CBMW, John Piper, Women Drill Sergeants, and Biblical Roles

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This week we’ve discussed a bit about  biblical “roles” as seen by complementarians and egalitarians and trying to make sense of it all.    A big problem I seen in pushing any agenda is pushing it so far that it really sounds like a bunch of nonsense.  And so since these very prominent church leaders keep pushing these things in social media (Twitter, their blogs, websites), they are great fodder for discussion.

The folks at Desiring God have posted a short 5-minute audio of John Piper answering a question from a pastor.

Have a listen here.

A pastor asks Pastor John Piper:

“Would a pastor who uses a biblical commentary written by a woman be placing himself under the biblical instruction of a woman?  If so, would this not go against Paul’s instruction in 1 Tim 2:12?”

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man;
rather, she is to remain quiet.
1 Tim 2:12 

Piper gives some commentary on this and basically says it would not go against scripture because she would not be in direct authority.

Piper then asks a couple of questions:

“How does manhood and womanhood work?  What is the dynamic between how men flourish and woman flourish as God designed them to flourish when an active authority is being exerted on a man from a woman?”

Piper discusses the idea of a woman drill sergeant in authority over a man and shares his thoughts on what he believes to be proper biblical “role” guidelines:

“I don’t think a woman ought to be doing that to a man.  Because it’s direct, it’s forceful, it’s authoritative, it’s compromising something about the way a man and a woman were designed by God to relate.”


photo credit: Defence Images via photopin cc

He goes on to discuss how it is inappropriate for a woman to be a drill sergeant in the military because that position is direct, forceful, it’s authoritative and would cause problems for the man.  Now, I’m trying to figure out what those problems would be?  What kinds of problems?  How does it affect his manhood to have a woman in authority over him?  What happens exactly?  I have quite a few men reading here.  Please tell me – – what happens to you when there is a woman in authority over you?  Is there some sort of internal response?  If so, is it physical or emotional?  Can you help this woman understand?

It makes me wonder if there is any difference if the guy has a male drill sergeant?  Wouldn’t the guy would still be in a subservient position?   The way I look at it is that it’s not the “woman” who is putting the man in the subservient position, but the title of the position, right?

There are strict rules in the military about fraternization, but let’s say in the corporate world “Joe” is over “Tom” in authority.  Joe is Tom’s boss.   Let’s say they happen to go to the same church.  Joe most likely would not carry over that position of authority at church or any other function outside the work environment.  Or another example might be if Joe and Tom played on the same baseball team after work hours.  Tom very well might be Joe’s team captain and be put in an authority position over his boss at work.  You see what I’m talking about?  The authority position comes with the job/title/position.  I am having trouble seeing how gender plays into this.  How does it make Tom less of a man whether someone in authority over him at work is a woman or a man?   I know that I have people reading who are on both sides of the complementarian fence here, so please, don’t feel afraid to speak up.  Use a fake name for all I care – I won’t tell.  I am really wanting to know because these things really sit with me in my brain and keep me wondering – – – especially when they  become a primary issue for so many in the church.

Continuing with the topic, Piper said it would be okay for a woman to be a city planner because that position would not be in direct authority over a man – it is a general authority position, not a face-to-face position.  So . . . . what if a woman was a doctor and a man was a nurse?  See, that wouldn’t work for Piper.  The female doctor would certainly be directly over the male nurse and it could be “forceful” at times, “Paul, get me the scalpel!”  So, maybe Piper needs to make a list of professions that women may not have, so men won’t be put in that kind of position.  He can add this list to his website:  “Professions Not Acceptable for Women.”  That would solve all of the women in authoritarian doctor positions, wouldn’t it?   And then it frees up men to be either doctor or nurse.  Oh, wait . . . aren’t their head nurses?  I guess men can’t be nurses if women are also nurses.  I’m so confused.    It’s going to take a while for Piper to go through all the professions and sort through these issues.

I have a question, though, as I am trying to reason through all of this.  If this was such a big deal to God – – you know, the idea of men and women flourishing under these appropriate biblical gender role jobs and all – – what’s the scoop with Deborah in the Bible?   I’ve heard a phrase many times as a Christian that the Bible does not contradict itself.  This seems to be contradictory to me.

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Judges 4:4-5:  Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.  

She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim,

and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.

