“God’s Design” – Rebellion, a.k.a. It’s All Her Fault!

God’s Design, Headship, Complementarianism, Biblical Gender Roles, The Fall

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Adam & Eve

Who started this whole mess?

-by Kathi

This series is a review of God’s Design, a children’s book which teaches children about complementarity. For an introduction of the book, click here. All of the titles below are chapters in the book.

Today, children, we are going to learn about how man and woman rebelled against God’s design. Spoiler alert!…We’ll talk about one more than the other.

book

My lunch breaks at work left me yearning for comfort food, red wine and dark chocolate.

Rebellion Against God’s Design

This is where Satan enters the picture to trick the man to turn away from God. But, does Satan go to man first? No. He goes straight to the woman. Honestly, I’m surprised that Satan doesn’t receive much more credit than this. With all of the articles on Desiring God’s site about Satan and spiritual warfare, I was certain that Satan would be given much more of a platform. But, no, we’re left with this:

When Eve took the fruit and ate it, she was saying no to the authority of God in her life. She believed that life would be better for her if she did whatever she wanted to do. She rejected the headship of God over her, and also the headship of her husband, by taking the lead and doing what her heart told her to do. She took the lead and led both herself and Adam into sin.

The account goes like this: (Genesis 3:6) “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Is it a fair conclusion by the authors that Eve took the lead and followed her heart? I can see how one might come to this conclusion by reading into the text. But, it isn’t good textual scholarship, especially when dealing with a Jewish text.

As far as Adam is concerned, his main problem was that he decided to join Eve in her sin. Adam did not maintain his God-given design to protect and lead Eve.

In the end, the authors could have focused this chapter mainly on how sin entered the world. Instead, they focused on how Adam and Eve decided to go against God’s order by not following their roles.

Continuing Rebellion in Man

There really isn’t much to say about this chapter, except that it annoys the you know what out of me. There are 10 paragraphs: three cover what happens to man as a result of his rebellion, and one covers what happens to the serpent. That leaves six, yes, SIX paragraphs that are dedicated to woman’s punishment. Isn’t this a chapter about man?

About the only thing talked about in terms of man is that now he would have to work hard when he doesn’t want to, and instead of serving as the head of the family, he will want his wife to take the lead. Seriously. That’s it.

I’ll leave this section short by including one of the follow-up questions to the chapter:

“Besides passivity, what other type of sin can men fall into because of the power of sin now at work in our hearts? (See Genesis 3:16.) What does it mean for a husband to ‘rule’ over a wife in a ‘domineering’ way? How is this a distortion of God’s good design for men and women?”

Continuing Rebellion in Woman

Do we really need this chapter? Haven’t we already covered how woman is the cause of all the evil in the world? Sigh…let’s move on…

The authors provide a great rhyming mnemonic device to help us remember what happened to woman when she sinned in the garden. Really, the book says:

You can remember this if you memorize these rhyming words: pain, reign, disdain, and in vain. Repeat these rhyming words and try to memorize them to remember this true story.

What, no clever, catchy memory trick for Adam passive aggressively letting Eve start the whole process of getting kicked out of the garden?

The authors reference Genesis 3:16 (ESV) for our fun learning activity: “To the woman he said, ‘I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.'” Notice that this book was written before the new change to this verse which will now read: “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”

Back to our memory trick:

pain = Childbirth

reign = Woman will want to be in control of her husband. Betty Friedan is brought up as an example of the dreaded f-word (quietly whispers, feminist). This books seems to be targeted to young elementary age children. Do they need Betty Friedan slammed down their throat at this age?

disdain = The feminists! Again! Especially those who complain about being led by men. Oh, and women’s rebellion has brought so much sadness to the world. Feminists have brought abortion, blaming men for their problems and leaving their husbands, as well as not believing in submitting to men or wanting their protection or leadership (note: men and not husbands).

in vain = Nothing good has come of women being in rebellion.

I am getting the sense that this entire book is meant to teach little girls their place in the Christian home and church. Whenever the authors mention anything about men the text inevitably leads back to the design or problem of women. Nothing good is going to come of this book the longer that it is in my possession.

The final activity in this chapter is: “As a family, take part in a prolife activity or do something to support prolife efforts.”

I wholeheartedly say, “Yes!” Take part in prolife activities! Go to a nursing home and regularly visit an elderly person who doesn’t have family living near by. Take in a young pregnant woman who needs a safe home. Volunteer at school for kids who need extra tutoring. Support organizations such as Doctors Without Borders or Medical Teams International who are fighting in war-torn areas to save lives. Visit people in prison. There are so many “prolife” activities that parents can get their kids involved in.

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If you would like to read prior reviews on God’s Design, here are links in the order of the book chapters:

Know Thyself, Creature

Headship, Helper, and an Answer We Already Knew

384 comments on ““God’s Design” – Rebellion, a.k.a. It’s All Her Fault!

  1. AvidReader It sounds like you’re in some type of leadership position where you affect many lives

    I need to take a break, I’ll try to keep this short. I’m not in any type of leadership, and haven’t regularly attended a church and been in ‘official’ membership for several years. Does that surprise you?!

    (My reason for leaving the local just about evangelical church was unhappiness with the leadership (and I don’t believe in undermining them), and a weakness there on standing firm on sexual immorality amongst other things, coupled with an over-emphasis on the love of God. Many super people though.)

    My conscience has been increasingly uneasy with the instruction not to neglect to meet together despite on and off attendance at various churches. (It would help if they didn’t close due to re-deployment of most of the members!) Starting to neglect so great a salvation through indifference, not intent. I hope this era has come to an end.

    As for the shepherding error, if there had been no truth in it whatsoever, it would have been all too obvious it was deception. I think it was in part an overreaction to an evangelicalism that had become too individualistic.

    I am, I might add, a great believer in Christian liberty, of conscience. This freedom does not override what God has told us to do or not do in the NT.

    Like

  2. “As for those who are in rebellion, I am refering to those who, if asked whether they will obey Heb 13 or 1 Pet 5, will say no, it’s not for today. Who try to undermine a pastor at every turn. Who won’t submit in any shape or form, and I’ve come across believers who almost say in as many words ‘no-one tells me what to do’. It’s a mistake in rejecting heavy shepherding to reject all shepherding.”

    So where would a person be asked if they are “obeying” Hebrew 13 (admit it. You love vs 17 as translated, dontcha) 1 Peter 5?

    I can only think of authoritarian churches. What gets me is my parents generation in general, a typically church going generation, would have laughed in the face of someone who dared ask such a personal question on personal church going decisions. Where I come from pastors were part of the priesthood as paid employees. Not super special anointed authoritarians who took over the Holy Spirit function for others.

    Our society has changed in that regard in so many ways. Adults as perpetual children. We must have nanny church and government.

    We could get into the backdrop context of both books but it would most likely be a waste of time when one wants to use scripture as club for beatings and control.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. KAS

    Here’s another list of Qualifications most pastors do NOT know.

    Today, those who mis-appropreate the ”Title”
    pastor/elder/leader also “Ignore” and “Twist”
    These every day responsibilities of ALL His Disciples…

    Do you know any pastor/elder/leaders who teach and practice these?

    1 – NOT lording it over “God’s heritage?” 1 Pet 5:3 KJV
    2 – Lowliness of mind? Phil 2:3 KJV
    3 – Esteeming others “better” than themselves? Phil 2:3 KJV
    4 – Submitting “One to Another?” Eph 5:21 KJV, 1 Pet 5:5 KJV
    5 – Prefering others before themselves? Rom 12:10 KJV
    6 – By love “Serve one another?” Gal 5:13 KJV
    7 – Laying down their lives for the brethren? 1 John 3:16 KJV
    8 – NOT speaking of themselves, NOT seeking their own glory? Jn 7:18 KJV
    9 – NOT “Exercising Authority” like the Gentiles?” Mark 10:42-43. KJV
    10 – NOT giving themselves “Flattering Titles?” Job 32:21-22 KJV

    11 – Being clothed with humility? 1 Pet 5:5 KJV
    11 – Humility – a modest, or low estimate of ones own importance.
    11 – Know many pastor/elders who are ”clothed with humility?”
    Having ”a modest, or low estimate of ones own importance.” HeeHee…

    In my experience, the number of “pastors,” Who actually teach, and practice these 11 – Who teach, and practice, “Submitting one to another” – Who teach, and practice, NOT speaking of themselves, NOT seeking their own glory. Who teach, and practice, NOT “Exercising Authority” like the Gentiles. Who are “Clothed with humility,” haveing “a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance,”

    Is Quite Small… 😉

    But moslty Non-Existant… 😉

    Like

  4. KAS

    NOPE – Today’s Religious System is ”Corrupt.”

    In the Bible, NOT one of His Disciples called themself pastor.
    Or shepherd. Or leader. Or reverend.

    In the Bible, NOT one of His Disciples had the “Title” pastor.
    Or shepherd. Or leader. Or reverend.

    Hmmm? If someone desires to be one of His Disciples???
    Wouldn’t His Disciples in the Bible? Be a good example to follow?
    Be a good place to start?

    Corrupt – Dictionary

    1- a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.

    If a pastor/elder does NOT meet the qualifictions?
    And that pastor/elder Does NOT remove them self? Continues to get paid?
    Isn’t that ”a willingness to act dishonestly?”
    ”for money or personal gain.” *”Corrupt?”**

    2- in a state of decay; rotten or putrid.

