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At Least Be Respectful

07 Jul

When a person labels themselves a bible scholar like Benjamin Corey does, another person expects a better level of debate or discourse. Now as we go through the following article

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/vagina-makes-hard-teach-bible/

they may think we are ranting. We are not. We have far more respect for women to let certain groups of bible studiers get away with reducing a woman’s identity and sum of their worth to a mere intimate body part. Sure those people may want to ‘push the envelope’, ‘think outside the box’, or let everyone know they know the scientific word for private parts and can use it freely.

Just because you can use the term does not mean you should.

What About A Vagina Makes It So Hard To Teach The Bible?

Maybe we are a bit prudish but we do not care. women should be treated far better than that title is doing. Women are more than just a sexual being and shoul dbe treated, even in this discourse with a little more respect. That little more means the truth should be told. It is not because a woman has a certain intimate body part that they are banned from speaking in the church.

Paul made this clear in 2 places.

11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first [h]created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, [i]fell into transgression. (1 Tim. 2 NASB)

and

34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is [n]improper for a woman to speak in church. 36 [o]Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only? (1 Cor. 14 NASB)

It was because of their sin not because they are differently equipped that keeps them from being part of Church leadership. These are instructions that we need to take seriously because it was not the culture of that time that banned women from being a minister or preacher or whatever word you want to use. It was God doing the banning for a very specific holy reason. We do not have the authority to overturn God’s decision.

Once you get the reason wrong in this issue, then you start to get everything wrong in the issue.

We all know what people like John Piper think about women preaching and teaching the Bible from a church pulpit:

That kind of thing is a boys only job.

Uhm…no… It isn’t because it is a boy’s club that women are not allowed. See above. But once you start to distort the issue and take the ban down from its divine place, then certain believers and bible scholars start looking for other false reasons to blame for the omitting of women from the pulpit.

Personally, I don’t even know why a reader/listener of his would even ask the question– in 2015 he was asked whether or not women should be allowed to be police officers, and his response was more of the same, yet broader:

Everyone asks this question. It doesn’t matter what year it is. The bible does not change and those words are present in every age and people are going to question God’s decision. Sometimes it is just to understand it, other times they are being tempted by evil to reject God over a simple instruction that does not hurt anyone. Charles Templeton was one such man. Billy Graham once described Mr. Templeton as a better evangelist than himself. Yet evil found a way to destroy the man and his godly ministry.

The issue is not whether or not the question should be asked today but why are believers not learning from the mistakes of others? We are not talking about Mr. Piper’s position on women pastors and teachers over men.

So here’s where we’re at:

Women have the intelligence to teach the Bible.

Women have the competence to teach the Bible.

Women have the skills and abilities necessary to teach in general…

They just shouldn’t use those skills and abilities, and they shouldn’t use that competence and intelligence, if it means that men are in the audience.

The question is, why do people have a problem with this? Years ago there was a slogan that many believers used to defend their Christian belief. It went like this– God said it, I believe it and that settles it. But over the decades, that saying went out of vogue as more and more people stopped believing what God said. His word was not settled and they started to drift off to alternative ideas, including allowing women to sin and violate God’s instructions.

We should point out that Paul’s words quoted above, did not come from his infamous 1 Cor. 7 passage where he said he was giving his thoughts and not God’s. They come from two very serious and completely divinely inspired boooks of the NT. God has given his instructions and he is a God who values obedience. Then it should be noted that the reasons for this ban are not to make women inferior or second class. God points to very legitimate reasons why they are not to have authority over a man, be pastors and so on.

Again we should take those instructions very seriously as the reasons humans give are vastly different from the ones God gave and humans looking to disobey God do not trump God and his word.

While I’ve been a Christian more years than not, and hold steadfastly to our faith, I have to admit: the idea that having a vagina should disqualify someone from using their God-given gifts or hard-earned knowledge, is one of the most dangerous and mission-defeating ideas we’ve ever come up with.

No it is not. That is pure hyperbole and misleading. We are not placed on this earth to change the rules just because someone does not want to join the club. Our mission is not to get anyone and everyone to join the church regardless of the instructions. Our mission is to get everyone saved then teach them God’s instructions. God made it very clear in Deut. 4 & 6 what we are to teach our children and those who newly enter his kingdom. We are to teach his ways, his commands, and his instructions.