*     *     *

Whoa, Nellie!!!  Deborah was a judge  – – a JUDGE!!! – – – she made decisions, settled disputes, most certainly disputes of men (as in male men, not the general “men” which includes females – – – these things are so confusing).  Why would God put a woman in that kind of position?  She was also a prophetess and a wife.  That woman had a lot of titles.

Through Deborah, God spoke military orders.  How can Piper deal with that one?  Military orders?  So not only was she a civil leader (judge), but a military leader.  And I have a hunch that those who served might have been men (as in men with male anatomy – just trying to be clear).


She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?”  Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.”  And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.  And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.  Judges 4:6-10

I do have some good news for women, however.  The good folks at Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), of which John Piper co-founded, released an article recently:   Women in Worship Ten Joyful Acts.

They have found 20 things we can do during church’s worship.  These activities were apparently given the CBMW stamp of approval in order to be listed on that site.  Be sure to check it out in more detail, but I’ll list the ten here:

  1. Sing
  2. Play
  3. Read
  4. Pray
  5. Testify
  6. Model
  7. Support
  8. Communicate
  9. Facilitate
  10. Evaluate

I’m sure all Christian women breathed a collective sigh of relief having read that list.  Whew!

60 comments on “CBMW, John Piper, Women Drill Sergeants, and Biblical Roles

  1. Julie Anne,

    For some reason the name John Piper rings a bell.

    I don’t want to get all my John Piper’s mixed up, what Doctrine does the John Piper you are talking about embrace?


  2. Mark,

    You are getting too predictable with that question. Lol. Put Piper in the category of CJ Mahaney, Al Mohler, Mark Dever – all Neo-Calvinists.


  3. Julie Anne,

    I know there are several titles that Calvinist have but Neo-Calvinist is one that actually discovered in this site.

    My wife says I’m pretty easy to read, I guess I’d make a lousy poker player.


  4. Hmmm – I’m not familiar with all the names on CBMW board. Now after Mark’s question, I’m wondering if all the key people there are Neo-Calvinists. Owen Strachan is. I’m going to have to do some digging when I get back to my laptop. I’m on a 4-hr road trip right now. If anyone feels up to checking, please let us know what you find.


  5. John Piper, ha!

    I think John is roleing up something beside tobacco and smoking a piperfull which would explain a lot because he’s awfully proud of standing up to do #1 writing a fat book about stuff that really doesn’t matter when history has been written.


  6. As someone who worked in the food service industry well into adulthood, I’d love to ask some of these hard core comp types: Is it “unbiblical” for an adult male to make his living as a waiter? I mean, that type of work, by definition, requires one to take orders–literally–from guests, irrespective of their gender (or age, socioeconomic status, or any other criterion, for that matter).


  7. It’s confusing to me, Mark, I seem to put “new” “neo” and “hyper” Calvinists in the same category. Paul Dohse told me they are all basically the same. I’m one who notices patterns of behavior, others are better at defining doctrine. That might be your cup of tea and if that is so, I’m glad to have your participation because you have a gift I don’t have.


  8. I’d generally tend to think higher of Piper than those other guys listed, JA. But he’s weak and somewhat ridiculous sounding when it comes to gender. His work on Christian hedonism is so much better and has helped a lot of Christians find more freedom I think.


  9. Julie Anne,

    The one thing that is predictable is the concerns that you bring to our attention are generally people that embrace Neo-Doctrines.


    Clergy and Non-Clergy are generally suppose to Guide, Help and Lead by example in helping Christians and future Christians discover more freedom.


  10. Julie Anne,

    Yeah, I attended a Calvary Church several years ago that wasn’t Calvinist. I am made to understand there are Calvary Churches that have Pastors that do embrace Calvinism.

    I recognize not every case of Spiritual Abuse or Reckless Interpretation of Scripture is isolated to just Calvinism.


  11. Just for interest, I attended a meeting on campus with two guest speakers from Boston who co-authored a book called: ‘The Truth About Girls and Boys’.

    Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett really stripped away the stereotypes and got to the research data. They basically listed one myth after the other about boys and girls. They clarified what was bogus. Some of their stories underscored what was really ridiculous. We had lots of laughs.

    Take this information and place it alongside some of these complementarian ‘teachings’ and see what you come up with. 🙂

    You can read quite a bit from their book on Amazon.



  12. Concerning Deborah, it’s interesting that when she tells Barak to attack Jabin’s army, he insists that she go with them. Some commentaries say that this was common because the presence of women caused armies to fight harder; the fact that Deborah judged Israel would probably motivate them further. But Deborah said that if she went, Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, would be killed by a woman, which is what happened.

