176 comments on “Church Discussion

  1. Dave AA,

    Thanks for that info.

    In case anyone is wondering—Gene Edwards and Frank Viola have been involved together for a long time. They are both considered to be “founders” of the “organic church movement” which is actually nothing new. Home fellowships have been around for hundreds of years.

    Like

  2. Allegation #5—While he was employed as a teacher—the police allegedly caught Frank Viola in a motel room with one of his teenage students.

    When people found out—Frank was allegedly fired from his public school teaching job and kicked out of his church leadership position.

    This was a public statement published and circulated among the house churches as a letter back when Frank Viola’s church was investigating what happened:

    “On July 25, 2002, six brothers wrote an extensive letter of admonishment to Gene (Edwards) and Frank (Viola). Later, I wrote an essay, “Why March 10, 2002?,” in which I documented some crucial events in Brandon, FL, all of which were verified by the independent testimony of plural witnesses.

    “The truth is that in May of 2000 Frank’s wife received a phone call from a policewoman informing her that Frank was in a motel room with a young lady. This 19-year old girl was a former student of Frank’s in the high school where he taught, and a part of the Brandon assembly.

    He had been fooling around with her in the last quarter of 1999. He wrote a book called “Forbidden Affection” in early 2000, and had the gall to dedicate this book —which was in fact describing the struggle connected to his own sexual attraction to this girl—both to the young lady he was having illicit contact with and to his wife.

    Instead of dealing properly with this sinful behavior in 2000, Gene opted that it be covered up. Frank’s wife was to remain silent about what had happened, and the young lady was whisked off to another of Gene’s assembly, with lies constructed to explain her sudden exit. Frank’s wife was silent until March of 2002.

    Frank’s relationship with the young lady was not a one-time event. He had cultivated a relationship with her, and she helped him edit the book about their affair together! You don’t rent a motel room just to kiss. It would appear that adultery was the goal of the tryst, and was only interrupted because the police were summoned and Frank’s wife was notified of her husband’s activities.

    On May 17, 2002, I called Gene. Gene did all the talking, and insisted that Frank had not committed any immorality.

    However, our letter of July, 2002, and my essay, “Why March 10, 2002?,” are not founded on rumors, but on facts confirmed by witnesses.

    We know for sure that some immorality occurred, and it has yet to be dealt with in a Christ-honoring way. As long as Gene keeps fabricating his own conception of reality, the problems Gene and Frank have created will never be resolved. Many lives have been negatively impacted by Gene’s and Frank’s utter failure to deal with the truth regarding Frank’s misbehavior.

    Gene says he is “struggling to end a rumor that has no validity.” The reality is he is apparently trying very hard to keep people from knowing the truth.

    There is no reason for us to recant or apologize because we have stated basic uncontested realities, and we plead with Gene and Frank to quit covering up and to deal with some serious problems.”

    Like

  3. Notice that according to the letter—Frank’s wife was allegedly pressured, “To remain silent about what had happened……(she) was silent until March of 2002.”

    According to public records—in March of 2002—divorce proceedings were initiated towards a Frank Viola in Hillsborough County, Florida. That’s the county where Brandon Florida is located.

    That would put the—May 17, 2002—phone call with Gene occurring about two months after the divorce process was started.

    Like

  4. Of course, Frank Viola denies that any of this ever happened. So then the question becomes:

    If Frank Viola didn’t go after this teen girl—then why hasn’t he ever gone back to some type of middle or high school teaching job? Is there something in his background that he knows would disqualify him?

    Like

  5. Question—In the divorce, did Frank Viola demand that his wife pay him alimony because he supposedly couldn’t work a job after everyone had found out what he had done with the teen girl?

    From Frank Viola—It’s Time to Come Clean

    “According to folks involved with his former church at the time, Frank Viola wrote Forbidden Affection in the context of his attraction and involvement with one particular teenager over many months. The police finally found him alone with her in a motel room on May 26, 2000.”

