at times,so I admit I am not familiar with his books or work.

  44. Debbie Kaufman says

    Deal with the arguments I have given Bess or I will not discuss with you. These things always end up like this and I’m not buying the bait, it’s dismissive, it’s not using the Bible to give your argument fully and it’s just plain ridiculous. Discussion is what I want. I will not respond to ad hominem attacks. I just won’t. Women have been held back by our denomination and yet early in our history that was not the case. I feel we left the Bible for a Fundamentalist position that I honestly do not see as Biblical and why? It was taught. It’s more tradition than Biblical and for claiming to be people of the Bible, fact is we are not. Bible verses have been fed that are popcorn verses and nothing more. Taken out of context. That is my firm belief. Show me using scripture where you think I am wrong, but calling me names doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s not using the ole brain Bess and it is just too easy an out.

    • Bess says

      Debbie, until you stop bearing false witness against complementarians than YOU don’t deserve a response. You are the one who always resorts to adhominuem attacks. And women are not being held back in anything. Again you lie an bear false witness.

    • says

      Deal with the arguments I have given Bess or I will not discuss with you.

      Translation–Agree with me or I’ll just say you’re a hatemongerin’ fearmongerin’ fundy. Come on, Bess, you know if you’re going to play with Debbie it has to be by her rules.

      Rule #1–The Debbie is always right.
      Rule #2–If The Debbie is wrong, see rule number 1.

      • Bess says

        It always ends up the same way with her doesn’t it Joe. In the whole history of mankind only Debbie knows how to interpret Scripture and we should all just sit at her feet and worship her and her superior intelligence. she just cannot accept that very sincere intelligent people, Christians who have the Holy Spirit just don’t agree with her. Agree with Debs or you’re eeeevil and don’t know a thing about the Bible

        • says

          And where does she get her talking points from?? It ain’t scripture, obviously. I mean, we’re going to get banned if we say the name but maybe I can get by with just his nickname–Don Quixote.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Joe: Every point I have made is directly from scripture with references to that scripture. Every single one.

            Now let me ask you something. SB’s and churches in general used to be segregated, they taught slavery, we were wrong then. Scripture was used. The interpretation was wrong. It used to be taught by churches that women could not work outside the home. That changed again. It was wrong. Scripture was used. That scripture was and is improperly interpreted and again left out entire passages of scripture. It was taught that women could not vote, own land, this was taught in church. SB churches too. Again, scripture out of context was used and large passages of the Bible left out. Could you be wrong on this? I believe so and for the same reasons the church was wrong on other issues involving women and minorities. Misinterpretation of scripture and leaving out the very scripture I gave which is only a small part of what the Bible says concerning women and ministry in the church. How was it dealt with then? The very same way you two and others are dealing with it now. Dismissing. Insults. Brick walls. Meanwhile, the Bible is about Christ. From Genesis to Revelation. Christ and his Bride which consists of both men and women. Only half of that is being held down and why? Tradition I believe. People of the Bible(or so they say) are relying on tradition that has changed through the centuries and will probably change again. I can’t rely on that. Nor do I buy it as Biblical. But being dismissive has worked before, and it probably will again. But being dismissive leaves out questions, discussion and it shows the futility of posts like this. IOW it’s a waste of time and words.

    • Bess says

      and Debbie it’s exactly how you conducted yourself here – bearing false witness and attacking those who disagree with – that’s why more and more people are having there eyes opened to who you really are and not wanting anything to do with you. You are incapable of carrying on a conversation with anyone who disagrees with you without lying and attacking.

  45. Bess says

    Which translated means that you are absolutely lying if you think your “arguments” haven’t already been refuted over and over and over again. You just reject it.

    • Bess says

      Whole websites devoted to refuting your “arguments” and yet you continue to bear false witness claiming nobody can deal with your superior reasoning skills and intellect.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      I reject it because I am discerning here and it leaves out the other 98% of the Bible. The Bible does not ever contradict itself. By excluding women I believe we are out of the will of God and this is is seen by the ineffectiveness of the church. It was not that way in the First Century church which was thriving and growing and being used greatly because both men and women were using the gifts God gave fully. I have shown this in scripture. Yes, I reject it because I think all of the Bible is about Christ. It’s not about gender roles, or being a good husband or spouse, it’s all about Christ and his Church, the Bride. In heaven do you think there will be gender roles? no.

      • says

        So you’re saying Debbie that the Church is ineffective because of Complementarianism. Hmmm…

        So tell me, is it Satan that is causing so much growth in the Acts 29 Churches? I mean surely all those people who have come to Christ at Mars Hill, The Villiage Church, Journey Church, and Summit Church and dozens of others over the past 10 years must have done so apart from the will of God.

        And then there’s John MacArthur’s, John Piper’s, Mark Dever’s, CJ Mahaney’s, Alistar Begg’s, and hundreds of other committed Complementarians’ churches which have seemed to thrive and be used in amazing ways by God. But again – all outside of the will of God and completely ineffective.

        And of course, then there is your favorite, Francis Chan, who apparently is out of the will of God, (along with Joni Eareckson Tada), and contributing to the ineffectiveness of the Church. And then don’t forget David Platt. Oh…wait, your pastor’s hack job of a review of Platt’s book must make him persona non grata to you (despite your boy Chan giving Platt’s book a glowing endorsement).

        Bottom line: This may be the most ridiculous comment you’ve ever made. And that’s saying a lot.

  46. Benji Ramsaur says

    Howdy folks,

    I was able to read this helpful link that was provided by good ole Dave Miller [Thanks Dave!]:

    Based on what I read from Wellum and what Wellum says about Erickson [Wellum disagrees with him BTW], I think these two have set us all a good example of how to discuss this issue in relation to tone and substance.

    Thank God for these two men.

  47. Benji Ramsaur says

    Howdy folks,

    I was able to read this helpful link that was provided by good ole Dave Miller [Thanks Dave!]:

    Based on what I read from Wellum and what Wellum says about Erickson [Wellum disagrees with him BTW], I think these two have set us all a good example of how to discuss this issue in relation to tone and substance.

    Thank God for these two men.

    God Bless,


  48. Debbie Kaufman says

    I can see it now, I will stand before God in judgment of my sins, which one of them I will answer to is spreading the Gospel to every creature as commanded in scripture. Teaching and preaching to men and women about Christ and the Cross. :) Somehow that doesn’t seem to jive with scripture now does it?

    • says

      Wow, what a nice red herring. I prefer cherry herring myself.

      I’ll try typing this really slowly for you. No one has said ANYTHING about spreading the Gospel to every creature as commanded in scripture. The point is that women cannot serve as pastors, teach men, or lead in the church. And outside of your little band of moderate leaning/CBF loving loonies, the SBC has settled this issue and is complementarian. Good luck with changing it but don’t hold your breath. On second thought, please hold your breath—for as long as possible—maybe even a ltitle longer. 😛

      • bapticus hereticus says

        DS: “What unique responsibilities do you think Christian bloggers have?”

        Joe: “I think first of all a Christian blogger should present a Christian worldview based on God’s word. [I]t is important that we do not come to people with clever words of man’s wisdom as Paul said. I also think we need to demonstrate the love of Christ when dialogueing [sic] with those who disagree with us. We need to have the humility to realize that we can be wrong and the willingness to learn from people.”

        Joe: “Ok, I will be sending you a bill for the new laptop you owe me after I just shot Dr. Pepper out of my nose all over this one after reading your skewering of Debbie.”

        Joe: “In dealing with you, that’s the best way to be. Pat you on the head and tell you to run along now–the adults are trying to have a conversation.”

        Joe: “Hey Debbie, guess what? No matter how much you blather and whine about it, with the exception of the few moderate leaning/CBF loving churches like yours, women in the SBC are not and are not going to be given the opportunity to teach men. Knowing how much that bothers you brings a big smile to my face on this cold, dreary day.”

        Joe: “Well I don’t know how I’ll be able to sleep tonight knowing I dissappointed [sic] you.”

        Joe: “Does the phrase “suck it up and deal with it” mean anything to you?”

        Joe: “I’ll try typing this really slowly for you. No one has said ANYTHING about spreading the Gospel to every creature as commanded in scripture. The point is that women cannot serve as pastors, teach men, or lead in the church. And outside of your little band of moderate leaning/CBF loving loonies, the SBC has settled this issue and is complementarian. Good luck with changing it but don’t hold your breath. On second thought, please hold your breath—for as long as possible—maybe even a ltitle [sic] longer.”

        Norm (AKA bapticus hereticus): For the record, Joe, I have used demeaning speech, too, in previous posts to others in various fora threads. How about we both be a bit bigger from this point forward and take your advice given to DS?

        • says


          No matter how much you, L’s, or Big Mamma Weave want to make it mean so, I never once meant, suggested, or implied that people who hold to…you know what, never mind.

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        If something is unbiblical I’ll always hold my breath. Look at our history Joe, nothing is under the heading of never. I have shown that in my comments. But again, you haven’t dealt with the scripture, you haven’t dealt with my arguments. Just say you can’t. There is no harm in saying that. And you aren’t SB so you have nothing to lose by simply admitting it. And the above is exactly what you are saying. If a woman can’t preach and teach men in the church, yet it’s OK outside of the church, that not only is talking in circles, makes no sense Biblical or otherwise but it is the height of hypocrisy, so yes, that is exactly what you are saying. Denial isn’t a river.

        • Bess says

          Debbie, why should anyone respond to anything you say. You have declared that only you know anything and everybody else is an idiot so end of discussion.

          • Bess says

            It’s kinda like someone just wants to beat everybody over the head with her Bible – being as everyone who thinks differently could not possibly know anything about the Bible.

            In the meantime L’s is over in another thread spouting off all kinds of unbiblical nonsense.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            No, seriously, I just like to have people think. To see things in scripture that maybe they have not seen before. Passages they have not considered in context.

            Is it beating someone over the head to use scripture, the very scripture that we should appeal to as the final authority in my argument? To point out passages that are being left out? That’s what teaching is isn’t it? If that’s beating over the head than that is what I am doing. The purpose of Christ’s death wasn’t just to get to heaven, it was to free Christians, men and women. Not bind them and whether complementarians will admit it or not, they are binding people with ropes and chains that Christ broke a long time ago with the issuing in of the New Covenant, actually it was started with the Old Testament which points to Christ and the New Covenant. I do agree with Benji who has rightly pointed out that I believe the NT interprets the OT not the other way around. It’s called discussion Bess. Teaching. If I were a man I doubt you would say the same things. In fact I know you wouldn’t.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            If you think L’s is saying things Unbiblical you certainly don’t need me to correct her. Use your scripture and explain to her(without calling names and other silly tactics that hurt and do not build) why she is wrong. If she doesn’t see it, pray for her.

            I think you are using unBiblical tactics here, in fact the Bible isn’t even on the radar with your comments, so I use scripture and try to give what I believe the Bible teaches. It’s called teaching, witnessing, discipleing(sp?).

          • Bess says

            Debbie, you are the one with the reputation as internet bully so trying to deflect who you are on to others ain’t gonna work. I have demonstrated that I am more than capable of having a civil discussion with those I disagree with. You Debbie, on the other hand continue to show that you have zero respect for anyone who doesn’t bow down to your allegeded supriority in interpreting Scripture. The fact that you will always choose to attack Christians over tertiary issues and not correct a woman who is clearly lost shows your heart. You keep exposing yourself and it’s sad that in your pride and arrogance you keep digging in your heels thinking you have any crediabilty to judge anybody on anything. Get that plank out of your eye. Learn how to discuss and not attack and maybe there will be people willing to discuss scripture with you.

          • says

            If you think L’s is saying things Unbiblical you certainly don’t need me to correct her.

            Way to deflect there, Debs. The fact is you have AFFIRMED L’s in her unbiblical, unChristian positions for YEARS. Therefore, since you have LIED to her rather than telling her the truth shouldn’t you try to undo some of that and actually share the gospel with her and tell her she’s lost? Oh, wait, don’t tell me, let me guess. L’s is one of those magical people that is really saved but just hasn’t figured it out yet, huh?

        • says

          You haven’t proven anything with scriptures. You have asserted. Just because The Debbie says “That is what this scripture means” doesn’t make it so. Just like a few weeks ago when you had a bee in your bonnet trying to prove that Mary Magdelene was an apostle because she was asked to give a message to some people–you crawfished on that one after having it shown to you that you were wrong. Just because you claim that those verses that clearly teach that only men can pastor and lead in the church does not make it so.

      • Bess says

        Here Joe, you’ll like this quote:

        It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” — MacBeth

        Love me some Shakespeare :)

  49. Debbie Kaufman says

    Except that I am using scripture Bess, which you don’t seem to want to deal with, instead you attack, which does not take a lot of thought to do, to try and not answer the passages given which cannot mean anything other than they mean. It can’t be explained away. So it seems you ignore them in favor of name calling. Old Bess, very old.

    • Bess says

      Debbie, there is no point in talking scripture with you as you have declared everyone else to not be following the Bible. There is no having a reasonable discussion with you as YOU always attack anyone who disagrees with as not knowing a thing about the Bible and you have now adding lying to your attacks. You are doing your same old rants and who is the one that posters are turning away from Debbie? Oh wait Debbie has the approval of those clearly lost, but those who are Christians diasgree with her and she thinks she’s doing something right? Yeah Debbie’s world where the opinions of the lost matter more than Christians.

  50. says

    Let’s make sure we stay with the discussion of the topic. Sometimes, folks, we stray from commenting on the topics to commenting on the commenters. That seems to take us down the wrong path.

    General exhortation for edification!

    Of course, Joe Blackmon said he likes the Red Sox, so for the next 3 hours, personal attacks on Joe will be tolerated.

    • says

      Aye cyamba!!!! Actually, if Alabama’s baseball team were any good I’d pull for them. Since they’re not, the sports not worth watching. That is, unless you pull for a team that tries to buy a World Series every year. Doh!!!!

      • Dave Miller says

        I do agree there, Joe. The way the Red Sox and Phillies have tried to buy the World Series this year has been despicable.

  51. Debbie Kaufman says

    Guys feel better now? Good.

    Just because The Debbie says “That is what this scripture means” doesn’t make it so..

    Joe: Tell me how can you misinterpret the meaning of Matthew 28:5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

    Matthew 28:6 ”He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.

    Matthew 28:7 ”Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”

    Matthew 28:8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

    Romans 12:6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;

    Romans 12:7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;


    For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage; And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Micah 6:4


    Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. Judges 4:4

    So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter.) And they spoke with her. 1 Kings 22:14

    and I could give many, many more. This is just a minute amount of scripture.

    • says

      Every apostle in scripture is named an apostle. Paul, Matthew, Peter, all of them. You point to ONE SCRIPTURE that gives Mary the title of apostle. One. It isn’t there. Therefore, she was not the apostle to the apostles. He gave her a message to deliver. End of story.

      No Christian denies that there were women who were used by God over the course of history. You want to attach special significance to these instances where scripture does not. Your objections have been answered by others far more studied than I. If you don’t take their word for it why would I waste the cyberspace. Particularly when the reason you don’t take their word for it is–you.don’

    • Robert says


      I appreciate your posts here. I must share with you that I have had this argument before with some of the same people you are arguing with now. I find it interesting that you bring scripture to light time and time again, yet no one answers with scripture, just a declaration of your ignorance. They claim to use the whole counsel of scripture but NEVER address the scriptures you quote. At some point you will get tired of arguing with a stump and get tired. They will feel better about themselves and more self righteous than before.

      My favorite passage is where Paul gives instruction to women how to teach in the church. Is Paul confused or are you missing something?


      • says

        I find it interesting that you bring scripture to light time and time again, yet no one answers with scripture, just a declaration of your ignorance. They claim to use the whole counsel of scripture but NEVER address the scriptures you quote.

        Whatever. Those scriptures have been addressed by people much more schooled in exegesis than you or I. Here is a link with plenty of references to poke swiss cheese type holes in any of these so-called “exceptions”.

        Does the phrase “read ’em and weep” mean anything?

      • says

        I find it interesting that you bring scripture to light time and time again, yet no one answers with scripture, just a declaration of your ignorance. They claim to use the whole counsel of scripture but NEVER address the scriptures you quote

        Whatever, Robby. Those passages have been dealt with by scholars far more familiar with them than I ever will be. If The Debbie won’t accept their exegesis then there’s really no need of repeating it here. The link below gives multiple examples of those scriptures The Debbie has supposedly “brought to light”. BTW, she doesn’t bring anything to light. She doesn’t prove anything. She asserts. The Debbie has spoken. Here’s the link.

        Ever heard of the phrase “Read ’em and weep”? Might wanna try that now.

      • says

        DR posted NUMBEROUS links above where these passages have been dealt with. Therefore, The Debbie’s assertions (she doesn’t prove anything, she asserts) have been answered by people who know the languages and culture better than you, I, The Debbie, or Don Quixote ever will. This idea that The Debbie has appealed to scripture and no one can answer her is a red herring.

        • says

          Of course, if ‘NUMBEROUS links’ proved anything we would have to concede that evolution is the correct view since there are truckloads more evolution articles and views on the internet than creationist.

          • says


            The accusation that Debbie made was that Complementarians “never deal” with the passages and personalities she brought up. In listing the links, I show conclusively that in each and every instance, Debbie is incorrect that Complementarians “never deal” with her arguments. All she has to do is what she should have done long ago: Actually read what Complementarians have written.

            So your statement regarding evolution is simply a red herring. Joe is right, these have been dealt with over and over again – as far back as 30 years ago.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            No DR that is not the accusation I made. The accusation I made was that you, Bess, and others did not deal with my argumentation. You personally. I make an argument and I guess you expect me to know what the complementarian argument is. I used to but evidently things have changed somewhat. I am addressing my remarks to you personally not to John MacArthur or others you have linked to, although your links do help me know where you are coming from. But I was getting frustrated because you, DR and others were not answering my arguments. You were instead dismissing them completely.

            But instead of discussing you throw links around, which is fine, but then you accuse me of lying. That is ridiculous.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Instead of dealing with what I said there are line upon line of comments with silly insults. That was my accusation in a nutshell.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            I also believe that we should read and prayerfully study the scriptures for ourselves and come to conclusions instead of relying on others for our beliefs. Teaching and preaching is good but we are also told to be discerning and Bereans, checking it for ourselves. That is also what I was trying to get you to do. Look and speak for yourself. Something I have not seen you do much of.

          • says


            Your comment was not addressed to just me or Bess or anyone else on this thread. This was your exact quote:

            That has been discussed and since I believe scripture interprets scripture you have to deal with the passages where women were leaders, were in ministry and like Strider that has not been done by complementarians.

            Notice you didn’t say “the complementarians on this board” – you said “complementarians”. I immediately said something about it, and you made plenty of comments in between then and now. So pleading ignorance doesn’t get you anywhere. You made a false claim about complementarians in general, which was clearly wrong.

            As for me not speaking for myself – another false accusation that you can’t substantiate. This apparently is your M.O.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            DR: This is the last time I am going to address this. I was speaking of the complementarians on this board. I didn’t think I had to make myself clear but I obviously did.

            But since you bring up complementarians out there anywhere, who obviously answer for you, they have not addressed the arguments to my satisfaction which is why I have not changed my view. The gender site alone does not allow comments so no challenging or discussing with them is possible. Others simply say no discussion this is what the Bible teaches period. I disagree. I have the same exact Bible, I too believe in it as the final authority, yet I come to a different conclusion based on scripture in the Bible. So I say let’s discuss it. Instead it turns into an insulting brawl or simply saying that is garbage. That too is ending discussion. I did not see the links you posted. I did not see them, and again I honestly did not see them. Once again you are telling me I sinned and owe you some on my knees apology. My apology wasn’t enough for you, you think you have to rub my face in it. Won’t let you do it DR. I said when I was wrong and I apologized. I didn’t even remove it after I apologized. :) Now that is the end of this discussion on my end.

          • says


            Your false accusations just continue to pile up. I never asked for an apology, only a retraction. I only called one of your arguments garbage. And I’ve made plenty of comments explaining my position beyond just linking to the CBMW site, both before in one of our previous conversations and elsewhere on this post. You can continue to deflect and say false things. But it doesn’t change the facts.

    • K Gray says

      Matthew verses: That Christ appeared to women is not applied elsewhere in Scripture; on the other hand, that Adam was created first, and Eve from him as a helpmate, and that Eve was deceived, are applied in NT Scripture to gender relations. There is no significance evident from Christ appearing to women first, unless you read that into it or infer from it. If that is good practice, then one would have to draw significant gender inferences from Christ’s interactions with all people in Scripture, including assigning John the Baptist to go before Him; calling the twelve (men); choosing Peter to go to the Gentiles and Paul to the Jews; allowing Thomas to feel His wounds, etc. Where does that lead? If all interactions were tallied, Christ’s interactions with men far outnumber those with women.

      If we say “The gender of those to whom the risen Christ first appeared is far more significant” (than other interactions, than other appearances, than other Scripture specifically on gender), that is outcome-determinative; that is, fixing the argument so it can only come out one way.

      I don’t see any weight to this argument of whom Christ appeared to.

      Romans, OT passages: We can all exercise our gifts. You can teach, you can prophesy, if that is your gift. Certain denominations don’t let folks, but it seems to have less to do with gender than with other beliefs (I don’t want to open that can of worms here!). That use of gifts may be circumscribed in Scripture — how, when, where, etc. — in some way (e.g., we are specifically told to avoid disorderly, uninterpreted speaking in tongues before outsiders) does not mean they don’t exist or are being “held down.”

      These arguments are dealt with at length elsewhere, as others have mentioned, and maybe someone could provide a link.

    • Frank L. says


      How conveniently you use the Scripture. I’ll only use one. “The elder (pastor, bishop) must be the husband of one wife.” Or, “I suffer not a woman to teach a man.”

      Complementarians do not discount, discredit or disbelieve in the giftedness of women. That is a smokescreen you and Dr. Enid use to disparage the SBC. It is a red herring. Because you can’t handle fish without smelling fishy, most ignore your red herrings.

      I am a complementarian that distinquishes between God-honoring roles established clearly in Scripture. The fact that one can “twist” Scripture to wring out an egalitarian meaning where none exists does not change what God has said.

      If you tell me how a woman can qualify as the “husband of one wife” (not counting the twisted morality of modern America) I’ll come over to your side and proudly embrace egalitarianism. Until then, you MUST if you honor Scripture, accept any limits clearly taught in Scripture.

      Having said that, Scripture does not make a blanket pronouncement against all ministry by women, including prophesying and preaching, as long as it is not in a circumstance that violates the clear teachings of the Word.