No permission was granted to change those items. Especially when people did not want to follow them. It isn’t about a woman’s intimate part. It is about listening to God and obeying him. Again, having a different piece of equipment from a man is not the disqualifying factor here. Let’s keep the discussion on course and on topic.

So, what about a vagina makes it so hard to teach the Bible? Nothing.

In fact, as Piper himself admits, there is no logical reason why women cannot teach or preach the Bible, other than the Apostle Paul apparently said so 2,000 years ago.

As Rachel Held Evans pointed out, Piper presents not so much a high-view of the role of pastor, as he presents a low-view of women:

You can read anything you want into the words of other people, especially if you lower yourself to ‘interpret their words’. This includes God’s words. Again, it is not about a woman’s intimate part {yes, we are avoiding using the term vagina because it just does not seem appropriate to us to use it even though we are talking about it}.

Piper may admit that but there is not a logical reason why women are not allowed to be pastors and teachers of men, etc. God set his temple and church up to function sans women leadership and he gave us his reasons for doing it. Are we to presume that we know more than God on how to run his church? If someone thinks they do, then that is the sin of arrogance rising up influencing their thinking.

Women were also not banned just because Paul said so. If you look at the structure of both the NT church and the OT temple you see that God set it up that way. You will also see that God is consistent in his organizational structure. God is not an hypocritical God. It also has nothing to do with one modern man’s low opinion of women, if Ms. Evans is correct in her assumption.

As for me, I thank God that I didn’t spend eight years of my life studying in seminaries that listened to Piper’s illogical argument– I could not have made it, nor would I have the skills and abilities I have now, were it not for these God-honoring women who devoted themselves to training and equipping individuals like myself.

Most likey Mr. Corey would not have made it because of his beliefs, not because a woman wasn’t teaching him. They talk about a slippery slope and once you start breaking God’s rules and do not repent, it is easier and easier to slide down that slope. Dr. Corey has slidden down that slope quite a ways and it is doubtful he will ever get back to true belief again. He even admits to being a true believer but has changed over the years.

You will notice that when Jesus was tempted by evil, he used God’s word to defeat that temptation. It is pretty hard to defeat temptation when you doubt or do not accept portions of God’s word. When you knock the foundation of a building out, it is impossible for that building to stand securely or properly. In most cases, the building comes down.

That is what happened to Dr. Corey and many other believers and denominations. They have knocked their own house down by knocking out the foundation that was built on God’s words.

Yes, I am a devout Christian. Yes, I believe in the inspiration of Scripture and that scripture must be handled seriously.

How can Dr. Corey say this when he does not actually believe all scripture? He does not believe in the inspiration of all scriptures and ignores much of its teaching. We have dealt with his lack of belief over the years, including his views on LGBTQ issues, etc.

But this idea that being a woman should disqualify gifted and competent people from teaching any number of topics at a seminary level?

Well… that defies all logic, reason, and the countless experiences of all the pastors, teachers, church historians, Christian counselors, Bible translators, missionaries, and theologians, who attest to the reality that we had a richer and fuller season of preparation at seminary– not despite having female professors and mentors, but because of them. 

Woman are not banned from teaching. They can still teach other women and young children. Let’s keep the topic on track. They are barred from teaching men and God has given us his logical and rational reasons. Just because so many supposed scholars and church leaders ignore those instructions does not make allowing women teaching men correct.

We would disagree with him as a richer and fuller experience in seminary is not biblical teaching. Obedience to God and his instructions are. In answer to his few paragraphs about how a woman made his learning easier, we would suggest that maybe he just had the wrong male teachers.

The issue at hand is not just obeying God but the question, how can you get to the truth if you are ignoring God’s instructions and disobeying those instructions? If you are not following God then who are you following really? It certainly is not God.

Many years ago we went to work for a group home for boys who had a ministry in the United States and a Caribbean country. The man in charge once told us that ”you need to yoke them when they are young”. Secular psychologists also state that a child’s attitudes etc., are basically completed when they are very young. These two groups get their ideas from God who taught the parents and grandparents of the people of Israel to teach their young the ways, instructions and commands of God.

This was so ordered so that they would learn to fear the Lord and obey him. Obedience to God is the issue here,not finding a way around God’s instructions to get women into a position they are divinely banned from holding. It is not about their intimate parts or the fact that they are women. It is about obeying God. We have asked over the years, how can the church expect the secular world to convert to Jesus and follow his ways when the church does not do so?

That is a question you need to ask yourself and ask God to bring you to the right answer.

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