Dr. Albert Mohler, Women and the Church

Is There Support for Husbands Whose Wives are in Seminary at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary?

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Are women even allowed in the seminary at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary?

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Special thanks to blogger, Tim Fall, whose tweet showed up in my Twitter news feed and prompted this post. Tim asks the person behind The Southern Baptist Theological School’s (SBTS) Twitter account about women in the seminary. @ItsJuzztMe got the first audible laugh from me this morning. Have a read:

Sothern Baptist Theological Seminary

tim***

So what about those wives who have considered seminary?

I wanted to see if I could send my daughter to SBTS as a seminary student and snooped around the site a bit.  I found this:

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sbts2

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Ok, the first sentence is a dead giveaway:  “Wondering if Southern has a place for you?”  hmmmmm

and then:

 “. . .  to address women’s needs and equip them for whatever calling God has place on their lives.”

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What if, as Tim Fall asked, a woman feels God is calling her to ministry? Will SBTS support her calling to ministry? Are there classes or any type of classes for men to support wives in seminary?  I first had to see if this was even an option at SBTS. From what I can see, SBTS offers quite a few programs for both men and women, but they sure do support wives of seminary students: Seminary Wives Institute. However, there’s no Seminary Husbands Institute that I could find. Keep in mind, when husbands are at seminary school, this is one time that the complementarian guys say it’s okay for their wives to work outside the home for a season.

Reading through some of this stuff reminded me of when I was a Navy officer’s wife and was given a lengthy handbook for proper etiquette as a Navy wife. Even at the time (1988), I noted that it said Navy wives, not spouses. In my husband’s graduating class at officer candidate school, there were women who graduated as officers, so this book was already out of date. Regardless, at our first training site (yes, it was training for me as an officer’s wife as well as training for my newly commissioned officer husband), I hung out with the captain’s wife and other new officer’s wives and she modeled to us how to be a proper officer’s wife. It was actually quite fun at CECOS in Port Hueneme, CA, spending time with the officer’s wives. But I was expected to schmooze with the higher ranking officers respectfully, I had to make sure I placed my calling card appropriately in the dish upon leaving an official event (do you even know what a calling card is and how it is used?). Yup, even though I wasn’t in the military, my husband was, and I was expected to follow Navy wives rules. Anyway . . . back to seminary wives . . .

Here is a sampling of what SBTS has to offer for women in their upcoming spring of 2015 Seminary Wives Institute course descriptions:

LEADERSHIP SKILLS I: Women and Evangelism

BAPTIST BELIEFS:  This class is taught by Drs. Albert Mohler, Dan DeWitt, Adam Greenway, Randy Stinson and Greg Wills

We predict you will use what you learn in this course for years to come. You will also gain a greater appreciation and understanding of what your husbands spend years studying.

MINISTRY OF HOSPITALITY:  This class is taught by Mrs. Mary Mohler

Some of the many topics include serving your own family, recipe and menu organization, event planning at home and at church, etiquette, hospitality in writing, evangelistic hospitality and overcoming challenges. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate hospitality and plan a creative event as part of this course. Practical assignments correspond to the weekly topics.

MORE BIBLICAL COUNSELING: TYPICAL PROBLEMS IN COUNSELING

PLAYING HYMNS taught by Bethany Strachan (Is this Owen Strachan’s wife?)

Description: Have you ever wanted to learn to play the piano OR have you wish that you had kept it up as a child? This course will teach how to read the notes for the right and left hand and will teach basic chord patterns so that you could play worship songs or hymns with the right hand melody and various chord patterns with the left hand. Access to a keyboard or piano is required as well as regular practice times for about 20-30 minutes five days a week.

The only thing I could find regarding women in leadership is this:

Ministry Leaders Internship for Women is designed to invest in female students who are called to minister to women in a church or educational setting. Ladies are challenged to invest strategically in the spiritual lives of other women while personally growing in leadership, discipline, and godliness. Please go here for more information.

I called SBTS to find out for sure and was told that women can take all classes at SBTS except for pastoral degree classes (JA bolded):

The Pastoral Studies concentration is primarily designed to prepare men who are called to serve in the office of pastor in local congregations. A balance of biblical, theological, and ministry courses makes this a broad program of pastoral training, allowing for exposure to a range of knowledge and skills needed for effective ministry in the local church.

So, Tim, unfortunately I don’t think there’s much for you at SBTS on how to support your wife if she feels God’s calling to go to seminary.  I’m so sorry.

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171 thoughts on “Is There Support for Husbands Whose Wives are in Seminary at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary?”

  1. Miriam, Moses’ sister, was a prophetess and led the Israelites in worship.

    Huldah was a prophetess who confirmed to King Josiah that the lost book found was the Torah.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Keith Blankenship said,

    JA and Tim: Why not suggest some other seminary for your respective female family members to attend?

    Why can people not be critical of a school’s refusal to accept certain types of students, or why can people not be critical of forbidding any entire group of people from taking certain courses at the school?

    And why would a Baptist or Protestant have to also point out it’s wrong for Catholics forbidding women to teach and lead, when criticizing Protestants for doing the same those things?

    Like

  3. Lydia said,

    We would have to read it as single men are unqualified, too.

    And many Baptists and evangelicals do this.

    I think Mark Driscoll and Al Mohler are both against single men being preachers.
    Please see,

    Single Pastors? by Mark Driscoll – chock full of erroneous teachings about adult singleness, adult celibacy, the role of singles in the church,

    Unmarried Pastor, Seeking a Job, Sees Bias – has quotes by Al Mohler in it, explaining why it’s okay to be prejudiced against adult singles

    Evangelicals and other types of conservative Christians are horribly biased against single adults.
    Women singles (who are celibates) get hit with the double whammy of not being mothers, because supposedly, our greatest calling in life, or only godly role is to be a Wife N Mommy.

