Southern Baptist Hypocrisy?

The “On Faith” forum (a joint venture of The Washington Post and Newsweek) is hosting a discussion that raises a question about the theological consistency of evangelicals who support Sarah Palin’s vice-presidential nomination:

“Women are not allowed to become clergy in many conservative religious groups. Is it hypocritical to think that a woman can lead a nation and not a congregation?”

One of the contributors is David Waters, and he singles out Southern Baptists in particular as having a double-standard.

“How do these [Southern Baptist] guys keep a straight face? How do they explain this to their American daughters: ‘Honey, in America you can grow up to be anything you want, except the pastor of our church.’

“After Palin’s selection, it will be interesting to see how they explain this double-standard to American voters.”

Waters’ critique is hard-hitting, and I think it deserves a response.

First, Waters shows no appreciation for what the consensus positions are of complementarians. The faith Statement of Southern Baptists (to which Waters refers) falls within the mainstream of what complementarians believe. Perhaps the best summary of complementarian conviction is the Danvers Statement. Danvers reveals a consensus understanding of scripture on some broad themes but allows for differences on some others. For example, complementarians agree that the Bible teaches a principle of male headship that is rooted in God’s original, good creation. They also recognize that the New Testament specifically enjoins believers to order their homes and their churches in light of this principle. There is no complementarian consensus, however, on how these matters apply outside of the home and the church.

Second, complementarians who apply male headship outside the church and the home do so on the basis of a broad biblical theme (headship as a creation principle), not on the basis of specific apostolic commands (see for example the guidelines from John Piper, pp. 44-45, 50-52). That is why John Piper and Wayne Grudem have said, “As we move out from the church and the home we move further from what is fairly clear and explicit to what is more ambiguous and inferential.” In other words, complementarians are trying to be thoroughgoingly biblical. Likewise, the Danvers Statement itself only addresses “the principle of male headship” as it applies “in the family and in the covenant community.” One can’t help but wonder whether Waters is aware that the New Testament addresses rather narrowly the church and the home.

Third, Waters’ disdain of complementarianism is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of the Bible. His hermeneutic is completely untenable. He dismisses the relevance of biblical texts that say that pastors must be male (e.g., 1 Timothy 2:12) by contending that such texts aren’t any more relevant to the modern reader than the food laws of the Old Testament. He shows no regard for the progress of revelation or of the structural differences between the old and new covenants. Before leveling this kind of critique, Waters needs to be more sensitive to the differences between Mosaic command and apostolic directive.

There is much more that could be said in response to Waters (e.g., Albert Mohler’s response to the question). At the end of the day, however, it is sufficient to say that Southern Baptist complementarians are merely trying to be faithful to the biblical text. Nothing more and nothing less. There’s nothing hypocritical about that.

73 Responses to Southern Baptist Hypocrisy?

  1. Don September 5, 2008 at 4:16 pm #

    It is obvious to me, most non-egals are NOT consistent and the ones that are consistent are the most patriarchal. If something is based on creation, then it should apply to everything.

    I agree creation applies to everything, which is why it is so important to not add the things non-egals do to the creation account, IMO. Once you subtract the additions, it is equality that is taught. But it can be next to impossible to see that if one wears blue colored glasses.

  2. Lydia September 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    From the article:

    “How do these guys keep a straight face? How do they explain this to their American daughters: “Honey, in America you can grow up to be anything you want, except the pastor of our church.”

    Or a Hebrew Professor in a baptist seminary.

  3. Truth Unites.. and Divides September 5, 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    Dr. Mohler: “The Bible states that women are not to hold the office of teaching authority in the church, and sets forth a portrait of different but complementary roles for men and women in the home and in the church.

    Can we see implications of these principles to the larger culture? Yes, but not in the same sense as is ordered by Scripture in the arenas of the home and the church. We do not find this question directly addressed in the Bible. This is why biblical complementarians can affirm that a woman can be President but not a pastor. This is not about equal employment opportunities, but about the command of God to his church.

    “is it hypocritical to think that a woman can lead a nation and not a congregation?”

    No.”

    Exactly correct. Well worth reading the article in its entirety. Especially for Adam O.

    Anyways, let all complementarians and egalitarians rally together and vote for the McCain-Palin ticket for Presidency!

