Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Silent Church Women? Part 1

"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." --Paul, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

The Cultural/Historical Reading

For all my talk about the importance of understanding the cultural and historical context of a passage, I actually find this interpretation to be the weakest. I do think these cultural aspects enhance the reasoning and relevance for such a verse, but it's not enough to discredit the notion that women should remain silent and that it is "shameful" for a woman to speak in church.

First, the context of 1 Corinthians as a whole is a letter written by Paul to the church at Corinth, which was in real trouble. They were unruly, disorderly, chaotic, and angrily disputing with one another. Some were even pitting teachers against each other. Paul calls them "worldly" and still "infants" in the faith (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). The letter is answering specific problems within that church. The first half deals with situations relayed to Paul through members of Chloe's household (1 Corinthians 1:11) and the second half deals with specific issues the church at Corinth inquired about in a letter to Paul (1 Corinthians 7:1). Since we only have Paul's answers and not the letter from Corinth, we can only "read between the lines" as to what those questions were. Biblical scholars like to say that the letters of Paul are akin to listening to one side of a telephone conversation. I think that is an apt description.

Most early churches met in homes, and many still segregated the men and women. This was a LONG standing tradition in Judaism, and since Christianity was seen as Judaism's offspring, that tradition (along with others) crept into the early church. Nonetheless, women had never before been so included during religious meetings. The Holy Spirit fell on all believers at Pentecost and all believers were expected to contribute to church meetings for the common good and building up of the church (1 Corinthians 14:26). Some would prophesy, some would pray, some would sing, some would give a teaching, some would give instruction or a word of knowledge, some would edify the body, and so forth. Gifts are distributed according to the Holy Spirit and not according to gender and if one had a gift, one was expected to use it in the midst of the entire body (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

We must remember that women previously under Judaism and previously under pagan religions were rarely afforded this kind of participation in religious services, so most were uneducated. Pagan religions featured temple prostitutes and female prophets that uttered unintelligible babbling, but this was not the kind of participation expected in the christian church. So believing women in the church, though filled with the Spirit, did not have the same training under The Law as most of the men did. Based on some other early writings of this time, many scholars believe that the women let this new found liberty go to their heads and got out of hand by interrupting the meetings with unnecessary questions, talking over others, all prophesying at once, and so forth. And since women were still seated away from the men, it is supposed that they were yelling across the room to ask their husbands about what was happening or being said. So the "silence" command was not so much about gender, but keeping order.

Others believe wives were airing their dirty laundry during services, revealing all their personal problems with their husbands. It does seem strange that the first part of the verse is translated as "women" remaining silent and then the latter solution is that they should ask their own husbands. What about women who were unmarried? So this inappropriate "sharing" could be the case.
And yet others believe that Paul is addressing UNBELIEVING women who attend meetings with their believing husbands, who obviously would not be permitted to participate in a vocal manner until they became believers.

Although Corinth was a city IN the Roman Empire, it was Greek by culture. In Greek culture, woman had it even worse than in Jewish culture. The only women seen and heard in public were the cultured prostitutes, called hetaira. There were also pagan prophetess, administering sexual temple rituals and preaching pagan religions. But women by and large were considered inferior on every level: mental, physical, and spiritual.

Dianne McDonnell, from Church of God in Texas, points out:

The "keep silent" admonition was written to a church at Corinth that was a short forty mile boat ride away from the world famous Oracle at Delphi. At this temple women priestesses uttered babble which was interpreted and presented as messages from a pagan god. In 1 Cor, Chapter 12, Paul introduces the subject of "spiritual gifts" and then he reminds church members they were once running after dumb idols themselves.

Some believe Paul was being sensitive to the culture surrounding the Corinthian Church. Since Christianity was still an "infant" religion, unestablished and unknown to the culture at large, then if women were publicly speaking, they could easily be mistaken for the hetaira and Christianity would be seen as just another sect that offered temple prostitution to commune with the gods.
For more info on the cultures of Paul's time, see A Tale of Two Cultures By James R. Payton Jr.

While all of the scenarios briefly covered above are plausible, they are highly speculative. I think the original language study and quotation reading offer a much clearer and precise understanding of this verse. Even though I find these insights into the culture beneficial and revealing, I do not think it is enough to clarify the meaning of the passage in question. The passage is phrased too broadly and universally to be based solely on culture. Calling it shameful for women to speak in church and appealing to The LAW is strong language that cannot be dismissed based solely on the situation and culture of the Corinthian Church.