    Male single celibates don’t normally get as near as much grief as often as women celibate do for not cranking out children. People don’t usually ask men, “How come you don’t have kids,” or “Why don’t you want kids.” It’s okay with society and most churches if men skip parenthood, but if you’re a woman and don’t have kids or don’t want one you are thought to be a monster.

    There are exceptions to that, though… there are Christians who do yell at men to marry and make babies because they feel that white Christian Americans need to “out breed” the heathens, Muslims, and liberals. I’m no fan of Islam, but – I think it’s heathen (and totally unbiblical) to suggest using natalism to win a nation for God.

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  4. Lydia said,
    “Jesus Christ turned that on it’s head to put it to rights but that part has been ignored.”

    Christians also tend to ignore that Jesus elevated the status of childless, single adults. Christians often ignore Matthew 10: 34-37 for example. It does not fit in with their “focus on the nuclear family” golden calf.

    Jesus did not “Focus on the Family” or preach “family values,” but today’s evangelicals act as though he did.

    Also often ignored (or when it’s addressed, it’s explained away, as though God didn’t REALLY mean it for all Christians) 1 Corin. 7, where Paul says it’s better to stay single, because “marriage brings many troubles,” etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lydia said,

    That is changing, thankfully. What I have been relating to you concerning Southern and the SBC is that a lot of people gave their money to be covertly duped. That is not nice. They trusted people who used their money to build power coalitions and slowly changed everything.

    I don’t mean to get too far off topic, but wasn’t there some story a few months ago of some SBC backed university (that limps along on donations??) allowing Muslims students to attend for free or something?

    About your other comments about women being the quiet servants in the church. More and more women have been leaving church. Barna wrote a book about it. I’ve not yet read the book but have read the companion blog to it,
    The Resignation of Eve (blog)
    “What if Adam’s rib is no longer interested in being the church’s backbone?”

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  6. Brenda, actually what I said was that there was no prohibition on women leading or teaching in the Old Testament. nowhere does God say that that is prohibited.

    you are basing truth on what you see modeled even though there are exceptions to your own rules. it is very dangerous to take what is modeled in the Old Testament as God’s intentions for his creation. preachers are guilty of doing this with David to excuse a lot of evil. in fact God never wanted his people to have a king.

    that is a very dangerous filter in which to read scripture.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. @ Brenda who said,

    “Lydia,
    There was no instruction that a man had to be married, only that he could have no more than one wife.”

    But a lot of Baptists/ evangelicals/ Reformed are interpreting that verse in such a way to keep singles out of the role (please see my post above with links to Lydia or someone else about that topic).

    SBC Al Mohler is terribly, terribly prejudiced against singles, and he and other preachers (such as Mark Drisocll) use cherry picked, distorted quotes from the Bible to argue that God never intended for un-married adults to serve as preachers or in other leading roles. Only married dudes need apply in their worldview.

    Mohler trashes adult singles on a regular basis on his blog, in appearances at conferences, on radio shows.

    It got so bad at one point, one Christian single woman wrote an editorial responding to his ignorance:
    Is Singleness a Sin? (link is to Christian site CrossWalk)

    (But remember, it’s okay for JESUS to be single, and maybe Paul, but for Americans in 21st cent USA? Nope, it’s A SIN to be single, you must marry NOW and pop out ten children pronto!! ~ according to Mohler and guys like him)

    On Mohler’s blog, he reports, in glee and with a smirk and smug satisfaction, scientific studies that say that single adults die sooner than married people, and he does this to shame singles into getting married, or just for being single.

    The studies he cites are in error, by the way.

    Researcher Bella DePaulo has papers on her personal site and her niche on Psychology Today which refute the usual crud that newspapers write or report about singles, such as, married people are happier, healthier than singles, etc. She shows all the flaws in those e studies.
    (Visit her page here, Living Single (her blog on Psychology Today site) )

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  8. Keith Blankenship said

    So there was some massive phallocentric conspiracy of oppression which reigned from the time of the apostles for 1800 years, across continents, languages and cultures?”

    No, it’s not a conspiracy. Sexism on the part of a lot of Christian men with a few Christian women enablers, is out there in the open, and Christians (especially the gender comps) twist the Bible to support their sexism.

    The early church fathers and theologians who came later had lots of quotes about women being pigs, dogs, not as valuable as men and so on. Very sexist stuff. There are lists complied on some sits of their vile quotes about women.

    These are just two pages with sexist quotes by Christians. You can find more by doing a web search.

    The Origins of Sexism in the Church

    20 Vile Quotes Against Women By Religious Leaders From St. Augustine to Pat Robertson

    A lot of men, even Christian ones are so tainted by sin, they desire to be in power and control, which is why they come up with arguments as to why some classes of people (such as all women, or single men) may not serve as preacher or in other capacities.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Daisy, have you ever wondered why it is so important to them that people be married and encourage them to marry young,?

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  10. Brenda, I have to disagree with some of your points to Tim in your post of DECEMBER 3, 2014 @ 4:26 PM.

    Procreating was specifically addressed to Adam and Eve of the Old Testament. It’s not a boundless command for every last person through the ages in all nations.

    By the time of Christ, the kingdom was to grow by believers sharing the Gospel with anyone and everyone, it was not to be increased via believers having children. Jesus was actually trying to get his followers away from that mindset.

    See Matthew Chapter 10 where Jesus knocks down the importance of baby making, marriage, and “the family.” Jesus did not support “the family” as Americans consider it, the nuclear family. He said the Family of God was to supercede the nuclear family.

    There are Muslims who get rejected by their family of origin for accepting Christ – they need another family to help them.

    Christians should adopt such people whose acceptance of Christ means ostracisim from their family of origin, but American Christians have so turned procreation, marriage, and natalism into idols, they are blind to the ramifications of their views.

    I’ve never married or had a kid, which is one reason of one billion I no longer want to be a Christian, because single celibate chicks like me are persona non grata in “Christian World”.