  4. Scott September 5, 2008 at 4:24 pm #

    So if Hillary had been the Democrat nominee and there was no Palin, would this debate be framed entirely differently. Or, would we see the same consistency in the argument?

  5. Mark Gibson September 5, 2008 at 4:35 pm #

    I doubt that this debate would be framed differently since this wasn’t brought up when Hillary chose to seek office.

  6. Scott September 5, 2008 at 4:49 pm #

    She wasn’t the nominee at that point! Although I definitely get what you’re saying.

  7. Brian (Another) September 5, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    I love Spong. He makes me go home and pray for this wicked and perverse generation (and those to come). I don’t think he reflects the values and beliefs of many egals (esp. that have commented here), but he does fully represent what too large of a representation of egalitarian-minded folks believe. Or concoct. To bring it to eschatology (since we don’t cover that enough…ha ha…), come quickly Lord Jesus.

  8. Darius September 5, 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    I don’t recall anyone mentioning that Hillary shouldn’t be president because she’s a woman, Scott. Nice try though.

  9. Paul September 5, 2008 at 5:04 pm #

    Spong is a toolbag that non-Christians bring to the table when they want to throw a monkey wrench into any debate of Christian ideas.

    “But he’s a former bishop!”

    And Karl Marx was a seminary student. I wouldn’t take any theological advice from him, either.

  10. Scott September 5, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    Darius,

    I wasn’t trying anything 😉

  11. John September 5, 2008 at 5:20 pm #

    Darius,

    The question is not whether people mentioned Hillary not being able to become president due to her gender during the primaries, the question is if she were the democratic nominee, would we be having these questions and seeing the same kind of arguments from the Republican and complementarian sides.

    It’s an honest question, and I would like to see somebody answer honestly. If Hillary Clinton were the nominee and McCain had a male for VP, would we be seeing these same arguments from the comps?

  12. Scott September 5, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    Darius,

    John hit on what I was trying to say with far more precision than my original effort.

  13. Denny Burk September 5, 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    The complementarian arguments to which I have referred weren’t invented for this election cycle. The Danvers Statement was published in 1987, and the Piper & Grudem book was published in 1991. Anyone who follows the literature on the gender debate knows this.

    BTW, that is why you didn’t hear complementarians using male headship as an argument against Clinton’s candidacy. I did not argue against her candidacy on that basis and would not do it now were she still in the race.

  14. Darius September 5, 2008 at 5:39 pm #

    It wasn’t brought up during the primaries, why would it be brought up now? I’m a “comp” but I don’t have any more problem with Hillary as president (as it pertains to the issue of gender) than Palin as VP. I would prefer a man, but also believe that there are much bigger issues than the gender of the president. In the church, on the other hand, there is no bigger issue than being consistent with Scripture. So a woman pastor is no less anti-Biblical or less important than someone teaching that a Christian must not eat non-kosher food or that premarital sex is fine. All of the above undermine God’s Word, and must be rejected.

  15. John September 5, 2008 at 5:40 pm #

    Denny,

    We’re not saying comps used male headship as an argument during the primaries, because I never saw them do it. We’re saying if she were the nominee running against McCain (who hypothetically has a male VP), would they still keep quiet? If the topic were brought up, would they make the same arguments they are making about Palin? Would Mohler, Grudem, Piper, and yourself say the same things?

    That’s the question. If you tell me you would have made the same arguments, then I will believe you. But we just want an honest answer since the female wouldn’t have been on your side. Would this have changed your views? Obviously, some of us believe that some in your camp would be using the comp. arguments against Clinton. Maybe you wouldn’t have, and I know it’s a hypothetical, but it’s a question we would like to have answered. Even above, you said, “complementarians who apply male headship outside the church and the home do so on the basis of a broad biblical theme (headship as a creation principle),” so obviously there are those who see the headship principle extended to all areas of life even though they don’t have a specific proof-text for headship outside of the home and church. It would seem to me, to be absolutely consistent with the creation headship principle, comps would have to extend it to all areas of life even though there aren’t specific proof-texts for government (though basically all leaders in the Bible involved in government were males).

    Everybody tries to be “biblical,” and firmly believing in the creation principle for all areas of life seems to be “biblical,” so I hope you can understand that some of us just see some inconsistency in this.

    Thanks

  16. Darius September 5, 2008 at 5:41 pm #

    It’s funny, comps have been consistent on this as it applies to politics but the egals pretend like they’re not. Talk about not being honest.

