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Featured The Role of Women in the Baptist Faith

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by rlvaughn, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    One of BB's new members, Cynthia W. Toles, asked a question in her new member introduction, and asked to spread it around for responses. I am starting a thread here in hopes of helping.
     
  2. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    Women are not called to be pastors or elders. I know proponents of woman pastors are locked and loaded when it comes to 1 Timothy 2:12. They are so tired of hearing that passage they want to rip it out of their bible. But the passage is there and it reveals a lot more than just a prohibition of women from serving as a pastor. Let us post the passage for the sake of discussion:

    1 Timothy 2:12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

    Note what the passage does not say. It does not say women are incapable of teaching or exercising authority. Women are not an inferior gender. Like anything else in life, we respond each according to his gifts. The singer sings, the mechanic fixes things, the teacher teaches, and the leader leads. What Paul is saying is that he does not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man in spiritual affairs. It is right about now that some accuse Paul of exercising his male privilege, and anyone who thinks as he did is just an obsolete misogynist. However, Paul does not make his statement in a vacuum. He appeals to the creation narrative.

    Paul writes, "For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve" (1 Tim. 2:13).

    Genesis 2:7
    7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

    Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

    Genesis 2:22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

    In God's created order the male was created first. God commissioned the man to care for the Garden (Gen. 2:15). He gave to man the permission to eat of every tree of the Garden, and the prohibition of eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:17). Adam named all the animals (Gen. 2:19-20). The woman was created after man. This is where Reformed theology derives its view of federal headship. Adam was the head of the woman. He was also the fair and just representative of pre-fallen humanity, but that is another discussion. In the marriage relationship, the husband is the head of the wife.

    Ephesians 5:22-23 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

    Of course, like everything else we are commanded to do in scripture, we are given a reason.

    Ephesians 5:25-30 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.

    The husband has a responsibility to love and care for his wife, just as Christ loves and cares for His church. That is Paul's reason for taking 1 Timothy 2 back to Genesis. God's created order did not just end in the Garden.

    There is a whole practical side to the argument that I will save for further in the discussion if it is necessary.
     
    #2 Reformed, Oct 22, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
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  3. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    As far as what roles a woman can fill in the "Baptist faith", that is one of those questions that requires us to pull up a chair and stay a while. Some believe women can be deacons. Others that women can lead in worship and music. Others believe women can teach Sunday school to other women and men. We know there are plenty of women missionaries in the world; laboring in dangerous places for the sake of the Gospel. Many VBS, AWANA, and Sunday school programs are run by women. I think the answer to the question is found in the local church. As Baptists, we are fiercely independent and are not beholding to what another church does. Personally, I think the only prohibition against women is on being a pastor/elder or exercising spiritual authority over a man.
     
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  4. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    You forgot to add the beginning of the passage Ephesians 5:21 -- the sentence that actually has the verb, translated "submit" or "subject.”

    The passage, more literally, goes something like this:

    Ephesians 5:21-22, 25, 6:1, 6:5, 6:9
    5:21 ...submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God:

    5:22 The wives: To your own husbands subject yourself, as to the Lord.

    5:25 The husbands: Love your own wives, as also the Christ did love the assembly...

    6:1 The children: Obey your parents in the Lord, for this is righteous...

    6:5 The servants: Obey the masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling...

    6:9 And the masters: The same things [as the servants] do you unto them, letting threatening alone...​

    As you can see, since the verb translated "submit/subject to" is found in 5:21, everything that come past it refers back to the principle that we must all be subject to one another.

    Wives subject to husbands, husbands subject to wives, children subject to parents, parents subject to children, servants/slaves subject to masters, and masters subject to slaves. Paul is taking the household code (the pecking order) and recasting it in the light of Christ, redefining all of the relationships, replacing power and authority with love and respect.

    In Baptist life, this is a very unpopular view because of the way we have historically lived our lives. Moreover, many translations artificially begin a new paragraph at 5:22. The ancient Greek manuscripts have no paragraphs, so every time you see the text broken up, it is an interpretation.

    We all need to avoid such people.

    Yes, that passage can be translated that way, especially if you think that women cannot teach or "exercise authority" (dominate their husbands - not submit). However, the word translated "woman" in that passage can also be translated, "wife," which fits the cultural context better, since we have women in the New Testament who teach. In the early church, there would generally be a teacher or teachers who would lead in a teaching time, with the other members of the congregation asking questions. Paul provided a helpful guide to avoiding trouble. Note that this is HIS rule ("I do not allow..."), not from the Lord. Apparently, what was happening is that a man would teach and would be quizzed by the congregation in the learning process, but some wives might ask questions of their own husbands that would publicly correct them or would stump them. This would have the effect of causing tension in a marriage, so Paul wanted them to ask questions of their husbands in the privacy of their own homes. The principle would apply to the husbands not to embarrass their wives when they were teaching or preaching. Remember that women preached in the early church (see 1 Corinthians 11:5) and Paul suggested head coverings as a cultural sign that women were submitting to men (as part of mutual submission), but he made it clear that it was simply his suggestion and the Corinthians could ignore it if they wanted to do so (1 Corinthians 11:16).