    “Although she had been his student at the Brandon High School where he was then a teacher, and was in the church over which Mr. Viola was claiming to be the apostolic “worker”, she was 19 when the police finally found them together in the motel.”

    “Because of her age at that time, no charges were filed – although his wife learned of it.”

    “Frank ended up leaving his teaching position shortly after that event became public knowledge in 2002 – and actually demanded alimony from his ex-wife because he said he was no longer employable in that community as talk of his “adultery” spread.
    Folks from back then also claim that Frank Viola initially tried to explain away his trysts with that teenager, which went on for many months, by saying she was only helping him write that book and they would go to private places where there were no distractions. However, that could not have been true at the time of the motel incident, because the book was published in January 2000 (five months earlier).”

    “As far as I know, Frank is still using that lie in private with folks – who don’t know better because Frank avoids saying anything in public where others who do know can rebut any deception.”

    “It appears that Frank Viola has made sure there are no copies of that book available for purchase – even from used book dealers on the Internet. Interestingly, it is easy to find copies of his other earlier books, but not Forbidden Affection. I believe this is yet another case of him trying to re-invent himself as he covers up and seeks to obscure his history of seeking out and exploiting young women half his age – while married and also claiming to be a church leader.”

    “I have tried and tried to find a copy of that book, but there are none to be found.”

    Like

  6. Mwcamp asked me if these allegations apply to the FV who wrote Pagan Christianity (PC)? Or do they apply to the other FV who’s a registered sex offender?

    That’s a great question. I agree with Mwcamp that we need to do our research to “Sort through what’s real and what’s not.”

    Let’s sort through this:

    According to public records—there’s a convicted sex offender—Anthony Frank Viola who was last known to be living in Massachusetts as of 2008.

    Conviction date:
    11/3/1992

    Approx geographic area of incident:
    Osceola, Florida (Note: Osceola is over 100 miles away from Brandon, FL)

    Age of victim:
    Under age 16

    I agree with Mwcamp that this doesn’t appear to be the same FV who wrote PC. However, the alleged victims also don’t appear to be the same either.

    From what we just examined regarding the FV who wrote PC:

    Date of alleged motel room incident:
    5/26/2000

    Approx geographic area of incident:
    Brandon, FL

    Alleged age of girl:
    19

    Conviction:
    None—If she was over age 18, then it wasn’t technically illegal. No charges could have been filed.

    Here’s the thing—the Frank Viola who wrote PC—claims that the existence of the other FV automatically disproves all the allegations about the police catching him at the motel with the teen girl.

    Now the question becomes—Is there a pattern of Frank Viola lying to cover his tracks and consistently blaming others for his own willful sin?

    Well, I was going to wait until the end to post all the links but this link can’t wait that long—Here’s the link to the other FV:

    http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/flyer.do?personId=4137&x=7888a205-6b11-4680-93e1-a29c85f5de05

    Like

  7. Well, Avid Reader, this is some interesting material! And not at all irrelevant to a church discussion, since Mr Viola is or was a church and movement leader of some note.

    Like

  8. Doing this research—Here’s the part that concerns me the most:

    Question—After the first alleged incident, did Frank Viola use his ministry to continue going after, grooming, and seducing very young gals?

    According to a retired lawyer who has worked extensively in helping victims of clergy sex abuse—The FV who wrote PC—allegedly has a pattern of repeatedly going after teen girls and young women.

    “One of Frank Viola’s multiple teenage victims turned to a Christian counselor to help her deal with the deep emotional harm she suffered because Frank Viola sexually abused her.”

    “When it became obvious to her that Frank Viola represented a continuing unrepentant danger to others, she offered to issue a written statement – and public warning – about how Frank Viola preyed upon and sexually abused her and other teenagers she knew.”

    “Frank Viola’s smear machine kicked into high gear to then silence her by playing on her emotional vulnerabilities through threats and intimidation…..”