    I am told often by preachers, I see it on Christian blogs and sites, that my only role or calling as a woman is to marry and make babies. Then you have blockheads like Al Mohler denigrating adult, childless singles at every possibly opportunity. I know where I’m not wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lydia said,

    ” and I fear sometimes the Bible has replaced the Holy Spirit as our guide and counselor.”

    I was just making a similar point on another blog a few days ago!
    I am sola scriptura, and I do think some Charismatics carry some of their beliefs or practices way, way out there, but as one guy said, some Christians have turned the Trinity into the Father, the Son, and The Holy Bible.

    I do respect the Bible, and it’s important to form doctrine based on that, but, the way some Christians exclude the Holy Spirit, or that He can speak to or work the lives of believers today, kind of creeps me out. They have replaced the Holy Spirit with the Bible, which I am not comfortable with.

    About the only thing they would probably grant is that the Holy Spirit convicts sinners of their need for a Savior, but they don’t seem to leave much if any room at all for the Spirit to work in the life of an already-saved person.

    Some of the views on this site are similar to mine (especially this part: “Introduction: Who’s Afraid of the Holy Spirit? The Uneasy Conscience of a Non-Charismatic Evangelical”):
    Who’s Afraid of the Holy Spirit (hosted on Bible. org site)

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  12. Brenda said,

    “I do believe that women can share the gospel with anyone. When the church body meets together, however I believe that the pastor, and if there are elders, they are to be men. I don’t believe that women should be filling the pulpit on Sunday morning. Song leaders, greeters, teachers, women’s ministry all are things women can do. Women can be missionaries. There is nothing wrong with having informal devotions and discussions with men. “

    All those positions involve some degree of authority in a way, and involved leading or in teaching others.

    I do not see anything in the Bible or real life to suggest that men are more qualified to lead, preach, or teach than women are , or that there is anything inherently defective in women that would prohibit them – women are not more easily deceived than men are, nor are they dumber than men.

    You’ll have to explain exactly what quality it is in women they are born with that prohibits them. Just saying, “because Paul says “I forbid not” does not cut the mustard. Why does Paul say “I forbid not,” is he saying God created women much dumber than men, and that is why?

    And it seems arbitrary and hypocritical to me to say women can preach overseas (as missionaries) but not in churches in the USA as preachers. That has never made sense to me.

    Guys like John Piper says it’s okay for men to read books about the Bible, Bible study guides, theology books written by women, but it would not be okay for a woman to read that book aloud to a man. It’s a distinction without a difference. It’s ridiculous.

    There was a young woman I read of on another blog who was finally shaken out of gender complementarianism after what she saw at her Christian university. Her Christian uni was gender comp. They made all students attend a chapel / sermon service thing 2 or 3 times a week.

    One time they had a female guest speaker come in and deliver a sermon to the students (they usually had male speakers). All they did before the lady speaker showed up was remove the heavy, wooden pulpit to the side of the stage and stick a smaller, flower- painted, dainty, girly podium in front of this woman speaker (who was some famous Christian book author or whatever).

    This woman writing this said that did it for her. She started seeing the cracks in teaching that says only men can teach and preach, because the folks who teach this stuff are not consistent in when and how they apply the rules (that was one of my early issues with it as well).

    She said it was hypocritical for her church / uni to tell her she could not teach/preach in that church based solely on her gender, but they allowed this other celebrity speaker woman to do so, all they did was switch out the tables.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lydia said,

    Daisy, have you ever wondered why it is so important to them that people be married and encourage them to marry young,?”

    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts, but I have a few theories, and I’ve read several of them flat out say they believe in out-breeding liberals, Non-Christians, and Muslims. They think they can win the nation for Jesus if they can get enough Christians to have children… which is moronic anyhow, because a kid born to Christian parents may decide to become a Buddhist or atheist later.

    I’ll also guess money is maybe a motivator? Maybe they figure if they can get adults to have more kids, the kids will likely attend the same church and thus they have a continued stream of revenue?

    Birth rates are going down, and more adults in the USA are staying single, not marrying at all, and I’ve read even married couples are not having kids. For several years now, the idealized Ward and June Cleaver situation (two people married with kids) is in the small minority in our nation.

    US Birth Rates Hit All Time Low

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  14. Lydia said,

    And mega pastors will take offerings from poor single moms while they buy 85 acres in an upscale area (Are you hearing me, Kyle Idleman?)

    And Idleman has several weekly series on TBN. On one of them, called “Not A Fan,” he basically shames everyday, regular Joe Christians for not being radical enough or sold out enough for Jesus. That kind of teaching drives me nuts.

    He has a couple of other regular programs on TBN. The second one was shown for a few months then went off air. I think that one was called “Gods At War” or something.

    He has also been host of the show “The Easter Experience” series – that one is not so bad, because it’s basically a re-enactment of Jesus’ life, where some actor plays Jesus.

    He has a newer show on that started this year or last. I can’t remember what that one is called.

    But these preacher guys who shame you into giving up all your money and house away to do something far out there like go live in a hut ministering to Africans, or else they teach you don’t ‘really’ believe in Jesus, you’re a fraud – they make me angry.

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  15. Brenda said,
    “Lydia, I think this is where we go in different ways. You seem to see pastors and elders and authoritative, where I see them as servants. They are to serve the church, not dictate over it.”

    That’s what they’re supposed to be, but many of the preachers do lord their authority over the flock. There are in fact a lot of power hungry and greedy preachers in churches today.

    That is one reason some of them, I am convinced, promote the gender comp teaching, because they don’t want competition from women (or from single men) to take their roles from them or any possible money that derives from said positions of influence .

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  16. Brenda said,
    “Lydia,
    Could you point out where women were teaching and leading men in the OT. Other than Deborah who was a judge when there were no men available who were qualified, I don’t recall a Godly woman who was a leader.”

