Is Egalitarianism a Heresy?

S. M. Hutchens is not known for pulling his punches when it comes to egalitarianism. He’s a strenuous opponent who charges egalitarianism with falling outside the bounds of Christian orthodoxy. In a recent post on the Touchstone blog, he writes the following:

‘To the best of my judgment, egalitarianism is as significant and seductive an error as Arianism; it is an anthropological heresy that infects theology proper through the attack on Christology it necessarily entails. I claim no special authority to make this judgment, but simply join mine, whatever it might be worth, to that of greater men, and submit it to the Church.’

Readers of this blog will not be surprised to find out that I agree with this assessment of egalitarianism. But Hutchens renders a judgment on egalitarians that deserves some comment. First his words, then mine.

‘I should hope that by now I have made it clear that the egalitarian who believes in his creed has placed himself outside the house entirely, at fundamental variance with Christian teaching:

‘. . . ἔξω οἱ κύνες καὶ οἱ φάρμακοι καὶ οἱ πόρνοι καὶ οἱ φονεῖς καὶ οἱ εἰδωλολάτραι καὶ πᾶς φιλῶν καὶ ποιῶν ψεῦδος.

‘This is Revelation 22.15. All “lovers and makers of lies” are Outside. I believe egalitarian teaching to be a lie, with all that follows from that.

‘This passage is eschatological; it speaks of final things. It does not say that anyone who disagrees with Touchstone, much less Hutchens–who regards his own labilities to be as great as any other man’s–will go to hell, but that falling in love with a lie will keep one outside the City of God, and in the wicked company his Maker and Judge thinks he deserves.’

I am in complete agreement with what Revelation says about the final destiny of liars. I am not as confident about my ability to apply this truth to individual egalitarians. Yes, egalitarianism is a grave doctrinal error. And yes, I regard it as a lie when it is believed and promoted in knowing contradiction to biblical teaching. But aren’t there instances in which people embrace error without doing so in knowing contradiction to biblical truth? The human condition is complicated enough and desperate enough to lead me to answer that question with a yes.

That being said, however, un-knowing contradiction of biblical truth doesn’t make the error any more acceptable to God or any less dangerous to the church and God’s people. That is precisely why Jesus prayed on the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). It is obvious that Jesus’ tormentors were in un-knowing error as they crucified him. But it is equally as obvious that their ignorance in no way made them less liable to God’s judgment. That is precisely why Jesus prays for their forgiveness.

How this all gets sorted out at the judgment, I leave to God. What remains for us is to keep ourselves and our beliefs under the light of God’s truth as it is revealed in the Bible. Those who will not bear this scrutiny certainly fall into the category of “liars” spoken of in 1 John 1:6: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

Egalitarians who deny the Bible’s teaching or who look for hermeneutical strategies that make the Bible’s teaching irrelevant on this matter need to heed Hutchens’ warning. There is much at stake.

45 Responses to Is Egalitarianism a Heresy?

  1. Adam Omelianchuk August 11, 2008 at 9:14 am #

    Ok, let me get this straight. You believe that egalitarians are on the same level as Arians (!), but you don’t think at least some are as damnable because they work out their beliefs via… ignorance? What do you mean exactly by “un-knowing”? Does that represent a person who sincerely works through an honest interpretive inquiry that leads one to believe in the egalitarian position? If so, could the same be said about an Arian who “un-knowingly” comes to his conclusions? Seems to be a bit of a stretch, Denny. There are a lot of sincerely convinced JWs who hold to Arian doctrine that are nevertheless considered outside the faith. I don’t see how you can take this line of argument without giving the same grace to the JW who may be in the same boat.

    Of course, I think your position is question-begging and utterly false, but that is another matter.

  2. David Hamilton August 11, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    Can I save Sue some time and just copy and paste some of her comments from previous posts here?

  3. Preston August 11, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    “Egalitarians who deny the Bible’s teaching or who look for hermeneutical strategies that make the Bible’s teaching irrelevant on this matter need to heed Hutchens’ warning.”