    “That teenager victim, by the way, was not the one involved in the Brandon church’s warnings about Mr. Viola abusing a teenager in that congregation—but is a different victim. Thus, her account of Frank Viola’s abuse stood independent of the Brandon church’s earlier witness statements and warnings about Frank Viola’s history of abuse – although all of those independent accounts, involving abuse of different teenagers, are strikingly similar….”

    “The multiple additional witnesses and victims who have shared their stories with us, and confirmed that Frank Viola has sexually abused multiple teenagers know who the real Frank Viola is.”

    “Such a man is not fit to be a leader in the Body of Christ or to continue promoting himself as a “church planter” and “apostolic” worker who continues to seek invitations to visit yet more churches where there are yet more vulnerable, potential victims…..”

    Like

  9. Remember this part:
    “Frank ended up leaving his teaching position shortly after that event became public knowledge in 2002 – and actually demanded alimony from his ex-wife because he said he was no longer employable in that community as talk of his “adultery” spread.”

    According to public records—there’s only one Frank Viola in Florida with a teaching credential. It was originally obtained in 1985. The credential has been expired for over ten years. It was last renewed in 2002.

    The full legal name on the teaching credential is Frank Anthony Viola.

    It gets even weirder because on FV’s blog—he admits that his middle name is Anthony—at the same time he’s emphasizing that he’s not the same Anthony Frank Viola who became a convicted sex offender in 1992.

    Question #1—Why did Frank Viola allow his teaching credential to expire? Is there a reason that he hasn’t wanted to pursue work as a middle/high school teacher in the last ten years?

    Question #2—After originally obtaining his teaching credential, since then how many times has Frank Viola been fingerprinted?

    Now it’s unclear as to whether FV was actually fired or maybe just suddenly left his teaching job when people found out about the motel allegations. Either way the fact that he allowed his credential to expire—makes you wonder if maybe FV hasn’t wanted to go back to teaching since about the timeframe that his own church was trying to confront him.

    Question #3—Does Frank Viola have a pattern of running from accountability when confronted with serious allegations?

    Like

  10. For Reference Purposes—Timeline of Frank Viola Allegations:

    1999—Eyewitness #1 (as referenced earlier) moves to Brandon, Florida to join Viola’s house church. There’s about 50 people in the church.

    1-1-2000: Viola self-publishes the book Forbidden Affection—allegedly dedicating it both to his wife and the teen girl he’s interested in.

    5-20-2000: The police allegedly find Viola alone in a motel room with that teen girl. No arrest is made. No charges are filed since she’s over eighteen.

    2000—Viola’s wife is notified by police. Gene Edwards allegedly pressures her to stay silent.

    3-27-2002—Viola’s wife files for divorce.

    2002: In the divorce, Frank Viola allegedly demands that his wife must pay him alimony since he can’t work after people found out about the motel incident.

    2002: That suggests that Viola had already left his high school teaching job by that point.

    6-19-2002—J. Blatt publishes Amazon review alleging manipulation and control in the house church movement. He is believed to be the same “John Blatt” who was involved in Viola’s “organic” group.

    7-25-2002—Viola’s own Brandon, Florida church allegedly tries to confront him. Viola won’t listen so Brandon church circulates their letter—warning others of the cover up.

    11-21-2002—“Final disposition” of Viola’s divorce.

    12-5-2002—Gene Edwards allegedly circulates letter blaming Viola’s wife for the divorce and claiming “Frank didn’t commit adultery.”

    Dec 2002—Viola self-publishes Pagan Christianity.

    The back cover claims, “Frank Viola is a high school Psychology and Philosophy teacher.”

    The book’s intro admits that Viola is living in “Brandon, Florida” in “Dec 2002.”

    2002—Viola’s own Brandon, Florida church allegedly publishes a website warning people about how Viola is allegedly using his ministry to go after young gals.

    2004—Eyewitness #1 (as referenced earlier) comes forward alleging spiritual abuse by Viola in his “organic church” and how FV allegedly shut down that church when people started asking questions.

