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JKail
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Joined: 2004/2/29
Posts: 34


 Egalitarian Theology

Recently, I have had a few discussions with some Christians who hold egalitarian views (basically says that there are no distinctions in the roles of men and women in the home or in the church). Some of the arguments that they used seemed very questionable, if not heretical (saying that Adam and Eve were created at the same time, the reverse of what Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:13, etc..)

I realize that verses that say "Wives, submit to your husbands" have been abused by husbands who fail to realize that they are supposed to "love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it." At the same time, I feel that egalitarian theology is a compromise of the Word of God (Titus 2:5). I haven't done extensive study on this issue, and I'd love to hear what others have to say...

What is the history of egalitarian theology?
Can it be reconciled with the Word of God?

Any thoughts or comments or answers to questions would be great! Thanks.

In Christ,
Jake


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Jake Kail

 2004/3/3 15:51Profile
nobody
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Joined: 2003/9/16
Posts: 64


 Re: Egalitarian Theology

I'd say that the NT differentiates the church roles a bit but I think the work issue was more a social custom.

Women were known in Scripture to do a lot of work that wasn't inside the home. Proverbs 31 talks about them making money by selling things and growing things, etc. I think that the argument for church roles being different is pretty strong. Paul specifically said he'd not allow a woman to teach over a man. The argument that they have to stay home doing whatever is less convincing by far. Abandoning the home and kids is bad, and idolatry is bad, but it is really hard to say that a woman shouldn't work outside the home at all. Some churches teach this like it's one of the commandments and it just doesn't fit. Suddenly when the man is hurt, dead, or has run off they change their mind and the woman can work. So why is it that a woman can't help out her husband by making a little dough so he can go back to school, etc? Most groups who hold to this view that only men can hold jobs embrace families whose father works 70 hrs/wk to make things work while the woman paints her toenails and pushes buttons on the automatic appliances. It that really better than both working 30-40 hrs a week? Don't kids need their fathers around too?

The OT was more specific in gender roles, though, I think. It views men who dress like women or do a woman's work as disgusting.

I am serious about women not being pastors, but I concede that deaconesses are reasonable. I will not sign up for a class taught by a woman. I think Paul's words were unmistakable on that. I think they were unmistakable on women dressing modestly and womanly as well.

8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

 2004/3/3 17:56Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Recently, I have had a few discussions with some Christians who hold egalitarian views (basically says that there are no distinctions in the roles of men and women in the home or in the church). Some of the arguments that they used seemed very questionable, if not heretical (saying that Adam and Eve were created at the same time, the reverse of what Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:13, etc..)


My Church that I attend recently had a small split over this issue. There are two sides to the argument: i)complimenatarian ii)egalitarian

I don't know the in's and out's of each theological view but the part that gets to me is the headship in the Trinity. To prove the equality of men and women the egalitarian's argue that there is no distinction within the Trinity all are the same. This is blatently unbiblical. If you plainly read the scriptures it shows a equality but line of authority in the Trinity, and the scriptures uses this to prove that there is headship. You read and decide but this one scripture is quite plain (but immeasurable at the same time :-D ):

[b]1 Corinthians 11:3[/b] - Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/3/3 18:57Profile
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Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
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 Re:

Greg,

Your analysis seems too reductionistic. If the issue is really that clear-cut, there would not have been such a heated debate among conservative evangelicals.

For instance, the interpretation of "head" in 1 Corinthians 11 is not as straightforward as you seem to make of it.

Many prominent evangelicals, whose Christian faith and integrity are not doubted, are divided over this issue.

One of my favorite bible scholars, Gordon Fee, leans towards the egalitarian view. He put up some cogent arguments for this view.

On the other hand, J. I. Packer (one of my favorite theologians) and John Piper (one of my favorite pastors) took on the complementary view.

I am more inclined towards the complementary view (but allowing for exceptions in unusual circumstances -- God raised up Debra as the judge when it appeared that most men did not live up to their role as leaders). However, I have to admit after reviewing the arguments from both sides that many from either side are trying to be faithful to the Word of God; it is not as simple as the liberal-modernist controversy where one side was obviously the bad guys...