    Should the same thing be said of the thousands of christian (complementarian) leaders who are overweight and overpaid? (Ezek 16:49)

  4. Ferg August 11, 2008 at 11:17 am #

    It must be nice for you to know Denny that ALL your doctrine is right and there is no fault in what you teach.
    I presume you think this or else you would not write such an arrogant post. I’m genuinely dismayed that you would think it ok to write something like this.
    This reaches far beyond egalitarianism; I would seriously think twice before casting such judgments.

  5. D.J. Williams August 11, 2008 at 11:22 am #

    Adam,

    Though it was Hutchins, not Denny, who made the egal-Arian comparison, I think you raise some valid points. Is sincere error really more acceptable than Scripture twisting? If so, it seems we need to lighten up considerably on the charismatic crowd, since they’re some of the most sincere people I’ve ever seen.

    The question that needs to be asked is whether the comp-egal debate is a core issue on par with trinitarianism or the deity of Christ or if it is a lesser issue of some degree. While I’m a comp, and believe that this is an important issue, to me the Arian comparison is a stretch.

  6. D.J. Williams August 11, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    To be fair, Ferg, ultimately we ALL think that there is no fault in what we teach, otherwise we wouldn’t teach it (I hope).

  7. Denny Burk August 11, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    Dear Adam,

    You need to go read Hutchens’ original two essays on the Touchstone blog. The comparison to Arianism is growing out of the fact that some egalitarians are reconfiguring Trinitarian doctrine so as not to include masculine descriptors (i.e., “Father” and “Son”). This is a serious doctrinal matter. Though not all egalitarians go this route, some do.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  8. D.J. Williams August 11, 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    When egalitarianism extends to reimagining God, then it certainly becomes greivous error. However, most “pop” evangelical egals wouldn’t go this far, I believe. Thus, discussing “egalitarinism” as heresy probably necessitates careful designation.

    BTW – Denny, I’ll be praying for you as classes begin under your watch at Boyce today. I moved one of my students into Carver yesterday, and am encouraged as a minister that I know he’ll be recieving a great education.

  9. Adam Omelianchuk August 11, 2008 at 1:21 pm #

    I am familiar with Hutchen’s writing as I am with much of CBMW’s literature. I know there are varrying degrees of severity that complementarians take in their judgments of egalitarians. Some see them as merely incorrect on a secondary doctrine. Others think they are on the road to liberalism. Still others think they heretics. I think it is telling in of and itself that you represent all egalitarians in your post as those that deny the masculine metaphors of God’s names in the Trinity. I am not sure why you do that. True, there are those egalitarians out there, and they are wrong. To deny the masculine metaphor is to put oneself above Christ’s theology. As far as Hutchens goes, it has been pointed out to him, in his severe reactions, that he makes masculinity an attribute of God and that such a doctrinal move makes God literally in man’s image, which is idolatry (See Deut 4:15-16). He scoffs at such a charge. Whether I think him un-knowingly in error a liar really doesn’t matter in my mind (I’m not sure I’ve ever men anyone who holds their theological beliefs dishonestly); he’s still wrong.

  10. Ferg August 11, 2008 at 1:38 pm #

    you’re absolutely right DJ in #5, that’s my problem with saying that “un-knowing contradiction of biblical truth doesn’t make the error any more acceptable to God or any less dangerous to the church and God’s people”.

    Of course we are convinced that we speak the truth if we have integrity, however NONE of us have our doctrine spot on which is why I find it pretty tragic that Mr. Burke would stick his neck out like that to give the impression that he is right in all he teaches and does.

  11. D.J. Williams August 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    Ferg,

    Could you explain your problem – I’m not sure I follow. I agree with that statement – error is error, whether purposeful or ignorant. If I teach as true what is really false, God is not pleased no matter how sincere I am.

    None of us claim infallibility, including Denny. However, we also all believe that what we’re saying is true, otherwise we wouldn’t say it. One does not have to be infallible to believe that he is right about an issue, and (by definition) another person is wrong. That’s not necessarily arrogance, it’s intellectual honesty.

