Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.
Preaching Articles

The role of women in ministry is a much-debated topic with godly leaders on both sides of the issue. In this four-minute video, Bishop Wright advocates for the full participation of women in the life of the Church.

Discussion Starter: Share your stance on this important topic (with biblical backing, preferably) in the comment section below. 

Nicholas Thomas Wright is an Anglican bishop and a leading New Testament scholar. He is published as N. T. Wright when writing academic work, or Tom Wright when writing for a more popular readership

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Keith B

commented on Aug 16, 2012

He starts with an assumption. He's begging the question. It is not an established fact that Junia is a woman. This person is very possibly a man...but we just don't know. N.T. did it with his "New Perspective", and he's going off the rails here. Just stick to what the text says, N.T.

Mary Willis

commented on Aug 16, 2012

I have been an ordained minister for 20 years and graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1992. When I was called to ministry from northen WI, I had never seen a woman minister. I had been lightly called 10 years earlier but didn't even tell anyone at the time. When our childdren were grown, I could respond to the call and God made my way clearn by selling our home to good friends that we hadn't seen in 20 years when they came to look for retirement homes...Our home wasn't on the market and I was away on a retreat at the time. When my husband drove me to New Haven, CT to begin my studies at YDS, I looked around and there were 12 women about my age who hadn't had time to answer their call earlier! It was confirmation to me that I was at just the right place at just the right time. Now I have served four churches and in each one, I was the first settled pastor. It has always been a challenge because not everyone welcomes a woman pastor but I have done my best for the Lord and in each spot, I always felt that that is exactly where I was supposed to be doing what I was supposed to be doing. Jesus Christ has always celebrated and used women to tell his story and treated them very equally in John, my favorite book of the Bible. Of course Jesus all wants us to use the gifts we each have been given to build up the body of Christ on earth. Thank you for sharing this.

Jack Woodard

commented on Aug 16, 2012

It is amazing how many Bible Scholars refuse to let the Scripture speak for itself. Jesus always had problems with the experts telling the people that He said something that He didn't say.

John Modgling

commented on Aug 16, 2012

None of the biblical passages that NT referenced sets women up as leaders/elders/pastors of a church (can't say for sure about the gender of Junias). In 1 Timothy 2:11-14, Paul forbids a woman to have authority over a man. Why? He cites Genesis 3 as the reason for his teaching. That takes it out of the realm of cultural and makes it a perpetual principal in the church.

Pastor Ellsworth Herring

commented on Aug 16, 2012

This whole issue is one more evidence of confusion that would enter the Church, signaling the end of all things is at the door. The issue is even more confused by dealing with it on the level of gender specificity. The issue has nothing to do with that. It's God's order that is the mainline issue. Women are the same with God in POSITION, but not in FUNCTION. When the Prophets came, they were sent by God to tell the people that they were out of line. These were people who thought they were alright. When Jesus Himself came, He came and told the Jews that they were out of line. But once again, they thought they were in line and doing the will of God. We need to stop doing taking theories and pushing ideas into the mix, and then going about trying to find things to support or justify it. That's what the atheists and evolutionists do.

Michael Stowell

commented on Aug 16, 2012

I'm just a dumb country Baptist preacher so tell me how do you explain 1st Timothy 3:2 (the husband of but one wife) and 3:12 (the husband of but one wife)?

Keith B

commented on Aug 16, 2012

@Michael....I believe the argument is that pastors <> elders.

Douglas Hulslander

commented on Aug 16, 2012

What NT Wright does - and all other commenters here have failed to do - is refer to the Bible; the Word of GOD. Some of you have taken a scripture out of context to USE it for your ends, but no one has taken the Bible as a whole. There are WAY TOO MANY scriptures referring to women prophesying, teaching men, leading churches, and being apostles and deacons, that you can only ignore them if you just plain WANT women to be less than men. But that is NOT GOD's plan. PLEASE study the Word; go to the original language; try to be open to what GOD is saying. Reading only in English will NOT get you the full understanding. PLEASE try to see that you are doing what NT Wright said about making the Bible second and placing church tradition above it. I pray for understanding and wisdom for all.

Keith B

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Douglas...can you show me a reference to a woman serving as elder or pastor of a church? Wright didn't do that...and neither has anyone else here.

Michael Stowell

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Exactly. So how can they justify a woman pastor?

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 16, 2012

In 1 Tim. 2:12 Paul's "I" refers to him as the inspired apostle writing under the direct revelation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21). According to "The Companion Bible" in 2:12, as in 2:7, the word "not" expresses "full and direct negation, independently and absolutely; not depending on any condition expressed or implied." Kenneth Wuest, in "The Pastoral Epitles In The Greek New Testament" writes, "The correct understanding of Paul's words, 'I suffer not a women to teach,' are dependent upon the tense of the Greek infinitive and gramatical rule pertaining to it." He concluded that Paul meant, "I do not permit a woman to be a teacher." W. E. Vine has pointed out that the infinitive to teach can be used absolutely or transitively; he also indicated that in 2:12 it is used absolutely and means "to give instruction." As I have said many times before, Paul was speaking in the context of teaching in the local church. He did not prohibit women from teaching other women (Titus 2:3-4) or from teaching children (1 Tim. 2:15; 5:10). Neither is he saying that Priscilla, who along with her husband, privately taught Apollos, was wrong (Acts 18:24-28). But Paul ABSOLUTELY reserved the teaching role in the church for men. According to God's order for the human race, "Adam was first formed, then Eve." This is a biblical fact. It is foolish to agrue with facts. The only way a person can get away from this fact is to deny the divine inspiration of Scripture! The reason the church today is in the shape it is in is because "preachers" are afraid to preach God's truth because it isn't "politically correct." Someone made a very good point in a previous discussion on this issue, (K B?). If a wife is to be in submission to her husband (Eph. 5:22-24) how can she have authority over him in the church? Verse 24 says the wife is to be in subjection "IN EVERY THING." Another contradiction for those who hold women can be pastors.

Keith B

commented on Aug 16, 2012

@Michael....I've spoken to a pastor that said that he believes pastor <> elder...so he disregards the verses outlining an elder's qualifications to be the husband of one wife. I believe the pastor is an elder that teaches and preaches...thereby meaning that they are male only.

Tracy Smith

commented on Aug 16, 2012

If you read Romans 16:7 you plainly see the words: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my COUNTRYMEN... not countrymen and countrywomen. Even if junias was a womans name then the case may be that Andronicus and Junias were man and wife and may have even been prisoners with Paul. But no where does this denote tha Junias was an elder in the church. There is not even a hint of that in this passage. Paul is just saying how glad he is that they, whomever they may be, were IN CHRIST before he was. Stay in context!

Tracy Smith

commented on Aug 16, 2012

If you read Romans 16:7 you plainly see the words: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my COUNTRYMEN... not countrymen and countrywomen. Even if junias was a womans name then the case may be that Andronicus and Junias were man and wife and may have even been prisoners with Paul. But no where does this denote tha Junias was an elder in the church. There is not even a hint of that in this passage. Paul is just saying how glad he is that they, whomever they may be, were IN CHRIST before he was. Stay in context!

Pat Cook

commented on Aug 16, 2012

This is an article clarifying the rationale for women in ministry within the Wesleyan Church. I don't expect it to solve all the hermeneutical issues raised here, but let's not assume that everybody who doesn't agree with us is somehow unbiblical, please. http://www.wesleyan.org/em/assets/downloads/women_ministry/positional_statement_wim.pdf

Ginette Marie Dun-Robin C

commented on Aug 16, 2012

NT is spot on as usuual! There is no biblical reason denying the role of women's leadership status!

Steve Mack

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Prevailing ambiguities of the role and status of women in the Church [as presented in the pages of Scripture] seems God-designed to stimulate dialogue and review in every generation. There are few areas where the influence of the surrounding culture can have a greater impact than the role of women in the church. Here is what we do know. a]Women are created in God's image. b]Women reflect completely the person and nature of God. c]Women's strengths and weaknesses are essential elements to the overall balance of any community of God's people. d]Scripture makes no ultimate distinction in the future glory of men and women. e]All the beauty and redeeming qualities of womanhood are a reflection of part of who God is. f]Historically, the more removed a culture or society is from God's standards, the less value and dignity is given to womanhood. g]Christianity introduced a new approach and vision to womanhood that elevates and emancipates women from second-class status once and for all. The debate over the role of women in the church needs to focus on the same issue that is relevant to both men and women not just in the church but in every sphere of life - the willingness to serve others in humility.

Keith B

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Steve, that sounds good and well...but I'm not sure how we can simply disregard the instructions for elders to be the husbands of 1 wife. I'm sorry...I just can't write it off as a cultural issue.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Ginette says, "NT is spot on as usuual! There is no biblical reason denying the role of women's leadership status!" Really? What Bible are you reading? For starters, how about giving me your interpretation of 1 Tim. 2:12-3:7. Let me take a wild guess at what you will say, "Paul was speaking for his culture only. He didn't mean for this portion of Scripture to be used in our day." Just a guess.

Bob Young

commented on Aug 16, 2012

There are several things wrong with N.T. Wright's presentation. First, no less a Greek scholar than A.T. Robertson (in his "Word Pictures) says this name Junia "can be either masculine or feminine" (pg. 427, vol IV). He also says "among the apostles", "can mean famous in the circle of the apostles in the technical sense." So Romans 16 does not give emphatic evidence that any woman was considered in an official position of preaching or teaching ministry. The next thing is that just because we read in John that Mary went to tell what she had experienced, even if told to do so, that in no way makes her in an official position of leadership. To me this shows how weak the arguments for women in official preaching and teaching postions are. On the other hand, 1 Tim 2:9-14 is very clear. The women is to "learn in silence" and not "exercise authority over the man". This is not based on traditon, but the order of creation (Adam first) and the woman "being in the transgression was deceived ". Neither of those things have changed. There are other scriptures as well that teach this and emphasize that a woman is not to be prominent in public, but to take a more "meek and quiet spirit" stance. It is also to be noted that our Lord did not include any women in the orginal 12 apostles. In closing, if someone comes up with the idea that Paul in 1 Tim 2 was merely saying the wife was not to teach or exercise authority over the husband, then, we have to ask, if that is so, how is it that she has the right to teach and exercise authority over other women's husbands, as would be the case if she is to be a teacher or leader of the Congregation. Also, I may add, I believe there are exceptions where women in our day of modern methods of public communication (such as Joyce Meyers, and others) are called to public ministry outside the Congregation where those (women or men)who choose to may sit under their teaching. But that does not put them in a position within the structure of the local Congregation where both men and women are by necessity of order expected to be together in the meetings. (But that is only my opinion rather than something taught in scripture as apostolic order.)

commented on Aug 16, 2012

In heaven there are no males or females - with good reason, judging by this discussion. The Biblical evidence on leadership by women is clear and unambiguous. I will cite three - the prophetess Miriam, the judge Deborah and Joel 2: 27 -29 - "And you shall know, understand, and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame. And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and upon the maidservants in those days will I pour out My Spirit." One basic thing I was taught in BK was to never take a passage out of context, but to view it in the totality of the story of Yeshua (ie the whole Bible, OT and NT). Thank God we have been called to worship in Spirit and in Truth, not in male and female...

Keith B

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Were Deborah or Miriam pastors?

Ken Mettler

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Bob Young, you are absolutely right about this!

Annette Johnson

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Thank you for your support of Women in Ministry,God Bless

Annette Johnson

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Thank you for your support of Women in Ministry,God Bless

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 16, 2012

@kb, no, Deborah and Miriam were prophets, listed along with pastors in Ephesians 4. And there is nothing in Ephesians 4 that limits either prophets or pastors to men only. It would seem strange for Paul to intend that only men would be pastors, and yet be completely silent on that matter in the only passage that mentions pastors.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 16, 2012

@kb, also, it seems that functionally, both prophets and pastors have the same purpose. It would seem odd for God to allow women to be prophets, but not pastors.

Keith B

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Bill....he does state the requirements for a pastor in Timothy and Titus...and it is assumed that the person doing the job will be a man. Like it or not....that's just what scripture says.

Randy Hamel

commented on Aug 16, 2012

kb i have to agree with the video. in all due respect your comment about the husband of one wife would mean that all pastors would have to be married. The same greek word is used for pastors and elders. I believe a good translation would be 'a one woman man.' in other words not a womanizer. I do believe the scripture supports the fact that a woman can do anything a man can do in the church. i think this is a genrational argument - the younger people in the church have no idea why this is being discussed

Keith B

commented on Aug 16, 2012

so what part of "one woman MAN" seems unclear?

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 16, 2012

@kb, you said something key: assume. You're making a couple of assumptions. You assume that the pastor of Eph. 4 and the overseer/elder of 1 Timothy and Titus are the same role. And you're assuming that the person doing that job will be a man. You may have good reason for assuming as you do, but without an explicit statement, don't you think it's possible that one or both of your assumptions might be wrong? Also, are you saying that only married men can be pastors?

Keith B

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Assumptions....why wouldn't they be the same role? They are pastor/elders. And the fact that Paul says a "one woman man" assumes the fact that it will be a man. Not my assumptions---i'm only going by what Paul has said is proper in the church. Again, though--you can either choose to obey scripture, or roll your own theology of the church. I don't feel comfortable playing fast and loose with God's word.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 16, 2012

@kb, fair enough, brother. Not trying to pick a fight, just trying to understand. We're on the same team! :) It's just that you're the one who used the word assume. You didn't answer my question, though. Are you saying that only married men can be pastors?

