Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Understanding spiritual authority|
Take a deep breath, and let it go.
What might this say to the very point that I am at such pains to get across ...
I considered it a pity that you were being distressed by simply the discussion of the matter again, since as a moderator, you have seen this argument come and go many times before.
Again, no ... that is not it at all
But I do see men as being a bit paranoid about women getting one step out of bounds, lest their masculine pride be hurt.
Certainly, unequivocally this goes on but it is [i]not[/i] in any form or fashion what I am trying to get across. In fact to turn it around a bit it proves the point from the other perspective of the man, the 'male' and a wrong understanding of spiritual authority.
And since a woman is ordered not to love her husband, but to respect him, I think God took that into consideration of the relationship order between them. He needs respect; she needs love.
Sister, that is practically absurd, and really taking 'order' to ridiculous extremes...
Tit 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
The spiritual authority of the male over the female in their marriage carries with it responsibility. If the man picks up the responsibility, I have no problem with him having the authority.
But when a man doesn't recognise his responsibility, I, and most women, will ignore that man's authority out of sheer self defense, for someone has to get the work done, the children fed and clothed, and so forth. Any problems you are having in discerning a natural line of spiritual and temporal authority is due to other men not shouldering their burdens, and to the Evil One's interference between the sexes to provoke these difficulties.
In other words you will ignore and usurp that area that is not yours to do to 'get the job done', that is pragmatism in full definition. What you fail to recognize here that the provoking is of your own making and are confusing natural authority with spiritual authority. I am having no delusions of misunderstanding the differences, the vast point is in the muddling of the two. And you would have me giving up and letting go?
What I am distressed over is that we are not getting it here at all it seems. Again, I plead, please give Stephen Kaung a hearing it is so vitally important to understanding all this for [i]both[/i] genders.
Might I start all over again with this. I could not care [i]less[/i], I repeat [i]less[/i] about some paranoia, some deep seated worry about women doing the things that are so patently obvious when the weak willed male does not take care of the normal, functional responsibilities that are inherent as providing for his family, as to ... Ah, this generation pains me to no end that it has to be reintroduced to that which used to come so normally, naturally ... "common sense" it seems has been rooted out of the gene pool, so much for evolution.
What I am wondering here out loud is if the very opposite may not be true; That some of the women are getting all up in arms about a paranoia that doesn't exist as it is being forwarded here. Surely there are men who have this all wrong and are pumped up with pride, who wish to 'hold down' or have this fear spoken of, but for the true man of God inwardly that instinct must die like all the other wrong spirited attributes. Inferiority, contempt, might there be the reverse here an insinuation of such by attempting to get to the root of the matter?
Some more painful and practically guaranteed misunderstandings I will forward ...
If my recollection is correct you have stated that you are an ordained minister? I would challenge that scripturally, has that ever occurred to you, is there any true basis for this? Of what need are you of such a title? Let me say also that there is even more of a problem with this in the obvious settings of men and men 'making' or proclaiming other men an ordination without any spiritual footing. They are ordained alright, I believe I can go online and get a certificate of such in a matter of minutes, but it has no worth, no value than the ink printed on the paper spiritually speaking. This is very much along the lines that Philologos spoke of in the 'joining of the two into one flesh' by the 'magic" of priest-craft or whoever is preforming the ritual. I could baptize a person in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and have it mean absolutely nothing if that person does not convert by dying to his or herself and give place to new birth. No different in saying the sinners prayer as a coaching or 'leading in' such. The sinner prays from his core, the convert has a conversion and thus a testimony or it is all playing with words.
There is something of an insinuation here and let me say I hate it, hate presuming, guessing, but with the possible repercussions of being misunderstood and fearing no correction ... That somehow we have found it "O.K." to skirt things in scripture because we find that those who are not doing or keeping their responsibilities are failing so we may interject our own personal experience and our own personal exceptions. We therefore create a new category and aberration that cannot be held up scripturally. If we bring the challenge to the new thing the knee-jerk reaction is against the one bringing the question. In this instance, what does that say about the one reacting? Is there something to protect? Is there a fear of losing something? The larger question in this is what need is there for titles to be set forth anyway ... This well could get away from me if I don't clarify it better. The one large note I continue to see throughout scripture is that these titles are functional and are [i]given[/i] not touted. We have those today presenting themselves "as" 'prophets', 'apostles', so on and so forth. It almost always has the air of "look at me!" "Don't you recognize that I am ______?" well, frankly no. If one must draw there own attention to these things I am afraid they have already lost their credibility by having to force the issue. Fruit is recognizable without a display. Do take that with the generalization I would have it.