  12. volfan007 August 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm #

    Denny,

    Good post. I agree with you. And really, most egalitarians are compromising the Scripture to fit into today’s feminist agenda. Some people just dont like to stick out in a crowd, but in order to stay true to the Bible, then we must stand out on some very important issues.

    David

  13. Ferg August 11, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    My point DJ is that I think it’s strange that someone would come out and say that anytime someone speaks something that is not right are at risk of walking in darkness.
    It appears as arrogant as we are all fallible and have most definitely at times spoken in error something about God.
    I just think someone who says something like this is walking a fine line of judgment.

    It appears that Denny is perhaps saying that egalitarians may find themselves in hell for a mistaken theology as per Revelation 21:8.

    It’s a dangerous statement to make.

  14. Brian (Another) August 11, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    Ferg:

    Actually, I think that may be part of Dr. Burk’s point with the post.

    I am in complete agreement with what Revelation says about the final destiny of liars. I am not as confident about my ability to apply this truth to individual egalitarians….How this all gets sorted out at the judgment, I leave to God.

    But that does have to be balanced with holding to scriptural doctrine. Some may disagree with the doctrine, but….

    What remains for us is to keep ourselves and our beliefs under the light of God’s truth as it is revealed in the Bible. Those who will not bear this scrutiny certainly fall into the category of “liars” spoken of in 1 John 1:6: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

    Egalitarians who deny the Bible’s teaching or who look for hermeneutical strategies that make the Bible’s teaching irrelevant on this matter need to heed Hutchens’ warning. There is much at stake.

    I think it’s the gravity of teaching false doctrine, something against which we are warned considerably (the foundation of the grave warning). I understand if you disagree with Dr. Burk and instead say comp teaching is in error, that’s holding to your conviction. Assuming that you hold to a belief, something to which you hold which is scripturally tested, I would assume that you would warn with the same conviction. Actually, given some of the comments I’ve read, I dare say that passion in this subject in particular is not lacking.

    The thought that jumps to my mind is what merits this gravity. Dr. Mohler had written about this (see Theological Triage). I would say that the warning to “[e]galitarians who deny the Bible’s teaching or who look for hermeneutical strategies that make the Bible’s teaching irrelevant” falls squarely in a first tier category.

    Dr. Burk, have a great start at your new surroundings.

  15. D.J. Williams August 11, 2008 at 7:08 pm #

    Brian,

    Well said. I wholeheartedly agree.

  16. Truth Unites... and Divides August 12, 2008 at 2:00 am #

    I participated in the thread that Denny mentions: Sanctified Incoherence: The AEF Call Revisited. The thread’s now closed. Although it’s very long, I think it has much instructional value for folks seeking to understand the proto-typical mindset of evangelical egalitarians via the exemplar of “Don” in that thread, as well as complementarians from a variety of faith traditions, RCC/EO/Prot.

    P.S. With regards to Denny’s question, “Is egalitarianism heresy?” I would answer it depends on how you define heresy.

    But as a reminder, Denny, Russell Moore, and myself fully affirm Pastor Denny Nelson’s statement: “He said that the egalitarian view must not be considered a viable evangelical option because it is a deadly “cancer” within the church. Pastor Nelson says that egalitarianism is “Satan’s new ploy to get into the church.”

  17. Truth Unites... and Divides August 12, 2008 at 2:01 am #

    Sorry for the typo above. I meant to say Pastor Tommy Nelson. Not Denny Nelson.

  18. Scott August 12, 2008 at 8:52 am #

    Well when no less an authority on biblical scholarship than Tommy Nelson says it, it must be true right?!?

  19. Brian (Another) August 12, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    Thanks, DJ. I was just trying to follow on to what you had said (I meant to say that and didn’t. Due credit there).

    Scott:

    Your statement sounds like a smarmy shot to undermine Pastor Nelson’s biblical scholarship. Disagree with his doctrine if you like, but Tom Nelson certainly is well studied in his biblical knowledge, application and church history. Perhaps you were taking aim at TUAD’s repetitive argument methodology? If not, doesn’t that seem like an unwarranted shot? Just an observation.