    Sure. But remember that Adam and Eve are the model for the marital relationship, and the transgression came because Eve did not submit to God nor her husband. Paul is simply point the women to consider Eve's sin of using her freedom selfishly.
     
    #4 Baptist Believer, Oct 22, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  5. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I did not forget. My intention was to draw a line from 1 Timothy 2 back to the creation narrative and then forward to how the headship of the man functions in the marriage relationship. All three (Gen. 2; 1 Tim. 2; and Eph. 5) are linked in that regard. If the OP was specifically about mutual submission (which I believe in) I would have addressed that. That said, I concur that there is to be a mutual submission in the marriage relationship, all while preserving God-given gender roles and their function within the local church. Women have a valuable and essential role to fill in the local church, but spiritual authority over men is not part of that role.
     
  6. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for the correction. Since we both believe in mutual submission, we are much closer in understanding than I realized.

    Our main area of disagreement is simply that you see some clear gender roles stated in the New Testament and I do not. In fact, I see women walking with Jesus from the earliest part of His ministry, and then later serving as apostles, preachers, teachers and deacons in the early church. Since they are clearly doing those things, I understand that many of the passages that make pronouncements about women being "silent" or "not dominating" men are actually talking about the husband/wife relationship in the meetings of the early church.
     
  7. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    I bolded the part of your comments that I disagree with. I have no issue with women teaching. Indeed, one look at Acts 18 makes that clear. But even there, Priscilla was with her husband. When a woman teaches other women in a local church setting, she should be doing so with the approval of the elders. This does not mean that the pastor or elders need to be present, only that any teaching in the church is under their care and oversight. In fact, that should be the standard for any teaching going on under the auspices of a local body.

    I wrote earlier in this thread about the practical issues involved with women assuming spiritual authority over a man. I purposed to save that for later in this thread and intend to address that this evening.

    Blessings.
     
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  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Vs. 21 is not a reference to the marriage relationship it is the last part of Pauls encouragement tp the church.
     
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  9. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    I disagree, i believe It is a reference to the marriage relationship. Husbands submit to their wives by Loving them like Christ loves the Church. Wives submit to their husbands by placing themselves under their leadership.
     
  10. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Both of those are true and correct but it doesnt change the context of vs. 21
     
  11. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Yes, the Adam and Eve and childbearing example the follows v. 12 indicates that it's about the husband and wife relationship rather than that between men and women in general, or between churchmen and church women.
     
  12. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I agree with you that the Biblical position of male headship/authority prohibits a female Pastor or Elder, butam open to sunday school teachers, deaconeses, missionaries etc..

    Where this gets interesting is women as Professors and teachers at Bible colleges and universities, as they are teaching to mixed crowds!
     
  13. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    There were recorded down to us NO women as Pastors/Apostles/Elders in the early church, and that shoudl be what we based our position on this area upon!
     
  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Just as Christ submits to the fFther, and the males under Jesus leadership in the church!
     
  15. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    God Himself chose to model to and for us the principle of male authority/headship, as the men are head of the household and made head in spiritual authority. has NOTHING to deal with women being inferior ot not capable, but that is the way God desired and plannedfor it to get done!
     
  16. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire Well-Known Member
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    Hmmmm does your wife agree?
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Yes, as she is a fellow Baptist!
     
  18. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    You say your wife is a fella? ;-)
     
  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Nope, as she is all woman!
     
  20. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    You probably already know these verses and interpret them another way, but I just want to point out the biblical basis for the statement you referenced above for others to consider:

    A woman serving as an apostle:
    Romans 16:7
    "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me."


    Women preaching:
    Acts 1:13-14; 2:1-18

    1:13 When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

    2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. 5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”

    14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

    17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
    ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
    And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    And your young men shall see visions,
    And your old men shall dream dreams;
    18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,
    I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
    And they shall prophesy.


    Acts 21:8-9
    8 On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him. 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses.

    1 Corinthians 11:4-5
    4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head...


    A woman serving as a deacon:
    Romans 16:1
    "I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant (Greek - diakonon, "deacon") of the church which is at Cenchrea...'


    We agree.

    Did you notice that Priscilla is teaching a man, Apollos? Her ministry is not restricted to women.

    Yes, men and women under the same standard.

    Thank you for your thoughtful analysis.
     
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