  52. Robert says

    There is not one Scripture in the Bible that forbids women from preaching, but on the contrary, there are many verses that encourage both men and women to preach the Gospel.
    The Bible declares that women will prophesy: 1 Cor. 11:5, “For every woman that prayeth or prophesieth….”

    Both the Hebrew (Nebrah), and Greek (Proph) used for prophetess means (female preacher). (See Young’s Concordance, Pg. 780.)

    The word “Prophet” means a public expounder.

    The word “Prophesy” means to speak forth, or flow forth. The Bible says in 1 Cor. 14:3, “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto MEN to edification, and exhortation and comfort.”

    The dictionary says, prophesy is “to speak under divine inspiration…to preach.”

    Therefore we learn from the original translation, from the Bible interpretation, and from the dictionary, that to prophesy means more than to tell the future, but it is to speak publicly about the past, present, or future. It is to preach under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

    The Old and New Testament prophets and prophetesses were preachers of God’s Word.

    Even if the words prophet and preacher could be separated, how could anyone prophesy to bring exhortation, comfort and edification to the church, if she were forbidden to speak in church and was to keep silent?

    Would God inspire and anoint someone to do something that was wrong and sinful???

    7. God called and used women preachers in the Old Testament.

    a. DEBORAH – Judges 4:4-5. Deborah was a Judge for both civil and criminal cases. The children of Israel came to her for judgment. She was the chief ruler of Israel for 40 years, giving orders to the Generals and all the army. She did the work of an evangelist, prophetess, Judge, and a preacher. God gave her authority over the mighty (Judges 5:13).

    b. MIRIAM – Exodus 15:20; Numbers 12:1; Micah 6:4. She was a Prophetess and a Song Leader in Israel.

    c. HULDAH – 2 Kings 22:14. Five men went to Sister Huldah and communed with her. She spoke to a congregation of men concerning the book of the Law. A female preached to a man’s congregation, and her message was taken to the nation and produced a revival.

    d. MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ’S MOTHER – Isaiah 8:3. She was a prophetess.

    8. God called and used women preachers in the New Testament.

    a. The first message of the Resurrection of Christ was spoken by women to a group of men.

    b. Anna – Luke 2:36-38. She must have prophesied in church, because she did not depart from the temple.

    c. Phillip had 4 daughters who prophesied. Acts 21:9.

    d. Priscilla assisted Paul in his revival meeting and even taught Apollos in the way of the Lord more perfectly.

    e. Phebe – Romans 16:1-2. Paul commended Phebe to the Church at Rome and requested that they assist her in her business. She was one of Paul’s assistants in the work of the Lord and delivered the Book of Romans to the people from the hand of Paul.

    10. 1 Cor. 14: 34-35 does not say anything about women preachers. If Paul intended this verse as a general rule to bar all women from speaking in church, then they cannot teach Sunday School, testify, pray, prophesy, sing, or even get saved, and this would contradict the rest of the Bible (Acts 2:4; Acts 2:16-18).

    Paul was rather dealing with a particular problem in the church. Women were not educated as were the men in that day; therefore the women would talk back and forth to their husbands in church and ask questions concerning the sermon. Paul said, “If they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home; for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” If they want to talk things over let them wait until they get home. This rule is still good for the church today, where people are talking and causing confusion in the church service. They should not speak in church. (Not in the back of the church either before or after services.)

    If a woman cannot speak in church, then she cannot speak in prayer meeting, young people’s service, etc., for who can deny that Sunday School and Prayer meeting, and Youth work are parts of church? Christ’s Church is not a building, but rather it is found where two or three are gathered together in His name, whether at a street meeting, in a tent, a home, church, classroom or anywhere else.

    11. 1 Timothy 2:12 is not a blanket rule for all women of all churches. If it were, then the women could not speak at all, for the same verse that tells them not to teach also tells them to be silent.

    If all women had to keep silent in church, then that would be promoting disobedience to God, for they could not prophesy, pray, testify, sing, exhort, do personal work, or even get saved.

    Whenever an interpretation to a verse contradicts the rest of the teaching of the Bible, we know this interpretation is incorrect, for the Holy Spirit will never contradict His own Word.

        • says

          Ok, then how is a woman going to preach if she’s not the pastor of the church? Quite obviously that is what God was forbidding when He inspired Paul to write “teach or have authority”.

          • Christiane says

            So Lottie Moon never ‘preached’, but what she did do was to go to China and tell them about Christ and then she showed them by her own example just how much He loved them.

            Not such a bad way for a Christian person to serve Him in this world. And not a ‘pulpit’ in sight.
            It is said that she only weighed 50 pounds before her death from the effects of starvation:

            “Unknown to her fellow missionaries, Moon shared her personal finances and food with anyone in need around her, severely affecting her health. In 1912, she only weighed 50 pounds. Alarmed, fellow missionaries arranged for her to be sent back home to the United States with a missionary companion. However, Moon died en route, at the age of 72, on December 24, 1912, in the harbor of Kobe, Japan.”

            ‘she shared . . . with anyone in need around her, severely affecting her health’

            No preaching. No ‘superior’ males in charge did what she did. Some of the most important ‘lessons’ about Christ are just lived, JOE, especially the ones lived quietly, in humility.
            A man can stand up before a podium and preach all day, but Lottie Moon did something more.

          • Christiane says

            So Lottie Moon never ‘preached’, but what she did do was to go to China and tell them about Christ and then she showed them by her own example just how much He loved them.

            Not such a bad way for a Christian person to serve Him in this world. And not a ‘pulpit’ in sight.
            It is said that she only weighed 50 pounds before her death from the effects of starvation:

            “Unknown to her fellow missionaries, Moon shared her personal finances and food with anyone in need around her, severely affecting her health. In 1912, she only weighed 50 pounds. Alarmed, fellow missionaries arranged for her to be sent back home to the United States with a missionary companion. However, Moon died en route, at the age of 72, on December 24, 1912, in the harbor of Kobe, Japan.”

            ‘she shared . . . with anyone in need around her, severely affecting her health’

            She did no ‘preaching’.
            But some of the most radiant ‘lessons’ about Christ are just lived, JOE, especially the ones lived quietly, in humility, as a servant.
            A preacher is permitted to stand before a podium and preach all day;
            but what God permitted Lottie Moon to do was ‘something more’.

          • says


            What are you blathering about? No one has said, suggested, implied, infered, intimated, alluded, or declared that women cannot or should not proclaim the gospel. What Lottie Moon did and serving as the pastor/teacher of a church are two different things.

          • Christiane says

            Good grief, your right!

            There is a huge difference. That little Lottie Moon, only four feet, three inches tall. Of course she couldn’t be compared to the likes of someone like the great Max Brunson.
            And she didn’t even know to eat enough to keep herself alive.

            Big difference, Joe.

    • K Gray says

      I have seen this entire “then she must be silent everywhere” posted at length by a blogging pastor, perhaps the one you all are referencing.

      It seems to consist of (1) vague and interchangeable uses of “prophet” “elder” and “preach,” (2) each stretched to extreme, (3) a series of if-then steps in rhetoric, and (3) application of a different definition of “church” than is in the passage on women being silent “in church.”

      Reduced, it is “If women can’t be the preacher, then they can’t speak about God, and that would be sin.” Reductio ad absurdum.

  53. says


    I’m having some trouble posting. At least 2 comments that I wrote have never showed up. Anything I should know? Am I doing something wrong or are links and tags getting rejected by the site?

  54. Dave Miller says

    OKay, everybody – I’m not sure why, but a whole bunch of comments got stuck in our SPAM folder. I have no idea why, and I have restored them (well, most of them).

    I’ll keep an eye on the SPAM folder to try to figure out why that is happening and to correct it.

    • Dave Miller says

      I can’t see any reason why comments are going into SPAM. I just want everyone to know that it is not because I am blocking you.

  55. Dave Miller says

    If you are out there, I would ask DR, Debbie, Christiane and Bess to simply try to post a test comment. Put “the New York Yankees are the Best” in the comment, or something equally important. I just want to see if you are getting through.

    If you post a nonsensical comment, I will delete it (or hold it up to ridicule).

  56. Benji Ramsaur says

    I am nervous when it comes to “both sides” of the gender war debate in relation to entering into the realm of the Trinity.

    Because both sides have something to lose, then I think it is important to go way back [much further than someone like C. Hodge]…all the way back to the church fathers and see what they said.

    And if folks cannot quote them without having to resort to “Now, when Augustine said this what he meant was…” kind of reasoning, then I don’t think that is a good sign.

    If the church fathers saw this issue as an important element in the doctrine of the Trinity, then would it not be true that they would have been clear about it…as clear as modern writers [pro & con] are?

    I would much rather be wrong concerning gender than the Trinity.

    • says


      I would agree that we need to be careful when we examine the Doctrine of the Trinity. But having said that, we also don’t have to guess much as to what the post-Trinitarian Church Fathers believed in regard to rank in the Trinity. They were pretty straight forward that while rank was inherent in the Trinity, this did not negate the existence of homoousios (same substance). The biggest problem Egalitarians have with this is that they, like the Arians, cannot get past the fact that substance, equality, and standing are in no way affected by rank. They just can’t seem to believe that the janitor isn’t worth the same to God and has the same standing in Christ as does the CEO. Unfortunately, their false understanding of rank and substance flies in the face of the teachings of Jesus, who said the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

      • Benji Ramsaur says

        D.R. Randle,

        I think that it is good that folks are actually spending some/much time contemplating the Trinity instead of basically ignoring it. However, I think it is possible for some folks to become so passionately immersed in the gender debate that they might end up erroneously using something far more sacred IMO [the Trinity] in order to win the debate.

        And I do wonder if an erroneous use of the Trinity can manifest itself in both sides trying to “infer” their position from the language of the church fathers when that might not have been what the church father had in mind in the first place [I don’t know]. I am not claiming to be an expert on the church fathers. However, I think it is true that folks can become so zealous over something that they become myopic and thus unknowingly end up doing harm to a much bigger doctrine.

        • Benji Ramsaur says

          D.R. Randle,

          Continuing my thought…

          I don’t mind listening to the early church theologians when it comes to what they said about the Trinity when they were up against the Arians. That was truly a mega debate that had so much to lose if the pro-Trinity side lost.

          However, there is a difference between listening to those folks and listening to modern day folks who are immersed in a different debate where both sides are trying to use this other [much more important] doctrine of the Trinity to win.

          Personally, for me that makes what both sides want to say about the Trinity more suspect…even though I do not deny that different doctrines are related to each other.

          • says


            I understand fully the potentially disastrous results that follow from a biased treatment of the Trinity. However, my point is that we have good evidence from the Church Fathers (particularly those at the time of the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople), who affirmed a system of rank within the Trinity, but who denied that there was any substantial difference in the Godhead. Additionally, we see this same thing affirmed over and over again throughout the centuries apart from any gender debate.

            The issue arose only when the traditional view of rank within the Trinity was used by Complementarians to show that rank/submission/authority was not a factor in equality of personhood. At that point Egalitarians set forth on a quest to tie this historically verifiable and completely Biblical teaching to Arianism and make the ridiculous claim that ESS was at the least semi-Arianism, when in fact it’s not even close.

            So the question is, “Do we abandon good Biblical and historical theology simply on the basis of the fact that some refuse to see ESS as either Biblical or historical because of their bias?”

            The answer of course is NO! So while I appreciate your call to caution on the Trinity, I think those who advocate ESS are well within Orthodoxy (and more so than those who deny such) and should continue to teach this Biblical and historical truth.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            I reject the doctrine of Eternal Submission and sincerely believe it is the one doctrine that complementarians have to use to prove their view is correct. I don’t like throwing the word heresy around, but this doctrine from what I read of Christ in the scripture, is patently false. Christ was submissive to the Father while here on earth, but that ended at his ascension in heaven where all three are equal.

          • says


            First, there is equality in the Trinity regardless of whether there is submission or not. Unless of course, you think that the Holy Spirit is not equal to the Father and Son, since He has always acted in submission to the Father and after the Resurrection acted in submission to the Son according to Jesus’ own words in John 16.

            As to future submission of the Son, we see this in a number of texts beginning with over 40 that speak of Jesus being at the right hand of the Father, a place of submission (James and John understood this they ask for this same honor in Mark 10). Additionally, Philippians 2:9-11 says that “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” God the Father gets the ultimate glory for the Lordship of Christ. This show the Father’s rank within the Trinity as Supreme.

            Then we have the most clear example of this eternal subordination of the Son to the Father in 1 Cor. 13:24-28:

            Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

            That’s pretty crystal clear there. The Son will be subjected to the Father after the Father Himself has put all things in subjection to the Son. If the eternal subordination of the Son is false, then Paul’s got some “splanin” to do.

            As for Complementarians using this doctrine, it was around long before this controversy – like at least 1700 years before – with Hilary of Poitiers around 300 A.D. and later with Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Augustine. In the modern era Charles Hodge spoke of the order and rank in the Trinity.

            Given all that evidence, it’s hard to conclude that ESS is anything less than Biblical, historical, and Ortodox.

          • Christiane says

            Hi D.R. Randle

            Your reference needs correcting to 1 Cor. 15:24-28

            I found an explanation that varies from your own idea about those verses, and I thought I would share it with you:

            “The One who subjected everything to Him: the Father is the ultimate agent in the drama, and the final end of the process, to whom the Son and everything else is ordered (24.28).

            That God (the Holy Trinity) may be all in all: His reign is a dynamic exercise of creative power, an outpouring of life and energy through the universe, with no further resistance.
            This is the supremely positive meaning of “subjection”:
            that God may fully be God.”

            You may also be interested in the concepts of the phrase
            ‘all in all’ found among the Orthodox.

  57. Frank L. says

    Reading through some of the egalitarian arguments I was intrigued by one argument that says, “since I use Scripture in my argument, my argument is correct.”

    I cannot imagine someone would use this thinking. If this logic were actually logical then Jehovah’s Witnesses would have to be welcomed into the fold.

    There is no argument in the world that is going to help a woman become the “husband of one wife.” The egalitarian argument must be jettisoned or severely modified to get around just this one verse.

  58. says

    Wow, I threw out some heartfelt reservations that I have about the consistency of our complementarian view and I come back to find over a hundred comments dedicated to the goal of talking past each other and not dealing with each other respectfully.
    Ok, Frank L since you are a consistent complementarian I assume that since the literal reading of ‘husband of one wife’ can not possibly be a general characteristic of faithfulness but must mean what it says literally then you agree that no single man is fit to lead the church either and that both Jesus and Paul were therefore not qualified to be pastors.

    • K Gray says

      Strider, your reservation is one I tend not to comment on much. The egalitarian arguments posited here — in essence, that if a woman cannot be the preacher than she cannot speak forth of God anywhere, because she must be silent in church and church is simply wherever believers may be together — seems reductio ad absurdum.

      To me the issue boils down to authority in the church. I don’t see Scriptural evidence for God, as part of his general plan, giving women ‘ultimate’ spiritual leadership positions in the churches. He could have, even in the Biblical patriarchal culture, as shown by Deborah (and by the whole sovereignty thing!). He called women for a number of purposes in the NT as listed here by Debbie and others, but not (that I see) for ongoing authoritative leadership in the NT church. Even Acts 18:26 refers to Prisca and Aquila saying “they” took Apollos aside explained the gospel more accurately; together as “fellow workers in Christ Jesus (Romans 16:3); together as hosting Paul (Acts 18:2) and a “church that is in their house.” (I Cor. 16:19)

      A Scriptural framework is to appoint men as elders, overseers, bishops (whichever interpretation one uses) in “every church,” generally described as “the husband of one wife”; and in this same framework women are instructed not to teach or exercise authority over a man (I Tim. 2 & 3); and otherwise how to conduct themselves. These passages end: “….I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the pillar and support of the truth.” (I Tim. 3:15)

      The appointed leaders are described as having authority in the church: “The elders who rule will are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.” (I Tim.5:17); those who “have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction” (I Thess. 5:12); “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account” (Heb. 13:17); “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God…. (Acts 20:28 – Paul to the Ephesus elders).

      This framework is written by the same person who described the spiritual gifts and their use in the church, the same person who worked with and recognized the Kingdom work of many women (again listed by Debbie).

      I don’t see where in NT Scripture concepts like rule, authority, leader, shepherd, oversee, etc. describe a woman or women. As a practical matter, however, many denominations and/or conventions freely call/appoint women as lead pastor or head position. The opportunity is there. Those who do not agree remain free to practice the framework set forth above. I am not sure if egals posit that this is sin or evil and must stop everywhere, but I do hear that implied.

      • Robert says

        K Gray,

        Thank you for your well thought out post on this issue. While I disagree I respect the fact that you can relay your thoughts with a practical look at scripture instead of the “you must be stupid or a liberal” that we see from people like Joe. It makes me wonder sometime how many peole here have the ability to do what you have done when their arguments consist of “cause I said so and I’m more righteous than you”.


    • Frank L. says

      No, acting like a two-year old does not make your argument true, just annoying.

      Let’s take that one verse: can a man fulfill that verse and be the “husband of one wife?” Absolutely. No equivocation. No twisting of Scripture into some unrecognizable shape.

      Laying aside the fact that your argument does not make muster in even a basic Greek course, it is sufficient to say neither Jesus nor Paul were in fact pastors of a local church. So your argument is not only one from ignorance, it is one from silence.

      Again, I do not hold to as narrow a view of complementarianism as some other might. But, there is a big difference between discussing whether a divorced man meets the Timothy qualification and whether a woman can meet that qualification. So, again, I reject your argument out of hand. I know you intended to be snide in your remarks, but that is the nature of blogging so I don’t take it personally.

  59. says

    And I love Joe,
    Comment #96 ‘And God did not call any woman to preach/teach in the church because in His word He said that was for men only.’

    Comment # 232 ‘What are you blathering about? No one has said, suggested, implied, infered, intimated, alluded, or declared that women cannot or should not proclaim the gospel.’

    They can proclaim the Gospel as long as they don’t preach it or teach it. I understand now.

      • says

        Since you didn’t call me a liberal I will honor your candor by telling you the truth. I am not comfortable with our understanding of the scriptures in the NT. I love what Dave has written about Genesis but when we get to the NT passages I struggle. Jesus ministered with lots of women and so did Paul but Jesus did not call a woman to be among the 12. Why not? The passages cited in Tim and Cor can not humanely be taken literally- ie. a woman can not be ‘silent’ in the church and women DO teach men all the time- I learn tons from my Mom and a host of great women teachers. So, we confine these passages to mean that a woman is not to pastor but that is not what they literally say. So, I remain humble, hoping someone will stop yelling long enough to write out a thoughtful, consistent hermeneutic.

        • Bill Mac says

          I have to agree with Strider. Although I believe the complementarian hermeneutic is more consistent than the egalitarian one, it is far from uniformly consistent. There is quite a bit of “explaining away” of troublesome verses.

          And as I’ve said elsewhere, I do wonder why gender roles rises so high on the list of important doctrines in the SBC as to be a disfellowshipping issue. In the minds of most SBCers (those who think about it at all), Calvinism is false doctrine. And if false, why not disfellowship a group of people who believe Christ did not atone for the whole world? Or that God has predestined only some to eternal life. Surely those issues are more important than a church with a female pastor?

          Please, please, if you respond to this question, don’t come back with “egalitarianism is a slippery slope to (insert favorite liberal doctrine here).”

          • Robert says

            Bill and Strider,

            The difficulties you talk about are what drives me crazy on this issue as well. On one hand Paul says some very straight forward things about woman, if the verses are taken literally. If these were the only passages on the topic I would have no problem supporting the complimentarian view. The problem I have is with Old Testament precedent of women chosen by God for clear leadership roles over men. And I don’t buy the New Testament is different. Scripture is very clear on the consistency of God. He never changes, so why would he change on this topic. Then we take Paul again. In a later passage he instructs women how to properly speak in church. Nowhere does he say “after the men leave”. It is a direction how to speak before the entire congregation. So either Paul is confused, he forgot that he said women couldn’t teach or have authority over men, or his previous passages meant something else. And how do you reconcile the concrete examples of female leadership in the early church?

            It seems that both sides must come to grips with some confusing passages in order to hold to either belief. I believe there are just way too many contradiction to the passages used to support the compimentarian view.

          • Bill Mac says

            I think part of the difficulty is understanding the possible cultural component that may be in play here. Only the most outrageous throwback to a bygone era would argue that slavery was acceptable. Yet in Paul’s day it was acceptable. Paul ASSUMED slavery would happen, therefore he gave moral guidelines on how slaves and masters should behave. I have no problem believing that God wanted slaves and masters to behave in a certain way, without implicitly giving His approval for the institution of slavery itself. It is possible (just possible, I’m not claiming this is the truth) that God gave certain guidelines within a patriarchal society on how men and women should behave, without necessarily giving eternal sanction to patriarchy. Paul did tell some people that eating meat to idols was OK, while the Jerusalem council forbade Gentile Christians from doing so. A contradiction? Not really. Not everything that came out of the mouth of the apostles were BINDING DECREES FOR ALL ETERNITY!!!. (said with a low, deep voice). Sometimes they were just practical.

            I can see both sides of this. It just isn’t as important to me as it seems to be to a lot of people. I lean towards complementarianism, therefore I think that egalitarianism is (at least in part) in error. But to me it is an error like dispensationalism or YEC is an error. Nothing to get in a froth about.

          • says


            Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Let’s slow the roll here.

            First you said, “The problem I have is with Old Testament precedent of women chosen by God for clear leadership roles over men.”

            Break out some Scripture and show where there is a precedent set in Scripture of women chosen by God for leadership roles over men. The only leadership role one could argue that was held by a woman in the OT was that of Deborah. However, as Grudem points out in this Chapter from Evangelicalism Feminism and Theological Truth, Egalitarians assume too much about Deborah and fail to look at what the text actually says.

            As for the rest of your examples from above, it seems that you based your interpretation on the belief that the role of a prophet was always leadership position, when in fact, it was not. This is particularly true in the case of the female prophets, where none wrote books and none are seen as continually authoritative. In every case above (with the exception of Miriam), the prophetesses had no public speaking ministry that we know of and did not speak at any time in a public assembly. Each was privately consulted and some were used only once. That’s hardly reason to believe that they had leadership authority over men. Additionally, in some instances, it is possible that no male prophet was available and so the female prophet was consulted (such seems to be the case with Deborah, as Grudem points out). However, when a male was present, God often used them instead.