Even if Paul is only telling Corinthian church women to be silent because of some cultural factors, it still flatly contradicts what he has written just a few verses AND a few chapters earlier.
So, unless one believes Paul would contradict himself right in the same letter, telling all believers to pray and prophesy in the church and encouraging all to use their gifts in front of the entire church, we have to conclude that there is more to this verse than meets the eye.


Anonymous said...

I have been periodically following this “study,” and cannot hold back any longer. This is plain ludicrous. Beneath your lofty words, you are effectively saying that the words in our bible are untrustworthy and subject to change. So God went through all the effort to reveal Himself through the bible and then did not follow through with preserving it in every language? NO! If it is in the bible, then it is God’s perfect word and absolutely can be read without “qualifiers,” as you put it. You can’t set about to change the meaning just because it’s inconvenient. God wants women to be silent in the church so they can be a witness to the world their through submission and willingness to be lead by men entrusted with the authority of the kindgdom. I am utterly stunned that women claiming to be of the complementarian persuasion (AKA biblical persuasion), are giving credibility to this insane idea that women are allowed to disgrace themselves in church by disregarding the biblical command for silence. Do not be deceived, read the bible and swallow what is says. Do not look for loopholes

Catrina said...

Gareth, does your church not allow women to speak to each other in greetings?, can they not sing during worship?, are they not allowed to teach childrens church.?
What is church,? it is the building?, is church also not in homegroups?, or other functions? If you allow any of these things then you are a qualifier as well. How can they be a witness to the world, when the world does not enter our buildings to then be able to testify of our submission. Only other church members would see this kind of submission. Can you expound on this more clearly.

Unknown said...

great points, Catrina, and Tia, thanks for the research, this is interesting - I am curious for more.

Anonymous said...

The “Church” {capitol C} is the body, actual believers, but Paul is commanding how to behave while “in church” {lowercase c}, the gathering of the body. During those gatherings, women are to remain silent. My church does not have Sunday school, children sit in the service. They also remain silent. It’s a little thing called discipline. Our women and children learn discipline through silence that deepens their faith and witness for God. We are not like the world. We are a people called out from the world, holy, and should behave as such. This requires sacrifice and discipline. The few special occasions that we offered child classes or bible camps, we did not entrust bible education to women. A man taught and women cared for the needs of the children: making snacks, changing diapers, keeping order, and carrying out the requests of the teachers. A woman may teach her own children in privacy, but never in a corporate setting with authorative scripture. Our church frowns on corporate singing in general. We do not have a “worship” segment in our meetings that includes music or singing. We stick to prayer and teaching. So I am not a qualifier, we take the bible very seriously. When the bible says women are to be silent DURING church, THE MEETING, we teach our women to joyously submit to the word of God and practice silence in corporate gatherings of the body. It’s not that difficult of a concept. Rebellion is the only reason this verse is questioned. Women can voice greetings and partings BEFORE and AFTER the meeting. Paul is speaking of a SERVICE. Once that begins, women are to be silent. When it ends, women are free to speak to each other because they are not addressing the assembly.

Anonymous said...

Also, our home groups meet separately, one for men, and one for women. Women are free to talk amongst eachother about the bible, but not corporately.

Catrina said...

Thanks Gareth for responding so quickly. You indeed are no qualifier in this area. I would never try to discuss this with you because obviously you are passionate about what you believe too be truth. I would caution you not to be judgemental and condescending when you refer to our sins of "rebellion, and lack of "discipline." Remember that you were once a sinner saved by grace, just like me, and my sins aren't any more grieveous to the father than yours are.

What kind of denomination or affliation is your assembly? And how is this a witness to the world that your women are willing to be led by men when no one from the world see's it?

Unknown said...

Tia - I think you pose under psuedonyms and make comments just to ensure that the discussions stay lively! I'm amazed at what all goes down on this blog! :)

Elspeth said...

This is one verse of Scripture that I will say stumps me. If indeed women are to remain silent in the assembly of the saints, than my church, and many like it, are in error. However, I have to concur with Tia Lynn here (how shocking is THAT??) and say that there has to be something we aren't privy to.

Remember Gareth, we see through a glass darkly this side of heaven and NO ONE can claim a monopoly on understanding of Scripture from beginning to end.