    3- debased or made unreliable by errors or alterations.

    If NOT one of His Disciples had the “Title” pastor? shepherd?
    Isn’t “Today’s Religious System” with ”Titles” coming out the kazoo…
    ”made unreliable by errors or alterations?” ”Corrupt?”

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    Like

  5. !It is in the law, though not always very obvious without careful reading. Fortunately two of the apostles explain this, and where it is to be found in the OT, and with enough clarity for us to know what we should and shouldn’t be doing.”

    Lol! We would have to start with the purpose for the Mosaic law and the Law itself before we even get into YOUR definition of “careful reading”.

    Yahweh is always clear. There are no super secret detailed codes that only a specially anointed few are given the ability to understand. We tend to trust human translators and commentators more than the Holy Spirit. I think the evil one has been delighted at how easy it has been to limit over half of Gods children in service to Him since the Fall.

    KAS have no idea if you make a living off Jesus or not or strive to one day but you sure sound like the SBTS students here at ground zero.

    Like

  6. I can only think of authoritarian churches (Heb 13)

    I can think of non-authoritarian churches where it is no big deal, but still part of the word of God, even when the Greek is alluded to by those who have never learnt it!

    Like

  7. KAS

    Here, for your enjoyment, is another list… of…
    ”Titles,” WE, His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Body…
    Can find in… ”The Corrupt Religious System.”

    But are NOT found, in the Bible… For one of His Disiples… HeeHee 🙂

    1 -Pastor. 1a Pastor/Leader/Reverend. 2 – Shepherd. 2a. – Under Shepherd. 3 – Senior Pastor. 4 – Lead Pastor. 5 – Teaching Pastor. 6 – Executive Pastor. 7 – Singles Pastor. 8 – Worship Pastor. 9 – Reverend. 10 – Holy Reverend. 11 – Most Holy Right Reverend. 12 – ArchDeacon. 13 – Canon. 14 – Prelate. 15 – Rector. 16 – Cardinal. 17 – Pope. 18 – Doctor. 19 – M.Div. 20 – Clergy. 21 – Laity.

    22 – Chief Executive Apostle.

    NO kidding. There really is a – Chief Executive Apostle…
    Saw him with my own eyes. 🙂

    Houston – We have a Problem…

    Paid Professional Pastors – in Pulpits – Preaching – to People – in Pews.
    (Where is that in the Bible???)

    And… Titles – Titles – Everywhere – Except in the Bible…

    xxxxxxxx

    Seems the only “ONE” in the Bible…
    Referred to as ”Shepherd” and ”Leader” and ”Reverend” IS…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    xxxxxxxx

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    ”THEIR shepherds” have caused them to **go astray,* *

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  8. KAS

    Who do you say are the “Leaders” in Heb 13:17…

    That you want WE, His Disciples, His Kings and Priests, His Ambassadors. His Servants, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Called Out Ones, His Body…

    That you want WE, – To submit to?

    HeeHee… 😉

    Like

  9. KAS

    Did any of His Disciples call themslf ”Leader?”

    Seems Jesus called Himself – “The “ONE” Leader”

    Mat 23:10-12 NASB – New American Standard Bible
    Do NOT be called leaders; for “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ.
    But the greatest among you shall be your “Servant”.
    Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled;
    and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

    Mat 23:10-12 – The Message
    And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them.
    There is only “ONE” Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.
    Do you want to stand out? – Then step down. – Be a servant.
    If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you.
    But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

    And, NOT one of His Disciples called them self ”Leader.”

    Why isn’t what His Disciples did important to you?

    Why isn’t what Jesus said important to you?

    Like

  10. “can think of non-authoritarian churches where it is no big deal, but still part of the word of God, even when the Greek is alluded to by those who have never learnt ”

    One of my pet peeves. Jesus Christ is the “word of God”. Scripture is usually referred to as scripture or ‘it is written.. ‘

    Like

  11. This is such a fascinating conversation that we’re having. I’d like to thank everyone that’s been posting. You guys are sharing some really powerful thoughts.

    If anyone is interested—here’s something that I was just reading.

    In 1965, Stanley Frodsham felt the Lord guiding him to give this warning to the church about watching for the infiltration of false doctrine.

    That at first it’s hard to tell the difference between true and false teachers because both of them start out quoting real Scripture and teaching real doctrine. But the difference is that later on after people have opened their hearts, the false teachers will start to mix truth and deception. Then people believe the lies because their hearts are already open to that preacher.

    Here’s the condensed quote,

    “Be not deceived, the ways of righteousness are My ways. For those who perform miracles and speak not righteousness are not of Me.”

    “The minister of righteousness—his life shall agree with the Word, and he shall give forth that which is wholly true—WITH NO MIXTURE. When the mixture appears then you will know he is not a minister of righteousness.”

    “There shall come deceivers among My people in increasing numbers, who shall speak forth the truth and shall gain the favor of the people. For the people shall examine the Scriptures and say, “What these men say is true.”

    “Then when they have gained the hearts of the people, then and THEN ONLY shall they bring out these wrong doctrines. Therefore, I say that you should not give your hearts to men, nor hold people’s persons in admiration. WATCH FOR SEDUCERS.”

    “The deceivers speak first the truth and then error, to cover their own sins which they love. Therefore study the Scriptures relative to seducing spirits, for this is one of the great dangers of these last days. I desire you to be firmly established in My Word and not in the personalities of men, that you will not be moved as so many shall be moved. Diligently inquire of Me when you hear something that you have not seen in the Word, and do not hold people’s persons in admiration, for it is by this very method that Satan will hold many of My people.”

    The full version is posted at
    http://www.brothermel.org/sites/default/files/media/MCM_Frodsham_Prophecy.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kas, you are not in any type of leadership, and haven’t regularly attended a church or been an ‘official’ member for several years? Yet you are here trying to convince everyone they need to be under some kind of human heirarchy in order to follow Jesus? I’m seeing a disconnect here…

    You say that you have become uneasy with the instruction not to neglect to meet together. Have you studied this and read up on it from all sides? I highly recommend this article, particularly the section entitled “III. Bishops, Elders, Deacons: What Organizational Model?” http://www.cbeinternational.org/resources/article/response-danvers-statement?page=show

    You also say you have been troubled by an over-emphasis on the love of God. God IS love, so how can this be over-emphasized? Is it possible you mean that God’s love is being distorted? Mis-defined? You seem to gravitate towards rules; the church is not holding a high enough standard? Too much immorality? Will rules change that? Or does maturity come from knowing Christ better? Which one had the best effect in the Bible? Did the people develop righteousness and love for God under the law? Or when they walked with Christ? I submit that problems such as you noted are partly because the church is not teaching Christ. Little time is spent learning who he is, what he accomplished, what his character is. Much of the time at church is spent thinking about ourselves. What we should be doing, what we shouldn’t be doing, how we’re falling short, what we’re supposed to think; these things do not bring fruit. We become more like the One we are focused on. Another reason is that people do not become instantly knowledgeable and mature just because they come to church. They make mistakes. We are told to accept our weaker brother not for the purpose on passing judgment on him but in order to build him up.

    I attended church for decades. It’s the only “class” you can take where the subject matter is mind-numbingly the same decades later as it was the first day. A lot of excuses are given as to why pastors can’t progress beyond the most basic and simple levels of information but the fact is, if a person wants to learn and grow, they must usually do it outside of church. If you want real fellowship, you usually find you must do that outside of church, too. So what is the real purpose of church? Is it a penance we have to do?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Avid Reader

    Glad you like the list.
    NOT many who claim to be in ”Authority” are fond of that list. 🙂
    They also do NOT like “ALL” the Qualifications listed in 1 Tim 3 and Titus.

    xxxxxxxx

    Are WE,
    His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Called Out Ones…
    His Body, His Kings and Priests, His Disciples, His sons…

    Required to ”Obey and Submit” to anyone… (Heb 13:17.)

    Who does NOT meet ”ALL” the Qualifications in the Bible???

    NOT anymore. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Thank you {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  14. Avid Reader

    I was tired of being bamboozeled, deceived, by…
    Those who mis-appropreated the Title/Postion ”pastor/elder/leader.”

    And wanted me to ”Obey and Submit” to them. And…
    Told me to ”Pray, Pay, Stay, and Obey” and I would be aceptable.
    And God would bless me.

    Here’s another list… 17+…
    A quick review of most of the Qualifications
    Paul gives in 1 Tim 3:1-6, and Titus 1:5-9 combined.

    1 – Must Be Blameless — unrebukeable, innocent, without fault.

    2 – husband of one wife — married, male.
    Doesn’t the Reformed, Calvinist, NO female leader, crowd, use this Qualification often? But, I’ve noticed, most elder/overseer/leaders are kinda fuzzy on; Must Be Blameless. 🙂

    3 – ruleth well his own house – have a family, children in subjection.
    1 Tim 3:4-5 – For if a man know not how to *rule his own house, how shall he take *care of the church of God? Now, *Rule, is Strongs #4291, proistemi – be over, a protector or guardian, give aid, to care for. The stats for pastor/elder burnout and depression are horrible. And their families also suffer.
    80% say, Pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.
    Hmmm? NOT* protecting and guarding the family **Well”
    77% say, They do NOT have a good marriage.
    Hmmm? ”NOT” Ruling his own house Well”
    70% battle depression.
    Hmmm? That can NOT be good for taking care of the family.
    50% say, They would quit if they had a better place to work. Oy Vey!!!
    ….. Doesn’t this one Qualification Dis-Qualify 77% – 80% of pastor/elders?
    “IF” they are honest?
    ….. Because, 77%- 80%, Do NOT Rule, Manage, protect, guard, give aid…
    Well”, their own house?