    6-11-2005—John Blatt publishes timeline of how he joined Viola’s organic church and followed FV’s teachings. Then Blatt’s eyes were opened to see “the strange character and ways of Frank Viola and rejected the teachings of his latest books.”

    2009—Eyewitness #3 (as referenced earlier) joins Viola’s organic church.

    2013—Eyewitness #2 comes forward to allege spiritual abuse in Viola’s organic church.

    2013—For experiencing divorce—Eyewitness #3 is kicked out of the “organic church” by the “founders” of the organic church movement. He comes forward to allege spiritual abuse.

    2013—More allegations surface that Viola has been involved with multiple teen girls and very young women.

    2013—Another teen girl comes forward, trying to warn others that Viola has a pattern of using his ministry to go after very young women.

    2013—Viola allegedly continues trying to hide all of this—lest anyone find out what really happened.

    Like

  11. References:

    Note: Doing this research—I read a lot more than just these links. I took the time to really study public records and read both sides of the story. After doing all that research—my opinion is that these links are telling the truth:

    Links:

    1) Sexual Predation by Christian Author and “Apostle” Frank Viola:
    https://nathansvoice.org/2013/04/22/frank-viola/

    2) Google Books info on book Forbidden Affection:
    https://books.google.com/books/about/Forbidden_Affection.html?id=FznAkgEACAAJ&hl=en&output=html_text

    3) Here’s the letter from FV’s own church trying to hold him accountable and the letter where Gene Edwards blames the wife for the divorce:
    http://housechurch.org/hc-talk/2004-February/000599.html

    4) Lies, Sex Abuse and Cover Up
    https://crossroadjunction.com/2013/05/26/a-response-to-bart-breen/

    5) Jon Zens and Frank Viola—A Public Response:
    https://crossroadjunction.com/2013/05/15/jon-zens-and-frank-viola/

    6) Link to the other FV who’s the registered sex offender:
    http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/flyer.do?personId=4137&x=7888a205-6b11-4680-93e1-a29c85f5de05

    7) Eyewitness #1 description from the lady who moved to Brandon, Florida to join Frank Viola’s church:
    http://housechurch.org/hc-talk/2004-February/000600.html

    8) Problems With Frank Viola (Referenced as Eyewitness #2):
    https://organicchurchproblems.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/problems-with-frank-viola-part-2/

    9) How I Had to Deal With Spiritual Abuse and Got Kicked out of a Cult by Derek Mooney (Eyewitness #3):
    http://derekmooney.com/blog/2013/04/15/moving-on-or-how-i-had-to-deal-with-spiritual-abuse-and-got-kicked-out-of-a-cult/

    10) A Pharisee of Pharisees by John Blatt (Eyewitness #4):
    http://testimonials.exchristian.net/2005/06/pharisee-of-pharisees.html

    11) More info from John Blatt:
    https://www.amazon.com/review/R1LCJP8MPW9H7S/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0940232758

    12) Frank Viola: It’s Time to Come Clean:
    https://crossroadjunction.com/2013/07/02/frank-viola-2/

    Like

  12. Pingback: Sexual Predation by Christian Author and “Apostle” Frank Viola | Nathan's Voice

  13. Hmmmmm…..interesting……

    Turns out that Frank Viola doesn’t accept women in church leadership. He believes that the office of church elder only belongs to men.

    He writes: “Every church has leadership”

    “Elders were overseers and shepherds….Elders were simply brothers…..”

    “The women of the early church……we never find them superintending the church in times of crisis. Such a heavy burden seems to have fallen on the shoulders of the brothers—the women being spared!”

    “(Women) are never seen doing the messy work of overseeing the church’s problems.”
    (Rethinking the Wineskin p. 75-77)

    Apparently he missed Junia the Apostle, Phoebe the Deacon and Chloe the Pastor!

    Some scholars believe that Priscilla wrote the book of Hebrews. Why else would Paul sign his name to all his letters except for that one? Plus, notice how Hebrews 11:11 honors a mother while referencing childbirth in ways that a male author might have found uncomfortable.

