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Le Cap 2010 - Thèses préliminaires

Le partenariat hommes-femmes dans le nouvel équilibre mondial

Auteur: Leslie Anne Neal Segraves, Chad Alan Neal Segraves
Date: 09.07.2010
Category: Hommes et femmes

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L'original est en anglais

Note de l’éditeur : Cette communication préliminaire pour Le Cap 2010 a été écrite par Leslie Ann Neal Segraves et Chad Alan Neal Segraves pour servir de synthèse du sujet qui sera discuté lors de la session multiplexe « Hommes et femmes : une équipe de choc pour accomplir le Grand ordre de mission ». Vos réponses à cette communication, par le biais du Forum mondial du mouvement de Lausanne, seront transmises aux auteurs et à d’autres pour les aider à peaufiner leur présentation finale pour le congrès.

« Accepteriez-vous 20 dollars pour votre filet de pêche ? » Le pêcheur cachemiri a interrompu son travail matinal, a souri et m’a joyeusement tendu son filet dégoulinant et odorant. Nous venions de faire le voyage jusqu’au au Cachemire. Nous avions passé la nuit sur une maison flottante, traversé le lac Dal à la rame, observé les pêcheurs dont le travail d’équipe nous a beaucoup inspirés, et étions enfin arrivés à destination : nous devions équiper un groupe d’implanteurs d’église fragilisé par un réel problème d’unité. Lorsque nous les avons enseignés au sujet de la puissance de l’unité et de la réconciliation, ce filet sale que nous avions acheté symbolisait fortement le désir de coopération de Dieu entre les hommes, les femmes, les jeunes, les vieux, les citadins et les ruraux, chacun à sa place dans le filet pour récolter la moisson de Dieu.

Jésus comparait le royaume de Dieu à un filet « jeté dans la mer et qui ramène des poissons de toutes sortes. » (Matt. 13:47). Contrairement aux cannes à pêche individualistes, le filet que décrivait Jésus nécessitait que de nombreuses personnes collaborent pour remonter la prise. De même, accomplir le Grand ordre de mission nécessite la participation et le service de tous ceux qui prêtent allégeance au Christ. Plus simplement, Dieu appelle les gens à lui (salut) puis les envoie dans le monde (service) pour travailler ensemble comme un seul corps, équipés de dons spirituels pour étendre son règne sur Terre.

Malgré le fait qu’il soit urgent que l’Église équipe, habilite et libère plus d’ouvriers pour les millions d’individus qui ont encore besoin d’un Sauveur, il reste encore de nombreuses questions et obstacles concernant le partenariat hommes - femmes. Ces obstacles nécessitent l’attention de l’Église ainsi qu’une réflexion biblique : Est-ce que Dieu distribue les dons spirituels en fonction du genre ? Dieu accorde-t-il des dons de leadership aux femmes ou uniquement aux hommes ? Une femme peut-elle uniquement exercer un ministère auprès d’enfants et d’autres femmes ? En quoi la crucifixion de Christ et sa résurrection agissent-elles pour guérir et racheter les desseins de Dieu pour l’homme et la femme ? Le fait de restreindre ou de libérer les femmes pour un leadership spirituel a-t-il un impact sur le Grand ordre de mission ?

Le mouvement de Lausanne, fondé par Billy Graham, affirme qu’hommes et femmes ont reçu des dons de Dieu et que leur partenariat est nécessaire pour l’évangélisation du monde. Le Manifeste de Manille, fruit du deuxième Congrès mondial de Lausanne en 1989, déclare, « Nous affirmons que les dons de l’Esprit sont accordés à tout le peuple de Dieu, aux femmes comme aux hommes, et qu’il faut encourager la collaboration de tous dans l’œuvre d’évangélisation, pour le bien commun. » (Affirmation 14, 1989). Le résumé des Déclarations du forum de Lausanne 2004 ajoute, « Nous appelons l’Église partout dans le monde à œuvrer en faveur d’un partenariat plein et entier entre hommes et femmes pour l’évangélisation du monde, en valorisant au maximum les dons des uns et des autres. » (Claydon : 2005).Nous présentons ce document dans une perspective élémentaire du partenariat. Un partenariat implique que chaque partie s’investisse pour accomplir un objectif commun, tout en bénéficiant de liberté et d’encouragements pour leurs contributions mutuelles, en fonction de leurs dons et quelles que soient leurs caractéristiques extérieures. Chaque partenaire apporte à la fois les dons surnaturels et les talents naturels que Dieu lui a accordés pour atteindre l’objectif.  En dépit des divers mouvements mondiaux qui encouragent la participation vitale des hommes ainsi que des femmes, en Occident et en Orient, les femmes se sentent en proie à des restrictions, non seulement de la part de la société, mais aussi, souvent, de la part de leurs frères et sœurs chrétiens. Pour des raisons de concision, nous ne ferons pas d’exégèse approfondie des textes bibliques à ce sujet dans ce document (à savoir 1 Cor. 11, 14 ; 1 Tim. 2, 3 et Éph. 5). Nous nous efforcerons plutôt de présenter la vision du monde biblique et missiologique de ceux qui croient que Dieu peut équiper à la fois les hommes et les femmes avec des dons de leadership et d’enseignement dans le but d’accomplir sa mission, et qu’il le fait.

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Mots-clés: Partenariat, le leadership, les cadeaux, le sexe, la participation

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PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas William_Lauesen (-1)  
Bahreïn

The Partnership of Males and Females: Comment

I was very disappointed in the Lausanne leadership in allowing the extremely one-sided viewpoints related to Men and Women in Christian ministry. A prime example was the Multiplex (the 4,000 delegates were given 4-5 Multiplexes on different topics to choose from during that time) on Men and Women. It was totally feminist, spent most of its time preaching feminism, and ignored that there is another viewpoint on the matter. In addition to the total lack of balance and Christian charity toward other viewpoints, how they handled scripture, twisting it to fit their viewpoints, was sad to see, and a terrible precedent to allow in the Lausanne movement which does not bode well for its future.

This is not to say that there was nothing good in the session. There were several examples of women active in ministry that complementarians as well as feminists could agree with and applaud. It was just a shame that we had to sit through the radical and explicit propaganda for the great majority of the session.

Teamwork and partnership are needed emphases, also among men and women, in the church as well as in marriage, but that does not mean that they have to be the same in all respects, even as the body of Christ is one even though we all have different gifts and different roles.