    Hmmm? This Ain’t lookin good for elder/overeers. Yes? 🙂

    4 – not greedy of filthy lucre — Not greedy for money.
    5 – vigilant — no excessive wine, calm in spirit.
    6 – sober — of a sound mind, self controlled.
    7 – of good behavior — modest, unassuming, reserved.

    ….. Today many pastor/elders are seeking Celebrity; as Leaders, Conference Speakers, Authors, etc. Today, How many pastor/elders do WE, His Sheep, His Servants ”SEE” who are Unassuming? Modest? Reserved? Calm in spirit? Sound mind? Self controlled? Not greedy for money?

    Here’s another bunch of elder/overseers, who are Dis-Qualified. 🙂

    More commin…

    Like

  15. Avid Reader

    8 – no striker — NOT quarrelsome, contentious.
    9 – not a brawler — abstaining from fighting.
    10 – not self willed — NOT self pleasing, NOT arrogant.
    11 – not soon angry — NOT prone to anger.
    12 – temperate — having power over, restraining.
    ….. Well, here’s five more I do NOT Qualify for. 😉
    Do WE, His Ekklesia, His Disciples, see many pastor/elders today who meet these five? There can’t be many pastor/elders left who Qualify after these 12 tuff Qualifications. 🙂

    13 – holy — undefiled by sin, free from wickedness.
    14 – just — righteous, virtuous, innocent, faultless.
    Seems, Reformed Leaders, Pastor/Leaders, and the – Must have “Church Leaders”- crowd… Is really kinda fuzzy on these two, Holy and Just,* Undefiled by sin, innocent, faultless. I’ve noticed most “Church Leaders” (Another Term NOT found in the Bible.) just **“Ignore” them. Some do take the time to “Twist” them. 🙂

    Their children must also Qualify:
    “having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly” Titus 1:6
    15 – faithful children— believing, one who trusts in God’s promises.
    16 – not accused of riot — Strongs – asotia — unsavedness.
    ….. an abandoned dissolute life, lost to principle.
    17 – unruly — disobedient.
    Hmmm? Do you know any pastor/elder/overseers who have teenagers? 😉
    Do you know any teenagers NOT accused of being “disobedient?” 🙂

    These three Qualifications have to Dis-Qualify a bunch of pastor/elders. Yes?

    Now, that’s a tough list of Qualifications. Yes?
    And there are those 11. ”Submit“one to another.
    Don’t you believe ”ALL” the Qualifications…
    In 1 Tim 3:1-6, Titus 1:5-9, and the 11, are important?

    Which Qualifications, are ”pastor/leader/elder/reverends”
    Allowed to “Ignore” and “Twist?”

    xxxxxxxx

    Are WE,
    His Sheep, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Called Out Ones…
    His Body, His Kings and Priests, His Disciples, His sons…

    Required to ”Obey and Submit” to someone who… (Heb 13:17.)

    Who does NOT meet ”ALL” the Qualifications in the Bible???

    NOT anymore. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Thank you {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  16. “My conscience has been increasingly uneasy with the instruction not to neglect to meet together”

    Funny. They didn’t have church building, pulpits or pews in those days.

    Guess they met up at home. Probably at the Senior Pastors home though… otherwise how could he justify his salary without the building haha

    Christianity is ridiculous.

    Christ Jesus – is not.

    He is all.

    Amos, Avid, Lydia -great points

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Shy 1

    Yes – Much agreement…

    “…if a person wants to learn and grow,
    they must usually do it ”outside of church.”

    “If you want real fellowship, you usually find
    you must do that ”outside of church,” too.

    Yup – NOT much ”Fellowship” goes on Sunday Mormings.
    Unless looking at the back of someones head, for an hour, counts?
    Unless putting “Money” in the plate counts?

    “So what is the real purpose of church?”
    “ Is it a penance we have to do?” 🙂 HeeHee…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. KAS, I don’t desire to be rude so I’m sorry.

    I feel as though you think that in order for believers to meet in a valid way we must have men appointed as our ‘leaders’ for the purpose of deliberate ‘leading’. Firstly, the letters of Paul aren’t about us and I know Christians LOVE to dissect them despite the fact they’re not for us.

    If God wanted us to do things a certain way he would have sent a clear manual. Christians idolise the Bible.

    As Lydia pointed out:

    Jesus is the Word of God and not the Bible.

    Once you accept that the system of Christendom is entirely corrupt you start to see things very clear.

    Wherever I go, believers want me to join their club and adopt their chosen guru as ‘pastor’.

    I only need the One Pastor.

    He’s so clear on this.

    Like

  19. Amos,

    You’re right.

    The hireling spirit wants the salary, authority, and applause but won’t do the real work of the ministry—laying down his life for the flock.

    “When he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf pounces on them and scatters the flock. The man runs away because he is a hired servant and is unconcerned for the sheep.” John 10:12b-13 (BSB)

    Like

  20. Salty,

    You haven’t been rude at all—you’ve been providing a good dose of salt. I’m guessing you were inspired by Jesus command not to lose our seasoning! 🙂
    (Matt 5:13)

    Like

  21. KAS – Here is my issue with sticking with Mosaic ancient law….those were written during a time when people were fleeing one country/culture to create their own. Some of those laws we still see as important today, others such as mixing of fiber or eating shellfish, we are able to move beyond because they don’t apply to our time and culture.

    If Christians are okay with not following all of the Mosaic laws, why is it that there are some that cross the line of being acceptable? We live in a time and culture where women have the right to vote and participate in civil government. Women are able to hold down high level jobs because we’re just as capable as men to do the same jobs.

    Yet in the church and Christian marriage we’re not? Why? I maintain my same argument that I always have….church and marriage is the last stand that men will make to attempt to maintain control and power.

    In terms of the church, and Christians in general, I believe that the Spirit does not give out gifts based upon gender. If the Spirit places the gift of preaching on a woman, then she should preach. If it is the gift of teaching, then she should teach. If it is the gift of administration, she should lead. I think that the church hinders the Spirit by silencing women and holding them back from using their gifts. One day the church will have to answer to God about that sin.

    Like

  22. Salty – KAS, I don’t desire to be rude so I’m sorry.

    No problem, I just thought you were reacting a bit to being ‘got at’, when that wasn’t the intention on my part.

    I suppose where I disagree with you is that just because something carries the label ‘institutional church’ and has a ‘reverend’ named on the notice board of the building it can only be corrupt or fossilised. The church is people, and some of these people gather in traditional settings. Others don’t and meet in homes etc.

    A church without any kind of leaders won’t function. The NT is always balanced, and you have to balance the absence of elders was considered ‘defective’ by the aposlte Paul and needed rectifying with the fact he wrote Corinthians to the whole church without reference to elders – the ‘word’ was for the whole church, not a select group.

    Like

  23. It is harvest time here, so I haven’t been keeping us the comments made here, but will speak to the ‘gender’ issue of the post quickly. In my neck of the woods, the prime goal is to harvest the grain as efficiently as possible before the weather conditions render it impossible. So far, our LORD, has blessed us with very good weather so that our agriculturalists can harvest their crops in a timely manner. And LORD willing, all will be able to till the land, preparing it for next season’s crops. We are dependent upon our LORD for good weather, for He alone, is in control of all of it.

    That being said, I see both genders working hard around me, and yes, our children are also engaged in the working business process for we need all hands, minds, and bodies to help. We all work together in getting the job done, for it is our family’s income that we need to pay the bills and earn a living. Both male and females, drive combines, tractors, haul grain with semi trucks, single tandums, tractors pulling gravity boxes, as well as operate huge four wheel drive tractors in pulling huge tillage units to dig up the soil.

    I am not speaking this to “impress” anyone, nor “boast nor brag” of these facts. My point is, “both genders are doing the work for one end goal,” and that is “getting the job done!” Plain and simple. And truth be told, I love my job and I love being a dirt farmer, and I have even grown accustomed to all of those “church ladies” who look down on me making subtle comments of degradation in making themselves appear superior in the eyes of our LORD.

    Likewise, the Gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ, is not a hierarchal, nor gender filled requirement in the Kingdom of God. For me, it took leaving behind an abusive Baptist church, where the legalistic and rigid leadership believed they were the only ones “ministering” to us lowly sheep. They loved the sounds of their own voices, bragged and boasted of how much “they loved the lord” and all of the great works they were doing for him, and they loved the applause, the back patting, and all of the worshipful praise given to them. And the name of Jesus and His Ways were silent amongst them in every day conversations…..The Sunday morning show didn’t progress on Monday, Tuesday, etc.

    There was a time in my life when I transgressed into a deep, deep depression, feeling like there was not way out. I can identify with TOILER and many others here who have confessed their hurt and pain, and FEAR. Yes, depression can be extremely fearful, leaving the soul and body weak and desperately in need of help.
    Two church ladies called me during that time of despair, and I poured out my soul concerning my thoughts, feelings, and the farming situation that I was in at that time….I was led to believe that I couldn’t do anything right by my ‘boss’ and his family. They were speaking poison into my life, rendering me completely hopeless, and yet, because of my strong faith in Jesus, I plugged on through His Word. And if there was a dollar awarded for every tear shed, many who experience this type of pain, would be considered wealthy by the world’s standards.

