Biblical roles of women in the Church

Status
Not open for further replies.

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
Your division of public and private is also foreign to Paul. In referring to Eph. 5:21, you and Phillip have somehow forgotten that the very next verse gives further exposition of the thought. The "submitting to one another" cannot mean that husbands should submit to wives, since 5:22 rules that out.

What???

In the church, in our duty to one another in fellowship, men and women are to submit to one another. In the Body of Christ, a man can lead in his home, and submit to his wife at the same time.

I can submit to someone at the same time they are submitting to me. Submission is not a position under, it is a yielding of my rights for your benefit! Perhaps that is the problem - there is a wrong definition of submission running around loose.

Consider how often the Bible tells us to submit to and serve one another in the body - male and female submitting and serving one another:

Here are the notes from a sermon I preached not too long ago - not online yet - that deals with submission within the context of the church:

Worship in Spirit and Truth: Our Duty to One Another in Fellowship
Part 8
Submission
1 Peter 5:5-11

I. An Overview of Submission to Those in Authority

A. Defined: To be subject to "“ a voluntary relinquishing of your rights to others. "œA voluntary response to God´s Word and Will in giving up one´s independent rights to other believers in general and to ordained authority in particular."

B. Understanding Submission

1 God is the final authority, so submission to others must be rooted in submission to God. Submission to God overrules submission to others!
2 Submission means that decisions are made together, mutually, and does not mean that one person is an absolute decision maker with no accountability to others.
3 Submission does not mean doing everything that you are told to do.
4 Submission cannot be demanded by others (except by God). Submission to others is voluntary, not coerced, otherwise it is not submission.

C. The Christian is Commanded to Submit in the Following Realms of Authority:

1 In Everything Submit to God "“ James 4:7
2 In Society to the Government "“ 1 Peter 2:13-17; Romans 13:1-7
3 In the Family according to Roles

a Husbands and Wives "“ 1 Peter 3:1-2; Eph 5:22-24; 1 Cor 7:3-5
b Parents and Children "“ Eph 6:1-2; 1 Tim 3:4

4 In the Workplace to Employers/Managers "“ 1 Peter 2:18-20; Eph 6:5-7
5 In the Church to Elders and Teachers "“ 1 Peter 5:5a; Heb 13:7, 17;
1 Thess 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 5:17-19

a) Episkopas "“ bishop "“ overseer, manager
b) Presbuteros "“ elder "“ age/maturity (used in 1 Peter 5)
c) Poimen "“ shepherd "“ pastor

II. Submission to Each Other (those who are not in a position of authority) - vs. 5b; Eph 5:21

A. Esteem Others as Better "“ Phil 2:3
B. Prefer One Another "“ Rom 12:10
C. Serve One Another "“ Gal 5:13
D. Submission in Action - Acts 2:42-47

III. Requirements for Proper Submission "“ vs. 5c-11

A. Humility (5c-7) - a deep sense of one´s littleness!
B. Resist the Proud (8-9)

1 Sober "“ calm, collected, temperate
2 Vigilant "“ Alert, opposite of careless, apathetic
3 God resists the Proud (resist, oppose, engage in battle)
4 You resist the Devil! (devil´s sin "“ prIde)
5 He seeks to destroy "“ John 10:10

C. Depend upon Grace (10)
D. Glorify God (11)

Phillip



[Edited on 2-1-06 by pastorway]
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Fred,

The problem I have with your conclusions are that they are based upon very strained inference. I do not believe one has to be a left-wing feminist to debate the issue as to the propriety of women working in any sphere outside of the home.

(1 Timothy 2:8) I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;
Is Paul desirous of all men to do this? Is this a command to the Pagan or is it a command to those in the Body? If it is the latter then why do all of the following verses in Timothy apply to every sphere of human activity?

Does the Proverbs 31 woman have male servants? Does she exercise authority over them? Do we assume that Lydia's household included no grown male slaves of any kind? Was the command by Paul, elsewhere, for slaves to submit to their masters not applicable if a male was a slave to a woman?

Is not Romans 13 an example of differing spheres of authority? I have a commission from the President of the United States. My vocation has placed me under the authority of some women in my military career. Should I have resigned my commission with a letter to the President stating that God forbids that I submit to a woman?