Some of the many problems in explicit biblical teaching during this session included:

  1. It was stated that the command to not eat of the forbidden tree was given to the woman as well as to the man, but this is not what one sees in the passage in Genesis 2:15-18, where the command was clearly given to the man before the woman was created. (They were trying to avoid having the man tell his wife not to eat the fruit, putting her under his authority.)
  2. It was stated that helper is not less than the one being helped (Genesis 2:18). While this is true in general and is a possible interpretation of this passage, and there are of course cases where God helps us (although God was not made to help us), it obviously is not the only interpretation, not the one that common sense would dictate, nor the one that Paul understands in 1 Cor. 11:9.
  3. Ephesians 5 – where it makes clear that a wife should submit to her husband – this obvious and main message of the paragraph was not stated but was repressed. Eph. 5:21 “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” was made to fight against and overcome the clear teaching of scripture in Eph. 5:22, 24 and elsewhere. Equality was emphasized to the point that the scriptural commands were made naught, a very disturbing use of scripture.
  4. It was stated with reference to Ephesians 5 that the wife and husband must equally submit to each other (Eph. 5:21) or else there would be no equality. Besides ignoring the specific teaching of scripture in the following verses, it also ignores the trinity, where the Son for example submits to the Father, and yet they are equal.
  5. It was stated as a clear fact that Priscilla and Aquila led a church in their home, referencing Acts 18.  While this can be supposed, it is only a guess. Of course we also know as a principle of hermeneutics (biblical interpretation) that even if it did happen and was recorded in a historical writing, such incidents (which might have been wrong or a special case) cannot negate the teaching of scripture in the letters.
  6. It was interesting how glibly the fact that Jesus selected 12 apostles who were all men – not 6 men and 6 women as feminists would expect today. How was this fact (which blows away the feminist case) explained away? They stated (without any proof or evidence) that Jesus limited himself by adjusting to his society; although he did many things which offended his society, for example: healing on the Sabbath, calling religious leaders hypocrites, speaking with a Samaritan woman, and calling himself God. If Jesus in his practices submitted to his society even when (as the feminists would say) the society is biblically wrong, then we cannot accept any of his actions as examples – although of course scripture does teach us to follow Christ’s example. (A further point: guess who carefully sculpted the Jewish society over many generations, for example with the priests who were responsible for teaching being all men?)
  7. Regarding Paul’s teaching on women in I Cor. 11, where it speaks of women praying and probably prophesying, it was said that these are the tasks of priests. Interesting, but note two things: one, the main point of the passage was that there is a difference between men and women; two, priests sacrificed and taught. There is a difference between teaching and prophesying – they are two quite different gifts – and as we see in I Cor. 14, while Paul seems to allow women to prophesy, he does not allow them to judge prophesying, to teach men or to lead men.
  8. Regarding I Cor. 14, the fact that men and women have different gifts that should be used does not mean that there is no difference between men and women and that they are interchangeable and simply take turns. Scripture teaches that women can have any gifts, but that women should not exercise some gifts in mixed groups with men.
  9. Regarding I Tim. 2 (I Tim. 2: 12a: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man”), the clear teaching  was repressed – not even mentioned – and suppositions were brought in to try to nullify this teaching. (Another implicit argument used: I Tim. 2:12a isn’t a command, so by implication it can be ignored.)
  10. It was clearly being taught that we should allow women to be leaders (presumably over men, as no one objects to them leading women and children, which make up some 75% of the world’s population). Women were said to have the same leadership titles as men in Romans 16, ignoring that the word “servant” while sometimes used to refer to a church deacon (“servant”), is more often used not as a leadership title but as a very general word referring to a serving function. No one denies that women can indeed be servants and fellow workers. (In Rom. 16:7, there is that disputed passage – is Junia a man or a woman; is he well-known among the apostles or is he a messenger?)

May we grow up into the full teaching of Scripture, and submit ourselves to Christ and his Word. May we grow up beyond a “battle of the sexes” and a race to the top. May we not all grasp at being a leader; and may not many of us become teachers. May we better understand the example of Christ, who while being equal to the Father, did not mind submitting to him, with perfect love shown within the trinity even as they have different, complementary roles.


17.11.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas earnold (0)
États-Unis
@ William_Lauesen: I do believe that the Gospel of Luke records women disciples who supported Jesus’ ministry and ministered with Himand to Him. Jesus chose women to reveal Himself after His resurrection and charged them to go tell His disciples. As a woman, I choose to believe what Jesus says about me: I am charged to carry the message of new life in Him to those who would be disciples. And it was men that the women were told to take the message to; Jesus did not tell them to restrict their message to children and other women. You criticize others for reading the Bible through their cultural lens, but your reading is also through yours. A bit of self-awareness is a necessary step for us all as we seek to understand the Scriptures both in the context of the time they were written and throughout time. This is a challenging task and we need to have grace for each other as we seek to understand the awesomeness of the Great Commission.
08.07.2012
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas William_Lauesen (-1)  
Bahreïn
@ earnold:

I agree with most of what you say: a) women disciples supported Jesus and ministered to him and others; b) women disciples were chosen and charged to testify to men of Christ’s resurrection; c) we should believe God’s word that we have worth and should minister to others, including bringing the Gospel to all; d) we are all affected by our own culture, often more than we realize; e) we need awareness of our own blinders (it’s often good to read commentaries from other eras to get a different perspective) and also grace and of course study to understand scripture. All good and reasonable points.


None of these touch my main point however: that we need to obey God’s directions for example in 1 Timothy 2 (ie, v. 12a: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man” (ESV)).


Of course we may have some disagreements around the edges on its application, but we should agree on the main idea as the word of the Lord. Note that not all spoken communication is teaching; women are not similarly limited in using gifts of prophecy, exhortation, wisdom and knowledge, and tongues and interpretation, nor in proclaiming, testifying and sharing. Note that the context here is in the household of the faith, ie, the church family, where the public teaching of the word carries the authority of the church. (What is teaching? I usually think of it as the exposition of scripture, instruction about God and His ways, explaining the word and applying it to our lives – perhaps you have a better explanation!) May the Lord help us to understand His word, especially where it is different to the spirit of the age, that we may better be salt and light in a dark world.


Where is the outrage over the systematic twisting of scripture that I mention above – so many examples? Do we no longer believe that wives should be subject to their husbands (and that husbands should love their wives)? Do we no longer believe that Christians should obey the Lord Jesus Christ and submit to his word? May the Lord save us all and this movement from moving away from the Word of the Lord!


