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Hi Adrian,

Thanks for the reply (and article). Perhaps I might answer your 'questions' or offer an explanation. You wrote,


>>Hi Mark, Many thanks for your Treasury letter – Ken Nickelson – an inveterate and intransigent old earther. He finds himself in the cleft stick of ignoring scripture re origins yet wishing to make a case from scripture for women’s role. That of course is the inconsistent liberal approach which I totally reject. One must be able to account for the whole counsel of scripture in arriving at or defending one’s theology.

In the interests of gaining light from scripture let me just highlight the areas I feel your argument re women raises questions for me: Wasn’t the principle of Gal.3:28 rather than other seemingly conflicting teaching (eg Col.3:22) applied in the Jew/Gentile and Slave /Free controversies? In both cases the outcome was equality. (remember ‘equality’ and ‘unity ‘ are pretty much synonyms) Neither Jews nor slave owners were ultimately allowed a differing role and status in the Church from Gentiles and Slaves. Does not consistency demand it be applied identically with regard to Male/Female ?<<

It can apply to those "controversies" but does not answer all queries about those "controversies". Since other passages go into instructions and detail. It doesn't answer all queries about slavery either, as other verses do. It's a statement applied to a point - 'unity'. But 'consistency demands' also that clear Pauline instruction on a subject (ie 1 Tim.2:9-14) is heeded rather than indirect passages (ie Gal.3:28). In Gal.3:28 Paul is not writing about a woman's role in the church so it cannot disannul or contradict 1 Tim.2:9-14 and the very distinctions between male and female that Paul asks us to heed.

In Gal.3:26-28 Paul writes, "For you are ALL God's sons, through faith, in Christas many of you baptized in Christ put on Christ…." And so, he says, ALL are ONE in Christ. That doesn't deny God has designed for social and sexual distinctions among Christians, but it affirms those distinctions do not imply spiritual inequality before Him. This spiritual "
equality" is not incompatible with the God-ordained roles of headship and submission in the church, society, and at home. (A) The Corinthians also were referred to as 'all one in Christ' "Jew/Gentile Slave/Free" mentioned (1 Cor.12:13) yet Paul still indicates "male/female" distinctions (1 Cor.11:1-16).

>>Why does your paper ignore 1Corinthians 11:4 & 5 ? Surely you must produce some strong evidence to overturn Paul’s clear admission (without rebuke) that the women were involved in public prophesying just as were the men ?<<

Not sure Nickelson mentioned it, but I had no room. It sounds like a problem verse but there's an explanation, which is better than a contradiction. Obviously there was a women’s liberation movement in the Corinth church but going the wrong direction.

Paul mentions the practice but continues to deal with the veiling. It's not uncommon for him to make-mention, then rule elsewhere (B). Or here we make him to contradict himself. Your article said Paul told them "
to keep doing it". Where did he say that? Strange logic indeed if Paul mentioned an issue without rebuke he must accept it. He did NOT say he approved of it. And this you over look. He does say, "Your meetings for worship actually do more harm than good..." (1 Cor.11:17). When he comes to the place in Corinthians where he clearly speaks his mind on the subject, he lays down a strict prohibition against women speaking at all. He makes clear directives women are not to lead or speak in the services of the church (cf. 14:34; 1 Tim.2:12). But the context of 1 Cor.11:5 doesn't specifically refer to a "public" church gathering. That's not until 11:18 Paul says "when you come together".

Even if women were in the church "prophesying", the Corinth church was one of disorder (14:40) confusion and disarray (14:33). They were called 'carnal' (3:1) making-up what they believed (14:37-38) with wrong practices compared to other churches (14:34). And abused what God gave them (12:1-31) so hardly a prime example.

For them, there were no distinctions as far as personal worth, intellect, or spirituality are concerned (1 Cor.12:13 Gal.3:28), yet there are clear distinctions between man and women in 1 Cor.11:1-17 14:33-36. Women functioned uniquely in God’s order by submitting to men’s authority. Paul affirms this by the pattern in the Godhead 11:3. And the divine design of male and female 11:7, the order of creation 11:8, the purpose of woman in regard to man 11:9, the concern of the angels 11:10, and the characteristics of natural physiology 11:13–15.