Lets get down to brass tacks on this. Clearly you have a conviction on this and I don't normally take you on in any issue because you are far better studied than I and we agree on nearly everything. On this issue, however, I just do not see enough Scriptures to put together to create a rule of faith and life that can bind the consciences of Christians everywhere and tell them that their wives have to leave the marketplace and return to the home. That is the only place they can be to avoid any situation in which they will be in no position of authority over a man.

I just can't see the Biblical warrant with examples like Lydia and Proverbs 31 to cast doubt. If it is doubtful then I believe liberty ought to rule.

[Edited on 2-1-2006 by SemperFideles]
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
For clarity, Proverbs 31 refers to the servants in the house under her direction as "maidservants."

D'oh.....I thought of that earlier but the text does not support the point in that instance.

Phillip

[Edited on 2-1-06 by pastorway]
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Originally posted by pastorway
For clarity, Proverbs 31 refers to the servants in the house under her direction as "maidservants."

D'oh.....I thought of that earlier but the text does not support the point in that instance.

Phillip

[Edited on 2-1-06 by pastorway]
Yeah, I noticed that too but I figured she might need help planting the vineyard. Since she is trusted enough by her husband to manage his household she might have to hire some men to do that. I'm making an inference. :)

That leads me to another conclusion that whenever a woman drives her car to an Auto Shop and has her car worked on she is hiring a man to do work for her and violating this maxim. When the movers came to our apartment recently they were all men. My wife, Sonya, was telling them where to put the furniture.

The problems abound.

[Edited on 2-1-2006 by SemperFideles]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
By way of quick response (it is late):

hypostasso does not have the meaning you give it Phillip. It is not always voluntary. It is a result of the created order. Children do not get to choose whether to submit to their parents. They are commanded to. Wives do not get to choose. They are commanded to. The Scripture makes clear that this does not make them less ontologically or soteriologically. It does not give men a license to abuse or misuse that authority. In fact, it is something that is liberating for the wife, since the man bears the greater judgment (cf. James' comment about teachers).

Rich, you are trying to make "practical difficulties" rule a command. Nowhere in Scripture are husbands told to submit to wives. Nowhere, in no case, and in no circumstance. Never. The opposite is replete in Scripture, both in direct statements (Eph 5, 1 Peter 3, 1 Tim 2) and in practice. What if your wife were your CO? How would that work? You submit to her during "working hours" bearing witness to the world that she is an authority over you, and then when you are "off" you are in authority over her? That is ridiculous. (Aside: this is but one consequence of men allowing women to fight their battles for them, something that the Bible prohibits.)

Ben, you can't be serious about "never hearing justification by faith"!! David King alone has produced dozens of quotes along these lines. Have you read Cunningham's Historical Theology? Crispness is one thing - complete lack is another. My point stands: there is not one single proponent of the modern egalitarian view of 1 Tim 2 before the feminist movement.

I don't have outlines to cut and paste as Phillip does, but I also have sermons on this - I preached recently through 1 Peter 3:1-7. I studied all the latest scholarship as well as Calvin, and the Puritans. Schreiner, Grudem, and others agree with me. We are so busy bending over backwards today to allow women to do anything and everything that we have lost the true value of women and the true service of men. I don't know about you, but I would swap submitting to my wife for the repsonsibilty of loving her like Christ any day of the week.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I'm not arguing for a situation in which I submit to my wife. I'm arguing against the idea that no man is to submit to any woman ever.

I am not arguing based on practical difficulties but against turning inference into a rule that binds the consciences of other believers. I appreciate your convictions. Your wife must submit to them. My wife must only submit to mine in the matter.

The practical implications become very problematic if you are serious about the idea of a woman having authority over any other man in any sphere whatsoever. It is nearly impossible for a woman to be a consumer in the marketplace without eventually crossing that line and the only way to prevent against it is to do all the shopping and other household management for her.

Also, for the record, we still do not allow women to serve in line combat units. Something I agree with. I need to be reserved about what I say about established policy elsewhere.

[Edited on 2-1-2006 by SemperFideles]
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
(where's that popcorn...naw, too tired...heading to bed...can't believe you all are still up debating this :candle: )
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Originally posted by LadyFlynt
(where's that popcorn...naw, too tired...heading to bed...can't believe you all are still up debating this :candle: )
It's only 3:43 pm here! I'm wide awake. You guys always go to sleep on me!!
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by pastorway
For clarity, Proverbs 31 refers to the servants in the house under her direction as "maidservants."

D'oh.....I thought of that earlier but the text does not support the point in that instance.