10.07.2012
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas earnold (0)
États-Unis
@ William_Lauesen: Okay. Here is a direct response to your main point. First, Paul’s letters were very occasional, meaning that he was usually addressing a certain church and their specific concerns. It is vital we remember that we are reading someone else’s mail; that should caution us to carefully consider making any few passages of Scripture hard and fast doctrine. Therefore, many of the issues are not only situational but cultural as well. If we were to take everything absolutely literally, women would wear coverings on their heads, all young widows would be required by the church to get remarried, and slaves would still be subject to their masters. Secondly, is this God speaking in this passage? I thought it was Paul. I know you are going to say that all Scripture is inspired by God and I believe that. But Lot having sex with his daughters is in Scripture and God does not audibly in that situation pronounce judgement. So just because someone in the Bible says something does not mean we are to apply it in the same way. Paul is stating that he does not permit it. But Paul also asks Timothy to bring him is coat. Is that an instruction for us too!? Of course not! That is where common sense and personal decision enter. First of all, if people are coming to Christ and Jesus Himself says that the workers are few, are we really going to turn away people who have received a calling? And for every passage of Scripture that does not support female teachers and pastors, there is one that does. There is a discrepancy! So you may choose which passages to view as more useful. Third, some of us are in denominations that do not see this as a hierarchical issue. I am Baptist. In the Baptist church, Christ is the head of the church, the congregation is under Christ, the deacons (servants) are under the congregation, and the pastor is...the least of these...serving the entire body. So how is this even an issue of authority when Jesus is in charge and the entire body is over the pastor.
10.07.2012
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas William_Lauesen (-1)  
Bahreïn
@ earnold:

Very revealing: a creative hermeneutic determined to achieve the desired result in spite of the “inconvenient truth” of God’s instructions. You say: 1) sometimes Scripture is specific or cultural and therefore not applicable to us; 2) sometimes Scripture records history that is not a command. All true in general, but also all not relevant to this particular text. You seek to cast doubt on these instructions as you do not want to submit to them. Why not instead seek to follow God’s instructions?
You argue that God might call people to violate God’s commands. Doesn’t seem like a very good argument to me – it is certainly one that could be turned against any of God’s commands – and Jesus didn’t take kindly to the Pharisees trying to get around commands such as to honor parents. Jesus said they should do the one without ignoring the other. Again, one can be a missionary and draw people to Christ without violating this command, as I already explained. It’s not either/or!
Next you argue that the Bible has discrepancies, so let’s ignore this text, and do what we want. Not a very good way to handle scripture – but a good way to deny the practical authority of scripture over our lives and ministries. By the way, a basic principle of hermeneutics is that NT teaching passages take precedence over historical passages, which as you mentioned might record good or bad actions. Most of the discrepancies you have in mind are debatable historical passages – we can gain additional insight from them, but only if our hearts are ready to obey scriptures we don’t like, and seek further understanding from the heavenly Author.
Third, you introduced the hateful “h” word “hierarchical” – which I did not mention, so it doesn’t affect my arguments. (I am also influenced by Baptist traditions, although of course if a church doesn’t have elders (who oversee and shepherd the church, whether one is designated a “Pastor” or not – and I totally agree with servant leadership, it’s vital – and it should be shared), it’s not the leadership structure taught in the NT. Sadly true of many different church denominations, in fact if not in name.)  I did speak of authority, which is present in the church as in the family. Jesus Christ is as you say the Lord of the church – that certainly speaks of authority! The church leaders oversee the teachers in the church and in most churches who preaches week by week; at least the church leaders stand ready to correct any heresy that is taught (and to impose church discipline should it be necessary – that certainly speaks of authority, even if seldom used). Thus in general, what is taught in the church may be thought of as coming with the authority of the church: you should believe this, you should do that. I find this helpful to understand why a woman cannot teach men, but can prophesy, testify and encourage. If you don’t find this discussion on authority helpful, then leave it. I Timothy 2 does say that women can’t teach or exercise authority over men, so it is two things, not only one, that women are not to do to men in the church.
Speaking of hierarchy, note that the Son does submit to the Father. In the trinity, in the church, and in the family, there is structure, there is submission – and there is love and loving, servant leadership. This is something to bring to the world!
Women have great worth and importance, vital gifts and vital roles to play in the church and in the worldwide mission. Where would we be without them? Let’s not let any wrong understanding of Biblical instructions meant for our good by our loving heavenly Father take that away!


11.07.2012
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas earnold (0)
États-Unis
@ William_Lauesen: Dear William, I really have no hope of changing your mind. That was not really my goal. I am simply asking for you to have grace for your brothers and sisters who are trying to be faithful to what they feel God has called them to do. When we stand before the Holy God and we are judged, would you not rather have erred on the side of grace? If this practice is not for you or your church, fine. But please refrain from pronouncing judgment on other Christians. The same measure we use will be used for us. I would rather be accused of letting too many people preach the gospel. By the way, I used to have the exact same position as you. I understand your desire to be faithful to the Word of God and be prepared to obey even the difficult to accept passages. I went to seminary to learn. I discovered that there is a difference between simply reading the Bible and studying it. I learned humility; I cannot possibly understand everything right now. I also was forced to read it without all my presuppositions, each and every book. What I learned was grace for those who are like Jacob, wrestling with God and with His word. We are all trying to understand the enormous task the Great Commission presents us. Please ask for humility and grace to empathize with your fellow believers and for things that are not "salvation issues," let’s not make the focus of our efforts.
11.07.2012
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas William_Lauesen (-1)  
Bahreïn
@ earnold:

I guess I’m a naive optimist – I was hoping based on the Word of God to change your mind! May we all be life-long learners, continuing to listen to the biblical arguments of those with whom we disagree, searching the Scriptures like the Berreans to see if these things are so.


I do seek to have grace for others – I would hope that that would not be a question. So I can say “amen” to having grace for those with whom we disagree. I do wish that the Lausanne organizing committee had had grace to select speakers on this topic who would have accepted me and those like me who take the Bible at face value! Note the 10 points I list above of the extremely one-sided presentation by multiple speakers, which in the opinion of many was very unbiblical.  


12.07.2012
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas jdmarx (0)
Afrique du Sud

Dear Leslie and Chad,

I am deeply concerned about the contents of your paper. Though I do not know Pierre217 I urge you to reconsider the theology of your paper.

You are in error. I say that as one child of God to another and I use such strongly language because of my concern for you and those who follow you.

Your statement "Just as the Trinity is not differentiated by roles..." seems to be at the heart of where you go wrong and you do that by confusing two dstinct concepts, namely hierarchy and equality.

Though the three persons of the Trinity are EQUAL they are differentiated. They are in a HEIRARCHICAL relationship because of their roles. The Father sends the Son and not other way round. The Son submits to the Father, not other way round. Yet they are equal in power, glory and "godness".

The image of God is impressed by God in two areas regarding humans: marriage and the church. Both of these are characterized by relations that are equal yet hierarchical regarding gender as asserted by both NT and OT. Men should love and lead their wives, wives should respect and submit to their husbands. This is not a statement of inequality for men and women are equal heirs of the kingdom but are placed in different roles.

I fail to see how in the example you mentioned a woman can be sent to the mission field alone, plant a church through teaching the Word and not have authority over men? This seems contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture. How can a woman teach/lead her husband in the congregation not distort the order in the marriage?

That being said, I do believe that there is a definite place for woman to teach the Bible - women can teach over women and children. This doesn’t contradict the order of the church or marriage. A woman is thus only "limited" to teaching one third of the population. The fact that men are failing in their duty (such is seen by the lack of male missionaries) is no excuse for women to take over that role and also err.

I call on you to correct your view and repent or correct me where I am mistaken so that I can repent.

Kind regards,

jdm

Ps: Regarding the Nicene creed et al, the Nicene creed wasn’t written to clarify whether or not the persons in the Trinity have different roles; but rather to assert that Jesus is fully God and one with the Father. Hence the assentment is that Jesus is equal to God and no less god than the Father.