  17. Scott September 5, 2008 at 5:41 pm #

    Denny,

    In your post you mentioned the lack of consensus surrounding the role of women outside the home & church. Granted, you cite literature that does pre-date the current election cycle. I don’t think it’s unfair to ask if some of the leaders involved in the debate would frame their rhetoric and position differently in light of a Hillary nomination.

  18. Darius September 5, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    Ok, John, here is your answer, since it doesn’t seem to be obvious enough based on the primaries and the comps’ comments on here: No, I would have NOT mentioned that issue if Clinton were now the nominee. I am certain that Denny and Mohler and Piper would agree.

  19. Darius September 5, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    The problems with Hillary (just like Obama) have NOTHING to do with her gender (just like they don’t have anything to do with Obama’s slightly darker skin tone). The problems are her evil policies.

  20. John September 5, 2008 at 5:56 pm #

    Darius,

    Thanks for your answer. You didn’t have to be a smart-alec, but at least you answered.

  21. Darius September 5, 2008 at 6:09 pm #

    Smart alec? Where was I one? I was just tired of you asking the same question when the answer was obvious to anyone who didn’t have a problem with the answer they got. You assume that we actually would change our tune, which is not the case nor was it during the primaries. Sure, as I’ve already said a couple times, I would prefer a man in political leadership since that is how we were created. HOWEVER, if it were Palin vs. Obama for President, the pro-life issue (among others) would trump the gender issue every single time. And it’s not necessarily a matter of ability; I think some women are supremely capable of leading companies or states, just like some women can beat almost every man alive in a 100 meter dash. Same is true of church leadership; I know plenty of men who are not gifted teachers, orators, or leaders, and plenty of women who are. But that doesn’t mean that the latter should be a pastor over the former.

  22. Don September 5, 2008 at 6:32 pm #

    From what I can tell, the reason the Danvers statement did not discuss society is that the non-egals did not agree on what the verses “clearly teach”. Besides the fact that this disagreement implicitly repudiates their own claim of clarity, the solution for the statement was to duck the issue, similar to what happened in the American revolution and slavery, it was just not discussed.

    Now we see some of the more extreme non-egals saying it is wrong for Palin to run based on the creation argument that CBMW claims is used by Paul. Those extreme non-egals are being more consistent than CBMW, for if there really IS a creation argument for men to be on top, then it should apply everywhere.

    I am so glad that there really is NO creation argument for men to be on top, so I get to be a consistent egal in home, church and society.

  23. Ferg September 5, 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    As president of the United States I wonder would she, as the main authority in the land be able to dictate how men act in the home? I wonder would she be ‘allowed’ to carry out a bible study for the men of America? Would she in an address be able to give a proper sermon or would the comps have to switch off for the twenty minutes she teaches about Jesus?
    They are not questions I’m using to be smart, they’re genuine questions I’d love to see answered. Especially if she addressed the nation with a sermon on Jesus…would you tell your friends not to listen because she can’t teach them the word of God – thats a mans job. But yeah she can lead the country. It fascinates me.

  24. BrianW September 5, 2008 at 10:02 pm #

    It’s a matter consistency. If creation teaches male headship (thus, authority) then it applies universally. I can respect the fact that comps are careful on how they apply this to societal issues since there’s not explicit commands in scripture; but I suspect though, if they are honest, they don’t want to have to deal with it because of just how far their crusade would have to stretch. But also, it seems disingenuous to simply remain “undecided” because the scriptures don’t explicitly speak on it; we have to take faithful steps applying the scriptures to countless issues that aren’t explicitly addressed in the Bible. I find it interesting that complementarians are shy all of the sudden coming to a conclusion: either take the argument to its logical conclusion or explain why male headship shouldn’t apply to culture at large.

  25. Darius September 6, 2008 at 12:57 am #

    Ferg, since when does ANY president preach a sermon????

  26. Sue September 6, 2008 at 2:58 am #

    So when Grudem says,

    “God gave men, in general, a disposition that is better suited to teaching and governing in the church, a disposition that inclines more to the rational, logical analysis of doctrine and a desire to protect the doctrinal purity of the church, and God gave women, in general, a disposition that inclines more toward a relational, nurturing emphasis that places a higher value on unity and community in the church (v14)” Ev.Fem and Bib. Truth(72)

    America should not be worried because it doesn’t need rational logical analysis in govt. Is this possible?