Phillip

[Edited on 2-1-06 by pastorway]

hmm.. what about this one then?

1 Sam 25:
18Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.

19And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
Submission is voluntary, in a response of obedience to God's Word a sis fitting for the roles He designed. Only He can demand it. In understanding submission, I cannot demand that my wife submit! I can encourage her and exhort her - but to demand it takes away from what the word means.

Submission does not speak toward the authority, but to the one under that authority.

Phillip
 

Ivan

Pastor
Originally posted by pastorway
Submission is voluntary, in a response of obedience to God's Word a sis fitting for the roles He designed. Only He can demand it. In understanding submission, I cannot demand that my wife submit! I can encourage her and exhort her - but to demand it takes away from what the word means.

Submission does not speak toward the authority, but to the one under that authority.

Phillip

WOW! Excellent post....never quite thought about it exactly that way.

Phillip, will you be my pastor? ;)

My grandson's name is Phillip too.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Ben, you can't be serious about "never hearing justification by faith"!! David King alone has produced dozens of quotes along these lines.

Yeah, I've seen some "quotes" but whenever I've looked in the Fathers, I've found such quotes to be nothing more than Protestant wishful thinking. Perhaps what I call lack of presence, you would simply call "uncrisp."

My point stands: there is not one single proponent of the modern egalitarian view of 1 Tim 2 before the feminist movement.

Well, you keep slightly nuancing your statement. Of course there was no proponent of the "modern egalitarian view..." I'm not arguing for the "modern egalitarian view." I'm simply arguing that nothing in the Bible prohibits, or necessarily implies, that women cannot take teaching positions or roles of leadership in the secular arena.
However, Fred, even if I was arguing for the "modern egalitarian" position, just because no one before the "feminist movement" articulated it that way (which I'm really not sure of, but I'll grant) this DOES NOT, IN AND OF ITSELF, DISPROVE THE INTERPRETATION. You're taking advantage of the atmosphere of the Board which is generally friendly towards your position to engage in a smear guilt-by-association type of tactic. Some folks like Peter may get worked up in a lather by this type of argument, but it really is an irrelevant point. You should know better. I hope you don't make such arguments from the pulpit. It makes us sound silly.

Regarding the fact that women may take a job teaching English at Michigan, or that a woman may serve as a federal judge, or whatever...
You have not one shred of evidence to the contrary. I have the evidence of "no teaching/authority" passages being limited to the church by context.

Don't think I didn't notice how you totally avoided the substance of my substantial post. :p

[Edited on 2-1-2006 by SolaScriptura]
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Originally posted by Peter

Oh sorry I was trying out what...

Just trying out? I doubt it. I think you were making a statement that reflects and supports an uneducated, a priori held conclusion.

Sort of like how racists find "incontrovertable" proof in numerous passages.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
1 Tim 3:15 seems to state pretty clearly that what Paul had written up to that point was to tell Timothy how to conduct the church. Accepting that premise does not mean that much of what Paul wrote would not be applicable in all of life, but it does mean that we should not use those verses to draw strict, blanket condemnations on things done outside the church.

Have you ever heard a pastor make a statement like 'There is no place for loose dress in the house of God!' ? Simply because his statement is very obviously addressing the context of the church, does not mean there is no command for modesty outside the church... but that particular statement does not address the issue. If 1 Timothy was the only book in the bible, we might be a little confused about what applies outside the church. But from other parts of the bible we know that modesty is commanded at all times.

However, when we look at other parts of the bible, we see many examples of women being in authority over men, be it as civil rulers or as employers. When we look at those examples, and if we don't explain them away by holding to presuppositions, their combination with the lack of explicit condemnation for women's authority in civil life should lead us to see that whilst women are forbidden authority in church and marriage, there was never any such command applying to civil life.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
What about when Paul sent Phebe to Rome?

Romans 16:
1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
2 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.

He tells ( a polite command ) the romans to help her in whatever business she has need of them, but does not specify what they are to help her in but rather leaves it to her to inform them. Sounds to me like she had a bit of authority? Note also Paul does not tell them to assist her in what he sends her to do, he says ' in WHATSOEVER business she hath need of you'.

That passage alone is enough to satisfy my conscience regarding women's authority in the realms of employment, though prehaps not government. But it is only one example.