Gene Cobb

commented on Aug 16, 2012

Thank you Bishop Wright for your wonderful comments. I would write something more, but I am busy working for my church. I am a Pastor, I am a Woman. God called and thrilled to be a Christian! I preach Jesus Christ! And so far no one has complained that my voice is too high! Isn't it time we ALL got busy, female and male? Pastor LaFern

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 16, 2012

What about Deborah, Huldah, Miriam, and Priscilla? First Priscilla. She and her husband PRIVATELY taught Apollos "the way of God more perfectly" (Acts 18:24-28). Again The Bible does not prohibit women from teaching other women (Titus 2:3-4) or from teaching children (1 Timothy 2:15, 5:10) But Paul ABSOLUTELY reserved the teaching role in the church for men (1 Timothy 2:12-3:7). Deborah's role was not that of head but of messenger. Did she exercise a headship role? Since the prophetic role did not involve headship, prophecying by a woman, such as Deborah, did not violate the principle of male headship, as long as she did it in a proper manner and demeanor that did not negate male headship. The prophetic ministries of Deborah and Huldah (2 Kings 22:14-20) differ greatly from those of male prophets, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Male prophets exercised their prophetic ministry in a public manner, being commisioned to proclaim the Word of the Lord before people and the king himself (Is 6:9, 7:3, 58:1; Jer. 1:10, 2:2, 7:2; Ezek. 2:3, 6:2). The prophetic ministry of Deborah and Huldah was significantly different from this. Deborah did not go out and publicly proclaim the Word of the Lord. Instead, individuals came to consult her privately under the palm tree where she sat (Jud. 4:5). She did not exercise her prophetic ministry in a public forum like the Old Testamant male prophets. God did not call Deborah to lead an army into battle, He told her to remind Barak that He had called him to do so. Judges 4:6-7. It is significant that she did not assume the headship role of an army general; she conveyed God's call to Barak to serve in that capacity. She then rebuked Barak for his unwillingness to go to battle without her. Verse 8-9. Notice it was Barak not God that wanted her to go with him. Because of his reluctance, Deborah warned Barak that "the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman" But the woman who earned the glory by killing Sisera while he slept in her tent was not Deborah but Jael. Judges 4:17-22. And Miriam. She ministerd only to women (Ex. 15:20-21. So in conclusion: It is in perfect harmony with Scripture for women to instruct in the privacy of their home or in Sunday school to other women or children. She has the perfect right to win souls. But when it comes to matters of business in the church, God appointed men to take care of the affairs of the church, to pastor, to serve as deacons, and stewards of the church, and elders and teachers insofar as men are concerned. This doesn't make women second class citizens. It doesn't mean we're better or smarter for that matter. It is simply the way in which God ordered things.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 16, 2012

@Dennis, you make some very good points. It's clear that you've put alot of thought into it. Could I ask you for a clarification? You referred to the principle of male headship. But doesn't the Bible say that Christ is the head of the church?

commented on Aug 16, 2012

In heaven there are no males or females - with good reason, judging by this discussion. The Biblical evidence on leadership by women is clear and unambiguous. I will cite three - the prophetess Miriam, the judge Deborah and Joel 2: 27 -29 - "And you shall know, understand, and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame. And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and upon the maidservants in those days will I pour out My Spirit." One basic thing I was taught in BK was to never take a passage out of context, but to view it in the totality of the story of Yeshua (ie the whole Bible, OT and NT). Thank God we have been called to worship in Spirit and in Truth, not in male and female...

John E Miller

commented on Aug 17, 2012

Bob Young (#20) was spot on until he tried to give credence to Joyce Meyer.

Doug Conley

commented on Aug 17, 2012

There was a time when homosexuality was wrong. Some found "justification" for that, too. Also, I wonder how many women were members of the Sanhedrin? Why was there no tribe of Israel named for a daughter? For that matter, why are there no daughters mentions in Old Testament genealogies? Why, in Christ's genealogy, are women mentioned only in reference to whose wife they were? Curious...

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 17, 2012

@Doug, homosexuality is still wrong. I haven't read anyone here say it's not. But, are you really comparing being homosexual to being a woman?! Last I checked, being a woman wasn't a sin.

Spencer Miller

commented on Aug 17, 2012

@Don Conley, in reference to your comment, "There was a time when homosexuality was wrong" when did homosexuality cease to be wrong? Who has the authority to cancel out what the Bible declares to be "a stench in the very nostrils of God" I sincerely hope that you are not relying on what man says and thinks about the matter.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 17, 2012

Bill, Eph. 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body." The marriage relationship pictures the church. Christ is the Groom we are His Bride. Since the husband is the head, and pictures Christ in the church, I used "headship." Maybe I used that analogy wrong for I certainly know that Christ is the head and we are His body. So in hindsight maybe I should have used the term "leadership."

Pastor Sandy .

commented on Aug 17, 2012

Greetings and peace to all. I wasn't going to get involved in this tired old argument, but ran across a timely article today. First, let me say that being very involved in a local Interfaith group, and having a great many friends and peers of other faiths, I have thought of sharing some of these statements with my Muslim associates. They, according to some of these lengthy dissertations, must have it right. They keep their women in the appropriate position according to some! But I digress. In an article entitled "Gender and Bible- Believers: What Some Evangelicals are Missing," Craig S. Keener states "Some argue that Christians must apply particular biblical passages about this question in the same way in all times and cultures." He goes on later to say "perhaps even the biblical authors themselves might have applied the principels differently in different cultures such as our own." He asks "How should one apply the Bible. After all, the prophets, Jesus and Paul all reapplied some earlier biblical principles in new circumstances; addressing a new situation." And later: "Most of those who appose women's ordination do not follow biblical instructions to greet one another with holy kisses, or wear head coverings in church." Before you all get too huffy, be aware that Craig S. Keener is a Professor at Asbury Theological Seminary. It's a lengthy article and it would probably benefit both "sides of the aisle" to read it. It can be found at www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-s-keener/gender-and-bible-believers. And as Pastor Fern in #34, I must be about the Lord's business. Blessings - Pastor Sandy.

Keith B

commented on Aug 17, 2012

Sandy....when we play fast and loose with the scripture and reinterpret them with the times...where does it stop? We are merely messengers---it's not up to us to change the message and decide it's not applicable to today.

Melanie Ward

commented on Aug 17, 2012

Hello Everyone, N T Wright belongs to a denomination which currently here in the UK is discussing the ordination of women bishops. It seems to me this whole debate is culture driven. If all these arguments about women in leadership are obvious to some people, then why were they not obvious in the 16th Century, or 19th Century? The bible still says the same as it did then. If you say that Christians in the 16th 19th Centuries were conditioned by their culture and therefore could not see the obvious, how do we know that we are not falling into the same trap? N T Wright has written some good stuff, but he's not infallible. I would certainly take issue with him on God's purposes for Israel etc.

Melanie Ward

commented on Aug 17, 2012

from Melanie Hello Everyone, N T Wright belongs to a denomination which currently here in the UK is discussing the ordination of women bishops. It seems to me this whole debate is culture driven. If all these arguments about women in leadership are obvious to some people, then why were they not obvious in the 16th Century, or 19th Century? The bible still says the same as it did then. If you say that Christians in the 16th 19th Centuries were conditioned by their culture and therefore could not see the obvious, how do we know that we are not falling into the same trap? N T Wright has written some good stuff, but he's not infallible. I would certainly take issue with him on God's purposes for Israel etc.

Ginette Marie Dun-Robin C

commented on Aug 17, 2012

NT is spot on as usuual! There is no biblical reason denying the role of women's leadership status!

commented on Aug 17, 2012

The Disciples Argue About Greatness Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.. Luke 22:24-27

Keith B

commented on Aug 17, 2012

@Ginette.....except the scripture that says women are not to be pastors?

Elizabeth Mcmanus

commented on Aug 17, 2012

Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene in His resurrection. He instructed her to go and inform the disciples of his ascension. In my opinion, that makes her the first Pope. I don't think 2000 years of cultural oppression of females as leaders in the church should continue when it is clear in the Bible that Jesus was all about empowering the oppressed. If you think about who it was that Jesus was constantly challenging, it was the men - the Pharisees. I believe Jesus is still trying to get that message across. We are all one in Christ - no one, regardless of sex, race, creed, or color - is better than anyone else. "Love each other as I have loved you," Jesus said. Love and oppression cannot happen simultaneously.

Elizabeth Mcmanus

commented on Aug 17, 2012

Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene in His resurrection. He instructed her to go and inform the disciples of his ascension. In my opinion, that makes her the first Pope. I don't think 2000 years of cultural oppression of females as leaders in the church should continue when it is clear in the Bible that Jesus was all about empowering the oppressed. If you think about who it was that Jesus was constantly challenging, it was the men - the Pharisees. I believe Jesus is still trying to get that message across. We are all one in Christ - no one, regardless of sex, race, creed, or color - is better than anyone else. "Love each other as I have loved you," Jesus said. Love and oppression cannot happen simultaneously.

Elizabeth Mcmanus

commented on Aug 17, 2012

Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene in His resurrection. He instructed her to go and inform the disciples of his ascension. In my opinion, that makes her the first Pope. I don't think 2000 years of cultural oppression of females as leaders in the church should continue when it is clear in the Bible that Jesus was all about empowering the oppressed. If you think about who it was that Jesus was constantly challenging, it was the men - the Pharisees. I believe Jesus is still trying to get that message across. We are all one in Christ - no one, regardless of sex, race, creed, or color - is better than anyone else. "Love each other as I have loved you," Jesus said. Love and oppression cannot happen simultaneously.

Keith B

commented on Aug 17, 2012

Elizabeth....this isn't about oppression. That's what is frustrating...instead of actually addressing the text, you present a strawman argument. Yes, women are to be used in ministry. But they are not to be pastors and elders. That is explicitly clear in scripture.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 17, 2012

K B says, "That's what is frustrating...instead of actually addressing the text, you present a strawman argument." I hear you K B. that's what a lot of people do with this subject.

commented on Aug 18, 2012

@ k.b. Moses, Samuel,Nathan and Elijah were described as prophets, but no one would argue that they had no pastoral role. Doyou really believe that Miriam and Deborah had no pastoral role? Is that really what the Bible says? The Holy Spirit makes the decisions on who is bestowed the gift and grace of leadership, and these were definitely given to Miriam and Deborah.

A. Thomas

commented on Aug 18, 2012

Jesus also had issue with Pharisees exercising their rights based on tradition and cultural. Its amazing to me that a man of God would justify Deborah and Miriam's position by stating that their position was not a public one. Wow!!!And the argument that it was Eve who was deceived and not Adam also goes to show how people only read what they want to read, because scripture also states that Adam was standing right there. If Adam was such a great leader, how could he stand there and allow the enemy to offend his wife while he's standing right there listening and watching. if Eve was deceived, its because Adam was personally given the word by God did not exercise his God given Authority to present the Word to Eve so that she could use it to stand against the deceit of the enemy. Just maybe thats why God started calling women to ministry.

commented on Aug 19, 2012

And whoever desires to be first among you must be your slave— 28 Just as the Son of Man came not to be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [the price paid to set them free] - Matt 20: 27 -28. Food for thought for all in leadership positions, most of whom are men. How manyof us really display what Jesus commanded here? Instead of this divisive arguement let us join together, male and female, to do God's will in whatever position that God has given us.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@Dennis, regarding the term "headship", I see what you're trying to say. Thank you for the clarification. @kb, I'm glad to see you back. I had asked you a question earlier, you probably missed, but my curiosituy is getting the best of me! Are you saying that only married men can be pastors? @Melanie, you're right, N. T. Wright isn't infallible. But then again, neither of us who are discussing it are, either. I think it's impoortant for us to always be open to learning. Me personally, I don't have a vested interest either way, since I'm not a pastor and I'm not a woman! So I'm really enjoying getting to learn from the different points of view each of you has expressed!

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 20, 2012

A Thomas. Then tell me, what is 1 Timothy 2:12-3:7 saying? Let me hear what you think verses 2:12-14 mean?

Keith B

commented on Aug 20, 2012

Bill...the requirement is "one woman man". The most basic of that is that he is first a man. After that, if you want to require him to be married, we can talk about that. This discussion is about whether or not a woman can fulfill the role. Since she can't be a "one woman man"....it just can't happen.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@kb, yes, if it's alright with you, I would like to talk about that. That's why I asked the question! I don't think it's irrelevant to the discussion since a literal interpretation of that text that disqualifies women from being pastors would seem also to disqualify unmarried men. I'm just curious if you would agree with that.

Keith B

commented on Aug 20, 2012

Bill....I'm ok with that reading. if it makes you feel better to require pastors to be married, do it. I personally would prefer a pastor be married. I would suggest though, that calling him a "one woman man" does not mean "married man". It simply means a man that is committed to one woman.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@kb, I appreciate your response, but it leaves me with some questions. For example, you said that the phrase can mean a man who is committed to one woman. So then, if a pastor is not married, but is living with a woman in a committed relationship, then would that be acceptable? What about a pastor who isn't married, and who isn't committed to a woman? Maybe he's in his early to mid 20s, and he's not looking for a relationship right now, or maybe he wants to be like Paul and focus his time and efforts exclusively on the ministry he feels God has called him to. Does the passage in 1 Tim. 3 disqualify him from being a pastor?