    Do Americans really want to concentrate those capable of rational logical analysis, ie men, in the church and leave the country and the world to the relational and nurturing feminine traits?

    What is your position on this Denny? Women for CEO but men for teaching Greek.

  27. Ferg September 6, 2008 at 7:50 am #

    Darius, my point is IF she did?
    If America is the so called ‘nation of God’ your president should reflect that and talk about him. If she did do that would you have to block your ears?
    If she spoke about biblical reasons about why abortion is wrong could you listen to it as she would be teaching about it? same for gay marriage?

  28. Don September 6, 2008 at 9:10 am #

    If a woman taught taught truth from a pulpit is it wrong for being from a woman?

    This seems to be what non-egals think is true in the world of non-egal land. I ask them to reconsider.

  29. John September 6, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    “Women for CEO but men for teaching Greek.”

    Too funny! 🙂

  30. Wesley September 6, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    I think some, like CBMW and Mohler, don’t se it as an inconsistency because they aren’t using the Bible in the same way as those who claim it is hypocritical. The basic usage in the more reformed and protestant circles is to use the Bible as a law book, as if the entire NT was not too much different then the Torah or the US law. “we shouldn’t do X, because X is wrong because it violates chapter 5, section 4.C, but some other variation on X is ok, because there is no law against it”.

    This is actually the problem I had with the reformed/very protestant camp. There are few real theological reasons for their ethics, and in this case saying because the Bible doesn’t allow women to be elders, but everything else is ok, presents the rule as arbitrary. God could have just as easily required people to wear chicken-suits, and it would be immoral not to “because God said so”. This is a nominalistic ethics, where something is reality because it is “called” such, not because it “is” such. I think Aquinas was right in that ethics is more ontological, and has a reality in the mind of God, but still a reality outside of merely being “called” right or wrong So something is right because it is right, not because God said so (however we know it is right or wrong because God sid so, but that is epistemology, not metaphysics).

    So I think that CBMW is being entirely consistent with their (more extreme “reformed”) theological tradition. But are wrong because they use Paul’s letters as a law code, and so base their argument more on legal issues of what God didn’t allow versus deriving theological principles from scripture and applying them consistently. If they did, they would have to take the headship from creation argument (a good theological reason, even if someone disagrees with it) and also apply it to the vice-presidency, without any “the bible is unclear”, because their main reasons against it woulnd’t be “the Bile says so” but “our theology derived from theology interpreted though the common mind of the Church has these principles, and this action violates these principles”

    So yeah…all that to say…this debate is irrelevant until we discuss how scripture should be used by the Church to begin with.

  31. Sue September 6, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    What is really sad about it is that the use of the NT as law is always in translation. So, some denominations actually produce their own translation to make sure that the laws are clearer that way than they were in the original language.

  32. Darius September 6, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    So Wesley, your moral values trump God’s?

  33. Ferg September 6, 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    can you answer my questions on #27 Darius? please

  34. Truth Unites... and Divides September 6, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Denny Burk: “At the end of the day, however, it is sufficient to say that Southern Baptist complementarians are merely trying to be faithful to the biblical text. Nothing more and nothing less. There’s nothing hypocritical about that.”

    Works for me.

    Voting for Sarah Palin on the McCain-Palin ticket!!! Yeee-hah!

  35. Wesley September 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    nope, just that I believe that God’s moral values are based on some ontological reality. I may know what is right and wrong based on what God says is, but something “is” right or wrong because it “is” right or wrong, not because God called it such(nominalism).

    So I go from scripture->theology-> morality, not scripture->morality.

    In this case, if Paul really intended women to not be elders, and it was intended to be universal and absolute, then the next step is to make a general theology out of is, and when we have the ethical philosophy, then we can apply it to elders and vice presidents. This is opposed to women can be presidents and but not elders because law code section 3c said so. It may be that they can’t be either, or they can be one and not another. But the reason for this is something theological, not specific commands or statements, which would make the rule arbitrary.

    So the “creation principle” may be ok (I was making a point more about the use of scripture then taking a side for now) But then it should apply to everything, or have a theological/philosophical reason not to. Not a reason based on the fact that “New Testament addresses rather narrowly the church and the home.”

    But i’m more scholastic then reformed in my approach to theology…which was may point, thatis the underlaying issue more then “what the Bible says”.

