Sciptural Warrant for Women teaching Women? (Thread split)

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VictorBravo

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This topic is split off from one of the Byrd threads:

I think we are missing an opportunity. We have Mrs. Tim Keller blogging, some female authors (if I’m reading the names right) writing in Table Talk. There are different temperaments, but most importantly, what is lawful? Not, what is current. …

Why should a woman be permitted to lead a woman’s Bible study? Where is the biblical warrant and justification even for that?
 
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VictorBravo

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I think Titus 2 is the basis.

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

These things do require an understanding of the Bible.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
I think Titus 2 is the basis.

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

These things do require an understanding of the Bible.
Ok, thanks. But a limited scope of instruction and influence, right?

Also, teaching comes in various forms. Is that leading by example, sharing wisdom, or formal instruction? I could see topical instruction but, again, the scope may be limited based on the portion you quoted.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
Let’s use Beth Moore as a model.

I know she’s not Reformed, but let’s pretend she is. In what areas, including all her platforms, is what she does biblical and in what areas is it not? (She appears to have had some influence or inspiration for some of the previously discussed if my recollection of their Twitter exchanges are correct).

How has her areas of influence grown and expanded? In what ways?

 
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Grafted In

Puritan Board Freshman
The discussions of these recent posts have generated in my mind a few questions. Are the women on the PB who add their insights to the various theological discussions that take place here teaching, in some sense, those who consider their posts? Should men genuinely take female member's comments into consideration? Would some members argue that this should be a men only forum, because women shouldn't be thinking, forming opinions, and writing about such things?
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Junior
The discussions of these recent posts have generated in my mind a few questions. Are the women on the PB who add their insights to the various theological discussions that take place here teaching, in some sense, those who consider their posts? Should men genuinely take female member's comments into consideration? Would some members argue that this should be a men only forum, because women shouldn't be thinking, forming opinions, and writing about such things?
No, because they are not speaking from a position of authority, but expressing their thoughts and opinions as though we were sitting on couches in someone's living room. It is a place of informal discussion here, not a regulated meeting of the church.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
The discussions of these recent posts have generated in my mind a few questions. Are the women on the PB who add their insights to the various theological discussions that take place here teaching, in some sense, those who consider their posts? Should men genuinely take female member's comments into consideration? Would some members argue that this should be a men only forum, because women shouldn't be thinking, forming opinions, and writing about such things?
So how many Beth Moore books do you have on your shelves? I’m just kidding.

I think we are getting closer. Is Moore a bad teacher cause she’s a bad teacher or cause she’s unqualified? I would argue both….

Why are female leaders always synonymous with theological drift? Do women become female church leaders overnight? How does the progression start and then proceed? Let’s start there, not what you are hypothesizing.
 

VictorBravo

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Also, teaching comes in various forms. Is that leading by example, sharing wisdom, or formal instruction? I could see topical instruction but, again, the scope may be limited based on the portion you quoted.
Good questions. I would not say limited in scope or method so much as limited by the extent of authority. Older women are given some authority to admonish and teach younger women by their words, behavior, example, and knowledge of God's word.

"that the word of God may not be blasphemed" is broad in scope. It is directly related to "that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness." You have to know what is consistent with holiness, which is not personal opinion or whim, but what is revealed in God's word.

I think we can assume, when Paul wrote, that the context was more informal than formal, but trying to bound that with definitions can be problematic. Mothers teaching their children (even boy children) the catechisms seems to fall under this heading--such teaching might even follow a schedule and include tests. Is that formal or informal?

I think that distinction does not matter. I think we have to evaluate on whether the older women are fulfilling their duties to the extent that they have been directed.

One negative factor to help that evaluation: does the teaching undermine the authoritative preaching of the Word? If so, it is beyond bounds.
 

VictorBravo

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Why are female leaders always synonymous with theological drift? Do women become female church leaders overnight? How does the progression start and then proceed? Let’s start there, not what you are hypothesizing.
One thing to point out for clarity: historically, probably more theological drift has been caused by male leaders. I submit that the basic reason is grounded in pride. "I have a new insight!"