    Maybe others can think of other examples, but I think Deborah suffices.

    Why does there have to be more than one example for the point to be valid?

    Like

  17. Lydia said,

    Yes, The lie about Deborah has become ingrained. people actually believe it without studying for themselves.

    The usual come back I’ve heard from men gender complementarian preachers is that God used Deborah to shame the men of Israel because they were unwilling or whatever to take on the role.

    I can’t recall off hand if the text states that or not, but even if it does, I don’t see how it proves the complementarian point that God does not like or want women to be leaders over men at all, not ever. If God was totally opposed to women leadership and considered it a sin, he would not have put a woman in that position even to prove a point to the men at that time/culture. I don’t see God making an exception to make a point if it’s something that would go against his morals.

    I can’t think of a great analogy, but it would sort of be like saying God allowed a man to rob a bank and get away with it to teach children that stealing Lollipops from a dime store is sinful.

    Why would God try to show that Behavior X is sinful by setting up someone, and empowering them to pull off Behavior X successfully, even if it’s supposedly to make a point?

    If God is against X, he’s against X, and is not going to permit someone to do X to make the point that X is sin. That is a really backwards way of making a point.

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  18. Lydia said,

    “you are basing truth on what you see modeled even though there are exceptions to your own rules. it is very dangerous to take what is modeled in the Old Testament as God’s intentions for his creation. preachers are guilty of doing this with David to excuse a lot of evil. in fact God never wanted his people to have a king.”

    Another thing I recently saw that is related to that are Christians who do not differentiate between the teachings and ministry of Jesus from before and after the Resurrection.

    One of the pages I linked to above (about all 12 apostles being men) points out that the 12 apostles were chosen before the church age.

    The church was not yet “invented” or in existence at the start of the Gospels, not until after Jesus died and was Resurrected. Prior to that, they were still kind of living under Old Testament laws and practices, even while Jesus was preaching.

    It looks to me that prior to the Resurrection, Jesus was starting to amend or change or give correct perspective of Old Testament teachings, but his Resurrection really changed things and how believers are to operate (?)

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  19. I just saw my favorite woman pastor at the grocery store today. (She used to go to my church, before becoming a Methodist local pastor). I remember the evening that we fellow members unanimously recommended her to the powers-that-be as a suitable candidate for her current position.
    All of which is to preface saying, some people need to move out of their personal Dark Ages, & be grateful when a devout Christian woman steps up to the plate & takes on a job that all too few men seem to want these days.

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  20. zooey111 – My alma mater was very supportive of women in ministry. At the time that I was in college, only two of us were going through the ministry program, each with a different focus. The professors and our fellow students made us feel very welcome and equal. However, when it came time to fulfill the requirement for the preaching class, we were not able to preach at a local church because no one would accept a woman preaching on a Sunday morning. That was over 20 years ago. Apparently it still happens today.

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  21. Oh, and my own pastor is a single man.
    Clearly, I am in a hotbed of wild-eyed liberals around here. Who knew? I always thought this place was a conservative stronghold.

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  22. Actually, I have studied Deborah for myself and find that she did not sit in the same seat as men in Judges 4. She was outside the city gate where men would be, although it does sound like a much lovelier place to be. In verse 9 when Balak was preparing to take down Sisera he refused to do it unless Deborah went along for some hand holding. He did not man up and go take care of business and was willing to let a Woman take charge. Kind of wimpy if you ask me, which is where I say, “there was no man to take charge”. So the Israelite men were not up to the task of taking charge. Deborah was a rock so she took charge. Jael was the one who actually cut the wind out of Sisera’s sails with a tent peg. Another woman.

    If there would have been humble, righteous, Godly men within the Israelite camp there would have been a man in charge. I believe God chose Deborah to prove a point.

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  23. Kathi, that makes me so mad!! My church would have welcomed you ladies gladly into our pulpit. I know: we have women speaking as guest pastors all the time. Also, there are several other local congregations who either have women as pastors now, or they have in the recent past.

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  24. Lydia, No. I am well aware that God was to be THE King of Israel. I believe he gave the Israelites the king they asked for at their peril. God was still the rightful King and showed it all through the journey of Israel. They had so many bad kings that it was easy to excuse themselves for the evil and idolatry they committed. I don’t believe anyone should be excusing the sins of David or follow in like manner and have never heard it preached otherwise. David was a good king I suppose, but he raped, murdered, and was a horrible dad.

    I am quite capable of thinking, reading and praying for myself. I don’t have to have a preacher tell me what the Word of God says, but I also do not rely on what other researchers tell me either. There are many opinions and views. Everyone has one. They are not all truth. There has been some research done that has been very beneficial to me in putting a subject together. I believe in the local body. I don’t have a problem with a specified building to gather God’s people together. Whether it is a building called a church or in a home or at McDonald’s, makes no difference. I have no problem questioning what is being taught whether is be in sermon or class room style. I attend one or 2 classes including those outside of the church where I am a member. Bible study with other believers in a broader spectrum is a good thing. That is one of the reasons that I come here. We are not always going to agree. We are all human and no one is infallible. I accept that about myself and accept that God accepts me that way.

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  25. Daisy, All scripture can be misinterpreted and mislead people. There is no scripture that says you have to be married to work for the Lord. In fact Paul said that it would be better if others remain as he was, not married. That way they could devote their entire existence to the cause of Christ. Not all Baptists, Evangelicals and Reformed are doing these awful things. A few make it look horrible for the ones who are not. There are good preachers out there. It is up to us to discern and decide where we will gather with true followers of Christ. Fortunately, I know of no Mega preachers or book writers in my area. Praise God for that. Do they always get it right–NO–they are human like the rest of us. They can learn from us as much as we can learn from them, it is up to us to speak up.