    Needless to say, one church woman (who has always spoken down to me spiritually – she is a member of a charismatic church and organizes ‘women’s conferences) did not offer any prayer concerns, no Scriptures to encourage me, nor love of any kind while I was crying on the phone, but instead, said, “When I married my husband, I told him that no way was I going to be “his” farm hand.” The other woman who called me during this very dark time, is in leadership in her church system, a deaconess/church board member involved in “ministry” of various sorts, whom I thought was a compassionate woman, but to no avail, she too said this, “I told my husband when I married him, that I was not going to do fieldwork for him.”
    No compassion, no empathy, absolutely nothing. And yet through the years I listened to their distraught hearts concerning their problems, hurts and fears. And yet, no reciprocation. None.

    Thankfully, I was ministered to by non churched believers and followers of Jesus Christ. These individuals encouraged me by sharing my burdens, by praying for me, and by just plain loving me back into a healthy state of being because they loved me, and because they knew and loved Jesus as their own. These saints “ministered” to me, a hurting soul at that particular time in my life. They were not people of great importance to the visible church/religious system, nor were they official members of any denominational church, just simple Christ followers doing the work of the Holy Spirit in pointing me to Jesus and His Word.

    Our LORD does use people for His Glory, for His Purpose, and for His Praise, for at the end of the day, it matters not that the love of the Gospel is shared by a “man” or a “woman” or a child for that matter, what really matters to our LORD is that we love Him most, and we love our neighbor as ourselves. Those are the two greatest commands that renders the Gospel alive and active still in this day.

    In reading and rightly understanding God’s Word, we are to minister to one another as the Holy Spirit leads us to do so. I have learned the hard way, that ‘leaders’ in churches more often than not, abuse those of us who do not bow down and worship them in place of Jesus. And to be frank, it makes them angry.

    Harvest is calling, and ultimately, it is Jesus Who welcomes the “Final Harvest.” May our LORD continue to bless His children during this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Kathi – the NT consistently basis its teaching on marriage – both Jesus and apostles – on the OT, taking it out of cultural constraints, and showing the validity of this aspect of OT teaching. I take it that the inspiration of the NT makes the interpretation of the OT set out there authoritative for NT believers.

    As far as the Law of Moses goes, my take is that we are not under the law at all, simply under Christ, and under grace. Liberated from not being good enough. This makes the laws on shellfish, so often brought up by atheists, a bit … of a red herring. To the extent the law reveals right and wrong, moral law, it is eternally valid, as it reflects God’s character.

    What women can or can’t do in the ‘secular’ world is irrelevant as to what they can or can’t do in the church. The church has got to base its practice on the NT alone and not follow cultural trends around it. Especially when the trends are the mark of an increasingly godless culture.

    I don’t see the NT pattern of marriage as being about control and power, even if some men do. Both the submission of the wife and the love of the husband work against this. Is it really so desperately so complicated? The problem is sin, and the weakness of the flesh, not the bible!

    I agree with you on spiritual gifts, with the proviso the NT regulates their use. I also agree many (mostly men?) will have to give an account for needlessly silencing women, but also some evangelical feminists will have to give an account for where they have been disobedient to apostolic teaching as well. Whilst I don’t believe in a legalistic God, I do think he expects us to make a sensible and good faith attempt at living this stuff out, rather than arguing about why we shouldn’t!

    Like

  25. Avid Reader

    You write @ OCTOBER 16, 2016 @ 11:33 AM…
    “The most deeply rooted tradition ”in the church”
    is ”misogyny”
    which has become such a deeply rooted tree
    that it crosses virtually all denominational lines.”

    In my experience, of being both a part of, and leaving, ”Today’s Corrupt Religious System,” ”misogyny” does NOT exist in ”The Church of God,” ”The Body of Christ.” This… err… stuff… Does exist in the church of man, the thousands of denominations, the 501 (c) 3, Non-Profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporations, that the IRS calls church. It exists “Because” MAN is in control and NOT Jesus.

    I do NOT recall Jesus asking His Disciples to Incorporate with the Government. 😉
    I do NOT recall Jesus asking His Disciples to start Thousands of Denominations.. 😉
    That’s what “the church of man” does.

    Where I live in “The Body of Christ” this gender issue,“Comp or Egal”- does NOT exist. Roles do not exist. “Disciples of Christ” do NOT exercise, or assume authority over another “Disciple of Christ.” (Mark 10:42) In Christ we are “ONE.” NO Male or Female. (Gal 3:28) “The Church” is “the body” of Christ. NOT a building, an organization, an institution, a denomination, or a 501 c 3, IRS Corporation. Keeping to “The Traditions of Men” is not the point.

    Where I live in “The body of Christ” it’s about – Who knows Jesus? Who is Hearing “His Voice?” Who has a living Christ within? Who has the Spirit of God dwelling in them? Who has been taught by God? Who has a revelation from God? Who is exhibiting “the Fruit of the Spirit?” Who is moving in the “Gifts of the Spirit?” Male or Female.

    This is what’s important….
    ”ALL” can be His Sheep, *“Hear His Voice.”** And Follow Jesus.
    “The “ONE” Leader.” “The “ONE” Shepherd.”

    ”ALL” can be His Disciple, NO middle Man, and learn Directly from Jesus.
    “The “ONE” Teacher.”

    ”ALL” can, and are expected to, “participate.”
    NOT just sit in a pew for 30 years… 😦

    1 Cor 14:26
    How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you
    hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation,
    hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

    It’s NOT about “Who” does the teaching…
    But, “Who” has a revelation from God.

    It’s about recognizing and discerning the Spirit that dwells within a person.

    The Spirit of God?

    Or, the Spirit of the world?

    Or, ….

    Like

  26. Katy,

    That long post was really powerful. Thanks for sharing. You raised some issues that really needed to be addressed. I hope you will continue to speak up and not be silent.

    Like

  27. Salty

    You write @ OCTOBER 19, 2016 @ 6:21 AM…
    “I married a second gen Anabaptist so his family is full of believers.”

    Yeah – Good for you – I liked what I read about those “Anabaptists.”
    I do have an affinity for the Anabaptists, and the way they started.

    Read a little of their history and liked their focus on Jesus. And they must have done something right, because both “The Protestant Reformers” and “The Catholics,” persecuted them. And I mean Tortured and Killed them. But they seemed to go to the fires and the drownings knowing Jesus also suffered. These folks had courage. 🙂

    Info from the book – The Secret of the Strength – About Mennonites.
    Free PDF download off the internet. – http://www.gw.org/Sos/Sos.pdf

    Menno, as a Catholic Priest, left “The Corrupt Religious System,”
    Of His day because, ”Rome” believed and acted as…
    “the church stands between God and man”

    I also ”SEE” that today – When Jesus is NOT ”The ”ONE” Leader.”
    Today’s pastor/shepherd/leader ”stands between God and man”

    Menno, and the first Anabaptists believed in….
    “man’s freedom of choice and his duty
    to obey the voice of Christ within him.”

    “The Anabaptists took literally the words of Paul in 1 Cor. 14:30-31: “And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” They called this the “sitter’s right” and calmly implied that they, when moved by inner conviction, had as great a right to speak and to act as any pastor, any priest, any reformer or bishop or pope. This audacity, this “Sitzrecht from the pit of hell,” Martin Luther and his friends believed, could be dealt with only by fire, water, and the sword.”

    Yup – You can ”SEE” the same thing today…
    When you challenge the Power, Profit, Prestige…
    Of ”Today’s Corrupt Religious Leaders.“
    Thing get ugly very fast.

    xxxxxxxx

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    THEIR shepherds have caused them to go astray,

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  28. Salty

    What’s all this commotion about a “Reformation?”
    All the “Reformers” did was Re – Form “The Corrupt Religious System.”
    But, it’s still “A Religious System” and it is still “Corrupt.” 🙂

    Seems Jesus did NOT reform, or redeem…
    “The Corrupt Religious System,” of His day.

    Jesus left it.

    Jesus left “The Corrupt Religious System” He set up.

    Those were His laws, His Priests, His Religious Leaders. And Jesus called them snakes, whited sepulchers, of your father the Devil, you put heavy weights on mens shoulders and do nothing to lift it off. etc. Things have NOT changed much. Jesus, was NOT happy with ”The Corrupt Religious Leaders“ of His day.

    After Jesus left “The Corrupt Religious System,” He “Called Out” (Ekklesia) others, His Disciples, into a relationship with Him to become “ONE” Body with Jesus as the head. NOT man.

    If His Disciples were “Called Out” of “The Corrupt Religious System,” 2000 years ago? Isn’t it likely Jesus, is “Calling Out” His Disciples from “The Corrupt Religious System,” of Today? 🙂

    Could that be why, Today, there are so many ”Nones? And ”Dones?”

    What do you think Jesus meant when he said…

    Wherefore come out from among them,
    and be ye separate, saith the Lord,
    and touch not the unclean thing;
    and I will receive you,
    2 Cor 6:14-18

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  29. KAS,

    Double standards are an ABOMINATION TO GOD. (Prov 11:1 & 20:10)

    You said that you weren’t attending church currently because the church leadership had not been holding to Bible standards in the area of sexual immorality. That’s totally understandable and even admirable that you’re willing to hold onto Scripture when the world disagrees with you.

    Think about this for a moment. You recognized when NOT to submit to spiritual authority that was going against the Word—but you can’t seem to understand that women face that same dilemma everyday. Women are told by the church to submit to sin constantly!