In Acts 21:9, what of the evangelist who had 4 virgin daughters who prophesied? Whom did they prophesy to? And why would God bother to include them in the sacred texts? If women are to be separated in any and all meetings, what sort of example did Jesus set by having a rather lengthy discussion with the woman at the well? And what on earth was God thinking when he allowed Deborah to judge His chosen people?

Sheesh, Gareth, I can't believe you've made me have to defend Tia Lynn's position (not that she needs me)!

I believe that a woman has a Biblical responsibility to submit to her husband in all things, and that the church should be lead by men. I don't think I could ever attend a church with a female pastor. That said I am not ready to make the leap and say that one verse of Scripture means that women should be made to kkep silent in the assembly of the saints- not when there are so many Scriptures that would seem to contradict that line of thought.

I am NO egalitarian, but what you advocate smacks of opression (which is NOT of God) and is why so many women rebel against the clear Scriptural teachings on true Biblical submission.

And Tia, I'm wondering if Michelle is on to something about you posting under a pseudonym! Gareth, are you real or is Tia Lynn messing with us?

Carlos said...

So Tia, are we having a "True Lies" instance here" :-)

This is JC 00 (Juan Carlos 00)

Donnav said...

O, I have a feeling Gareth is very real as I've had many conversations with people like him...sounds like he's Church of Christ to me. I can totally understand why men in groups like that fight so hard for their beliefs...that's a lot of power to hold over women and in this day and time about the only way to do that is under the guise of religion.

This scripture is interesting...one of the other historical events to consider from this time period is the person of Nero and the burning of Rome. The blame had been shifted to the fledgling Christian movement and horrific acts were done in the name of eradicating the movement. To survive many scholars believe that Paul's writings often contradicted his actions towards women, this verse in particular, just to help the young churches keep a low profile & out of the eye of the Roman soldiers.
Gareth's attitude is scary to me as it seems easy to take one verse and ignore the words and actions that surround them....the intent can't be ignored, in my 'E' opinion anyway!

And I do appreciate you friends of Tia Lynn reminding the rest of us of that...the last post and the ensuing comments left me wondering at times. I was glad to see you all dealing with it in person and here with us strangers!

Anonymous said...

Oh someone who actually believes the bible, it must be fake! That’s very insulting. Our home church may be small (about 50 families, a nondenominational church that split with ABC-USA over a decade ago), but we want to be faithful to the bible. Unfortunately, nowadays that means you will have a small congregation if you do this. I hear the same lines over and over again. We’re called legalistic and narrow-minded. When did obeying God’s word become legalistic? When did following Jesus’ narrow road become narrow minded?

The men in my church love the women. We love them as Christ loved the Church. That is a responsibility we take seriously. We want to see our women flourish within their god given place. With meek, gentle spirits, supporting our ministry through prayer and supplication. You make it sound like our women go around with their lips zipped at all times. It is only when the church gathers together as a whole that they willingly forgo speaking to honor God’s word.

Catrina... Just because the world does not see it, does not mean womanly submission goes unnoticed. We believe when we are faithful to God’s word behind closed doors, He will surely bless us when we venture out into the world. He will honor the prayers of our obedient fellowship. That’s why it matters. Will not all things done in secret be exposed? Isn’t true faith measured when no one is looking on to impress?

Terry, you are waking up! Don’t be afraid to realize that thousands of churches are sinning against God’s word. We have to be the bride without spot or blemish when Christ returns.

Catrina said...

Gareth, I can so appreciate your passion and honest belief. What I am having trouble with is the pride that seems to be oozing out of your keyboard. I have no problem with people like you that feel it is fitting not to eat the meat offered to idols, but where is your grace for your fellow brothers and sisters. Even if we were in sin we are doing so unknowingly and trying to live our lives honoring God the best way we can. To not want to be bound up in legalism is a very valid concern. The 2 greatest commandments are to love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself. YOu said you would be blessed when you venture out because of your faithfulness behind closed doors. Don't you think that taking a judgemental attitude with fellow believers can turn more people away than bless them. Nobody wants to feel like they are never good enough or haven't arrived yet, and your attitude is a devisive tool.

Unknown said...

