Posted in theology, women

The Silent Witness that Speaks Volumes

By Elizabeth Prata

the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.  (1 Corinthians 14:34)

If they wish to inquire about something, they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is dishonorable for a woman to speak in the church. (1 Corinthians 14:35)

A woman must learn in quietness and full submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; she is to remain quiet. (1 Timothy 2:11-12)

Obviously being silent in the churches doesn’t mean that women are never to utter a word in church. In other epistles, Paul writes that women pray in church. Women fellowship before and after. Women sing. So being silent does not mean total silence from entering the church doors to exiting. Continue reading “The Silent Witness that Speaks Volumes”

Posted in theology, women

Bowling Alone turns into Worshiping Alone: The female pursuit of theologically self-oriented material

By Elizabeth Prata

This author has NAILED the issue with the rise of the Feminine Church, and that’s not even the point she was going after in her article. Her article is about the Female Evangelical Publishing industry “and the women who have had enough.”

It is this sentence which caught me-

“theologically self-oriented material that attracts many Christian women.”

The author is correct to phrase it that way, yet unknowingly write an oxymoron. There is no such thing as theologically self-oriented. If a book is theological, it’s about God. If it’s about us, it’s not about God. Yet the publishing market is flooded with books aimed at women, about women, with enough overlay of God to call it “theological.” And the industry is booming.

Here’s the article: The Quiet Revolution in Evangelical Christian Publishing And the Women Who Have Had Enough

Evangelical women as a niche demographic have less buying power in Christian publishing than all of the Garfield merchandise sold worldwide, yet apparently (according to this author) we who are submissive to the notion of complementarianism have no social capital at home or in church. (Not true but that is how the author sees it). So, how have women impacted and shifted the church so much?

Social media has allowed Instagram/Blogger/Twitter authors to directly publish their material, material that resonates with other Christian women, who, whether in the aimed-at demographic or are older, are seriously buying the books ‘evangelical’ women publish. Books such as Girl, Wash Your Face, and Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis are apparently the books these women have been waiting for. It has been a perfect fit. The mentioned social media platforms allowed Christian women dying of thirst, to bypass the restrictive traditional gatekeepers to publish and promote their tomes, their “theologically self-oriented material that attracts many Christian women.”

From the article:

The evangelical churches, by and large, left women in a discipleship vacuum and in that vacuum these other voices become really prominent,” says Katelyn Beaty, author of A Woman’s Place (2017) and an acquisitions editor for the Christian imprint Brazos Press.

When we read “discipleship vacuum” it means in many cases, the sad abdication of the pastors in oversight of women’s ministries. It means many times, neglect of husbands in oversight of or even interest in their wives’ spiritual lives. It means so often, a lapse in hospitality and fellowship among women, intentional relationship cultivating among all ages of women in a local body.

Women are relational. They thrive on talk and relationships to help make sense of the world, firming up their Christian worldview. Absent that, they will seek it elsewhere. It’s one reason that the Cursillo weekends and subsequent intense relationships (cult-like) are so popular. The IF:Gatherings, the Living Proof weekends and other minimally theological type gatherings large and small will draw women who thirst for theological companionship. But because so much of the material these gatherings are based on is aberrant, the women sadly are drawn into false teaching and indulged in their self-orientation (which our flesh is only too happy to provide).

When challenged by a well-meaning and loving friend, the relationship the woman has with the false teacher and her circle now trumps the truth of the word. Johnny-come-lately oversight from ladies’ ministry leaders or pastors find the women are now entrenched and often disinterested. Don & Joy Veinot wrote about this in their essay Fraternity over Orthodoxy.

The author notes that prior to the advent of social media, influential women like Beth Moore were seen exactly as her publisher wanted her to be seen. Here is a rough but hilarious assessment of that:

It was easier to frame [Moore] within the context of the establishment Baptist canon: women queuing up Sunday school lessons for aging Southern belles between potluck suppers and Friday night football games.

But after the Christian publishing industry was rocked by these ‘out from under’ female voices, we began to see a different facet to Moore, now the feisty political outspoken woman, independent of any whiff of submission to a husband or or quietude about her church-going persona. Her Twitter feed is full of outspoken statements that belie the publisher’s preferred persona/image of Moore. Other wannabe women see her inappropriate role modeling and go after it themselves, buying more of these kind of books in the process.

Author Beaty went on with an important point:

Beaty points to the decline of institutions and institutional life in general as putting more strength behind the voice of the individual. As individual voices have commanded more attention, helped in large part by social media, they found their audience primed and ready with the emergence of Web 2.0.