    You quoted the verse that tells MEN TO SUBMIT.
    (1Peter 5:5)

    The Greek word is “Hupotasso.”

    That’s the SAME Greek word that the Apostle Paul uses in Eph 5:21—telling BOTH MEN and women TO SUBMIT.

    So here’s the thing—whatever “Hupotasso” means when it applies to MEN—it means the EXACT SAME THING when it applies to women.

    I could post all kinds of quotes where theologians will interpret Scripture one way for men and then completely change the interpretation for women because they really don’t want to submit themselves. They just want women to submit.

    Now Philip Barton Payne wrote in Man and Woman One in Christ that English readers of the Bible can’t see what the literal Greek is saying in Eph 5:21-22.

    Throughout Paul’s NT writings and the whole NT, “Wherever there is a reciprocal pronoun there is reciprocity.”

    Then he gives several examples such as

    Luke 2:15 “The shepherds said to one another.”
    1Cor 11:33 “When you come together to eat, wait for each other.”
    Gal 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens.”

    Then Payne goes through a VERY COMPLICATED discussion of NT Greek to explain how what Paul actually wrote in Eph 5:21-22 was MUTUAL submission—meaning the husband is commanded to SUBMIT TOO!

    KAS—maybe your schedule hasn’t allowed you as much time to research as you’d like but when you do get the time—this is a book you need to read! You really need to do some more research and study. 🙂

    Like

  30. Katy, thank you so much for sharing all of that. Such a painful story, and at such a busy time for you too.

    For me, it took leaving behind an abusive Baptist church, where the legalistic and rigid leadership believed they were the only ones “ministering” to us lowly sheep. They loved the sounds of their own voices, bragged and boasted of how much “they loved the lord” and all of the great works they were doing for him, and they loved the applause, the back patting, and all of the worshipful praise given to them.

    Lemme guess: They also took great pains to let you know how unworthy they were, and to convince you that no one was humbler than they are.

    Or did they not even bother with the pretense?

    Like

  31. Avid Reader,

    I met Payne last summer. His background is interesting. He was a committed Comp. An older prof challenged him to prove his beliefs in rigorous scholarship. He was determined to prove comp doctrine limiting women in the Body. A few years later, he could not.

    The biggest problem is people like KAS think historical context is sinful. They want to believe Paul wrote his letters knowing we would be reading 2000 years later on computer with a 19th amendment, low infant/mother deaths in childbirth, and flying in airplanes. They don’t want to believe Jesus was communicating with his audience from their understanding of the world of Roman rule, corrupt Religious leaders and the paterfamilias.

    I wonder if KAS will share the OT laws where God prohibited women from teaching or leading men?

    Like

  32. Serving Kids in Japan,

    You wrote: “Lemme guess: They also took great pains to let you know how unworthy they were, and to convince you that no one was humbler than they are.
    Or did they not even bother with the pretense?”

    Lemme guess: no pretense from those lowly worms, ya know? God only uses “broken vessels” ya know? “I can’t believe God can use someone as unworthy as I am to do such great things…”

    Ya know? Thanks for the laugh; always needed.

    Like

  33. Lydia,

    Thanks for sharing. That’s cool. 🙂

    I agree with you—Jesus told the Pharisees that there were OT laws that were NEVER what God wanted for His people but the people were so stubborn that God gave them the type of laws they would accept with their “hardness of heart.”

    The more research and study that I’ve done—the more it becomes clear that from the very beginning—God has tried to protect women and everyone at the bottom of the totem pole from the harsh reality of the cultures that they lived in.

    To really understand the OT in context—
    Put the Law of Hammurabi next to the Law of Moses and all of a sudden God’s heart for protecting women becomes clear.

    Case in point—the Law of Hammurabi gave the death penalty to anyone trying to help a fugitive slave escape.

    The Law of Moses gave the death penalty to the slave traders and commanded everyone to help the fugitive slaves escape. Guess what verse was the motto of the Underground Railroad in Civil War era America?

    Deut 23:15-16 (NASB)
    “You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you….”

    God’s heart of justice for the oppressed hasn’t changed since He sent Moses to tell Pharaoh—LET MY PEOPLE GO THAT THEY MAY SERVE ME!!!!!

    Like

  34. Katy, your comment brought on a few tears.

    Shame.

    Amos. I’m hearing ya.

    KAS. I can’t in good conscience attend any meetings where someone commands authority over me then asks me to open my wallet for the pleasure of their ‘service’. I have people in my life who are elders (godly aged persons) and they provide oversight as required. No religious sermons necessary. God strike me dead if I’ve got this wrong.

    He sees my heart.

    The whole thing belongs to Him.

    Like

  35. Then Payne goes through a VERY COMPLICATED discussion of NT Greek to explain how what Paul actually wrote in Eph 5:21-22 was MUTUAL submission—meaning the husband is commanded to SUBMIT TOO!

    Interesting. Submission so clearly does not mean blind obedience. How can anyone think that? It makes no sense. It surely doesn’t mean becoming a literal slave to ones husband, because he’s a man, or going along with abusive churches because leaders are ‘watching out for your souls’ or what have you. And until somebody can figure out what it actually means, and explain it properly, I don’t think I’ll take them seriously when they start yacking about it.

    Like

  36. “To really understand the OT in context—
    Put the Law of Hammurabi next to the Law of Moses and all of a sudden God’s heart for protecting women becomes clear.”

    Exactly! We must understand the law within the context it was given. A people who had lived under pagan rule for years. It sounds harsh until we compare it to pagan laws! It is what they understood as in the golden calf?. Another reason for the 40 years and a new generation to take the land promised?

    We don’t consider Scripture enough through the pre enlightenment thinking and ancient pagan cultures with many gods.

    Like

  37. Lea,

    Good points! I’m wondering if what the Apostle Paul was trying to communicate was the idea of two people balancing each other, adjusting to each other and preferring each other in love. He keeps emphasizing that through the NT and especially in reference to marriage and teaches really revolutionary concepts to a patriarchal culture such as the wife having authority over the husband’s body, etc. He keeps mentioning both sides even when it gets repetitive so you can see him going out of his way to make sure that the wife’s needs didn’t get neglected.

    It kinda sounds more and more like the idea of balancing each other like we see on the playground when two people are on a seesaw that keeps adjusting to the place where each other is at.

    Like

  38. Avid Reader – I agree that superficially Eph 5 may look as though it teaches mutual submission, and I used to this there was some truth in this. I have given this thought and seen it discussed – but like “day” and the beginning and “millennium” at the end of the bible, not always to good purpose. Both sides can get a bit obsessed with it too.

    There are many reasons for thinking Be[ing] subject to one another out of reverence for Christ is not mutual. Just one is the fact Paul relates the wife submit/husband head metaphor to the relationship of Christ to the church. They are analogous, and by definition the submission is not mutual, the Christ is not submitted to the church. This also takes this pattern out of the realm of culture. The cumulative effect of all the other reasons for me makes the ‘mutual’ understanding untenable.

    There are no Christians who are not submitted to someone else – collectively the church including men to Christ, to the secular authorities, younger in the faith to ‘elders’.

    It is important to be consistent and insist the type of love Christ requires of husbands and for which he will judge them is not mutual with the wife either.

    Needless to say these ideas don’t appeal to modern culture. The rejection in some parts of the church can be plain rebellion of the no-one tells me what to do type, but I hasten to add some fear that ‘submission’ would entail blind obedience or even the acceptance of being abused. I don’t think the latter is the case at all, no woman has to submit to sinning. Christ and his word have a higher authority than any man.

    There is no doubt immature and ignorant men can take wives submitting to husbands ‘in everything’ as justifying complete control-freakery or domination. A decent ‘eldership’ should ensure they are put right on this in short order, instructed to get on with loving their wives, such instruction being something they too need to ‘submit’ to!

    I don’t think anyone should ever let their interpretation become set in stone, but I do have to admit a certain weariness with seeing Eph 5 : 21 repeatedly quoted to assert mutual submission, when the application of this idea is the very point in dispute for those who don’t see mutuality here.

    Like

  39. “Needless to say these ideas don’t appeal to modern culture. The rejection in some parts of the church can be plain rebellion of the no-one tells me what to do type, but I hasten to add some fear that ‘submission’ would entail blind obedience or even the acceptance of being abused. I don’t think the latter is the case at all, no woman has to submit to sinning. Christ and his word have a higher authority than any man.”

    Based upon your entire comment, how would the poor ignorant adult woman know specifically what is sinful or not? “Who” would instruct her of such? So, was Sapphira acting alone willfully or submitting to her husband in the plan? She paid a high price for submitting. It can’t be both ways.

    In your caste scenario, “someone” must tell the husband what to do or he is in rebellion. So who is it? Elders? Or does the Holy Spirit communicate to men specifically in a way it won’t with wives or women in general? Just trying to figure out how it works in your world where one gender’s plumbing is automatically in a higher spiritual caste.

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  40. “I don’t think anyone should ever let their interpretation become set in stone, but I do have to admit a certain weariness with seeing Eph 5 : 21 repeatedly quoted to assert mutual submission, when the application of this idea is the very point in dispute for those who don’t see mutuality here.”

    Application? I would love to see your discourse on applying the Eph 5 mapping metaphor in practicality. One must be careful in their mapping metaphors. They might miss the larger point of the chiasm. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.