    Oddly, in Hebrews 11, the “faith chapter,” Barak and some of the judges are praised, but not Deborah.

    I have to say that, in the case of a woman drill instructor, I would agree with Piper. I have no direct experience to go by, but it seems to me that this is a special case where male soldiers should be instructed by a man. First of all, these are life and death matters, and its a situation where macho behavior is necessary for the men to bind with each other, including with the instructor. Words that would not go over too well in polite society are, as I understand, shouted during drills, and some of these words demean women. Yes, it’s a shame, and in a more perfect world, etc., but if these techniques succeed in creating a powerful fighting group, then use them, at least until something better comes along. The niceties have to be suspended.

    It’s hard for me to imagine a woman shouting these things, even the non-sexist ones, without causing laughter every time. Double standard? Absolutely. A woman shoving her face right in front of a man’s, assuming she’s at least the same height (a problem that you wouldn’t have, Julie Anne), and screaming insults? I would think that is difficult enough with a man doing it, but a woman would add different dimensions, including, possibly, sexual, but that I won’t go into.

    Okay, that’s enough. I hope someone with actual military experience will chime in.


  13. Paige Patterson is a complementarian as they come, and he’s also as non-Calvinist as they come (at least among Southern Baptists), While complementarianism / patriarchy is big amongst neo-Cals, I’d venture to say that there are far more (in number) complementarian non-Calvinists than complementarian Calvinists (simply because there are far more non-Calvinist evangelicals than Calvinist ones).


  14. Jeff, my cousin Laura graduated from West Point and served a tour in Iraq. She commanded an all male team of military police. All of the sexism came from the men. She spent her entire career having to be better than every single soldier at her rank or lower. It helped that she was 5’11” and the rugby team captain at WP. But she also met her husband in the army. He was attracted to her confidence and power and bravery. The thing is, all of the challenges you mentioned seemed to only apply in training. When it came to a true life or death situation in Iraq, gender did not matter. The source of the commands did not matter. All that mattered was the safety of the platoon. Laura was a darn good commander in those situations. And now she is a darn good mom to her children. Oh, and Laura’s dad was a high ranking member of the army as well so she also had to prove herself to be a better leader than him in order to gain the respect of her men. Laura won.


  15. I was delighted to hear that this whole denomination was re-thinking how they approached women in ministry and in church leadership and were reaffirming their strongly held position that the younger generation need to be brought up to speed with pertinent information. There is reference made to Deborah. This was a chapel service March, 2013. See what you think.

    Women in Ministry Part 1 and Part 2 http://vimeo.com/62179573 http://vimeo.com/61745174


  16. Jeff,

    I can appreciate the idea of not wanting our nations women in harms way. (or our men for that matter)

    The nation of Israel’s women serve in combat readiness, with officers. If women are going to serve and reach the level of command, where they have earned more authority than a male, it has to be that way.

    Israel is the model of a nation that would be shorthanded if women weren’t able to serve in the capacity as their male counterparts.
    Women need to be able to defend themselves in saying that we can’t have a male private ignoring the orders of a more superior ranked female in the military. (in any situation)

    As for Duties that require specialized brute strength or snipers etc. I would hope to leave that discretion up to the chain of command to prevent male or female not qualified to carry out a particular mission, rather than armchair civilians like myself.

    As for respecting the chain command, you can’t have a male soldier with more battle experience giving orders to male officers with minimal of no experience in the battlefield. So why should we make exceptions with women officers of equal credentials?


  17. Here is the thing that always comes to my mind. I taught daycare for many years when I was very young. I had to take many discipline classes because my immaturity and lack of experience in general created many power struggles in the classrooms. What I eventually had to come to terms with is that in the case of power struggles, the fault always lies with the person in authority. So for these men who are constantly struggling with gender roles and authority, I would caution that they look within themselves to see why they feel a need to make such a huge issue out of it. Why are they so obsessed with power and who holds it? Why is this issue taking center stage instead of salvation?


  18. I was dealing with only one scenario: A female drill instructor. Would even a superior woman like Laura succeed as a DI? Does anyone know of a female DI instructing men? I have no doubt that women can command men in battle. But, as i understand it, there’s a lot of psychological manipulation involved in being a DI, and, therefore, to minimize problems, a man should have that job.