The decline of institutional life was well documented in the seminal book of 2000 by Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone.

In a groundbreaking book based on vast data, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and our democratic structures– and how we may reconnect. Putnam warns that our stock of social capital – the very fabric of our connections with each other, has plummeted, impoverishing our lives and communities. Putnam draws on evidence including nearly 500,000 interviews over the last quarter century to show that we sign fewer petitions, belong to fewer organizations that meet, know our neighbors less, meet with friends less frequently, and even socialize with our families less often. We’re even bowling alone.

But we still want fraternity, or in the case of women, sorority.

We’re not only bowling alone, we’re also worshiping alone. As women (and men) have discovered, they can express themselves and their opinions out from under what to them are a burdensome structure of church life, many eventually fail to return spiritually or even physically.

“I can worship online” they say. “I have a house church” they say, forgetting that worshiping, like any other part of a vibrant civic life, is best done together. Even more important than civic life, is worshiping the way God wants us to. He does not accept any old worship thrown at Him and He expects the body to act like a body. There are no lone ranger Christians.

Haven’t you ever wondered about the church life of a Beth Moore? A Christine Caine? A Jennie Allen? These women are all busy on their speaking tours, writing tweets and blogs and books, gallivanting from interview to publishing event. When do they have time to meet with the body? To worship together? These women are bowling alone, and it’s a dangerous precedent to set and a dangerous one to follow. But who can resist this:

Amidst the phenomenal popularity of blogs among a certain subset of young women in the mid-aughts, women of faith found their voices unshackled from the oversight of leaders who have the power to grant or deny them a platform in their local church.

They can’t resist growing their platform, and drawing women away from church along with them- the ones anyway, who believe that togetherness in worship and fellowship during the week is a shackle to be endured and not a joy to perform. Unshackling from leader oversight is the goal, not the temptation to resist. The benefit is that they speak out to other platforms instead of in church groups or fellowship gatherings of the local body.

The opportunity for would-be authors to present an unfiltered persona to potential readers who are encountering them not in the stacks of bookstores, but in primarily digital spaces, sheds light on another possibility: perhaps the ideas originally commodified for the consumption of evangelical Christian women weren’t what they wanted to begin with.

For these women, “an unfiltered persona” means in real theological terms, rebellion and desire to express themselves apart from the commands and guidance of the Bible, their pastors, and their husbands. Social media and widening of the gatekeeping of publishing industry gives them opportunity to do step outside their God-given roles.

‘Unfiltered personas’ are what needs mortifying. We are sinners, and the underlying persona the rebels want to express, is in fact, the flesh.

And the author is on the right track when she says the ideas in books published by strict gatekeepers weren’t what the women wanted in the first place. Of course not. Who wants solid theology, workbooks urging women to mortify sin, conviction, when what they really want is the “theologically self-oriented material.” And out from under the oversight of leadership, unshackled, they are getting exactly what they want- freedom to express unfiltered self under the veneer of a Christian lingo.

These women “eschew traditional redemption arcs in favor of open-ended narratives”, narratives with themselves as heroine, of course.

Solid books about women and our roles have always existed. They might be out of style, unpreferred by women who feel shackled by their roles in the church, but they are there for the women who want theologically GOD-oriented works. Here are some good books by and about women, women’s roles, women’s sorrows and triumphs:

Her Husband’s Crown: A Wife’s Ministry and a Minister’s Wife by Sara J. Leone
Selina: Countess of Huntingdon by Faith Cook
Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
The Little Woman by Gladys Aylward
Letters from the South Seas by Margaret Whitecross Paton
Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

Essay: Rock Your Role

chain
Unshackled, to use the author’s term,  they have shifted the world-wide church in pursuit of theologically self-oriented material…

 

Posted in advice, encouragement, ministry, women

Advice for online Christian ministry women

I try to maintain a social media presence only to the extent that it serves me posting things about Jesus. That’s my main focus. Occasionally I become aware that there are other venues out there besides Facebook, Blogger and Twitter for social media engagement, There’s LinkedIn, which I haven’t used, new things like Snapchat, Periscope, and Meerkat, but those platforms have content expiration dates, which defeats the purpose of having a long-term stable platform onto which a person can find my material years later. There’s Instagram, but I don’t have a mobile phone. There’s Peach, Kik, YikYak, Bebo and lots of new, trendy platforms coming along now. The wheel is getting bigger all the time, even as they claim the world is getting smaller.