Yes, Paul made mention of his apostleship but in a different way as one born out of season and with a whole litany of clarifying and self denunciating pieces of context. How different we can be in this realm, justifying and pragmatising, defending ... Ah, what does that say about the ownership and ruling of the flesh?
Somehow I have to get this back to the elusive point but now feel compelled to reset the calibration by balancing again the "what is not meant", so it is in this hour. You sisters here are more loved than you know and I would be a liar and convicted if I just let go to keep some fallacious peace that would not cause any trouble by a perception of offendedness. Indeed it is true as a moderator here that it is of a primary purpose to keep the warring factions at bay, keep the wrong spirit out and conduct towards civility, all those things. Love compels me to get at bottom here. I would set all the 'other' things aside to just try and concentrate on the notion and the meaning of what this is all about. The constant interjection of and mudding the waters by way of the [i]'not sayings'[/i] is a distraction and only adds confusion to the matter.
I should have been more forceful perhaps rather than framing things in a question style about spiritual authority that I believe is inherent at the root of the matter when it comes to this business of women as 'preachers' and what is to be understood as teachers, as 'deaconess' as 'prophetess'.
Trying to regain some footing here went all the way back to the beginning of this ...
I am woman, I am an ordained Minister, and an evangelist.
I teach all the time.
But because of what Paul said in the Bible, which I believe is the God breathed Word, I will not Pastor a church, which is a position of authority over men, until every man around me over 30 years of age that believes in Jesus is dead or in prison, and then only if called by God to do so. But then, God has not called me to Pastor a church. When and if He does, I'll consider it carefully, to make sure I'm hearing the right voice, take a look at the circumstances, and agonize a lot, because I don't want to be a Pastor.
By your own admission you would 'consider it' and I am stating that you cannot consider it because it is an impossibility by the very scriptures you used just before hand and had emboldened.
1st Timothy 2:7. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
8. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
9. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10. But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
11. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
That is a complete contradiction and pragmatism, you would usurp that which is not given and will not be given depending on your 'circumstances'.
[i]"until every man around me over 30 years of age that believes in Jesus is dead or in prison"[/i]
What a terrible insinuation, I do not know how I missed this the first go around. Is there something here that would make the scriptures pliable to the younger generation, to practical circumstance, to borrowing from the scriptures to make a case? Or am I completley missing something here?
You are not a minister and I am not a minister either. You cannot be any more a minister than I a prophetess. It is useless and contradictory, actually detrimental in either case to state so. You can and do [i]minister[/i] as a function and very well at that with all you have experienced and shared so forthrightly here. You cannot however make a concession that is against scripture. A man may have given you this title but I cannot see where you could scripturaly underpin it. This is not hand-wringing "over whether men are being too harsh, or women too froward" it is only so by making it so. Pray to God you hear my heart in this and moreover the appeal to Gods own word.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
Usurp! Usurp! Usurp! This is the issue. It is out of order and this penchant to continue to evade the very spiritual principle ... There are emphatically [i][b]No[/b][/i] woman preachers, pastors, teachers in that [u]context[/u]. Any woman leading a congregation is in error and in contradiction, there are no concessions given, attributed or made practical by failure, by circumstance or by any other means other than that which we would attempt to force into the matter and that is usurping itself.
There is something instinctive that tells that a woman by self proclaimed effort, having placed herself into [u][i]position[/i][/u] is already out of order. Woman are not to be leading congregations period. It is understood spiritually ... Dear God why is it not? Even in 'teaching' roles it is often suspect and difficult to ascertain or to explain correctly. I would rather pray someone else could further and better extrapolate it all, someone who has a better knowledge of the scriptures in this regard.
None of this has anything to do with how I feel or how I think. When I first read Paul's admonishen and reading it many times since then there has been not the minutest sense of difference of what he meant. It appears to be almost an absurd stating of the obvious, especially as he went on to show forth the pecking order of Gods design, these things are understood again 'instinctively' ... I cry out again, why the usurping?
When I framed the question earlier about "whose authority" I meant it as Gods Authority, as a recognition of spiritual authority, no different than the soldiers coming back to report that [i]"No man ever spoke like This Man"[/i]. It was and is understood intuitively even by those who have not the Spirit of the living God as a manifestation within them. If they are able to perceive it, what pray tell is our trouble? ...