Pps: In my personal experience, the confusion about the role of women in ministry comes from confusion in the West regarding relationships and marriage. I am leading a Bible study on a medical campus which consists of 80 percent African women. These are very able young women who themselves are involved in different churches, yet none of them wants to lead or teach where they will have authority over men. It seems like the role of women in ministry issue only surfaces in the traditional white churches in our country.


15.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas davidson (0)
États-Unis
@ jdmarx:

But Jesus didn’t pick any Gentile men  either.  Hence Paul writes no Jew nor gentile, male nor female.. 


19.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas earnold (0)
États-Unis
@ jdmarx: I find this very interesting considering I have been married for eleven years and my husband is constantly telling me how grateful he is for what I have to teach him. I am in seminary and I come home to him caring for the children and he asks me questions and allows me to teach him. I am a teacher and guess what he is. A therapist! He works with people sharing their feelings (which makes him excellent with children) and I am a teacher. A good and godly husband is marked by humility and refusing to be taught by a woman is not exactly humble. If we had allowed cultural stereotypes to keep us in our traditional roles, we would not be good stewards of the gifts God has blessed us with. That said, this is an issue that I believe deals with personal conviction. Maybe you would not feel comfortable in a church led by a woman, but to say that God cannot use someone in the mission field because they are not married is presuming too much. In the Bible, we read countless stories about people that did not meet the qualifications of being used by God...and He did. Let God be the judge and if people are coming to the saving knowledge of Christ, other less important disagreements need to be set aside.
08.07.2012
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas William_Lauesen (-1)  
Bahreïn
@ earnold:

You make several good points: 1) husbands can of course learn from their wives; 2) husbands should be humble; 3) cultural and traditional stereotypes can hold us back; 4) we should use our gifts including teaching; 5) God can of course used women and all believers on the mission field; 6) preaching the Gospel is vital. No one would disagree with these points. We agree with common sense, positive experiences, godliness, and using our gifts and witness to transform ourselves, our society and the world. What we may disagree about is the plain teaching of scripture that women should not teach men (nor oversee them) in church meetings (1 Timothy 2). However, this is perhaps a narrower command than you might realize – and of course some may others may in error or from tradition broaden this command in a wrong way. So, rejoice that you can do the above things without violating God’s way; and at the same time seek to understand God’s instructions in ! Timothy 2 better.


10.07.2012
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas William_Lauesen (-1)  
Bahreïn

I was very disappointed in the Lausanne leadership in allowing the extremely one-sided viewpoints related to Men and Women in Christian ministry. A prime example was the Multiplex (the 4,000 delegates were given 4-5 Multiplexes on different topics to choose from during that time) on Men and Women. It was totally feminist, spent most of its time preaching feminism, and ignored that there is another viewpoint on the matter. In addition to the total lack of balance and Christian charity toward other viewpoints, how they handled scripture, twisting it to fit their viewpoints, was sad to see, and a terrible precedent to allow in the Lausanne movement which does not bode well for its future.

This is not to say that there was nothing good in the session. There were several examples of women active in ministry that complementarians as well as feminists could agree with and applaud. It was just a shame that we had to sit through the radical and explicit propaganda for the great majority of the session.

Teamwork and partnership are needed emphases, also among men and women, in the church as well as in marriage, but that does not mean that they have to be the same in all respects, even as the body of Christ is one even though we all have different gifts and different roles.

Some of the many problems in explicit biblical teaching during this session included:

  1. It was stated that the command to not eat of the forbidden tree was given to the woman as well as to the man, but this is not what one sees in the passage in Genesis 2:15-18, where the command was clearly given to the man before the woman was created. (They were trying to avoid having the man tell his wife not to eat the fruit, putting her under his authority.)
  2. It was stated that helper is not less than the one being helped (Genesis 2:18). While this is true in general and is a possible interpretation of this passage, and there are of course cases where God helps us (although God was not made to help us), it obviously is not the only interpretation, not the one that common sense would dictate, nor the one that Paul understands in 1 Cor. 11:9.
  3. Ephesians 5 – where it makes clear that a wife should submit to her husband – this obvious and main message of the paragraph was not stated but was repressed. Eph. 5:21 “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” was made to fight against and overcome the clear teaching of scripture in Eph. 5:22, 24 and elsewhere. Equality was emphasized to the point that the scriptural commands were made naught, a very disturbing use of scripture.
  4. It was stated with reference to Ephesians 5 that the wife and husband must equally submit to each other (Eph. 5:21) or else there would be no equality. Besides ignoring the specific teaching of scripture in the following verses, it also ignores the trinity, where the Son for example submits to the Father, and yet they are equal.
  5. It was stated as a clear fact that Priscilla and Aquila led a church in their home, referencing Acts 18.  While this can be supposed, it is only a guess. Of course we also know as a principle of hermeneutics (biblical interpretation) that even if it did happen and was recorded in a historical writing, such incidents (which might have been wrong or a special case) cannot negate the teaching of scripture in the letters.
  6. It was interesting how glibly the fact that Jesus selected 12 apostles who were all men – not 6 men and 6 women as feminists would expect today. How was this fact (which blows away the feminist case) explained away? They stated (without any proof or evidence) that Jesus limited himself by adjusting to his society; although he did many things which offended his society, for example: healing on the Sabbath, calling religious leaders hypocrites, speaking with a Samaritan woman, and calling himself God. If Jesus in his practices submitted to his society even when (as the feminists would say) the society is biblically wrong, then we cannot accept any of his actions as examples – although of course scripture does teach us to follow Christ’s example. (A further point: guess who carefully sculpted the Jewish society over many generations, for example with the priests who were responsible for teaching being all men?)
  7. Regarding Paul’s teaching on women in I Cor. 11, where it speaks of women praying and probably prophesying, it was said that these are the tasks of priests. Interesting, but note two things: one, the main point of the passage was that there is a difference between men and women; two, priests sacrificed and taught. There is a difference between teaching and prophesying – they are two quite different gifts – and as we see in I Cor. 14, while Paul seems to allow women to prophesy, he does not allow them to judge prophesying, to teach men or to lead men.
  8. Regarding I Cor. 14, the fact that men and women have different gifts that should be used does not mean that there is no difference between men and women and that they are interchangeable and simply take turns. Scripture teaches that women can have any gifts, but that women should not exercise some gifts in mixed groups with men.
  9. Regarding I Tim. 2 (I Tim. 2: 12a: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man”), the clear teaching  was repressed – not even mentioned – and suppositions were brought in to try to nullify this teaching. (Another implicit argument used: I Tim. 2:12a isn’t a command, so by implication it can be ignored.)
  10. It was clearly being taught that we should allow women to be leaders (presumably over men, as no one objects to them leading women and children, which make up some 75% of the world’s population). Women were said to have the same leadership titles as men in Romans 16, ignoring that the word “servant” while sometimes used to refer to a church deacon (“servant”), is more often used not as a leadership title but as a very general word referring to a serving function. No one denies that women can indeed be servants and fellow workers. (In Rom. 16:7, there is that disputed passage – is Junia a man or a woman; is he well-known among the apostles or is he a messenger?)