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Sam

 2004/3/4 11:50Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Some years ago a prominent evangelical leader in the UK wrote a book called 'Leadership is Male'. It caused a furore, especially among some missionary groups. I had a lot of sympathy with the book but not with the title. I would have preferred 'Authority is Male in the Church'. I tend to regard leadership as an event rather than a role.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/3/4 12:28Profile
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Joined: 2003/10/16
Posts: 63
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 Re:

Question for you...what about all the female missionaries who were called of God to go out to the mission field (alone)? Are they not worthy of teaching, preaching and reaching? Lillian Trasher, Florence Steidel, or even Aimee Semple McPherson...all were women called of God to minister to others. Obviously there were women in the New Testament who led ministries and were involved in ministry. Just my thoughts...since I feel led to be a missionary, and as of right now it will be only myself and my Lord.


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Shelly

 2004/3/4 12:39Profile









 Re:


If ever there was a topic needing the concept of continuing revelation, this is it.

Men, your views, if I expressed them in my Meeting for worship or office would draw such a thunderous rebuke as you could not even imagine. The whole notion that women have their place dictated by scriptures, and not by common sense or attributes and merit, is unconscionable.

Times change, and what was required for family productivity and stability in the past has changed, as well.

I don't think that the Bible is the place from where we should get our notions of what is the proper role of the sexes. It has lots of truths in it, but this business about the place of a woman is more a commentary on the roles at the time the Bible was written, rather than directives for how we should live today.

Jake

 2004/3/4 13:08
JKail
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Joined: 2004/2/29
Posts: 34


 Re:

Quote:
Men, your views, if I expressed them in my Meeting for worship or office would draw such a thunderous rebuke as you could not even imagine. The whole notion that women have their place dictated by scriptures, and not by common sense or attributes and merit, is unconscionable.



Jake, do you believe in the authority and infallibility of Scripture?? Does your church?? The wisdom of this world is foolish and so is our common sense...Our common sense would never bring us to believe in Christ for salvation, only the Holy Spirit and the Bible could reveal that to us. So why should we rely on out common sense for matters such as this...We must rely on the Book!!

The roles of men and women are different, in the home and in the church. Not one is better than the other, they are just different and thank God that they are. Husband and wife should complement each other. This doesn't mean that woman can't work or be involved in ministry or be missionaries. This doesn't mean that the man is the dictator of the house. It is a two-way street, and both parties, husband and wife need to be fulfilling there God-given roles and submitting to Him for it to work properly...

Paul and the other writers of Scripture are laying out a principle here for all time not just for that time period. Paul makes references to husband and wife relating like Christ relates to the church(Epehsians 5:22-33), man and woman related to the trinity(Christ and God-1 Corinthians 11:3-4), refers to Genesis in 1 Tomothy 2:13 showing that this is God's created order, In Collossians Paul says that it is "fitting in the Lord" for wives to submit to there husbands, Peter writes on the same subject in 1 Peter making a refference to Abraham and Sarah, once again laying out a principle for all time....the list goes on

Why is it that we have so much trouble with these versus but not with "children obey your parents." No one questions the validity of that one...I in no way think that men are better than woman, nor do I claim to have a perfect understanding of all of these passages relating male and female roles. But I believe that the egalitarian message only appeals to the flesh. It gives woman a false sense of freedom and control, and it tells men that they don't have to step up and be resposible and leaders...this is actually the same message that you see in the world, just watch 5 minutes of any sitcom or other TV show...



In Christ,
Jake Kail


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Jake Kail

 2004/3/4 16:23Profile
JKail
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Joined: 2004/2/29
Posts: 34


 Re:

here is a link that I found to be very helpful in answering a lot of these questions...

http://cacsi.com/Biblical.htm


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Jake Kail

 2004/3/4 16:27Profile









 Re:

J. Kail, No, I don't hold the Bible as infallible, nor does my Church. It is a vital, spiritual revelation of God and shows the way to salvation, but as an historical document it has many errors.

Am I correct in that Paul was never married?

The old saying goes, he that doesn't play the game doesn't make the rules.

As for common sense, we need it for every day living. God expects us to think and reason. After all He gave us brains.

"Children obey your parents" is common sense, unless your father is molester.

re: "We must rely on the Book!" You get an emphatic "Yes" from me. Yet, if you say, "We must rely on ONLY THIS Book," I would object. God speaks through many voices and most of these are not part of the Bible.

Jake

 2004/3/4 16:39





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