    Then if Samuel wrote the book of Samuel—shouldn’t we also conclude that Ruth wrote the book of Ruth? And Esther wrote Esther?

    Like

  14. Avid Reader – a minor point compared with the goings on of Viola, but I smiled when I saw your designation of Junia as an ‘Apostle’. From what I have read, it is likely Junia was female, but it is not certain she was an apostle, and even if so, could be regarded as a founder of the church in the ‘apostles and prophets’ sense. This would not sit well with Paul at other places in his writing.

    If you want a good read on the evidence, try googling Junia Among the Apostles: The Double Identification Problem in Romans 16:7 by Daniel Wallace. He is always a good read on issues like this, even if your brain hurts by the time you get to the end!

    I actually think the translation ‘well known among the apostles’ actually reproduces the ambiguity very neatly, whether as an apostle or to the apostles is meant.

    There is an entire blog dedicated to dear old Junia, but it doesn’t do its (egallitarian) cause any favours by being more dogmatic than the evidence would allow.

    Like

  15. KAS,

    I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of pages of heavy research about Junia. There’s no ambiguity. The Apostle Paul made it clear that she was an apostle.

    Comp theology just can’t accept that so they tried to change her gender. The John Piper and Wayne Grudem crowd actually insists that she must be male. Then they tried to change Paul’s words to fit their theology!

    How come no other Apostle in the Bible gets questioned so much?
    The Apostle Paul wrote that Junia was “prominent among the apostles.”

    Then early church father Chrysostom(349-407) wrote “How great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.”

    Martin Luther in the 1500’s decided that Junia must be male, starting this controversy.

    There’s a fascinating book on this topic called—–Junia The First Woman Apostle by Eldon Jay Epp. It takes an in depth look at the history and does a great Greek word study. (Note: KAS, If you’re wondering—-that’s not the only book I’ve read on this topic. I just try to save other people time and effort by giving them the easiest place to start in doing research.)

    KAS, I’m asking you, when you have time, please do some more reading on this issue. To hear both sides of the story, you have to really read both sides. That’s what I did. I read hundreds and hundreds of pages of Comp theology and the other side. To have this discussion, I’m asking you to open your heart and really listen to the other side. There’s a reason the Bible tells us to “study.”

    Please start by reading the Junia book. Then read Philip Barton Payne’s book Man and Woman One in Christ. Then we can continue this discussion as long as you like.

    Like

  16. Hi Avid! Hope you are well.

    What makes you think I haven’t looked at both sides of this argument? I’m pretty sure I have read Epp’s work on this. Also some reviews and counter-arguments to his position. I even read an article in German to try and get away from being too Anglo-Saxon about the issue of Junia, but alas a whole load of very familiar names came up, including Epp and Grudem and the ESV …

    As to Epp, he is of course egalitarian and will argue an interpretation that is in accord with this. I part company with him in that he maintains Junia as an Apostle at the expense of rejecting the authenticity of the 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2 passages. Far too high a price to pay. Of course complementarians will tend to argue for an interpretation in favour of their view, you have to take into account the presuppositions of the commenter.

    My German commentator also thought Epp inconsistent to quote Chrysostom in Rom 16 in support of a native speaker understanding, only to reject it with regard to the 1 Cor and 1 Tim passages. He certainly hasn’t spoken the last word on this.

    I think the criticism of the ESV is a bit unfair, cf its predecessor the RSV. It has changed the name to Junia in accordance with the current understanding of the manuscript evidence, and given a plausible version of the Greek as ‘to the apostles’. I wish it had given the other version in a footnote to alert the reader that this translation has an alternative, and is disputed.

    One wonders where the idea of Junia being suppressed comes from when she was in the KJV. She disappeared more comprehensively from the German translations following Luther, until very recently.