  19. Not to be onery but to clarify. Basically you are saying that women can’t be DI’s because men can’t deal with it? The problems that you are trying to minimize is men’s attitudes. Men are the ones with the problems, so women have to acquiesce to coddle their egos?


  20. Jeff,

    G.I.’s in training camps make the adjustment from civilian life to military life. If they can’t adjust in basic training what makes you thing they can do it in the battlefield?

    If you don’t grill trainee’s how to focus or deal with the opposite sex in basic training they will be unprepared in dealing with it, in military missions.

    Is it possible for chemistry to occur between male and female in basic training? That is a no brain-er. I have to believe male and female drill instructors are trained to be aware and deal with chemistry.

    Also I feel sorry for any male or female trainee if they attempt to mock their drill instructor of the opposite sex. They would learn the hard way real quick about the importance of life and death and the well being of your platoon.


  21. Barb, I’m not finished watching the video, but I am not surprised they are going this route. Last week I talked with an Assemblies of God Pastor who is a friend. He’s one of the few pastors I have immense respect for, but I didn’t know he and his wife are egalitarian till now. They were so encouraging of my journey in this area.


  22. Hi Katie, Let me know what you think about the AGTS presentation re Women. I did notice that Part 2 was identical to Part 1. This is a bit confusing and wonder if there really is a Part 2 or not. Anyway, it was worth listening to all the comments a second time. I am delighted that they did this. They make valid points and it resonates with me. 🙂 It is a good resource to share with others!

    You are welcome to email me through my website email if you like: info@churchexiters.com


  23. Sorry, I’ve been away – – I’m at my old stomping grounds and catching up with my friends.

    Mark said:

    Yeah, I attended a Calvary Church several years ago that wasn’t Calvinist. I am made to understand there are Calvary Churches that have Pastors that do embrace Calvinism.

    Oh, that’s interesting. I’ve learned from the Calvary Chapel Abuse site that Chuck Smith does not look keenly on Calvinism and I’m pretty sure I read reports that he has removed Calvinist pastors. Maybe some are slipping through the cracks.


  24. Jeff said:

    A woman shoving her face right in front of a man’s, assuming she’s at least the same height (a problem that you wouldn’t have, Julie Anne), and screaming insults?

    That’s funny! But I tell you something, Jeff – – I don’t have to open my mouth and some guys are afraid of me.


  25. Another Tom said:

    While complementarianism / patriarchy is big amongst neo-Cals, I’d venture to say that there are far more (in number) complementarian non-Calvinists than complementarian Calvinists (simply because there are far more non-Calvinist evangelicals than Calvinist ones).

    That’s interesting. For some reason I seem to find far more Calvinist stuff out there in social media than non-Calvinist. I wonder why?


  26. A 2004 paper by N.T. Wright addressing the complementarian/egalitarian debate can be found here:


    As seems to be the norm with Dr. Wright, the paper is a tough but rewarding read. While recognizing that there are in fact differences between women and men, he pretty much puts the extreme complementarian arguments to flight. I especially identify with his arguments to the effect that the relevant texts have been misunderstood, misread and even mistranslated.


  27. Shakes – From my understanding, coddling egos is the last thing a DI of either sex is concerned about. The point is to break egos – then rebuild them as a fighting unit. A delicate enough operation with a male DI. It just seems that the problems would be needlessly compounded with a female one. But if there are female DIs. and it’s working, fine.

    Mark – I would assume that on the battlefield the men would have reached a level of maturity to automatically obey orders, no matter who is delivering them. There wouldn’t be too much time to analyze how one feels about a woman giving them. Of course, there would have been exercises to prepare them for this. Once again, I would guess that the situation with a DI, being so psychological, would set it apart from other situations.


  28. Julie Anne,

    The difference of Non-Calvinist practicing an aggressive interpretation of scriptures is they aren’t Force Feeding TULIP down the throats of Non-Calvinist and then retaliating against those in the Congregation who struggle to embrace TULIP.

    When you combine an abusive interpretaion of Complimentarism, Patriarchy and Matriarchy with TULIP, many Congregations can’t breath.

    I have suggested before, that many of the Pastors’ you have isolated as being bully’s to women is only a minor part of the problem. Some of these women are being treated far worse by the women who support their Pastor husbands or who befriend the Pastor’s wife and their Methodology.

    We are far more dependent on our wives to provide mental support. Patriarchs are far more dependent on Matriarchs than some care to admit. Matriarch’s are supporting their Patriarch Pastor Husband’s who embrace an abusive interpretation of scripture on their Congregation.