May we grow up into the full teaching of Scripture, and submit ourselves to Christ and his Word. May we grow up beyond a “battle of the sexes” and a race to the top. May we not all grasp at being a leader; and may not many of us become teachers. May we better understand the example of Christ, who while being equal to the Father, did not mind submitting to him, with perfect love shown within the trinity even as they have different, complementary roles.


17.11.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Shiela_Porter (0)  
Royaume-Uni

Thank you jlovela1 for your comments - it’s good to have scriptural engagement in terms of women in leadership in the church.  We gave a standing ovation at Lausanne this week for a young korean girl who was believing she was being called to evangelise in north Korea and therefore likely to build a church.   

It was good to have the writers of the paper not only do a seminar but also appear on the main stage on Sunday morning.


24.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 2 J'aime Je n'aime pas jlovela1 (2)
États-Unis

I appreciate this paper and its exegesis. I believe the theology is sound, and I can see where there is a connection with Grenz’s book, "Theology for the Community of God."

I believe women in ministry is such a large issue because of the lack of understanding the biblical languages and the social background of the Old and New Testament. We have to remember the prophetesses Deborah and Huldah in the Old Testament.  Without Huldah, we might have not had access to Deuteronomy, which was found when King Josiah was reigning.We also have to consider than in Psalms 8 wisdom is personified as a woman.

In the New Testament, we misunderstand the word "head." Considering that all language is metaphoric, "head" had a different meaning in the Greco-Roman culture than today. "Head" was not "authority," but best understood as our term "heart". The father, according to Paul (Eph and Col), was to be the "life source" of his family in every way. What a difference that would make if we would apply it to marriages today! As men, everything we do produces life or destroys it in our homes. That goes for women in ministry.

We also must consider before Paul talks about the family in Ephesians, he uses the phrase "Submit to one another" which connects the two topics of church fellowship and family. When we become one in Christ, there is no male or female (Gal 3:28). We must encourage women to fulfill God’s calling. We also have to consider that Paul had connections with women who were over households (Rom 16).

Considering other passages that tell women not to speak in church, show their hair, the women is the weaker vessel, etc.,  all are cultural norms of the 1st Century Judaism, or can be explained with social exegesis. Women who were the weaker vessel were 15 years old. They were required to marry at puberty, and married a man 30 years of age or older. Women who showed their hair in that culture were saying that they were prostitutes. The rebuke of women to not speak in church probably originated with a problem concerning women who were causing trouble in the sanctuary. In essence, the New Testament was making a revolution for women in ministry. We also have to remember terms such as "bishop," "minister," etc. are not so clearly defined in the New Testament, since not much detail is given on how those roles played out in the early New Testament church.


23.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas Ahoelke (1)
États-Unis
@ jlovela1:

I really appreciate this comment. I think that, if we are to have strong opinions about women in ministry, we should truly have a solid understanding of what the Bible actually "has to say" about this issue. I personally believe that a more educated look at the biblical text unlocks quite a bit of freedom for women, and it certainly lends itself to realizing how revolutionary the Hebrew scriptures and our New Testament texts were in regard to women! If you look back at the story in Genesis 1 and then Genesis 2-3, it becomes apparent that it was never God’s intention that the female be "subject to" the male. This is a result of our fallen world, and in love we should work together to end it.


24.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas tepursley2010 (1)
États-Unis
@ jlovela1:

I agree with you, but how do you get the common person to understand this? If someone has not studied Greek or Hebrew and have been told all their life that only Men can do certain things, how can you change the traditional view?


24.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas jlovela1 (2)
États-Unis
@ tepursley2010:

That is why we go to seminary, in order to learn how to teach people and learn how to read the scriptures. We do not avoid the difficult passages in Scripture. We also realize that Scripture has ambiguity on certain issues, and we need to live in that tension. We, the church, have a tendency not to read the Bible as a whole. If we did, we would realize that not every issue discussed is black or white. We have a tendency to skip over scripture that challenges our theology. How many times do we come to the text with a blank mind and heart and ask, "What can you teach me about God?" We read the Scriptures with oursevles in mind, not God. As teachers, we are to help people to learn how to read Scripture, and ask the questions. When one reads Scripture, it is hard not to ask questions.


In essence, the only way to transform the traditional view is to allow God to change the leadership. If the leadership does not change, we live out our convictions. God will make a way. This is God’s buisness, not ours.


24.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler -1 J'aime Je n'aime pas William_Lauesen (-1)  
Bahreïn

I am disappointed in Lausanne inviting someone with such unbiblical views to present an advance paper. The complementarian view was not fairly represented at all. Lots of space for emotions and straw men, but very little for consideration of the Biblical issues. Lots of talk about gifts (count the references!) which of course no one denies; of justice and fairness, equality and freedom, with just a tiny bit of outrage and anger mixed in. The authors think they are standing against the cultural views of the traditionalists, but don’t seem to realize that their values are largely drawn from modern Western culture rather than from the Bible.

The lack of understanding of the trinity was alarming. God the Son doesn’t have to submit to God the Father? The authors allow for almost no differences in the persons of the trinity – just to prove their feminist position that male and female have almost no differences – other than only the strictly biological differences – not thinking that God may have not just given men and women different bodies, but other differences as well – why should God make two exactly the same, rather than a bit different, especially given the woman’s bodily functions in birth and nurturing of children? Christ did not grasp at equality with the Father, he voluntarily submits himself, as does the Spirit. The trinity is a perfect example of equality yet differences – call them what you like if you don’t like the word roles or functions. May each one of us likewise not grasp at equality and being the head, but be willing to submit, in the church as in the home, to God’s perfect plan for our life and ministry.

Likewise, the lack of insight into Genesis 1 and 2 showed either great ignorance of the complementarian position or willful neglect. Let me list some indications of differences: 1) God called them “man”, the same as the name of the male; 2) man was created first; 3) woman was made to assist man (which sounds like a particular role); 4) man named the woman; 5) Adam passed on the command from God to Eve; not to mention that God is called he, later revealed as Father and Son.

I couldn’t help but think of Psalm 2:3 as the authors talked about liberation: “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us”. We should be happy to be bound to the center of God’s will and design for us, showing in our equality and differences the beauty of the trinity, of the church’s union with Christ, and of the household of believers. Why settle for boring sameness? God is more creative than that!


14.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Ahoelke (1)
États-Unis
@ William_Lauesen:

Interestingly enough, the word used in Genesis for the woman as the "helper" of the man is a word almost always used for God in the Old Testament. So God is our help in times of need, our hero in a sense. And this word is used for the woman in the Gensis account. How is it that we have turned this word into something that is considered lower than man? Perhaps a study of the Hebrew language could benefit us today!