    I also think there is far too much being built on this small text, and too much speculation. What we could all agree on is that assuming Junia is correct, Paul greatly valued her ministry – by all accounts it was inspiring and self-sacrificial. She may even have been an ‘apostle’ in the sense of pioneer missionary, along with Andronicus, but making her a founder of the church is hard if not impossible to reconcile with Paul elsewhere in the NT.

    It’s a fascinating subject, but I wish all concerned would refrain from being too definitive about their understanding, and especially try to avoid giving in to an existing agenda.

    Like

  17. KAS,

    I’ve been doing good—just doing more reading and research. Thank you for asking.

    No one is saying Junia was a “founder” of the church. The whole point is that she was someone that the Apostle Paul referenced as a female church leader. Apostles held some type of spiritual authority that Comps won’t allow women to have today.

    Secondly, no one is “giving in to an existing agenda.” I didn’t invest all those many hours of hard reading just to give into someone else’s agenda. I did it because I want to really test everything. To dig down deeper and deeper to find out what the Bible really says that was obscured by biased translators. To understand why the church would allow the devil’s agenda to shut down half the spiritual gifts of the Body of Christ.

    From reading your comments here, I can tell that you do read extensively. That’s great. But there’s a difference between reading what Comps say about Egals and reading what Egals actually wrote. Comp books often misunderstand what Egal actually believe.

    Plus there’s also the problem that many of the books on this topic are simply hard to read. The info is presented in such a heavy scholarly way that only the most patient readers can last through it. So who knows. Maybe someday I’ll compile all my research into book form to make it easier for everyone else so they don’t have to wade through piles and piles of heavy reading. Until then, I hope you do find time to do some more reading on the other side of this topic.

    Like

  18. Avid – it seems to me there are three aspects to Junia. One, Junia or Junias (female or male), two was this individual an apostle, and three if so what kind of apostle.

    Whilst the majority would now accept Junia as the most likely reading of the text, this is not absolutely certain. The Germans, who have a longer tradition of Junias (meaning a male), are more reluctant to change their view.

    Whether or not Junia was an apostle or know to the apostles is also disputed. I think it difficult to decide exactly who may be right on this one, simply going by the linguistics. I think it a bit dishonest if versions and commenters on this theme do not admit that there is no certainty in this matter. They are free to argue which they prefer, but not to assume or be too dogmatic they are right. tbh I generally find egalitarians too dogmatic on this one.

    Even for those who do accept that Junia as an apostle herself may be the correct translation, this does not entail her having been one of the foundation apostles and prophets, an Eph 4 ministry, but someone – together with Andronicus perhaps – was a delegate from a church, ‘sent out’ to perform a ministry. A pioneer missionary couple? A ministry that Paul is happy to acknowledge just as he is many other women named in the NT. What that ministry was is unknown.

    This latter point is accepted by some complementarians who see no problem with women having ministries, but who see the restrictions Paul placed elsewhere i.e. 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2 as still being binding on the church, and therefore restricting the authority of apostleship both in the first century and today (if you accept some form of apostolic ministry continues) to men. I think this is where I would be found except I’m still not convinced the translation ‘known to the apostles’ is incorrect, influence in part by 1 Tim 2.

    I would be wary of blaming translation bias on the part of translators, as most if not all versions currently in common use have made immense efforts to try to prevent this kind of thing happening.

    The internet is a wonderful thing, but with an overriding need to separate expert knowledge from subjective opinion. Try finding out if coffee or a veggie or vegan diet is good for you, and you immediately encounter ever imaginable view possible, with a lot of plagiarism from other sites cited as research, and disinformation from the dairy industry. Plus advertising disguised as research.

    If you really want to bang your head against a wall, try sorting out the correct translation of Kephale as ‘head’ in the NT.

    Let’s be honest discussing this can be fun, but I am also aware that it can lead to too much time being spent on something not always very profitable. So yes I enjoy a discussion providing it doesn’t get too bogged down or take up too much time. I’ve made this mistake in the past!