    Now when a Patriarch Pastor Husband is bullying or abusing their Matriarch wife, this complicates matters for the husband and his congregation.

    (I knew a Stealth 4 Point Pastor who was a bully behind the pulpit who experienced divorce, I did ask myself and others “if he is this aggressive with his Congregation how did he treat his wife, before she left him?”)
    Sadly, I was less sympathetic to the husband, because the impression I was getting from his circle, was the wife was the one that went wayward, which I felt was giving the Strealth 4 Point Pastor Husband “a free pass” for his aggressive behavior.


  29. Jeff,

    I don’t agree with you. Soldiers need to reach that level of maturity before they get to the battlefield.

    If I was in basic training, and I whistled or mocked at a female Drill Instructor I would think that drill Instructor would make sure my life, was hell.

    If she didn’t, then she shouldn’t be a drill instructor.


  30. OK, something just snapped inside of me after reading this and the blogs TWW & R.H.Evans. My name is Gail, I am no longer going to hide behind the name Scared. Sorry for any confusion, I am not scared anymore. Kudos’s to J.A. and the folks who comment here. What a refreshing bunch y’all have been.

    The thing about the Piper’s and CBMW that really gets my goat is the IMPACT they are having on unbelievers. It ain’t the 1950s anymore, and the damage that they do to the gospel with this type of doctrine or nonsense is alienating many. I hang out with unbelievers, atheists, educated men & successful women, also poor folks who don’t have lakefront property, during the summer, and let me tell you what you all ready know, they reject the message of Jesus because of these guys, theses leaders & pastors get a lot of press, and they think this is Christianity.

    Wouldn’t it be a miracle if they would consider that the IMPACT they are having stinks, that there is nothing inviting at all by spewing this crap? Let them stay in their christian ghetto, they are so out numbered.


  31. Gail – – – I like typing Gail much better than typing “scared.” I love the new you!

    I completely agree with you. To me it’s a fraud. No wonder people think Christians are whacked. This is not the kind of Christianity I want to align myself with – – patriarchal, embedded babies in wombs, etc. yuck!


  32. On the female drill instructor – my husband’s comment was, if you enlisted in the army then you’re already comitting to put your self under anyone they tell you too. male or female. You don’t want to “risk” doing that? Dont sign up.

    Also – my opinion on the authority in the church question is that it seems this directive is for Church instruction only. Not over reaching for all of male/female interaction. And one more note, my understanding of the passage was that Paul was speaking to a very specific issue in that congregation. The women of the time, and area were in charge of alot of things. and felt they could stand up in the middle of a teaching and “correct” loudly and publicly the person at the pulpit! That’s considered to be rude in any situation. But they felt they had the right. So Paul had to address those women and tell them to sit down and be quiet. Basically discuss the matter quietly and privately at a later time.


  33. In the military, it is about rank, not gender. If you are enlisted, you are always on the lookout, regardless of what branch of service you are, for officers to give them proper respect with a salut. You are constantly looking on the shoulder and cover (hat) to make sure you do not miss saluting an officer. Rank really is a big deal in the military.


  34. Jeff Brown
    APRIL 5, 2013 @ 8:26 PM

    Yes. I have a friend of six or seven years who was a Marine DI. Tough as nails while in the service, and very effective, with a great voice for it. After finishing her service, she obtained a graduate degree in social work and is extremely effective in working with families in trouble or where there has been abuse. She is attractively feminine, bilingual, and has a beautiful singing voice and a very nice style when she sings. And in a church sanctuary that seats 500, needs no microphone. Also a dedicated Christian, originally raise AoG, but basically a moderate Baptist/evangelical. Huge managerial skills. Good exegete of scripture.


  35. Jeff, Laura was a drill instructor prior to going to Iraq. Her gender and her daddy’s rank had no impact on that. She had 10 months to prepare an entire platoon of men to go to Iraq and come back alive. I’m guessing you don’t really understand a whole lot about the military. If one of her men had dared to disobey a direct command for any reason, including her gender, he would be disciplined immediately. And that discipline could involve the entire platoon to ensure compliance. There is no way around it. During “off time”, she did have to endure her fair share of crude jokes and language. It wasn’t fun but since she never reacted the jokes stopped. Once the platoon got to Iraq, every single man was grateful for the care packages I sent every month. And they weren’t above begging for more chocolate from Laura. To paraphrase Margaret Houlihan from a MASH episode, they don’t award pink medals to girls and blue to boys. John Piper needs to spend a few months on a military base that sends troops to combat. His life would be turned upside down.