            Such seems to be the case in Acts 21, where Paul encounters the 4 daughters of Philip who were said to be prophetesses. But notice that while Paul remained there for several days, the text never says that these daughters prophesied to him. However, in the next verses, God sends a male prophet named Agabus from Judea (not a short stroll mind you to Caesarea) and uses him to speak a prophecy to Paul. So when God could have chosen any of 4 females to proclaim his prophecy through, He instead brings a male prophet 75 miles to speak to Paul. Now what about that as precedent?

            Secondly, you bring up this incident of Paul giving instructions about women in the Church. Let’s talk about where this passage is and what the verses actually say before jumping to conclusions about what it teaches. So where is this passage of which you speak?

            Third, even you admit that there are “some very straight forward things about woman, if the verses are taken literally.” My question is, “Why don’t those take precedent, since they are in a genre of epistle where we find propositional statements that are most often to be taken literally, as opposed to narrative passages, where we must assume that not every act is prescriptive in regards to how we should act (ex. Gideon putting out the fleece, which showed his lack of faith; speaking in tongues at the reception of the Holy Spirit, which we today do not believe is necessary; and the casting of lots, which the Disciples used to choose Mathias, and which we would believe to be a bad practice today)?”

            In reality, going from clearer passages of propositional truth to more ambiguous passages of like narrative, apocalyptic literature, prophecy, and poetry, is a pretty universal hermeneutical principle. I’m wondering why you would reject this principle here as opposed to say in dealing with regeneration and baptism?

          • K Gray says

            Bill Mac,

            If you will bear with me, I’m not sure that what follows is or is not slippery slopism. It was a light bulb moment to me.

            I read the judicial opinion in the Prop. 8 case holding that heterosexual-only marriage is unconstitutional. To arrive at this, the judge had to first abolish the entire “antiquated” notion that genders play any “role” or bring anything differing to marriage or parenting. After reciting all the ways in which society has made things gender-equal, he essentially held (HELD!) that genders matter for nothing; that the the notion that any gender should be precluded from, or is generally less suited or more suited for, marriage or parenting with one another can ONLY be attributed to “religious bigotry.”

            That is, gender-equal = gender-same. No difference. The whole notion of gender in marriage is “religious bigotry.” THEREFORE, the State of California (through a majority of its voters) could have “no rational basis” for restricting marriage to heterosexual couples.

            Thus, the gauntlet thrown is not just to Paul writing in Timothy, it is to Genesis Chapters 1-3 inclusive.

            In practical effect: (1) Egalitarian argument has been adopted and extended by the State; (2) comp-based argument is declared “religious bigotry” by the State; (3) major institutions (military, marriage, schools) practice and teach egalitarianism and mock any comp-concept and (4) our churched children (and adults) are unable to articulate any response or defend their faith that God created men and women, particularly their praxis is fully egalitarian (except in the nursery!).

            It is hard to get to “women are just as called to the lead pastorate” without ceding much Scriptural territory to other agendas. There may be a good cutoff; I’d like to hear it. To me the problem starts with some egals’ method of argumentation piling if-then logic on top of inferences, then wanting to call halt to those who extend or borrow the method.

          • Robert says

            I find it interesting that if you read after the verse that DR listed about Deborah, you see this, “Now she sent and summoned Barak..” He came. Shows leadership an authority to me. And as for the part where she sits under a tree and gives judgment, a more precise interpretation of the word would be “live” not “sit”. As a leader, people came to her place of residence and asked for her to judge.

            God punished Barak for not listening to His word spoken through Deborah. How can you say she was not commissioned by God?

        • says

          Strider, I don’t think that it is fair to say the NT passages cannot be taken literally. I think that is exactly what we have to do. Interpret them properly, in context, and then deal with exactly what they say.

          To do anything other is to put my mind as Lord over the scriptures.

          • Robert says


            I don’t read anything into Deborah role. She was chisen by God as the spiritual leader of the entire nation of Israel. It is impossible to say that she had no authority over men. Some will say that this bears no equivelence to the NT church. I agree in some sense but fall back on my belief that God never changes.

            It can be dangerous when verses are taken literally, especially when the context in which they were written is ignored. Paul’s direction was never meant to be a blanket statement for the church throughout the ages. It adressed the lack of education of women during the time and a desire to create a atmosphere of worship in the early church by telling them to ask their husbands, who would have been educated, when they got home.

            As for the Paul passage instructing women how to speak in church. It’s in 1Cor 11:5-7

          • says


            From where do you ascertain that Deborah was “the spiritual leader of the entire nation of Israel”? The text doesn’t say that. It says instead:

            Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. Judges 4:4-5

            You are reading into that statement that every judge in Israel at that time meant that they were the spiritual leader. That’s quite a leap. She simply provided judgments as people came to her. She did not act on her own initiative to lead as you will see below.

            An important point that you seem to miss is that Deborah was unlike all other judges functioning in an official role in Israel because she was the only one that did not take a military role. That was Barak’s job, which he tried to abdicate (see below), and in the end, the Bible never speaks of Deborah leading or participating in battle. Additionally (and more telling), unlike every other judge mentioned in the Bible, Deborah was not said to have been personally commissioned by God. Every other judge had a direct calling from God whereby God spoke to them and called them to act. In Deborah’s role as prophetess, God spoke through her to tell Barak to act.

            As for having authority over men, again you’re not looking at the text. You are making leaps based on a drive-by style reading. Notice what the text actually claims: she encouraged Barak to do what God has spoken through her in her prophetic role. When Barak insisted she come along, she rebuked him by saying, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.”

            Deborah was pointing out the disgrace Barak would experience because of his lack of leadership and notice that the disgrace involved the fact that the Lord would give this enemy general into the hands of a woman, instead of the man God had originally chosen to do the task. Because of Barak’s unfaithfulness, God would punish him by taking his glory and giving to a woman.

            Furthermore, Deborah doesn’t describe herself in Judges 5 as a leader, but rather as a “mother of Israel” and then she speaks of the “commanders of Israel” as though she were separate from them. All in all, Deborah is not exactly what you’ve made her out to be and she is certainly consistently portrayed as different from the rest of the judges.

            As for taking verses literally, this is a misnomer. The idea of literal v. figurative is far too simplistic. Jesus is obviously not a door. But He literally is the only way to the Father. In the case of 1 Timothy 2, it’s pretty straight forward and hard to take this other than at face value. Paul is telling Timothy what is his practice in regard to who teaches. And he grounds this practice not in a lack of education, as you suggest (not sure where you got that from – seems like an assumption), but rather in the order (priority) of creation and in her role in the Fall (both theological arguments).

            Finally, as for 1 Cor. 11, I’m not sure what the issue is there. Paul gives instructions on how the women are to prophesy, not teach or lead, in the assembly. As I’ve pointed out before, prophecy is not authoritative and is not on the level of either the exercise of authority (as in a pastor or elder), nor teaching (as is the pastor or teacher). So it is perfectly legitimate for a woman to prophesy as long as she is under the authority of her husband (or the elders), which is signified by her wearing the head-covering (a clear indication that she does not have authority in the Assembly).

            Now, if you are assuming that 3 chapters over when Paul tells the Church that women are to be silent, that he would be contradicting himself, then it’s because you’ve misinterpreted 1 Cor 14:34-35. In that passage the immediate context is the passing of judgment on the prophecy that has been spoken. Women can prophesy just as the men do. However, they cannot pass judgment as to whether the prophecy should be accepted or not. During this process, the women are to remain silent. They are to be in submission to the elders and other men who decide whether or not to accept the prophecy as authoritative. For a fuller development of this interpretation, see Wayne Grudem’s explanation from the aforementioned book.

            I hope that you will see Robert that you’ve flip-flopped what is normative and prescriptive with what is not normative and simply descriptive.

          • Christiane says

            Could someone please give a good definition of how you are using the terms:

            Definition and examples would be good, if you can.

          • Robert says


            As for your assumptions on Deborah not being a real “Judge” I am at a loss. I do not think I can respond. It seems like we are not only coming to different conclusions, but one of us may be using a different Bible.

            I posted this above refering to 1 Cor 11:5

            The Bible declares that women will prophesy: 1 Cor. 11:5, “For every woman that prayeth or prophesieth….”

            Both the Hebrew (Nebrah), and Greek (Proph) used for prophetess means (female preacher). (See Young’s Concordance, Pg. 780.)

            The word “Prophet” means a public expounder.

            The word “Prophesy” means to speak forth, or flow forth. The Bible says in 1 Cor. 14:3, “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto MEN to edification, and exhortation and comfort.”

            The dictionary says, prophesy is “to speak under divine inspiration…to preach.”

            Therefore we learn from the original translation, from the Bible interpretation, and from the dictionary, that to prophesy means more than to tell the future, but it is to speak publicly about the past, present, or future. It is to preach under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

            The Old and New Testament prophets and prophetesses were preachers of God’s Word.

            Even if the words prophet and preacher could be separated, how could anyone prophesy to bring exhortation, comfort and edification to the church, if she were forbidden to speak in church and was to keep silent?

            Would God inspire and anoint someone to do something that was wrong and sinful???

          • Robert says

            I find it interesting that if you read after the verse that DR listed about Deborah, you see this, “Now she sent and summoned Barak..” He came. Shows leadership an authority to me. And as for the part where she sits under a tree and gives judgment, a more precise interpretation of the word would be “live” not “sit”. As a leader, people came to her place of residence and asked for her to judge.

            God punished Barak for not listening to His word spoken through Deborah. How can you say she was not commissioned by God?

          • Dave Miller says

            A normative passage is one that is the “norm” – it states things as they should generally be.
            A descriptive passage would be one that describes a certain event, but is not meant to be normative. (I was teaching last night about Saul’s visit to the witch at En-dor. The passage describes the events, but is certainly not meant to be normative for God’s people).
            A prescriptive passage is a command to do something a certain way – it “prescribes” a course of action.

            These are pretty standard hermeneutical terms.

          • says


            First, I did not say that Deborah was not a “real judge”. I think you are reading me quite carelessly. I essentially showed from the text (no less) that she does not act in the same way as other judges (militarily) and she does not have the same experience of call (direct and personal from God). Additionally, she does not take an authoritative leadership role in Israel like that of Barak and the judges who come before and after her. But you are right in that we are not reading the same Bible, for it seems you have failed to see how different Deborah’s judgeship was from the others who were called judge. And you’ve failed to consider whether that has any bearing on how we ought to view her.

            As for a female prophet being a female preacher that is completely inaccurate. And as for Young’s being the authority on this, you might want to remember that there are other, much more well-respected concordances and lexicons that do not make such a claim (Lowa-Nida, Liddell-Scott, BGAD, Strong’s, etc.). So you’d have to show more than just one concordance (which is not a Greek or Hebrew lexicon by the way) in order to establish this as fact.

            However, going beyond that, you’ve seemed to ignore the fact that no female prophet had a ministry of public proclamation. If a prophet is what you say they are, then why don’t all prophets go out proclaiming God’s Word?

            You see the prophet did not expound on God’s Word – he or she received a direct Word from God at the moment and then reported it. Now there were prophets who were given a Word for the entirety of Israel, which they went and proclaimed publicly (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc), but NONE of these who did so were women. In each case of a woman prophet, they spoke their prophecy privately to only a few individuals – not publicly to the entire assembly. Again, you seem to fail to notice this huge difference.

            Also, the exposition of God’s Word was never considered to be prophecy, but rather it was teaching. It’s what Jesus did when He went gave His Sermon on the Mount and when He read in the synagogues (which women were not allowed to do). Prophecy is referred to as a separate gift and role in the NT from that of teaching and pastoring (1 Cor 12), which is what women are forbidden from in 1 Tim 2.

            As for 1 Cor 14:3, the word the KJV translates “men” is actually “anthropos”, which usually means mankind or humankind in the plural. The ESV rightly translates this “people”.

            As for the dictionary, it’s definition is not based on the New and Old Testament roles of a prophet, but on how the term is used today, which is not at all relevant to our discussion here.

            Now, when you say that prophecy means more than telling the future, I agree. It’s proclaiming a revelation from God. But in order to be accepted by the assembly, it must be judged by the men (elders) of the assembly. According to 1 Cor. 11 and 1 Cor. 14, prophecy can be done by both males and females, but females can only do so in submission to authority (with their head-covered – which you have yet to comment on) and they cannot judge whether theirs or anyone else’s prophetic utterance is authoritative. So again we see that prophecy is never authoritative teaching done publicly and it is not an exposition of Scripture, which is the role of the pastor-teacher.

            Finally, you keep repeating that women cannot prophesy if they are to be silent. Did you not read my entire post? Did you not read the exposition from Grudem? That interpretation of 1 Cor. 14, which claims that women are only to be silent when prophecy is judged is 100% consistent with all that I have said and does not require women to be silent the entire time that they are in Church, but only when the prophecy is being judged. So then, they can prophesy, but they cannot judge their’s or another’s prophecy.

            Please Robert, if you are going to discuss this with me then at least read carefully what I have to say and what the links I offer speak about. Otherwise, there’s no use discussing at all.

          • Robert says


            You are 100% right. My ability to read and interpret scripture pales in comparison to your righteous interpretation. I will tear my seminary degree into pieces and burn it in the trash can.

            All kidding aside, I understand all your arguments. I’ve heard them before. They are good arguments and I really have no problem with you believing the way you do based on your breakdown of the verses you mentioned. The part that drives me absolutely bonkers is the self-righteous way with which you present your argument. Implying the whole time that the reason I am wrong is because I disagree with you. The truth is there can be another conclusion made after an in depth study of scripture. And it’s not wrong just because it is different than yours.

          • says

            Don’t miss my point. We have to take scripture seriously as the Word of God. But when I say literally I mean word for word at face value. ‘Silent’ interpreted literally would mean silent, no talking, singing, nothing. It would be a really odd thing for me to ask my kids to be ‘silent’ at the dinner table and then for them all to start singing. ‘Gee dad, we weren’t preaching from a pulpit so we weren’t disobeying you!’ So, if we allow women to sing we are disregarding the ‘literal’ reading of this passage. Why? And if we have ‘interpreted’ this passage in a certain way so that women can sing (and even pray and make announcements) then what makes our ‘interpretation’ better than the egalitarians? I am just looking for a little humility here.

          • says


            Have you considered that your “literal” interpretation of 1 Cor 14 is wrong? That there is another way to “literally” interpret 1 Cor 14 that is in keeping with the context?

            I believe I posted this link earlier (“Nobody Obeys 1 Corinthians 14:34″), but I think you should look at this interpretation which many, many Complementarians and even a good number of Egalitarians accept as the most logical and as a way to understand this passage “literally”, but also within the context of 1 Cor 14.

            If this is true, then women aren’t required to be silent continuously in Church (3 Chapters earlier Paul gave instructions on how women were to prophesy – with a head-covering in order to show their submission), but rather they are only to be silent when the prophecy is being authoritatively judged as either from God or not from God. That sort of authoritative judgment, along with the teaching and exercise of authority over men is what is prohibited. This frees women up to do all sorts of things in the Church. And most Complementarians believe that this only applies to the Church and home, allowing women to work outside of the home (though I would add a caveat that many – including myself – believe that 1 Timothy 2:15 and 1 Tim 5:14 speak of the sanctifying and preserving quality of managing the household as the number one priority for wives – but this is another topic for discussion).

            So check out that interpretation and let us know what you think.

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        Strider is a SBC missionary and has been for several years. He is ministering in an area that makes it necessary for him not to give his real name.

  60. says

    I have not looked at this blog in a while, but I find that Robert (Comment #230) gave a good summary of the verses concerning females in ministry. To what he said I would add that the rule of silence for women in I Cors.14:34 apparently has reference to something disorderly at the time as a man is commanded to be silent, too, in I Cors.14:28. I know I will likely hear about the theological rule for the silence of women which isapparently even more pronounced in I TIm.2, but the rule of exception still stands. After all, God’s word does not mean what we think it means or what our little methods determine that it means. Instead it means or serves the purpose for which he declared it, and if there seems to be a contradiction in what God says? Well, He will explain it all in His good time, if He thinks it suitable to His purposes. He never explained all to Job, and he never explained to me the trials of a child of a broken home and a hard life. Like Job this atheist found he could not even think of the questions, when God Himself showed up. It is quite an overwhelming event. And this issue over women in ministry is not a do or die issue; it is an issue of love and respect for God’s Sovereign Right to do as He pleases in Heaven and earth – even when that seems contrary to what He has done or said in other places. After all, we allow for such things in the affairs of humans in this world. Let God answer what seems a contradiction to us, if He deigns to do so. But I have found, both from researches in Scripture and in church history and in personal experience that He seldom makes known His reasons for His actions, decrees, and so on. Humility in such cases, recognizing that He might have puposes and designs that far exceed our comprehension, is appropriate.

    • Frank L. says

      Again, I’ll ask: if God intended for a complete eqalitarian foundation for the church, then why did he specifically–and I stress specifically–declare that pastors must be men (1Tim. 3:2)? There is no ambiquity here at all. Here is where we must start-not try to use some “exception rule.”

      I take note that Paul not only used this phrase once–in regard to the office of the overseer (pastor, elder), but again in regard to the office of the deacon in verse 12.

      Also in verse 11, Paul specifically addresses the “wives” of deacons, further emphasizing he had in mind an exclusively male role.

      No exception rule here. No problem with the context, as with the troubled Corinthian church (if you read the context in Corinthians that way). Clear, specific, unequivocal.

      Now, this only outlines gender qualifications for a pastor (overseer, elder) and a deacon. This still leaves open the option for becoming a judge in Israel (as with the Deborah argument above). But, in using the Deborah argument, keep in mind that she was God’s “second” choice because a man did not fulfill his God-ordained role. Now, if we are talking an “exception rule,” it seems that Deborah falls under that category.

      Let’s start with what we know (1Tim 3) and move on from there instead of starting with an eqalitarian wish and twisting verses into that shape. Philosophy argues from the unknown to the known. Theology must argue from the known to the unknown (and tread carefully in speculating where God has not chosen to be specific).

      • says

        I’ll ask: if God intended for a complete eqalitarian foundation for the church, then why did he specifically–and I stress specifically–declare that pastors must be men (1Tim. 3:2)?

        Thanks for completely ignoring my questions. I will continue to assume that in your church there are no single elders or deacons and that you would not allow Jesus or Paul to serve in your church.

  61. Bess says

    “……. where we must assume that not every act is prescriptive in regards to how we should act…”

    This is a HUGE, MAJOR, IMPORTANT point that gets lost. So many times in these “arguments” you have people who elevate the DESCRIPTIVE to the level of PRESCRIPTIVE. Someone needs to make a blog post on how damaging this is to a proper understanding of scripture interpretation.

    • K Gray says

      Bess — I ask this in ignorance — are descriptive and prescriptive the only two choices; also, where did that originate?

      Overall, the plans for churches in the NT seem somewhat simple (not easy!). If someone w/o a Bible had a small group who had heard and believed the good news, and wanted to start a church, and we handed them the NT, I wonder what they would do first (after praying). I think they would appoint a man or men as elder(s) to lead the church. If it was all women or mostly women, if no man would serve, if all the men were disqualified (e.g., serial adulterer, struggling alcoholic, known thief), then they might select a woman, or maybe continue to pray for a leader — new believers tend to be zealous for the Word.

      A thought exercise: what would you advise them?

      • Bill Mac says

        K: I think a consistent complementarian would have to say that it was forbidden for a woman to lead that assembly unless the men left. It would not matter if none of the men were spiritually mature or even saved. A woman cannot teach or preach to a man. Not under the circumstances that you describe, which is essentially an infant church. It is an interesting question. I would further say that the scenario you describe could not in fact constitute a church if no qualified man were present, even if all the men left. If scriptures forbid a woman from leading a church, then it would not matter if all the assembly were women.

        • Bill Mac says

          Which is why, although I lean complementarian, I’m not fooled into thinking complementarianism is an open and shut case.

          • K Gray says

            Within God’s grace, a complementerian might say keep praying, encourage the men to lead and everyone to be patient, seek to be discipled by another group, and if it turns out after diligently asking God for a leader you select a women, so be it. Let God sort out the consequences, for better or worse.

            I am wary of the demand of perfect consistency, which seems to be a requirement of logic (a thought system) and creates strict rules or legalism.

        • K Gray says

          “a woman cannot teach or preach to a man”

          I’m not sure this describes complementerians’ view. I leave that to our host; my own understanding is in general women are not to exercise authority over men in the church. Doesn’t change the hypothetical.

      • Bess says

        K Gray, the terms descriptive passages vs. prescriptive passages are part of the science of hermeneutics. Others can perhaps explain it better than me but basically it means that where you have prescriptive passages – verses which are telling us very specifically how we are to behave as Christians – those verses take precedence or are to used to interpret when reading the descriptive passages – for instance the books of history or poetry. You can’t just start with any verse anywhere and then use it to build a doctrine. A ridiculous example woul be “Judas hanged himself” descriptive – the verse in James “go and do likewise” Most people I think “get” this without actually knowing the words prescriptive/descriptive. But you find a lot of times today especialy where people want to make the salvation simply an “all roads” are valid argument that they are taking descriptive passages and ignoring the prescriptive passages. You can’t really have a discussion with someone who believes you can start with any verse you want and build a docrtine.

        I think it would be really helpful if DR Randle or someone would put a post together just explaining basic hermeneutic principles.

      • says

        That isn’t what happens. Generally, when a young group is formed all the members work together and no one is ‘chosen’ to lead. Over time, sometimes just a few months, one or two of the members begin to demonstrate the pastoral gifting. These then begin to be respected and become leaders in the group. In our Muslim context women are often influential but rarely lead. In our most healthy churches we have strong women who study the Bible and share in the groups but their husbands are in the lead. I did not dictate this, this is just what the Holy Spirit guided them to do.

  62. Christiane says

    (St. Paul)

    1 Corinthians 7: 1-7
    Directions concerning Marriage

    Now concerning the matters about which you wrote:
    ‘It is well for a man not to touch a woman.’
    2 But because of cases of sexual immorality,
    each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
    3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights,
    and likewise the wife to her husband.
    4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does;
    likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
    5 Do not deprive one another except
    perhaps by agreement for a set time,
    to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again,
    so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
    6 This I say by way of concession, not of command.
    7 I wish that all were as I myself am.
    But each has a particular gift from God,
    one having one kind and another a different kind. ”

    My own thoughts about the implications of St. Paul’s teachings include this observation:
    If you continue to read the teaching into verse seven, you find these words:
    “. . But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind. ”
    Notice how closely these words mirror the biblical descriptions of the Body of Christ, where the members each bring their own gifts to share with one another and to build up their union, with Christ at the head.

    The language in verse seven is NOT a coincidence. It is very telling.