Catrina, wow - so well said. I totally agree. I respect those who have different convictions than I do... I love hanging out with them, I enjoy hearing where they come from and why ... when it's a mutual conversation of respect. And often, it is. But you have to admit, Gareth, you came in here with both barrels right off the bat! With so much bravado that yeah, I actually thought "this is just Tia trying to stir the pot". :)

As I read where you are coming from and what your community of believers is like, I hear Old Testament Law replaced with New Testament Law. Which, as I understnad the gospel, was never the church. The bride is purified by Christ (see Titus) not by our do's and don't's. I appreciate what you are trying to do but again, a humble spirit will go a long way to getting folks to see things more from your point of view.

Unknown said...

ugh, that should have read "was never the POINT" - by the way, is there a way to go back and edit a comment after you click publish? (I bet some smart a$$ is going to say "that's what the preview button is for"... and you'd be right!!!) :)

Tia Lynn said...

Hey All! Michelle and Terry are so funny! I’m flattered, but believe it or not, I don’t have THAT much time on my hands! LOL

Unfortunately, when you put your blog on blogrush, all kinds of people will find you. Plus, sometimes I just ask for it, because I tend to frequent fundamentalist blogs from time to time and add my two cents. 

Gareth, your first comment was obnoxious, but I can see you really believe you are just following scripture. If you don’t mind, could you elaborate on how you reconcile 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 with Paul’s other writings that encourage women to speak in church, such as three chapters earlier when he gives guidelines on how women should dress while they are praying and prophesying? How is this not a contradiction with your reading of the bible?

musicmommy3 said...

Hey Gareth,
Just wanted to say "hi" and that we aren't looking for loopholes. Most of us are just looking for clarification of meaning because of the things Tia just pointed out in the last comment. We are like you. We just want to follow God passionately and obey what He is saying. Sometimes people see things in the Bible differently. I think that's one reason why we need the whole body of Christ. Different people can explain what they see in Scripture and we can learn things from each other. Even if we don't agree we can see things from different perspectives and angles. This can challenge what we believe or just cement what we believe or enhance what we believe with a fresh outlook.

I am curious (and this is PURE curiosity here) about how, in your local group of believers, you love your wives as Christ loved the church. How does that play out in real life?
I think it's terrific when men actually do that. Again, this is pure curiosity, nothing more. :)

Michelle, if you are amazed at the recent stuff that goes on here you should read some of Tia's more controversial archives. You won't believe the stuff that's been written. :):):)

It has made me realize that the body of Christ is very diverse. :) It's fun really. Meeting new people and sharing perspectives.

Goodnight all!!

Anonymous said...

So when Gareth says, that they take the Bible very seriously in their church, I wonder...

Do they greet each other with a holy kiss?

Why don't they sing? The Bible says that we are to speak to each other in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

Do they drink wine for their health?

Do they provide what is right and fair to their slaves? Do they teach their slaves to be subject to their masters in everything? (Titus 2:9)

Do the men lift up their hands when they pray as Paul commands?

Do they forbid braids, gold, pearls and expensive clothing?

Hmm...maybe there are some qualifiers in the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Why is it that we are called rebellious and sinful? And last I knew...we are without spot or wrinkle...it's all covered by that blood.
Tia, this post is great. My only complaint...is that you stopped before you covered the 'LAW' comment. No fair. Now I have to wait. You have given me the zeal to search it out. And a renewed drive to show myself approved. I know that I am free in Christ. My yoke was broken long ago. When I feel that yoke hovering over my head...it just feels dangerous. Thanks for truly encouraging others to sift and seek....Hurry up with the next post girl!!!

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that this discussion was full of straight shooters. Straight shooting must only be allowed when voicing popular opinions, not actually believing what is in the Bible.

Tia Lynn, there is only a contradiction if you wish there to be one. Women surely can pray and prophesy, but in their rightful settings. Women can pray with out being vocal. Our church believes that if women have long hair that this is their covering, and don’t need a physical head covering, as Paul agrees. So we teach our women to wear their hair long. So our women’s heads are “covered at all times, and they can pray silently during church. I personally believe the gift of prophecy ceased with “once that which is perfect has come..” (The Bible), but IF that ever were to happen, they can control themselves and deliver their message to other women or their own husbands to relate to the rest of the church, just as Paul says. Paul encourages the MEN to use their gifts for the common good, not “all” or “everyone.”

The remedy to these apparent “inconsistencies” are evident to any thinking person without an agenda to push.

