Friday, May 8, 2009

Don't Forget Deborah - Part I

The Role for Women

The role of women in society is often the subject of much debate. In this series of articles, we will examine that topic from a biblical perspective, including:
    It is our prayer that reading this series will help to cause a deeper appreciation for the precious gift that God has given men in women and birth a desire in the hearts of women to be all that God has ordained.


    What Saith Scripture About Godly Authority?

    God's Authority is Patriarchal

    "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." Genesis 18:19

    God chose Abraham because He knew that Abraham would command his children and his household. Just think about that for a minute. If many women were to hear a "command" from their husbands, the house would likely be turned on its head. We are not suggesting that husbands go around barking commands. The point is that God indicates that the proper role for the man is as a head who commands his household in the ways of God.

    "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" I Timothy 3:2-5
    Here we have two very important points. A bishop must be a "husband". Not "can be". Not "should be". "Must be". A bishop is an overseer, an elder, a superintendent. The role of the pastor has two major areas of responsibility: that of a bishop (to oversee) and that of a shepherd (to lead, protect, and nourish).

    Why must a bishop be a husband? Because he must first be exercised in how to rule/command his own family before He can do so in the family of God. Because the man then is the head of the home, he is eligible to be the head of the church.

    This means that there are no such things as female "pastors" or "co-pastors". No woman is the husband of one wife and neither is she charged with being the head of the home so that she can prove herself eligible for that position.

    "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;" Titus 1:5-7
    Here we have the word "elders" and "bishop" used synonymously; "ordain elders...for a bishop must be". Again, the elders and bishops must be a "husband".

    Further, we see a similar criteria for eligibility based upon the household being in order (the children being faithful). Remember God's comments about Abraham reviewed above. The man is to rule and command His household in the ways of God. If he cannot do this, then he is not fit to be a pastor. Again, this discounts women as being eligible for this role.


     God's Holy City is Established Upon Patriarchal Authority

    "And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Revelations 21:12-14
    The foundations upon which God's holy city is built, as well as the only way to enter into the city, is through patriarchal authority.

    Elders and Five-fold Ministry Gifts Support the Patriarchal Order

    "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly." Titus 1:5-6

    "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach" I Timothy 3:2
    Elders are simply those mature enough in the faith to serve as leaders for the church body. The requirements for being a bishop or an elder is that one is the "husband of one wife". Further, the Scriptures use the words "elder", "bishop", and "pastor" interchangeably to refer to the same people.

    In Acts Chapter 20:17, we see that the "elders" are being called together. This is the Greek word presbyteros. In verse 28, Paul calls these same men "overseers". It is the Greek word episkopos which is often translated in the NT as "bishop". So we see that elders are the same as bishops. In verse 28, Paul says these elders/overseers are responsible for "feeding" the church. The word here is "poimaino" which means to shepherd. It is from the word which is translated as "pastor" in Ephesians 4:11.

    According to God, these elders were also overseers (bishops) charged with feeding (shepherding) the church.

    Consider also 1 Peter:1-5 where God speaks of "elders" who again are charged with "feeding" the flock (shepherd, pastor), by taking "oversight" (bishop) for the people.

    The role of bishop is for correction (evidenced in the symbology of the rod) and the role of shepherd is to feed, guide/protect (evidenced in the staff). Both the rod & the staff are used by the elders as a reflection of how Jesus guides the church.

    "...thy rod AND thy staff they comfort me." Psalm 23:4b

    "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd AND Bishop of your souls." I Peter 2:25

    The qualifications for being an elder, pastor, bishop is that one "must be" the husband of one wife.

    Women are NOT to Have Authority Over Men

    "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Genesis 3:16

    The woman's desire will be to serve her husband and the husband will be the head of the woman. The woman's primary driver, the purpose of her being, is to support and serve her husband.