    The connections are shown between:

    A. the marriage union model (as the two becoming ‘one flesh’ under the Authority of Christ as the Lord of Life);
    B. the descriptions of the Body of Christ (we are ‘in Him’ made one).

    The Authority in each model resides in Lord Christ.
    The Authority in a Christian marriage resides in Lord Christ.

    • K Gray says

      Isn’t the topic of this passage sex, rather than the entire scope of marriage?
      “Touch a woman”
      “sexual immorality”
      “have” his/her spouse
      “conjugal rights”
      “authority over [his/her] own body”
      “do not deprive one another’
      “come back together”
      “lack of self-control”

      • Christiane says

        My own thoughts about the implications of St. Paul’s teachings include this observation:
        If you continue to read the teaching into verse seven, you find these words:
        “. . But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind. ”
        Notice how closely these words mirror the biblical descriptions of the Body of Christ, where the members each bring their own gifts to share with one another and to build up their union, with Christ at the head.

        The language in verse seven is NOT a coincidence. It is very telling.

        The connections are shown between:

        A. the marriage union model (as the two becoming ‘one flesh’ under the Authority of Christ as the Lord of Life);
        B. the descriptions of the Body of Christ (we are ‘in Him’ made one).

        The Authority in each model resides in Lord Christ.
        The Authority in a Christian marriage resides in Lord Christ.

        • Dave Miller says

          Ultimate authority resides in Christ. He bestows that authority in human institutions to human beings, who are responsible to use that authority wisely, unselfishly, and for God’s glory and the good of those they lead.

          In Romans 13, God grants authority to governments.
          God grants certain authority to elders/pastors in churches.
          He grants authority to parents.

          The proper interpretation of one verse never negates the clear teaching of another.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Dave: Scripture interprets scripture and if the two seem to clash it’s not the passage but the interpretation that is wrong and needs to be evaluated. Paul was dealing with certain situations that needed to be addressed. If it were for all women to be silent, submissive, etc. there would not be so many other passages that show women prophesying, speaking, not following men but giving them messages from God. At times going against what their husband’s said as in the case of Mary, who did not consult Joseph first, Samson’s mother, who defied her husband, who got a message from an angel that was in fact opposite of her husband and I could go on and on.

          • Dave Miller says

            Hermeneutical principle:

            Use the didactic passages to interpret episodal or descriptive passages.

            Every passage that talks about the roles of men and women seems to advocate for a complementarian interp. The only biblical support for egalitarianism seems to flow from passages which recount the history of Deborah or some NT women.

            It would be strange to deny the obvious meaning of the didactic passages based on a certain interpretation of descriptive passages.

          • Dave Miller says

            Descriptive or narrative passages are always open to more interpretation than didactic passages, and therefore ought not be given hermeneutical preference.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            I would disagree Dave. The commands given in scripture are to men and women are they not?

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            You have just given the one reason seminary is useless Dave. And yep, I said it. Too much leaning and personal interpretation is given in interpreting scripture. I would disagree with all of the above that you wrote. Scripture interprets scripture seems like a bumper sticker but it’s not. That is the key to proper interpretation of scripture.

          • Dave Miller says

            Debbie, sound hermeneutics are not useless, just because you either don’t understand them or don’t like their application.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Dave: I am very aware of proper hermeneutics. To get the proper context of a passage it must be interpreted through other passages of scripture. The original language and the history of that time period taken into context. The Bible was written to first century Christians not 21st century and that too is a part of interpreting scripture. To simply say that we must pay attention to the directives only is to in fact leave out most of the Bible. Both perscriptive and descriptive must be taken together for a proper interpretation . It’s not always enough to say one cancels out the other. Every single word in the Bible is there for a reason. No, we do not sacrifice animals or hang ourselves as Judas did. That would be ridiculous. But for the roles of women for example both are important. That’s why it’s in scripture. Checkmate.

        • Frank L. says

          “”You have just given the one reason seminary is useless Dave.””

          With a brush this broad, you give new meaning to the phrase, “painting the town.”

          If a fool gets an education, they become an educated fool. The fault is not with the education, but with the fool’s heart. Unilike yourself, I am not so intelligent that I could have been as prepared for ministry and as effective and successful as you are without the godly education I’ve received from a Christian college and two SBC seminaries.

          Please keep in mind not everyone has the natural brilliance and intellectual superiority you were born with. Some ministers have to train and discipline their minds and hearts as Paul admonished Timothy. Seminary was a great tool God has used, and continues to use to help me in my ministry to others — as feeble as that ministry is.

          PS–Normally, the only people I’ve heard say that seminary was a waste of time fall into two groups: 1. People who never passed the seminary course of study; and 2. Seminary graduates who lacked sufficient character to use their education in effective Christian ministry. Which category would you place yourself in?

          • Bess says

            I think that it’s ironic that the woman who is constantly pulling the “I’m better than you because I’ve memorized Calvin’s institures and all of Spurgeon and everything by the early church fathers so fall down and worship at my superior intellect.” a woman who is constantly beating people over the head with all her alledged superiority in her knowledge of biblical doctrines – just throws out basic commonly accepted standards of hermeneutics because it just doesn’t support her argument. WHAT. A. JOKE.

  63. Christiane says

    The great question about ‘submission’ in marriage must always be ‘to what extent’. I once confronted a speaker at a Church hall on this issue.
    She was the author of a book called ‘Bloom Where You Are Planted’ and she advocated that all wives should submit to their husbands on ever matter, without reservation.
    After her speech, I asked her this: ‘What does the wife do, if her husband asks her to do something that is in violation of her conscience?’
    What followed was a lot of women in the audience yelling out, standing on top of chairs trying to get attention, chairs falling over, ladies beside each other arguing with one another loudly, and the poor speaker had to be assisted by the minister of the Church (who thankfully was present) to restore order in the hall.

    Later I learned that I had asked the very question that the ladies of the Church had been debating and discussing for weeks prior to the speaker’s coming. As I was only guest of a member of that Church, I didn’t realize that when I asked that question, I ignited a powder keg, which I regretted.

    I guess it’s better to talk about issues than to scream about them with one another. Especially when people’s emotions are so involved.
    But there are times when the lid blows off, and it all comes out destructively. Best to talk it out. Best to have a chance to ask, and be answered, and respond, and be asked . . . dialogue.
    No screaming . . . no chairs falling over . . . no destructive anger . . .

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      Exactly. This has been the problem in Baptist churches, SB churches for as long as I can remember. It’s moronic. It’s sinful, it’s destructive. But then that is how business has been conducted unfortunately, as I said I kiss the walls of my church after some of these discussions and several showers.

      • K Gray says

        Christiane, I have never experienced anything similar at church, whether in a conservative or ‘moderate’ church Baptist church (we’ve moved around the country and attended both).

        • Christiane says

          Hi K Gray,
          The setting was a Presbyterian Church hall, not a sanctuary. It was not a ‘service’ but a speech given by an author. After her speech, the floor was opened up for questions. The time was around thirty-six years ago, and the climate was a bit unsettled as the concept of a woman’s role in marriage was beginning to be examined by many denominations.
          I certainly did ask what was on the ladies’ minds. And the result? Let’s put it this way: I was mortified at what happened as a result of what I asked.
          It wasn’t until later that my friend explained that the ladies of her Church had been arguing/debating with each other prior concerning that exact question. It is not a happy memory.

    • Frank L. says


      Could I ask: do you think it is better to sit quietly by and allow error to proceed for the sake of peace and quiet?

      Many people in pre-Hitler Germany–especially in the church–did just that when Hitler began to spread false doctrine in and through the church. That did not turn out so well.

      For many people, some of what you espouse as truth they see as error leading to grave, eternal consequences. So, I can understand why some people get a little animated as they type.

      The experience you sight at your conference I have NEVER seen or heard of in any church I’ve pastored over the last three decades. It is an aberration, thankfully not the norm.

      By the way, I ask this without wishing to attack you personally. You have a right to believe (or not believe) whatever you choose. However, you do believe outside of the mainstream (even moderate stream) of Baptist life, and this is a Baptist blog, so I think that is why your “innocent questions” aren’t always seen as all that innocent.

      • Christiane says

        Hi FRANK L.,

        I think a ‘question’ is a good way to invite a response. It gives the reader something to think about and organize their own thoughts around, and an opportunity to express those thoughts.

        I am fascinated in how some questions I have asked have so many diverse responses from Southern Baptists, which I see as something healthy;
        but there are times when it is difficult for me to ‘sort out’ what is ‘central’ in Southern Baptist thought. (does this make sense?)
        My inability to understand is something that I take responsibility for, as terms don’t always mean the same among people of different denominations and traditions. I think it important for me to try to understand in spite of the difficulties.

        Given some latitude for the variety of personality styles, I still am surprised that there is not much real dialogue going on, compared to the ‘other’ (we won’t go there),
        and I think that should change, at least for the sake of Baptist-to-Baptist communications on blogs. Most interchanges are, at least, appropriately civil. Others, painful to read.

        As far as questions I ask, if someone doesn’t wish to engage them, that is fine. If my questions are deleted, I’m okay with that.

        There are about only three people who have engaged me on topics where they, in the end have ‘run away’ from the discussion.
        One example of that was a person who stated that my Church’s form of Eucharist had no biblical support; another was a rather lengthy discussion concerning the writings of one of the earliest Church Fathers: Ignatius;
        and another situation was a person who stated that a certain Southern Baptist church (Debbie’s) was ‘a cult’, and I asked for some evidence of that from accuser, as I had never heard any evidence confirming that when I listened to that Church’s sermons on line over a two-year period. No response was given. None actually expected, but I had to challenge that person’s statement or accept it as slander and I wanted to give that person an opportunity to explain their ‘cult’ accusation (fair of me, I thought). Not good to assume someone is a slanderer, without inquiry to give opportunity to clarify.

        Does that help a little bit?
        You want honesty, I give you this:
        my Grandmother’s Church is a part of my family’s heritage, and it is important to me that I understand it and support what is good in it, and oppose those who would harm it.
        I am solid in my own faith, and in my Church, we know who are.
        I don’t say smugly, it just took us a few millenia to sort out a lot, and sometimes it was not as smoothly done, as might have been.
        But I do see the Southern Baptists kind of struggling with changes and seeking some kind of unity among themselves that is positive.
        Identity crisis? Organization difficulties? Nothing that Christian people can’t survive intact, with good will.

        Sadly, good will is lacking among some.
        But for them, I like what is coming: the call to ‘return to the Lord’, the SBC day of prayer and repentence, at the end of this month.
        Very good sign, that.
        I’m praying, in the way of my faith, for the Holy Spirit to be with the Southern Baptist people on that solemn day of repentance and prayer; an occasion which marks a turning towards Him and the honest acknowledgment of the need for His help.

        In truth, that is the only way He can come.

        • Frank L. says

          “”but there are times when it is difficult for me to ‘sort out’ what is ‘central’ in Southern Baptist thought. (does this make sense?)””


          Here is where your allegience to the Catholic church causes you to stumble. You hit on probably “a” core theme of Baptist life if not “the” core theme: the priesthood of the believer. We all feel we have the right–and the responsibility–to interpret God’s Word for ourselves.

          A discussion always gets lively when any Baptist tries to impose his interpretation and understanding on any other Baptist. That’s what makes us Baptists.

          There are as many ways of being Baptist as there are Baptists. That no doubt sounds very odd to someone who comes from a monolithic religion like Catholicism. Is that spelled right? I’m so Baptist I have a heard time even using a word like “catholic.” :)

          • Frank L. says

            PS–Christianne, I would not expect that you will ever find people on a Baptist blog (if they are truly Baptist) who will readlily admit to being in harmony with Romanism.

            I respect your right to believe anything at all or nothing at all, but feel I have a responsibility to point out that the Catholic Church holds many doctrines (and are working on others) that must truly grieve God. It is hard to say that and communicate to you that I respect your view–I guess it sounds a bit hypocritical of me.

            Yet, I firmly believe that growing up in and staying with the Catholic Church has a high degree of probablility of giving someone a false sense of salvation. So, believing this, I cannot act like I think Catholics and Protestants are just sibling rivals (like Jacob and Esau).

            Even saying that, I do not categorically declare that any and all Catholics are going to go to hell. I don’t know who is going where except for myself (and I have times of great doubt about me).

            So, as you try to figure out the exact theological center of Southern Baptist life — I wish you well. If you discover it, please share it with me. I’m one S.B. who’d like to know.

          • Christiane says

            Hi Frank L.
            Not to worry, you spelled ‘the word’ right.
            We believe also in the ‘priesthood of the believer’ which we celebrate as members of the ‘lay apostolate’ of our faith.
            The term ‘a kingdom of priests’ comes to mind when I think of the Church, as a whole, clergy and laity, in service to Christ, who is both High Priest and King.

  64. Benji Ramsaur says

    D.R. Randle,

    The issue arose only when the traditional view of rank within the Trinity was used by Complementarians to show that rank/submission/authority was not a factor in equality of personhood.

    Was this the first point [1970’s?] in church history that this kind of connection between authority in marriage/church and the Trinity was espoused?

    • Dave Miller says

      Wouldn’t it be the rise of the egalitarian/feminist hermeneutic in the last 40 years that led to the redefinition?

      It is odd that this new feminist hermeneutic arises and then suddenly it is the complementarians who are innovating?

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        Dave: Look in history, even in our Baptist history, there were women leaders and preachers. I don’t believe it is egalatarians who have innovated scripture.

        • says


          You say this as if women pastors were a regular and accepted thing in Baptist history, which is no where close to the truth. In reality, women preachers and leaders were quite few and far between and in no small way controversial. In a previous discussion with Dr. James Willingham (who posts above in this thread), he points out that there were Churches in the Sandy Creek separatists who had female elders. But when you do the research, what you find is that while there were a few instances of female deacons, there were only one or two congregations that had female elders or preachers. And in neither case were the females the sole leaders of the Church (in the most clear cut example was that of Shubal Stearns, whose wife I believe was considered an elder and preacher).

          What’s interesting to note, however, is that despite this quite well known example and the fact that it was the leading Church of the Sandy Creek movement, the idea of women leaders did not catch on and in fact such was over within a generation. Additionally, this stirred quite a bit of controversy among the other Baptist Churches, who saw the Sandy Creek Churches as being in doctrinal error in this arena, as well as elsewhere (they tended to be far too charismatic – more reliant on prophetic utterance and less reliant on the Bible for doctrinal direction).

          What this tells us is that while in the past there may have been some Churches who had female leadership, this was not only rare, but it often was fleeting as well. However, this consistency in Baptist history faded with the sexual and feminist revolutions of the past 50 years. And of course all of Evangelicalism has suffered during this time, with all sorts of false doctrine coming into the Church.

          • Robert says

            A similar comparison can be drawn to slavery and the Baptist church. Since it historically what we did, maybe we should go back to it, because based on DR’s thinking, it must be the right thing to do.

          • says


            I’m not surprised that you brought up slavery given your trajectory of response. But your logic fails. Historically, it’s not what the Church has done for 2000 years. In fact, it’s quite an anomaly relegated to only about 300 years in only a few areas of Christendom even during that time period. So no, this is another red herring and adds nothing to the conversation. It’s kind of like your response above to my comments regarding your reading of Scripture. It seems in both cases that instead of carefully answering the argument or exegesis presented, you instead turn to ad hominem attacks.

            You might think that I am arrogant, but so far I’ve not tried to attack your character or belittle the argument with such rhetoric. As for the claim that I “Impl[ied] the whole time that the reason [you are] wrong is because I disagree with you”, I really don’t think you believe that and I really don’t think anyone else does. I went to great lengths to show you how I felt you were misreading the text, how you missed key clues in the text that verified a different reading, and how your understanding of both Deborah as judge and the role of a prophet were not in keeping with the actual text of the Bible (I even provided links and sources to back up my exegesis). You chose not to answer those argument, but rather to attack me personally. I really don’t know what else to say.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            DR: The fact is that they were accepted, they did a wonderful job and they were there. Do you honestly think that a church has to have solely women leaders to solidify my view? NO! Again, both men and women are capable who are gifted from God. Both should have a place in leadership. Both not just women. It’s sad that I even have to say this.

          • Frank L. says

            Robert, absolutely no argument can be made that complementarianism is the same as slavery. Slavery was a common practice when Baptists were born as a denomination. I’m not sure what history book you’ve been reading.

          • says


            I really don’t understand your comment. You’re right that the women were there, but you really don’t have a clue as to whether they did a wonderful job. And I never once suggested that you thought a Church needed to be made up of all female leadership. I really don’t know where you got that from.

            My point is that female leadership in the Baptist Church was so rare that it bears little to no historical significance. The Baptist Church has seen far more universalists and inclusivists throughout its history. And certainly we would not want to invite either belief into our Churches today.

          • Robert says


            A comparison can be drawn by the way Southern Baptist handled slavery and the way they have handled ministry. In no way did I draw a comparison to 2000 years of church history. I can’t type any slower so maybe you could read a little better.

            I didn’t address you points on Deborah since it is obvious that even when confronted with truth, your mind is made up. Saying Deborah was not a judge in the way other judges were is intelectually irresponsible. Did she do different things? Yes, she was a different person. But she was a judge. She had the same powers and responsibilities given by God as all the other judges. No twisting can change this.

    • says


      I’m not 100% sure as to when the connection was first made. Some claim that this view was first advocated by George Knight in his book, The Role Relationship of Men and Women: The New Testament Teaching. I don’t possess the book to see if he grounds in a previous author’s or Church Father’s work.

      • Benji Ramsaur says

        D.R. Randle,

        It would be interesting if he did [or did not] ground it in the work of any of the early Trinitarian theologians.

        Anybody out there know?

  65. Bess says

    Christiane, it really is a shame that not only has your “friend” propped you up in your false doctrine and your belief and your false god for years, but now that she has been proven spectacularly wrong in that “No L’s actually doesn’t appear to know the Gospel AT.ALL” You’re so called friend cares so little about you that she won’t even tell you that she was wrong about you and share the REAL GOOD NEWS about JESUS CHRIST. Why would a friend behave this way? Because she cares more about her own pride and arrogance than in actually sharing the GOOD NEWS with someone she alledgely “loves” She should be apologizing to you for being so wrong for all this time, but if it’s one thing THE GREAT DEBBIE will not do is admit when she has been shown to be so spectacularly wrong.

      • Bess says

        Debbie, others have shown that you are the liar and the one bearing false witness here. Why don’t you try repenting of all your attacks and repenting of how you have wronged the “friend” you alledgely love for encouraging her to continue in her false doctrine? Oh wait in Debbie’s world it’s every single other person who is wrong and Debbie has reached a state of sinless perfection and is all knowledgeable. How could any of us forget.

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          No my question is why can’t you stick to the subject, answer my objections pointing me to scripture and stop this madness. It happens every time and I am tired of your and others temper tantrums. This is a discussion supposedly among Christians and mostly Southern Baptists from the same denomination. You act like this is the Reformation. It isn’t. It’s a discussion. One I would like to help change some thinking, but I’m not waiting for that to happen. I’ve practiced my beliefs on this for over thirty years. So it’s not a life changing discussion for me either way.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            And yes, I think I am right. This is what I believe, why wouldn’t I defend it as if I am right on this Bess. Geez.

          • Bess says

            Debbie, REALLY are you that clueless. YOU ARE THE ONE WHO ALWAYS COMES IN WITH YOUR RANTS. Then when how many countless people call you on it you try to play all innocent and act like POOR WIDDLE DEBBIE everybody attacks her for no reason whatsoever. How many countless people tell you the same thing over and over again and you just continue in your denial. DEBBIE YOU ARE THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEMS HERE. When Debbie doesn’t post – no trouble – respectful conversations all over the place. BUT the DEBBSTER comes in and LORDS IT OVER EVERYONE AND look out.

          • Bess says

            Debbie, seriously look at the other conversations going right now. You’re not involved in them and no one is being disrespectful and hateful like you. You’ve been caught and exposed by many differnt people time and again and you always pull your – I just wanna talk why is everybody so mean to me. Poor Debbie always the victim. Yes Debbie pat yourself on the back the one person that pretty much every real Christian on this blog says “you know I don’t think she knows the Gospel” is there defending you and because she’s on your side you won’t confront her in her heresy. All you are about is you Debbie you show it over and over.

    • Christiane says

      Hi BESS,

      I look at your very long list of all those you have contempt for, and I am reassured that it is the Holy Gospel that frees me from having to hate anyone.
      I hope you come to understand some day that Christ is not about the darkness, Bess. You don’t have to hate anyone anymore, or look down on anyone, or be afraid.

      From the things you say to others and about others, sometimes you seem to come from a very dark place. I will pray for you.
      I hope it will be better for you someday.

        • Bess says

          You don’t have to hate anyone anymore, or look down on anyone, or be afraid.

          Debber needs to take this advice – how many people have you wished in hell today in all your sinless perfection DEBS?

      • Bess says

        Oh L’s please enlighten me. Who is this “long list of who I have comtempt for” Provide proof. I know you think I’m a hater because I believe in the exclusivety of Christ. But then that puts me in good company. Hey L’s you know what’s a hateful statement for anyone to make? That it would be poetic justice if someone ended up in hell. You BFF made that one. Find one statement of mine that compares to that. Careful L’s how many of YOUR posts have been zapped today? Oh you’re just so sugery sweet and never ever try to cause anybody any problems do you?

    • Christiane says

      Hi BENJI

      I liked your advice, and would also add these verses from Ephesians 4 for us bloggers:

      All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.
      (And) be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.”

  66. Benji Ramsaur says

    Hey Robert,

    And I don’t buy the New Testament is different. Scripture is very clear on the consistency of God. He never changes, so why would he change on this topic.

    You are right that the being of God does not change. However, this statement of yours seems to suggest that revelation does not progress. The New Testament is the “climax” of revelation…revealing that God’s people no longer have to sacrifice an animal [like they did in the OT] since a “greater” sacrifice has been made, for example.

    However, if your reasoning were taken in an absolute sense, then it seems that we would have to say that we must maintain animals sacrifices since God does not change and the New Testament is not different.

    Another example of change would be the Sabbath day no longer being binding in the NT [Colossians 2:16-17] in the same way it was in the OT (even though the day itself did not change from 7th to 1st…Acts 18:4, 20:7…Hebrews 4).

    • Frank L. says

      “”However, if your reasoning were taken in an absolute sense, then it seems that we would have to say that we must maintain animals sacrifices since God does not change and the New Testament is not different.””

      I’m baffled that someone who apparently has a position in leadership in the church does not have a basic understanding of Biblical hermeneutics.