Keith B

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@Bill. No...if a pastor is living in an immoral relationship, that is sin. He would not be above reproach, and is not qualified. The passage indicates the type of man qualified--a "one woman man" -- not a womanizer. When in a relationship (marriage) with a woman, he is devoted to her only--not having other women. Obviously, there are other passages governing the institution of marriage in regards to divorce, etc. As far as what happens if his wife dies...if he becomes a womanizer after his wife dies...well, then, he's not qualified.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@kb, ah, I see. So then, I guess he does have to be married, then. Otherwise, how can you be committed to a woman if you're not married. I'm still a bit confused, though, because you said you would prefer a pastor to be married. But I'm sure you would agree, it's not about what we prefer. It's about what what God's word requires. And it appears that God's word requires not only that a pastor be a man, but that he be married man as well. Is that correct?

Keith B

commented on Aug 20, 2012

No. He does not have to be married. I think you're parsing words. He is a "one woman man". If he has a wife--he's committed to her only. When he gets a wife, he's committed to her only. As for my personal preferences, if I were a member of a search committee I'd probably prefer a married guy--just as anyone else might prefer someone that is a good preacher, or whatever.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@kb, please forgive me, I'm not trying to be argumentative. But I don't think I'm "parsing words" any more than you are. You say that according to 1 Tim. 3, the requirement is that if a man is married, he must be committed to his wife, leaving open the possibility that the pastor could be single. The thing is, that's not what the verse says. You're adding the "if he is married" part. Isn't that playing fast and loose with Scripture? Isn't that reinterpreting?

Keith B

commented on Aug 20, 2012

What is a "one woman man"? It's a man who only commits himself to one woman. It doesn't say "a man with one woman". Nor does it say "a married man".

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@kb, how can you be a man who commits to one woman, if you don't have a woman to commit to?

Keith B

commented on Aug 20, 2012

It's descriptive of the type of man. The fact that Paul also said his children should be believers is not a requirement that he have children--but only that if he does, they be believers.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@kb, alright, but then could not someone use your own logic to say that the phrase could mean that if they are a man, they must be committed to their wife, leaving open the possibility that the pastor might be a women, and by implication, would be required to be committed to their husband? I mean, it's all one phrase--a one woman man. If we're going to add "if" to the "one woman" part, why not add "if" to the "man" part?

Keith B

commented on Aug 20, 2012

No. I really don't see it. I think man is the most basic requirement listed there--and doesn't change according to life choices. All of the other requirements first assume the pastor is male. We can also get into stuff like discussions of male authority and federal headship. The man is the head of the woman. To suggest that a woman can be in authority in the church, then go home and submit to her husband seems inconsistent.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@kb, I'm sorry, but you seem to be the one who is being inconsistent. The requirement is not that he be a man. The requirement is that he be a one-woman-man. You can't just pick one word out of that phrase, set it up as the most basic, and then reinterpret the rest of the phrase. You can't just pick and choose which parts of the Bible you're going to stand firm on, and which parts are OK to reinterpret just because you're not comfortable with the idea of requiring all pastors to be married, but you ARE comfortable requiring all pastors to be men. If Paul had written that the requirements were that he be a man, that he be a one woman man, and then the other requirements, I think you would be right. But that's not what Paul wrote. I think you're making Paul say something he didn't actually say.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@kb, another thought that just occurred to me, in Eph. 5:21, Paul tells us that we should submit to one another in the fear of God. He's talking about mutual submission. So, if we had a situation where a married woman was a pastor, how exactly would it be inconsistent for the husband to submit to his wife in matters dealing with the church, while the wife would in turn submit to her husband in matters dealing with the home? Wouldn't this be what Paul is talking about when he tells us to submit to one another?

Keith B

commented on Aug 20, 2012

Bill....the greek word specifically is "man". It's like saying "the actor who acted"....that would indicate that it is a male. At the most basic assumption, it's a male actor..otherwise you'd say "actress". If Paul wanted to allow for a woman "Pastrix", he would have written that. But he didn't.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@kb, I understand that, but the word "man" does not appear by itself. It appears in a phrase--a one-woman-man. So, if you're going to make this requirement a basic assumption, then the basic assumption must be that he is not just a man, but that he is a married man. It's all one phrase, so it's all or nothing. If Paul wanted to qualify that requirement to say "If he is married, he must be committed to his wife," he would've written that. But he didn't. Also, I'm curious as to your thoughts on what I wrote about mutual submission.

Keith B

commented on Aug 20, 2012

It's a man. Not a man or a woman. The 2nd part of him being a "one woman" man clearly is an argument against him being a polygamist--which was not uncommon. No matter how you interpret the 2nd part of it, the fact is that him being male is not something we can read differently. The idea of him having children that are believers, etc are merely descriptive of that man.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@kb, so you're saying that it's OK to interpret one part of the Bible one way, and another part of the Bible another? I say that because you wrote, "No matter how you interpret the 2nd part of it." How do you know, then, which part to interpret which way? How do you know which parts to take literally, and which parts to qualify and explain?

Pastor Ellsworth Herring

commented on Aug 20, 2012

It is so amazing that many of these comments come off like there's a vested interest in the whole matter. So many opinions. They are so irrelevant. Just stick to the Word. That settles the issue. You have to read things into the Word to get these extraneous positions. The Word says what it says, and that's it. God can use whomever He wishes, but He clearly says what He did and why. Just the fact that in these last days so many people and groups are gravitating to this position is actually more of a reason not to accept it. Don't ever forget the concept of the remnant.The prophets came to a openly rebellious people who thought they were alright. Jesus came to a rebellious people who thought they were alright.We must honor God with our lips and our heart and stop trying to match wits with Him, second guess Him, or in this case over-rule Him. It's a waste of time and it takes away from us doing what we are supposed to be doing: evangelizing and making Disciples. We are so lost on peripheral and irrelevant issues that other countries are now actually sending Missionaries over here. With the end of all things at the door, you'd think we should have better things to do than waste time misdirecting people this way. The world is asleep in the darkness, and the Church at large in America is useless because it's asleep in the light.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@Pastor Herring, I appreciate your words. I have great respect for pastors. Like I said earlier, I don't have a vested interest either way. I'm neither a pastor nor a woman, so it doesn't really affect me directly either way. I'll admit that I don't know if women should be pastors or not. I like to listen to both sides, and then compare what they say with what I find in my own Bible study. I really am just trying to learn. And I don't mean to be hard on kb. It's just that the more I talk to him, the more it feels like I don't think he's thought through what he's saying carefully enough. But maybe I'm wrong, and I hope I am!

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 20, 2012

@Paster Herring, I get the impression that you may not want to get distracted by this debate. If that is the case, I completely respect that. I know that pastors have great responsibilities, and this is a relatively minor issue. But maybe I'll have better luck understanding this point of view with you than with kb. You said that the Word says what it says, and that's it. Then, do you believe a man must be married in order to be a pastor?

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 20, 2012

It is amazing and sad to me that some people think this issue is somehow not important. 2 Tim. 3:16 "ALL SCRIPTURE is given by INSPIRATION OF GOD and is PROFITABLE for DOCTRINE, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in RIGHTEOUSNESS!" How much Scripture is ALL Scripture? Matt. 5:18 "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Psalm 12:6-7 "The words of the LORD are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt PRESERVE them from this generation for ever." Also read this serious warning in Rev. 22:18-19! So when 1 Tim. 2:12 says that a woman is not to "usurp authority over the man" and you can find NOWHERE else in Scripture that says otherwise, because male leadership is taught throughout the Bible, I will believe what GOD SAYS and since it is HIS WORD, I will accept it! God does not talk to just hear Himself speak! Again, someone give me "their" interpretation of 1 Tim. 2:12-3:7! Is this portion of Scripture included in all Scripture? The reason this is important is because the inspired Word of GOD is being called into question.

Pastor Sandy .

commented on Aug 21, 2012

Bill (#81) - Up until you said "this is a relatively minor issue", I went along with your questioning. I admire the fact that you truly seem to be 'seeking' for answers. But this is not a minor issue. Just ask any of the hundreds of women (such as myself) who are in the pulpit, and have to listen to these people that attempt to take us back to the dark ages, when women were property of men. And that was the fact when most of these scriptures were written. Well educated (recently educated) individuals accept that some of the terminology is generic, and I wonder if they attempt to place the scripture in a "real life" situation when they write their sermons, making it more meaningful to their listeners. Keep learning, Bill. I learn something every day as long as I keep my heart and mind open, and accept the fact that "God is still speaking!"

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 21, 2012

@Sandy, I sure didn't mean to offend anyone, and I'm sorry that I did so to you. Reading what you wrote, of course I can understand that this is not a minor issue to you. I have great respect for pastors, and that includes women pastors, as well! I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is so much in the Bible, and I can't possibly understand everything in it completely, and I'm OK with not understanding everything in it completely. But I'm trying to learn as much as I can, and one of the ways I learn is by seeing how people reach their conclusions, and making sure their process is sound. I'm a high school teacher. I teach English literature to seniors, and it involves teaching them how to interpret literature and write papers in which they defend their interpretations. I teach them how to do good critical reasoning, because if their reasoning is flawed, there's a good chance that their conclusions are flawed in some way, too. So, what I was doing with kb, I do a lot with my students. The only thing is that when I point out flaws in a student's reasoning, the student usually catches on and makes the necessary corrections. I was surprised that kb just didn't seem to understand how inconsistent his reasoning was! Anyways, I'm getting off the topic. My point is, please forgive me, I meant no disrespect!

Pastor Sandy .

commented on Aug 21, 2012

Bill - you absolutely did not offend me. I could tell from your questions that you were using "deductive reasoning." Hopefully that is the correct term. I have been attempting to research a topic I heard in a message last Sunday - the fact that we all start out at inception as "no sex" and we don't present as male or female until sometime after the first couple months. We may all start out as female, and I am wondering if some of our esteemed colleagues may feel threatened by that fact. Anyway, I am pursuing this just to satisfy my own curiosity! Blessings, Bill.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 21, 2012

Sandy says "I have been attempting to research a topic I heard in a message last Sunday - the fact that we all start out at inception as "no sex" and we don't present as male or female until sometime after the first couple months. We may all start out as female," Really!!!!! What about what God told Jeremiah in 1:4-5 "Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." Sounds like GOD says our sex is know BEFORE our inception! Let me quote another BIBLE verse. 1 Tim. 6:20 "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science FALSELY so called:" But you probably don't care what the Bible says because it is out of date. Paul was only speaking of the issue to male leadership because he wasn't as enlightened as we are today. BTW just how do you take 1 Timothy 2:12-15 generically?

Pastor Sandy .

commented on Aug 21, 2012

Dennis - I assume that God being God is knowledgable in all things. That's beside the fact. And for those of you who may be curious, see an interesting article in "The Salt Lake Tribune" titled "Mormon Women Seeking Middle Ground to Greater Equality!" And so it goes!

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 21, 2012

Sandy, then what exactly was your point? Also you didn't answer my question, how do you take 1 Timothy 2:12-15 generically? And you "assume" God knows everything? Really, that is only an assumtion for you, not a doctrine you believe in? And who cares about "Mormon Women Seeking Middle Ground to Greater Equality!" Mormanism is a cult. They don't believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. Exactly what "church" do you "pastor" in? Does you "church" preach the Bible, or science journals?

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 21, 2012

@Dennis, please forgive me, I'm not one to intrude into other people's conversation, but geez...didn't your mother ever teach you how to talk to a lady?

Pastor Sandy .

commented on Aug 22, 2012

Bill - obviously not,

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 22, 2012

Bill, why do you think what I am saying is somehow rude to a woman? Is holding someone accountable to explain what they mean somehow disrespectful? She has yet to answer any questions I have given her. The sex of a baby might not "present as male or female until sometime after the first couple months. We may all start out as female," Again, Really? That isn't biblical at all. And as far as Mormonism, they are a CULT plain and simple! This just goes to show how liberal her beliefs are!

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2012

@Dennis, like I said, I didn't mean to intrude. And I don't have any problems with holding someone accountable for explaining what they mean. I'm sure you probably meant well, but I would just suggest that you re-read your last couple of posts to Sandy. You might realize that the tone of those posts came off harsher than you may have intended. I was just trying to remind us that we're all Christians here, and our discourses should reflect a greater degree of civility than would be present on discussions in secular blogs dealing with things like sports or politics! Moving on, though, I have a question for you. I'm trying to clarify in my mind some things you mentioned earlier. My question is, are you saying that women should never have the authority to teach men, or are you saying only that they shouldn't have the authority to teach men in a public setting? For example, if there were a woman pastor on a church staff who did not preach or teach from the pulpit, but whose responsibilities did include instructing and counseling men in a private setting, like you mentioned Deborah and Huldah and Priscilla did, would that be biblically acceptable?

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2012

@Pastor Sandy, thank you so much for your kind words. By God's grace I have some good moments, but unfortunately, every now and then I have some bad moments too, like everyone else, I guess! As far as the idea for a paper, one of the classes I teach is on the King James Bible as Literature. That topic might work very well in that kind of class. Thanks for the suggestion!

Keith B

commented on Aug 22, 2012

I find it amazing this discussion is still going on. I'm sorry, call me closed-minded, but when the Bible says the elder is to be a man...I believe it. There really is no debate about it, and I find it sad that you guys are actually trying to make it say the exact opposite of what it actually says.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2012

@kb, but you're doing the same thing, yourself! "No woman" is the opposite of "one woman," but you continue to insist that it is ok for a man to have "no woman", in other words, not be married, when the text clearly says that it is to be a "ONE WOMAN (not no-woman) man."

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2012

@kb, could you please answer a question I asked you earlier? The question is, is it OK to interpret some parts of the Bible one way, and other parts of the Bible another way?

commented on Aug 22, 2012

...But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy - 1 Peter 2:9- 10. Are the royal priesthood only men? Food for thought...