    Grudem says that pastors, elders and husbands are exempt from Eph 5:21. Who else is left?

    Like

  41. Lydia,
    Yes, who is left, glaringly so? What has Grudem (the great false teacher) decided, being a personal spokesman for God?

    Like

  42. There is no doubt immature and ignorant men can take wives submitting to husbands ‘in everything’ as justifying complete control-freakery or domination. A decent ‘eldership’ should ensure they are put right on this in short order

    KAS, when in the history of EVER has the ‘eldership’ at the church turned a controlling, abusive husband into a good man. It doesn’t happen. It especially doesn’t happen when you have told the man that his wife must submit, she is sinning if she doesn’t, because he is like Christ.

    The whole point of that was to tell husbands to LOVE their wives. It was not to tell them to be controlled. Jesus doesn’t control the church either. Jesus loves the church.

    Like

  43. Just one is the fact Paul relates the wife submit/husband head metaphor to the relationship of Christ to the church. They are analogous, and by definition the submission is not mutual, the Christ is not submitted to the church.

    Sorry, KAS, I don’t buy it. As far as I can see, Paul’s intention in mentioning Christ and the church in relation to marriage, is to focus on unity. That’s what he talks about in that passage, not hierarchy or one-sided submission. A husband and wife are supposed to be united to each other as Jesus and His church are. I can’t see how this can be used to argue for some caste system.

    There is no doubt immature and ignorant men can take wives submitting to husbands ‘in everything’ as justifying complete control-freakery or domination. A decent ‘eldership’ should ensure they are put right on this in short order, instructed to get on with loving their wives, such instruction being something they too need to ‘submit’ to!

    And if that “eldership” is not “decent”, then what? What if they’re like the pastors and elders that Dr. Ruth Tucker and Karen Hinckley had, who support domineering and abusive husbands? If women know that their husbands and elders are wrong and hurting them, what recourse do they have for justice and safety? They can’t gainsay their elders — that would be “rebellion”, not submission.

    For that matter, how is anyone supposed to hold bad or abusive elders to account, in your view?

    Like

  44. They can’t gainsay their elders — that would be “rebellion”, not submission.

    I was reading some crazy thread the other day…some said if a woman only obeys I’m sorry I mean ‘submits’ when she agrees, it’s not really submission. So…women are being actively told to shut down their brains entirely and just ignore everything they think and know in order to submit. And joyfully so.

    There is no way in the world this doesn’t open things up for abuse. It is baked into the cake. And it’s stupid. I don’t believe that God would prescribe this kind of a stupid arrangement.

    Like

  45. “As far as I can see, Paul’s intention in mentioning Christ and the church in relation to marriage, is to focus on unity.”

    Yes– which was radical in a time of arranged marriages where the wives typically lived in a part of the home with the children and servants if they had them. The typical arranged marriage was a younger woman to older man. Her position was based on childbearing Love was not a big factor in marriage. Everything a woman had whether food, a roof, etc came from her father and/or husband.

    Wealthy women had some options if allowed, though.

    Like

  46. (Avid Reader reads all the responses and lights up with a HUGE GRIN! 🙂 🙂 )

    Great points, Lea, Boston, ServingKids, Lydia.

    This reminds me of something I read while studying Civil War history.

    In the 1800’s there was a teenage girl named Angelina Grimke who grew up in one of the most powerful families in South Carolina. Raised in luxury on the plantation, she had everything she could want. But the only thing that she wanted was to please God’s heart.

    As she studied the Bible, the Lord began to deal with her about Eph 4:28, “Let him that stole, steal no more but labor with his hands…..”

    That opened her eyes to realizing that owning people was the sin of theft because it was stealing someone’s life from them. When Angelina shared that revelation with her family, they were furious. They told her she was crazy for rejecting their luxurious lifestyle.

    The family called their pastor, hoping he could talk some sense into her. Soon Angelina found herself standing before the board of church elders—facing church discipline. She boldly told them that they all had to repent and free their slaves. They told her she was too young to know any better.

    She fired back—writing an explosive book to southern women, saying that it was their moral responsibility to speak out against the evil of slavery.

    Long story short—that book inspired thousands of women to rise up and begin flooding Congress with antislavery petitions. In just a few years, thousands and thousands of petitions were pouring into Congress until the record rooms began bursting at the seams. Congress actually had to hire an entire new staff of clerks just to process the petitions that were getting stacked floor to ceiling.

    Women getting involved in politics was unheard of in a time of American history when women could not have control of their bank account, own property, receive an inheritance, or even keep their own earnings from a job without permission from their husbands or fathers. Women literally had the same legal status as children who needed a conservator to manage their finances for them.

    Meanwhile, Angelina was receiving so many death threats that she had to move north and never saw her family or hometown again. But her book opened many doors, with churches all over America asking her to come and share her testimony.

    That started a debate in America about whether women could even give public speeches. Pastors came together, issuing a Pastoral Letter ordering their congregations not to listen to Angelina because it was the Pastor’s responsibility to decide what topics were discussed in church. Of course they didn’t mention that young pastors graduating from seminary actually had to sign documents promising not to preach against slavery before they could be hired for a pastorate at their denomination.

    But the more they opposed her, the more people wanted to hear her and the more doors opened to her. Eventually even the leaders of the antislavery movement would admit that in a time when they were getting discouraged in the face of massive opposition, she was turning the tide.

    Angelina would end up marrying one of those leaders and raising a family with him as they both continued to stand strong in the face of tremendous evil. She helped him write the ground breaking book that sold 100,000 copies, becoming the highest grossing book in America at that time. That book exposed the horrific evil that was happening on the plantations which no one wanted to talk about in a time when it was considered impolite to even acknowledge what was happening. That book turned public opinion in America towards abolition paving the way for a young lawyer from Illinois to get elected to the Presidency.

    Long story short—guess who Angelina’s friends were? Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Abbey Kelley, Lucy Stone. Even Susan B. Anthony was once one of those teenage girls going door to door to collect signatures on antislavery petitions. The suffrage movement was birthed by women trying to join the abolition movement, getting kicked out because of their gender and then having to fight for the ability to be an adult not a child.

    That’s how women got the right to vote in America. It started with a teenage girl who learned to be led by the Holy Spirit when everything was pressuring her to go in a different direction.

    Now when I first read KAS’ response—I started responding with a deep theological rebuttal. Over the years I’ve read just about every major Complementarian book so after a while it becomes really easy to recognize the same arguments getting repeated over and over. Writing the rebuttal is easy but debating theology gets really boring after a while so instead I wanted to share this piece of history with you because it reminded me of what our walk with the Lord is all about.

    “Be not conformed to this world—but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
    (Rom 12:2)

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Avid reader, thank you for the Grimke story! It is truly inspiring. I read of her a long time ago. Such stories remind us that “correct doctrine” is really lived out in truth, justice, etc, not sitting in pews.. It is also about doing right and correcting wrongs done to others.

    Another interesting woman of history, Harriet Beecher Stow, we know from “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” but not her book, “The Minister’s Wooing” where she deeply questions the Calvinism she was raised on– in novel form.

    Like

  48. KAS wrote ‘… They are analogous, and by definition the submission is not mutual, the Christ is not submitted to the church. ‘

    I think KAS is taking the analogy too far. Jesus spent a lot of his earthly ministry asking people what did they want him to do for them and then doing what was asked of him often far exceeding people’s expectations He taught, ‘Ask and it shall be given.’ He even said we would do greater things than he had done. If that is not mutuality, then I don’t know.

    Probably not on Paul’s mind at the time, but a modern understanding of physiology adds to the mutual submission expressed in the head/body metaphor. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland respond to signals from the body about whether to stimulate or suppress production of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone according to the level of thyroid hormones in the blood. Low levels stimulate production of TSH which causes the thyroid to produce hormones. Blood levels then increase and once a critical level is reached, feedback mechanisms tell the hypothalamus and pituitary to stop sending TSH and thyroid hormone production slows down.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Like

  49. As an antidote to this series, maybe, Kathi, you would consider doing a post on Godly Play. Godly Play is a way of encouraging children to develop their own spirituality and discover God/Jesus for themselves through story telling, wondering and creativity.

    Even as an adult, I find the Godly Play lessons help to bring Scripture alive.

    Like

  50. Estelle, Scripture is alive! The danger with kids’ books and interpretive/creative ways of learning about Jesus is that the writers/instructors somehow find “extra knowledge” or some “mysterious things” from who knows where and add all sorts of Disneyesque nonsense to it; that is the problem (think all these so-called Christian movies; name me ONE that is even close to being Biblical). It’s our responsibility to teach our kids about God, not a Sunday School’s or a school’s, or some book’s, or a stranger’s. The Bible is clear that we must teach our children, so that we can do it properly and make sure we don’t poison our precious ones with the misogynist leanings and outright abusive realities that have been discussed and seen (and experienced) on this thread.

    Estelle, the Bible alone should be the antidote; there is no other antidote to worldly and unbiblical teachings (such as this unbiblical mess called “God’s Design.”) other than the Bible. My parents used to tell me the most amazing stories when I was a kid…all from the Bible; it was the minute I entered Sunday School and school with their respective weird teaching ways that God became a stranger to me.

    When we teach our kids the biblical truth, uncomplicated as it is, then wonderful things like the story that Avid Reader shared with us (wow, that was wonderful, Avid Reader) happen.