    "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." Ephesians 5:22-23

    Not only is the husband the head/ruler/commander of the wife, but the wife is to submit unto the husband. Whew, I just don't know if some are going to make it to the end of this series as I can hear the teeth gritting from here. :-)

    Yet, consider this. Are these not the words of God? Do you consider yourself a servant of the Most High? Then why would there be any resistance whatsoever to these commands from God? If there is anything inside of you that tenses at these Scriptures, is that not an indication that you may not understand and at worse be resisting the role that God has ordained for you?

    Another mystery is introduced here. The relationship of the husband and the wife is compared to that of Christ and the Church. There is some connection between the human marital relationship and that of Jesus with His Bride. Understanding the importance of this connection is critical to appreciating the treasure which is a woman.

    "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." I Corinthians 11:3-9
    Again, we see the same parallel continued. The order of the human family is consistent with, and a reflection of, the order of the God-head. As such, the head of the woman is again confirmed to be the man.

    In turn, the woman also is the glory of the man. This is a remarkable statement. As one preacher once said, "I know what kind of man I am dealing with once I see his wife." Everything that is righteous and Godly about the man (or perverse and ungodly) is seen in his wife. Nothing speaks to the character of a man like his wife. How many women have ever considered what her appearance, her demeanor, her words, and her activities say about her husband? Or do most women dress and live primarily for what pleases themselves? Yet, the text says that the woman is created "of" and "for" the man; not vice versa.

    "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." I Corinthians 14:34-35
    If any verse is seen to cause contention, it is this one. Is God really imposing a muzzle on women in church? Is a woman forbidden from making a sound in church? A careful reading of the verse indicates that this is not so.

    Examine also I Corinthians 14:28 as God discusses speaking in tongues, "But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God." The same terminology of "keeping silent in the church" is used. However, that doesn't mean the one speaking in tongues should not speak at all. He may do so to himself or God, but not by means of proclamation to, or addressing of, the church assembly without an interpreter.

    Looking back on verses 34-35, we can see the qualification for women speaking in church. The admonition to be silent and not speak is specifically referenced in relation to obedience. There is a context of speaking in church that puts a women out of order and in disobedience.

    "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." Matthew 23:8-9

    "Rabbi" is Jewish name for teacher. Rabbis were also called "masters" or "fathers". Is this an instruction that these words should never be used? No.

    This text is not addressing the title or even the act of teaching itself. It is addressing an attitude of reverence and misplaced authority. We must not elevate people to positions of authority and honor where they then supplant the one who should be our true head.

    Can a woman speak with men and expound the Gospel? Of course! Both Aquila and Priscilla did the same when teaching Apollos more perfectly about the way (Acts 18:26). Women are not to be elevated to positions of authority OVER men as "masters" or "teachers" because Christ is to be the man's head. This is the context by which women are limited in the teaching realm.

    "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." I Timothy 2:11-14
    As with I Corinthians 14:34-35, we see again the admonishment for women to be in subjection (obedience) and silence when it comes to usurping authority over the man. No amount of learning, revelation, or wisdom overrides the roles that God has ordained. No woman becomes so "enlightened" and "anointed" that God has called her to be in a role He has expressly forbidden. Such would make God the author of confusion.

    This verse also begins to shed light on why this is the case. First, Adam was formed before Eve as the patriarchal head. Secondly, Eve was the one who was deceived. So, is this a result of Eve's sin? Yes, in part. We saw that earlier in Genesis 3:15. However, it also has to do with the purpose for which woman was made (which we will review later).

    "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." I Peter 3:1-6
    Again, the woman is to be in submission to her husband, even to the point of acknowledging that Sara called her husband "lord."

    Women Should Only Hold Teaching Authority Over Other Women and Children

    "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine,
    teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:3-5
    Women in the faith have a responsibility to teach younger women in the ways of godliness, which includes properly supporting the husband in rearing the children.

    Matriarchal Headship is a Curse

    "Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him. As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:11-12

    Notice that the rulership of women is something experienced by the "wicked" and is considered a curse by God. In fact these type of leaders (the women rulers) cause the people to go into error.

    Some have claimed that this text does not proclaim matriarchal headship a curse, but if you examine the text, you will see why this is the case.