Keith B

commented on Aug 22, 2012

No, Bill. of course not. Read it all in context. In context, it's said that the elder is to be the husband of one wife--assuming he's married. Of course, that also assumes that it's a "he" to begin with.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2012

@kb, so it's possible to assume he's married, but that doesn't necessarily mean he has to be married, correct? By that logic, you must then have to concede that it is possible to assume the pastor is a man, but that doesn't necessarily mean the pastor has to be a man. Otherwise, you would be inconsistent in how you're interpreting the passage. Isn't that correct?

Keith B

commented on Aug 22, 2012

unbelievalbe that you'd think it's possible for "he" to be a "she". But that's what we get with liberal Chrsitianity.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 22, 2012

Sandy, First, Paul is not speaking of the assembly here. In 1 Cor, 14:34 Paul says that women were not to speak "usurp authourity over the man" as 2 Tim. 2:12 also says, in the church. Now would he say that every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered dishonered her head and in the very same letter clearly command the women to keep silent in the church? So the verse in 1 Cor. 11:5 cannot refer to the gatherings of the church. As I've said many times in my disccusions of the role of women in the church, they can teach other women, children, win souls, and minister in many other ways. But in the home and in the church God ordained men to be the leaders. It doesn't mean we are better or smarter, it is just how God ordered things. The word "uncovered" refers to the woman's not wearing a veil. It might also refer to a woman's not wearing her hair up in a bun. Both the veil and the hairstyle were symbols that she was married and thus not free to act independently from her husband. If a woman didn't comply with these conditions, she implied that she was free from a man. If she was married, it would communicate that she was trying to be like the man in her independence. Some scholars report that the prostitutes in the temple of goddesses did not wear veils and had their hair cut short like men. Paul was saying that women should look like women, not like men. And men should also look like men and not have long hair (v. 14). Paul is saying that it is improper for a woman to be mistaken for a man by taking on man's styles. A woman must be consistent. She must act and look like a woman both in the home and in public. She cannot act and look like a woman in one place and then look and act like a man in another. It is important for both husbands and wives to accept their own self identities as husbands and wives and then to live like it.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 22, 2012

And as far as Mormons go, it is SO easy to find out what they believe. Jesus and satan were brothers, Adam was a god. We all become gods and get to rule our own planet someday, baptism and works save you, they baptize for the dead, God became divine, and on and on. If you really think that Mormons are true Christians then you don't believe the Bible. And let me quote Galatians 1:7-9 "Which is not another: but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be ACCURSED. As I said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be ACCURSED." Mormons DO NOT preach the Gospel, but a perverted gospel. GOD says because of this they are ACCURSED. My, isn't God "mean spirited!"

John E Miller

commented on Aug 23, 2012

#100 your comment is interesting and Sandy C's answer (#103) betrays the confusion that exists in the mind of many regarding the priesthood of every believer. Priestly service does not involve speaking to man on behalf of God. It is the service of offering to God a token of man's appreciation for who God is and what He has done. Prophecy or teaching is the service of speaking to man on God's behalf. The word prophet comes from the Latin and means to speak on behalf of someone else. Many think that prophecy involves revealing future events. It may do so in scripture but the main service of the prophet was to communicate the mind of God to His people at any given time. Every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, whether man or woman is a priest according to scripture. No man or woman is in the position of being some kind of superior priest through whom we approach God. We approach Him on the basis of Christ's sacrifice made once for all and Jesus is our High Priest. He takes our offering of praise or thanksgiving and in His glorious position as our High Priest, He presents it perfect to the Father based on the perfection of His own Person and work. Those who call themselves priests in certain denominations, thus placing themselves in a place of importance are in ignorance of the scriptural meaning of priesthood as it relates to the Christian faith. Positionally one becomes a priest at the moment of new birth. It has nothing to do with a humanly imagined hierarchy within the professing church. That is false doctrine.

commented on Aug 23, 2012

@ John F Miller "Priestly service does not involve speaking to man on behalf of God" The Holy Ghost inspired words of Peter -"..But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.." Is there a discrepancy here? Again, food for thought.. Also do we proclaim His praises only to those who do not follow Christ? Are females involved in this, or only men? Does this involve any iota of leadership?

John E Miller

commented on Aug 23, 2012

My understanding is that the priesthood of the believer, male or female there is no difference, is a spritual service carried on in every circumstance of life and an experience empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. It may be silent or it may be audible depending on the believer's situation and circumstance at any given time. To be a priest in the Christian faith does not involve going through some process invented by man, dressing up in some ceremonial uniform or assuming a position in worship leadership. These things are a reversion to Judaism. Each child of God has the right to approach the throne of God's grace individually without the assistance or sponsorship of any other human being. The worst abuse of this trurh is seen in Roman Catholicism but the Church of England runs it close. The clerical system adopted by many large denomination encourages a wrong understanding of this important scriptural truth. The moment a man dresses up in clerical garments he separates himself from "his congregation" and assumes a position of superiority. It is a throwback to the Old Testament and the Mosaic system of worship. We are all dependant on the service of our High Priest the Lord Jesus Christ. No human being has any standing in God's sight in an attempt to come between the humblest, simplest, newest believer in Him and Christ Himself.

John E Miller

commented on Aug 23, 2012

My understanding is that the priesthood of the believer, male or female there is no difference, is a spritual service carried on in every circumstance of life and an experience empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. It may be silent or it may be audible depending on the believer's situation and circumstance at any given time. To be a priest in the Christian faith does not involve going through some process invented by man, dressing up in some ceremonial uniform or assuming a position in worship leadership. These things are a reversion to Judaism. Each child of God has the right to approach the throne of God's grace individually without the assistance or sponsorship of any other human being. The worst abuse of this trurh is seen in Roman Catholicism but the Church of England runs it close. The clerical system adopted by many large denomination encourages a wrong understanding of this important scriptural truth. The moment a man dresses up in clerical garments he separates himself from "his congregation" and assumes a position of superiority. It is a throwback to the Old Testament and the Mosaic system of worship. We are all dependant on the service of our High Priest the Lord Jesus Christ. No human being has any standing in God's sight in an attempt to come between the humblest, simplest, newest believer in Him and Christ Himself.

John E Miller

commented on Aug 23, 2012

The term "bishop" in scripture means an overseer. Nowhere in scripture is there any authority for such a person having authority over an area or a number of churches. Those who claim such authority under the title "bishop" have no scriptural authority for their stance. It is based on tradition that has its source in the mind of man, not the teaching of God's word. Each local church is responsible to Christ as the Head of the church, whether local or universal. The interference in the affairs of a local church by an outsider challenges the power of the Holy Spirit to direct and empower a local church fellowship and assist it to understand the will of God and the mind of Christ. The health and prosperity of every Christian fellowship depends on its direct communion with its living, ascended Head and that must be by the service of the Holy Spirit of God not by human dictat.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 23, 2012

@kb, it's no more unbelievable than your belief that it's possible for "one woman" to mean "no woman". You and I are using the EXACT SAME LOGIC. The only difference is we're using different words. You've been quite critical about people who disagree with you playing "fast and loose" with the Scriptures. With all due respect, though, I would suggest you focus less on criticizing others, and more on thinking through your own beliefs. I've had 17 and 18 year olds pick out the kinds of flawed reasoning you're using faster than you are. Seriously, how is it that you can infer two assumptions (married and male) from ONE PHRASE (one woman man) and yet make ONLY ONE of those assumptions required, but the other one optional? Can you please help me understand that? Because LOGICALLY, if you infer two assumptions from the same phrase, they should either BOTH be optional or BOTH be required. Oh, and be careful about the assumptions you make about people you don't know. I actually belong to a quite conservative denomination. @Dennis, I repeat for you a question that you may have missed earlier. Is it your position that a women can never have authority to instruct a man, or only that she cannot do so in public? @John, wouldn't the council held in Jerusalem in Acts 15 be considered an "interference" in the affairs of the local church of Antioch?

John E Miller

commented on Aug 23, 2012

Bill, in answer to your suggestion regarding the Council of Jerusalem, my answer would be absolutely not. Strangely we were considering this scripture in our Bible Study last night. Firstly we must consider the personnel involved. They included most if not all the living Apostles at that time. What had happened was that Judaising teachers had sought to inflict circumcision on the Gentile converts. They believed that to become a Christian one had first to become a Jew. They had come from Judea and possibly included some notable men from the Jerusalem church. If you read Paul's account of the matter in Galatians ch.2 you may agree with this. Had the wrong doctrine been refuted in Antioch it would almost certainly have split the church. Paul and Barnabas were therefore sent to Jerusalem where in the face of strong opposition the truth was established. Letters were then sent out to confirm what had been arrived at based on scripture (Amos 9:11-12). This was not a local issue, it was a matter of principle that would govern the church universal. It went far beyond the church at Antioch and Paul as Apostle to the Gentiles had a responsibility to counter the false teaching. I do not believe that any other council since has had such authority. There are no Apostles today, though some foolishly claim the title.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 23, 2012

@John, thank you for your response. I see what you're trying to say, and I think I probably agree to an extent. Although I do notice in the Bible that Paul placed Titus in Crete to appoint elders in every town, so that we do have an example of a person having at least some measure of authority over an area or a number of churches. Also, if I understand Eph. 4 correctly, it seems to me that the gift of Apostles in the church should be as valid today as are the gifts of Evangelists or Pastors, although their degree of authority would be less than that of the original Apostles. This is not to endorse the Roman Catholic understanding of apostolic authority or a presbyterian form of church polity, mind you. But I don't think complete independence of local churches from each other is necessarily the way to go, either. I think a healthy interdependence would be the ideal. But those are just my thoughts.

Keith B

commented on Aug 23, 2012

Bill...I'm sorry that you must think I'm just some unhappy blogger looking to criticize others. On the most basic level, Paul states that the elder is to be a man. I don't know how to get around that and make it say that it could be a man or a woman.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 23, 2012

@kb, and yet you can get around saying that a married man can be single. Look, I don't care if you want to interpret being a man as requirement for being a pastor. Just be consistent and interpret being married as also a requirement for being a pastor. Consistency. That's all I'm asking from you. Otherwise, you're just twisting the Scripture to fit your own preconceived ideas.

Keith B

commented on Aug 23, 2012

No, Bill. The overseer (elder) is first male. The rest of the sentence merely describes that man. But they don't change the fact that he is a male first.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 23, 2012

@kb, EXACTLY!!!! The rest of the sentence describes that man. And it describes him as a ONE WOMAN man, NOT a NO WOMAN man!!! It describes him as MARRIED, NOT SINGLE!!! What is so hard for you to understand about that? If it's not OK to change man into woman, why is it OK to change married into single?

Keith B

commented on Aug 23, 2012

@Bill....the first part of it establishes the person as a man. The 2nd part of it describes the type of man. There is obviously a division between the 2 parts of the sentence. Notice in Titus 1:5-6 Paul also describes a man who is above reproach...husband of one wife, and having believing children. By your reading of this, I guess he needs 2 kids who believe? So he's not qualified until his children are old enough to believe? I'm sorry...I reject your reading of it. Paul states the elder is a man....then he goes on to describe the type of man--one who is mature in his belief, and can manage a church and his household. The 2nd half of it is not a rigid point by point requirements list.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 23, 2012

@kb, it's not my reading, it's your reading. I'm just trying to hold you accountable for being consistent with your reading. The fact that you seem unable to remain consistent in your interpretation makes me question the validity of the interpretation as a whole! And I'm not talking about different parts of a sentence, I'm talking about ONE PHRASE and how you take one word from the phrase and make it absolute, while relativizing the rest of that SAME PHRASE. That's the definition of taking something out of context. If you can't see that, well, I'm the one who's sorry for you. One more thing. I went back to those texts in 1 Tim. and Titus, and that phrase (one-woman-man) is not even the first requirement listed. In both cases the first requirement is that the person must be "above reproach". So, you're taking ONE WORD, out of the SECOND REQUIREMENT, and making that the basic assumption around which every other requirement revolves, and you're willing to reinterpret other requirements except for that ONE WORD! And there's no logic, there's no reason! It's completely arbitrary. I don't know if you've never been seriously challenged before on your interpretation, or if every time you explain it that way, people just blindly accept what you say. But please, do yourself a favor. Go back and think through what you've just tried to argue. Because, even if ultimately you're correct in your conclusions, the way you are interpreting and explaining these texts is just not going to fly with people who actually know how to think logically. Take this as some friendly advice!

Keith B

commented on Aug 23, 2012

Bill, I think you could use a few lessons in hermeneutics.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 23, 2012

@kb, I have a Master's degree in English Literature, I've had a good deal of training in hermeneutics. With all due resoect, you may want to look into those lessons for yourself.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 23, 2012

Sandy, your attempts at refuting me just go to show how little biblical knowledge you really have, especially for someone who calls herself a "pastor." The Greek word for "man" in Galatians 1:9 is "anthropos" and it means "a human being." The Greek word for "man" in 1 Timothy 2:12 is "aner" which means "as an individual male, fellow, husband, man, sir." And as far as the gospel goes, it isn't my interpretation, but the Bible's. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Faith not works, Eph. 2:8-9. Not even works of righteousness such as communion, baptism, giving, belonging to a certain denomination, Titus 3:5. We are saved by repenting and putting our faith in Jesus's death, burial, and resurrection. Romans 4:1-5. The thief on the cross is a perfect illustration of how we are saved. In Luke 23 we see that first he admitted he was a sinner, verses 40-41. He also believed Jesus was sinless, verse 41. He called on Jesus for salvation in verse 42, and also believed that Jesus was going to rise again because he asked Him to remember him when He came into His kingdom. Jesus didn't say, "Well I'd like to save you but you haven't been baptized, you never received communion, you didn't speak in tongues, you didn't belong to my church." Also He didn't say "I will make an exception for you since you can't do anything about it now." No He said "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." So that is the Gospel according to the Bible and the Bible says thay if any HUMAN preaches any other gospel, he will be accursed. Now don't get mad at me, I didn't write that. Also read Matt. 7:21-23. God is certainly a God of love, but He is also a God of wrath, and His wrath will come on ALL who do not come to Him HIS way.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 23, 2012

Curious as to why no other person on this thread has told Sandy that Mormons are indeed a cult? Bill do you believe Mormons are Christians and believe the same way we do, KB, John? Anyone want to say Mormons are going to heaven just like we as Christians?