Just as you do when starting a business, I think that incorporated Christian bloggers or even lone Christian bloggers with a particular mission in focus need to have at least a mental “business plan.” Personally I am gearing up to incorporate simply because I want to sell an eBook or two and being incorporated is the safest way to go when it comes to tax time.

However, I only investigate using a new social media to the extent that it prayerfully seems to serve my two purposes, which are, make Christ and His glories known; and to offer credible resources that connect new Christians, mature Christian women, and seekers, to quality content that will help them grow. That’s my ‘business plan’. Those two. Every once in a while I reassess to make sure those are still two viable goals and if I am still tracking in them. It’s easy to drift in ministry, even online ministry. Especially online ministry!

It is so easy to wander into a Jen Hatmaker or Glennon Melton or She Reads Truth blog and think one is reading about Christ, and thus the new Christian babe gets confused from the start. I’ll always be grateful that after a false walk with Joel Osteen my first months out of the gate after the cross, I landed at John MacArthur’s Grace To You radio program and there I am still. Who MacArthur quoted, I read. Who he mentioned, I followed up with. And so it expanded from there to Phil Johnson, Don Green, Justin Peters, Boice, Barnhouse, Shepherds Conference speakers like Mohler, Lawson, Begg, Pennington, Sproul, etc, and you see how the circle expands from there.

Get lumped in to a Voskamp blog or study and you wind up with Angie Smith, Shauna Niequist, Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer and the rest. The circle goes both ways. It is wise not to get drawn-in to a bad one. Those kinds of circles shrink around you like a boa constrictor, attempting to squeeze the life from you.

It is also very easy to become distracted from whatever is the main, online goal you have set before you. The Lord has allowed me to organize my life in a way that I have a stable, fulfilling job which salary sustains me in a reasonably frugal way yet not left wanting, and leaves me energy afterward to do my real work, which is write. I employ the gift of the Spirit of edification and discernment in my writing and this serves me in my local church, in and among the women with whom I work, and in online-only relationships. Those are my three spheres. I look at my life as one of service where my 9-5 job is not my real job but only the vehicle that allows me to study, worship, attend church, charitably support, and minister. Like Paul’s tentmaking. (Acts 18:3-4).

It is good for a Christian woman who maintains an online presence occasionally to ask herself some questions. Just as we are to test ourselves occasionally to see if we are in the faith, (2 Corinthians 13:5), so too, like careful stewards of the “Father’s Business Plan” we need to make sure we are still on His point.

1. Am I still in the center line of His will? Years ago if you’ve started a blog, or an online endeavor of some kind, like a newsletter, or an online course etc, if it does not seem to be working any more it is OK to reassess. We usually maintain the same gifts throughout our lives but sometimes He might want you to concentrate on one of your other gifts entirely, or use the same gift in a different way. See below regarding Benziger and Lesley.

2. Am I still effective at this? I am not thinking of results. Results are the Lord’s. I’m thinking, it is still a joy to perform the online ministry? Do you approach it with dread? Prayerlessness? Bitterness? Habit? Or does it still fulfill you spiritually? Bring tears to your eyes for the small mercies and quiet triumphs? For even one lost or questioning soul connected? Do you still have an awe or fear of the Lord when you perform it?

3. Does it seem like the Lord is moving to allow time for your online endeavor, or is it taking away from the family? Have the number of family complaints increased lately? Have other more important or more local things suffered as you’ve devoted time to the online world? When you’re on the online world, do you drift away from the ministry and become unfocused and waste time? Are you staying up late to hurriedly finish because you’ve wasted time online during the day instead? Do you feel the quality of the work is still good enough to lay at the Lord’s feet?

4. Have I compromised? Have I succumbed to neediness or wanting acceptance so I have linked to blogs that are not as edifying, or quoted a few popular females in the dazzling Christian celebrity world, simply to get attention or hits? It’s easy to do that. Compromise is always incremental. you don’t wake up one day with a blogroll full of Raechel Myers’ or Jen Hatmaker links, it happens slowly, then all at once. Have I avoided hard topics because I don’t ant controversy or am I still writing or ministering without fear of favor, throughout the entire Bible?

These are just a bare few ideas about us women maintaining an online ministry. Tim Challies wrote a while back about conservative women’s blogs that have gone cold. It might be worth a re-read. Several male bloggers, podcasters, and other online presences have recently announced they are taking time off, or redirecting their energies elsewhere for a while. Sometimes that happens. As I said, when one becomes unfocused and “diversifies” in one’s ministries too quickly. Sometimes it happens because other life events simply come along. It is OK to let it go, as the overused saying, well, goes. It is OK to reassess and prayerfully decide to take a step back.