  20. Ferg August 12, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    Brian,
    I see your point. However, where do we draw the line?
    You say “I would assume that you would warn with the same conviction”…does that mean that anyone I disagree with I label a heretic? Infant baptism, gifts of the spirit, speaking in tongues, differing worship styles, where do we stop? do you see my point? We are not called to judge so harshly. I have huge concerns with the doctrine of calvinism but I don’t label people here heretics for holding that belief as I believe it would be hugely disrespectful as I know we are all searching for the truth in Jesus. Some more so than others I admit but I’d like to think the same grace would be given the opposite way.
    It is incredibly offensive for it to be alluded that I am a heretic and am walking in darkness because I want my wife to be free in the using of her gifts.

  21. Truth Unites.. and Divides August 12, 2008 at 6:05 pm #

    Ferg: However, where do we draw the line?

    How about turning to Scripture?

    does that mean that anyone I disagree with I label a heretic?

    Who said that you should?

    do you see my point?

    No, not really.

    We are not called to judge so harshly.

    “Harshly” is subjective. What may be harsh to me, may not be harsh to you and visa versa.

    Furthermore, it depends on what’s being judged. Some things are so severely wrong, that one is obligated to speak forcefully.

    God hates sin. Jesus preached about Hell more than anyone else in the New Testament. We’re not to embrace sin, are we? Therefore, God has given us His Word so that we may know (and judge or discern) what sin is according to Him.

    In short, there may be times when Christians are indeed called and obligated to speak and judge forcefully, whereby even some or many will be slanted and predisposed to say that Christians are “judging harshly.”

    “I want my wife to be free in the using of her gifts.”

    (1) She is free.

    (2) Notice the word I used in your sentence above. I, I, I, I, I, I. An integral part of the Gospel message is self-denial.

    It’s not always about what you want, Ferg. What does Scripture say?

    (3) Related to #1, she can use her gifts freely. The gross mistake is thinking that she must be allowed to occupy one of the few ecclesiastical offices that Scripture explicitly denies women in order for her to exercise her “gifts”. Plainly speaking to you Ferg, your wife is not to be a priestess, per Scripture.

    If she and you want to violate Scripture, along with the enabling endorsement of a liberal Protestant denomination or church, then that is obviously up to you and her.

    Within the home, if you want to abdicate your headship responsibilities and authority as husband because you are “egalitarian”, then again, that is up to you.

  22. Ferg August 12, 2008 at 6:36 pm #

    TUAD, interesting how you never ever reply to me, but now that you get a chance to jump on my back about this topic you gladly do so.
    As I have never felt any respect from you or love in Christ, I’m not going to respond.

    I’m always interested in what people like Brian and DJ have to say; because despite the fact that we generally disagree with each other, there is kind regard there. I’ve never felt that from you. I know it has been mentioned to you before, but I really would suggest that you perhaps consider humbling yourself.

  23. Scott August 12, 2008 at 10:51 pm #

    Sorry about that Brian. I was frustrated with TUAD’s endlessly repetitive posts. Your comment was spot-on; my apologies.

  24. Diane August 13, 2008 at 12:21 am #

    Just curious…what do you folks believe are the actual incentives for embracing egalitarianism? Is it simply the most viable defense against the pitfalls of patriarchy, or are there other factors involved?

  25. Truth Unites... and Divides August 13, 2008 at 12:37 am #

    “TUAD, interesting how you never ever reply to me…”

    False statement. I replied to you here.

    I’ve never felt that from you.

    (1) I could say the same thing about you towards me.

    (2) Look again at your statement: I, I, I,I, I, I.

    And “felt”.

    It’s repetitive to read about you and your subjective feelings.

  26. John August 13, 2008 at 1:17 am #

    same stuff, different day

  27. Ferg August 13, 2008 at 11:23 am #

    TUAD, I actually like to hear about people’s feelings. I think we as christians are called to listen to people.
    I agree that when constructing an arguement perhaps most times feelings should be left out. however, as people who are meant to love each other and be for each other it’s a shame that you dismiss how I feel (even if I’m wrong in what I feel).
    And yes, you’re right you did reply to me in relation to your usual point about women in ministry, I apologise for my oversite.