If a woman becomes a church leader, we confessional types can simply say, objectively, something is wrong because it goes against plain meaning of Scripture.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
At risk of sounding like a white knight, I am blessed by my sisters in Christ on this board.

My fear is the women who are set up….

This is permissible…. This is ok….. Then all of a sudden when they have a platform, an opinion, a podcast, and then a book deal….. they are told to make a sandwich. Let’s avoid these extremes. Does anyone tell Tim Keller to make sandwich?
 
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VictorBravo

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Then all of a sudden when they have a platform, an opinion, a podcast, and then a book deal…..
I think that also is a good observation. In a time when anyone can obtain a large following (and money!) without oversight and evaluation of whether the message undermines authoritative preaching, disaster often follows.

I don't have a solution. Big publishing and internet blogs are beyond control. I suppose we could become part of the public dialog, shouting in the marketplace of ideas. Some are cut out for that.

My sphere of influence is focused on the local church and what seeks to undermine it.
 

Grafted In

Puritan Board Freshman
No, because they are not speaking from a position of authority, but expressing their thoughts and opinions as though we were sitting on couches in someone's living room. It is a place of informal discussion here, not a regulated meeting of the church.
Is a book written by a woman more akin to a discussion on someone's living room couch or a regulated meeting of the church?
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
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Is a book written by a woman more akin to a discussion on someone's living room couch or a regulated meeting of the church?
Depends on who publishes it and who endorses it.

Blogs, too. Rambling thoughts that nobody responds to are more like mumbling in your living room when nobody is there.

But if those who seem to be “someone” cheer you on, then you are becoming authoritative.

It still is not a church setting, but it can impact the church.

Servetus got into trouble for what he published. He apparently had an audience large enough to make him a threat to the church. Of course, our day is different in consequences, but the problem is old.
 

Grafted In

Puritan Board Freshman
So how many Beth Moore books do you have on your shelves? I’m just kidding.
I'm sorry, but I don't get the joke?

You're participating in a forum that allows women to assert their opinions of Scripture along side of those of men without distinction. Women are even allowed to disagree with and offer correction to men. I don't ever recall you or anyone else telling them that they are out of place. I'm simply wondering what you and others make of that.
 

VictorBravo

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You're participating in a forum that allows women to assert their opinions of Scripture along side of those of men without distinction. Women are even allowed to disagree with and offer correction to men. I don't ever recall you or anyone else telling them that they are out of place. I'm simply wondering what you and others make of that.
Priscilla chimed in to help Apollos understand the Gospel more fully. It was done in a private setting:

Act 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

We often have informal gatherings at someone's house. I'm an ordained pastor. If a sister asks me something along the lines of "in your sermon you said ___, but I thought that was confusing because of _______", you can be sure I will listen carefully to what she has to say. It may be I was unclear in what I spoke. It may be because I missed something important.

In any event, it causes to us see what Scripture says to clear it up.

I don't take it as a challenge to authority in that setting, but a genuine desire to understand.
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
No, because they are not speaking from a position of authority, but expressing their thoughts and opinions as though we were sitting on couches in someone's living room. It is a place of informal discussion here, not a regulated meeting of the church.
Exactly.
Depends on who publishes it and who endorses it.

Blogs, too. Rambling thoughts that nobody responds to are more like mumbling in your living room when nobody is there.

But if those who seem to be “someone” cheer you on, then you are becoming authoritative.

It still is not a church setting, but it can impact the church.

Servetus got into trouble for what he published. He apparently had an audience large enough to make him a threat to the church. Of course, our day is different in consequences, but the problem is old.
This is a good point.

A book is an utterance. Like a speech. The level of authority it's accorded is highly dependent on a variety of internal and external factors.

Granted, because of the high publishing threshold we should expect a more reflective, thoughtful product at the end that better represents the mind and thought of the author.
 
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VictorBravo

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Can the shared opinions, theological ramblings, and corrective rebuttals of women on this forum make an impact on the church?
Just a quick response then I have to run: less likely of an impact than other settings. Our forum is well represented by folks who are quick to point out problems.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
I'm sorry, but I don't get the joke?