Another example. One that I have come to understand was more of a similar statement of facts than a set of instructions;
[i]Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.[/i] 1Co 14:29-33
Oh, this is rich with importance, even to take this up from it's context could not help notice the very context before it about "silence" and order in dealing with tounges, in fact taking note of something fitting here as well;
1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
How is it then ... brethren? Would he be attributing to something here to an emphasis on [i]every one of you [u]has[/u][/i] ______ as if to say that this would be very unlikely, [i] every one[/i] ...
A slight diversion there.
What I wanted to point out was of the spiritual authority in the verses above. The linchpin to all of this is in;
[i]the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets[/i]
That is [i]THE[/i] authority. If there are two or three true, real prophets or even those 'prophesying' it is not the [b]position[/b], it is not the 'title', it is not those which determine, but the Spirit, the Holy Spirit. If there is the recognition of His Presence speaking [i]through[/i] one or the other the 'natural' notice would be ... intuitive and the giving place easy, simple, reactive. Silence would come instantaneously it would seem, but perhaps Paul had the same problems that we have in getting ourselves to come to terms with spiritual truth.
What is it that compels us, supposedly dead to all these attributes of self proclamation, to turn tail and wish to be 'known as' whatever it may be? There is a seeking after things supposedly not for our benefit but for others that is denied by the effort, to secure a title of when it is generally placed by those who make a recognition of it. This is what I just do not understand, this is that which grieves me in relation to women seeking after roles not of their proscription and of males touting their so called 'Prophetic' office. Not to mention that by and large this very office has much more to do with teaching or bringing forth revelation that is already fixed in exegesis, explanation, teaching over the crystal ball futuristic comings of economic collapse, catastrophe that it is now have been made to be understood. It is given, not taken. It is generally and I am thinking here of one of the many points well expressed by Mr. Kaung that those who have spiritual authority never sought it, have a real difficult and hard time even accepting it because they know enough of their stature to be completely bankrupt of trusting in and of themselves, have the principle of understanding that cries out like Jeremiah; "[i]Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child[/i]" or moses, "[i]And Moses said before the LORD, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?[/i]"
But in it's place we have the great usurping and an even greater boasting within the self seeking and self proclaiming, "I have something to say!"
"Listen to me!" it screams rather than the the trembling and reverential fear that would practically run from such a weighty responsibility.
It is this inverse of spiritual authority that causes such a distress, practically speaking it is stealing and stolen goods belong to the owner, they are instantly devalued when they are in turn presented or represented as ones own.
I pray that there would be a whole lot of proper taking of this within the very failure of poor communicating that is inherent here. I know I am not expressing or explaining this as well as I could wish to.
To look out broadly across the landscape of where we are today the great emphasis I believe is on the men who have compromised along with the worlds ways of doing things. To go about so much backpedaling from this standpoint, to de-construct that which has been built up as 'acceptable' primarily as the 'Church' is seemingly an effort in futility and one that will give place to hostility and a grand measure of misunderstanding as to [i]why[/i].
That we as a gender have failed in such great part as to not only the distinctiveness of roles as men, as fathers, husbands, leaders, pastors, teachers ... There is always a certain cringing in tossing around the word 'we' here as if it was all inclusive, it is similar to us having to apologize for the Holocaust or slavery or what have you. I understand the inrush of woman feeling compelled to have to pick up the slack or take matters into their own hands in conjunction with the failures of those men who will not fulfill their God given roles in whatever placement given them, beyond normal responsibilities. It is this that I carefully would forward that I think has weakened the church by the very means though to save it, that we now have women out of place in their roles teaching and pastoring beyond proper limits and men accepting all of this as proper, true and well ... pragmatic.
On the flip-side again and at long last the very Godly attributes that are so powerful for the placement and roles of women are subverted by all this. The sisters that contribute here by and large are of such great worth I could hardly speak to it all. I do not know how to express the certain almost mystical quality that cut's through in silent speaking, somehow it does, somehow the intuitiveness cut's through even in such a strange setting as this. Whatever the case there is something wrong at the very source and I find it difficult to just chuck off the felt responsibility of addressing it at that level. We just do not need all this excess baggage that has been now brought to bare as part and parcel of our current understanding. This level of humanism that goes undetected is not of the Lord but of the world.