>>If you argue your principles from the ‘problem passages’ (as defined in my paper) without regard to Galations 3:28 why don’t you consistently argue in favour of Slavery and Jewish priority from similar passages? Ie You underline 1 Corinthians 14 and 1 & 2 Timothy but do you similarly argue for slavery because of, say, Colosians 3:22 ? (Not to mention a whole Testament emphasising Jewish ‘choseness’ which obviously ‘cut the ice’ for Peter before Paul underlined the over riding principle of Galations 3:28)<<

But I do not use Gal.3:28 to remove/contradict other NT passages. Paul's detailed instructions elsewhere are not 'removed' by a verse that doesn't even mention those very instructions. Gal.3:28 must not be pressed into meaning something it doesn't say. As far as everyday life is concerned (and in public church ministry), God does recognize the distinction between male and female. The NT contains instructions addressed to each; and speaks separately to slaves and masters (Col.3:22 4:1). In Gal.3:28 is saying that in obtaining blessing from God, these things do not matter.

And it doesn't remove Paul's point, Eve was created after Adam – emblematic of the headship originally given to the man – and so the right to be a teacher in the house of God. And with the entrance of sin, she was thrown into subordination which originally didn't belong to her. This instruction for the church is given by the Apostle Paul, based also on Genesis and commanded by God (Gen.3:16).

I "argue" my "principles" from clear "passages." Eg 1 Cor.14:33-36 "As is true in all the churches of God’s people, women should keep quiet in the church meetings. They are not allowed to speak, but they must yield to this rule as the law says. If they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home. It is shameful for a woman to speak in the church meeting. Did God’s teaching come from you? Or are you the only ones to whom it has come?"

The clear instruction here is of women not speaking in church services and is universal. Applies to "all the churches", not locally, geographically, or culturally. The context in this verse concerns prophecy, but includes the general theme of the chapter ie, tongues. Rather than leading, they are to be submissive as God’s Word makes clear (1 Cor 11:3–15; Gen. 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:11–15 Col.3:18).

The words "as the law also says" probably refer to Gen.3:16 “your desire shall be for your husband. And he shall rule over you.” If so, back to Genesis Paul goes again (C) , for the Law is the Pentateuch. Your idea it is "
Corinthian civil law" or "Rabbinical law" is unlikely. Paul referred to scripture. You have no 'strong objections'. Paul has a higher view of Genesis than creationists. Jesus, Peter, James, John and Paul all give doctrine, then refer to the events in Genesis re., marriage, the doctrine of sin, death, judgment, the atonement, sacrifice, salvation, works, faith, etc. And that is done by Paul on this issue in 1 Tim.2:12-14. So we know how to behave in the "church" (1 Tim.3:15) -

"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..."
(see also 2 Tim.3:16 1 Pe.3:4-6).

A hidden idea in Gal.3:28 doesn't remove what's very clear. We don't need to study "Jew/Gentile & Slave/free" verses to understand and then reject 1 Tim.3:15. And who determines which distinctions are removed or disannulled? Nickelson or you? Is unisex or homosexual marriage acceptable? 'No' we say, but why not? Because what scripture as a whole teaches. Then, why not apply that principle to Gal.3:28 where Paul is silent on such details?

Interesting that 'Feminist Theology' has an increasing influence today, it's plans and achievements make frightening reading. I found some of Nickelson's ideas under "Feminist Theology" in the "New Dictionary on Theology".

Kind Regards,
Mark


(A) Nickelson wrongly thinks biblical "headship" means 'authoritarianism' it doesn't. Lordship is expressed in taking the form of a servant Phi.2:7. And he wrongly thinks the issue is "equality" it's not. Jesus, though fully equal with the Father, assumed a submissive role during His incarnation Phil.2:5–8). So Biblical headship/submission is not evil as in feminism. "Unity" - homothymaton = together, to seek. But "equality" - isotes = numerical, to enjoy. (L.O Richards)

(B) Eg Paul's mention of gifts (1:7) but ruled on elsewhere (12:1-31). 'Drunkenness' without rebuke (11:21) but ruled on elsewhere (5:11 6:9). The resurrection (6:14) but explained elsewhere (15:12-19). Division without rebuke (1:10. 11:18) but ruled on elsewhere (1:11-19. 12:25). Love (2:9) but defined elsewhere (13:1-8) Communion feast (11:16) but ruled on elsewhere (12:23-34) Slavery without rebuke (12:13) but ruled on elsewhere (7:21-24) etc.

(C) "The first two chapters of Genesis provide the basic foundation for every other significant doctrine of the bible" (p.86 H Morris "Remarkable Record of Job") "Genesis - which just so happens to be the logical, doctrinal seedbed of all the major doctrines of the faith. The origin and meaning of such profound issues as sin, death, marriage, and the gospel itself are all found there." (p.2 CMI Prayer News Jan-Mar. 2007 C. Wieland)



Reply -

>>Hi Mark, Thanks for taking the time to spell out your position…. I guess we better stop here before we start to go round in circles. Kind regards Adrian<<


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