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  26. Daisy, I see nothing in Matthew 10 that knocks the family, but it was to be put in its rightful place, below God. He is to be first in all things. If you are a true believer and your family turns against you. Of course, Jesus is first. The family of God should take you in and treat you like family when you are rejected by your own. The family of God should be like family when your own family doesn’t reject you. For me, that goes without saying. I don’t understand why anyone would think otherwise. There are people being killed by their own families because they convert to believing in Jesus, but at that time of day I was in a hurry. You will have to pardon me for not wording each and every detail in the way you would like it said. God intended that all should believe and worship him. He intended for the sojourners that wandered in the camp to believe as the chosen Israelites did. But it didn’t happen all that often. Jesus, came to shake things up, to find those willing to follow him. Entire families–there is never an entire family that believes the same way. Aunt Sue is looking for the aliens to come for her and Cousin Lou is an atheist that will shoot as well as look at a Christian, Uncle Fred, well he doesn’t believe in anything that doesn’t come to mind while he’s got a whiskey bottle in his hand. Families are torn apart for the cause of Christ. My family is no different. I have a son that hasn’t spoken to me in years, but I pray for him diligently. It breaks my heart that he doesn’t believe, but I’m not going to change my course.

    Daisy, I know a lot of women who have never married or had children. They live good Christian lives and have done much in service for the Lord. They are happy and content. Are you happy and content with who you are? You really need to quit listening to those who tell you that you must do as they command. It is not a requirement of God. He has a plan for you. Not all of God’s plans for us are what others think they should be. I am working very hard on a project to help Christian abused women escape bondage from their abusive husbands. Many think that is wrong, marriage needs to be preserved at all costs. Horse Hockey. I was called for a purpose outside their thinking. Too bad. I am going to do what I feel the Lord has made me for.

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  27. Daisy, you said. That’s what they’re supposed to be, but many of the preachers do lord their authority over the flock. There are in fact a lot of power hungry and greedy preachers in churches today.

    Isn’t this where we come to heal and head towards the light. Yes there are many that are as you say and we need to stay away from them, not dwell on them. Learn the red flags and head in the other direction.

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  28. Brenda, One thing I have noticed is you keep changing the subject with some rabbit trails. Basically, earlier you insisted on the “modeling” of behavior from scripture from people who were thwarting God at every turn, to prove your position correct. It just does not work like that and is a horrible filter for hermeneutics.

    It boils down to you thinking anatomy (having a penis) is a qualifier for what you see as some sort of official position within the Body of Christ. You believe that was God’s design or something. There is nothing anyone can say for you to change your thinking on this.. At this point, I think I am only causing you to go deeper down that road. You will not find a prohibition from God against women teaching or leading men in the OT. There is no new prohibition in the NT either. What there is -is a lot of bad translations and interpretations to try and paint God as implementing a caste system society and that there is a pink and blue Christianity. Women are full heirs of ALL the spiritual gifts. Elder simply means “mature”. It is sad you do not think women can attain the maturity in Christ because of how you interpret scripture totally ignoring historical context. Oh well. I will bow out of this discussion with you.

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  29. “And Idleman has several weekly series on TBN. On one of them, called “Not A Fan,” he basically shames everyday, regular Joe Christians for not being radical enough or sold out enough for Jesus. That kind of teaching drives me nuts. ”

    Perhaps he should be radical and not seek 85 acres in an upscale area with his huge income–making bank off Jesus? Too bad his “shaming” is not working for himself. (wink)

    He has been dusting off his “Not a Fan” for a while now trying to make bank with it. You can buy bracelets and t-shirts at the mega gift shop that say, Not a Fan. The backstory on Kyle is that his “celebrity” church plant out West failed and he needed a high salary. So his daddy had contacts and viola! the Holy Spirit chose him as associate pastor of a mega church. (Actually favors were called in). But it is a comfortable springboard for him to build his national brand. The mega pew sitters like having a celebrity and never ask to see a budget as good little lemmings. And Kyle can have multiple income streams while being paid a large salary and not having that much to do at the mega except preach a bit. It is a great gig. Has nothing to do with Jesus, of course, except to use Him for his own personal gain.

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  30. Lydia,
    I see no rabbit trails at all. Just answering the questions set before me. I never said that women cannot be as mature or more so than men.

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  31. I would NOT be a fan either. Being radical would be putting yourself in a position where you are downsizing what you have and being fully dependent on Jesus. Actually, praying that your next meal is provided and mean it. I know of missionaries that went out that way and get no support from back home.

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  32. Brenda, one other misunderstanding, you keep referring to Scripture as the “Word of God”. Actually, Jesus Christ is the Word. The Word that became flesh.

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  33. Lydia, Jesus Christ is God. They are God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I have no misunderstanding whatsoever.

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  34. zooey111 – I grew up in the Bible belt and would have expected the attitude of no women in the pulpit there, but went to school in Southern California. I was a bit shocked and disappointed that the attitude was prevalent there (at least among non-denominational Christian churches). I’m guessing that most of the pastors at those churches started out in the Bible Belt (trained and pastored) and kept their views when they moved to So Cal.

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  35. “Lydia, Jesus Christ is God. They are God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I have no misunderstanding whatsoever.”

    I must have misunderstood you when you wrote this further up in the thread:

    “Tim, I look at the Bible as a whole, the Living Word of God.”

    My point is that Jesus Christ is the “Living Word of God”. Not the scriptures. It is a common misunderstanding and causes tons of problems.

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  36. Lydia, That is one of the issues with writing online. We may say things differently, but mean the same thing. When we start to believe that we are the only ones that have a total grasp on all things Christ, then we become just like those that are wanting total control that we are trying to avoid. There is life in the scriptures. I feel it every time I read its contents.

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  37. Brenda, she is named as an apostle or among the apostles. Not as the wife of one or her husband would have been named, not her.