  28. Brian (Another) August 13, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Scott:

    You show great humility. What a wonderful example! I pray I demonstrate the same in return.

    Cheers!

  29. Brian (Another) August 13, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    Ferg:

    1) I wasn’t slighting you with the previous comment (you, too, responded with civil discourse and humility as well). Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate the kind regard as well.
    2) The question does lie in where the line gets drawn. I would say with regards to several of the items you mentioned, there are not constructed commands in the same manner that a comp would argue contrary to egalitarians. I do see the point, but I agree with Dr. Burk when he says:
    Egalitarians who deny the Bible’s teaching or who look for hermeneutical strategies that make the Bible’s teaching irrelevant on this matter need to heed Hutchens’ warning. There is much at stake.
    With respect to teaching, there is a clear biblical command that remains consistent with the whole of scripture (at least that is the view of a comp, of course). Taking (for example), infant baptism, there isn’t a command of not doing it or for waiting for a period of time. (Some) Infant baptism arguments are rooted in original circumcision (which took place at infancy). But there isn’t a clear command. Hence why I would see those items as important theological points, but not tending to tier 1 (see Dr. Mohler’s post). An egalitarian view is seen as a forward attack on the authority of scripture. That is the source of the harshness.

    I would say that I wouldn’t label any egalitarian as a heretic. I would say it may be a heretical view. The former being one who is lost and is not part of God’s elect (unsaved). The latter would just be a misguided view. And when a misguided view is held, it is often easy to “slide” on other views. I am not saying by any stretch that you (or Sue or, uh any of the other egal. folks) are on the easy “slide”, though.

    In the same manner, we (the fingers are pointing here at me) must be very careful to choose how we say things as it is an easy “slide” to dismiss someone because they hold a contrary view (refuse discussion and label blindly as “heretic”).

    All that said, I do agree with a point that TUAD made. Often I hear the argument of which you spoke (…I want my wife to be free in the using of her gifts.). That seems akin to saying God must use me (or those I know) in the manner we want, otherwise, it must be a mistake.

  30. Sue August 13, 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    With respect to teaching, there is a clear biblical command that remains consistent with the whole of scripture (at least that is the view of a comp, of course).

    These are some of the clear biblical commands-

    And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. … Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. 1 Cor. 12:28-31

    I do not permit a woman to teach or to lord it over a man; she must be quiet. 1 Tim. 2:12

    Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them …not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:2-3

    Men and women are commanded not to lord it over others. However, men and women are also commanded to desire the greater gifts. This is consistent with the whole of scripture where women were judges and prophets, teachers and missionaries, deacons and patrons, where women were named as leaders of households and churches.

    I am shocked at the way Hutchens speaks of Rev. Donna Hailson, claiming a common faith one year and calling egalitarians all heretics the next.

  31. Brian (Another) August 13, 2008 at 2:27 pm #

    Sue:

    Even considering that we differ on the translation (even TNIV, I believe, uses assume authority) you chose, then, exhorting a biblical command (teach precedes “lording”) is lording (or, rather, is contradictory to Peter’s words?)? So when I tell someone that the bible is clear on lying, am I lording it over them?

    I know you know better than I the differences, just to post for anyone not familiar:

    But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
    1 Timothy 2:12, NASB

    Saying look, there are examples of the contrary in the bible is like using David to condone extramarital affairs. Comps who do lord it over (and there are some) in a domineering manner are out of fellowship as well. Pointing it out, however and saying something is a clear contradiction to what is biblical is not ruling arbitrarily (i.e. domineering).

    I’ll side with Dr. Burk:

    Yes, egalitarianism is a grave doctrinal error. And yes, I regard it as a lie when it is believed and promoted in knowing contradiction to biblical teaching.

    And…

    I am in complete agreement with what Revelation says about the final destiny of liars. [however] I am not as confident about my ability to apply this truth to individual egalitarians.