Last of the very last. If it is not overtly obvious enough let me express this which I know to be true. The way of this mind works in a state of constant adjustment. It is the result of the very ... conditioning of absorbing so much profound truths contained here in this place. These old fashioned saints, these old fashioned paths are so contrary to our present state of understanding that I could swear that there is not only whatever the current count of abomination\denominations there are at present but that we are talking about two different religions altogether. It is that much of a distinction. The effort here is so vitally important. The women that partake here and forgive me even to have to make this distinction it is only in application to all the above, we are of the One and Same Spirit and that you find the same grip of ... spiritual thirst and spiritual hunger fed by all this, hardly does it need to be spoken. Some of you have spoken with great heart and great [i]gut's[/i] on a variety of matters, would to God that the milestone be tied around my neck before causing the slightest stumbling by my own bumbling ways of expression, forgive me before hand and even while in the midst of all this. It is not exasperation that brought all this forth, but true concern and heartfelt earnestness to get to the very bottom of it all.
[i]For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is [u]not permitted[/u] unto them to speak; [u]but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law[/u]. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a [u]shame[/u] for women to speak in the church.
What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you [u]are the commandments of the Lord[/u]. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
Let all things be done decently and in [b]order[/b].[/i] 1Co 14:33-40
| 2007/6/9 14:15||Profile|
And since a woman is ordered not to love her husband
I must say that there's been a strange wind blowing through SI lately, unorthodox ideas, wrong doctrines being put forth. It's rather disturbing. May the Lord set straight that which is crooked in our thinking, and give us a more perfect knowledge of Himself.
If anyone needs His intervention and wisdom here, it is I.
Paul Frederick West
| 2007/6/9 18:10||Profile|
What is spiritual authority?
Honestly, I'm not trying to test anyone... just wondering ... maybe we have different understandings of this. Did the Pharisees have spiritual authority? I think that they did, though it wasn't right. (but then, maybe they didn't, really) Would I submit to them if I lived in Jesus' day and was a Jewish woman. Of course I would! (order and love) - but I couldn't let them have control of my mind and soul (if I had surrendered that to Christ, of course). Surely God wouldn't be pleased with that!
Maybe there is a need to define "submission" ex: Is there the possibility of godly submission and ungodly submission?
I would think that our definition must transcend our own culture (remembering that very few in human history have had the "freedoms" we have - to do what we want - choose spouses, denominations, religous activities, carreers etc etc.)
Could some of you men respond to my last post (back a few) with comments about authority, and let me know if you think I'm getting blown away in the wind - based on what I wrote.
| 2007/6/9 19:19||Profile|
| Re:I'm not a man but ...|
This is one OF FOUR criteria to be used in evaluating Biblical interpretations:
It works in the crucible of Christian experience producing godliness, and other valid Christian qualities, and advancing Gods kingdom.
I know you've asked the gents for a reply here Diane, but I'm looking at this quote and feel maybe I could bring up one of the best professors we all have known. He was probably around 70. He'd teach at the College and then go back to India and teach at a Bible College there that he helped set up. Years after we left there, he died of malaria over in India.
He mostly taught Greek. Took a whole semester to teach just the first 18 verses of John - yet every time he did, he'd break in tears at the beauty of GOD and His Word.
Extremely intelligent man. Haven't met many smarter.
Well, if he read that quote above, he'd probably have to put "Christian qualities" at the bottom of his list, because he'd get angry now & then, nothing violent or cruel, he'd just say "hoopla-popcorn" and words like that when bad doctrine tried to come into the School or wherever it came up and we felt it was for justifiable reasons ... but not everyone to a man would say those reasons were 'justifiable'. Some who didn't care as much for true-truth, would buy his tapes and change what he had said by erasing parts ... Imagine that?
I guess his legacy was, "check it out in the Greek". That was his bottomline.
Don't know if this makes any sense or not, but I have to get off of here ... my 'puters being hit as usual. Popcorn-hoopla !!!
| 2007/6/9 19:51|
Some who didn't care as much for true-truth, would buy his tapes and change what he had said by erasing parts
Ah, also the danger of extracting partial quotes! mmm How tempting it is to read the epistles like we read Proverbs: in small isolated thoughts. Surely none of us like to have our posts read that way!
Someone once said: The smaller the unit of scripture - the greater the risk of misinterpreting. :-(
| 2007/6/9 20:04||Profile|
| Re: to Mike, mainly|
It was painful to read your last message, Mike, because of your evident distress. Earlier in the thread I blamed myself for innocently contributing to it, but have come to think that you are responding to a much wider sorrow than anything that has been said here.