Are you joking with that list anonymous? Can we not speak to each other in songs without including it in the corporate church meeting? Greetings with a holy kiss is not a command, but a custom. Slavery does not exist and to continue it’s existance would violate the current laws, which Paul tells Christians to be subject to. If we lived under old authority structures, we’d live out whatever roles we found ourselves in with submission and the light of Christ. Men do lift their hands during corporate prayer. Our women don’t dress according to trends and everyone dresses rather simply without decadent jewelry or over done hairstyles. It’s worldly, distracting, and immodest. Again Paul telling timothy to drink wine for his stomach problems was not a command for the church, but helpful advice from a mentor. And Timothy probably got his stomach issues because women couldn’t just accept their place in the church, as we find out later in 1Tim. 2:8-14.

Catrina, all of this “to each his own,” “we’re all on a journey” talk is a little ludicrous, don’t you think? You are not disobeying this verse “unknowingly.” You are well aware of it and choose to ignore it. You are claiming not to have to follow this verse because you haven’t gained “real” understanding of it? Isn’t it true that you do not want it to be true as it is? Isn’t this whole thing about looking for loopholes, so we can disqualify the scriptures you find displeasing? If you have read the verse and choose to ignore it, then you are not unaware, simply traveling on your journey without worry. You have been given more knowledge than two-thirds of the entire world! Do you really think you can just throw out a verse because you think it must mean something other than what it says?

Unknown said...

Gareth, with this comment, you just "picked and chose" what you wanted the Bible to say or mean:
"Greetings with a holy kiss is not a command, but a custom". It may seem like a silly example, but you used your God-given logic and deduction to conclude that you indeed do not HAVE to kiss every believer you meet, it is OKAY not to do that, Paul was not laying down law. You took the words from the page, engaged your God-given intellect, and arrived at a conclusion. Congratulations! :) :)

Carlos said...

Gareth, your last post is leaving you wide open for the trap you set yourself. But before I explain, first of all, we all hold to the Bible as God's special revelation so when some of you use it as a leverage to base your arguments, let's be clear that it is "Your Interpretation" of the scripture, and please don't say that we do not believe because that's not fair and is insulting..I re-state it again that no matter how well developed an interpretation one has of sccripture, it is NOT PERFECT (the interpretation) and is in need of allways being find tunned...
Back to Gareth's post, your holy kiss as you said is a cultural custom and you accept so why not accept other customs as time liked cultural practices? and please don't tell me you had special revelation or Gabriel came down and told you so, because there is no way to corroborate that...ergo we are dependent on each other to sharpen ourselves and have clearer understanding of who the Father is...
Michele, you beat me to the punch and the sarcasm police is out there looking for you (I think I veiled mine a bit...)BTW, I think anonymous is my wife of 38 years...I'll have to check with her, but you know she is so independent...she doesn't have a blog account..

Catrina said...

No I absolutely do not think I can throw out a verse I don't like, but first I have to address a few things from above.

1. You are not following this discussion if you think that we are all lolly gagging along in agreement with Tia, come on haven't you read the 52 comments from the previous post?

2. You still have not addressed your condescending attitude or your own pride for having "gotten it all right in your church." And are you loving me, your neighbor as yourself?

3. Do you read greek and hebrew?, and if so could use please tell me what the original word for speak and silent was?, and if it had any other meanings. My kids are learning spanish right now, and there are so many meanings for the same word, so many ways to use a word. What about our own language?

4.You don't know me very well, I would love to live like Little House on the Prairie, it would behove me none to wear a headcovering, dresses all the time, no makeup, whatever!

5.You are right, I have been given more knowledge, but it is truly perplexing to me to see this verse and then the one about when women prophecy and teach. I am one who believes in male headship in the home and church but I believe you can have that and still have women speak in church. I actually have no problem with people that believe as you, if they have a humble spirit and love towards others.
"Though I have the gift of prophecy and understand ALL MYSTERIES and ALL KNOWLEDGE, and though I have faith to remove mountains, but have not love, I am NOTHING.

Just a little clue here: when you comment in an accusing way on other people's blog that you KNOW you disagree with, then that is a good sign of something amiss in your own heart.

Unknown said...

Catrina just convicted me with the love quote (very good)... I'm being dead serious. I want to apologize for my sarcasm. I am also remembering the verse, "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good". Whether you speak with kindness and courtesy, or not, I should respond better. Sarcasm is not the way to go, even on a blog! I really am sorry for the "low blow". Humility needs to go both ways, I'm accepting that.