  32. Sue August 13, 2008 at 3:01 pm #

    Saying look, there are examples of the contrary in the bible is like using David to condone extramarital affairs.

    Are you comparing Deborah, Huldah, Chloe, Phoebe and other women having leadership function to David committing adultery?

  33. D.J. Williams August 13, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    If the discussion is about eldership in the local church (and I believe it is), I don’t see how Deborah, Huldah, Chloe, and Pheobe are relevant.

    What I think Brian is saying is that when we set up examples in Scripture against a direct command of Scripture, we’re probably misinterpreting the examples.

  34. Sue August 13, 2008 at 3:14 pm #

    DJ,

    You are presuming that 1 Tim. 2:12 relates to eldership although the scriptures explicitly forbid church leadership to “lord it over” anyone.

    I guess I have to assume that some people believe that women in leadership roles such as judges and prophets belongs to the old covenant, and that Junia and Phoebe belong to the apostolic era, but that women today must not aspire to such roles.

  35. D.J. Williams August 13, 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    No, Sue, I just don’t believe that quasi-related examples from Scripture should be read in a way that negates a clear command of Scripture. Please don’t presume to tell me what I believe.

  36. Sue August 13, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    DJ,

    I am sorry if I seemed to assume what you believe. I do know those who believe that women have a different role in the different eras.

    Why do you not believe that a woman can be the leader as Deborah was?

  37. Truth Unites.. and Divides August 13, 2008 at 4:00 pm #

    Ferg: “I apologise for my oversite.”

    Ferg, apology accepted.

    Sue: “I am shocked at the way Hutchens speaks of Rev. Donna Hailson, claiming a common faith one year and calling egalitarians all heretics the next.

    I am NOT shocked at all at how badly Sue misconstrues Dr. Hutchens, particularly given how I’ve seen her misrepresent and distort Dr. Grudem, Dr. Ware, et al in past blog threads.

    Let’s let Dr. Hutchens’ words speak for themselves:

    “Which brings me to the Reverend Donna Hailson, of whose divine call to her office I am clearly skeptical, and who is the most visibly upset with me of any of the respondents. … If you asked the Baptists who raised me why they didn’t—and still don’t—have female pastors, the firm and considered answer would be that it is unbiblical.

    One readily grants, and is thankful for, our shared confession, but in the eyes of such as we, egalitarian Christianity is based on an error in doctrine, therefore contains a virus we would be unwilling to spread by the actions and processes that accompany united efforts in evangelization and church renewal. Those who share my convictions do not think it a small problem—a matter upon which disagreement may be placed to the side—but a mortally dangerous one that reaches quickly to the very heart of the doctrine of God, and is in high likelihood the principal heresy against which the Western Church of our own age is called to struggle. We are not assured that egalitarians mean what we do when they as evangelists preach “Christ,” for we see their defective anthropology as entailing a defective Christology as well.

    We know her [Hailson] as a courageous advocate for the parts of the faith we profess to hold in common, and have no intention of “vilifying” such as she, unless one equates the firm and well-elaborated refusal to accept her theology of the ministry as vilification. This, and the additional charge that denial of the pastorate to women silences or denigrates them is feminist rhetoric that must be played to some other gallery than Touchstone’s.

    There are, as I indicated in my critique, things we can do together. On the other hand, we have every intention of calling the egalitarians wrong, and insisting it is the innovations they have imposed upon the churches that have made the new and stratospherically high barriers to fellowship for which they wish to blame us.”

    Read it all at The Divide That Is There, S. M. Hutchens on Egalitarian Christianity.

  38. D.J. Williams August 13, 2008 at 4:21 pm #

    TUAD,

    I’ve called you out for quote-harping before, so I should also express when I feel you get it right – and that quote was relevant and helpful, my friend. Thanks.

  39. D.J. Williams August 13, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    Sue,

    I do believe that a woman can be a leader as Deborah was. I do not believe that a woman should be an elder in an NT church – because I believe Scripture plainly teaches so.