    1. The whole chapter starts with God saying He is removing Godly leadership from Israel (verses 1-3).

    2. He then goes on to give insight into what will happen as a result of Him removing Godly leadership:
    • The people will be oppressed (verse 5).
    • Children will be out of order and unruly (verse 5)
    • There will be no restrictions on base behavior (verse 5)
    • They will search for a patriarch and find NONE (verses 6-7)
    3. Why is God doing this? Because His people have fallen and their ways are against the Lord. This is their reward for evil (verse 8-9).

    4. It will be well for the righteous but ill for the wicked (verses 10-11)

    5. God further explains this wicked by giving additional description of what is happening. Children are unruly and women are their rulers. Those which lead them are causing them to go into error (verse 12).

    The next verses begin to discuss God's judgment as a result of the wickedness outlined in the above verses.

    POINT 1. God sets forth the rulership of women as being one of the evidences of the wickedness in Israel.

    POINT 2. The text indicates that the order of God has been disrupted as they search for male headship and cannot find it. Without a proper, God-ordained head, the order of society is disrupted resulting in unruly children and women rulers.

    Notice that the implications of this disruption is not just limited to am impact on the family or home, but on society at large. That is because God's order is not limited to the home.

    POINT 3. The text does not point to a specific "woman" whose rulership is in error. God is not referencing the character of a particular woman. He says part of what is leading them astray is that "women rule over them".

    POINT 4. Lastly, the most basic evidence is that God had removed the Godly leadership in verses 1-3, so by inference the rulership that remains is unGodly (and clearly He defines the current rulership of being that of women).
    In the absence of Godly leadership, there is women rulership and children out of order. This was evidence of God's judgment against Israel for their wickedness.

    In reviewing the Scriptures, it is clear that God's authority for His people is patriarchal. Women are called to submit to that authority.

    Many times, women will point to Deborah as an example of how God uses women and ordains them for service. In the next post, we will examine the judge and prophetess Deborah and the Godly example she sets for women in this regard.

    14 comments:

    1. Loved your article, I agree that my husband should be head of our household, it is his rightful place and I truly want him to have it, as anything with two heads is a freak. I do disagree with you on one point. The Lord has called me to teach and evangelize. It was truly HIS will because I so wanted to run from the call. The Lord says that is " neither Jew nor Greek slave nor free male nor female for we are all one in the body of Christ. In the spirit realm I have no gender. It is God s will that he that hath ears hear what the SPIRIT is saying to the churches. When I teach the Lord draws whosoever to hear it,as he is not a respecter of persons. With all due respect, Will you go before the Lord and inquire of him and ask him what he has ordained in theses last days.As sure as I know my own name the Lord has shown me for years that I will teach both, for I am merely a vessel and the Lord will use whomever he wills,even a donkey, even a woman. May God bless you with wisdom and revelation in these days.

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    2. Hi Anonymous,

      Actually, I do believe it is proper for a woman to teach and evangelize. The Scriptures lay out specific context for when women are to teach. We also see Aquila AND Priscilla expounding the way to Apollos. We are all called to proclaim the Good News. I am sorry if I gave the impression otherwise.

      I believe that the whole "teaching" limitations in Scripture for woman have a lot to do with context. What I mean is that it is denoting a certain level of authority over men.

      For example, look at Matthew 23:8,

      "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren."

      A Rabbi is a Jewish name for a teacher. This is the context by which I believe the Scriptures limit women. Women are not to be placed in positions of authority OVER men as "masters" or "teachers" because Christ is to be their head.

      Maybe I will amend the article to clear this up. Thanks for pointing this out!

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    3. Hi Anonymous,

      I apologize as I did not read your post closely enough. As such, I did not notice, nor did I respond to a portion of your comment.

      I do believe that women can teach and evangelize, but I don't think that the Scriptures support women being designated a teacher over men.

      As you reference, God can use anyone who chooses to accomplish His will. And yes, as you state, there is neither male nor female in Christ.