  36. Don September 6, 2008 at 3:14 pm #

    Here is the goal of my interpretive chain: Scripture -> original reader in pericope, book and cultural context -> other Scripture on the subject -> principles for application today.

    I think the “theology” aspect of your post is similar to my “other Scripture” aspect, this tries to draw on all relevant texts to present a cohesive teaching, for the original readers and then for today.

  37. Scott September 6, 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    Don,

    How does the community of the Church and the witness of the Spirit work in that diagram? Honest question that I’ve been wrestling with as I’ve read more and more on the topic of theological hermeneutics. Denny would say that I’m treading down the trajectory path.

  38. Don September 6, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    The Spirit is absolutely required, for one the Bible can appear to be nonsense without the Spirit.

    Spirit, prayer, being teachable, listening to others, study of the historical context are all part of trying our best to discern the original meaning.

  39. Darius September 6, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    Ferg,

    Of course I can listen to her talk about biblical reasons for the pro-life agenda. It’s not about the ability to teach truth (anyone can), it’s about how God laid out the hierarchy within the Church. One has to pretend portions of Scripture are “not quite inspired” to push the egal agenda. Palin can even give a talk in a church (like she already has). But she should not have head leadership within the CHURCH. The society as a whole is free to do what it wants. I prefer male leadership ahead of female leadership, but I can’t always get that in society.

  40. Scott September 6, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    Don,

    How do you think we bridge the original context to today’s world? That’s what I’m struggling with. My academic work is on the 1st century Mediterranean landscape – emerging Christianity & the dynamics of Hellenism on Judaism(?) at the time. I think we have to examine the prohibition and freedoms, as well as the moral censoring, in terms that absolutely can be applied today. Do we look at the gist of these commands, or do we apply them rigidly? Of course we know where this question can lead on this blog 🙂

  41. Scott September 6, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

    Darius,

    So what is wrong with a guest female preacher on a Sunday? How is she functioning any differently than Palin speaking on a Sunday?

  42. Don September 6, 2008 at 4:21 pm #

    Scott,

    Well, I think one thing we must do is understand the whole teaching unit and not just take verses as commands or prohibitions, this is one big way to take some text out of context. What something meant in the 1st century culture is essential to know to first figure out what is being said and second how it might apply. Teleporting verses directly from the 1st to the 21st century is not recommended.

    To Darius, I believe ALL 66 books of the canon are inspired and I am egal, I do not ignore any of it. I ask you to retract your claim, since it is false.
    Thanks.

  43. Darius September 6, 2008 at 4:38 pm #

    Scott, I didn’t say there was necessarily a problem with that. My church, which is pretty comp in its beliefs, had a woman preach one Sunday last year. Granted, she didn’t so much preach as share her testimony (she was the grand-daughter of an assassinated president of Liberia).

  44. Scott September 6, 2008 at 5:04 pm #

    Darius,

    Gotcha! Is that an issue many comps would have a problem with (i.e. the guest female preacher)?

  45. Ferg September 6, 2008 at 6:37 pm #

    Palin can even give a talk in a church.

    I’m surprised to hear you say this Darius. I’m delighted to hear you say that you’ll listen to a woman teach on a Sunday knowing she may be gifted in it. I appreciate the honesty.

  46. Darius September 6, 2008 at 10:55 pm #

    Sharing something from the Scriptures is different than leading men day in and day out in a pastoral or eldership role. I’m sure comps have different views of this, and maybe it is not perfectly aligned to Biblical standards, but it’s the de facto position of most otherwise comp churches. I don’t really get too worked up about the issue, at least until women are becoming pastors or elders. I’ve seen women teach/share and be faithful to the Word, while I’ve rarely seen female pastors be faithful to the Scriptures (as Paul once pointed out on another thread).

  47. Ray Van Neste September 6, 2008 at 11:37 pm #

    OK OK Denny. Enough politics for now. How about some SEC boasting! Neither major party’s ticket is strong but the SEC is strong! They’ve put it to the ACC. 🙂

  48. Matt Svoboda September 6, 2008 at 11:54 pm #

    To bad the Big 12 looks better than the SEC.

  49. Matt Svoboda September 6, 2008 at 11:55 pm #

    The Big 12 didn’t lose one game this week. Just to let you know.