You're participating in a forum that allows women to assert their opinions of Scripture along side of those of men without distinction. Women are even allowed to disagree with and offer correction to men. I don't ever recall you or anyone else telling them that they are out of place. I'm simply wondering what you and others make of that.
Hmmm…. I never thought of it. But I don’t believe any of those things happened to me here. Interestingly enough I don’t think many of the women I have encountered on here have done much of any of that in my experience for whatever reason. I know they are active but not in those specific ways in my encounters, at least with me.

I think Victor is making some important distinctions that makes me wonder if some accepted practices and norms are indicative of an often slight and general drift in certain pockets.
 
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A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
Priscilla chimed in to help Apollos understand the Gospel more fully. It was done in a private setting:

Act 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

We often have informal gatherings at someone's house. I'm an ordained pastor. If a sister asks me something along the lines of "in your sermon you said ___, but I thought that was confusing because of _______", you can be sure I will listen carefully to what she has to say. It may be I was unclear in what I spoke. It may be because I missed something important.

In any event, it causes to us see what Scripture says to clear it up.

I don't take it as a challenge to authority in that setting, but a genuine desire to understand.
Those have been my experiences. Mixed groups with an elder running the show. Women present are active asking questions and sharing experiences but as a learner, seeker and liver of the Christian experience along with the rest of us.

I haven’t had to be admonished or corrected in those settings.
 
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retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
I think Titus 2 is the basis.

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

These things do require an understanding of the Bible.
Defined right from the word of God. We cannot do any better than this.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
Let’s use Beth Moore as a model.

I know she’s not Reformed, but let’s pretend she is. In what areas, including all her platforms, is what she does biblical and in what areas is it not? (She appears to have had some influence or inspiration for some of the previously discussed if my recollection of their Twitter exchanges are correct).

How has her areas of influence grown and expanded? In what ways?

I don't think Beth Moore does anything biblical. I am of the belief she is not a Christian at all. She claims Jesus as her boyfriend, direct revelation from God, is a raging feminist, is really into CRT, and has been "preaching" for the past 20 or so years. There are other things, but I think the list is a good summary.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Let’s use Beth Moore as a model.
Try to take what follows in a gentle tone, which is how I intend it...

Let’s use Beth Moore as a model.

But as soon as you do that—make it about a particular person instead of a topic or general rule—I (and probably some others) will decide not to participate in the thread. Why is that? Because we generally see more harm than good in an online, public discussion about what such-and-such a believer is doing wrong, and that's what it ends up becoming.

I do wish that more often we could discuss a perfectly legitimate topic (To what extent may a woman teach other women?) and resist the urge to discuss a specific person (To what extant is Teacher X right or wrong?). I understand that sometimes a person's public teaching or behavior might need to be discussed, and sometimes I too will join in. But in a case like this, it feels like a desire to discuss the Bible gets supplanted by an eagerness to critique someone. It doesn't seem quite healthy.

I know, that might not have been the intent this time. Then again, maybe a bit of desire to flirt with gossip was there, at least in the background. Who am I to say for sure? But for me, I know I get tempted that way and I have to actively resist when a thread goes in that kind of direction. And this time, I decided to point it out in case others face the same struggle. Perhaps someone finds my words to be a helpful challenge.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Not to beat a dead horse at the PB or bang my head against a brick wall, but, if you don't believe in wives wearing headcoverings in the gathering, as a symbol of being under her husband's authority, in the presence of angels, then these sorts of discussions about women in the church and what they do and don't do, and male authority and so forth, avoid a crucial command. I happen to think the problems today would never have arisen to such a degree if women still wore headcoverings in church.

On another note, one specific complaint I have about women's ministry is not the occasional weeknight. I don't want to go to them particularly, but for some women they mean a great deal. Fine. But the pressure to go to weekend retreats can be enormous, and if you buck it the way I did, women get so offended. ( not where I am now, but its been bad in my past). Why should a woman who prefers to be home with her husband and children instead of at some hotel with a speaker for the weekend be criticized and condemned? It makes no sense. If your church has even a hint of that mentality I hope you pastors will speak firmly to it.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Senior
Try to take what follows in a gentle tone, which is how I intend it...