      However, God's authority has always been established in patriarchy since creation. Also, God's statements about women not having authority over men is made to the same type of "in Christ" believers who are told that we are neither male nor female.

      It matters not to our salvation whether we are male or female. However, there are roles we (New Testament believers) are assigned to work in as members of His Body.

      I understand why this would be a concern, especially believing that God is calling you for a specific work.

      As I mentioned earlier, Priscilla was there with Aquila teaching Apollos. Scripture said that they both did this. So there is a difference between teaching and being designated as an authority figure over men.

      Since only you know what you feel God is calling you to do, this will be something that He will need to confirm within your own heart - and I pray that He does.

      Do you feel that this calling actually crosses that line indicated in Scripture regarding a woman being in authority over a man?

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    4. I thought in the new testament Mary and another woman ministered to Jesus. Can you clarify what that verse means?

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    5. Hi Sandy,

      The word "minister" in the NT is used in several cases, although I am not sure which one you might be referring to here.

      It is largely the word "diakoneĊ" which means to be a servant or attendant.

      Men and women are to minister to each other - or serve each other.

      Are you asking whether Mary or others preached the Gospel to Jesus?

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    6. What is this woman's role in the church:Romans 16:1-2 ? Please let me know! And does it prohibit women teaching about God only? What about a class at church that is offered in finances? We have a women at church that goes over David Ramsey's Financial Peace University on Wednesday nights. Is that okay?

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    7. Hi Sandy,

      The Scriptures support women as teachers, even of God's word. There are just some conditions on this in relation to the exercising of God's patriarchal authority.

      "I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also." Romans 16:1-2

      The word "servant" in this text is a form of the word I shared with you earlier. It is diakonos which means one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister.

      Something interesting is that this same word is translated as "minister" and "deacon" in other Scriptures. Here, Pheobe is called a servant and is also called the same in verse 27 of the same chapter.

      I don't see any Scriptural support for a female "deacon". I Timothy 3:12 says that the deacon must be the husband of one wife. No woman can be the husband of one wife and neither does the Scripture reference a female deaconess. I believe it has to do with authority and not necessarily the act of "serving" or the role of "teaching".

      Women are to be ministers in the sense that we serve others, as do the men in the body of Christ.

      The conditions that God places on this is that women are not to be set up as authorities over men. Clearly women can teach men, as Priscilla did so with Apollos. However, she did so alongside her husband Aquila. She is not presented as one having authority over Apollos, however as one being a fellow teacher with her husband.

      I think we have to be careful not to be legalistic. Some use these text to try and prohibit women from doing anything, but that is not supported in the Scriptures. As long as a woman is operating under a respect and acknowledgment of patriarchal authority, I believe that such is fine.

      I know that others may feel differently, and I welcome other perspectives. But every Christian is called to be a proclaimer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

      Be Blessed Sandy and thanks for your feedback.

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    8. Thank you so much for your response! And I thank God for moving you to do this blog!

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    9. While this article is very well-written and obviously the product of some good study, there are still several problems. Addressing them point by point would take more time than my interest would allow. I will, however, address one foundational issue. And that is your ERRONEOUS claim that "matriarchal leadership" is a "curse" per Isaiah 3 alone.

      As I've discussed with you before, it is inappropriate to establish a definitive position on a single passage of scripture to the EXCLUSION of the rest of scripture [that is a violation of the basic rules of biblical interpretation]. Once again, the example of Deborah completely unravels your claim as follows:

      ▪ Judges 2 explains how Israel was in a cycle of sin, where they'd abandon The Lord, be handed over to their enemies, the people would cry out in distress, and as a result The Lord would "raise up" a judge and the people would prosper under the judge's rule. And then when the judge died, the people would turn away and the cycle would start all over again.