Mike, whatever some of us ladies might say, and however strong our opinions (sometimes misunderstood, as mine apparently was) I believe that we all want to be in right relationship to the Lord first and also to one another. [EDIT, small addition: We want to obey the [i]spirit[/i] of the Word, as well as the meaning of the words. There have probably been some emotional reactions among us too, (perhaps because of past hurts and suffering at the hands of men - in church or at home - who are less loving and gracious),] but all the ladies who have posted on this thread seem to have some maturity in faith. And I don't think any of us would want to take on any of the taint of feminism, or want to be thought of as feminists.
I believe it's the whole thing, not merely what has been said here, that you are actually responding to. A deep spiritual reaction, that is spilling over into the personal, as these responses often do in all of us. Not so much what's been said by individuals but the whole twisting of Truth by modern society, and that has infiltrared the Church.
All I can say is, that in some measuure, on some level I [i]feel[/i] and understand your pain, and that beneath the human distress is a [i]spiritual[/i] reason - a deep mourning because of the human pride, self-seeking and rebellious spirit that pervades even much of the true Church. You react this way because you are a man of God, though vulnerable as we all are, to the pull, temptations and distresses of the flesh also.
But please, don't let this prevent you from hearing our spirit too, that we are not seeking to usurp authority, even if some of what we say may seem like that. Or if there is still, unawares, something of carnal rebellion in our hearts, this is not our desire, and we are willing, and actively seek, for the Lord to deal with it.
Isn't that true, sisters?
Love in Him
| 2007/6/10 11:06|
That was a beautiful empathetic post LittleGift.
I pray all the sisters 'can' come along side of it.
I 'think' - if I may just express an opinion on this - that just seeing Mike as a Moderator-only in this discussion, he has had his share of authoritative spirits from male Posters also. But being that we're on the subject we're on ... well, it's on this subject. I will pray also that he will be able to open his thoughts on this all.
Pray one for another.
| 2007/6/10 11:30|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Sisters|
How gracious, fair and very perceptional this is. You have proven one of the points I was almost at pains to express; that indeed you sisters are precious. Left off with some misgivings as to whether this all was too overbearing.
Wouldn't attribute it so much as to 'personal' as it takes something almost elusive to bring offendedness personally, but you addressed it accurately, that it is a deep spiritual reaction and that I have found is the most difficult to express accurately. At the same time there the things that I won't continue to dreg back up here, more than enough said to it. But they have been long brewing indeed and felt it time to address them more head on and I can't apologize for it, only wonder if it may have been better articulated. The unfinished part of all this and the stopping short of it was that it too often seems that we leave off these things without any ... conclusions and there is a compulsion to rectify that by not beating it to death as much as to not back away or just give up because of perceptions or difficulties.
I also recognize the inherent difficulties in expression here, my own being of a combination of addressing things in specific and simultaneously in general. It bob's and weaves back and forth, in and out, at once to a question, comment or statement and then furthering on to that which is more general. It can cause some misunderstanding and confusion and why there often has to be a bit of clarifying reply over reply. A lot of unfinished thought and thought being stirred up leaving with things to chew on a bit more.
Then there is just the loquacity of it all to begin with ... :-?
The matter of usurping in general gave me pause to far more of the eye plank matter. How it applies to the checks of the Spirit, that last measure of percentile that wont give sway to the Holy Spirit, the drift to the flesh ...
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
But please, don't let this prevent you from hearing our spirit too, that we are not seeking to usurp authority, even if some of what we say may seem like that. Or if there is still, unawares, something of carnal rebellion in our hearts, this is not our desire, and we are willing, and actively seek, for the Lord to deal with it.
What a beautiful statement, it sent chills through me. I would like to say I haven't but am glad you did say so, need to keep this more so in the front of my thoughts.
God bless you sister.
| 2007/6/10 12:02||Profile|
| Re: Are Women Totally Forbidden to Teach?|
Not sure how these two go together in the context to which you were replying, particularly as there are many men who must make up the difference for their wives, as much as women for their husbands.
EDIT: I began this post while you were posting to Jeanette. end.
I read your long post above last night, and was surprised by it. I couldn't work out why, except that your response perplexed me.
A while later, I realised (I believe) that you have read into what Forrest wrote, a completely different meaning from what she intended. And by 'intended', I don't for a split-second mean to imply that she wrote anything other than an open-hearted exposition of her technical stance.
It is particularly her description of the state a community would have had to have reached, before she would take on a pastoral role to them, which seemed to stir you up. Honestly, I think she was describing a situation in which there were no men, not that she [i]wanted[/i] there to be no men [i][b]so[/b][/i] that she could [i]take over[/i]. I mean, I think she was trying to describe a last-chance-saloon type of scenario - not [i]wishing[/i] it on anyone.