Now, Paul wouldn't contradict himself, so we know that her business did not extend to teaching or anything that would put her in authority in the church. But she did have authority for civil matters prehaps touching the church, whether it be movement of aid, logistics etc

Nor does it matter even if it is claimed that her authority was really from Paul. Since to say that would be to say women can have authority over men, as long as another man legitimizes that authority.

1. Such a principle of delegation is never thought in the bible when it comes to the roles of the sexes.

2. Even if one accepts this, it would still conflict with the hardline stance taken on 1 Tim 2 in this thread.
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by fredtgreco
By way of quick response (it is late):

hypostasso does not have the meaning you give it Phillip. It is not always voluntary. It is a result of the created order. Children do not get to choose whether to submit to their parents. They are commanded to. Wives do not get to choose. They are commanded to. The Scripture makes clear that this does not make them less ontologically or soteriologically. It does not give men a license to abuse or misuse that authority. In fact, it is something that is liberating for the wife, since the man bears the greater judgment (cf. James' comment about teachers).

Rich, you are trying to make "practical difficulties" rule a command. Nowhere in Scripture are husbands told to submit to wives. Nowhere, in no case, and in no circumstance. Never. The opposite is replete in Scripture, both in direct statements (Eph 5, 1 Peter 3, 1 Tim 2) and in practice. What if your wife were your CO? How would that work? You submit to her during "working hours" bearing witness to the world that she is an authority over you, and then when you are "off" you are in authority over her? That is ridiculous. (Aside: this is but one consequence of men allowing women to fight their battles for them, something that the Bible prohibits.)

Ben, you can't be serious about "never hearing justification by faith"!! David King alone has produced dozens of quotes along these lines. Have you read Cunningham's Historical Theology? Crispness is one thing - complete lack is another. My point stands: there is not one single proponent of the modern egalitarian view of 1 Tim 2 before the feminist movement.

I don't have outlines to cut and paste as Phillip does, but I also have sermons on this - I preached recently through 1 Peter 3:1-7. I studied all the latest scholarship as well as Calvin, and the Puritans. Schreiner, Grudem, and others agree with me. We are so busy bending over backwards today to allow women to do anything and everything that we have lost the true value of women and the true service of men. I don't know about you, but I would swap submitting to my wife for the repsonsibilty of loving her like Christ any day of the week.

:ditto:

Originally posted by SolaScriptura
So I take it that you think Margaret Thatcher was one of the worst things to happen to Great Britain - indeed, the Western world - since WWII?

This is very debatable. for the record, I admire many things about Thatcher. I agree with her when she says that she was primarily responsible for Britain's loss of national sovereignty to the European Union.

She a had the influence to keep Britain out of the EU, but alas the woman was fooled into bringing Britain into what she thought was just a free trade zone. She writes about this in her memoirs and talks openly about how she bitterly regrets her decision to do so now Currently, she is one of Britain's strongest voices against the abandonment of the pound sterling, which is one of the few remaining traces of independence for the British.

Sorry, I got off topic. :D

But Fred's point holds. Even if she was great, there are many wives I suspect, that could manage the households better than their husbands. Should "best fit for the job" trump God's created order?
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
{Moderate}
I think this thread is generating much meaningful discussion on several points related to the central issue, but please keep it that way, namely by stopping the short, sarcastic, back-and-forth comments that serve no purpose to that end.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Originally posted by Peter
Originally posted by SolaScriptura
Originally posted by Peter

Oh sorry I was trying out what...

I think you were making a statement that reflects and supports an uneducated, a priori held conclusion.

Oh you mean that I believe in the Bible?:lol:

Im sorry thats not a assumption we share. My first thought commitment is to scripture yours is to egalitarianism :p

[Edited on 2-1-2006 by Peter]

I'm an egalitarian. Hmmm. Just like Moody is "liberal" because they allow women to wear slacks.
I'd say that in regards to this matter, your thought commitment is not to Scripture, but to your a priori notion that the only legitimate place for women is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Originally posted by Me Died Blue
{Moderate}
I think this thread is generating much meaningful discussion on several points related to the central issue, but please keep it that way, namely by stopping the short, sarcastic, back-and-forth comments that serve no purpose to that end.

Oops. I just saw this. Will do.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Originally posted by mangum
This is very debatable. for the record, I admire many things about Thatcher. I agree with her when she says that she was primarily responsible for Britain's loss of national sovereignty to the European Union.