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 23, 2012

Bill, writes "Is it your position that a women can never have authority to instruct a man, or only that she cannot do so in public?" Sorry, I thought I made my possition on this matter clear. First, a woman may not be a pastor. Second, all ministries are to be under the umbrella of the church. So if there is a home Bible study, or something like that which includes men as participants, she cannot not instruct the study. If it is a woman's Bible study, then yes she can instruct. Now if a man, say a relative or a friend, coworker, etc needs salvation, she can surely share the Gospel with them. If they then receive Christ as Savior, then they need to get in church. If they don't get saved then she needs to continue to instruct them on how to be saved because until they are saved, they are not going to understand other biblical teachings. 1 Cor. 2:14. Hope that answers your question.

John E Miller

commented on Aug 24, 2012

Bill, sorry for delay in answering your #115 post, but I only look at this forum rather intermittently. You refer to an interesting passage that deserves thoughtful consideration, as of course does all scripture. Firstly we must think about the purpose of the gifts that Paul describes. If we consider the last three mentioned it is clear that there is a great need in the church today for such ministry and that the Holy Spirit has indeed equipped individuals to give themselves to it. It is noticeable that the apostle does not include healing or tongues in his list here. They were signs of power in the face of worldly opposition and disbelief. What are mentioned here are gifts through which Christ could minister to His Church. The first two gifts in the exercise of their highest functions laid the foundations of His church whether by personal teaching from the Lord Jesus Himself or by divine revelation. One might therefore assume that the work of such ministry, particularly apostolic ministry was completed. One reason for such a conclusion is that no new truth has been revealed that cannot be found in the word of God. Some, such as Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, SDA church, etc., claim this but their claims are manifestly false. The work of the apostles was like an architect or master-builder as Paul describes it in 1 Cor.3:10. They ordained, put into execution their revelation, established authority in the churches, and oversaw the scriptural operation of church life as well as laying down the doctrine that would govern the teaching and living of the people of God. That fundamentally important foundational work was completed. Nothing can be added to it and if some attempt to do so it is without the authority of God's word or the power of his Spirit. We have no need of apostles today, what we desperately need are godly evangelists, teachers and pastors to build on the foundation of apostolic doctrine as Paul goes on to say in 1 Cor.3:10. That is my understanding of the matter.

Melanie Ward

commented on Aug 24, 2012

I have been following this discussion with great interest. I feel I must interrupt to agree with Dennis that Mormon beliefs are certainly far removed from basic Christianity. They have another Jesus. However this issue should not distract from the main topic here.

Keith B

commented on Aug 24, 2012

@Dennis, #126....no, Mormons are not Christians. Anyone who can't discern that has no business serving as a pastor. But this discussion is more about women serving in the role of Pastrix....not mormons.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 24, 2012

@Dennis, I appreciate your response, and forgive me if maybe there's something I'm not quite understanding, but I'm trying to clarify some apparent inconsistencies. First, you said that Priscilla and her husband instructed Apollos privately, but now you claim that women should not instruct a bible study where men are present. How do you reconcile those two claims? Also, when discussing Deborah, you mentioned that the prophetic role did not involve headship--or as you later put it, "leadership", which I agree is a better term. And yet, in Eph. 4, both prophets and pastors are listed alongside each other as leadership gifts. For the sake of argument, let's assume your conclusion is correct that according to the Bible, women should not be pastors. Still, according to the Bible, don't we have examples of women exercising leadership over men, even if it is in private? Doesn't that imply that women can exercise leadership in the church, not restricted only to other women and children, even if it's not necessarily in a pastoral role? After all, the pastor is not the only leadership role in the church. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you are using two different explanations, one involving the issue of leadership, the other involving the issue of private ministry versus public ministry, and I think that's causing some inconsistencies in what you're trying to say. Now, as far as the Mormons go, I'm not familiar with the doctrines of the Mormon church, and I find it a good idea not to hold convictions on things I know little or nothing about! I'll just trust that God knows how to deal with the Mormons! Although I will say that from my reading of the Gospels, I suspect there will be quite a few surprises concerning who will be in God's kingdom. I can certainly imagine some Mormons being in, and some of us "good" Christians being left out! I'll let God be the judge. :)

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 24, 2012

@John, I appreciate your response, but I find myself unconvinced. If we have no need of apostles today, then why does Paul say that this gift, along with the other three mentioned in Eph. 4, would remain in the church "until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God"? There is nothing in this text to single out the gift of Apostle as being an exception. Like I said earlier, it would not carry the same degree of authority as that of the original apostles. But, Eph. 4 seems to say quite clearly that some sort of apostolic role would be present in the church until the end.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 24, 2012

@John, also, the Seventh-day Adventist Church makes no claim that any new truth has been revealed that cannot be found in the word of God. And I would agree that such a claim would be false.

Keith B

commented on Aug 24, 2012

Sandy...would you call a Muslim "Christian"? Or a Buddhist? Mormons are every bit as far off of orthodox Christianity as either of them. Their god is literally a guy from another planet. They teach that a good mormon can become a god. Honestly...if you believe that they are just another flavor of Christianity, there is more reason than gender to disqualify you from the pastorate.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 24, 2012

@Sandy, thanks for the recommendation! I'll have to take a look at the article. Helping students learn how to think critically for themselves is the most important skill I can pass on as a teacher. It's so true, thinking IS hard. But the rewards are very much worth it!

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 24, 2012

@kb, with all due respect, I fear you're starting to make this a little too personal. I'm deeply disturbed that you would consider yourself worthy of deciding Sandy's qualifications to be a pastor, when you don't even know her! Earlier you wrote, "I'm sorry that you must think I'm just some unhappy blogger looking to criticize others." Well, it's comments like the one you just made that makes you come across that way! I'll tell you what. Why don't you just let God worry about Sandy and myself, you just worry about taking care of your church. Sandy and I would much rather prefer God, rather than you, to be our judge!

John E Miller

commented on Aug 24, 2012

Bill, I do not see that Paul was saying that these gifts of ministry would remain in existence in the church to this day or indeed until what he lists in verse 13 has taken place. These gifts of ministry were given to the church and our Lord Jesus used them when they were and are in existence. Apostolic gift and authority belonged to the period when the Holy Spirit through called apostles was setting out the doctrine of Christianity and church order. The trouble today is that apostolic authority, in particular the authority given to Paul, apostle to the Gentiles is swept aside to conform with worldy ideas and modern thinking. It is an insult to the Spirit of God because the inference is that He did not know what the world would be like after two thousand years had passed. If Paul's apostolic authority was recognised the notion that women could have leadership roles in teaching would not have been given credence. Politically correct but biblically false thinking has forced militant feminism into the church visible. From there it is a short step to the introduction of homosexuality in the pulpit. It is happening here in the U.K. The enemy needs the door to be opened an inch and he will push it wide open. I repeat that the great need in the church publicly today is for biblical teaching based on the apostles doctrine. It sounds good to proclaim that I am following Jesus' teaching on love and peace. What about His assertion that he had not come to bring peace on earth...but a sword. Perhaps Sandy C. thinks that this is one of the "inconsistencies of Scripture". "Following Jesus' teaching on love and peace is far from the whole truth of His Gospel. It suggests the possibility of rehabilitation for the sinner. That is not biblical. Repentance and faith in the risen Christ is the starting place, not a notion that self reformation can fit us for heaven and following the teachings of scripture that we find acceptable to our own ideas of what Christianity should be.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 24, 2012

@John, Eph. 4:11, 13 says, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;...till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." You may not see Paul as saying that, but it's right there. That's what it says. Unless you can explain in what way the Church has all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, in which case we wouldn't need evangelists or pastors either. It's like with kb trying to separate the word "man" from the phrase "one-woman-man". It's all one phrase, and the whole phrase must be interpreted the same way. Likewise with these four gifts Paul mentions in Eph. 4. They are all presented together. Either they are all still valid today, or none of them are valid today, since there is in nothing in the text to indicate otherwise. You can't just pick and choose, no matter how reasonable your "assumptions" may seem. Remember, you're "assumptions" may very well be wrong! Also, allowing women to be pastors does not inherently lead to allowing homosexuals to be pastors. I mentioned this earlier: homosexuality is a sin, being a woman isn't. The two issues have nothing to do with each other. You may find it interesting to note that N. T. Wright, who supports women in ministry in this clip, is an ardent opponent of homosexuals serving in ministry.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 24, 2012

@Sandy, yes, it has always struck me as highly significant that in all four Gospel accounts, women are always the first witnesses of the Resurrection. Jesus could have very easily appeared first to the eleven remaining disciples, but he didn't. That can't have been simply coincidence or circumstance.

Keith B

commented on Aug 24, 2012

@Sandy....whoooahh, there. No one has ever suggested we mistreat anyone based on their religion. But they are no Christian. They do not worship the same God that Christians worship. Jesus said that unless we have him, we do not get to God. Love on them, yes---but then tell them the Gospel--that salvation is found in no other name but that of Christ. I can't think of anything more loving.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 24, 2012

Sandy says, "And I would never dare to "Curse" them, and condemn them." I don't, God does. "After all, aren't we all God's children," No, Jesus told the Pharisees (the religious leaders in His day) in John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the DEVIL." As far as getting together with other religions that teach another gospel, again the BIBLE says (not me) in 2 Corinthians 6:12-17 "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? ...Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you." The unequally yoked is anything which unites a child of God and an unbeliever in a common purpose. We are to be separate from uniting with false teachers. Again those who are not true Christians, 2 John 9-11 "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, HATH NOT GOD. He that abieth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, RECEIVE HIM NOT INTO YOUR HOUSE, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed IS PARTAKER OF HIS EVIL DEEDS." In Matt. 7:15-23 Jesus says that false teachers are going to hell if they don't repent. And He also said in verse 20 "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." It is VERY EASY to tell a cult by what they teach. Mormons are a cult! And so are any other denominations or religions that teach salvation in any other way than what the Bible says. BTW read what Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matt. 23. Jesus was VERY "mean spirited," according to your definition. Then you say, "Some of us are quick to admit that there are numerous discrepancies in the Bible. That is not to say the Bible is not God-inspired." So which is it? Are there discrepancies in the Bible? If so, how could God have inspired the Bible because He can't be wrong? Hebrews 6:18 says it is "impossible for God to lie."

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 24, 2012

Bill says, "First, you said that Priscilla and her husband instructed Apollos privately, but now you claim that women should not instruct a bible study where men are present." Again I thought I answered that. It wasn't in a church setting. Apollos came to them just like I said a relative, friend, coworker, etc. might come to a woman. Nothing wrong with that. And a woman can "prophesy" which means tell others about Christ as I've said all along. She can execise that gift in all the ways I've shared countless times already. Just not as a leader in the church. Again, is 1 Tim. 2:11-3:7 in the Bible or not? Do you believe like Sandy, that there are "discrepancies in the Bible?" Like Jesus appearing to Mary first PROVES that women can be pastors. Way to "rightly divide the word of truth"! Also, you seem to be so atuned to seeming contradictions that John, KB, and I have in our post, but you can't tell that Mormons are a cult? I think it is VERY important that we know who is on Satan's side. But more important, God says so. I'm sure you read my last post to Sandy so you know what the Bible says. I gave a list of some of their beliefs in a previous post that would be VERY EASY to prove was accurate, if you had the desire to. Just Google "What Mormons Believe" and there it is. Again JESUS said, "By their fruits ye shall know them."

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 24, 2012

@Dennis, please understand, I'm not trying to be argumentative. This is just the way I learn. If I'm going to believe certain conclusions, I want to be make sure the reasoning behind those conclusions is sound. And I haven't seen that yet in the conclusions you and kb have espoused. It's nothing personal against either of you, and it's not meant to be a judgement on your intelligence or your interpretations on other passages of Scripture. It's just that on this issue, there's some significant flaws in logic that you might want to think through. As far as 1 Tim. 2:11-3:7, yes, it's in the Bible. But so is Eph. 4. AND that is the only text in the New Testament that mentions the gift of the Pastor, so I would think it should carry a bit more weight than 1 Tim. 2:11-3:7--not to say that the two contradict each other, but simply that it would be wiser to interpret the passage in 1 Tim. in the context of the passage in Eph., rather than vice verse. AND, Eph. 4 gives no indication that the gift of Pastor is to be held exclusively by men. AND, Eph. 4 lists the gift of Prophet alongside the gift of Pastor as leadership gifts in the church. AND the Bible gives examples of women who served as prophets. And all of this leads me to the tentative conclusion that if you look at the Bible in its entirety, and not just focus exclusively on a few verses in 1 Tim., then you may find that the Bible perhaps does not prohibit women from serving in leadership positions in the church, even if not necessarily in a pastoral role, for argument's sake. But the Biblical witness seems quite strong that God does call women to leadership roles in the church, at least in SOME capacity, and I'm not talking about being restricted only to other women and to children. Now, I say this is a tentative conclusion for me, because I have some questions from the other side of the argument to which I have yet to find satisfying answers, as well. That's why I've said on several occasions, I'm not trying to push any agenda either for or against. I'm just trying to learn. And I may never reach a definitive conclusion either way. But that's fine, because in the end, whether or not women serve as pastors is not my decision to make! If God does will women to serve as pastors, he himself will call them to such roles. If he doesn't will it, then he won't. I'll let him take care of that. I've got enough to worry about for myself, I don't consider it a wise use of my time to worry about other's peoples callings. Nor do I feel that God needs my input as to who is qualified to be a pastor, and who isn't. Finally, as far as me being able to tell whether or not Mormons are a cult...look, I'm a busy man. In fact, I've got classes starting next week, so I'll probably be wrapping up my participation in these comments over the next couple of days. I don't really have the time to research every belief system out there to see whether or not they are on "Satan's side." I'd rather spend my time making sure my own life is in harmony with God's word, and let God sort out the rest. And I'm certainly not going to form an opinion on the Mormons based on a google search. You do realize that just because something is on the internet doesn't make it true, right? I don't know what faith tradition you belong to, but I'm sure if you google it, you'll find a lot kooky stuff out there. How would you like to be judged by that stuff? Well, it's not fair to do that to the Mormons either. That's the Golden Rule by the way. Yes, Jesus said more than just the "mean stuff" in Matt. 23! If I ever have the opportunity to meet a Mormon for myself, and have a chance to listen from them their beliefs, explained in their own terms, THEN I'll have a better basis for determining whether or not they are a cult. Until then, I'll trust God to take care of it.

