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My letter to 'The Treasury' [a Christian Brethren publ.] they didn't publish. Dr Ken Nickelson's (MD) {Eden Community Church} wrote an article in the Treasury Magazine rubbishing Churches who believe woman should NOT preach from the pulpit. I challenged that article. Sadly, the "Christian Brethren Assemblies" have been influenced by Feminist Theology -



Dear Editor

Nickelson says the account in Genesis 1-2 "
is not a tale of the origin of sin and death (and) life and death were an integral part of God's good creation from the beginning." I ask, if God created 'death' as part of His "good creation" why declare it "good" 6 times and when finished say, "it was very good"? (1)

Surely death wasn't an "integral part" but a promised result of sin. (2) Or Adam would have been created on a graveyard of fossilized animals. Clearly, sins penalty is evidenced by the death of sacrificial animals. And verified by Adam's physical death and later by Christ's - the Perfect Sacrifice. Death is a temporary intrusion because earth's restoration is not back to more death as at the beginning, but a sinless, deathless state - how it began. (3) God created a perfect world free from death and Adam never would have died if he hadn't disobeyed. Or the gospel becomes nonsense.

Nickelson says Christ died "
to make away, a return to Eden" But why? So "the integration of women at every level of Christian ministry with equality with men, which were conditions enjoyed in the Creation story." But brother; in Eden (before the Fall) Adam was created first and already given a place authority by God. (4)

So are the conditions of birth-pain, labour, thorns, and sorrow removed for Christian "women" to enjoy the original creation? No! When God says "thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee" that is not disannulled either (1 Pe.3:1-6).

Nickelson asks, "
How can this judgment on Adam and Eve concern physical death when Adam lived a long life, almost up to the time of Noah?" How? Because the process of physical death began the moment they ate the fruit. Death became a certainty. In a sense, they did die then; it simply took a while to realize its completion. 'Dying, you shall die’ [lit. Hebrew]. They died spiritually immediately and began to die physically that very day, just as we are all dying today.

Nickelson suggests their "
Garments" were made because Adam "would live in Neolithic culture, obtaining his living from the cultivation of the ground". But, surely these indicated sins penalty and covered nakedness. It was sin that really caused the death of the animals which God killed for clothes. Many doctrines (which also include woman) are based in Genesis. Marriage, wearing clothes, the doctrine of sin, death, judgment, a young earth, the atonement, sacrifice, salvation, faith, a six day working week, etc. And so Paul based his clear, simple, decisive commands about worship in the church on Genesis. "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection… I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression..." (1 Tim 2:12-14 see also 2 Tim.3:6 1 Pe.3:4). So the order of creation is significant. God created man first intending him as the head, exercising direction, having "authority". The entrance of sin was by the enemy approaching the women NOT the man. If Paul took Genesis seriously why don't we? He doesn't say the gospel removed any of these distinctions (5)

A NT pattern exists of Christ's love for His church (or bride). So the church submits to her Lord. Paul utilizes this in the church - husbands love your wives - wives submit to husbands. We shouldn't contradict this or 1 Cor.14:33b-35. 1 Tim.2:8-15 with verses on unity (Gal.3:28). They who say Gal.3:28 eliminates "
sexual distinction" should ignore all of 1 Tim.2:1-14. If not, then who decides where distinctions start or end?

Yes women are fellow church workers teaching kids (2 Tim.3:15) women (Tit.2:4) but in the church not all have the same function (1 Cor.12:4-30). It's not an issue of "
equality" as Nickelson suggests. Submission doesn't mean inferiority (Jn.14:28 Phil.2:6). In fact, all should submit one to another (Eph.5:21). This is not an 'evil male hierarchy' dictate. Women's "highest destiny (is) in choosing to obey the Lord in the matter of submission", to submit is to "be in obedience" (6)

Nickelson seems to blame all the evils that have befallen women on those old "
conservative" Assemblies. He says "Some of the most significant heresies have been conservative, not radical". Their doctrine has caused "brokenness… dysfunction… loss of identity… empty existence…. antagonism.. abused women… lack of self-worth… distorted male-female.. marriage(s)". Sad those who embrace this "new answer" have such contempt for those who don't. Like a canker it eats them.

Does Tim Cooper share this resentment? When he writes "
of filtering out those in the church which resisted change the most, so that when the big change came… There was no conservative rump to hold back the whole body." (7)

Nickelson claims the Church Fathers and great scholars of the church age all "
got it wrong". Not until "the recent past" can scripture be properly understood. The truth was "lost nearly two thousand years ago". This argument is identical to that used by modern cults & liberals who also have contempt for "conservatives". It's just a "radical" rejection of biblical tradition.

A final reflection: The Holy Spirit prompted Paul to write for other obvious benefits. In his day, authorities would secretly spy-out a church to discover its leaders and teachers. Then, drag them away to prison and torture, both men and women (Ac.9:2). This would be worse for a female than male (2 Cor.11:23-26). And also because a child would lose their mother. So if following Paul's instruction this would provide protection and he knew this (Ac.8:3, 17:5-9). Today Eastern churches face similar persecution, so should obey scripture! But Western churches are influenced by cultural fashions. They don't want to appear unpopular and will put aside any doctrine if the world demands it.

Footnotes


(1) Gen.1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31.

(2) Gen.2:16-17, 3:1-6 (cf. Rom 5:12; I Cor 15:21-22).

(3) Isa.11:6-9. Ac.3:21

(4) The man-woman relationship is intrinsically non-reversible …This is part of the reality of creation, a given fact that nothing will change. Certainly, redemption will not change it, for grace restores nature, not abolishes it.. "We need, therefore, to theologize reciprocity, spiritual equality, freedom for ministry, and mutual submission and respect between men and women within this framework of non-reversibility.." Women, Authority and the Bible. (USA IVP 1968 p.299)

(5) See MacArthur Study Bible, & W. MacDonald's Believer Bible Commentary (1 Tim.2:12-14).

(6) See p.585 L.Richards Expository Dic., of Bible Words & Vine's Dic.

(7) p.4 The Treasury Aug 06

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