Gareth, I just ask that you consider the ways you decide what is "custom for that time" and what is "law" or at the least, "necessary for us today". Even you, as literal as you seem to want to remain, have to go through this process, as I (poorly) indicated above.

Carlos - what a calm spirit you are! I need more of that.

I must sign off this now, I've never followed a blog so much in my life - my kids need help with their school work so, I'm off! blessings all...

Donnav said...

This is interesting....You did better than you realized Tia Lynn by posting your previous "when literalists ain't so literal". Gareth has totally confirmed your findings that hard core "c's" pick and choose what to take literal & what to associate with culture.
Guess I find too much humor in things because the irony in one of Gareth's earlier comments about us "e's being the wolves in sheep clothing made me smile. Gareth, have you read Matt 5-7 as one piece and seen in this Sermon on the Mount who Jesus was talking about in the section you quoted? I encourage you to do so, this is a fabulous text that should still be applied today.
I also love how these mildly "c" friends of yours and I say mildly because it's obvious thru the comments that most of you lean more "e" than "c" you just like a good argument...which I can appreciate!!

Gareth's view does make me want to reiterate what you have been trying to say Tia, those of us who believe that God's spirit calls and allows women to speak and teach to the entire church, don't believe it's for the purpose of taking over or getting rid of men. It's about the beauty of the fullness of an entire body or church moving as one and using the gifts to grow each other and our community towards a better understanding of God's heart and how it effects us here and now. I think whatever was going on in that church in Corinth was serious and Paul was saying things that were neccessary for that body of believers to come to wholeness and health. I pray that there aren't too many churches as screwed up as that one was!!

The Secret Place Maryville said...

Tia Lynn,

I've been a lurker for a while now. Great site.

Pretty good strategy of the enemy when he can get 2/3's of the church to sit down and shut up.

Having personally experienced the bondage of the shepherding movement in the early 80's, my heart grieves for people like Gareth who are trapped in the snare of believing that, by living by the letter of the law, they are free.

Only God's intervention will set people bound like Gareth free...don't waste your breath trying to reason with them...they cannot hear and they cannot see.

I don't say this to be cruel. I was the same way. No human being alive could convince me that the external rules we had in the shepherding movement were wrong...women being silent, women no cutting their hair, no makeup, not wearing pants, dietary rules, stern discipline with our children, etc. External rules do not change the heart.

Anyway, I could write a book on "once I was bound but now I'm free".

musicmommy3 said...

I cannot help but laugh.

It's just ironic to me that everything seems different when another viewpoint is brought it. :)

Last post this is what it seemed like:
Cat, Tonya, Terry,

Me, Michelle

Donnav, Carlos, Tia

Now it looks like:
Cat, Terry, Me, Michelle, Donnav, Carlos, Tia

Gareth (I really like that name BTW)

It's just interesting how we each put the others into a box and then someone with a very strict (for lack of a better phrase) viewpoint will voice it and we all seem to be more on the same page. :) I mean, c'mon. Donnav and Carlos did you ever think you would feel ilke you were on the same page as Terry and Catrina?

Gareth, if someone came on as an egalitarian who actually threw out verses because they "didn't like them" or actually thought the Bible "wasn't relevant to today or the inspired Word of God" you'd better believe that we'd all be arguing with you on that one.

There is just SO MUCH diversity in the body of Christ. I used to think that whatever God had shown ME was correct; because, after all, He showed it to me right? Then I encountered godly people like Tia. I assumed they were just mistaken but she is just as passionate about Jesus and the lost as I am and,after much prayer and study, has come to a completely different view of Scripture in certain areas. We both believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is totally relevant for today. Who is "right" on this issue? Me, or her? How do we judge that? Does it really matter? If she were teaching another way to heaven or preaching that Jesus' blood was irrelevent then YOU BETTER STINKIN BELIEVE I would go for the jugguler!!! That, would be heresy.

And we are straight shooting. We're straight shooting about how we view things. Carlos just views things a bit differently than I do but we're both shooting straight.

I, for one, am SOOOO glad that the Es are explaining where they are coming from in Scripture; because awhile back, I thought all Es must just be throwing out the Scriptures they didn't like. I now believe that this is not the case for everyone. I respect the Es commenting here. I respect the C's whose positions I differ with who are commenting here. I think this is a very healthy discussion thus far.
Gareth, I'm glad that you joined in. Please answer my previous question about how you practically show love to your wife as Christ loved the church. :)

Please also answer some of the other completely Scriptural concerns brought up by anonymous.