John E Miller

commented on Aug 25, 2012

Sandy C., you do not accept that faith in my Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation according to your post #139. I will not quote any of the scriptures that emphasise this as they are well known, suffice to say that you challenge the truth of Christ's own words. I cannot understand why you profess to be a Christian. There is no more basic and fundamental truth for men or women to accept than that faith in Christ as a gift of God by His grace is alone required to merit His favour and make the sinner righteous in His sight. Any other so-called religions have no value in God's sight and those who are deceived by them will have to stand before the great white throne of Revelation 20:11 and face the deadful but inevitable consequences. If you were a believer in Jesus that would be your message to your Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist friends and all others.

commented on Aug 25, 2012

@John E Miller - is it correct to talk about grace, merit and Jesus when discussing salvation by and through Jesus Christ? You said "There is no more basic and fundamental truth for men or women to accept than that faith in Christ as a gift of God by His grace is alone required to merit His favour and make the sinner righteous in His sight." What actually is the definition of the Grace of God? Is salvation merited through our belief, our is it an unmerited favour from God? What does the Bible actually say?

John E Miller

commented on Aug 25, 2012

#148 I can only answer as I understand how God has revealed His plan of salvation for mankind, and that through His word. This is my undrstanding of it. All have sinned and are utterly undeserving of His mercy. His mercy is that He does not reward us as we deserve. His grace is His love in operation towards us revealed in Jesus. In His grace he offers us what we do not deserve and cannot earn. John3:16 sums up His free offer of grace. We can only avail ourselves of His grace by faith. That faith is not the product of human reasoning or is does it reflect the ability within ourselves to please God. In itself it is a further proof of His grace because it is His free gift (Eph.2:8). In the Epistle to the Romans Paul explores the truth of all this doctrine in great detail. I believe that God's grace is the way that He has taken to reveal His nature to me, an undeserving sinner. He has done it through the Person and work of His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. His salvation cannot be received by any other means than the redemption that is offered in Jesus. I have no merit of my own and rely entirely on the merit and righteousness of Jesus Christ. His righteousness is reckoned to me by God because grace directed me to God's word. It told me that this was the way and that there is no other and that grace caused me to repent and believe in Jesus.

commented on Aug 25, 2012

@ John E Miller,indeed, as it is written:"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them"- Ephesians 2:4-10. As you ably pointed out, John 3:16 is another example, and is indeed a summary of the Bible, and why God inspired people wrote it - to reveal Jesus and His mission.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 25, 2012

No Bill, there are other Scriptures that prohibit women from pastoring, and taking a leadership roll, 1 Cor. 11:1-16, Eph. 5:22-33, the fact that Jesus chose 12 men to be His disciples, the patriarchs are all men. God ordered that men should have the leadership role. If you can't see that, well I don't know what else to say. I don't understand how you believe Eph. 4 contradicts this. God gave those gifts to some and not others. A woman can have the gift of teaching and she can teach in the ways God has ordered she can. Now if you are talking about the gift of the prophet, it will depend on what you mean by the term. There are no longer those who receive a new word from God. We have the complete written word. But a prohet can also be a forthteller, someone who preaches what God has already said, and again, women can do this in the way God has ordained they can. Apostles are no longer for our day (as John has pointed out). Apostles had to see the resurrected Christ in order to ba an apostle, Acts 1:15-26. Verse 22 "Begining from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection."

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 25, 2012

@Dennis, I don't understand how you think I believe Eph. 4 contradicts those other texts, when I explicitly said I that I'm NOT saying those texts contradict each other! I suspect you're not listening to what I'm actually saying. Before you respond, I encourage you to read what I write to make sure you're not putting words in my mouth. What I said was the SINCE we are talking about women serving as pastors, and SINCE Eph. 4 is the only text that actually mentioned the role of the pastor, THEN the text in Eph. 4 and the conclusions we draw from that text should carry more weight in this discussion than 1 Tim. or Titus or 1 Cor. Again, listen to me, NOT THAT THEY CONTRADICT EACH OTHER! But rather, that those other texts should be interpreted in the context of Eph. 4, not vice verse. In fact, the text in Eph. 5 that you mentioned refers to the relationship between husbands and wives, and has nothing to do with leadership in the church. Also, if the FACT that God chose women to be the first witnesses of the resurrection bears no weight in this discussion, then neither should the fact that Jesus chose twelve men to be disciples, or that all the patriarchs were men. You can't just pick and choose the evidence that supports your personal view, and ignore the evidence that doesn't. That's a very dangerous way to read the Bible. And speaking of picking and choosing, I asked this question to John, but he never answered me. Maybe you can answer. You claim that Apostles are no longer for our day. If that is true, then that must mean that the Church has attained to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, because Paul is very clear that these four leadership gifts would be present in the church until that time. So, can you please explain to me in what way the Church has attained to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God? Of course, think about that carefully, because if that is your conclusion, then in order to remain consistent you must also be willing to concede that Pastors are also no longer for our day. All four gifts are treated as a unit, and all four gifts have the same purpose and are given the same "expiration date". To treat them differently in terms of when they would be needed in the church would be to misread the Bible.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 25, 2012

@Sandy, thanks for the suggestion, I took a look at the video and the ensuing discussion. I'm glad to know this website is not slanted one way or the other, and that views and perspectives from different sides are offered. I tell my students all the time, no one ever learns how to do responsible, critical thinking if all they are ever exposed to are views that they already agree with! And as far as the comments following John Piper's video, well, it appears that this issue has been well discussed before! It wouldn't surprise me if it comes back again every now and then! As for me, however, school starts back up on Monday, so I'll be busy with that. First up this semester is Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations"--a wonderful novel, if any of you are looking for a good read! But I do hope to drop in here every now and then! @Dennis, kb, and John, I sure hope I haven't given off the wrong impression. I have nothing but respect for all three of you, and interacting with you has been a learning experience for me! I hope you take seriously some of the logical flaws I pointed out to you. If you are correct in your conclusions about women serving as pastors, correcting those inconsistencies will only help to make your explanations stronger. And who knows? Perhaps by thinking through those inconsistencies, you might discover that some of your conclusions may need to be revised or even changed completely! I'll trust that the same God who inspired the Biblical authors will convict each of us of his truth, as long as we're open to seeing what the Bible actually says, as well as what it DOESN'T say!

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 25, 2012

Bill, the gifts of the apostles and prophet were foundational and unique to the early church. Eph. 2:20 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." These gifts were temporary and transitional, intended to help the church become established according to the Holy Spirit's plans.The apostles were called and commisioned by Jesus Christ as His sent ones. Again as Acts 1:22 says, they had to be a witness of His resurrection. Are there any who could claim this in our day? The prophets spoke by direct illumination of the Holy Spirit. They spread New Testament truth before the completion and distribution of the New Testament. The Spirit of God empowered the prophets to share truths to local congregations. Sometimes the prophets fortold things to come. Usually, like those in the Old Testament, they were "forthtellers" rather than foretellers. They "forthtold" the truth already revealed by the Holy Spirit but not yet in general circulation. The gifts of the apostles and propets died out with the completion of the New Testament canon of Scripture. 1 Cor. 13:8-10 Evangelist are always needed to win souls. The pastor is a shepherd who loves the Lord's people and has a heart for the flock. Again, he is always needed. And so is the teacher who expounds the Bible's truths. These gifts will be needed until we all come into unity of the faith at the Rapture of the church, then they will be done away with also. And as far as Jesus appearing to women first being the same as Him calling men as His disciples, and establishing male leadership in the patriarchs, and also the home which I was talking about in Eph. 5, my point being male leadership in ALL areas, you really believe that is the same? Maybe, the reason He appeared to Mary and the others with her is because...um...they simply went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body. If one or more of the disciples had gone to do that at the same time, do you not think that Jesus would have appeared to them first? So no, I think there is a HUGE difference in Jesus chosing His diciples and all the other examples we see in God's Word and Jesus appearing to the women simply because they were the first to the tomb.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 26, 2012

@Dennis, for someone so fixiated on having someone explain 1 Tim. 2:11-3:7 for you, you seem unable to give me a simple explanation of Eph 4:11-13. Now, you claim that the gifts of Apostle and Prophet are temporary and transitional because Paul earlier calls them a foundation?? I don't know how much you may know about construction, but you wouldn't remove the foundation of your house once you finished building your house, would you? Your house still has a foundation, doesn't it? Then a foundation cannot possibly be temporary or transitional. You can't base the claim you're making based on Eph. 2:20. Would you like to try again?

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 27, 2012

Bill, God used many things He later removed after Christ came such as the sacrificial system, the dietary laws, and the sabbath. So I don't see your problem with my response to you. I stand by it and if you don't agree that is your choice. But at least I gave you my answer unlike the many times our biblical scholar Sandy didn't. Not once did you point out her many inconsistencies.

commented on Aug 27, 2012

@Bill Williams - Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy ([d]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]. 9 For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). 10 But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded). 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. 12 For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as [e]in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand [f]fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been [g]fully and clearly known and understood [[h]by God]. 13 And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love- 1Corinthians 13:8-13 Amplified

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 27, 2012

@Dennis, I don't know what doing away with the sacrificial system has anything to do with what I'm talking about. The text I'm referring to is in the New Testament, and it was written AFTER the crucifixion of Christ. It refers to four gifts--apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors/teachers--and it states that ALL FOUR GIFTS would remain until a certain time. It's really that clear, and your explanation that two of those gifts are no longer needed because of whatever reason, and two of those other gifts are still needed because of whatever other reason--none of that is indicated in Eph. 4 either explicitly or implicitly. Furthermore, the quote from 1 Cor. 13 that the anonymous poster of #158 wrote further strengthens the case. Prophecy will pass away, true. But when will it pass away? When the perfect comes (v.10). So if a person believes that prophecy is no longer needed in the church, then that person has to be able to explain in what way "the perfect" has come. There can be difference of interpretation as to whether the perfect has come or not or whether that certain time in Eph. 4 has come or not. But Eph. 4 is clear that all four gifts remain until that time. So it's not whether I agree or disagree with your explanation. Your explanation, objectively, just doesn't take into account the biblical data. Now, if you want to stand by your explanation, if you feel there is no need to revise it, that's up to you. But I've noticed how harsh you react to explanations that others give to you when they disagree with you. To paraphrase Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, given the significant logs in your own eyes when you explain your positions, you might want to take a humbler approach when observing the specks in other people's explanations. After all, none of us are perfect, including yourself. You asked me why I don't point out any of Sandy's inconsistencies. I just didn't notice any. I'm sure she has some. Everyone has them. Hers just weren't on the surface. And it's not like I was going through every jot and tittle of your comments and kb's comments looking for a "gotcha!" As I simply read what you and kb wrote, those inconsistencies just popped out. If I were you, I'd try to work those inconsistencies out so that your explanations can be stronger.

commented on Aug 27, 2012

@ Bill Williams - Looking at the Bible in it's totality and where it's narrative leads to, the logical conclusion that can be drawn is that when Yeshua returns, He brings perfection with Him. We will no longer need prophecy or knowledge, as Emmanuel will be with us. What use will tongues be, when we can see Him face to face and speak directly to Him?Now we see but a dim reflection, then we will see Him clearly face to face.We will always have faith in God, and hope in God, because these are the foundations of our eternal salvation through the Grace of God. Agape Love and God are indivisible, hence the greatest of the three is Love. God is Love (1 John 4:8)

commented on Aug 27, 2012

Incidentally, I was reading Genesis 3 today and read the prophecies that God made after Adam and Eve sinned. Notice what God prophesised about women -"To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and craving will be for your husband, and he will rule over you". - Genesis 3: 16 Amplified. We can infer from this that originally husbands were not meant to rule over their wives - this is a consequence of sin. They were initially equal partners in the work God had given them. Eve was Adam's helper -"And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." - Genesis 2:18

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 27, 2012

Look Bill, there are MANY biblical scholars who hold the same views on women in ministry, and the apostles and prophets who are MUCH smarter than you or I, so I am in VERY good company with my beliefs no mattter what you say. And yes, I guess I am nothing but a "spiritual bully."

