Archive for October, 2012

The Covering Requirement And The Prohibition Against Women Preachers Stand Or Fall Together

October 26, 2012

The covering requirement of I Corinthians 11:2-16 and the prohibition against women preachers in I Tim 2:11-12 stand or fall together, since Paul uses the same basic argument to make his case for both conclusions. The argument I am referring to has been termed/called the “order of creation” argument in the past. Notice how one of Paul’s arguments concerning the covering is put in I Cor 11:7-9: “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” Now notice how similar the wording of the argument against a woman teaching over a man is put in I Tim 2:11-13: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But 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.” Both passages argue their respective cases from the fact that Adam was created first, and then the first woman, Eve. Thus the argument is not based upon culture, but is based upon the “order of creation.” Since it is the same argument for both practices, if one practice (the covering) does not apply anymore, then neither does the other (prohibition against women preachers).

To elaborate notice what gospel preacher and debater Alan Highers said about “women preachers” in “The Spiritual Sword” (January 1996): “With reference to I Timothy 2:11, 12, the most common approach is to contend that Paul was dealing with a situation that was unique to his culture, and that the principles do not apply to the culture in which we live now. Paul himself anchored his teaching, however, to creation, not culture (I Tim. 2:13, 14). He placed his instruction regarding the role of women in a context that makes it impossible for modern feminists to establish that it was merely cultural.”

Ben Vick agreed in “The Informer” (Jan 20, 2003): “Brethren, how can those who claim to be Bible believers and followers of Christ put a woman in a position of authority, teaching over men?  No godly woman would put herself in a position such as that!  Paul clearly said, “Let the women learn in silence with all subjection.  But 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.” … A woman, any woman, is not to teach over a man, nor is she to dominate him.  The passage is as relevant in the 21st century as it was in the 1st century, notwithstanding the changes in culture, country and time.  Paul showed that a woman is not to teach over a man based on the order of creation ….  If the inspired Paul could transcend culture, country and time in giving reasons why a woman is not to teach or usurp authority over man, then, culture, country and time cannot delete the divine dictate that a woman cannot teach, nor have dominion over a man!”

Now notice again the argument Paul made for the veil in I Cor 11:8-9: … the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.  Isn’t that also the “order of creation” argument?

Conclusion: Either we must accept the covering requirement as applicable and still binding today, or if we reject it claiming it was just cultural, then to be consistent we must reject the prohibition against women preachers upon the same basis, that is, we must teach that it was just cultural also. The contrary is true – both teachings still apply today.

Social/Recreational Use Of Church Money Or Facilities Is Not Authorized

October 19, 2012

Colossians 3:17 reads “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus ….” This means we shouldn’t do anything unless it is authorized by God’s word, that is, unless Jesus told us to do it.

Since the church owned building was paid for with the congregation’s money (I Cor 16:1-2), it should only be used for what the congregation’s money can be scripturally used for, including:

• preaching the gospel – Philippians 4:15-16, etc.

• helping needy saints – I Timothy 5:16, etc.

• facilitating worship assemblies – Hebrews 10:25, etc.

• fun, food, and frolic – is there any passage for that ???

The New Testament does not authorize using church money and facilities for social or recreational uses (like pot-luck dinners and gymnasiums).

Isn’t this really a matter of us contributing to the church as the Bible directs, but selfishly wanting some of it back to use for our own personal/individual uses – for food, fun, and frolic?

Gossip Will Cause Us To Be Lost Just Like Any Other Sin

October 12, 2012

The “need to know” is a prevalent term in the government world which asserts that even if a person has the security clearance to be exposed to certain information, he also must have the “need to know.” This is an important policy in making sure critical information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. This can also be a factor in a sin the Bible calls “gossip.” According to Dictionary.com, “gossip” is defined as “idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.” Telling something false about another person of course is gossip, but even if what we say is true, if the person we are telling the information to doesn’t have that spiritual “need to know,” then that can also fall under the category of gossip.

One of the first things we should ask ourselves to determine if something we are about to say is gossip is – am I hurting the reputation of the person I am talking about? Matt 18:15-17 talks about going to a person privately if they have sinned against us. The idea expressed by the passage is that hopefully the offender will repent and make it right with the one they harmed, before their reputation before the outside world becomes damaged more than necessary. If they do repent, we should forget their sin in regard to telling others about it.

Knowing that gossip is condemned by passages like II Cor 12:20 (ESV), why is this sin so prevalent? Isn’t it usually because of jealousy (also condemned by II Cor 12:20)? Don’t we think we can build up others’ esteem of us by tearing down their esteem of the one we are gossiping about? As is usually the case, one sin leads to another.

Gossip can develop into a habit. The only way to curtail this insidious sin is by making a conscience effort to stop it. It won’t automatically stop on its own just because we mentally acknowledge its hurtful effects. And if you realize you are being gossiped to, then at the very least immediately change the conversation. Better yet, spiritual courage and integrity demand we stand up for the righteous when they are being falsely spoken about (Acts 9:26-27, Proverbs 8:13, Amos 5:10), instead of pandering to gossip. But alas, this is a lost art – even among Christians. Truly “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord” (Prov 17:15).

Pandering To Our Audience

October 4, 2012

According to Wikipedia, “pandering is the act of expressing one’s views in accordance with the likes of a group to which one is attempting to appeal.” We commonly think of this word in association with politics, but doesn’t it equally fit modern day religion and what many preachers do?

For example what about denominational preachers who won’t ever preach against divorce and remarriage (Matt 19:9) because so many of their members are in unscriptural second and third marriages, and they are afraid of offending them and possibly losing their preacher’s salary? It is true that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (I Tim 6:10).

And what about gospel preachers when they fail to preach “all the counsel the God” to their congregation (Acts 20:26-27)? Aren’t they protecting themselves financially just like denominational preachers (Rom 16:18)? It is okay for a college Algebra teacher to review multiplication and division for a day, but for the whole semester (Heb 5:12-14)?  How many Micaiahs (I Kings 22:8) are left who are willing to go beyond just “preaching to the choir”?

And don’t preachers holding gospel meetings do the same thing when they fail to warn their Christian audience (Ezek 3:18) of specific doctrinal truths they differ on? Why is it when we get a chance to preach at a Baptist church we should preach on something they need, but the same isn’t true if we get an opportunity to preach at an away church of Christ?  Have you noticed that many gospel meeting preachers do a real good job of preaching against denominational error, but never touch on anything needed by the audience actually in front of them? Perhaps they are preaching to be invited back instead of preaching to get their Christian hearers to heaven (Acts 20:31). Such preachers are aptly described by Luke 6:26 (“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets”).

And why do churches keep using these type “popular” preachers unless it is because members of those churches “will not endure sound doctrine,” have “itching ears,” and have turned “away their ears from the truth” (II Tim 4:3-4)? Many congregations today seem to be requesting – “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things.” (Isaiah 30:10).