    Like

  19. KAS, do you eat meat sacrificed to idols?

    I ask because, despite how seriously this is taken in the NT, including Acts 6 and both 1 and 2 Corinthians as well as others. There is not a single Christian member or pastor I’ve talked to who has ever batted an eyelash about this. The opinion I’ve heard over and over again is that this was a teaching that was needed for a short period of time as the Gentiles and Jews had different dietary restrictions, and that this restriction was done away with.

    However, there is absolutely no evidence for this. In fact, in Corinthians, Paul is suggesting that those with the stronger conscience (able to eat meat sacrificed to idols without guilt) ought not to eat that meat lest someone with a weaker conscience happens to observe them and violate their own conscience.

    The reason I bring this up is that if we’re going to argue the place of women in the church, we ought to test this hermeneutic. Is the 1st century Pauline restriction on women in church leadership a restriction that is for all times, or is it, like modern Reformed pastors would like to claim, a restriction that was based on a rigid cultural patriarchy and not wanting to violate peoples’ consciences?

    Again, lest you jump into the wrong point of view. Paul emphasizes, there is nothing inherently wrong with meat sacrificed to idols. The church is forbidding something that has no inherent moral problem simply because the one side has a strong (but erroneous) moral objection to the practice.

    So, if we take a similar hermeneutic that there is not anything inherently immoral about women in leadership, but that women were either entirely, or mostly except for a few counter-examples, precluded from leadership in the early church, I doubt we would find anything of significance that tells us that meat sacrificed to idols is completely okay now and women in leadership is not, other than our own presuppositions.

    Like

  20. Honestly, this is what I’ve found so lacking in Reformed complementarian circles. They can argue parts of speech and Greek grammatical rules till they’re blue in the face, but when you show them that the very argument that they make for one position they take is the exact opposite argument they make for another position.

    Here’s an example. Households and “paedo vs credo”. Reformed infant baptists (paedobaptism) supporters claim that when Lydia and the jailer and their “households” were baptized meaning that their children would have been baptized, obviously. However, when dealing with communion, the argument is that children were barred from the Passover until they were “of age”. Specifically, they argue that “Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.” means the adult males, and not the wives or children. The importance of this is whether “covenant” children participated in the covenant meal – meaning that they would, by default, take communion, or whether they did not participate.

    But, again, they are very sophisticated in their argumentation about paedobaptism and credocommunion until you realize that the paedobaptism argument contradicts the credocommunion argument and the credocommunion argument contradicts the paedobaptism argument.

    In the same way, I think that clearer passages are completely ignored and obscure passages are elevated to make the case against women having certain roles in the church.

    Like

  21. Mark – I haven’t eaten meat at all for some years now! I adopted a veggie, almost vegan diet some time ago, and it has paid off healthwise. Weight, blood values. It’s a change of diet, not adoption of a ‘philosophy’ let alone a kind of religion, as too many vegans seem to be and who get fanatical and can talk of little else; and I wouldn’t say it is necessarily permanent, although I still have no desire to eat meat at the moment.

    I don’t think the issue of conscience with regard to meat and idols has any bearing on what ministry women may exercise in the church.

    My understanding of Paul when he is being complementarian, and unlike what you say about the reformed view (I’m not reformed!) is that he bases his argument on pre-fall creation. It has nothing to do with culture, and you will find in the passages over which this argument rages Paul always alludes to or even quotes the Old Testament. This takes the issue out of the realm of culture. Peter is similar as well. This is a major reason I don’t find egalitarian arguments using culture convincing, notwithstanding the Ephesian contradiction (Eph 5 versus 1 Tim 2).

    There is nothing, incidentally, instrinsically wrong with patriarchy in and of itself. I for one would never take this word to imply lording it over or abusive bullying, it is not so used in the bible. I think the ‘smash the patriarchy’ mantra of modern feminism is another manifestion of the rage against God so blatant in western societies at present, since God himself is the ultimate Patriarch. The benign rule of a loving Father. The model for any human father rule, the origin of the very concept of being a father.