      The cult of the temple was never part of God’s unchanging moral law–Hebrews makes that very clear. However, God’s economy for creation including the creation order are part of His moral, unchanging law, not ceremonial shadows of the work and person of Christ.

      Using such logic we might as well throw away the entire OT, or adopt a full process theology and write our own NT as we go.

      • Benji Ramsaur says

        Frank L,

        Marriage is a unity. It should not be divided.

        The Trinity is a unity. He should not be divided.

        The Law of Moses is a unity. It should not be divided (Gal. 3:10).

        It is not that I have never heard of what you are talking about. I used to believe it and now disagree with it.

        The entire OT points to Christ. Therefore, it is still the precious word of God as revelation (even you would admit that what you might call the “ceremonial law” is not directly binding as regulation upon God’s people now).

        I agree with Jon Zens on the point that the OT is not an end in itself…it is anticipating the Christ. That is it’s nature.

        The Christ that it pointed to is now revealed in the New Testament as our new High Priest and King. Of course, Aaron and David pointed forward to Christ being these things.

        And Moses pointed forward to Christ being the new prophet who, like Moses, gave law.

        And that law is final and not in process.

        • Frank L. says


          Apparently, we do not agree on theology, but neither do I agree with your syllogism given above. Just because the first two premises are valid (though I’m not sure what relationship they have to this discussion) it does not mean your third premise is true.

          Moses’ Law is not a unity in the sense that you use that term. It is quite clear that parts of the Mosaic Law (I think you include the entire OT, but I could be wrong) were fulfilled in Christ and parts were not–such as the Law of Tithing mentioned both before and after the Mosaic Law. And, of course, not all of the pronouncements in the Prophets were fulfilled in Christ’s first coming.

          So, I think your hermeneutic pays much less respect to the Law than Jesus did. I think such a hermeneutic provides a foundation of sand for present doctrine. Following such a line a see nothing left but blindly wandering in the valley of culturally driven interpretation.

          Of course, I don’t pretend to know all of what you believe so it is quite possible I am completely misrepresenting your theological approach. If so, please accept my apologies.

          • Benji Ramsaur says

            Frank L,

            If you look at what Jesus says He fulfills in the sermon on the mount, He does not limit what He fulfills at all. He fulfills the law and the prophets–that language is absolutely comprehensive…covering the entire OT [which includes the entire Mosaic law].

            Whatever interpretation one gives of what “fulfull” there means, I think one has to take into consideration the absoluteness of what Jesus says He fulfills.

            I understand that the division of the Moasic law into three parts has been popular in church history. I admit that. However, I think this view is not derived from exegesis, but is instead read into the text of Scripture.

            I do not disagree with you that some OT prophesies are yet to be fullfilled in Christ. However, I think the NT reveals how they are going to be fulfilled.

            I don’t see how my approach would lead one to the kind of conclusions you mentioned.

            My view is that the OT points forward to Jesus using types/promises and the NT reveals the antitypical Jesus that the OT pointed forward to.

            Now, that Jesus has come, then He is the “fixed” prophet, priest, and king. There is nothing shifty in this view that I see.

          • Christiane says

            Is a saying of St. Augustine in our tradition:
            “the New Testament lies hidden in the Old
            and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.”

            The Sacred Scriptures are a ‘unity’, and must be examined as a whole. Reason: at the heart of all Scripture is Christ.
            Some Christian people see the Scriptures as an inspired record of God’s revelation to mankind;
            others tend to see Scripture as a living entity, almost sometimes to the point of ‘biblolatry’. So the parameters of how Scripture is viewed ranges widely among Christian people.
            But, if the Scriptures are read as they were intended to be, through the ‘lens’ of Christ, they become more meaningful, and examples of this is found here:

            Luke 24:32 “They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

            and here from St. Luke, chapter 24:
            He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
            Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.
            And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day
            and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
            You are witnesses of these things.”

            seen through the Lord Christ, all of Holy Scripture becomes more understandable . . . and the reason ‘why’?
            He IS the Eternal Word.

  67. Debbie Kaufman says

    So Benji are you saying these things are not binding in the NT, which I agree, but instead God decided to limit, to further bind women where in the OT he didn’t? That makes no sense Biblical or otherwise.

  68. Benji Ramsaur says


    I think God in Christ further limited my freedom when it comes to murder, adultery, etc when Christ gave His law in the sermon on the mount.

  69. Benji Ramsaur says


    Please be silent as I meditate…………

    …………OK, I think what I was saying is that I myself, as a male feller, am even further limited morally within the law of Christ in the example that I gave.

    So, I don’t think the argument of further freedom for women [in an absolute sense at least] is valid in thinking about the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.

    When it comes to the comp/egal debate, I don’t think the meaning of “source” works, for example, in the New Testament passage of Ephesians 5 for “head”.

    Someone can have their doctorate in how the Greek word is used in extrabiblical literature. However, at some point what the scholar is going to have to show is that what they think the Greek word [that is translated “head”] means will fit within the NT context of Ephesians 5. In other words, one ought to be able to substitute “source” for “head” and it make sense IMO. However, I think (source) comes out nonsensical.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      Benji: The problem with your analogy for me is this. When Christ died on the Cross, he did more than give us a way to heaven, he ushered in something entirely new. Now salvation was for the Jew and the Gentile, men and women were free from the law. His ministry on earth, how he treated women, how he used them in his ministry, all were knew. Women before were just property, the OT was just a sign of things to come. He used Deborah in the OT, others to point to the fact that women would be used by God in ministry and in a mighty way. Christ showed this in his own earthly ministry. This was something unheard of before. Evidently in the SB life it still is.

      • Benji Ramsaur says


        We agree that something new has been ushered in, but we disagree on a part of what the new that has been brought into history entails.

        I don’t see any inconsistency between the example of how Christ treated women and how they ministered to others and an apostle of Christ’s teaching [Paul] who, I think, limits leadership in the church & home to men. I hardly think women who are freed up to minister to the sick in hospitals by not having to sit in elders meetings have a straightjacket on.

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          It is a limitation of gifts Benji. We can visit people in the hospital just as ministers do, but we are also gifted by God for much more than that. It says in scripture some(that means men and women) are gifted for teaching, some for preaching, etc. Christ made all things new again. Genesis says that Adam and Eve were to both rule together over the things of the earth. That ended for a time at the Fall. Christ’s victory over Satan brought this back. This was and is God’s purpose for the Church. Not for men to rule and women to follow, but for both to rule the earth, side by side.

          • Frank L. says

            What interpretative rule makes “some” mean “of men and women?” Even if I agreed with your egalitarian presuppositions, there is nothing in the word, “some” that supports your interpretation.

            This is a problem I have with the way you throw Scriptures at a problem to support your presuppositions. I don’t think the intent here was to promote egalitarianism. When either side misuses Scripture, it weakens the force of the argument in my opinion.

          • Benji Ramsaur says


            I would not say that Christ made all things new “again.”

            For example, when all things are made new in the end, there will not be the existence of the sun in the new heavens and the new earth like there was in the first heavens and the first earth before the fall.

            The new creation will not simply be an exact replica of the old creation before the fall. I think it will be much, much better.

            Concerning gifts, I think it is pleasing to God for women to go into hospitals [not having to be tied down in elders meetings] and teach/preach the gospel.

            Concerning Genesis, one has to allow Paul to interpret Genesis for oneself if one is going to take the authority of the NT seriously. So, I think it is wise to not bring a bunch of “well, I know Paul cannot teach this or that because I am already sure of my interpretations of Genesis” to Paul when one reads him. I think we have to try and let him speak into our lives as an apostle of Christ.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Frank: This is the passage in Ephesians 4

            9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

            14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            We are equally(men and women) saved and justified are we not? Isn’t that the point of the passage in Galatians that says there is no Jew or Greek etc.? The ground is even now.The death, burial and resurrection of Christ is the reason.

            By the way, this verse has been improperly translated as neither male nor female, it in fact says no male or female. That is important to the proper translation of the text.

          • Christiane says

            Those are very, very powerful Scriptures, DEBBIE.

            They don’t speak to restricting the use of God’s gifts only to certain individuals based on gender.

          • Frank L. says

            debbie, restating an error does not make it true, it makes it propaganda. I still do not know of any rule of grammar that necessitates that “some” means necessarily means male and female.

            at best you are arguing from ambiguity. Paul’s clear pronouncement in 1Tim. negates your argument that “some” necessarily means both male and female may be pastors.

            One hermeneutical principle well established in literary criticism is that ambiguous verses (biblical or otherwise) must be interpreted in light of clear passages.

            Your interpretation fails this basic test it seems to me. You seem to be arguing what you wish the text to say, not what it actually says.

  70. Benji Ramsaur says


    After quoting Augustine you said:

    But, if the Scriptures are read as they were intended to be, through the ‘lens’ of Christ, they become more meaningful, and examples of this is found here:

    I do not think what you are saying is in harmony with Augustine (of whom I have had the privilege of reading some lately).

    I fully agree with Augustine and what I see him saying is that the Old Testament already contained [in shadow form] what would be revealed in the New Testament. For example, the sacrificial lamb in the OT was a picture of the sacrificial Christ in the NT. Hence, the old had always contained what the New revealed.

    But notice that Augustine’s statement keeps everything within the entire canon of Scripture. He does not advocate using an outside lens [no matter what one might want to call that lens] to interpret the entire Bible as you do. And I fully agree with Augustine and disagree with you on that point.

    What I believe [and I think this is in harmony with Augustine] is that the NT is the antitypical word of Christ and thus the lens through which the OT should be viewed.

    Perhaps a rough illustration of what I am talking about would be this:

    Someone reads the beginning and end of a book. The end tells the person where the book is headed in its movement towards a climax. Hence, when the person reads the middle of the book, the person reads it with an understanding of the end goal and thus of where the book is going

    In the same kind of way, the New Testament is the climactic end of which the OT had been pointing forward to in its antitypical revelation of the Christ. Therefore, it is wise, I think, to keep the end in view when one is reading the OT so that one understands where the OT is heading towards in the first place.

  71. Benji Ramsaur says

    K Gray,

    Types are pictures, for example, in the Old Testament that point forward to Antitypes in the New Testemant.

    These types are of such a nature that they point beyond themselves to something greater [i.e., something antitypical] than themselves.

    Hence, they are not an end in and of themselves.

    An example of a type would be the sacrificial lamb in the OT. This was a picture that pointed forward to something greater…a foreshadowing of Someone greater.

    And that Someone was the antitype–Jesus Christ–who is revealed as the Lamb of God in the NT.

    Accordingly, if we look at the flow of thought in Hebrews 1:1-2 with the writer describing God’s speaking by His Son to be the “climactic” revelation of God [Grudem describes the NT as the “greatest” revelation I believe], then it seems to me that while the entire Bible is the inerrant word of God, the NT is of a higher quality.

    And I think that higher quality stems from…if I may borrow from Augustine…it revealing the things that had always been contained in the OT.

    So, I think the OT is typical and the NT is antitypical.

    • Christiane says

      Hi K GRAY and BENJI,

      We sort of ‘reverse’ that language a bit and say that certain events in the OT are ‘proto-typical’ of what is to come.

      As far as ‘lens’, Christ is, of course, in my religion considered to be the Eternal Word, and the Bible is His Book, His ‘story’, if you will: the story of our creation, the Fall, the many ways that God has used and is using to bring to fullness His Plan of Salvation.
      Without Christ, the Bible disappears.
      Using Christ as the “Lens” here, means that in the Light of Christ, Who is the fullness of revelation, we can read the Holy Scriptures with the same Spirit that was present when the authors were inspired to write those Scriptures.
      Christ tells us the Holy Spirit is a ‘paraclete’, a ‘helper’, but He can only come to those who are ‘walking humbly with their God’.
      They are the only ones who are open to Him and His leading.
      He doesn’t come to ‘the prideful’. They have another ‘master’.

      • Christiane says

        Does any of this help the discussion, folks:

        Benji writes ‘And that Someone was the antitype–Jesus Christ–who is revealed as the Lamb of God in the NT.’

        L’s writes ‘And the sacrificial lamb of the OT was the proto-type of the Agnus Dei (the Lamb of God) in the NT.

        I am assuming that the OT shows us the ‘proto-type’ (the prophetic before)
        and the actual Lamb of God is called the ‘anti-type’ (the fulfillment in reality, of the prophetic proto-type)

        (That term ‘anti-type’ is strange to me, so I am trying to sort out what Benji means here.
        BENJI, let me know if I understood you properly.

        • Benji Ramsaur says


          You can view information from the New Catholic Encyclopedia on Type and Antitype here:

          You are understanding me properly. What I mean by type is “proto-type”. The greek word for type [tupos] is used for Adam in Romans 5:14.

          What I mean by antitype is “fulfillment”. The greek word for antitype [antitupos] is found in 1 Peter 3:21 & Hebrews 9:24 [though not used in those two verses with the same meaning that I have been using it in this comment stream].

          • Christiane says

            Thanks, BENJI

            I am trying to understand the different kinds of words that are not familiar to me, in the context of how the people use them here.
            I always appreciate help with this. :)

          • Christiane says

            YIKES. I forgot. I just used a ‘happy face’ by mistake.
            Bess will go up the wall.
            Lydia used to freak out when I signed my comments,
            ‘Love, L’s’

            One cannot be TOO careful of people’s feelings, when walking on eggs . . .

      • Benji Ramsaur says


        If one greatly humbles oneself, where can one go outside of the Bible to get “in the Light of Christ”?

        • Christiane says

          The reference to humility?
          This is what you may see in Sacred Scripture that helps explain:

          Joel 2:12-13
          Yet even now, says the LORD, return to Me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
          Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.

          Joel 3:1 “Then afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind.”

          BENJI, strangely enough, the President of the SBC has called for ‘teshuva’ (return to the Lord):


          Southern Baptists – corporately and individually

          When: January 2011 (Choose the specific date that best fits your congregation’s needs.)

          What: Solemn Assembly – Fasting, Prayer and Repentance

          Why: We have forgotten our first love (Revelation 2:4) and need revival in SBC. We need God’s direction.

          Objective: The goal is for all of us to “Be still and know that God is God,” as a sign of our humility and desire to wholeheartedly return to Him. By our being still before Him (see Psalm 46:10), we exalt our God and position ourselves to obey the Great Commandment found in Mark 12:29-31 and the Great Commission our Lord gave in Matthew 28:18-20. ”

          Source: the SBC site (see ‘details’ for resources, Benji)

          I hope this helps.

          • Benji Ramsaur says


            Could you reveal to me the lens [or part of it] that you indicate exists outside of the Bible that you believe one should use to interpret the Bible with?

            In other words, this would be a lens that would not be any Scripture verses according to what you have said.

          • Christiane says

            Benji, for your denomination, the ‘lens’ can be found IN Sacred Scripture: Christ the Lord, His Words, and Actions in the Gospels

            My Church believes that all Sacred Scripture is but one book, and this one book is Christ, “because all divine Scripture speaks of Christ, and all divine Scripture is fulfilled in Christ”

            An example of NOT using ‘the lens of Christ’ would be attempting to interpret any part of Sacred Scripture in a way that would violate the Royal Law of Christ. When this is done, and the Law of Love, the Great Commandment is broken: the result ? Turning away from the Lord.

            So being Christocentric keeps people on track as to how to view the whole of Scripture.

        • Benji Ramsaur says


          Why are you walking on eggs? Could you share how you would like to be treated with more sensitivity?

          • Benji Ramsaur says

            Hi Christiane,

            Earlier you spoke of interpreting the entire Bible with a lens that you indicated is outside of the Bible.

            Now, you talk about using Scripture to interpret Scripture. Is there any part of the lens that you advocate interpreting the Bible with that is outside of Scripture? Is it a mixed lens that contains part Scripture and part nonScripture?

          • Christiane says

            Hi BENJI,

            I looked back at my comments and found this.
            Is this what you mean? Let me know:

            “But, if the Scriptures are read as they were intended to be, through the ‘lens’ of Christ, they become more meaningful, and examples of this is found here:

            Luke 24:32 “They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

            and here from St. Luke, chapter 24:
            He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
            Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.
            And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day
            and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
            You are witnesses of these things.”

            seen through the Lord Christ, all of Holy Scripture becomes more understandable . . . and the reason ‘why’?
            He IS the Eternal Word. “

          • Christiane says

            Hi BENJI,
            What I NEED???
            I need than more consideration for people who are upset by things like ‘Happy Faces’.

            I think I have compassion for them, I just need to be more careful so as not to do that which unnecessarily offends them.

            If a ‘Happy Face’ is the problem, I don’t need to be doing that, if it aggravates. People have enough problems.
            They don’t need me doing stuff like that, if it adds to their upset.

          • Bess says

            L’s there you go again twisitng things all around to try to make people look evil. Happy Faces are not the problem – it’s people being insulting, hateful, and disrespectful of anyone who has the audacity to disagree with them and then putting a Happy Face thinking that makes everything better. But you know that L’s and this is just your way to try to get in a dig while pretending to be all innocent and sweet. But here L’s don’t worry be happy 😉

          • Bess says

            DAVE MILLER, she did answer the question by not answering and throwing poison darts about Happy Faces :) That’s her MO when she reveals to much of her heresy.

          • Christiane says

            ‘walking on eggs’ is commenting in a place where happy faces annoy some one; and the word ‘love’ is offensive to another; and for another, the list of those who ‘are definitely going to hell’ seemingly grows daily . . . and if you don’t agree with this person, you are ‘not a real Christian’ . . .
            The strange religion of such people, that defines itself more in what it opposes, and who it rejects, and what it finds contemptible, and what it fears:
            I am not understanding it.

            As for my own observations:
            let’s put it this way, when I find myself in a such a place, I know I’m not in Kansas anymore.

            And yet there are Christian people in such places who don’t mind happy faces. These are the people who make ‘walking on eggshells’ worth it, because in their good will, I can learn more ‘of Christ’ from them, when they share how they have encountered Him in their own lives.
            And often, I witness something very special happening that reminds me of this verse: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.
            I have found that in such places, where the real Christian people are, even those who hate smiley faces are kept safe, and prayed for, and given a chance to be who they are, and express their feelings. To be able to see this happening is a privilege. In the Body of Christ, no one is dispensable, all are needed, and when someone is unhappy, the others surround them to help them.
            Eggshells? Sometimes, yes. But not because of total darkness. Far from it.

          • Dave Miller says

            Benji’s question: Now, you talk about using Scripture to interpret Scripture. Is there any part of the lens that you advocate interpreting the Bible with that is outside of Scripture? Is it a mixed lens that contains part Scripture and part nonScripture?

            Would still love to see an answer.

            Look, Christiane, I don’t use smiley faces. I think that you communicate with your words, and I think that smiley faces are often used to say mean things, but not take responsibility for them.

            I think your effort to cast yourself as the victim here is unfortunate. I wish you would simply answer the question that Benji posed to you, and not play the victim for being asked to defend your statements.

          • Dave Miller says

            And I don’t think that “love” is offensive to anyone. It is your definition of love that offends some who accept the Bible’s teaching.

            You seem to advocate that love demands that we accept that Christ is one way among many. You seem to advocate that love means we cannot hold to the inerrancy and authority of the Bible in all areas of life.

            That is what it seems to me.

            I do not find “love” offensive, but sometimes I have found your definition of love as false and demeaning to Christ and the cross.

          • Bess says

            If don’t agree with the exclusivity of CHRIST you are not a real Christian. If you don’t agree that CHRIST is the ONLY WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE then you are not a real Christian. If you don’t agree that the ONLY WAY to the FATHER is THROUGH the SON than you are not a real Christian. If you don’t believe that there is ONLY ONE NAME under Heaven by which we are SAVED you are not a real CHRISTIAN. It’s GOD who is EXCLUSIVE. REAL CHRISTIANITY is EXCLUSIVE. Yes I know L’s in your view that makes me a hateful bitter evil person who comes from a dark place. Again throwing you’re little poison darts all the while pretending you’re just a sweet innocent victim.

            On CHRIST the SOLID ROCK I STAND
            ALL OTHER ground is sinking sand.

          • Christiane says

            Hi DAVID,

            If you wanted an ‘answer’ to ‘Benji’s question’, what question?
            He has asked several.
            I have tried sincerely to respond to both.

            The one about the LENS:

            Hi BENJI,

            I looked back at my comments and found this.
            Is this what you mean? Let me know:

            “But, if the Scriptures are read as they were intended to be, through the ‘lens’ of Christ, they become more meaningful, and examples of this is found here:

            Luke 24:32 “They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

            and here from St. Luke, chapter 24:
            He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
            Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.
            And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day
            and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
            You are witnesses of these things.”

            seen through the Lord Christ, all of Holy Scripture becomes more understandable . . . and the reason ‘why’?
            He IS the Eternal Word. “

            Benji asked a question, I responded.
            Other comments were made concerning that phrase ‘lens’ and I responded to them, with the information that I could provide without getting ‘deleted’. If you want to see the full information I can provide, I will put it on another comment, which you may read, if you want to, and then delete as you think best.
            I am not trying to upset people here, or give people migraines, or cause problems. I DID respond respectfully to BENJI, and if anyone requires further response, I am happy to do it, if it will be a civil exchange that is productive.

          • Bess says

            And L’s continue with the outright lie and bearing false witness about the Happy Faces and the use of the word LOVE. Lying seems to be in vogue now for so-called christian women. By lying as you do you continue to show your true heart.

          • says

            L’s, if saying that you are not a real Christian because you reject and even worse mock the gospel makes me hateful or if saying that people who worship in other religions apart from Christ will go to hell makes me hateful then I will gleefully, proudly, and loudly wear the title “hateful”.

            See, unlike certain commenters and former bloggers, I’m not going to tell you that you can believe whatever you want and be saved. I’m not going to tell you that there are saved people walking around all saved and stuff that don’t realize they’re saved yet or that God hasn’t granted repentance to yet and that your nicey-ness is proof that you’re saved and don’t realize it yet and that God will change your beliefs over time but right now you can believe whatever the snot you want because you’re so nice so you MUST be saved. See, people that have told you that have LIED to you.

            Oh, and it’s pretty telling that you won’t answer Benji’s simple question. Of course, that would take integrity, woudn’t it?

            Be peaceful, L’s. :-p

          • Dave Miller says

            Here’s my opinion, Joe and Bess. Christiane seems like a very nice person – polite and caring. But she also has some very bad ideas – which are false and contrary to the Word of God. We need to confront her false doctrine.

            But when you insult her character, when you call her names and act as if she is Hitler or something, it takes the focus off the ideas we need to confront and allows Christiane to continue to portray herself as the long-suffering victim.