  50. Darius September 7, 2008 at 12:02 am #

    Boomer Sooner! The ‘Horns have a little somethin’ somethin’ waiting for them in Dallas.

    Missouri and Kansas look like they’re even better this year.

    You’re bragging about the SEC beating up on the ACC??? The ACC sucks.

  51. Don September 7, 2008 at 7:53 am #

    Every female pastor and teacher I know has been faithful to the Scriptures. And I have known some men who were not.

    So what does that prove? Nothing.
    It is what Scripture says that counts.

  52. Truth Unites... and Divides September 7, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    To Darius, I believe ALL 66 books of the canon are inspired and I am egal, I do not ignore any of it. I ask you to retract your claim, since it is false.

    What’s this about?

  53. Darius September 7, 2008 at 9:41 am #

    It’s about my statement “One has to pretend portions of Scripture are “not quite inspired” to push the egal agenda.”

    And no, I won’t retract it because it is impossible to treat Paul’s words as equally inspired Scripture if you’re just going to ignore them. Red Letter Christianity puts certain parts of the Scripture ahead of others. Perhaps you do some other type of mental gymnastics to make the text say what you want it to, but the ends are the same: a low-view of portions of the New Testament.

  54. volfan007 September 7, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    I am a complementarian, and I will vote for McCain and Palin. I loved her speech, and I really like where Palin stands on issues. I do believe that it would be better for Palin to be home raising her FIVE children, but there’s nothing in the Bible that teaches that she cant be the VP, or the President of a country. There are verses in the Bible, many of them, that teach that women should not teach men, and should not be Elders, nor Deacons, in a Church. There are also many passages teaching that the man should be the leader in his home. But, there’s nothing sinful, or wrong, about a woman holding public office. I dont think it’s wise for her family, especially the children, for her to be a VP at this time in her life, but that’s not for me to decide. I will vote for McCain and Palin because I dont want Obama in the White House.

    But, what some of yall fail to understand in here is that just because the Bible doesnt fit into your logic, doesnt mean that we complementarians are being inconsistent. You seem to think that the Bible has to fit with your logic, ie, if you cant understand it, then it has to be inconsistent. Have you ever thought that maybe it’s not the Bible, nor the complementarians views, that makes it look inconsistent? That maybe, just maybe, the Bible is higher than your philosophy? That maybe, just maybe, the Bible goes beyond your logic to something much higher?

    God’s ways are not our ways, and His truth goes beyond our little, finite minds. Thus, when He says that a woman should not be teaching doctrine to a man, and she should not be a Deacon, or an Elder, and that the man should be the leader of his family; then it’s the truth. No debate. That’s how it is. And, on the flip side, Deborah led the nation of Israel in OT times, because there was no man to lead them, then that’s right, too. That’s the way it is, because God wants it to be that way.

    Surrendering Heart and Mind and Body to the Lord,

    David

  55. Don September 7, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    1. I accept all 66 books of the Bible as inspired by God.

    2. I accept UBS4 are the best overall Greek text of the NT.

    3. I do not accept translations as inspired, they are the work of humans and subject to human error.

    4. I am especially suspect of masculinist translations such as the ESV and HCSB when dealing with the “woman” verses.

    5. Paul did not write in English. What he did write in is Koine Greek. It is a discussion about what some text means both 2000 years ago and what the application is today.

    6. Disagreements about what the Greek text means does not necessarily mean one party or the other is “ignoring Scripture”. That is simply a false statement (besides being inflammatory) and one that I ask Darius to retract.

  56. Kathy September 7, 2008 at 7:53 pm #

    ‘There are verses in the Bible, many of them, that teach that women should not teach men, and should not be Elders, nor Deacons, in a Church. There are also many passages teaching that the man should be the leader in his home.’

    You can claim what verses ‘teach’ but you cannot claim what they ‘say’ as to support your view since they don’t say what you think they teach. So here your quote is just interpretation. Paul does not say ‘women’ or ‘men’, in 1 Tim 2, and he does not say that women should not be elder or deacons, and he also does not ever say that husbands should be the leader of the home, in fact Paul SAYS that women are to rule the home and that the husband is the head of ‘the wife’ NOT ‘the home.’

    So again, you can claim what the bible ‘teaches’ because of your interpretation of what Paul says, and your view does NOT claim what Paul ACTUALY says.

