22.6.08

I'D LIKE TO SAY THIS IS LAST POST ON WOMEN IN MINISTRY THEME BUT SOMEHOW I DOUBT IT WILL BE

Well, I've been on a huge learning curve the last 18 months. I've been on a bit of a spiritual roller-coaster. One thing I have realised is just how easy it is to polarise each other. Just because some-one shares a certain belief doesn't mean that they tick all the boxes down the liberal agenda check-list and similarly nor do many Christians subscribe to everything held dear by the Reform agenda. Labels like charismatic, open, evangelical, conservative, traditional etc I will be careful about using from now on or at least if I do use them I will use them quietly. We all lean more heavily on certain descriptives but many of them should carry a 'use with caution' or 'apply sparingly' label just so that assumptions aren't made.

I am posting up my analysis of 1 Tim 2 11-15 just in case some of you are still wondering, like our friend, ugley vicar, how the church of England decided to ordain women in 1994, when such Biblical verses exist:

11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission (written in the imperative 'Let this woman learn' Paul was very counter-culture).12 I do not permit a woman (that particular woman who is deceived, ie who isn't learned enough because women weren't given access to education then) to (Greek is didasko – to teach falsehoods) teach or to have authority over a man (the particular man, her husband, who is educated aner Greek for husband so a woman is his wife) she must be silent (on this occasion, in this church, not about women in general or for all time) . 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve (just like in these days the men were educated, the women weren't, Paul thought they should be). 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner (because she hadn't had the same access to God's instruction as Adam. 15 But she (3rd person singular; because of the grammar this has to be the woman he is referencing in 11) will be (future tense so referring to the particular woman not Eve who is dead) saved (sozo -spiritual salvation - saved) (It cannot be taken to indicate a reference to plural women (as mistranslated in the NASB, NIV) since “she shall be saved” is a correct translation of the future tense, passive voice, 3rd person singular form of the verb sozo (sothesetai). through childbearing (noun teknogonia: the childbearing that is the birth of Jesus)if they (the man and the woman) continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

NOW I CAN FINALLY MOVE ON...







...because this woman who was in error (was teaching falsehoods) will receive God's mercy if she continues or lives in faith, just like Paul had received God's mercy. He had persecuted Christians as Saul before he was Paul. This woman is saved too through her faith in Christ. This passage should not be used to prohibit women in ministry; this involves a real twisting of the sense of the situation and a complete disregard of the context. In fact, this passage is instead one which provides comfort - it reminds us of God's grace, that no matter what we do in error, God, incredibly can have mercy upon us - this passage is an example of his amazing grace and is not a message from God about the fact that he doesn't want women to minister in his church. Surely, if this had been God's objective, he would have made it clearer and certainly a recurrent theme in his beautiful book about his love for us - our Bible!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reform have created a booklet which they have sent to all members of General Synod as we head towards Lambeth. In it they claim the following points which I believe should be, not so much challenged, challenged conjures up language of aggression, but answered. The church of England has decided to ordain women and we will see women bishops, no doubt.

The Church of England is not behaving in ways contrary to God and Scripture, it's just that Reform have understood scripture in a 'different' way to the majority.

The following are the points they make and I want to see if between us we can make clear and concise points refuting their claims. I have as yet no formal theological training just a lot of passion and interest. I have worked very hard this year on interpreting 1 Tim 2 11-15 with lots of help from Cheryl Chatz at Strivetoenter.com. My own blog 'Revisingreform' has helped me to work through some issues. Let's not have ourselves painted with such a brush – it tarnishes. I believe in the inerrancy of scripture and believe in God's word and that does not mean I can not be in support of women in the episcopate.

Reform claim objections to Women being Bishops in the Church of England because
When he [Paul] says that ‘the head of the woman is man’ (1 Cor 11:3) his teaching is based on the nature of God himself. When he says ‘For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church’ (Eph 5:23) he is presupposing a lasting order in the relationship between husband and wife. When he says ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man’ (1 Tim 2:12) he founds his argument on the order of creation in Genesis 2.
Gen 2:18 ... speaks of God’s purpose to make a ‘helper suitable for him’ (Adam). This shows that in creating Eve the intention is that she join with Adam in his task of ruling creation under God. However the expression ‘suitable for him’ tells us that this is to be done through complementarity rather than identity or inter-changeability. 
Headship is a convenient shorthand for a biblical principle about order and leadership. ...Various words in the Bible are used to express aspects of this headship – authority, submission and so on.
In addressing the issue of order the Bible has a particular focus on leadership in human families and in congregations of God’s people (called the ‘household of God’ in 1 Tim 3:15). The Scriptures teach that this leadership should be male. This focus could be because such relationships are so basic to human society and therefore key to its wider well being.

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.