    Romans 16:7 – Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. (NIV)

    Rom 16:7 -Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. (NKJV)

    Rom 16:7 – Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews, who were in prison with me. They are highly respected among the apostles and became followers of Christ before I did. (NLT)

    So, here we see that Junia was considered by Paul (That guy who wrote about the qualifications of elders.) to be an apostle! She had been a Christian before he was and she was in prison with him. Other translations have similar passages.

    There are so many other women who are mentioned as leaders in the church, women who held churches in their own homes and THEY are the ones who are mentioned. Not their husbands.

    As I said before way up thread, we lose a lot when we read the letters to the specific churches without considering the issues that each church faced.

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  38. tiquatue,
    I do not see fully that Junia was considered by Paul to be an apostle! In the NIV it sounds like they are very good apostles, steadfast perhaps. in the NKJV it sounds like they are regarded highly by the apostles. the NLT sounds like a 50/50 toss up. I have no problem with a heart change on this subject if there is “no doubt in my mind/heart” that it is clear, but it really depends on the translation how it is interpreted.

    This is something I will have to consider overtime with God’s leading. I watched “Women in the Bible” last night. Several woman spoke about how women were involved overtime, mistakes and all in God revealing himself and during the life of Christ. That left questions in my mind that I would like answers to. But I would prefer to take it up with God and his Word over time and not others interpretation. There are far more men mentioned in authority than women. I will take time to find out who these women are who lead house churches. Were these women married? I have a lot of questions.

    I appreciate your opinion, but every one being human has one. No offense intended.

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  39. “Lydia, That is one of the issues with writing online. We may say things differently, but mean the same thing”

    I don’t think we mean the same thing at all. If you are referring to the “Word of God” issue, that is a pretty big one and one of the most misunderstood one out there. It is not a magic book nor the 4th person of the Trinity. Jesus Christ is the “Word of God”.

    .”When we start to believe that we are the only ones that have a total grasp on all things Christ, then we become just like those that are wanting total control that we are trying to avoid. There is life in the scriptures. I feel it every time I read its contents.”

    There is life in Jesus Christ, not a book. What about the people who were not allowed to read scriptures for centuries but only a priest could read it? What about all the illiterates throughout history? I guess they were out of luck? God could not “speak” to them and change their minds on what they were taught?

    It is wonderful that there is a grand narrative written down in many different books by many different authors over millennia. (Have you any idea how many ignorant pastors teach that Moses wrote the Pentateuch? It is mind boggling)

    And I do believe most of it is inspired but there was also a tradition of oral stories passed down and those who so feared that Babylonian captivity mingling would cause the Jews not to pass it down– that it was written down. And so it goes. But if God had intended it as a magic book of sorts, how come the originals were not magically preserved? Why so many translations, interpretations and man centered decisions about which books were included? Were those men specially anointed to decided what would be in the magic book?

    Don’t get me wrong, I love studying it and I think if you spent some time on historical context scholarship, you might understand where some of us are coming from. Just the scholarship on Junia is fascinating. The lengths some will go to rewrite history for their agenda is unbelievable. Just one example would be Piper and Grudem quoting Epiphanius to prove Junia was a man. And people believe it instead of doing their own homework. The irony? Epiphanius also wrote that Priscia was a man, too! (They cleverly leave out that part) There has been a ton of scholarship on this even going back further to track the instances of the use of that name with different spellings. All women with that name. It was not a male name.

    Did it occur to you that God might be thinking, hey, I gave you a brain and you live in an age where there are tons of resources at your fingertips to study and seek a better understanding, so why aren’t you doing it? “Reason” is not a whore as Luther said. God loves reason because He created it and said, “Come let us reason together”.

    So no, Brenda, I don’t think we mean the same thing at all.

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  40. “But I would prefer to take it up with God and his Word over time and not others interpretation”

    But it is was revealed clearly. Those reading the letter knew Junia was a woman. You won’t find it clearly revealed to convince you that Junia was a woman in other parts of scripture. She was mentioned in a letter written in the context of that time.

    So basically you ARE believing others interpretation without realizing it. And I would be careful about claiming God has told you she was really a man.

    If it helps at all, Chrysostom, who was basically a misogynist, referred to the female Junia in his commenting on Romans 16. He lived from 347-407 BC. He wrote:

    ” Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.”

    Other early church fathers who confirmed Junia as female:
    Origen of Alexander (185-253) and Jerome (340-419)

    Source: Liver Interpretationis Hebraicorum Nominum 72,15.), Hatto of Vercelli (924-961, Theophylack (1050-1108), and Peter Abelar (1079-1142).19

    Other research shows that Junia was a common female name in those days. Too much to cite here.

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  41. Lydia, I am alright with agreeing to disagree. If you are so educated that you know all that is fine, but I am not and don’t have a problem saying so. I mean no disrespect. I believe that the Bible is the Living Word of our Lord. It is just as valuable today as it was centuries ago and that people do twist it. That is why I prefer to do my own research. Thank you. I wouldn’t listen to anything Piper had to say if he were the last person left on earth.

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  42. Brenda, I am simply giving you some information/research I spent years digging into that you can find helpful or not. Some of it because I saw that the caste system pecking order taught by many pastors was simply not of Christ. It was never a law of God, either, in the OT. it is the evil tradition of man.

    I think you already are believing wrong interpretations. The issue of women’s “roles”in ministering in the Body is from tradition, not God. I don’t think God is going to force you to believe anything different reading scriptures through the same filters. I don’t think He operates like that. And read up on how ancient cultures thought of women which the Jews mingled with constantly. Read the code of Hammurabi. Quite an eye opener for how our Great God approached these stiff necked people that were supposed to be the light of the world. He met them where they were. He is gracious, and long suffering.

    I used to refer to scripture as the Living Word of God, too. So I get it. If we look at the instances of how scripture is referred to in the Bible and how Jesus is referred to, it becomes obvious that Jesus Christ is the “living Word”. If Bibles were confiscated, could He still speak to you?