    ‘Thus, when He says that a woman should not be teaching doctrine to a man, and she should not be a Deacon, or an Elder, and that the man should be the leader of his family; then it’s the truth.’

    You interpret ‘teach’ in 1 Tim 2 as a positive form of teaching, yet the word in Greek is used for false teaching when that is the context and such is the case there, and in other places. Also you interpret ‘a woman’ there to be used generic for all women, while choosing NOT to interpret ‘a woman’ to mean a singular particular woman/wife, who’s teaching was false and she was teaching her husband, ‘a man’.

    So your interpretation IS in fact only interpretation, and it is NOT truth just because what you say the bible ‘teaches’ is truth.

  57. Kathy September 7, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    ‘And, on the flip side, Deborah led the nation of Israel in OT times, because there was no man to lead them, then that’s right, too. That’s the way it is, because God wants it to be that way.’

    Again, here above none of this does the bible SAY. That’s the way it is and the way God made it so.

  58. Kathy September 7, 2008 at 8:03 pm #

    And God also made it so that Paul said ‘I’ (Paul) do not allow.’ God made it so that he himself did not say, ‘I do not allow’, and this is the case for intructions and prohibitions that are not universal otherwise, we always find God speaking the command, prohibiton himself.

  59. Kathy September 7, 2008 at 8:08 pm #

    I should have added to my last comment, NOT even all of God’s commands are universal, so what makes one think that a command from a man could even be universal, ever?

  60. Don September 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    It IS the non-egal interpretation, but they have been that that what they THINK it means is what is says, when it says nothing of the sort, as you point out. For something that is supposedly clear, it is actually very unclear.

  61. Kathy September 7, 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    I just read the following quote elsewhere.

    A major “key” to understanding the scriptures, is to “read what is written”. -VFT

  62. Oscar September 7, 2008 at 10:29 pm #

    I am surprised that some in this dialogue would assert that the function of Paul, in relation to women in leadership, is to protect an order of creation account, or male ‘headship’ within the church.

    If we are going to use Paul then we should also realize that the Church is a living representation of what Christ envisions for the world. Christians are not some secterian community that hides in the corners but engages culture. Afterall, is not the message of the Gospel how the church is suppose to model the here-and-not-yet Kingdom of God.

    If people are okay with Palin in leadership because she will not be serving within the church than your theology has a fallacy. The fallacy is that you have separated the Gospel from real life – something which is dangerous because Christian life is holistic. The truth is that if we claim what God has said about the church to be true also in the public realm then ladies go home grow your hair and don’t leave the house. (Of course, I think that the argument for exclusive male-leadership is erroneous and at best something that will eventually be overcome.)

  63. Lydia September 8, 2008 at 11:27 am #

    “The Spirit is absolutely required, for one the Bible can appear to be nonsense without the Spirit. ”

    Exactly. It is the Holy Spirit that teaches us even through horrible translations. We are promised Wisdom if we ask and believe and this applies to understanding scripture:

    Ja 1

    4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

  64. Lydia September 8, 2008 at 11:32 am #

    “One has to pretend portions of Scripture are “not quite inspired” to push the egal agenda”

    Not at all. Here we go again with accusing egals of not being spiritual. That is a very serious thing, my friend.

    One has to believe that Authenteo/Kephale means something it doesn’t to believe the comp position. Notice I did not accuse you of not believing the scriptures are ‘inspired’ as you accused us of doing because we simply disagree on the correct translation.

  65. Lydia September 8, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    “God’s ways are not our ways, and His truth goes beyond our little, finite minds. Thus, when He says that a woman should not be teaching doctrine to a man, and she should not be a Deacon, or an Elder, and that the man should be the leader of his family; then it’s the truth. No debate. That’s how it is. And, on the flip side, Deborah led the nation of Israel in OT times, because there was no man to lead them, then that’s right, too. That’s the way it is, because God wants it to be that way. ”

    The problem is that it does not actually say what you say it does. That is the REAL problem. So, you are putting words into God’s mouth that HE does not say. Dangerous stuff. You are adding to scripture…especially on the Deborah issue. Where does God make it plain that there were no men and He HAD to chose Deborah?

    Would you please point that out?