Also, I think you were ab-reacting to the idea of a woman 'priest', with God-given responsibility for the souls of others as an elder would be, as if this is a set-up which God never endorses. Again, I'm just thinking out loud here, that maybe the problem in your mind is more with the making of a claim to a [i]title[/i] of 'pastor'. And I suspect that all of us sisters would be in agreement there.
But, as Paul encouraged Timothy to 'do the work of an evangelist', there is no doubt that some sisters are given the awesome opportunity to lead the souls of males to Christ. Maybe to pray with them over life's problems, to pray for their healing from physical or mental illness - even to cast out evil spirits in the name of Christ (if they are thus gifted). In other words, they are [i]doing the work of a pastor[/i] on a one-to-one basis, under an anointing from God.
Believe me, no-one with spiritual intelligence takes on these tasks lightly, nor with anything other than a healthy reliance on day by day guidance from above. I would go further: unless one is conscious of the Persons of the Godhead, one is neither fit or able for such tasks and God doesn't ask them. But, there are definitely women who find themselves cast on God for how to speak or pray in such circumstances.
It may be an [u]assumption[/u] that a brother would be led by the Spirit in [u]exactly[/u] the same way. I think perhaps not. But, the important thing (I moot) is the obedience of the individual saint to His promptings, regardless of the saint's gender. Perhaps this is an aside from 'order' and 'authority', but I'm trying to show that whether a male or a female believer, the pressure from on High is the same EDIT - that is, as a challenge within the details of that saint's competence only. end.
The word 'usurp' is definitely an active verb (meaning it happens because of deliberate planning [i]against[/i] an ordained order), and implicitly includes rebellion (sin) against an established authority or person whose right to ascend to leadership is acknowledged.
Perhaps it is a function of the Fall, that surveys of men put 'anything for a quiet life' high on their list of priorities. So, I see that obeying God's word at face value, where there is not enough maturity for there to be liberty, would address this unyieldingly for both men and women.
Incidentally, by 'liberty' I don't mean sloppy thinking, or any kind of departure from the spirit of His word, but simply that within both marriages, and the church, hearing and respecting each other aright will go a long way towards each saint (male or female), being free to function in their spiritual gifts, callings and ministries... yet [i]under[/i] appropriate authority.
I think we have to remember we all come into the Church fresh from 'the world', and maybe those with a background of a [i]Christian culture[/i] have just as much to learn as those without it. :-o
| 2007/6/10 12:16|
| Re: Authority in the Church|
The Lord has been exercising me lately about the whole matter of authority. Especially [u]who to? To what extent? and How?[/u] we must submit in the Body of Christ.
It came up this morning in church. One of the leaders was preaching on 1Corinthians 10 and 11, and of course included head covering of ladies etc.
As I've said before, this church is one of the Restoration grouping that at one time (in the 70's when it began, and into the 80's, maybe further) was very much into "heavy shepherding. they still sometimes teach on submission to church authority etc, but not so much.
The Lord won't allow me to become an "official" member in this church. Probably because, this spirit of control, this "false covering" is still present, though very much low-key in this particular church. That is, the idea that every member should be "covered" by someone who has authority over them, as well as to look after them.
As I mentioned, in another thread, a visiting speaker's interpretation of the words in Acts "apostle's doctrine", was that those who belong to that fellowship should submit to the doctrine of "our" particular apostle, Keri Jones (He and his brother Bryn, started this movement, but Bryn died a few years ago).
To me that's an appalling twisting of Scripture, and if I needed confirmation, a good reason for not becoming a member!
And yet I love and respect the local leaders very much, and while in that church would obey them, unless it cut directly across what God was saying.
Where does submission to authority begin and end? I recognise and respect the local leaders but can't submit to, and don't want anything to do with the other, because it isn't of God!
And while in fellowship with them, I have to submit to these man of God while [i][u]at the same time[/u][/i] making a stand (quietly, I can say very little) against the false spirit of control that is there. It's like a canopy, restricting their view, and these dear men are being influenced unawares by it.
I have to stand, for their sakes too, yet still keep that love and respect and obedience to their God-given authority.
Not easy! But the Lord is teaching me step by step. The main problem is not getting into arguments - it was a close thing in a house meeting the other week! (I think I mentioned it - when they said that the leaders were our "fathers" as Paul said he was to the Corinthian Church)
Love in Him
| 2007/6/10 12:38|