            Frankly, Christiane is a lot nicer than several folks here (me included probably). But that does not change the fact that her doctrine needs to be corrected by the Word of God.

            When we treat her disrespectfully, we make it harder to confront the false doctrine.

            Let’s focus on the doctrine that needs to be discussed. Since none of us really knows anyone else, character evaluations are always going to be a little bit lacking in depth.

            Be direct. Deal with doctrine. Be respectful.

            (This message brought to you by

          • Dave Miller says

            As I copied in comment 419, here’s the question I would love to see you answer directly.

            Benji’s question: Now, you talk about using Scripture to interpret Scripture. Is there any part of the lens that you advocate interpreting the Bible with that is outside of Scripture? Is it a mixed lens that contains part Scripture and part nonScripture?

          • Bess says

            Dave, for her to continue to make statements that people are offended by smiley faces as if they are somehow mentally unstable is clearly lying and bearing false witness. She AIN’T that dumb. She is not nice -she’s fake nice. As is evidenced by her continuing with the lie about the smiley faces – she knows what the point about the smiley faces is and yet she continues to use it to diminish and demean others. Notice her little “attack” about the smiley faces comes out when she’s being questioned about her “doctrine” – she’s done this enough times that it is not an accident – Even after you pasted the question you wanted answered in your post she continues with the attack about the smiley faces and IGNORES the question again all the while playing the victim. She’s playing games here. She is a wolf and the problem with trying to correct her doctrine in this setting is that you have people who alledgely proclaim Christ who will continue to prop her up with her false doctrine – so as long as she has divided this board between fake, hateful, mentally unstable, people in a dark place Christians and those who claim Christ but are so polite as to never actually confronting her she gets affirmation for her false doctrine. Notice when a “nice” person like you and Benji confronts her she falls back to victim status and hurling insults against all the people who refuse to agree with her.

          • Bess says

            And DAVE, go back and read some of her words up thread here. She’s not attacking people based on them being “mean” to her she is attacking people who proclaim the TRUTH of CHRIST alone. The people she has a problem with and the reason she has such a problem is that we proclaim Biblical Truth – she thinks that children being taught about a literal place called hell is spiritual abuse, she thinks it’s a dark place to be to believe in a literal place called hell and people are headed there, she thinks she’s not in Kansas because we believe that ONLY those who PROFESS in CHRIST ALONE through FAITH ALONE can truly know the FATHER. She’s attacking the GOSPEL – not people. The Smiley Face is attacking people, but when she talks about CHRISTIANS who hate – she’s talking about CHRISTIANS who affirm the EXCLUSIVITY of CHRIST. She’s playing games here and she’s very manipulative.

          • Dave Miller says

            My point is this: our purpose is to deal with ideas. We can do that better if we keep the focus on the ideas, not on the people who advance them.

            Just my opinion, of course.

            As I’ve said before, I blog to influence people with ideas which I believe are biblical. I think the chance of influence is better when we focus on the ideas and not on the people.

          • Bess says

            Dave, I understand what you’re saying and I respect it. The problem I have is that so often her false doctrine here goes unaswered because you obviously can’t be on here 24/7. There’s also a problem of a certain poster who won’t be named who thinks it’s ago to rant and rave against everybody and pronounce judgement that every single church except hers in the SBC is in an apostate state and then throws tantrums about why is everybody mean to me. I am more than capable of disagreeing with anyone in an agreeable way. The problem comes when you have someone who not only blatently rejects the GOSPEL but attacks the GOSPEL by claiming those who believe the GOSPEL are just hateful Westboro fundys. Then a bigger problem is those who will affirm those who are literally attacking the GOSPEL and because that person is incapable of getting along with anyone anyplace on the internet and the person attacking the GOSPEL is their “friend” they continue to affirm the one attacking the GOSPEL. It really is like being in junior high school except the “cliques” here are those affirming the GOSPEL and then those who claim to affirm the GOSPEL but because of their incompetance in communicating on the internet have to stay with the “clique” of the woman who is here to attack the GOSPEL as something hateful. It is very sad and very frustrating and I understand your frustration as the adult in the room. I don’t know how you fix it.

      • Frank L. says

        The phrase (and others like it), “lens of Christ” are code words for read in a liberal perspective. If through the lens of Christ one sees something that was never there, or misses the obvious that is, the lens is either cracked or foggy.

        Christ did not change the meaning of the OT, he filled it up. I think this is a distinction some miss in this discussion in order to stuff Scripture into an egalitarian mold that has never been taught in Scripture.

        • Bess says

          I think when she says “lens of Christ” she means she can use any outside source she likes to say – see this is what Christ means. It’s a way of making up all kinds of ideas – “Jesus loves people therefore as long as someone is sincere and nice they couldn’t possibly be headed to hell even if they don’t proclaim faith in Jesus – they can proclaim faith in Allah, Buddha etc.” Gets rid of all the “nasty mean” Bible verses about the exclusivity of Christ and hell and all that.

          • Frank L. says

            Bess, I think you are correct. the “lens of Christ” is a catch phrase allowing for any modern interpretation without a need to be anchored to historical Christian doctrine.

            It is one of those terms that “sounds good at first” but contains much poison.

        • Christiane says

          Hi FRANK L.

          Actually those words ‘lens of Christ’ are from my own Church’s teachings. If you want references, then ask David if I have permission to give the quotes and the sites. I don’t think he would appreciate that, but I will do it with his blessing.
          Other than that I can only recommend google-ing ‘vatican catechism Sacred Scriptures’ for you to find the sections that show the term.

          Is my Church ‘moderate’, ‘liberal’, ‘conservative’ ???
          I think those are the probably the ‘code words’ of another faith, words likely borrowed from politics. (?)

          • Frank L. says


            As I’ve said before, Catholicism is in a category all its own. Theological words many times have completely different meanings. The words, liberal, conservative, and such probably do not apply to Catholicism sense it is a complete system of syncretistic teachings involving some traditional theology, cultic and occultic ideas, and ideas completely foreign in any way to Biblical truth.

            Catholicism is indeed a thing unto itself in regard to theology.

          • says

            No, actuaally “moderate/liberal/conservative” are words used to describe various theologies. Moderate/liberal describes non-Christian theology–moderate being people who claim to be Christians but deny the faith, liberals who claim that everything is Christian and deny the faith. Conservative describes real Christians. It is a coincidence that Moderate/liberal christians are also moderate/liberal theologically. There is one groupe of people, one demographic, that is liberal politically and conservative theologically.

        • Dave Miller says

          The whole “lens of Christ” thing was one of the reasons we had to change the BF&M.

          Liberals have used that wording to allow themselves to impose meanings on scripture that are foreign to the text or to sound hermeneutics.

          They define Jesus according to their own ideas – a revolutionary, a freedom fighter, a free-love advocate, whatever.

          Then, they bring back that interpretation and change the meaning of scripture texts by imposing their “lens of Christ” on the text.

          I saw that in my liberal college. I answered a question in a NT survey class. The question was whether Paul got his theology from the other apostles. I answered according to Paul’s own words in Galatians 1, that he did not receive his doctrine from man, but by direct revelation from God.

          My prof marked the answer wrong and I brought my Bible up to him to show him Paul’s words. He said, “I know that is what the text says, but I am talking about the ‘spirit’ of the text”. In other words the “spirit” (or the lens of Christ or whatever) allowed you to directly contradict the clear meaning of the text.

          • Bill Mac says

            It’s actually too bad, because when approached properly, looking at Scripture through the lens of Christ is a good thing. If we continue to drop ideas because liberals corrupt them, soon we won’t have any ideas left. Liberals can corrupt anything. And it forces us into a strained view of the Bible, as if it is an encyclopedia.

          • Frank L. says

            Bill, I agree but it is harder to defend a term never used or explicitly taught in the Word. It could be helpful if properly defined.

  72. Benji Ramsaur says


    I believe men and women have equal worth. However, I think you are emphasizing equality when it comes to Galatians 3 when what Paul is actually emphasizing is unity.

    In fact, Paul did not deny the existence of some folks who are slaves and other folks who are free [though he tells slaves to take advantage of becoming free if they had the opportunity…1 Cor. 7:21] when he referrs to them in that same text. Paul understood the existence of an inequality of status in society [though, again, take note of 1 Cor. 7:21] between slaves and free and even between other groups [1 Cor. 1:26].

    However, that inequality [in the eyes of the world] between slaves & free is of such a lowly secondary nature in the light of what Christ has done, that Paul can talk about it not getting in the way of the unity that both slaves and free have in Christ [Gal. 3:28].

  73. says

    This issue to me is an example of a picket fence issue that can become a brick wall issue depending on the person. For instance, Lydia is an e-gal and comes to that position by exegesis. Now, I disagree with her exegesis but I honestly believe she doesn’t come to the scriptures with a preconcieved notion of what she wants to find thereby letting her feelings decide how shes going to interpret the text. So I can go picket fence with her on this issue because I come to a markedly different conclusion but I respect her approach–she’s thinking about the issue, not feeling.

    Then there are certain nameless commenter’s who don’t care what the scripture says. They want to be e-gals and, by Ned, they’re gonna MAKE the scripture mean what they want it to mean regardless of the rules of heurmenutics. Grammer, history, culture–none of that matters to them. They can’t worship a God that assigns different roles to different gender’s and He BETTER conform to what they want. Or, hypotheitically, they are a fomer blogger whose mother wants to be a chick preacher and is encouraged to do so by their husband. This hypothetical former blogger HAS to support egalitarianism because otherwise he has to say his mother is wrong. Again, in that hypotheitcal situation, it’s an emotional issue and has nothing to do with scripture. People like that need to be placed outside a very high, thick brick wall in my opinion because of their approach. They don’t care about scripture–they want scripture to mean what they want it to mean.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      Joe: You and I have a wall. I have one against you, you have one against me. But be honest here. It has nothing to do with theology. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter to me one way or the other.

      Benji: It is more than that. Much more. It’s that it doesn’t exist in the eyes of Christ.

      • Benji Ramsaur says


        Do you think it would be fair to say that when someone reads that passage in Galatians 3 with your perspective, that they read the word unity, but actually think “equality”?

        A basketball team can be unified and yet that unified teams has individual players with different functions. The coach will limit the point guard to playing the point guard position and not center, etc.

  74. Debbie Kaufman says

    Benji: In answer to your question I believe it is both. Unity and equality. Do I have to do anything different than you for salvation? Is it the same way of faith in Jesus Christ alone for me as for you? I believe it is equality and unity. There are other passages that would lead me to believe this.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      One passage that leads me to this conclusion is the story we all know, Mary and Martha. Consider when Christ was teaching Mary who sat at his feet learning, this was unheard of. Staying and spending time with two women alone was unheard of. It just was not ever done. Till Christ.

    • Benji Ramsaur says


      I understand that you think that it is both. However, when it comes to that particular passage in Galatians [one that I think is emphasized for the egal position], then I do not think equality can be drawn out of that verse when what it is really talking about is unity.

      It seems that one has to assume that unity necessarily involves an equality of functions in order to try and get that from Galatians 3. However, I think that assumption is actually read into the word unity and thus read into Galatians speaking about oneness in Christ. And if I am correct, then that would be reading something into Scripture that is not there.

      Of course you do not have to do anything different than I do for salvation. However, you are assuming that since that is so, then that means that we must both of an equality of functions. But again, I think that is reading something into it.

      To go back to the basketball team analogy. Everyone has to do the same thing in order to get on the team–be good enough to play. However, once they are on the team, that does not mean that they are going to have an equality of functions. They are actually going to be limited by the coach to fill the roles that he decides for them to fill.

      In fact, if the players rebel against being limited by the coach, then that would probably lead to disunity on the team. However, if the players humbly accept their limited roles from the coach, then there will be the greater possibility of unification.

      Also, when you bring up Mary and Martha and their relationship to Jesus, I do not see how that contradicts Paul’s teaching [as I see it] of limiting leadership to men in the home and church. I call any woman who sits at the feet of Jesus in His word today and who is thus strengthened to minister to the widows/handicapped/sick/etc as someone who is engaged in real ministry. Maybe sometimes there can be a misleading notion in the minds of some as to what “real” ministry is when it comes to this debate.

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        Benji: Women were not taught or educated, especially in spiritual things, in the first century, this alone(among other passages) shows that in Christ all are equal. In this time period women were property. Nothing more. It’s not just about unity, which I agree is what this verse is saying but it is also speaking of equality in the church. In the Church Universal too.

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          Are the commands given for just men or for men and women? In the Biblical definition of disciple and apostle in the Bible, Christ had women disciples and even apostles. Why did he choose 12 male disciples? Because the status of women in that time period and it would be bad if men and women who were single traveled together.

          • Benji Ramsaur says


            Why did he choose 12 male disciples? Because the status of women in that time period and it would be bad if men and women who were single traveled together.

            Please give me one verse that explicitly or implicitly shows this?

        • Benji Ramsaur says


          Women were a part of local churches. Priscilla was involved in “educating” Apollos. Women were most definitely educated in spiritual things within the context of the local church that they were members of in the first century.

          You come across to me as basically “asserting” your interpretation [unity “and” equality] of the verse in Galatians instead of even attempting to justify your interpretation by drawing something concerning equality out of it.

          What reason can you give for equality of functions being a part of that verse?

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            In Jewish culture women were property. They either belonged to their father or their husband. They weren’t allowed to study the Law. In the synagogue they were separated from men and shut away so as not to be seen. A woman could not participate. She had to be quiet and listen. She could not even teach the children. She was not required to attend the feasts and sacred festivals.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            One Jewish prayer was thankfulness for not being a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.

            In the Greek culture woman were looked down on. They had women priestesses who were really nothing more than prostitutes. Greek women never went into public alone, were shut away and never attended public gatherings. Their duties were to serve their husbands.

  75. says


    I totally understand what you’re saying about issues not people. Here’s my thing. First of all, L’s is not nice–she’s a fake. Her innocent inquiries are not made because she wants to know what people of “our faith” believe. Her exhortations to “be peaceful” are not genuine. Secondly, she has been supported by certain bloggers/commenters who claim to know the true gospel and never once correct her on her unbiblical beliefs. They have affirmed her as a genuine Christian on more than one occasion. Give those two things, she comes here to attack the gospel and the Christians who proclaim it. In her mind, you and I are no different than those Westboro nutjobs. After years of seeing her permitted to spew her filth on blogs and encouraged on certain formerly active blogs, there comes a point where a person has taken about as much of her fake, syrupy sweetened poison as they can take.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      No, she sees you and Bess as having the same mentality as the Westboro gang. She does not see every Christian that way. And I don’t disagree with her on that.

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        Furthermore when it comes to L’s or me you thrive on hate and vitriol, so of course you couldn’t possibly recognize love and nice as the real thing. I’m amazed at L’s composure.

        • says

          BTW–quite ironic for you to talk about hate when you won’t even tell L’s that she’s not saved since she doesn’t believe the gospel (that Christ is the only way to heaven and that no other religions will be in heaven i.e. mormons, muslims). You must really hate L’s to not be willing to tell her the truth.

        • Bess says

          What’s truly ironic here is that the woman screeching about hate and vitriol just stated the belief that two posters here are the same as Westboro ergo on their way to hell.

          Hey Dave watch out you called out Debbie on her hatefulness and disrespect. How many posters have had “issues” with the Great Debbie and yet you continue to allow her to post her hateful lies and rants without ever actually calling her out. I guess someone who is so great that she can dismiss simple principles of hermeneutics when they don’t agree her simply doesn’t have to follow any rules whatsoever.

  76. Christiane says

    Hi DAVID,

    You asked for some additional reply (from me) to what Benji had asked me, here:
    “Earlier you spoke of interpreting the entire Bible with a lens that you indicated is outside of the Bible.
    Now, you talk about using Scripture to interpret Scripture. Is there any part of the lens that you advocate interpreting the Bible with that is outside of Scripture? Is it a mixed lens that contains part Scripture and part nonScripture?”

    First thing is what I mean by the ‘lens': the LOGOS, Himself, Jesus Christ the Lord.
    Can He be encountered ‘outside the Bible’. He was.
    And that encounter is recorded IN the Bible:
    ““In the beginning was the Word,
    and the Word was with God,
    and the Word was God…
    and the Word became flesh”
    (Jn 1:1, 14)

    And then we know this also from the words of Saint John in his first letter:
    “We proclaim to you the Eternal Life which was with the Father and which was made manifest to us – that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ”
    (1 John 1:2-3).
    The Apostle speaks to us of hearing, seeing, touching and looking upon ( 1 John 1:1) the Word of Life (the LOGOS Incarnate).

    So the ‘lens’ that we look through is Christ.
    But to see the Sacred Writings through the ‘lens’ of Christ,
    our eyes must the ‘eyes of the dove’, the Holy Spirit.
    Examination of the Sacred Scriptures MUST occur with the help of the Paraclete who points us ALWAYS to Christ, even as we read the holy Writings, so our understanding of Sacred Scripture is blessed with this special grace. My Church calls Sacred Scripture a ‘sacramental’ for this reason.

    As a Church, DAVID, the ‘servants of the Word’ were those who received and passed on what was taught to them, at first orally, and then, in writing. Several centuries passed and the Church, in Community, in the Councils, gathered to put together the ‘canon’ of Sacred Scripture. Were they ‘guided’? We believe so. Very much.

    The Church , the community of the faithful (all who are baptised and are in the Body of Christ), still honors the Commands of ‘the Eternal Word’? as St. Peter did long ago, when he said this,
    The Church still prays this psalm: “You are my Refuge and my Shield; I hope in your Word” (Ps 119:114),
    and this Church, the Ekklesia, to which all who are ‘in Christ’ belong, still entrust its daily actions to the command of Lord Jesus?
    Yes. It does.
    The Churchis mission and actions echo the words of St. Peter to Christ:
    “At Your Word,
    I will let down the nets”
    (Lk 5:5).

    • Christiane says

      Goodness, I should proof-read before I submit a comment.
      Sorry. Any confusion that can’t be sorted out, let me know.

    • Benji Ramsaur says


      You are right to a point, but then I do not think you fully follow through as to where you need to go in your thinking.

      Yes, when the word became flesh He was seen/heard/touched outside of the Bible.

      And you are right to point this out concerning what John said in 1 John.

      However, it is at this point that I think you stop short of where you need to go with this train of thought.

      John was explaining this in 1 John as “a witness” of the Living Word to the local church so that they would base their faith on his writing as a witness. In other words, the apostles are what connect the historical Jesus with post-resurrection Christians who are not able to see/touch/hear/ Jesus after His ascension.

      Jesus already touched on this before He ascended with his comment to Thomas concerning those who would not see and yet believe.

      They would believe based on John’s writing [as witness] and thus this is involved in what Paul means when he says that the apostles are the foundation of the church in Ephesians.

      To tap into true Christianity is to tap into the writings of witnesses [Apostles]. Therefore, a lens that is not based on witnesses and is outside of Scripture is, well, baseless.

  77. Benji Ramsaur says


    While understanding the culture can have some value, I think trying to get into the mind of this or that person as to why they did or did not do this in the light of culture seems to be something that needs to be approached with an element of tentativeness.

  78. Debbie Kaufman says

    The Bible was written to the early Christians. History is important in interpretation. Reading it as the first century Christians read it, although much of this would make sense to them as they knew the culture, the Law and the OT very well. They were immersed in it. To dismiss it would be in my opinion leaning toward misinterpretation of any passage in the Bible.

  79. Debbie Kaufman says

    The Bible is to be read as a whole. It’s made up of laws, promises, liturgies, genealogies, arguments, parables, aphorisms, visions, etc. and do not stand in fragments but as one whole book, picture. What is wrong in my opinion, is to take a verse here and there to make up a theology instead of looking at all of scripture. In this case not only the culture of the time the passage is written, but also verses that seemingly contradict the popcorn verses. IOW those times when women were in ministry. It cannot be deleted or seen as not the norm or supposed directives that trump another part of scripture. All is God’s words to us and all are to be used in interpretation.

    Proper interpretation would be to take the verse in light of the whole chapter, the whole chapter in light of the whole book, and the whole book in light of the whole Bible. The history and culture of that time period is very important to properly interpret a passage.

  80. K Gray says

    Isn’t such information extra-Biblical? How much of it must one learn before one is able to understand the Scripture?

    • says

      Great point K Gray. One of the first principles that we learned in hermeneutics was that when we add to the text in order to pull from that text what we want, we eisegete the text, not exegete it, which is pulling from the text what is there. Adding to the text this supposed cultural bias weakens not on the text itself, but essentially denies the Holy Spirit’s superintending ministry of it.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      K: No. Study to show yourself approved unto God. It takes some studying. It’s not extra Biblical, it pertains to the passage and scripture. Listen to a well grounded sermon, and it will include history and culture of that time period. It will also include other passages that help with interpretation. If what you say is true, that alone would show that some end time exegesis is bad(which I think some are) because they use the headlines of today to interpret Revelation. Some here have used the happenings of today to make the point for dispensationalism. Now I would say that is extra Biblical. But to use the history, culture, the way church was conducted in the first century to help interpret the passage is very useful. Also scripture interpreting scripture. There were women in ministry, in Christ’s ministry and in Pauls’ ministry, that cannot be denied. It is right there in scripture. So the passages that complementarians use to say women cannot lead have to mean something else in light of the fact that the Bible itself says there were women in ministry, women who traveled with Christ, women he used to spread the message of his resurrection.

      • K Gray says

        Hi Debbie, I love study! I agree that history/culture info is useful, however, not “very important to proper interpretation of the passage.” It concerns me if we imply that people who lack that info (e.g., most people in the world) may not understand the Word.

        Women in NT in ministry, yes. Jesus, against culture, conversing with and recognizing women’s eternal souls, welfare and contributions, yes. Women serving well in the NT church, yes. Women in leadership, I don’t see it, I see Scripture advising against it.

        • K Gray says

          That is: Women as leaders with authority, rule, exercise over men, overall shepherding in the church, I don’t see it in the NT.

          And I don’t see what Debbie concludes about Lydia and Chloe; in fact, the leader in these passages is Paul. In Acts 16:14 Lydia “opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” She and her household were baptized (by Paul?). Then she urged Paul: “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” She presented it to him to decide. She apparently had courage to keep her house open to the brethren even after the uproar resulting in Paul and Silas being jailed. But I don’t see where she is “the same as…a pastor.”

          The I Cor. 1:11 reference to Chloe seems truly a ‘popcorn verse.’ All I see is again, a woman presenting a matter — the Corinthians’ quarrels — to Paul. He deals with it.