  66. Brian (Another) September 8, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    Lydia: I believe the thought goes like this. The text goes beyond a traditional description, giving great emphasis to Deborah being a woman, prophetess, wife, etc. The Lord commanded Deborah to send Barak (a man) to battle. He shirked his leadership duties and Deborah made it a point to identify that the Lord would hand Israel enemies over to a woman. Plus given that (if I understand properly) she didn’t lead the nation militarily (only after Barak shunned the calling), and wasn’t a priest, I believe that is the reason behind reading that from the story of Deborah. Collectively, these show an abnormal pattern and are seen as part of the book of Judges and the judgment of Israel. I know there is more to it than that, I’m just summarizing.

  67. Don September 8, 2008 at 6:22 pm #

    Jdg 2:16 Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them.

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

    For me, these 2 verses provide an explicit endorsement of Deborah. The judges in the book of Judges were raised up by God, of which Deborah was one.

  68. Don September 8, 2008 at 6:23 pm #

    P.S. The “code” for the evaluation of each judge is how long Israel was at rest.

    Jdg 5:31 “So may all your enemies perish, O LORD! But your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might.” And the land had rest for forty years.

    Forty years is a very good evaluation.

  69. Sue September 8, 2008 at 7:22 pm #

    My sense is that Barak was the secular and military leader, and Deborah was the prophetic spiritual leader.

  70. Don September 8, 2008 at 7:25 pm #

    Another aspect is Deborah was a judge prophet, the other 2 in the Bible are Moses and Samuel. Even if she is ranked 3rd in this group, that is not too shabby.

  71. Wesley September 11, 2008 at 12:23 am #

    Don,

    Wow, I got busy and got left behind!

    I we may be more different then that. the chain you listed I would have of course as the interpretive process. Then I would ask, now what do we do with it? And although I would hold it as true, it doesn’t function the same way the OT law did for Israel.

    So..
    OT: you can eat beef and not pig
    Israel: therefore we eat beef and not pig, that is the law

    The kosher law doesn’t have to make any sense, or follow any over aching principle. It is/can be arbitrary.

    the Church is not under the OT law however, and was not given a “leviticus” as a law book to run itself. So such things as the regulative principle make little sense under this paradigm. The NT is instead looked to not as the “norm” itself, but as the norm that norms the norm. Principles that are to be followed are derived, not followed the same way one would follow the US code of law.

    For example when commenting on infant baptism Francis Hall said “”The absence of explicit mention of such Baptisms signifies nothing, unless the New Testament was meant to be a complete directory of ecclesiastical discipline, which is untrue.” (avoiding this debate but) this would be an example of my view on how to use scripture itself.

    So when it comes to Palin:

    Most complementarians are NOT being hypocritical because they are following their own paradigm consistently. If fact “volfan007” summed it up well (#54) where scripture is used like the kosher law: eat beef not pork because God said so. There is no reason within the system for the moral code to be consistent. more emphasis is placed on something being wrong because God said so, more then on god said so because as an idea it violates some principle of virtue.

    BUT they are being inconsistent on a theological level, due to using scripture in this manner. The “creation principle” should trump direct statements (but not contradict, or then the principle is wrong). In this case, those who hold to male headship should not vote for Palin becasue the principle of male leadership in general is violated. Unless it can be demonstrated on a theological principle that these are categorical differences. But not based on “scripture allows it here, but not here”. Because that would be using the NT like it was intended to be a Levitical set up similar to what Israel had in the OT.

  72. Don September 11, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    I do believe that the 66 books of the Bible are sufficient for faith and practice. That is, they are normative as part of the canon.

    I cannot find any evidence for infant baptism but can for believer’s baptism, so I believe in believer’s baptism, for example.

    One of the interpretive principles I use is that things in the Mosaic covenants are shadows of realities in the new covenant.

    Heb 10:1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

    A shadow to be a shadow gives a hint as to the fuller reality behind it, I do not see God as trying to trick us with shadow puppets. As there were women prophets in the Mosaic covenants, there are women prophets in the new covenant. The shadow cannot deny the reality, it may not fully reveal the reality, but it cannot deny it. This is why I see Deborah and Huldah, etc. as relevant to the new covenant.

    IF CBMW did not claim there was a creation principle of male leadership being referred to in 1 Cor and 1 Tim, then they would not be inconsistent. But they do not do this, they assert the principle, but then do not fully carry it out in their application. This is being inconsistent.

    I think the supposed creation principle of male-only leadership is not correct therefore I think Palin being VP is fine, as this sure seems to be what her and her husband want. My application is consistent with my principles.

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