Mark Thometz

commented on Aug 27, 2012

To butt in on this "discussion" I would like to point out something I hope you all are taking seriously. Regardless of your doctrinal beliefs, you should take seriously the guidelines next to the comment boxes.."Be excellent to each other." Consider what that means. Also consider 2 Tim. 4:2, "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage ?with great patience and careful instruction." Great patience brothers and sisters. If you all want to "discuss" do so with great patience. Do so out of love for one another, not contempt. Remember, we are not the enemy.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 27, 2012

@Dennis, sure, and by that same token, there are also MANY biblical scholars who disagree with you on those issues, so that those on this site who disagree with you are ALSO in VERY good company. That's all I'm trying to say. Like the article mentioned at the beginning, there are godly people on both sides of the issue. None of us are perfect. Humility is probably the most godly virtue we can develop, and also probably the hardest. Some of the earlier comments gave off the idea that if someone disagreed with you or with kb, that was equivalent to denying the inspiration of the Bible, or even of disagreeing with God himself. That's a very proud statement for a Christian to make, quite frankly! It's possible for one to hold strong convictions on a certain issue, and yet respect others enough to grant them the freedom to follow their own convictions, and trust that God will ultimately judge each heart. The irony in all this is that I have not yet made up my mind on one side or the other, and I was quite open to what you and kb had to say regarding this issue, but I became less and less convinced as I pointed out logical flaws, and--even more--as you displayed an inability even to recognize the flaws. If you are really interested in convincing people that your interpretation is correct, you will go MUCH farther with some more humility and some more careful thinking. Take it as some friendly advice from someone with an open mind, and with no agenda to push.

Keith B

commented on Aug 27, 2012

I've been in and out of this conversation. Honestly...I think at this point most of the folks here are unwilling to actually look at the text. For 2000 years the church has understood pastors to be men-only....and suddenly we have a "new understanding" of it to read that a "one woman man" means a man or a woman. I don't get that....but then, if you're bound and determined to read it your way, you will. It's no wonder that the church is full of "pastors" that think mormons are Christians, or that there are churches ordaining homosexuals.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 27, 2012

@Mark, thank you so much for your comments! Indeed, great patience should be the prominent characteristic of our conversations as Christians, EVEN--and ESPECIALLY--when we disagree! To all, my sincerest apologies if in anything I said I displayed impatience. @Sandy, I do not envy the burden you carry as a pastor, but if I may offer some words of encouragement from someone who sits in the pews: know that in your ministry of being the "clean-up" person, you are following in the footsteps of Jesus himself, who spent most of his time in the company of those whom the scribes and the Pharisees had left at the margins. By his teaching and his life, Jesus showed them the true nature of God. I'm sure it is a very hard job, but I trust Jesus will show you day by day how to do it. My prayers will be with you!

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 27, 2012

@kb, I don't know how familiar you are with church history, but I find it interesting that the what you just wrote was the exact same argument used against Martin Luther when he began preaching his views on the nature of justification by faith. "Is it really possible that the church has had it wrong for 1500 years, and now all of a sudden you have a 'new understanding' of it?" they would ask. Well, if you're a Protestant Christian, I'm sure you're very glad Martin Luther was not discouraged by that argument that you've just used, and that he recognized that, yes, sometimes the church can believe something wrong for a very long time! That is why as Protestant Christians, not Roman Catholics, we hold the Bible itself, NOT the tradition of the Church concerning the Bible, NOT what the church has understood for 2000 years, but the Bible itself, as our only rule of faith. Or at least that's how it's supposed to be.

Keith B

commented on Aug 27, 2012

Bill, even Protestants need to concern themselves with what Christianity has historically taught. Having said that, my point stands. You can either choose to read it as it's written, or turn it around to say the exact opposite of what it actually says. Sadly, the churches that do that also seem to be bent on ordaining homosexuals and denying other basic truths of the Gospel.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 27, 2012

Bill your understanding of the church is wrong. Not all denominations are protestant. The true church has been in existence since the indwelling of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The Catholic church came into existence in about 312 AD. Was there no church until then? The true church never had to come out of the Roman Catholic church. And I really don't care what you or anyone else thinks about me, I've said it before, I really don't care. This issue like many others goes to show how far the church has fallen away from the inspired Word of God. Liberalism is the reason the church is in the sorry state it is in and by extension, the country. When people can just ignore many Scriptures that clearly point to male leadership and come up with sorry interpretaions like "Jesus appeared to women first, and Paul wrote those words, not God, and Paul was only speaking about an issue that was important in his day, you really take all credibility about your knowledge of the Bible. And I have heard those arguments over and over. Let me ask you a few questions since all I've really done was answer yours. First, do you believe what Sandy posted about the sex of a baby possibly not being known for 2 months? Do you believe like Sandy that Mormons are Christians? And I found your excuse rather interesting about Google. If you wanted you could just look it up in a book of cults and see for yourself, ah, but you don't have time to do that even though it would take WAY less time to than write all of your post. Is the Greek word for man found in Galatians 1:8-9 the same Greek word for man in 1 Timothy 2:12, are they generic? Why don't you take the time to answer those questions as I've take the time to answer yours.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 27, 2012

Sorry, the word is "taken."

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 28, 2012

Bill, do you also agree with Sandy's statement that "there are numerous discrepancies in the Bible. That is not to say the Bible is not God-inspired." How about getting together with unbelievers in a common cause? Let me hear your thoughts on these matters.

commented on Aug 28, 2012

Ah... the old unbeliever " biblical discrepancy" chestnut. Thank God that Yeshua is not a "discrepancy". The best advice that I was ever given when I was an arguing unbeliever was to concentrate on Him, He never fails, or has any "discrepancies"....

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 28, 2012

@kb, yes, I do agree we SHOULD concern ourselves with what the church has historically taught. And yet, just because the church has historically taught something does not automatically make it right, which is what you seemed to imply by your statement that for the 2000 years the church has taught that pastors should be men only. Likewise, just because the church has not historically taught something does not make it automatically wrong either. That's all I was trying to say. Also, I keep repeating that allowing women to be pastors and allowing homosexuals to be pastors is not the same thing! N. T. Wright himself is FOR women being pastors, and AGAINST homosexuals being pastors. Constantly putting those two different issues together only furthers to muddy your already logically inconsistent argument. Finally, you also are turning around the phrase "one-woman-man" to mean the exact opposite by allowing it to also be interpreted as "no-woman-man." So if you're going to criticize anyone for twisting the Scriptures from how they read as they are written, start with yourself. Remove the log from your own eye before you start pointing out the specks in other people's eyes.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 28, 2012

@Dennis, I'm on my lunch break, right now, so I'll try to be brief. First, I don't think you understood what I was trying to say to kb, because I have no idea what you're trying to say about the Catholic church. You're comments have nothing to do with what I was saying. Second, I apologize if my questions bothered you. I ask questions because I'm trying to learn. As I teacher, I welcome questions because it shows that the student is engaged and is thinking through the issue. I even welcome questions from my students where I'm challenged on my own logic, because it helps me be a better teacher. I guess I just assumed you'd welcome the same opportunity to learn how to make a stronger argument in favor of your position, but I guess not. Anyways, here are some answers to the questions you asked: 1) Whether or not we present as male or female until after a couple of months, I heard something like that in a movie once, but I'm not a doctor or a biologist or anything like that, so my answer is that I don't know. 2) Do I believe Mormons are Christians? I don't know--I've never met any Mormons. By the way, why is that not an acceptable answer? I just simply don't know. And I'd like to clarify some points I wrote regarding that. First, as to google searches. I tell my students, google can be helpful in research as a starting point, but any firm conclusions made must be based on reliable, documented primary sources. And a book of cults that has an entry for Mormons is most likely to be biased. It would be unfair to draw conclusions regarding Mormons without listening to what they have to say about their beliefs for themselves, in their own terms. That's why I said, if I ever have the opportunity to meet an actual Mormon and learn from them what they believe, I'll be in a better position to evaluate their beliefs. By the way, I don't know if you reached your conclusions about Mormons by reading a book on cults and looking at some websites. But if that is the case--and I hope it's not--then I have to tell you that that is some really shallow research. If you reached your conclusions about women serving as pastors using the same level of research, then I can understand why there are so many inconsistencies on the surface! 3) The question about the Greek, I'll have to get back to you. I hope to do so this evening, tomorrow at the latest. 4) The question about discrepancies, I think I know what Sandy meant, but she can confirm for herself if she feels so inclined. What I understood by that is, for example, in 2 Samuel 24 we read that the LORD incited David to do a census. 1 Chronicles 21, however, tells us that it was Satan that incited David to do a census. That is a discrepancy. Now, that doesn't mean that one author or another was wrong or lying, and it certainly doesn't mean that the Bible is not inspired. It simply means that the authors were telling the same story from different perspectives. You see, I know that it is possible for two people to see two different things, and yet both be right. I know it sounds counterintuitive, and I can't really go into it in too much detail in this kind of forum. But that is how I explain discrepancies in the Bible. 5) The question about whether getting together with unbelievers for a common cause, I guess it depends on the cause, and on how we "get together." The question is rather vague. But to take an example, say, feeding the homeless, I feel strongly about having the freedom to share my faith as the motivation for what I do, and as long as I have the freedom to do so, I don't think I would have any problem with joining with unbelievers to participate in such cause. But really, without a specific example, I can't really give a more detailed answer. I would say, though, that Jesus spent a lot of his time with people whom the religious leaders considered "sinners", why wouldn't I want to do the same thing?

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 28, 2012

Bill I welcome questions, that was not my point. I was just saying that I had been answering all of yours so now it was my turn. And you didn't answer one of them. When Jeremiah says that God knew him before he was in his mothers womb does that not say that our sex is detemined even before conception? But if you feel the need to go to so-called scientist for your answer, feel free. As for me, I think I'll stick with the Bible. As far as Mormons, they are a cult. You can get what they believe DIRECTLY from them and what they believe WILL contradict the Bible. Again, Jesus said that you will know false prophets by their fruits. And there is a HUGE difference between trying to win them and joining in a cause with them. Again, I'll just believe what the Bible says in 2 Cor. 6:14-17, Matt. 7:15-23, 2 Peter 2:1-3, Jude 3-11, 2 Cor. 11:13-15. It seems to me that God wants us to make sure that false teachers are not given a warm hug and a "God bless you." And as far as Sandy's statement ""there are numerous discrepancies in the Bible." I think she meant exactly what she said. I would say, "there are numerous "SEEMING" discrepancies." But once you've studied them (as I have) they can easliy be rectified. If that wasn't true then we wouldn't be having this discussion right now because the Bible would have been proven false. God cannot contradict Himself. Which is the reason I am so passionate about subjects like this. Both sides CANNOT be right! You said you can find others that dissagree with me and I know you can. But again both sides CANNOT be right. The real issue, as I have stated in every debate about this subject, is whether or not God's Word means what it says. The battle is over the inspiration of the Bible. And time and again people get on here and say "Let's just all get along. You believe this but I believe that, but God just wants us to get along." I don't believe that. I believe God wants us to point out error. He takes His Word VERY seriously. Rev. 22:18-19. Deut. 4:2. Do you really think God wants His preachers to stand before His people and say, "Well, some believe this and some believe that, but I don't want to offend anyone. You might get to heaven this way, but you might get to heaven that way, but maybe we will all just get to heaven anyway. I don't want to be too judgmental about what others believe. Besides, it really doesn't matter what we believe as long as we all get along. That is really what is important." And while I am not as caustic as I sound in my writing (most of the time anyway), I firmly believe that the reason our country is in the shape it is in is because of the pulpits of America! And I will continue to point that out every time a liberal theologian gets on here and writes his unbiblical views. And I look at this like I look at it when I witness to a Jehovah Witness (who by the way, are a cult too), I may not change the mind of the main speaker, but there is a new recruit with them that needs to hear the truth. Maybe I can plant a seed in him or her that will cause them to question the beliefs of the cult they are in. There are people who read these blogs and responses. And if I can help them stear clear of this kind of liberal theology, then that's a good thing. We are in the last days and as 2 Tim. 4:1-5 says, I will not only exhort, but I will reprove and rebuke those who do not teach sound doctrine. And again, there can only be correct doctrine or false doctrine. And we CAN know sound doctrine. God wouldn't command us to teach it and preach it if we couldn't know it! I have given WAY more biblical evidence to support men's leadership than anyone has to support the other side. And when those who try to, I always give them a biblical response to show their error according to the Bible. I don't say, "Read this article, watch this program, read this scientific paper." I respond with "Thus saith the Lord."