  36. Mandy,

    As I suggested to Jeff, Soldiers need to reach a certain level of maturity before they reach the battlefied.

    If I whistled or mocked a female Drill Instructor, I would like to think that Drill instructor would make sure my life, was hell to instill the level of maturity needed in the battlefield.

    If any gender failed to accomplish that, then he/she shouldn’t be a Drill Instructor.


  37. Mandy,
    My daughter, Jo, was a Marine that served a tour of duty in Iraq. She is pretty kickass and the little Pipette should be glad to have not crossed her.

    In fact all this women bashing makes me wonder if these men aren’t, ahem, compensating for natural shortcomings and thankful I will never know for sure.


  38. Opinemine, your daughter has my utmost respect. I think you’ll agree with me that any woman in the military has more courage in her pinky toe than John Piper does in his entire body.

    When I was a freshman in college, the most feared person in the Corps of Cadets was a tiny 4’11” senior lady. Men two feet taller than hear were scared to make her mad. Leadership does not reside in a chromosome or in private parts but rather in ability, courage, and humility.

    Another instance, I was in severe pain before a class (think 7 on a scale of 10 due to widespread arthritis) and a young male freshman cadet came up and whined to me about marching 5 miles. He tried to tell me that I did not know what true pain was since I was “just a girl”. The insults continued for 5 minutes before fellow classmates convinced him to walk away. Later I went to some senior cadets and told them what happened. The fish was forced to scrub the cadet dining hall with a toothbrush for a week until he was able to apologize. He was warned that another instance of rude behavior to a woman would result in his dismissal from the Corps of Cadets. I guess what I’m trying to say is that basic human values are genderless.


  39. OMG… some days, I just can’t believe the church hasn’t grown up enough to accept reality. That is: the inequality issue came at the fall. Supporting that is childish and a symptom of selective blindness,and rebellion against the New Covenant.
    We say we believe in resurrection life, we say we believe that Christ’s work on the cross changed things…but in this area… many of us shrug our shoulders and say “That’s just the way it is”
    Inequality, came at the fall- Christ has made a way to heal that. Why has much of the Church said “No thanks” ? My guess is, because there are some sins we enjoy too much to let go- especially if it serves us somehow.
    We need to grow up.


  40. I’ve been thinking about the following for months. Please bear with me. As human beings, we crave rules and formulas and boundaries. Its so much easier when we know exactly what we are supposed to do at all times, especially when it comes to relationships. But with Jesus, we have the opposite. We have freedom to obey Him as He guides us. We have basic commands – Love Him, love your neighbors, give abundantly, take care of the orphans and the widows. Then Jesus tells us to treat everyone as equals and to become servants. He created a level playing field for the first time. But in His abundance, He did not give us the formulas for raising the perfect children or having the perfect marriage or choosing the perfect mate. Instead He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us in those decisions. The freedom to obey Him as individuals – that is scary. It takes a lot of faith and confidence and humility. That is why so many are drawn to Piper and Mahaney and Driscoll and Gothard and Wilson – these men give us man made formulas and man made rules that are supposed to guarantee us success in God’s eyes. In all reality, the only thing their rules do is make us look good in their eyes. We are not supposed to seek the approval of fellow men and women. But that takes trust in a Heavenly Father who loves us so much that earthly opinions don’t matter. We have a wonderful Savior who took our sins to the grave and conquered death and was resurrected. Nothing matters without the resurrection. “Focusing on the cross” gets us nowhere; after all, two other men were crucified at the same time. Every time I think about the empty tomb, I am amazed at a Father who loves us so much that He allowed His Son to die and conquer death for us. What a gift.

    Maybe instead of focusing on gender roles, we can focus on the role of servant.


  41. Hey Mary, I sure liked what you said. You encapsulated a terrific thought and hit a huge nail on the head!:

    “OMG… some days, I just can’t believe the church hasn’t grown up enough to accept reality. That is: the inequality issue came at the fall. Supporting that is childish and a symptom of selective blindness, and rebellion against the New Covenant.
    We say we believe in resurrection life, we say we believe that Christ’s work on the cross changed things…but in this area… many of us shrug our shoulders and say “That’s just the way it is.” Inequality, came at the fall–Christ has made a way to heal that. Why has much of the Church said “No thanks?”