She a had the influence to keep Britain out of the EU, but alas the woman was fooled into bringing Britain into what she thought was just a free trade zone. She writes about this in her memoirs and talks openly about how she bitterly regrets her decision to do so now Currently, she is one of Britain's strongest voices against the abandonment of the pound sterling, which is one of the few remaining traces of independence for the British.

Actually, I don't have much of an opinion about Thatcher, beyond the fact that I like her overall "hard core" stance against communism, etc...
She was just an example I used... I thought if I mentioned someone like Feinstein or Hillary Clinton, that I'd immediately prove the point of my opponents! :lol:
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Originally posted by satz
1 Tim 3:15 seems to state pretty clearly that what Paul had written up to that point was to tell Timothy how to conduct the church. Accepting that premise does not mean that much of what Paul wrote would not be applicable in all of life, but it does mean that we should not use those verses to draw strict, blanket condemnations on things done outside the church.

YES!! YES!! YES!! The interpretive sanity is making me giddy!

Have you ever heard a pastor make a statement like 'There is no place for loose dress in the house of God!' ? Simply because his statement is very obviously addressing the context of the church, does not mean there is no command for modesty outside the church... but that particular statement does not address the issue. If 1 Timothy was the only book in the bible, we might be a little confused about what applies outside the church. But from other parts of the bible we know that modesty is commanded at all times.

Stop it!!!! You're giving me goose bumps!

However, when we look at other parts of the bible, we see many examples of women being in authority over men, be it as civil rulers or as employers. When we look at those examples, and if we don't explain them away by holding to presuppositions, their combination with the lack of explicit condemnation for women's authority in civil life should lead us to see that whilst women are forbidden authority in church and marriage, there was never any such command applying to civil life.

Preach it!!!

Ooh, that was good. Thank you. This was one of the best things I've read all day... second only to the section from James 1 I'm exegeting for my devotions.
 

WrittenFromUtopia

Puritan Board Graduate
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Originally posted by mangum
... there are many wives I suspect, that could manage the households better than their husbands. Should "best fit for the job" trump God's created order?

Actually, I'd suggest that you take notice of the difference between a leader and a manager. It is entirely in keeping with a man's headship for a wife to manage the affairs of the household under the leadership of the husband. Indeed, Prov 31 provides a picture in which the wife so effectively runs - manages - the household that the husband is able to not really worry about anything in the house.

It is folly - not godliness - for a man to drive his family into the ground because of his lack of financial prowess, while his wife is a skilled financial whiz, all because he believes that handing the reins over to her would be a rejection of his headship responsibilities.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5

Good quote, Gabriel.

I hope I haven't given the impression that I think that it is preferable for women to go out and get jobs teaching in universities or leading countries. I do sincerely believe that the primary ministry is to take care of her home.

But this passage is addressed to what young women, with families still at home, should be doing. Though I'm willing to say that once the children are gone, her primary responsibility is to care for her home and husband, though it will take less time and energy than when there are kids around, and so she will naturally have more time to enage in pursuits outside the home.

That said...
What about single women? Though most are called to be married, there are exceptions... This verse doesn't specifically address the question of whether a woman can, in principle, teach in a college, serve as a magistrate, or be employed as a supervisor/trainer in a secular business.
I'm thinking Lydia here... and Priscilla, who was a tentmaker alongside her husband (that is, she made tents like he did... not that she just cooked him dinner and he went out and made tents).
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Regarding mutual submission based upon Eph 5:21... here are some thoughts from the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (a complementarian organization based out of Southern Seminary):

In response to the question of whether or not they believe in mutual submission, they write:

Yes, we do. But "the way Paul teaches" mutual submission is not the way everyone today teaches it. Everything depends on what you mean by "mutual submission." Some of us put more stress on reciprocity here than others. But even if Paul means complete reciprocity (wives submit to husbands and husbands submit to wives), this does not mean that husbands and wives should submit to each other in the same way. The key is to remember that the relationship between Christ and the church is the pattern for the relationship between husband and wife. Are Christ and the church mutually submitted? They aren't if submission means Christ yields to the authority of the church. But they are if submission means that Christ submitted Himself to suffering and death for the good of the church. That, however, is not how the church submits to Christ. The church submits to Christ by affirming His authority and following His lead. So mutual submission does not mean submitting to each other in the same ways. Therefore, mutual submission does not compromise Christ's headship over the church and it should not compromise the headship of a godly husband.

I don't believe Phillip has said anything other than this... and this is certainly what I believe.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top