      • Bess says

        “” If what you say is true, that alone would show that some end time exegesis is bad(which I think some are) because they use the headlines of today to interpret Revelation. Some here have used the happenings of today to make the point for dispensationalism. Now I would say that is extra Biblical.””

        I haven’t seen anyone using a headline to defend dispensationalism but I did see someone claim the world was getting better based on MLK??? Who was that? If the claim is “the world is getting better” than I think we would have to use God’s standards on whether the world is better – so 38 years of legal abortion makes the world better or worse based on God’s standards? Not a defense of dispensationalism which is a whole other can of worms.

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          Yes Bess, I believe the world is getting better. You have your mind on one subject, and while I am totally against abortion, even that is going down. The problem now is young girls getting pregnant, but they are keeping their babies, at least in the area I live, abortion isn’t the problem, babies having babies is. There will always be sin in the world, but Christ is ruling and reigning right now. I believe that to be Biblical, and yes you are correct in that I see the world getting better. And it’s not just based on MLK Jr. but yes, he did make things better, although we still have a long way to go. There is healthcare, wages, and yes women in the work place and I could go on and on. It’s not perfect by any means, but it is better than it was.

          • Bess says

            First Debbie, I notice how you completely ignore your usual double standard – you posted a snarky comment about someone using headlines to defend dispensationalism when it was actually you trying to use what you think is the “great things going on in the world today” to defend your point of view. It’s always ok for you to try to hold everybody else up to standards you yourself choose not to follow. Kinda like when you go around screaming at everybody for beating people over the head with the Bible when it’s what you are constantly doing. Of course no acknowledgement by you that you were insulting people for doing what YOU yourself were guilty of doing and do again in this post. Defending your eschatology by pointing to events in the world.

            Secondly, you know nothing about me so claiming I have my mind on one subject shows your ignorance of who I am and what I actually do in this place called the “real world”

            Believe what you want about eschatology, I don’t care, I pray with that other guy here that we have a Third Great Awakening, but one thing I know and that is that there’s God’s Standards and then there is the World’s Standards. Lily Ledbetter is not exactly high on God’s radar I would suspect, but babies having babies and the pure EVIL of abortion that you simply dismiss as not that big of a deal is a very BIG DEAL to GOD according to what we know are HIS standards. But of course in Debbie’s world we now know that milions upon millions of babies being slaughtered is a sign that the world is getting better and a great place that she enjoys living in.

        • says

          Terrific point, Bess. Quite obviously to anyone with two brain cells to rub together, the world is NOT getting better and abortion is the perfect example of that. I looked at some CDC statistics and noticed that from 2000 through 2004 (the latest data that I saw on the particular website–after 2004 were only estimates for some reason) abortions had gone down *some*. Of course, the decrease was less than 500,000. No reasonable person would call such a tiny decrease proof that America is getting better–well, unless they were the kind of filthy person that calls working to make abortion illegal “culture warring”. In other words, they’re someone who doesn’t have the backbone to stand for what the Bible says. They’d rather cow-tow to the culture and avoid offending people.

          • Bess says

            Joe, the more you think about how someone can dismiss abortion as not that big of a deal in the whole scheme of things the more you just (fill in the blank cuz I don’t have words for someone that low and disgusting.)

          • says


            Preach it, girl!! Well, not preach, but you know…

            The fact that those certain people believe abortion being legal is even worse. How they can sleep at night knowing that babies are being murdered and not be compelled to do something (i.e. vote like a Christian) to make it illegal is beyond me.

          • Bess says

            And the pure idiocy of saying “it’s not that big of deal around here” The reason it’s not that big of deal “around here” is because people who actually see abortion for the evil it is work very hard to make sure that abortion clinics are not on every corner as the pro-death people would like. So where you have a lower rate of abortion to a higher rate of teen pregnacy it’s because abortion is not as easily accessible. But then you have to deal with the fact that as a country we have no morals AT ALL when it comes to sex anymore – way back when I was a girl – a girl having sex at a young age was frowned upon and she’d be considered a slut, but the culture today thinks there’s something wrong if a 14 year old is still a virgin. But sexual freedom for women is one of those great strides that feminist have made along with abortion. The world is better for women SEE! They can now be sluts and be proud of it because society as a whole accepts the no morals crowd. Another indication of how great the world is right now. MTV is trying to put on a show that many say violate child pornography laws – the libs are outraged that anyone should care as “It’s what kids are doing.” But it’s a great world to live in and try to raise your children in. SHeesh!

          • Christiane says

            Vote like a Christian:

            ‘Opposition to abortion and euthanasia DOES NOT EXCUSE indifference to those who suffer from poverty, violence and injustice.
            Any politics of human life must work to resist the violence of war and the scandal of capital punishment. Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care.
            Therefore, Christians should eagerly involve themselves as advocates for the weak and marginalized in all these areas. Christian public officials are obliged to address each of these issues as they seek to build consistent policies which promote respect for the human person at ALL stages of life.’

            Be consistent: support life in ALL of its stages, or open, obvious inconsistencies politically will turn people away from Christ, as it spreads the scandal of hypocrisy.
            Right now, any appearance of hypocrisy works AGAINST the movement to end abortion.

            If you support life, SUPPORT LIFE.
            Not just pre-born life.
            Otherwise, people know something’s not consistent in your talk.

          • says


            Put a sock in it. It is not the government’s job nor is it my problem to support able bodied people who don’t want to work for a living or don’t want to do what is needed to better themselves. When my daughter was born I didn’t have a job that provided the kind of life that I wanted for my family. So you know what I did? I did this crazy, whacked out thing called “Going to night school to get another degree so I could get a job to take care of my family”.

            Captial punishment is perfectly justified in the Bible. Romans 13:4. Suck it up and deal with it. That also applies to war.

            Now, you want to talk about inconsistant–you’re all for taking money out of the pockets of hard working people to give to able bodied men and women who are too lazy to work for what they need but you support filth that voted to deny medical care to suvivors of legalized infanticide (i.e. abortion)?? Looks to me like I’m not the one having problem talking out of both sides of my mouth there, L’s.

            And yes, vote like a Christian. No Christian EVER votes for a pro-abortion candidate. Anyone who votes for such a candidate has NO RIGHT to call themselves a Christian.

            Be peaceful, L’s. (larf, snicker)

          • Bess says

            You have a political party who’s entire platform is based on the belief that people are actually good at heart, there is no such thing as evil. all problems can be solved by man if we only redistribute the wealth a little bit. In other words a party who’s worldview is completely against GOD’s WORD. Somehow people think the party with the man-centric worldview is in any way the party Christians are supposed to support? Of course as their Christianity is completey man or should I say woman-centric that’s no suprise. No suprise at all. I’m sticking with the BIBLE not how the culture wants to corrupt God’s Words with the all the PC junk.

          • Christiane says

            JOE, does your faith permit you to oppose abortion and support life in all of its stages, from conception to natural death? If it doesn’t, I would question your support for life in ANY stage.
            Opposition to abortion means to support LIFE,
            not of necessity the Republican Party.
            Opposition to abortion isn’t a ‘separate’ political issue if the REASON you oppose abortion is because you support life.

            Do you oppose the unnatural termination of human life ?
            What are ALL of the methods and means used by people to terminate life unnaturally, either by taking action, or avoiding action ?

            There is an ethical debate that the conservative Christian needs to confront: choosing ‘life’ is the command of God,
            not voting for a political entity.
            And choosing ‘life’ involves a lot more responsibility.

          • Christiane says

            There is something sadly pathetic about choosing to limit one’s support of the right to life to the area that:
            1. costs you nothing personally
            2. and can be, and has been manipulated by political entities

            Where’s the commitment?
            That’s what people are asking, Joe.
            Inconsistent is one thing . . . but it’s WHERE the inconsistencies show up, and the selfish reasons for the lack of consistency in support of life, that are so glaring to people who are observing.

          • says

            Again, I’m not the one with the problems with inconsistency. You don’t have the right to take money out of MY pocket to try to subsidize the lifestyle of someone who wants better for themselves and is able to work but isn’t willing to. If someone like that (able bodied but lazy) is poor and their family lives in poverty, big hairy stinkin’ deal. Their problem. Not mine.

            Am I opposed to euthenasia? Well duh of course. However, that’s not legal.

            You are the one here that has a problem with inconsitency. So women don’t want to have a baby and therefore choose to legally murder that baby since people like you made that legal and fight to keep it legal. The baby survives the attempted murder and is denied medical care afterwards. Dumped in a clothes hamper with dirty rags to die and you’re going to talk to ME about supporting life??

            No Christian EVER votes for a pro-abortion candidate. Anyone who votes for a pro-abortion candidate (not Democrat, mind you, pro-abortion) has no right to call themselves a Christian–because they are NOT.

          • Bess says

            What’s pathetic is that you have explain on an SBC board that being a Christian means you do not support evil period. And you do not support those who’s very world view is anti-God. Anybody who claims to believe the Bible teaches Total Depravity would undertand why one parties whole foundation is against GOD. But then what people claim they believe the Bible teaches and what they except from the world seems to be two different things. A lot of conforming to the world going on here.

          • Bill Mac says

            There is a world of difference between fighting for the right to life of an innocent unborn child, and a convicted serial killer. I think a Christian can legitimately fall on either side of the capital punishment issue, but there’s only one legitimate side to the abortion issue.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Bess: I’ve had about all the poisonous words from you and Joe that I can stand. You read what I write, you twist it around, then put it as fact. Fact is you are wrong. Again. This conversation is over.

          • says

            I think a Christian can legitimately fall on either side of the capital punishment issue, but there’s only one legitimate side to the abortion issue.

            Perfectly said. That’s why, although there might be some Christians who are anti-death penalty (I have no idea how, but still it’s possible) no real Christian EVER votes for a pro-abortion candidate. Not once. Ever.

          • says

            I just have a suggestion -why don’t the four or five of you just agree not to interact? When I’m gone from this place for a while, it just fills up with vitriol and pettiness.

            Address issues.
            Discuss issues.

            As Bob Newhart said, “STOP IT!”

          • Bess says

            DAVE MILLER, I’m disappointed that you think calling evil evil is somehow pettiness and vitriol. WORDS are speaking loud and clear here if anyone still had any doubts about certain poster’s heart conditions.

          • Dave Miller says

            Bess, you said, “WORDS are speaking loud and clear here if anyone still had any doubts about certain poster’s heart conditions.”

            If there is little doubt about Debbie’s heart conditions, then I assume there is no longer any reason for you to continue to extol her failings publicly.

            You two are welcome to insult each other as much as you desire. Just don’t do it here.

            Address issues. As far as I can tell, Bess, you have not been designated by God as the personal policeman for Debbie Kaufman. You certainly have not been given that role here.

            You paint your attacks on Debbie as if they are a bold, courageous stand against evil. I have to tell you that they come across to me more as a personal grudge.

            I disagree with a lot of what Debbie says here. I argue with her. DR does. Lots of people do. You are welcome to give reasoned answers as to why you think Debbie’s arguments are swiss cheese. Do it!

            But there is no need for you to regale us any longer with Debbie’s character flaws. Look, if you are right, her flaws are obvious to everyone – you don’t need to pile on. If you are wrong, you are slandering a sister in Christ.

            Either way – Stop it.

          • Dave Miller says

            For the record, I do not believe that Debbie is “evil.”

            Except of course when she disagrees with me. That is, of course, unforgivable!

          • Bess says

            And again DAVE MILLER as I think anybody who posts here has figured out that for some reason you don’t believe everyone should follow the same rules. Debbie is allowed to continue to defame and attack anyone she chooses, but when she gets exposed just a little too clearly look who rides to defend her. Others have pointed it out to you but you choose to ignore it. And again Dave you are a huge disappointment when you think it’s just too harsh for poor widdle Debbie to have it pointed out to her that ABORTION is EVIL and people who think of it as anything less have a heart problem. One would think on a blog labeled SBC that we could agree on the ISSUE of ABORTION being evil. But poor Debbie is offended so let’s all go PC and delcare women’s rights to choice are somehow acceptable.

          • Dave Miller says

            Bess, I am sorry you feel I have been unfair. I think you will see that I confronted a group of people – you seemed to have taken it personally.

            You seem to live in a fantasy world in which you are God’s avenging angel to set right everyone who does wrong.

            You are welcome to confront Debbie’s ideas, as she is yours. I am not interested in providing a forum for your continued personal and ungodly attacks on here.

            I think Debbie is wrong on a lot of things. But do you really believe that the things you say to her honor God? Do they accomplish the work of God?

            That is, of course, for you to decide.

            But I have decided that I do not care to provide a forum for the personal attacks that about 4 or 5 of you like to aim at each other.

            If you wish to comment here, fine. Focus on scripture, ideas and beliefs. Your call.

            But my vision for SBC Voices is that it would be a place where people who love the gospel and the Word could come together to discuss things. The insult-athon is counter productive and my patience is gone.

          • Bess says

            Dave, it is not just me who sees you ignoring Debbie’s bad acts. Several have called you out on it, but you continue to ignore it. Maybe you’ve missed the posts where people have noticed your double standard when it comes to Debbie. Maybe you’ve missed the opinions that if Debbie were made to adhere to some level of the standards you claim you seek here that there would be far less problems. No I am not an avenging angel but I am not going to set back and let someone bully, insult and defame anyone while she claims she’s a super-Christian. Debbie has a history of being an internet bully not just here but on every website she’s ever posted on. Do you honestly think Debbie declaring that it is poetic justice if posters end up in hell is Christlike. Is it honoring to God when she rides in and declares that we are Westboro fundys for confronting L’s on her heresy. Just as L’s has a history of attacking and maligning the Gospel, Debbie has a history of attacking and defaming anybody who ever dares to disagree with her.

            So Dave, here’s what we can do. I can absolutely ignore Debbie. What do you say? You think that’s gonna solve all your problems? Let’s see shall we?

          • Dave Miller says

            I am through discussing this with you.

            Either behave and converse in a way that honors Christ or not – your choice. If you cannot exhibit self-control, I will have to step in.

  81. says


    I go away for a couple of days and come back to see some incredibly bad arguments like Jesus had female apostles (a horrendous lie) and that the ONLY reason why he chose 12 men was because of the culture (yeah, because Jesus was really trying NOT to rock the boat in Jewish life, right?).

    These are desperate attempts to distract from the clear passages of 1 Tim 2, Col 3, 1 Peter 3, and Eph 5, which according to 500 years of the historical-grammatical method, must be considered first (since they speak directly to the subject, are the most clear, and are in the genre of epistle – which consistently carries with it propositional truth) before moving to narrative passages that are more ambiguous. That’s just Hermeneutics 101.

    As far as I see it, the only people here not willing or able to deal with all of the relevant passages are the Egalitarians. I can’t wait for us to get to those passages mentioned above. And when we do my suggestion is that Dave delete every comment not related to the exposition of the passage highlighted in the original post (including mine if necessary). I think it would make for a much more fruitful (and telling) discussion.

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      DR: I have asked this question before and I will ask it again. What is an apostle? Someone who witnessed Christ after the resurrection. Who physically saw Christ after the resurrection? In fact who were the first ones to see?

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        An apostle is also one sent out by God for the sake of the Gospel. What did Jesus tell the women when he appeared to them after the resurrection?

        • Debbie Kaufman says

          Also: Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. (Romans 16:7,

          There is more than enough evidence that Junia was a woman.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            DR: Those scriptures you give are in the Bible. I am not nor have I ever sidestepped them. My point has always been that it cannot mean that women cannot be leaders or be a part of leadership in the church. It does not mean they cannot teach both men and women in light of other scripture that I have given that is opposite of that. It’s not the scripture you give that’s the problem, it’s the interpretation I disagree with.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            We also have Acts 16:14-15 where Lydia, who is a recent convert and head of her home, became one of the first Christian to have a group meet in her home(church). Paul and Silas preached there and set up headquarters there. She was the same as a minister, a pastor. She also had her own business. In this time period, women were either owned by their father or husband. Lydia was neither. She was more like a church planter, possibly a minister, since she guided others to her home to meet and presented to them Christ.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Chloe also had church in her home.(1 Corinthians 1:11) She sent a message to Paul through a trusted messenger. He received the message and Paul either knew her or knew of her enough that he trusted what she said, which is why this point of her sending a message is important. Her leadership was such that she had to be trustworthy for it to have been in scripture and for Paul to have read it and taken action to correct the Corinthian church.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Now DR is this infallible, inerrant scripture or isn’t it? And if you want to take the passages you gave of women being silent literally, then we literally are not allowed to utter a sound, not even in music or worship, or in the hallways of the church. We should wear coverings on our head. According to you that is not what you believe and rightfully so, yet the passages you point out clearly say this. So it cannot mean for women to be wordless now can it? Neither does it mean women cannot lead when God gives them the gifts to do so.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Christ commanded the woman at the well to go to her village and tell the message. This was absolutely not allowed before Christ.

          • Dave Miller says

            A) I’m not sure that your historical authority is as reliable as you seem to think that it is.

            B) You again evidence a distinct lack of understanding of the complementarian position – somehow in your mind if any woman in the Bible did anything, that denies complementarianism. You might try at least understanding what we believe before you deny it.

            C) You have only demonstrated that there are women in the Bible who served God. Amen. With the exception possibly of a few extremists, NO ONE denies that. Were they part of the Twelve? Were they pastors? Elders? Did these women if married, submit to their husbands?

            You address meaningless questions as if they are decisive. Then you ignore the meaningful passages and questions.

          • Dave Miller says

            Debbie, I hope that you understand that DR and I both believe in the infallible and inerrant Word of God. We believe that the errors come not from the Word, but from your lackadaisacal hermeneutical efforts in expositing it.

        • Dave Miller says

          Your definition of apostle falls far short of what most would use – and I think the biblical definition.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            Dave: Yes I do believe that you and DR believe scripture, I also believe that you sincerely believe this is God’s will or you wouldn’t follow it. I happen to believe you are sincerely wrong. I have shown why, although there is so much more in scripture that is hard to put in a comment section.

            You tell me that my definition of Apostle falls short, you also say my history is off, you fail to say what you believe the Biblical definition of Apostle is nor do you mention where I fall short in my history.

          • Debbie Kaufman says

            As for did they submit to their husbands, their was mutual submission to each other and to God. Not all the passages speak to their family life, but Paul would not have praised those he did if they were not following through in their marriages. Submission? To each other and to God. But that topic would be for another post wouldn’t it.

      • says

        Back that definition up with a Bible verse. Where does it say that EVERY person who saw Christ after the resurrection was an apostle? (crickets chirping)

  82. Christiane says

    ” And Jesus stopped and called them, saying,
    “What do you want Me to do for you?”
    They said to Him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.”
    And Jesus in pity touched their eyes,
    and immediately they received their sight and followed Him. ”

    ~Mt. 20: 32-34

          • Dave Miller says

            Negate that command. Put the $5 in an envelope marked to the “Dave Miller Evangelistic Assocation” and send it to 4301 Old Lakeport Road, Sioux City, IA 51106. I will see that it is well used Joe.

          • Christiane says

            JOE, put ANOTHER five dollars in your own mission plate. Send DAVID his money, you owe him.
            But gambling is wrong, and you are guilty, and you should repent with an additional fine for the missions.

            If your conscience tells you that your owe the money, you had better PAY UP, or you will no peace.
            God loves you, dear one. I normally charge 5 cents for such advice, but for you, free.

            Have a nice day.
            After you pay.

        • Christiane says

          DAVID, that verse stands on its own.

          But if you want some reason as to why I posted it, I believe that it witnesses to Christ ‘the Light of the World’,
          who brings us all out of the darkness: out of ‘tsalma?veth’,
          ‘the shadow of death’.

          The Psalms have this prayer:
          “He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
          and broke their bands”
          (Psalms 107:14)

          In the matter of ‘understanding’ Sacred Scripture, it is very important that people realize that intelligence and knowledge of human beings, although reason is a gift of God, won’t totally ‘cut it';
          that we depend on the ‘light’ of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to understand the sacred writings.
          He ‘touches’ our eyes, He opens our hearts to understand.

          There were, in the early days of Christianity, the Gnostics who prided themselves in their own superiority over those that they thought had no understanding,
          but what they could not grasp was the meaning of this key phrase in Scripture, these words of Our Lord:
          ” “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious Will.”
          St. Luke 10:21

          The idea of ‘the humble of heart’ being able to understand what the learned cannot is meaningful to all Christian people who seek to be nourished by the ‘Word’. We are told not to lean on our ‘own understanding’.

          The early Christians had a prayer: “Veni, Creator Spiritus . . .
          Come, Holy Spirit, and enlighten the hearts of the faithful . . .

          If we are human, we are in need of ‘the Light’, and it comes only to those who, in humility, ask.
          It is known that Our Lord saw people through ‘eyes of compassion’, and He does not refuse His Light to those who seek His Help. The Spirit will not come to the proud.

          ‘Lens’ ? If that word has offended, I offer another.
          Maybe the analogy of ‘Christ as Light’ is better for some.
          Christ, through the Holy Spirit, has sent a ‘helper’ to those who pray for en’light’enment, so that the Sacred Scriptures may be understood in the ‘Spirit’ in which they were written.

          There was a person on this blog some time ago that asked why some Christian people sign themselves with the cross. I thought of what is prayed, when the three-fold crosses are made, prior to reading the Gospels at our ‘service of the Word':
          I told him it was a way of praying:

          On the forehead: ‘Christ be present in our thinking, as we read by the light of the Holy Spirit.’
          On our lips: ‘Christ, be in our speaking, that your Holy Word may once again be heard in our land’
          On our hearts: ‘Christ, be in our hearts, and conform them to your own, through the power of the Holy Spirit. ‘

          For some this is ‘superstition’. But not for others, no.

          • Bess says

            So interpreted means “there are no rules to scripture interpretation. Talking about hermeneutics is the same thing as being a gnostic. All we need is the Holy Spirit and some people have more of the Holy Spirit then others ie they are Super Christians. And the Scripture can mean whatever holier than thou Christians say it means simply because they tell us that they are holier than thou.”

          • Benji Ramsaur says


            I think what you are advocating for is an erroneous form of mysticism. It is the kind of mysticism that thinks one can bypass revelation and have direct contact with the being of Christ.

            I reject that becausee I do not think one can bypass the apostolic writings and have direct contact with “the Light”, “the lens” or whatever one wants to call it.

            There is a reason why John makes much out of himself being a witness. That is because believers are to base their faith directly on His witness as an apostle of Christ.