    You Go Girl! You have zeroed in on a main issue. I may quote you with that one! Mandy followed up with some pertinent thoughts. Keep preachin’ it ladies!


  42. A few days ago pastor Wesley Roy was defending Paul’s acceptance and enablement of slavery on the grounds that there were certain differences between Roman slavery and American slavery. Pastor Wesley eventually backtracked, and I sort of blew it off. Now, however, I see that our friend, Fred Butler, at his conservative hipandthigh blog, seems to be taking the position that God Himself is O.K. with slavery. Specifically Butler states: “However, while God does condemn slave trading and kidnapping for the purposes of enslaving people, He did not forbid slavery, merely regulated it, and instituted indentured servitude t

    hat does practice principles of master ownership of another person. Additionally, the fact that Paul mentions slavery in the context of the Roman slavery during his days of ministry, exhorting masters to treat their slaves honorably with respect and dignity, and slaves to serve their masters with a whole-hearted devotion, (See Ephesians 6:5ff.) shows that Christianity can and does thrive in such conditions; albeit conditions we in liberty-loving modern America find odious and have virtually never experienced.”

    What? Conditions of slavery have virtually never been experienced in America? The quote can be found here:


    What can this mean? Certain forms of slavery are O.K. in God’s eyes, even if we happen to find it abhorrent? If even slavery can be defended, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that the defense and advocacy of male domination of women has found such a stronghold in wide swaths of American conservative Protestantism.


  43. Mandy
    April 6, 2013 @ 6:27 PM
    “I’ve been thinking about the following for months. Please bear with me.”

    Nothing to bear with in what you have been thinking… Spot on & dang lovely. As you wrote: It is a gift. Makes me sad that I wasted so many years in bondage to the bricks or law that I served Him under.


  44. Gary said:

    What can this mean? Certain forms of slavery are O.K. in God’s eyes, even if we happen to find it abhorrent? If even slavery can be defended, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that the defense and advocacy of male domination of women has found such a stronghold in wide swaths of American conservative Protestantism.

    Gary, this same paragraph struck me, too:

    Additionally, the fact that Paul mentions slavery in the context of the Roman slavery during his days of ministry, exhorting masters to treat their slaves honorably with respect and dignity, and slaves to serve their masters with a whole-hearted devotion, (See Ephesians 6:5ff.) shows that Christianity can and does thrive in such conditions; albeit conditions we in liberty-loving modern America find odious and have virtually never experienced.

    These guys don’t seem to understand the way some in their ilk treat their wives. The sad thing is that some wives in these groups have been taught to never grumble or complain, but to simply pray that their husband’s hearts will change. They are supposed to suffer for righteousness sake – – after all – – look what Job had to endure. Meanwhile, the priests of the home seem to get a free pass.


  45. Here’s a thought I liked from a mom of four boys who affirms the benefits of an egalitarian marriage. Valerie states that the goal for her life is “to follow Christ with abandoned, unhindered love.” Valerie observes that:

    “Many people, who try to “prove” a biblical basis for a hierarchal relationship, tend to interpret the Bible incorrectly. My first response to their argument would be that they need to start reading the Bible looking for what God is saying in it, rather than for whatever argument they are looking to be made right in. When we read the Bible attempting to prove our own point while putting others down, we are taking God’s word and using it to verbally abuse another person. Would Christ allow this? Did He ever do this in His lifetime?”

    Valerie’s guest post can be found on Jenny Rae Armstrong’s blog:


  46. Just to clarify, on the AGTS site, there is only one session on Women in Leadership, that is, only Part 1. I was able to make contact with them and their website technician corrected the information. 🙂 As I said, I recommend that folks listen to this presentation. Much good food for thought.


  47. Pingback: Judges 4. Deborah and Barak defend Israel | Bummyla

  48. I’ve made a post looking at all of the various scriptures that have been used to suppress & oppress women (including the be silent one) & why they don’t say what men tells us they say (& I am a man who wrote this)


    I’ll leave you with my favorite excerpt:
    Husbands are to love their wives & 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “love does not demand its own way.” God didn’t put husbands into roles where men are allowed & encouraged to demand their own way. The bottom line with the case for “the man is the leader” is that he gets “final say,” thus he can demand his own way, refusing to cooperate with his wife. That is not loving thus the entire construct of the husband as leader is false.


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