    Godly Play is an approach based on Montessori principles. Sorry to say, but I would not expose any of my kids, were they still young, to that

    Like

  51. KAS
    You write @ OCTOBER 20, 2016 @ 5:42 AM…

    “A church without any kind of leaders won’t function.”

    I’m-a-thinkin…
    When youse seze church
    And I say **”Church.”

    It just **Ain’t da same ting… 🙂

    It seems quite obvious…
    You have never been in a group of His Disciples, His sons and daughters…

    In a meeting, an asembly of believers, ”Led by the Holy Spirit.” 🙂

    If you ever get a chance – Do NOT pass it up.

    Like

  52. KAS
    You write @ OCTOBER 20, 2016 @ 5:42 AM…
    “A church without any kind of leaders won’t function.”

    But, WE, His Sheep, His Disciples, have a ”Leader.” 🙂
    Jesus, HE is the head of The Body ”The Church.”
    xxxxxxxx

    And – Have you considered the ANT?
    The ANT is small and insignificant – Or is it?

    Proverbs 6:6-8 KJV
    6 – Go to the ant, thou sluggard;

    consider her ways, and be wise:
    7 – Which having NO guide, overseer, or ruler,

    8 – Provideth her meat in the summer,
    and gathereth her food in the harvest.

    Guide – 07101 qatsiyn
    KJV – ruler 4, prince 4, captain 3, guide 1; 12
    Thayers – chief, ruler, commander, dictator, ruler (of one in authority)

    Overseer – 07860 shoter {sho-tare’}
    KJV – officers 23, ruler 1, overseer 1; 25
    Thayers – official, officer./

    Ruler – 04910 mashal {maw-shal’}
    KJV – rule 38, ruler 19, reign 8, dominion 7, governor 4, 81
    Thayers – to rule, have dominion, reign, cause to rule, exercise dominion.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  53. Amos, it is really sad how many adults believe that “someone” has to be in charge of the adults in the Body, of all places. And all it takes is a human conferred title! I wonder why they insist on infantilizing themselves like that?

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Lydia

    “I wonder why they insist on infantilizing themselves like that?”

    I figure one reason is ”Traditions of Men.” ”Doctrines of Men.”
    That’s what ** ”The Pulpiteers,”** teach, ** “weak after weak.”**
    In different ways. Telling us ** ”The Corrupt System”** is ** ”Biblical.”**

    You need me, ** ”The Paid, Professional, Pastor,”** to teach you ** ”Truth.”**
    You need, ** “This 501 c 3, IRS Corporation church”** to grow, mature.

    And the truth??? they teach today is…
    You’re a good Christian – When you ”Pray, Pay, Stay, and Obey.”
    When you live that ”Lie” for 10 – 20 – 30 years… Sitting in a pew…

    Hearing, probably for the first time,
    ”You need NOT that any man teach you.” – That’s scary…

    And – Trying to understand that {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}
    Can, will, ”Teach you ALL Truth..” – Takes a large ”Step of Faith.”

    When you first begin to ”SEE IT” you question…
    You know sumptins wrong with ”The System,” but, NOT sure what…

    And, having to admit to yourself that you were deceived… Is tough…
    “How could I have been wrong for 30 years?” 😦

    And, when you finally take that ”Step,”
    Seems, NOT many of your friends, like the idea…

    “What do you mean the Holy Spirit will lead, guide and teach you?”
    “That’s NOT the way it’s done today.”

    Often WE, His Sheep, His Disciples, His Kings and Priests, His sons…

    Have to begin this journey – ”Alone.”

    Like

  55. Estelle,

    Great analogy—thanks for sharing.

    Amos,

    LOVE all your points—thanks for posting about the overseer verse in Prov 6.

    Lydia,

    Interesting thoughts about Harriet Beecher Stowe—now I want to read her book on Calvinism! Harriet is another great example of a woman who had to think through everything for herself to find the truth. Her father was one of the church leaders getting paid off to shut down all discussion that they didn’t want. But what inspired her to write her best selling novel was that book written by Angelina and her husband.

    It takes a lot of strength to withstand evil and stand for truth. God wants strong women. In fact the “virtuous” woman of Proverbs 31 actually means in the literal Hebrew—powerful woman.

    God wants powerful women. That means YOU!

    Like

  56. Amos – “A church without any kind of leaders won’t function.”

    “But, WE, His Sheep, His Disciples, have a ”Leader.”
    Jesus, HE is the head of The Body ”The Church.””

    When he ascended on high … he gave gifts to men. And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,
    to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, …

    You were lucky I even noticed your post, because usually I don’t. I think you should reconsider keeping the last two of Christ’s gifts listed here at arm’s length by disqualifying them unless they are sinlessly perfect. They are there for your blessing.

    Like

  57. Avid Reader Now when I first read KAS’ response—I started responding with a deep theological rebuttal. … it becomes really easy to recognize the same arguments getting repeated over and over. Writing the rebuttal is easy but debating theology gets really boring after a while …

    I honestly don’t blame you! I have looked at attempts by, for example, CBE to argue the case for mutual submission, but there is little I have found that doesn’t beg the question. Either that, or nothing actually to do with the text itself creeps into the discussion. It is either denied outright, distorted or added to.

    Perhaps we could at least agree on mutual humility, I think that is clearly taught.

    And yes, this debate can go round in circles and the same points raised over and over and over again. It’s pointless for all concerned unless anyone is willing to amend what they believe in the light of clearer or a more reasonable interpretation.

    I’m afraid the most recentt amendment to my own views on this was to firm up my belief that mutual submission is actually untenable as an understanding of the text, so from your point of view I have gone in the ‘wrong’ direction!

    Like

  58. KAS

    My comment was about the word “Leader.”
    Why do you talk about “Pastors?”

    Where in the Bible does it say a** “pastor,”** poimen, shepherd, is a “leader?”

    Where, in the Bible, does one of His Disciples call them self a “pastor?”
    Or poimen? Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    In the Bible, can you name one of His Disciples with the “Title” pastor?
    Or poimen? Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    THEIR shepherds have caused them to go astray,

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  59. And KAS

    You mention Eph 4:11, and shepherds and teachers…
    “…to equip the saints for the work of ministry.”

    Seems to me…
    In the Bible, shepherds are NOTHING like todays pastor/leader/reverends.
    Any shepherds given by God – Were Anonymous – NOT known or revealed.

    Can you name one of His Disciples who called them self shepherd?

    In The Bible – Can you find – Any…
    Shepherds who had “Titles” – “Pastor/Leader/Reverend?”
    Shepherds who called themselves – “Pastor/Leader/Reverend?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves – as a “Special Clergy Class?”
    Shepherds who promoted His Sheep as lesser “Lay people?”

    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Leaders?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Church Leaders?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Spiritual Leaders?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Christian Leaders?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Leaders to be Obeyed?”

    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “Spiritual Authority?”
    Shepherds who promoted themselves as – “God Ordained Authority?”

    Shepherds who separated from the flock, wearing different, special, clothes?
    Shepherds who were – Hired and Fired – by congregations?
    Shepherds who would move from one congregation to another?
    What’s up with that?
    Shepherds who would “Exercise Authority” over another Disciple?
    Shepherds who had their own private parking space? 🙂

    Well, you get the drift…
    NOT much of what todays pastor/leader/reverend gets paid for or does…
    Is In The Bible… 😉

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  60. Amos, KAS is immersed in caste thinking. He cannot differentiate between a linear function in the Body and a static authoritarian titled “office” which has been the “Orthodox” interpretation by those who benefit or feel they need to be perpetual spriitual babes led by another adult with a human conferred title.

    Jesus Christ’s own words disagree with KAS’ interpretation. Few pay much attention to Christ anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Lydia

    Yes – In my experience…
    Most, who are in “The Corrupt Religious System.”
    Are in bondage to ”The Tradtions of Men.”
    That “Make Void” ”The Word of God.”

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    xxxxxxxxx

    Mark 7:13
    NLT – you “cancel” the word of God to hand down your own tradition…
    KJV – Making the word of God of “none effect” through your tradition…
    ASV – ”Making Void” the word of God by your tradition…
    NIV – Thus you “nullify” the word of God by your tradition…

    Today’s ”pastor/leader/reverend”
    Is NO where to be found in the Bible. 🙂

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    Like

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  63. Amos – Haven’t you ever wondered why Jesus taught His Disciples NOT to be called “Leaders?”For you have “ONE” leader – the Christ?And NONE did… None of His Disciples called themselves “Leader.In the Bible, ALL of “His Disciples” called themselves “Servants.” ;-)Mat 23:10-12 NASB – New American Standard Bible Do not be called leaders; for “ONE” is your Leader, that is, Christ.

    Paul – … a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words …

    You posted this over 4 years ago, with a complaint from the blog owner this was repetition of similar posts going back another 4 years. 8 years of saying the same thing.

    You seem to me to be enslaved to repeating the same thing almost verbatim. I don’t entirely disagree with some of your criticisms of the modern church and its titles, but I think you of all people need a pastor to receive the blessing of being set free from this repititious cycle.

    And, to set a good example and not derail the thread any further, I’m not going to keep repeating this either.

    Like

  64. And KAS

    I’m glad we are in agreement… 🙂

    I keep asking you…

    Where, in the Bible, does one of His Disciples call them self a “pastor?”
    Or poimen? Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    In the Bible, can you name one of His Disciples with the “Title” pastor?
    Or poimen? Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    xxxxxxxxx

    And, In the Bible…
    You can NOT find – And – I, Amos, can NOT find…

    One of His Disciples who ”called them” self a “pastor.”
    Or poimen. Or shepherd. Or leader. Or reverend.