      ▪ So we see the judge was specifically chosen by The Lord and empowered by His Spirit to deliver and RULE SUPREMELY over the people of Israel (Judge 2:11-23; 3:10). We also see the judge's rulership was NOT a curse, but in fact a sign of God's BLESSING and PROMISE He made to Israel. These are facts that cannot be disputed on any rational grounds. In fact, if "female leadership" was such the curse you claim, then IT IS PUZZLING AS TO WHY ALL THE JUDGES WERE NOT WOMEN.

      ▪ Deborah was a judge, with the same authority, duties, and responsibilities as any other judge. And there is NO EVIDENCE in the text to suggest otherwise. She clearly had oversight in civil, spiritual, and military affairs, for she decided matters according to The Law of Moses, spoke the word of The Lord as a prophetess, and advised in battle.

      In light of this evidence, I must say that any attempt to try and minimize Deborah's role as being inferior or to characterize it as a "curse" is clearly an act of either ignorance or dishonesty.

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    10. Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

      I completely agree that doctrine should be based on the whole of Scripture. That is why this study covers both the Old & New Testament in examining the authority God has ordained for man, from the beginning of time.

      Although Isaiah 3 clearly indicates that matriarchal headship is a curse (as outlined above), this text is not alone in confirming that authority coming from God is patriarchal. The following texts also indicate that God has ordained the man to be the head or authority of the woman:

      * I Corinthians 11:3-9
      * I Corinthians 14:34-35
      * Ephesians 5:22-24
      * Colossians 3:18
      * I Peter 3:1-6
      * Genesis 3:16
      * I Timothy 2:11-14
      * I Timothy 3:2-5

      For clarity's sake, let's define some of these basic terms. When I Timothy 2:12 says that a woman is NOT allowed to usurp authority over man, the word for that phrase actually means, "to govern, to exercise dominion over one, to master."

      When I Corinthians 11:3 says that the head of the woman is the man, the definition of head is "anything supreme, chief, prominent, master, lord."

      So, clearly, patriarchal authority in the family and the church is nothing new at all, neither is it isolated to one text or even one Testament of Scripture. God ordained this from the beginning and has continued to reinforce this throughout the New Testament for His Church.

      The woman is to be submitted to the man (as her head) and is not permitted to have authority over the man. These commands from God eliminate any possibility for matriarchal headship to be God ordained when He is clear that such is at odds with His will.

      It is not the Spirit of God who inspires a woman to reject His commands (or inspires others to support such rebellion), but an unclean spirit.

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    11. Hi Kevin,

      In terms of Deborah, the text itself actually is quite clear in this area. I am not sure if you have seen it, but I examine this issue in another article: What About Deborah?

      * In regards to Judges Chapter 2, the text NEVER says that it was the judges responsibility to "rule" the people as you say. This is your word, but is not supported in any way in the text.

      In fact, the Book of Judges makes it clear that the judges were NOT rulers over the people at all, nor where they ever intended by God to be (Judges 8:22-23).

      The meaning of the word "ruler" is the Hebrew word mashal which means "to rule, to exercise dominion, or to reign." Notice that it is very similar to the meaning of the word "authority" as referenced in the previous comment.

      So, no judge - not even Deborah - was a ruler over the people of Israel.

      Deborah herself also noted that she was not even a "governor" over the people, for the governors were men who had gone into battle (Judges 5:9).

      * You are also incorrect that Deborah had the same responsibilities of the other judges. The text shows that this is a false assertion.

      Every other judge was a deliverer who commanded Israel in battle and had the enemy delivered into their hands. Deborah did not, and was not even expected to go into battle (Judges 4:6-7, 14). Further, God never promised to deliver the enemy into Deborah's hands, but only into Barak's hands; again, unlike every other judge. So her role was verifiably different as a female judge.

      You can see the above linked article - or even better review the Scriptures themselves - to see the specifics of the text bear witness to this truth.

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    12. Thank you for your reply, Latter Days.

      You continue to reiterate that Isaiah 3 indicates "matriarchal headship is a curse". However, I showed you clearly an example in scripture where female leadership was a blessing and NOT a "curse". Also, Judges was completed at least 300 years BEFORE the events of Isaiah 3.