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 28, 2012

Sandy says, "Please tell us if there is a message from me where I said Mormons are Christians. It is time for you to back up your erroneous statements." OK. Again, Sandy says, "And I would never dare to "Curse" them, and condemn them. After all, aren't we all God's children," No, Jesus told the Pharisees (the religious leaders in His day) in John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the DEVIL." Only Christians are God's children. Mormons are not God's children.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 28, 2012

So now we finally have the truth! Sandy admits she believes that the Word of God contradicts itself. I would quote MANY verses of Scripture where it says that isn't true, but she wouldn't believe them anyway. As far as your example of a contradiction goes with Judas, here is the short answer. When Jesus was crucified there were three Sabbaths in a row. Unleavened Bread, Passover and the weekly Sabbath. The feasts were considered Sabbaths. John 19:31 tells us that the Sabbath was a "high sabbath." When Judas hanged himself, sabbath restrictions prohibited the removal of his body. That's why the legs of the two thieves crucified with Jesus had to have their legs broken, they had to be off the cross and buried before the sabbaths began. So Judas would be hanging for over three days before he could be taken down. When Jesus ordered the removal of the stone covering Lazarus' tomb, Martha said, "Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days." If the flesh became putrid in the relative coolness of a tomb, how much quicker would putrification occur in the hot atmosphere of the outside? With the third sabbath being over at 6:00pm and the coming of darkness which quickly followed, it was most likely that the removal and burial of Judas was not attempted until the following day. This would seem logical since the task of burying a putrified body would hardly be undertaken without enough light to see the job completed. His body, exposed to the sun and weather, bloated and maggot infested, would be ready to burst of its own accord by this time. When the rope or sash suspending his body was cut, he fell to the ground and his bloated stomach would burst open - and "his bowels gushed out." So there is no contradiction here. And don't feel the need to try any more, they can be answered but I will not take the time to answer "100" or so "contradictions.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 28, 2012

Sandy's comment that the Bible contradicts itself is exactly why I am so passionate about proclaiming the truth of the Word of God. If we can't believe all of it, we can't believe any of it. The Bible says, in Heb 6:18 that it is "IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD TO LIE." God wrote the Bible not man. 2 Peter 1:20-21, Psalm 12:6-7, 2 Tim. 3:16 "ALL SCRIPTURE is given by INSPIRATION OF GOD and is PROFITABLE for DOCTRINE, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in RIGHTEOUSNESS!" How much Scripture is ALL Scripture? Matt. 5:18 "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Perfect example of why when people disregard passages like 1 Tim. 2:12-3:7 they show they don't believe in the inspiration of the Bible. WHICH HAS BEEN MY POINT ALL ALONG!

Mark Thometz

commented on Aug 28, 2012

I agree with Dennis' explanation. I would like to hear more of these problems you see in scripture, Sandy. If you believe it contradicts itself somewhere, then how can you trust what the Bible says anywhere? Our faith would be based on an untruthful book. I seriously implore you to look more deeply at this contradictions you find. I can guarantee there is an answer for them. I say this as a loving brother, Sandy. The Bible is the inspired word of God and nothing less. We need that as a foundation, other wise how can we trust that Jesus resurrected? If you do not wish to continue this conversation here (which I would totally understand) please e-mail me at yuccamark@gmail.com so we can start a dialogue. Thank you.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 28, 2012

@Dennis, wow, it's like someone else named Bill Williams is posting comments that are only visible to you, and you're responding to what that guy is saying, instead of to me! Because I did answer every one of your questions, though I know I still owe you the Greek question. You strike me as the kind of guy who, if the answer is not the one you're looking for, you don't count it as an answer. But it IS an answer! You don't have to agree with it, but it's an answer! So, a few clarifications: Just because God knew before I was in my mother's womb that I would be a teacher, does not mean that I was a teacher at conception. Likewise, just because God knew before I was in my mother's womb that I would be male doesn't necessarily mean that at conception I already had a sexual identity. If your question was scientific, then my answer is still, "I don't know." If I misunderstood your question, and the question was meant to be biblical, then I agree with your answer from Jeremiah. Next, about the Mormons, you wrote, "You can get what they believe DIRECTLY from them and what they believe WILL contradict the Bible." Let me ask you a question: Have you actually learned the beliefs of the Mormon church from the Mormon's themselves? If so, then fair enough. If I ever do get what they believe directly from them, I'll be able to know whether that's true or not. Next, about the discrepancies, I only said that they exist. I didn't say they couldn't be reconciled. In fact it is my belief that in fact they can. Obviously, you do, too. Now, you say, both sides cannot be right. But the ONLY way to reconcile these "seeming discrepancies", as you call them, is if you assume that two sides CAN both be right. You have to believe that when the author of Samuel-Kings claims one person incited David, and the Chronicler claims that a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON incited David, THEY CAN BOTH BE RIGHT. It's impossible to reconcile the two without that assumption. Next, you said that the real issue in all we've been discussing is whether or not God's word means what it says. I think the real issue goes even further than that. I think the REAL issue is whether or not God's word SAYS what we think it means! Next, there was a statement that you wrote that began, "Do you really think that God wants his preachers to..." And the answer is no, and I don't know why you think I would. You must have gotten that from the other Bill Williams that is only visible to you, because I didn't say anything like that. On the contrary, if you've got convictions, preach away! All I've said is, just make sure your evidence is solid and your reasoning is clear. And by the way, humility is not the opposite of conviction. And humility is not saying everyone is right. It is simply the recognition that I might be wrong, so I better be careful! Next, you said that you aren't as caustic as you sound in your writing. Well, I'm very glad to hear that, and I'm sure you aren't! I'm also pleasantly surprised to see you acknowledge that you sound caustic in writing! Just, remember that the people you're writing to are real people. You tend to use the "harsh" texts of the Bible to justify your tone. And it's true that Jesus said he did not come to bring peace, but a sword. But it's also true that it was prophesied of Jesus, "A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench." If you REALLY want to persuade people to your point of view, I PROMISE YOU, you will get much better results if you unite your convictions with humility, patience, and gentleness. There's many texts in the Bible for that, too, beginning with Phil. 2! One last thing, to your credit, it's true that you have provided a substantial amount of biblical evidence, but the logical inconsistencies are still there. If you can clear those up, I think your conclusions and your arguments for those conclusions will be much stronger.

John E Miller

commented on Aug 29, 2012

Bill, you accuse Dennis of being the kind of guy who, if he doesn't get the answer he wants, doesn't count it as an answer. May I respectfully point out that you took exactly that attitude to me. In my post #138 I explained my understanding of what Paul meant but in your post #140 you disagreed. My belief was completely unaltered by your explanation since I feel that you fail to note the order and setting of the statement, however I did not see any value in prolonging what had just become an argument. However, let me explain once again why I hold to my judgement on the matter. Paul statement in 1 Cor.3:10 sums up the task of the Apostles, called by Christ to do a certain foundational work. When a house is being built the foundations are laid. On their completion others have to build upon them, completing the structure of the building. The foundations do not have to laid again and if someone claims to be continuing in that task their claims would be regarded as false. So it is with the church, the foundations (plural) are described by Paul in Eph.2:20. If you or anyone else claims to be an apostle or prophet now you challenge that statement because it is clearly expressed in past tense. It does no read "are being built". I repeat what I have already said and that is that there is a very great need of men to teach and preach in strict accordance with biblical truth, not give the nod to the world's ways of thought, word and deeds. Sandy C's multi-faith approach to a religious panacea should command no respect from anyone who loves the word of God, its Author and Subject and your alliance with her in this discussion greatly weakens you. I do not condemn her but I condemn her beliefs because they deny the words of the Lord Jesus. I am happy to leave the discussion because argument for its own sake would achieve nothing. I understand that you have your academic reputation to protect, whereas I make no such claim. I will therefore leave you to have the last word.

John E Miller

commented on Aug 29, 2012

The supposed discrepancy between 2 Sam.24:1 and 1 Chron.21:1 does not exist. In Samuel the Spirit of God records a fact, i.e. that God was displeased with His people and caused David to do something to make this known. In Chronicles we are told that the way He did it was to use Satan as His tool. God is omnipotent and His ways are not our ways. He can use anyone and anything to achieve His end. He used Satan to accomplish His end with Job. He is omnipotent and not answerable to anyone, not even to those claim that His word contains discrepancies. As we study the scriptures, seeking an understanding of their inerrant, infallibility, the Holy Spirit of God opens our minds to appreciate their exquisite accuracy. If we believe that they contain discrepancy and error He may well leave us in the darkness of unbelief. Scripture abounds with warnings of those who doubted God's word and the very worst is the notion, expressed in this discussion that there are other ways to come into a relationship with God besides faith in Christ.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 29, 2012

@John, I didn't see our discussion as an argument. I just saw it as two fellow believers talking about the Bible! I apologize that I came across as argumentative, please believe that I didn't mean to do so. And I completely respect your desire to leave the discussion. I would like to clarify one thing, however, if I may. I'm not trying to protect my "academic reputation." Bill Williams is a pseudonym--my parents didn't actually name me William Williams! :) I use a pseudonym because I am very careful not to post personal information on the internet where anyone can see. So you see, I have nothing to lose or gain personally by what I've posted. My reputation among my fellow teachers, my students, and their parents, is just fine, thank you very much! I have no need to protect that reputation on a website that most of them will probably never read!

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 29, 2012

@Dennis, my apologies for not getting back to you sooner on the Greek question. I asked your question to my pastor, and he and I looked at the Greek text. If I understood him correctly, there is no Greek word for man in Gal. 1:8-9. We were wondering if maybe you were thinking of another text. In 1 Tim. 2:12, the Greek word for man is "andros", which comes from "aner" and can mean either man or husband. I hope this answer is satisfactory!

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 29, 2012

Bill, my mistake. I was referring to Galatians 1:8-9 but it was in response to what Sandy had said earlier. You are right, the word "man" in this verse is in italics meaning it isn't in the original. The word "him" in this verse can mean him or her, or human kind. And yes the word "man" in 1 Tim. 2:12 is the word for man or husband. The point being was that any "human" male or female who preaches another gospel can be accursed. But the word for "man" in 1 Tim. 2:12 is definately a male.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 31, 2012

@Sandy, thanks for the recommendation. I'll be sure to take a look at it when I get the chance.

Prescott Jay Erwin

commented on Sep 5, 2012

N.T. Wright starts from the point of, "If I was going to argue for the full inclusion of women in the life of the church, then?" A) Why do we presume that if one cannot be a church leader one is not fully included in the life of the church? B) The question is, why would one argue for women in church leadership? Does Scripture lead one to argue that or does one's human sense of fairness, inclusiveness, or ambition? If it's motivated by any of these, that's not a good starting point. There are many other suspect assertions here: 1) "Apostolic ministry grows out of the testimony that Jesus is alive." Is that really true? No! Apostolic ministry grows out of being sent; that's what apostolos and apostellw mean: "sent." The Twelve and Paul were Apostles of Christ; that is, they were sent by Christ Himself. Others, like Barnabas, were Apostles of the Church; that is, they were sent by the Church. Church tradition has made the Office of Apostle into something more than being sent or dispatched by the Church. 2) "In the Gospels, the women are front-and-center." Is this true? No! Neither men nor women are front-and-center, Christ is. Even in the resurrection account, it isn't about the men or the women, but Christ. 3) Women were "airbrushed out" of the church's "official account" (in 1 Corinthians 15) because "by AD 50 people were already worried about [the issue of women in Church leadership]." Are we to believe this and then to believe in the previous chapter, 1 Corinthians 14, women in leadership in the Church was NOT an issue because women prayed out loud and prophesied in church services? And then we're asked to believe that with all of the Church's worry about women "by AD 50" in the later letter (AD 58) to the Romans Paul nevertheless mentions a woman, Junia, as an Apostle and another woman, Phoebe, as a Deacon? This is illogical. 4) So, we're supposed to believe that in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul is reporting a politically motivated, redacted version of the Gospel because people were worried about women in leadership? When did Paul ever write anything out of fear of what people were worried about? Other issues of logic: 5) Simply because a woman was the first to tell someone else that Jesus had been raised from the dead, it does not necessarily follow that women should be in positions of leadership in the Church. One does not need to be a church leader to be an evangelist or simply to tell others about Christ. (Note that the women had actually been told by an angel that Jesus had been raised, so they weren't the first to report it.) 6) The women were instructed to go and tell His disciples, not to become leaders among the disciples. 7) Because Junia COULD have been a woman, it does not follow that women SHOULD be leaders in the Church. In fact, to make doctrine from "may have been" is dangerous ground. Just because a woman may administratively, charismatically, intellectually, or otherwise have the capability to lead a church, it does not necessarily follow that she SHOULD lead a church. One does not need a leadership role to do these things. Apparently Junia and Phoebe were just fine with being Paul's helpers. 8) Because women may pray and prophecy in church services it does not follow that they should serve as leaders in the Church. One need not be a leader to do these things. Now, I'm not saying that women cannot be Church leaders, I'm just saying that one cannot make the argument in the ways Wright attempts to here.

Bill Williams

commented on Sep 5, 2012

@Prescott, welcome to the conversation! You presented a clear, thoughtful, and respectful response to N. T. Wright's argument. A couple of things stand out that I'd like to comment on. First, as to your question B, I think it is a good question to ask. Unfortunately, many people arguing against women in church leadership often assume the latter response. In other words, they assume that what motivates those arguing in favor of women in church leadership is one's human sense of fairness, inclusiveness or ambition. However, it has been my experience that many people arguing in favor actually are motivated by Scripture itself. I think there is a legitimate, biblical case to be made on both sides. It just comes down to how we weigh the evidence in either case. Second, you stated that "Just because a woman may administratively, charismatically, intellectually, or otherwise have the capability to lead a church, it does not necessarily follow that she SHOULD lead a church." But then my question is, why would God gift a woman in this way, if he does NOT want her to lead a church. That just seems at odds with what the Bible teaches about God, that the gifts he gives us, he gives us in order that we may USE them! Anyways, those are just some thoughts.

commented on Sep 6, 2012

Scripture reveals to us that women such as Deborah, Miriam, Esther were involved in ministry. They were definitely given gifts by God to do so. @kb previously asked if Miriam or Deborah were pastors? Are pastors the only ones called to ministry? The assertion N.T. Wright put forward was "Why I Support Women in Ministry" We have apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists. Why? For the building up of the Church of Yeshua, period. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love." - Ephesians 4: 11 -16. In the same chapter Paul called for unity in the Body of Christ. How exactly will withdrawal of support for women in ministry bring that about? Are only men given gifts of the Holy Spirit? What are these gifts for? Please read Ephesians 4 again, the message is clear..

Join the discussion