    One of His Disciples with the “Title” pastor?
    Or poimen? Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

    Like

  65. KAS

    If you tired of reading my words…
    Maybe you would enjoy reading about…
    Two EXXX-pastors. One 33 yrs – One 3 yrs…
    Who say – “There aren’t any church pastors in the NT… 🙂

    xxxxxxxxxx

    The Glass Pastor – “Casting Off The Task-Masters”
    http://theglasspastor.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/casting-off-the-task-masters/

    “Don’t get me wrong, for my part I did my best to play the role of ‘pastor’, but I always knew that I would not be able to really pull it off. First of all, I didn’t really buy it. There aren’t any church pastors in the New Testament, and I could never get past that.”

    xxxxxxxx

    Seems the only one in the NT with the “Title/Position” Shepherd/Leader
    Is…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  66. KAS

    “I’ve Resigned from Professional Pastoring”
    http://eric-carpenter.blogspot.com/2014/08/why-i-resigned-from-professional.html

    “I’m not sure how else to say this, so here it is:
    I’ve resigned from professional pastoring.

    After much study of scripture, prayer, discussions with some of my friends, and reading good books, I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer in good conscience remain a salaried pastor. I cannot find it anywhere in the bible, so I’m not going to do it.”

    xxxxxxxxxx

    Seems the only one in the NT with the “Title/Position” Shepherd/Leader
    Is…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  67. KAS,

    The whole point of Angelina’s story is that our walk with God is about not being conformed to the world but being transformed by the renewing of our mind through Scripture and being led by the Holy Spirit.

    Think about a fourteen year old girl standing in front of the entire church board, telling them all to repent for slavery and the pastor replies—how can all of us be wrong and you be right?

    Angelina was willing to obey God even when it meant being rejected by her family, ostracized by the whole community and having to walk away from everything she had ever known. At one point when William Lloyd Garrison is sitting in a prison cell, she writes him a powerful letter that he later publishes in his newspaper and sets off a firestorm of criticism—shocking many that someone from the powerful Grimke family could actually say something this controversial.

    She wrote,

    “If persecution is the means which God has ordained for the accomplishment of this great end—emancipation—then depending on Him for strength to bear it—I say LET IT COME! This is a cause worth dying for.”

    There comes a time when we all have to decide between standing with the Lord and standing with the world. That’s when we need the strength to face heavy opposition—that strength comes from spending time with the Lord, reading the Word and listening to the Holy Spirit. My point is that we can get so caught up in arguing theology that we forget the big picture of what God requires from all of us.

    “What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God.” Micah 6:8b (GNT)

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Think about a fourteen year old girl standing in front of the entire church board, telling them all to repent for slavery and the pastor replies—how can all of us be wrong and you be right?

    That was a beautiful story. And a handy guide to thinking about whether what you hear is on track…would this girl be condemned or praised under their model?

    Like

  69. My prayer is that the next generation of girls will have nothing to do with churches that would make them a 2nd class citizen of the Kingdom of God!

    Like

  70. Avid Reader My point is that we can get so caught up in arguing theology that we forget the big picture of what God requires from all of us.

    Yes yes yes. 🙂 I very much agree with this.

    There is a time for everything. I believe both egalitarianism and patriarchy to be in error, and it is legitimate to discuss and/or expose this. Most people marry, the church has the maker’s instructions, and getting this wrong can do damage to people either way.

    But when you look at what is going on in the world, the two candidates for November only ever discussed on a ‘lesser of two evils’ basis, the wars and refugees in other parts of the world, there is something very wrong if exactly who Junia was in the first century has some kind of higher priority. Abstract discussions on the Trinity or what kind of theology was really espoused by someone who died 70 years ago.

    I have been convicted recently of just how much evangelical internet is hay, wood and stubble and will be consumed by fire at the judgement at the end of the age. A lot is little more than rumour-mongering. There is a lot that’s good, but far too many discussions of the ‘why we don’t need to obey this teaching’ variety (I mean across a broader spectrum than marriage). It can be quite discouraging at times. The right doctrine held with the wrong attitude as well (I personally find some complementarians guilty of this. It’s very off-putting.)

    Somebody once cheekily rephrased the apostle Paul:

    Besides that, they learn to be idlers, gadding about from blog to blog, and not only idlers but gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.

    Well that should send you on your way rejoicing!

    Like

  71. A. Amos Love,

    God Bless You Brother in Christ Jesus! The site you posted brought me to my knees in tears, for this former pastor speaks the truth in love. Finally, a pastor who rightly divides the Word of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I have never ever heard a pastor, a professionally salaried church man, admit the truth and do the right thing by resigning his position and literally serve Jesus from a servant, lower laity position.

    I cried and cried and cried, for it bears witness to the truth of the organic ekklesia literally being led by the Holy Spirit, verses the traditions and schemes of men, using and abusing Scriptures for their own kingdoms built by themselves without Jesus amongst them.

    I find our Scriptures comforting in the fact that when our LORD and Savior chose His disciples from amongst men, He particularly chose those who were not of highly regarded theological degrees. Why not. Were not the theologians of Jesus day teachable? Then came Saul in the Book of Acts, a trained Rabbi, and in those days they were to memorize the first five books of the Old Testament. Highly intelligent to be sure in order to accomplish such a feat, and rigid and legalist for sure in trying to live a life abiding by the Old Covenant. Saul, the persecutor, killer of born again Christ believers and followers, until He met the Risen LORD, Jesus Christ on that Damascus road. Humbled and left helpless through complete blindness.

    Broken. A bruised reed so to speak, but not crushed nor abandoned. Jesus was there taking care and teaching the former Saul, now Paul. A true picture of humility as experienced by a broken human being, slowly being prepared for ministry by our Master, Jesus.

    Funny how visible Christianity is in the natural. I attended a Bible study for a couple of years within our community, made up of various denominations. We boasted and bragged of our Bible Study, and yet, we never opened up our Bibles to read verse upon verse in context, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us, we never confessed our own sins to one another as our Father calls us to do, and rarely did we share and bear one another’s burdens as we are instructed to do by God’s Holy Word, and we prayed very little for one another, however, we did:

    Drink tons of coffee, ate wonderful pastries, and gossiped, gossiped, and gossiped some more about this one and that one in our community, disgusted and appalled concerning all of those ‘sinners’ out there. Most of the people we gossiped about, I didn’t even know, but when I met them, then I knew lots of gossip about their families. So when I boasted and bragged to those in the community about this great Bible(?) study I was attending…..I was a liar…..because we didn’t study the Bible to grow in our faith in our Savior, we became gossips and busybodies! And the main reason we did not share our burdens with one another, thus a very shallow to almost non-existant prayer life amongst the group, is because we knew that our business would be gossiped from here to kingdom come because most churched folks do not know how to share a burden in confidence. Shame on us for lying and shame on us for gossiping and not praying for those souls instead.

    Recently, we went out for supper with some churched friends, the man is the church board president, and his wife is a deaconess. I haven’t set foot in their church since someone there violently ripped my name off of our church mailbox amongst other abusive tactics designed to kill and destroy, so I haven’t kept up with the folks there. But to no avail, I heard volumes of gossip from the church board president as well as his deaconess wife, things which should NOT have been repeated as they were told these things in confidence by naïve sheep. For shame!

    So in this regard, I have to thank-you KAS for that paraphrase for I remember all too well when J.D. Hall was harassing Ergun Caner’s son via the internet and it brings tears to my soul. A church pastor, no less, and the vitriol and hatred on his part. For shame. And I remember well, when Oasis was being harassed on the internet by those who called themselves believers and followers of Jesus Christ. We throw believers under the bus, allowing them to bear their own burdens because the visible church is focused on leadership, noses and nickels. For shame! Please keep her precious soul in our prayers!

    There is much work to be done in the Body of Christ to be sure, and since leaving the harlot church, I have become more open and accepting in allowing the lower laity dogs, the nobodies, the non-leadership in Christ’s Ekklesia, to minister to my soul for this is how the priesthood of believers actually work in the Kingdom of God. Christianity, believing and following Jesus Christ, was never meant to be a pyramid scheme, for that pyramid is non-existant at the foot of the cross, only level ground. And as I have stated before, I would rather break bread and fellowship with a prostitute who is born again of the Spirit of our LORD, than a church leader who knows nothing of Jesus and His teachings and His Way. And there is such joy and freedom in knowing Jesus without chains of man attached to my back.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Katy

    Good stuff – Yeah – Me Too…

    “…since leaving the harlot church,
    I have become more open and accepting in
    allowing the lower laity dogs, ”the nobodies,”
    the non-leadership in Christ’s Ekklesia, to minister to my soul
    for this is how the priesthood of believers
    actually work in the Kingdom of God.”

    xxxxxxx

    Katy, ”the nobodies,” reminded me of this.

    1 – Nobody’s willing to go the the cross…

    2 – Nobodies willing to go the the Cross…

    Hmmm? Which one am I?

    xxxxxxxx

    C. R. O. S. S.

    C. hrist
    R. edeems
    O. ur
    S. inful
    S. ouls

    On the CROSS. 😉

    Like

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  75. @ServingKidsInJapan (and dodging Kancho Assassins):

    Lemme guess: They also took great pains to let you know how unworthy they were, and to convince you that no one was humbler than they are.

    Like

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