      So the truth of scripture and the rules of biblical interpretation demand prohibit you from extracting a principle from that passage and applying it to all women throughout all time. You just CANNOT do that. It's just not correct reasoning or hermeneutics.

      If you are going to say that "matriarchal headship" (whatever that means) is a "curse", you must PROVE that. In other words, you must provide evidence FROM SCRIPTURE that every woman in scripture that was in authority was either the result of a curse, or their rule was part of a specifically stated or prophesied judgment.

      This is what you must do with Deborah. I keep asking you to do this, and for some reason you continue to avoid this issue. When attempting to bring about understanding, it is important to stick to one issue at a time, resolve it, and then move on.

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    13. Lastly Kevin,

      You claim that the doctrine that matriarchal headship is against God's ways is relegated to only one text. However, the whole of Scripture repeatedly states that the man is the head/authority of the woman, even in the church. (I Corinthians 11:3-9; I Corinthians 14:34-35; Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18; I Peter 3:1-6; Genesis 3:16; I Timothy 2:11-14; I Timothy 3:2-5)

      You can claim that judges were rulers. Yet there are no texts to support this claim. On the contrary, there is text which states that the judges were not rulers and never ordained by God to be such (Judges 8:22-23).

      You have stated before that there are examples of God ordained female headship in Scripture, but aside from you raising Deborah, you can not offer even one...and we can see from the actual text that Deborah was not a ruler over the people nor even a governor (Judges 5:9, Judges 8:22-23).

      In order to accept a doctrine that females can be the heads of men, one must:

      * Disregard the Scriptures which assert that church elders (overseers, shepherds, pastors, bishops, deacons) must be husbands of one wife who rule their homes well.

      * Gloss over the fact that Scripture says headship in the home is the proving ground for eligibility in having headship in the church.

      * Ignore the Scripture which says that a woman is not to teach a man.

      * Discount the Scripture which says a woman should learn in all subjection to proper headship.

      * Set aside the Scripture which says a woman must not speak in ways contrary to her obedience to proper headship in church.

      * Reject the Scripture which says that a woman should not be in authority over a man.

      * Assume that the man is only the head of the woman OUTSIDE of church, which really means that the man is NEVER the head of the woman because we are the church. As the temple of the Lord we carry the church with us wherever we go. Therefore the following texts must all be WRONG: I Cor. 11:3, Eph. 5:22-24, Col. 3:18, I Pet. 3:1-6, and Gen. 3:16.

      * And once we have voided out ALL the above Scriptures (and more), we have to either pretend that the Scriptures raise women to these types of positions or pretend it doesn't matter that no such examples exist. Then - and only then - can we arrive at the understanding that women can be authorities over men in the church.

      There is not even one example of a female pastor, female bishop, female shepherd, or any female was made made the head of men in Scripture. The reason for that is precisely because it is against the commands of God.

      If such assertions are not supported by Scripture, then they are merely the result of the imaginations/wisdom of man (earthly, soulish, and devilish).

      ReplyDelete
    14. Hi Kevin,

      I apologize, but I was responding to your first comment and did not see your follow-up until after I had finished posting my responses.

      You say it is in error to establish doctrine on just one text to the exclusion of all other texts, yet this is precisely what you are attempting to do with Deborah.

      The problem is that Deborah was never a ruler over Israel as you claim. No judge was (Judges 8:22-23). Neither was she a governor (Judges 5:9). She was also not the commander of the troops, but Barak was (Judges 4:6-7). Deborah was never ordained by God as a ruler/head/governor/commander over Israel.

      Kevin, you know that I respect much of the work that you do and the fervor that you have for the Lord from our initial discussion in this area two years ago. However, on this point you are not in line with the Scriptures. Further, the level of distortion of the Scriptures engaged in that particular article on PimpPreacher.com was alarming. It is the same tactic used by the false prosperity preachers the site claims to stand against.

      There is no example of God-ordained female headship in Scripture because such is against the will of God; as repeatedly stated in His word.

      ReplyDelete

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