Angela :)

Unknown said...

If anyone is interested, this thread along with my reading in Luke inspired me to write a blog post titled THINK:

Anonymous said...

Catrina, it does not matter what greek and hebrew words our bibles are derived from. To say the greek and hebrew words could mean something else than what is written in our bibles today is to admit error! I believe God preserved His Word in all its glory and perfection.

Am I loving you as commanded by Christ? Yes. The love of God is not an all-accepting, blind love that allows people do as they please. Real love rejoices in the truth. Real love is not afraid to proclaim the truth. Real love is not afraid to bring a swift rebuke to brothers and sisters heading down a dangerous path. So yes Catrina, I am loving you and anyone else reading this blog by warning them that changing the bible is not to be tolerated. Would it be love to make nice conversation and leave it at “whatever works for you.” A resounding NO!

Angela, I love your name also. It is the name of one of my precious daughters.

To answer your question, the men love their wives as Christ loves the church by being spiritual leaders, guiding our families in God’s direction. We take on the responsibility of providing financially, so our wives can freely dedicate themselves to the hearth, home, and childrearing without added burden or distraction. We equip them with God’s Word. We encourage them to have find community with their fellow sisters in Christ.

I think some of you are misunderstanding my words. I am not proclaiming that “I have arrived” as in “I perfectly practice every nuance of God’s Word.” I am acknowledging the truth of God’s Word and striving to live by it. I would never be so arrogant to claim perfection. The difference is that churches like mine, imperfect though we may be, acknowledge and chase after God’s clearly defined commands and standards. Just because we do not always live up to them, does not mean we can try to change them. Blogs like this one, seek to change the meaning of God’s Word. This has nothing to do with who is perfect. No one is perfect. But there is an ETERNAL gap between imperfect people who hold fast to the truth of the bible and imperfect people who seek to exchange God’s truth for the lies of this world.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog.
I've found a militant atheist if you want to try and help him; he's at:


GBWY, James

musicmommy3 said...

"Catrina, it does not matter what greek and hebrew words our bibles are derived from. To say the greek and hebrew words could mean something else than what is written in our bibles today is to admit error!"

But Gareth,
It really does matter.

Even the translations used today differ in wording sometimes. Finding out which translation is more accurate is a GOOD idea.

That said, I do believe that even those using a "weaker" translation can hear from God.

I agree SO MUCH with what you are saying about not changing the Bible, not watering it down. Tia does too. So does Catrina. (You should read her comments in the last few posts.) We are all just discussing and explaining our views about how we see things.

It's GOOD that you walk out what you feel the Bible is saying. At least you aren't a hypocrite. You seem to be practicing what you believe to be true. You also seem sincere to me. I admire those things.
At the same time though I don't think it hurts to be honest and say that some of us (me included) are confused about certain passages that don't seem to line up with others. We are all seeking truth. We are all following after God. NO ONE here is denying that Jesus Christ was/is God and that it's ONLY through Him that we can be forgiven and set free. What we are discussing is how the church is to function until we are all taken home.

We are seeing if what we have been taught is accurate Scripturally. I think that studying is good. I think that looking at others' perspective (with MUCH prayer) is good. I'm babbling here so I'll close with this Scripture that came to mind:

Acts 17:11- NIV
"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

We are examining the Scriptures to see if what we have been taught is true. I think that is honest and I think that is good. :)

Blessings all!

Angela :)

Unknown said...

secret place maryville,

I too spent years in a rigid fundamentalist belief system (KJV only). Originally, the term "fundamentalism" (early 20th cent.) did not have the pejorative overtones it carries today, it was simply a reaffirmation of the articles of faith embodied in the Nicene & Athanasian creeds of the early church fathers.

Gradually, and over time, the list of "fundamentals" began to grow and expand into something resembling a sort of new Levitical order, all under the rubric of "inerrancy" and a "plain reading" of God's word with no regard to historicity or legitimate textual criticism.

I am sooooo glad to be unshackled from all of that!!!

And BTW Gareth, you can search the OT from now until the next mini ice age arrives, and you'll find no law anywhere that silences women in assembly. So what law is St. Paul referring to then? The only logical candidate(s) are the Talmudic Mishnas which are commentaries only and not scripture, Paul is actually striking off the Judaic chains which had shackled women up until then.

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