            The Holy Spirit illuminates Christians to understand the Scriptures. However, the Holy Spirit does not offer a lens or any kind of Light that exists outside of Scripture by which to interpret Scripture.

            The Apostolic writings are the lens. The Apostolic writings are the revelation of Christ.

            Look at the flow of thought between those involved in the process of revelation in John chapters 14 & 16.

            The Son takes from the Father. The Spirit takes from the Son. The Spirit gives to the Apostles. And John, for example, writes down what ultimately flowed from the Father through the Son through the Spirit to him.

            When God speaks by His Son in the sense in which I have alluded to above, then this is revelation with the tone of finality to it according to Hebrews 1:1-2.

            And since it is final, then we are not to expect any greater lens or light to come after it until Jesus Himself returns.

            What you are advocating allows one to make up their own lens and call it whatever they want to call it so that the Scriptural interpretation is controlled by one’s own arbitrary grid. But this is not to allow the Scriptures to have the final say since the Scriptures are being controlled by an outside source.

            I have noticed your change in language from lens to light. If you kept lens, then you ought to be able to reveal it. However, the change to light [that someone supposedly may have an experience with] allows you to talk about its existence without have to reveal it.

            However, ultimately it does not matter since Christ has spoken with the implication that His word is final [Hebrews 1:1-2].

          • Christiane says

            “The Holy Spirit illuminates Christians to understand the Scriptures.”

            That’s my point, Benji. The word ‘illuminate’ means to caste light on’. (From the Latin ‘lumens’ for light)

            The place of Christ, from your comment, appears to be different in your Church than it is in mine, I think.
            I am learning about how He is not prayed to by some.
            And I am learning that some feel that He is eternally submitting His ‘separate’ wll to the Will of the Father. (This, of course, my faith does not believe, as we see the Triune God having only One Will, which rules out ‘submission’ as a process.)

            I am not sure how the verses that pertain to Our Lord are ‘interpreted’ by members of your faith.
            Perhaps it would help for you to quote verses about Christ ‘the light’, and explain how you see those verses in faith.

            As far as God inter-acting with human-kind, we know that He is the Source of all life, and sustains all life, every heart-beat, every breath. And He freely gives grace to many who aren’t able to read the Holy Scriptures. I know that to be true.

  83. Frank L. says

    You know how annoying it is to go to Disneyland and hear that song, “It’s a Small World,” over and over and over again? Well, that’s how I feel when I see the same argument and twisting of Scripture to try to prove that women and men are “equal” in regard to the roles we have in life and in the church.

    Nothing can count for evidence against egalitarianism: Scriptures don’t count because “being a husband of one wife” means something other than being a “husband of one wife.” Logic cannot count for evidence because what looks obvious — men and women are different — is not obvious to everyone.

    And, what’s with this red herring of pointing out this woman or that woman in the Bible. How’s that make it possible for a woman to be a “husband?”

    I give up.

  84. Debbie Kaufman says

    Acts 9:36 (King James Version)

    36Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

    Frank: When you can answer Strider’s question which was, does this passage then mean single men cannot enter the ministry…..

  85. says

    In the Bible, each and every single apostle is called an apostle. There is not one instance of someone being given a message and then, all of a sudden, people realize they’re an apostle. Therefore, since no woman was named as an apostle, you know what, there were no women apostles. Only an idiot who rejected sound heurmenutics and wanted to “feel” their way through issues rather than “think” about them would suggest otherwise.

    • Bess says

      We know there are only twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus by looking to

      Revelation 21:14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

      The twelve Apostles were special – not everyone is an Apostle in the sense of those chosen by Christ. The twelve chosen by Christ were given power and authority by Jesus Matt 10:1; Mk6:7; Lk 9:1. Acting as if everyone can be an apostle like one of the twelve shows a complete lack of understanding of who the Apostles were and the authority given to them by Christ. Who else in the NT do you see Christ directly giving power to?

      Matthias was not an apostle appointed by Christ. The twelvth is Paul. The scripture where the apostles cast lots for Mathias is an example of a decscriptive passage – we see people doing something. Those who accept principles of sound hermeneutics don’t take those passages and build doctrines off of them. Jesus called the Syro-Phoenician woman a dog therefore that makes it ok for men to call women dogs. It’s right there in the Bible, He called her a dog. That’s what you do when you start elevating the descriptive to the importance of prescriptive verses Using descriptive passages means you can pretty much build any doctrine you want, making the Bible say anything you want. We also don’t let extra biblical revelation interpret scripture. The Bible interprets everything. Just because you don’t like where it’s leading it doesn’t mean you can find some “context” to try to change the clear meaning of scripture.

      Depending on what translation of the Bible you read even if you believe Junia to be a woman the verse according to the reliable translations is

      Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. Romans 16:7 ESV

      Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Romans 16:7 NKJV

      Even where it’s interpreted “outstanding among the apostles” it can mean different things – were these people apostles are were they known to be outstanding to the apostles? It is not as clear as some would make it. Of course according to egals there’s been a Dan Brown conspiricy plot by men for centuries to keep women down and so you can’t trust any of the translations. If I were someone who actually believed that then I would have to throw the whole thing out. Because if the Bible is that corrupt, nothing can be trusted. I don’t believe that.

      • Debbie Kaufman says

        Bess: We do know. The verse speaks for itself. The word apostle is used. There is only one Biblical definition for an apostle.

          • Christiane says

            Hi DEBBIE,

            My own Church is ‘slow’ to accept women in the clergy, beyond the status of ‘the priesthood of the believer’,
            but here is something ‘interesting’ that has some ancient antecedents in our tradition:

            in our history, the ‘abbesses’ of the great monastic houses for women were allowed to carry a ‘cozier’ (a sign of pastoral authority). This practice apparently went so far back into ancient Christian history, that none could deny its acceptance, as no one could point to a time when the Abbesses did not carry one in procession.
            They were also permitted to wear the ‘pectoral cross’, as were their male counter-parts, the abbas (male heads of monasteries for men).

            That ‘crozier’ is symbolic, of course: it looks like a shepherd’s staff, and it represents the leadership of a shepherd ( or in the case of an Abbess,a ‘shephardess’).

            Tradition may be disrespected by some Christians, but it tells a lot what was practiced among Christian people throughout the ages.

            A woman ‘shepherdess’? Not unheard of in Scripture.
            And apparently, since time immemorial, some Christian women have carried a shepherd’s staff in Christian procession.

            I thought you might enjoy knowing about this.

        • says

          There are scholars on both sides of that argument. Just because The Debbie ASSERTS that there is no other possible interpretation does not PROVE that the issue is closed. Again, you have shown not one single solitary Bible verse that PROVES any of the women you ASSERT were apostles. Heck, for that matter, few competent e-gals make the claims that you do (that Mary Magdelene was an apostle).

          Female apostles are like Santa Clause–they’re make believe.

          • Bess says

            I think she believers that the word disciple and apostle are somehow interchangeable. There are no women apostles in the Bible. There really is no point in having a discussion with someone who makes up her own rules as she goes along to try to cram her beliefs into the Bible.

          • Bess says

            Joe, help me out here, I’m trying to think of anyplace in the Bible where it talks about “the Apostles” where it was not clearly mentioning the Apostles as in the twelve. Gotta get the concordance out. Jesus only appointed twelve apostles – so when the phrase “the apostles” was used it was always referring to the Christ appointed apostles. Does that sound right? So if the phrase the apostles was consistently used to refer to the Christ appointed 12 we know the Romans 16:7 could not be calling Junia an apostle because clearly Junia was not one of the 12? I’m not sure, just a thought I’ll have to run the chain.

        • Bess says

          Debbie, give us the chapter and verse for what you think is the definition of an Apostle and if you use the Matthias incident in Acts 2 defend your position that Matthias is the 12th Apostle instead of Paul. We know there are only twelve “Apostles of the Lamb” according to Rev 21:14. If Matthias fits the definition of Apostle then surely his name is the one written on the foundaton of the city and not Paul. Or the passages written about Matthias are simply descriptive and actually show the Apostles getting ahead of God who already had a choice for the 12th Apostle.

        • Bess says

          Debbie, for a woman screeching about others ignoring scripture it doesn’t speak well of that you ignore the reliable translations of scripture that disagree with you and speak very plainly against your interpretation.

  86. Bess says

    Just remembered Jesus sent out the 72 in Luke 10 – still not the same as His Apostles; See Acts 1 and Rev 21

    • Debbie Kaufman says

      After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also,He sent out 72 more disciples. We do not know the sex, we do not know the names.

  87. says

    Disciples – of Moses john9:28, john the baptist john 3:25, Judas john 6:66, secret disciple joseph ofArimathea john 19:38 APOSTLE – Seeing bthe Lord and being an eyewitness to his resurrection; Acts 1:22, 1Cor 9:1 Being invested with miraculous sign-gifts; Acts 5:15 – 16, Heb 2:3-4-being chosen by the Lord or Holy Spirit vv 1 – 2 Acts 1:26 This is all I have but my thought is we will not find anybody who’s living it defineing it but rather we who read will gather the facts as they exist and then we “define” it. I think one or more study Bibles that you trust is in order so a person can see how these terms and others are arrived at. One I like is the Ryrie but I understand there are computer programs as well. Which ones ? Written by Who ? Big questions.

    • Bess says

      Anyone who follows Jesus is a disciple. All the Apostles were disciples. Not all disciples were Apostles. Those words do NOT mean the same thing and they are not interchangeable.

  88. Benji Ramsaur says


    What I am talking about the Spirit doing is what the Psalmist prays for in Psalm 119:18. However, the psalmist also considers God’s word to be light–119:105.

    Even if people cannot read…whatever they are taught that is true about the Light–Jesus–ultimately derives from Scripture and not an outside source.

    The very language and doctrine of Jesus being the Light of the world derives from Scripture itself. If you think it does not ultimately derive from Scripture, then please show me where it does ultimately derive from. Now, remember, if you quote Scripture, then I think that will prove my point.

    You said “The place of Christ, from your comment, appears to be different in your Church than it is in mine, I think.

    Please give me your interpretation of John 16:12-15.

  89. says

    Dear Bro. Randle; While I am not sure about Stearns’ Wife, I am sure about his sister, Martha Stearns Marshall who was married to Daniel Marshall. And she did preach. She is even said to have won one to Christ who later became a minister. I refer to her exhortations to the agent of the law that came to arrest her husband for preaching in Georgia. Samuel Cartledge is said to have been converted as a result of coming under conviction from her exhortations. He later became a minister and pastor Baptist churches in South Carolina and Georgia for over 50 years. He was the ancestor of one of the editors of the Biblical Recoder (Tony Cartledge) a few years ago. Egalitarianism is the aim of family relationships with reference to children,but there are times when some children require more attention than others. My sister, Debbie, once said to our mother, “You must love Jim, Joy, and Sarah more than me, cause their so much smarter than I am.” Debbie was handicapped and borderline in intelligence due to a birth injury, but she attended regular school and made Bs and Cs. With a paralyzed hand she still learned to tie her shoes. She would keep at a task until she mastered it – even though she wore everyone else out with her howls of frustration until she succeeded. Mom replied, “O Debbie, I don’t but what I love you more, cause you try so darn hard.” No one ever resented Mom’s answer, because it was obviously needed and deserved.
    Egalitarianism is simply the reality of someone being prepared to perform responsibly in whatever position they are placed by God’s purpose. Americans, due to their ability to take responsibility, according to my Grandfather’s brother who served from the Spanish American War to World War II and bore a battlefield commission as a 2nd Lt. from World War I. He staed that the best individual fighter was a Turk, the Best unit fighter was a German, and the best all around fighter was the American as he could move up and take command, if his officers were killed off….which is how Uncle Bill became a commissioned officer. As a child I saw his commission which bore the signature of Woodrow Wilson. Since I loved history at that early age, I focused on that signature.
    And as to equality, the Germans are great people, but their habit of obedience to authority became fatal under the sick authotarianism of Hitler and the Nazis. Checks and balances are always needed, and the German people, somehow or another, lacked what the American system especially had. Likewise, complementarianism needs checks and balances which egalitarianism has, if it is not run into anarchy by extremists. There ain’t no guarantees against sin, self, and satan in this world except the mercy and grace and truth of God in Christ Jesus. In counseling and dealing with cases involving incest and pedophiliand sadistic practices, I have found that pathologies can masquerade under the guise of complementarianism. On the other hand, anarchy can masquerade under egalitarianism. So-called complementarianism can be a convenient blanket for a pathology of mistreament and expressions of hostility.
    There are both complementarianism and egalitarianism elements in the Old and New Testament. God is dealing with a fallen people, with people who have a madness in their very beings and personalities, A pathology will very likely focus on that pole of truth which it finds most appealing for its expression. Clearly, the best position is that of balance, balance, balance, an authoritatively healthy way of dealing with such issues as gender in live rather than an authoritarian sickness that is so destructive to both the perpetrators and the victims.

  90. Dave Miller says

    Let me be clear.

    We are going to talk about the subjects that people write about here at SBC Voices.

    We are not going to be a chat-room for dysfunctional Christians.

    I don’t know if I can say this any more clearly than this:

    I don’t care if Debbie doesn’t like Bess.
    I don’t care if Bess doesn’t like Debbie.
    I don’t care if Bess doesn’t like Christiane.
    I don’t care if Debbie doesn’t like Joe.
    I don’t care if Joe doesn’t like Debbie.
    I don’t care if Christiane thinks Joe and Bess are “mean.”

    I do care if people post comments that are contrary to the gospel – I will confront that, as I have always done.
    I DO CARE if Christian people behave like babies on this site – embarrassing themselves and Christ in the process.
    I do care about the reputation of SBC Voices which is damaged by the failure of some regular commenters to exhibit self-control.

    I am not responsible for every comment that appears on here and I do not have the time to police every comment stream.

    You are responsible to make sure that every word you say honors Christ. Do it!

    • Christiane says

      “You are responsible to make sure that every word you say honors Christ. Do it!”

      Best advice any moderator of a Christian blog could possibly give.

    • Dave Miller says

      I think this is important too, “I do care if people post comments that are contrary to the gospel – I will confront that, as I have always done.”

      • Christiane says

        DAVID, I’m not sure I speak of ‘the gospel’ in the same way as everyone here, but here is how I experience the Reading of the Gospel at our Service of the Word:

        Honoring the Gospel: as the Lord teaches us from His Words and from His Life:
        Preceding the Reading is the Gospel Acclamation: “Alleluia”
        which means “Praise God”

        Three prayers also precede the Reading of the Gospel
        . . . to understand it . . . to be able to share it . . . and to love it in our hearts

        People stand reverently to hear the Gospel, as Rome’s first Christians did, in the catacombs. The same grace becomes present that was there for those who saw Jesus in the flesh or heard the Sermon on the Mount.

        They are hearing the very Word that created us,
        the Truth that will set us free.

        And the people respond: ‘Thanks Be To God.’

        • says

          The gospel is simple:

          We are sinners, separated from God because of our sins and deserving of hell. God sent his Son to bear our sins and atone for them – satisfying God’s righteous justice.

          Those who repent of their sins and trust Jesus (not their own works or merit) are saved by God’s grace.

          • Christiane says

            in that simplicity, you have honored the innocent Lamb of God who embraced the wood of both the cradle and the Cross.

  91. Christiane says

    The ‘Good News’ seen as an act of God’s great love for us:

    In an act of love, God forgives us and asks His Son to pay our debt for us. Christ does this by willingly dying on the Cross.
    The ‘Good News’ is that, in this act of love for us, He has become Our Saving Lord.
    Knowing that God the Father has sent His Son for us,
    we ask for mercy (God’s forgiveness) humbly, confidently (with faith), because God’s Love is infinitely greater than our failings.

    I like that verse in the Bible that says ‘He will remember our sins no more.’

    • says

      In an act of love, God forgives us

      only if we trust Christ to save us. He will not forgive anyone who calls out to allah, buddah, god as revealed by the “prophet” joseph smith, or anyone/anything else other than Christ. And He will not accept faith in allah/etc as being faith in Christ so that the person gets to heaven and says “Wow. All this time I had prayed to allah and it was really Christ who saved me? Seriously? Never saw that one coming.”

      The ‘Good News’ is that, in this act of love for us, He has become Our Saving Lord.

      Only of those who consciously trust Christ as their Savior. To those of other faiths, He will not show one ounce of mercy or padon but will pour out His wrath on them for their sins.

      Oh, and please, no YouTube videos about mentally retarded folks. Everyone believes that mentally retarded/infants go to heaven. I don’t know how that works although I believe it to be true. You claim it’s because He makes an exception which proves, in your mind, that He’ll make an exception for the muslim to which I respond “Prove it from scripture”.

  92. Christiane says

    There is a lesson in the Gospels about a man to whom undeserved mercy was shown by his own master.
    And yet, when the time came, that man himself had no heart to feel compassion for one who needed it from him.

    Do Christian people receive undeserved mercy from God?
    Do some then turn on others with condemnation?
    Have they forgotten these eternal words? “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
    Ex 33:19 (NIV)

    The scriptures tell this story:
    Mat 18:23-27 (NIV) “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.”

    Mat 18:28-31 (NIV) “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.”

    Mat 18:32-35 (NIV) “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from the heart.”

    Micah 6:8 (NIV) He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

    Luke 1:50 (NIV) “His mercy extends to those who fear him…”

    If we, who truly have deserved contempt but have been shown God’s mercy and His grace;
    how can we then speak with contempt for anyone still in need of God’s mercy?

    • says

      Telling someone “You must come through Christ and no other way will do” is not “showing contempt”. It’s telling people the truth. Further, the story of the unmerciful servant in no way, shape, form, or fashion suggests or implies for even an instant that people of other faiths can get to God without ever consciously trusting in Christ. In that parable, the servant went out to collect a debt owed to him by another servant. A muslim/mormon/etc doesn’t owe me anything for his sin. He owes God. If he doesn’t consciously repent of his sin and trust Christ, God has already said in His inerrant word that He will show them absolutely no mercy.

      To treat these people with contempt, I’d have to deny the fact that Christ alone is the way to salvation and claim that their “good lives” give testiment that they know Christ without realizing that they know Him. I’d have to claim that all religions point to the same God. That would be the way to truly show these people contempt. Do you know anyone who does that, L’s, because that would be the most hateful thing they could do?

      • Christiane says

        “He will not show one ounce of mercy or pardon but will pour out His wrath on them for their sins.”

        Will He show mercy on those who have been shown mercy, but who now sit in judgment on others and declare that there will be no mercy for them ?

        The question is this: Are Christians sent forth to be Christ’s servants or His judges?

        In ancient times, at the ending of their services of the Word and of the Thanksgiving, the early Christians were dismissed with these words:
        “Go. You are sent forth, to love and serve the Lord.”

        Our Lord: Himself, compassionate for the lost who suffered and who were ‘harassed, and helpless, and without a shepherd’.
        Our Lord: Who responded when He heard these words
        ” Help Thou my unbelief. ”
        Our Lord: Who when Thomas doubted, showed kindness to him and patience, and helped Thomas to examine His Wounds, and to understand and tp trust in faith again.
        Our Lord: who asks us to ‘learn of Him’ how to serve others, so we obey and learn the ways of the humble Man of Compassion who did not come to arrogantly ‘condemn’ but to heal the broken.

        Christians who come at others with the message of ‘Be afraid’ have forgotten how Our Lord was with people when He was here among us.
        If He was wrathful, was it not the hypocrites who felt that anger?
        Would He have justified those who proudly point to another and say, ‘Thank you Lord, that I am not like that sinner’ ?

        You want to share Christ with people?
        Don’t judge and condemn them.
        Patiently and humbly teach them all that Christ did and said and commanded.
        Then understand that it is the Holy Spirit who is must do the rest.

        • says

          Will He show mercy on those who have been shown mercy, but who now sit in judgment on others and declare that there will be no mercy for them ?

          He will show mercy to those who repent of their sins and trust Christ to save them. Declaring what the Bible says, that God will have no mercy on anyone who does not repent and consciously trust Christ to save them, is not judgement. Judgement involves the ability to pass sentance and enforce that. God will be the only judge. God has said, in His word, that the only people who will go to heaven are those who repent of their sins and consciously trust Christ as their Savior. Everyone else, no matter how good, nice, helpful, tolerant, peaceful, loving, caring, or compassionate they are will go to hell. No mercy. No pity. God has already declared this. Therefore, when I tell someone “God will save you and forgive your sins if you repent and trust Christ alone to save you but if you reject Him there is no other way for you to be saved. Please, repent and trust Christ” I have told them EXACTLY what Christ has told me to tell them.

          Now, if in your mind, that makes me a hate-mongerin’ fear monger (and it does in your mind) then I wear that badge with pride because I’m doing exactly what God said to do. In order to be truly hateful, I’d have to lie to people and tell them all religions worship the same God and that their “goodness” proves that they have a relationship with Christ even if they don’t realize it. Of course, I don’t know anyone who would tell people such a soul damning lie because that would be truly hateful. Do you know anyone who would say something that hateful, L’s?

          • Christiane says

            JOE, I don’t think that there are any ‘shortcuts’ to
            patiently and humbly teaching all that Christ did and said and commanded. Then we have to understand that it is the Holy Spirit who is must do the rest.

            Sometimes, in reading the ‘Word’ to people, you ‘plant a seed’, and you yourself may not see the result of that nurturing in your own time or experience.
            But you can’t think that ‘the Word’ has no chance to help them . . . you sometimes cannot know the good that you have done, because the result of it may come to happen in God’s own time.
            For this reason, you must never despair of God’s Mercy.

          • says

            I didn’t say, suggest, or implly that “the Word has no chance to help them”.

            See, I’m not the one who is lying and decieving people by teliling them the OPPOSITE of what God’s inerrant word teaches. When someone says that mormons and muslims worship the Father of Jesus Christ, God, they have LIED to them. When someone tells them that their way to God is just as valid as any other, they have LIED to them.

            Those LIES are the exact OPPOSITE of what Jesus commanded His followers to go out and preach. If someone believed that LIE the will go to hell. Therefore, the person who lied to them is guilty.

            Ezekiel 3:18 (NASB)-When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.

            Therefore, telling someone “You worship God and your faith can save you” when they do not worship the Father of Jesus Christ and faith in Him is the only way to heaven is the most HATEFUL thing a person can do. Do you know anyone who would tell someone like that, L’s? Because if you do, they’re the most horrible, hateful human being on the planet.

  93. Benji Ramsaur says

    I understand that the division of the Moasic law into three parts has been popular in church history.

    I think this was an overstatement on my part. I think the division goes back to Aquinas in the 13th century.

    Church history was around a long time before Aquinas.