    Brenda, we choose to “educate” ourselves or not. I find it all fascinating. Some people garden or watch tv. I find this stuff riveting and know the more I dig into the historical context I see how much more there is to learn. And how ignorant I am.

    As far as women functioning in the body, there had be some catalyst and for me it was believing a God who only allowed those with penis’ to do certain things for Him. After all, Adam not only blamed Eve but God, too! So why would having a penis mean special rights? I just could not buy it so I studied and researched. And it really all boils down to: there is no male/female, Greek/Jew, Slave/Free when it comes to Yahweh. There is no pink or blue Christianity.

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  43. Keith said:

    “Many would say your interpretation is wrong”

    And that is fine. It is good to discuss, research, and wrestle with it. Why more won’t go down that road, I don’t know. It is very important and speaks to God’s character.

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  44. Lydia,
    How do you know that you can trust the men that you listed and their accounts any more than the ones we have today?

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  45. “Lydia,
    How do you know that you can trust the men that you listed and their accounts any more than the ones we have today?”

    Great question! I think the answer lies in the fact that God makes sense. He is reasonable and even logical. I realize that tradition holds mostly to mystery and we are to believe that only certain men were given the capacity to understand those mysteries and either seek to explain them to us or to refer to them so that God becomes unknowable to peasants seeking Him.

    I have analyzed the Genesis account in Hebrew and find the traditional understanding inexplicable. patriarchy or men’s roles as they are often defined is a result of sin. Free will choice sin. not Gods intentions for his creation. and what is worse the Trinity was redefined to map to a pecking order for adult humans. Think of Popes, Kings, etc

    I think the problem we have in most of our understanding is that we believe God almost always forcibly changed things that were not his intention for his creation. that is the difference between reading a descriptive account and a prescriptive account of Scriptures. we miss not only the larger narrative but the character of God when we read a prescriptive account that is actually descriptive

    when the reality is that God, throughout the narrative, met people where they were in ways they could understand that fit their culture. if I took your prescriptive way of interpreting Scripture, then I would have to conclude that polygamy is of God. we know that is not true. Why do we know that? because we have looked at the larger cultural narrative and applied reason.

    the Mosaic Law is instructive on this issue. Leviticus reads so draconian! but when we research ancient pagan laws we find that the Mosaic law fit right into that culture as some of that is eerily similar. they had just been living in bondage with the pagan Egyptians! The difference is Yahweh is the one true God. we tend to forget the very pagan backdrop of the Old Testament ancient culture. I believe that once we understand that it really comes alive. And the seemingly brutal mean God (that so many preach) of the Old Testament makes much more sense.

    He is saying: Turn to Me! Not mere men!

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  46. Lydia, You said: He is saying: Turn to Me! Not mere men! Were not these scholars from 1600 to 1900 years ago, not mere men? God is a lion and a lamb. He is gentle and loving, but I certainly don’t want to push his limits. I know what happened in the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah etc. etc. etc.

    In Isaiah 55: 8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Even the most logical of people do not think like God. We don’t have his righteousness. We are fallible He is infallible.

    Patriarchy was always mans way, but in some respects in those days seeing that a woman would have great difficulty surviving on her own, it was good for some at that time. I have no idea what the stats were then, but last I heard there are 4 women born for every man.

    This still doesn’t tell me how these particular men have the credentials to tell me what I should take away from Biblical accounts.

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  47. “Brenda R on December 9, 2014 at 10:33 AM
    Lydia, You said: He is saying: Turn to Me! Not mere men! Were not these scholars from 1600 to 1900 years ago, not mere men?”

    Of course. What makes you think I took their word for it? That is one reason I am not creedal and never will be. As far as Junia is concerned, someone like Origin was very close to the same time. I also look at history to see about the time Junia was referenced as male. Interesting.

    “God is a lion and a lamb. He is gentle and loving, but I certainly don’t want to push his limits. I know what happened in the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah etc. etc. etc.”

    I have no idea what this means.

    “In Isaiah 55: 8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Even the most logical of people do not think like God. We don’t have his righteousness. We are fallible He is infallible.”

    We ARE to have his righteousness. why can’t we be like Jesus as He was God in the flesh.

    what is the context for the Isaiah passage? A rule of translation: who is speaking, who is the speaker speaking to and what is the occasion/context.

    “Patriarchy was always mans way, but in some respects in those days seeing that a woman would have great difficulty surviving on her own, it was good for some at that time. I have no idea what the stats were then, but last I heard there are 4 women born for every man.”

    I agree with this but the question is why would a woman have trouble surviving on her own if her husband died or something like that in that culture? the answer is because of sin. why did a woman need protection from other men? Sin.

    “This still doesn’t tell me how these particular men have the credentials to tell me what I should take away from Biblical accounts.”

    I don’t really understand where you are coming from on this because you already believe a traditional interpretation of Scripture that comes from man. a “biblical” case can be made that you are wrong and so are they. but you don’t seem to want go there because you are waiting for God to make it into a magic book that tells you something different than the cultural context you are reading. I don’t see God changing the cultural context. although a few translators have done just that to fit their personal narrative.

    The New Testament tells men to greet each other with a holy kiss, too. where did that go in our culture?

    A great tool in understanding the cultural context of the New Testament are the Greco Roman household codes for a start. it gives us an idea of just how radical Jesus Christ was when it came to women.

    there is a case to be made for us to understand the historical Jesus Christ. every generation or so tends to remake Him in their image. a recent example would be the German Lutheran Church of the 1930’s.

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  48. “God is a lion and a lamb.” He allowed the floods, He allowed the Israelites to be in bondage for 400 years, He allowed the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah. All because of sin–he can be a lion. Even though we are now under grace He still has expectations of us.

    Yes, we are righteous through Jesus Christ, but only to a point. We will not have his perfect righteousness until we stand before Him.