But as soon as you do that—make it about a particular person instead of a topic or general rule—I (and probably some others) will decide not to participate in the thread. Why is that? Because we generally see more harm than good in an online, public discussion about what such-and-such a believer is doing wrong, and that's what it ends up becoming.

I do wish that more often we could discuss a perfectly legitimate topic (To what extent may a woman teach other women?) and resist the urge to discuss a specific person (To what extant is Teacher X right or wrong?). I understand that sometimes a person's public teaching or behavior might need to be discussed, and sometimes I too will join in. But in a case like this, it feels like a desire to discuss the Bible gets supplanted by an eagerness to critique someone. It doesn't seem quite healthy.

I know, that might not have been the intent this time. Then again, maybe a bit of desire to flirt with gossip was there, at least in the background. Who am I to say for sure? But for me, I know I get tempted that way and I have to actively resist when a thread goes in that kind of direction. And this time, I decided to point it out in case others face the same struggle. Perhaps someone finds my words to be a helpful challenge.
Jack, Beth Moore could care less what you and I say about her. Anyway, I have nothing personal against that woman at all. She’s a nice lovely woman. I’m just talking about what she’s made of herself. Is it a “Christian” enterprise or something else? Does she inspire other women to engage in similar pursuits (in the name of Jesus)? She is kind of a trailblazer but I do think most high profile Christian women ministries are very weak in doctrine and theology. Is it the chicken (natural authority) or the egg (natural ability) in these areas that this is so? (Or is it because the world is not going to elevate a woman promoting sound doctrine regardless? ). I think it’s both as per God’s design. I’m not looking to disparage women. But typing intent is harder than talking it….

I wouldn’t mind hearing the women on this board explain why they have no desire to be church elders and official propounders of the gospel.

“In the world of Bible teachers, Beth Moore is a rock star.

She packs sporting arenas and big-name churches. She has written dozens of best-selling books. She has an outsize social media following.

But among some of the male leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, she also has become a liability.

Male critics on social media​

After suggesting on Twitter that she was spending Mother’s Day preaching at a church—though she did not use the word “preaching”—a crowd of prominent Southern Baptist men charged after her on social media.

“For a woman to teach and preach to adult men is to defy God’s Word and God’s design,” wrote Owen Strachan, professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.

“There’s just something about the order of creation that means that God intends for the preaching voice to be a male voice,” piped in Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in a podcast.

Josh Buice, pastor of a Southern Baptist church in Georgia, was even more explicit.

The title of his recent blog post: “Why the SBC Should Say ‘No More’ to Beth Moore.”

Baptist Faith & Message​

The uproar is part of a decades-old theological battle over the role of women among Southern Baptists.”
 
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VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I wouldn’t mind hearing the women on this board explain why they have no desire to be church elders and propounders of the gospel.
I cannot speak for any other women, but I thought it worthwhile to relate posthumously an exchange I had with my wife years ago.

As I've related before, God converted us in our middle age. My wife had been an avid feminist up to that point. Our discussions of Scripture led us to devour everything we could about and from the Bible. Lauren could read Greek very well, better than I could at the time.

One day the topic over dinner was women preachers. I mentioned 1 Timothy 2. She opened up her Greek Bible and read the chapter. She read the English translations. She went back and looked at the Greek.

I said, "Paul tells us that women shouldn't have authority over or teach men, at least in the formal setting of church."

Her words: "Aye Commander. That's what the text says."

Then she said, "so teach me!"
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Junior
Is a book written by a woman more akin to a discussion on someone's living room couch or a regulated meeting of the church?
A regulated meeting of the church is where God's people are gathered in a local assembly to worship God and learn from His word, on the Lord's Day. Members of the same church may meet on other occasions as they desire, but they cannot be required to. If the book is read on one's own time, is read with others on a Tuesday, is paid any attention to in any other context than the formal gathering of saints to worship, it's just like a discussion in someone's living room.
I can choose to go or not go to any mid-week book reading, and can choose not to read any book. But I'm duty-bound to attend my local church every Lord's Day that I can, and to give attention to the preaching. If they bring in a woman to preach, there's a problem.
 
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