  40. Sue August 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm #

    DJ,

    I have often found TUAD’s quotes to be helpful, as this one was.

    Deborah was both a political and spiritual leader, and as such it seems that the plain meaning is that a woman could be a leader in the church.

    Where does the scripture plainly teach that a women may not be elder in a NT church?

  41. Ferg August 13, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    Brian, thanks for the reply. I completely see your point. I guess the truth of the matter can be hard to hear. If you think I have heretical views, then I must think the same of you. The same with calvinists, I must think that they are speaking herecy.
    It’s a difficult place to be in for I don’t want to judge anyone and I believe that most of us are on a journey of earnestly trying to understand scripture and Jesus more clearly.
    Misguided, or even proud is a word I prefer than false teaching and herecy.
    You’re also right about the example of my wife if I’m purely running on emotion, however I still stand over the example because I don’t see it as me wanting scripture to fit in with my opinion, I see me as following scripture in wanting to see my wife released fully in her giftings. I also don’t see the point in this thread going down the discussion between women in ministry or not because if 1700 posts in one thread doesn’t bring any resolution I don’t think it’s edifying to continue it here!!!!

  42. ahunt August 13, 2008 at 11:04 pm #

    Pretty much Ferg…

    My concern lies with the increased stridency of the pat movement. It is actually fairly easy for folks to cooperate in reasonable comp/egal settings. The agreement to disagree rarely takes on “heretical” dimensions.

    S. M. Hutchens has lowered the bar, so to speak…and in so doing not only alienates the faithful, but invites damning secular critique of the body of Christ. Hutchens can bring it at Touchstone, but if the plan is to chuck such bombs outside of the Touchstone community…it is going to get very ugly, very quickly.

  43. Brian (Another) August 14, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    DJ:

    Thanks for speaking up for me!

    Ferg:

    I traditionally, also, hold to phrases such as misguided or proud. I think when it began its usage here, it was a show of importance more than anything else (i.e. this is an issue that was deemed more than just a rites or rituals or similar views (again, to refer to Dr. Mohler, tier 3 disagreements)). I do firmly hold to the dangers about which Grudem, Dr. Ware, etc. warn regarding biblical authority and egalitarianism. In the same manner, you (and other egals) hold firmly to the dangers of someone applying comp teaching in a manner that is sinful (e.g. abuse, etc.). So…..

    You are spot on about the disagreement. 1700 posts don’t solve it. I don’t think it’s something that will ever be “solved”. There’s not much of a compromise between them. Not to say there can’t be mutual respect, but I think the way the 1700 posts went is the way it will go (well, there were some unkind things said, so, those excluded). It’s highly charged with emotion, so it can easily erupt into a lessening or ignoring of respect. But I hope it’s not something we ignore (again, the importance highlighted). Well, have a superb day.

  44. Don August 16, 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    I am the Don that is egal that was a part of the discussion over at Touchstone. I am a sinner redeemed by accepting Jesus as my Messiah. I accept Scripture of 66 books as inspired by God and sufficient for faith and practise. I used to be what I was taught, a non-egal. I continue to study both sides and have learned from both side, but I am egal exactly because (after study) I believe that is the consistent teaching of Scripture in context.

    I do not think others who claim salvation and belief in the Bible are heretics. We may differ on many things, but my understanding is that I am to accept those who call on the name of the Lord as brothers and sisters UNLESS they are in unrepentent persistent sin.

    I am available for further discussion if desired.

  45. Don August 18, 2008 at 5:47 pm #

    Denny Burk wrote in the original post: “And yes, I regard it as a lie when it is believed and promoted in knowing contradiction to biblical teaching.”

    Anyone who teaches something they do not believe themselves is teaching a lie. They should not do this. However, this is very different from teaching what one believes. In this case the question is whether one is deceived or not about what one believes. And there are many ways to be deceived, one obvious example is to interpret Scripture on the new covenant in a way that gives an advantage to a group of which I am a member; this is what kings did and what slaveholders did. I claim that it is also possibly what non-egals do.

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