    Christians need wisdom in reclaiming the legitimate use of this word from those who have misused it to be control-freaks and abusers, and I do understand it has been abused by some.

    Like

  22. I think the ‘smash the patriarchy’ mantra of modern feminism is another manifestation of the rage against God

    KAS, have you considered that, if there is rage rather than a righteous desire for justice, that that rage would be based in the rampant abuse of women by men throughout the world?

    That is not ‘God’. That is man.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Lea,

    Concise, precise, and exact.

    Did not our LORD create woman in His image as well, or am I simply imagining the Scriptures?

    Well said, Lea, and to date, I haven’t heard of a clear, concise definition of the word “feminism,” for its ideology differs amongst people groups. And I still have yet to find the words complementarian and egalitarian in my Bible and the space between the lines is blank; no hidden revelations there. Smile!

    Like

  24. KAS wrote,

    “The Germans, who have a longer tradition of Junias (meaning a male), are more reluctant to change their view.”

    That’s because Martin Luther decided that Junia must be male when he translated the Bible into the language of his people.

    KAS: “The internet is a wonderful thing, but with an overriding need to separate expert knowledge from subjective opinion.”

    Well, the whole reason why I invest so many hours into reading real books is because I don’t just believe everything that’s on the Internet. KAS, let’s be clear, my conclusions come from hours and hours and hours of heavy duty research. That means reading books, especially books that are hard to read. I didn’t just wake up one morning, read something on line and change my opinion.

    Junia was a lady Apostle serving in early church leadership. That’s what I found through heavy duty research. KAS, hopefully by now you understand how many years I’ve devoted to heavy reading to reach these conclusions. Now I’m going to go read some more real books. 🙂

    Like

  25. By the way—several months ago, THOT asked me to read the book Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola. THOT was very specific in asking me to read the green cover version not the red cover.

    THOT—if you are reading this right now, I’ve read the green cover version as you asked.

    Here’s my thoughts on that book:
    1) The Bible warns us not to be easily tossed to and fro by every new wind of doctrine.

    “We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.”
    Eph 4:14 (NLT)

    2) The Bible warns us that “Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following.” Acts 20:30 (NLT)

    We are responsible to test every new doctrine. Not to just believe everything but to really test it out because there are people spreading false doctrines to gain followers for themselves.

    Now I’m an open minded person. I read this book with an open mind. I opened my heart to really listen to what he had to say. But I still have to be totally honest about what’s in that book.

    The problem is that Frank Viola is making up his own rules. Viola forbids what God NEVER forbade. Viola is actually putting limits on believers that God never put.

    What really got to me in reading this book was how Viola kept denying the actual example of Christ. Jesus taught daily in the temple. Yet Viola claims that never happened because it doesn’t fit his premise.

    Now think about the story of Jesus in Mark 12(ISV)
    “As Jesus sat facing the offering box, he watched how the crowd was dropping their money into it. Many rich people were dropping in large amounts.”

    Then Jesus sees the poor widow woman put in her last few pennies. What did Jesus do? Did Jesus stop her? Did Jesus say that every brick and mortar church is wrong?

    That would have been the perfect time for Jesus to announce that all church buildings had ended with the NT. But He didn’t—because He didn’t want to. Jesus doesn’t need Viola to teach him what’s right and wrong in the church.

    We know that Jesus was in the habit of financially helping poor people (John 13:19). Most likely Jesus gave the poor widow some money when no one was looking. However, the point is that if Jesus had wanted to tell us that every brick and mortar church was wrong—then He would have. Let’s not start putting our words in Jesus’ mouth.

    Note: I’m not suggesting that people should be pressured into giving their last few dollars. The whole point is that if Jesus had wanted to get rid of all brick and mortar churches—He would have said so. There’s a reason that the Bible warns us not to add anything to God’s words or take anything away from it.

    Here’s my thoughts on that book:
    https://www.amazon.com/review/R2OVK6GLDDH0RV/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1414364555

    Like

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s