24.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Pierre217 (1)
Afrique du Sud

Hi jdmarx

Thank you for your post. I agree 100 % with what you are saying and I do hope that the authors of the paper will listen to you appeal and to what I and others have said in response to their paper.

Yours in Christ

Pierre


16.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas jlovela1 (2)
États-Unis
@ Pierre217:


Here is my response to the paper:


I appreciate this paper and its exegesis. I believe the theology is sound, and I can see where there is a connection with Grenz’s book, "Theology for the Community of God."




I believe women in ministry is such a large issue because of the lack of understanding the biblical languages and the social background of the Old and New Testament. We have to remember the prophetesses Deborah and Huldah in the Old Testament.  Without Huldah, we might have not had access to Deuteronomy, which was found when King Josiah was reigning.We also have to consider than in Psalms 8 wisdom is personified as a woman.




In the New Testament, we misunderstand the word "head." Considering that all language is metaphoric, "head" had a different meaning in the Greco-Roman culture than today. "Head" was not "authority," but best understood as our term "heart". The father, according to Paul (Eph and Col), was to be the "life source" of his family in every way. What a difference that would make if we would apply it to marriages today! As men, everything we do produces life or destroys it in our homes. That goes for women in ministry.




We also must consider before Paul talks about the family in Ephesians, he uses the phrase "Submit to one another" which connects the two topics of church fellowship and family. When we become one in Christ, there is no male or female (Gal 3:28). We must encourage women to fulfill God’s calling. We also have to consider that Paul had connections with women who were over households (Rom 16).




Considering other passages that tell women not to speak in church, show their hair, the women is the weaker vessel, etc.,  all are cultural norms of the 1st Century Judaism, or can be explained with social exegesis. Women who were the weaker vessel were 15 years old. They were required to marry at puberty, and married a man 30 years of age or older. Women who showed their hair in that culture were saying that they were prostitutes. The rebuke of women to not speak in church probably originated with a problem concerning women who were causing trouble in the sanctuary. In essence, the New Testament was making a revolution for women in ministry. We also have to remember terms such as "bishop," "minister," etc. are not so clearly defined in the New Testament, since not much detail is given on how those roles played out in the early New Testament church.



23.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Tiger_Lily (0)  
Chine

Thank you for opening this discussion with a thoughtful paper. It is rather sad that this still remains a controversial issue!


20.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas timhyde (0)
Royaume-Uni

It saddens me that this remains a controversial subject. Great paper, thank you.


19.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Pierre217 (1)
Afrique du Sud

I just want to say thank you to those of you who have posted comments which are in support of the Biblical teaching on this topic of the partnership of men and women in the new global equilibrium. If I miss any names, forgive me but I do really appreciate the comments from Jim Harries, William L and Johnathan Pryke. I think you are agreeing with my posted reponse to this paper. Also in response to some posts by Joeynima (thank you for them) I would say there is a very important role for women on the mission field but the church does need to be sending more men out as missionaries and men should taking up more leadership roles in mission organizations. Where are the men?  Are Christian men leaving over the task they should be doing to women? I have no problem with women in certain roles on the mission field but I do get disturbed when I hear statistics that in some parts of the world about 80 % of the missionaries are women? Where are the men and why are not more men being sent to the missiion field. I think the discussion of this paper should include a discussion of this important point


14.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Jim_Harries (-3)
Kenya
@ Pierre217:


Thanks to Pierre.


This topic is of course important. It also seems to be very hot. That makes it difficult to write to it. That is – who wants to speak to ‘the other’? As a man, I prefer to challenge men than to try to direct women. Unfortunately though, it is my observation that men frequently cannot function very well without supportive women behind them. If our ladies prefer going out on their own and doing their own thing rather than standing behind men, then that is one thing that will make men falter and fail. In this age of women’s liberation, that may be a factor that has / is contributing to there being fewer men on the mission field. 



15.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas RagamuffinRese (3)  
États-Unis
@ Pierre217:

Many of the unreached people groups do not allow men outside of immediate family access to the women of their households and women and girls  generally outnumber men and boys in most cases. Therefore, perhaps God sovereignly has raised up a large group of anointed women to reach this large population? Furthermore, in creative access nations, the most direct reach into communities is through education, medicine and social services - areas in which woman to woman contact is culturally acceptable.


Just food for thought.


15.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas joeynimi (0)
Inde

Hallo William,

Good to see your commemts..

As a man I am replying to you from the field...

 I would be very happy if this principle is followed in the mission organisations also....  Why they send 90% women to  serve rather than men....

Where are the men? Are they busy fighting for positions in the church?

Please remember when you talk about leadership of men.. It should apply to the mission organisations also.... 

I have travelled and worked in many countries and it is hard to find men in the mission field...

I feel women have faith in doing things than men....

Why men dont understand the sufferings the women go though in  the field?

Leadership is giving and sacrificing....  

we men has to give out life, then we can ask the women to follow...

God Bless..


14.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas William_Lauesen (-1)  
Bahreïn

Interesting points you make, Mere. Thank you for raising the discussion to the Biblical data – where the discussion should center. In pointing out the few apparent exceptions, don’t forget the general rules:

  1. In the OT, the priests were the ones who had the main responsibility to teach the people. Guess what percentage of the priests were men?
  2. In the NT, Paul is quite clear that he does not allow women to teach or to exercise authority over men in the church. Of course some try to find ways around this.
  3. Of the 12 apostles that Jesus hand-picked, how many men did he pick?
  4. It is well-known that there is a difference of opinion about Junia, whether he was a man or a woman – I’ve heard good arguments on both sides. I’ve also heard good arguments about whether he was notable among the apostles or in the view of the apostles. This one questionable case doesn’t negate the fact that every other apostle mentioned was definitely male.
  5. Of course there were women disciples. Why shouldn’t there be? I would hope that some of them were teaching and leading others – other women and children – only 80% of the populations in many parts of the world with still growing populations. (Interesting how our Western society insists on mixing the sexes of the audience – in some traditional societies, men mix with men, and women with women, so this issue of who can teach mixed audiences doesn’t arise much.)
  6. There were various women in the Bible that said and did different things. Each case could be debated on its merits, including whether they were prophesying or teaching (yes, there’s a difference, and yes both are educational, as everything said in church should be), but then of course what did happen doesn’t prove what should happen. Life is sometimes messy…
  7. Deacon/minister is actually the word “servant”. Sometimes it is used generically (more often than not it is used to mean a servant, not the special serving church office – the women were most probably general servants of Christ and the church, which isn’t nothing, even if it’s not teaching and not leading other than by example, which also isn’t nothing). Elders are not to be women, as we see in I Tim. 2-3; there is more difference of opinion about deacons (which is not a teaching position, but a serving position; I suppose it depends on the extent to which they are serving versus organizing and leading the serving, whether there is one group of deacons or a male and female one as in the second generation church, and so on).