    In their culture if a woman was a widow the next of kin would either marry her or her son would take care of her. If there was no one, then there is a problem.

    Now you are telling me what I believe!!! I am not waiting for God to make any magic. I do believe the Bible is to be our first resource. I think a holy kiss has turned into a handshake.

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  49. Lydia,
    “Why can’t we be like Jesus as He was God in the flesh.”

    Because we are human beings, and even when we are glorified we still will not be like God. Are you getting this from N.T.Wright?

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  50. “Yes, we are righteous through Jesus Christ, but only to a point. We will not have his perfect righteousness until we stand before Him.”

    I agree with that to a point but we are also told to be perfect like Our Heavenly Father is perfect. Within that context I believe that means for us to be fully matured,wise and developed in Christ. However I also believe we live in corrupted bodies on a corrupted earth and deal in that daily. But I do believe we choose to sin or not. When I say that I am not speaking in the Augustinian sense that we cannot help but sin. It breaks my heart when I hear Christian teach that we cannot help but sin. Of course that hinges on what we believe is sin. Many Christians take the Platonic view of all material world is sin and only the spiritual is good. I disagree with that view but it causes a lot of problems in discussions.

    “In their culture if a woman was a widow the next of kin would either marry her or her son would take care of her. If there was no one, then there is a problem.”

    I am not sure where you are going with this. Why would a woman need for that to be the case except for sin?

    “Now you are telling me what I believe!!! I am not waiting for God to make any magic. I do believe the Bible is to be our first resource. I think a holy kiss has turned into a handshake.”

    I was not aware I was telling you what you believe. I thought you had already told me that and I was responding to it.

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  51. Hi Carmen

    I think I covered the first part of your comment above so I won’t go into it again.

    As to NT Wright, I have no idea if he would agree with me on these issues are not. I sort of doubt it as he leans more Platonic than I do from what I know of him. We would also disagree on Sacraments and what that means. No big deal.

    About 12 years ago I had come to the conclusion there was a real breakdown in Christianity and it’s practice. I determined to set on a course to figure this out. Throughout my research and study and lots of prayer I first came across JC Ryle’s book “holiness”. I was astonished that this Bishop of Liverpool was discussing the very things I was searching. Years later I came across NT Wright because John piper was basically positioning him as a heretic.

    I was cheered to read and listen to a new testament historian/scholar who was also concerned with Christians practicing what they claim they believe. I think he would agree with me that sanctification is synergistic.

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  52. “God is a lion and a lamb.” He allowed the floods, He allowed the Israelites to be in bondage for 400 years, He allowed the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah. All because of sin–he can be a lion. Even though we are now under grace He still has expectations of us.”

    Opps, I missed this. I agree about sin and Gods expectations. Where I think we disagree is what the expectations are. Am I understanding you correctly that discussing the Bible as we have been is somehow wrong in God’s eyes? When you first quoted the above to me in a comment it seemed like you were using it in that context. I don’t think you weren’t specific enough about the expectations in that context so I am still confused as to what you really mean.

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  53. I don’t believe what Gods expectations/plans for me are what He wants/plans for you. We may be in completely different seasons of our lives. Our life’s experiences are different and can be used for entirely different purposes.

    No, I do not believe that having discussions are wrong as long as they don’t become heated. I don’t think that has happened. Sometimes I write and you don’t seem to understand what I am trying to say. I am at work during the day and perhaps should not be responding at all. I don’t really have time when I am not distracted with no matter day or night. I still ultimately believe that the Bible is our first resource. The Holy Spirit and prayer help us to discern and guide us through it. We will be learning our entire lives.

    I have had heart changes in certain teachings over time. I have been accused of making those changes because they benefit me, when in reality I believe they are more like Christ than those I had been taught. We are only made righteous through Jesus Christ. He is the only one who never sins. We may sin in thought without even realizing it. I find that praying for these things to be brought to the surface is helpful. I will never be too old to need change.

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  54. you are Right, Brenda. I don’t really understand where you are coming from. when you mention Sodom and Gomorrah, the flood and God’s expectations of us in the context of our previous conversation concerning our differing interpretations without telling me why and how it applies- to anything I have said, all I could do was assume it had something to do with our discussion and I found that disconcerting.

    I do think God has some expectations for all of us as in doing justice and having mercy. I think he loves it when we test everything, hold to what is good and are Bereans.

    Get some sleep! :o)

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  55. I mentioned those things because you had mentioned a “mean God”. I don’t think he is mean, I believe he has a limit and righteous anger.

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  56. “mentioned those things because you had mentioned a “mean God”. I don’t think he is mean, I believe he has a limit and righteous anger.”

    ok it was confusing because I mentioned the “mean” God in the context of how some pastors and teachers present Yahweh from the Old Testament as mean and some even delight in it. they tend to ignore the very pagan backdrop of the Old Testament and the basics of justice in an evil pagan ancient culture.

    I believe that Jesus Christ is a the full representation of God as stated in the book of Hebrews.

    I fear my communication skills are lacking in our conversation.

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  57. Lydia, So were mine. No harm done. Short term memory issues (MS) for me are also an issue as I am trying to do too many things at once. I’m just really getting too old for this multi-tasking stuff and health issues do not help. I have a book on customs in Biblical times, but just haven’t had the time to read it and most often at night I am unable to see anything but a blur. There need to be more books on CD or perhaps someone to read to me. That might be nice. I know Julie Anne–this is not a dating site!

    Yes, I agree, Jesus showed us who God is. He is gentle as a lamb and the lion certainly came out when He turned over tables. I haven’t met up with those preachers who delight in the “mean God” theory and glad of it. I have heard a couple in years past who liked the Hell fire, scare you to death of the sentence for unbelief. I never found that a compelling reason to seek God either. I believe it’s the love of Christ and his willingness to sacrifice for us that compels people to seek for Him.

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