What our society needs is something different from what our culture is pushing – which is bland sameness rather than complementarity. Let men be men, and women be women – to the glory of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


14.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas Mere_B (4)  
États-Unis

I appreciate Pierre’s appeal to Scriptural authority, and would like to mention a few Scriptures that back up the Seagrave’s position. I am borrowing this material from a very wise theologian Dr. Ken Bailey, whom I heard speak to this topic at my theological seminary, where I studied for my MDiv in the earlier part of this decade. 

This one talk by Dr. Bailey transformed my view of women in leadership and gave me so much confidence, courage and freedom as a female leader. Dr. Bailey is highly respected as a long-time missionary in the Middle East, a Canon Theologian in the Anglican Church, and a prolific speaker, writer and teacher. Bailey expounds on the Scriptural case for women in leadership in an article you can download here: http://www.cbeinternational.org/?q=content/women-new-testament-middle-eastern-cultural-view

Here are Bailey’s main Scriptural citations in favor of women in leadership in the church:

1. Jesus had women disciples: Mt. 12:46-50, Lk 8:1-3, Lk 10:38, Acts 9:36

2. Women appear as teachers of theology in the NT: Acts 18:24-28 (Aquila was not the only teacher, but also Priscilla), Lk 1:46-55 (Mary’s magnificat is presented by Luke as a piece of key teaching material for the entire early church!)

3. Women are affirmed as deacons/ministers in the early church: Rom 16:1-2, 1 Timothy 3:8-11

4. At least one woman is specifically mentioned as an apostle, and not only that a notable one, Junia: Rom 16:7

In the article found at the link above, Bailey also makes a case that women appear to be affirmed as elders in the NT, and prophets. 

Finally, Dr. Bailey addresses at length the 2 outstanding passages that would seem to argue against females in leadership, 1 Cor 14:33-36 and 1 Tim. 2:11-15. As one who has spent decades living in a Middle Eastern context and studying the texts within their cultural and historical origin, he makes clear cases that these passages are not meant to be universal directives, but are rather specific directions to churches in specific crises. 

If Bailey is right, then there is ample Biblical evidence to back up the Seagraves’ case. I encourage everyone to read Bailey’s article and give it much prayer and thought before marginalizing the gifted believing women in your midst!


14.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Sarah_Breuel (0)  
Italie

Amen, Amen and Amen! It was so refreshing and liberating to read this as a Brazilian missionary serving in Italy. I believe that both the Brazilian and the Italian church have still so much to learn regarding liberating the gifts of women, so that male and female can work together to advance the Kingdom of God! May God bless you as you encourage us to do so.


13.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas Pierre217 (1)
Afrique du Sud

I feel compelled to responded to this paper on a very important topic because a very important matter of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture is at stake. Article 2 of the original Lausanne Covenant states:

2. THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF THE BIBLE

We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without

error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The

message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks

today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever

more of the many-colored wisdom of God.

(II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11; 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16, Matt. 5:17,18; Jude 3; Eph. 1:17,18; 3:10,18)

Do we truly believe this statement.? If we do then we believe that the only infallible rule for what we do in evangelism, missions and the church is not pragmatism (what works) but the Word of God. If we are to honour God we must be faithful to his Scriptures and do what is Biblical not what seems to work in the eyes of men and women. In this paper several examples such as the Indian couple who went to preach the Gospel in two different villages (the husband in one and the wife in another) and the example of the Chinese house church where Ms. G preached and Mr. G. cooked and gave wise counsel are given in support of the role of women as leaders and preachers in the church. However, these should not be used as support for role of women as leaders and preachers in the church unless it has first been established from the Bible itself that this is indeed a Biblical position and I do not believe this paper has demonstrated this.

The authors of this paper admit that they will not delve into an exegesis of the key passages in Scripture on the topic but surely if our basis for what we allow in regard to this important subject is the Bible we need to properly understand these key passages and they should be addressed in the discussion of this topic at the Lausanne Congress.

I will not respond to all in this paper but will focus on the section under the heading, “Partnership between males and females reflects the non-hierarchical Trinity

The authors state that since “God is Spirit “ (John 4:24) he cannot be a male deity. I agree that God as Spirit does not have physical male organs but that does not mean he cannot be male. Throughout the Old and New Testament God is revealed to be male. The First person of the Trinity is the Father not the Mother or the Father/Mother and the second person of the Trinity is the Son not the Daughter or Son/Daughter. How do the authors of this paper explain away these revelations of God as male in the Scriptures?

The authors then argue that there is no hierarchy in the Trinity i.e. no role distinction in the Trinity so since humans are made in God’s image there is no role distinction in the Trinity. They quote the Athanasian Creed which says , “In this Trinity none is before or after, none is greater or less than another.” I believe what the creed is saying is not that there is no role distinction of hierarchy in the Trinity but that each of the three persons in the Trinity are equal in glory and status. How do the authors respond to 1 Corinthians 11:3 which says, “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (NIV) Surely this verse teaches a hierarchy in the Trinity. From eternity the Father has been the Father and the Son has been the Son and the Holy Spirit has been the Holy Spirit. The very names Father and Son indicate a hierarchy. Surely it was not only in his 33 years as a human man on this earth that Jesus was subject (not inferior) to the Father but throughout eternity. Surely if humans are created in the image of God they must reflect this aspect of the Trinity. Yes, men and women are very much equal in dignity and honour in the sight of God. Galatians 3: 28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) I 100 % agree with this verse since it is part of God’s Word. However, I equally as strongly believe that just as there are different roles in the Trinity and a hierarchy so it is with humanity since we are created in the image of God. Women are not in any way inferior to men but they have different roles. The headship role in both marriage and the church is that of the man not the woman. I have already quoted 1 Corinthians 11:3. We can also quote 1 Timothy 2:12 – 14 which says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” I know that a common view is that these verses simply refer to a cultural situation which was a problem in the church at Ephesus, where Timothy was a pastor, in the 1st century. However, no matter how you understand verses 13 and 14, which Paul uses as an argument for what he says in verse 12, we must agree that they refer to a time before there were different cultures and so what Paul says, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, should be applicable to all cultures and times.

As I have emphasized already I in no way believe women are inferior to men but I do believe they have different roles. Women and the ministry they are involved in is vital in the church, on the mission field, society as a whole and the family. However, in the church (including on the mission field) and family this ministry cannot involve preaching / teaching to groups of men (or men and women) or leadership over men. Men must not abuse their leadership role in the church and only suitable qualified men must be in leadership in the church (see I Timothy 3, Titus 1 and 1 Peter 5) . However women must not be leaders over men in the church and must not have teaching / preaching role except to women and children. However, there is still a lot for women to do that is invaluable in the Kingdom of God and women should be doing these things. In the local congregation where I am a member a number of women are prayer warriors, a number of women are actively involved in personal evangelism, women teach other women (both individually and we have a ladies Bible Study lead by a woman), women are active in hospitality, caring for and visiting the elderly and sick, most of our musicians in our worship services are women. I could go on with my list of how women are involved in the life of our local congregation. However, we have not women in leadership roles in the church and they do not preach in our Sunday Worship Services or lead such services.

Most likely my view will be in the minority amongst those at the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town. However, it has been the majority view of the church throughout church history and I know of some keynote speakers at Lausanne who would not be able agree with the paper to which I am responding. I will mention just two. John Piper and Vaughn Roberts. However, even if I am in the minority in my view I do not care as long as I am Biblical. I do not want the approval of men and women but the approval of God. I have responded to this paper because I believe a very important issue of the authority of the Bible in all we do in the church, including the role of men and women, is at stake. If we do not accept the authority of the Bible on this matter what will be next? What will be the next teaching of the Bible we will abandon?




07.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Shiela_Porter (0)  
Royaume-Uni
@ Pierre217:

A subject to always bring about passion!  I too am passionate about holding to truth of scripture and believe that taken as a whole, the biblical text affirms women in leadership.  Not time to go into all the individual texts but if I didn’t wholeheartedly believe I was called by God Himself and affirmed through His word to the ministry I have then I wouldn’t be doing it!  I guess the issue is over contextualisation and interpretation of particular parts.  i can recommend some really good books on the scriptural material.    We have many women in leadership already so let’s try to affirm and encourage them in what they are doing for the gospel - even if we’re not sure it’s right they stepped into it in the first place.  


Grace and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. 


08.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Julie_Mathews (0)  
Australie
@ Shiela_Porter:

Julie Mathews


Australia


Thank you Sheila for you comments. It is a blessing and heartening to know that you are using your leadership and preaching gifts. As a professional Christian woman in Australia I have also envcountered the negativity towarsd women performing leadership roles, teaching etc. in the churches I have been a part of. It has been refreshing to be able to use my leaderhsip abilities in Christian education at the school and tertiary level. Like you, I have always felt compelleed by god to use my gifts and feel privileged to do so.


I found the paper compelling and refreshing. Let’s pray it can be used to further God’s work internationally.


09.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Shiela_Porter (0)  
Royaume-Uni
@ Julie_Mathews:

Thanks Julie - I’m  sure the debate in CT is going to be interesting but I pray over the days of the Congress for us all to come afresh to the text of scripture, without preconceived ideas, and allow the Holy Spirit to speak into our hearts and minds - maybe with new insights.     I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of the Congress and look forward to arriving on Tuesday.


09.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 1 J'aime Je n'aime pas chiwaiwu (1)  
Chine

In Hong Kong, we did a church census every five years. From last year’s survey, we found out 1,250 churches here had 3,671 paid pastors, and 47.9% were female pastors. We had 22.2% of these held leadership positions as senior pastors. I don’t have the figures of mainland China, but i would say the churches in Hong Kong had affirmed and supported women to lead the congregation. For us, it is no longer a theological issue, but a matter of culture.

I serve in an international mission agency, the board in US can’t accept women into the board, but we already had women board members. I respect the US board, and i don’t push for more women leadership. I would like to see how many speakers are female on the platform in Capetown.    


08.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas MarkAnderson (0)
États-Unis

I really appreciate the thoughts mentioned about partnership in all areas of life.  I think that there is a major tendency to get both the husband and the wife so busy trying to minister that there is no longer a healthy family mentality.  Then I think that marriges begin to suffer and kids don’t have the access to their parents that they need.   The goal is not to get everyone as busy as possible, but to have really healthy relationships across the board where everyone is able to use their gifts for building up and expanding the Kingdom, and also fulfill their God given responsibilities to their familes.  These should go hand in hand.


07.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Shiela_Porter (0)  
Royaume-Uni

A good paper taking some different perspectives than we come to expect on the subject.   I lead a church alongside a man and we work as equals.  Neither of us are made in what is sometimes termed the ’complimentary gifts’.   My colleague has what many would see as feminine gifts and myself the opposite.  The important bit isn’t that we are male or female but that with our combined gifts we bring a rounded ministry and leadership to the church.  I too am passionate about the truth of scripture but believe that women are called to exercise gifts in equal proportion to men, including the gift of leadership.  I take note of the comment re. women feeling they need to step into the liberal end of the church in order to fulfil their calling.  I have seen the truth of this in individuals and the result being evangelical wing of the church losing good people.

The paper speaks of the prophetic nature of men and women working alongside one another.  I know the truth of this first hand.  It does indeed send a powerful and prophetic message to the world.

I was also taken by the comment ’the issue...strikes deep at their personal identity’.   An excellent point to make.  

Amen to the last sentence!

I look forward to this discussion at CT!


07.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Maryedemuth (3)   
États-Unis

When I first started speaking, I worried because I knew I wouldn’t be able to speak to mixed groups. And I wondered why it was that if I were on the radio teaching about Jesus, that a man could listen to me, but if I stood behind a podium in a church, he couldn’t. 

Things have changed. I speak to mixed crowds. But sometimes I still feel like I’d have more opportunity if I were a man. 

That being said, the underlying motivation behind it all has to be God’s kingdom, and His working through my weakness. I don’t want to be "all that." I want to be the girl who listens and obeys. And if that means suffering (slightly) by not being allowed to speak, I’ll bear that.


07.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas Maike_Sachs (0)  
Allemagne

Dear Leslie and Chad, I enjoyed reading your paper very much, because I found some new interesting statements for the call of women to be part in world evangelization. The picture of the fishing net touched me.

I come from a church where for 40 years now the ordination of women is possible. Besides the effect that more or less the liberal thinking women entered church service we now realize that the number of female theology students overruns the number of male students. What does this developement means for a church?! And why men draw back from responsibility as soon as they meet strong women? How can we develop our work into a real good partnership of men AND women?

God bless you,

Maike Sachs, Germany


06.10.2010
PhContributeBy
Répondre Signaler 0 J'aime Je n'aime pas RagamuffinRese (3)  
États-Unis
@ Maike_Sachs:

Thanks for bringing up the all too unfortunate link between denominations who recognize women as leaders while not recognizing the authority of Scripture in many areas.  One does not necessarily lead to another.  There are unfortunate but false links that can be similarly manufactured to link male-only or male-headship with abuse. We cannot fall for that one either.  There are other factors in play in both cases.


Unfortunately, for we women who know we are called to leadership, and in particularly pastoral leadership, the liberal denominations represent the only choices.  I am not called into pastoral ministry but have many strong evangelical, non-feminist friends who are and must put up with the ugly side of denominations in order to do their work. They do make waves about restoring biblical foundations but it carries a high price tag as it does for men who are trying to restore them.


As far as the number of seminary students, are they all divinity students or counseling?  There were lots of women at my seminary but most of them were in the counseling program. Is that the same in Germany?  I was one of fewer women in the MDiv track but enjoyed great collegial relationships and still do with evangelical men.  I suppose it was due to the seminary’s century old policy about women and the fact we all realized that the bigger issue was God and His Kingdom and not gender and it’s division.


 


06.10.2010
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États-Unis

PhContributeBy Leslie Neal Segraves  
 
Lieu: Chattanooga
Pays: États-Unis

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