Or perhaps the Lord is moving you in a direction that will stretch you and magnify Him even more!

Sometimes even more joyfully, reassessment means to take a step forward! Blogger Erin Benziger announced she was starting Equipping Eve, and twice monthly radio show under the auspices of No Compromise Radio/Pastor Mike Abendroth. That led to an opportunity to lead a discernment talk at the Answers for Women: Discern Conference. Michelle D. Lesley announced in January of this year a slow-down in daily blog writing and a restructuring of the blog’s content in order to focus on a book project. Recently she also announced she was organizing a conference for women. She also began to solicit guest bloggers. Even a bit further back Tim Challies allowed for sponsorship of his blog and the guest posts that come with it, in order to aid him in a restructuring of content and his own daily tasks.

Our lives in service are fluid and at His behest. If you’re a woman reading this, your first point of service is your own devotion to Jesus in reading the Word, prayer, and home. Then faithful worship and service at church, and to the saints there. And then online activity/ministry.

Stay prayerful and intentional with your online ministry. Try not to diversity too fast. A while back an offer came along but I humbly declined it because I felt I was not up to the task. And that is the crux of it. We don’t do this for ourselves.We don’t do this even for the sisters. We do this for Jesus. I want this to be my best work, all the time. Because He is worth my best efforts.

Posted in bible, discernment, weaker vessel, women

Are you a weak woman, or are you a weak woman?

The Bible says some women are weak, and it is meant in a bad way. The Bible also says Christians are to be weak, but it’s meant in a good way. Let’s look at the two ways.

Weak in a bad way

Silly, weak woman!


For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions (2 Timothy 3:6)

The Greek word for weak here is gunaikarion, a contemptuous term meaning a silly, foolish, little woman.

Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary says,

laden with sins—(Is 1:4); applying to the “silly women” whose consciences are burdened with sins, and so are a ready prey to the false teachers who promise ease of conscience if they will follow them. A bad conscience leads easily to shipwreck of faith (1 Ti 1:19).

Matthew Henry’s Whole Commentary on the Bible says of these women:

A foolish head and a filthy heart make persons, especially women, an easy prey to seducers.

John MacArthur Commentary says,

 Weak in virtue and knowledge of the truth. and weighed down with spiritual and emotional guilt over their sins, these women were easy prey for the deceitful false teachers.

Weak in a good way

Weak woman is strong. She prays and relies on Jesus.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Gill’s Explains it this way:

for when I am weak, then am I strong; when he was attended with all the above mentioned infirmities, when laden with reproaches, surrounded with necessities, followed with persecutions, and brought into the utmost straits and difficulties, and was most sensible of his weakness in himself to bear and go through all these things; then was he upheld by the divine arm, and strengthened by the power of Christ; so that he was not only able to sustain the conflict, but became more than a conqueror, and even to triumph in the midst of these adversities;

The difference is that silly weak women are loaded down with unrepented-of sin, which clouds their mind and they fall prey to untruth. Weak women who rely on the glorious Divine Arm to lift them are wise, strong, and in His power. They know the truth and see Him clearly. They possess virtue and radiate calm wisdom.

So. Are you a weak woman or are you a weak woman?

Posted in bible study, discernment, titus, women

What about a woman who blogs? Is she violating scripture by teaching men?

My ministry is to women. I exhort for women to achieve a higher standard of biblical literacy and knowledge of the Lord. I exhort for women in their lives to walk in submission to the Word. I also use my blog as a personal platform to teach women the scriptures and HOW to think about the scriptures. Finally, I use my blog to proclaim Jesus and to praise Him. I’m unashamed and unafraid and I love using the blog to perform these ministrations within the body of Christ. This is because the Spirit groomed me lifelong as a writer then upon salvation dispensed the gifts of teaching and exhortation.

It gives me the greatest joy possible to hear back from a woman who has sought His word and gained insight through submitting her mind to the Holy Spirit. I cry tears of joy when a woman contacts me and says she had followed through with listening to a recommended sermon from John MacArthur or Phil Johnson and is now frequently listening to them or the other men I’d recommended … or has read the essay by Lloyd Jones, or followed the link from Challies. Connecting women with solid and credible male teachings is sweet. When a woman says she has ignited her prayer life, or has learned to trust her husband more, or has established a pattern of consistently reading the Word, I praise the Holy God for raising up women and for using me in the gifts He has dispensed in that task.

Sometimes I receive the question, but what about if a man reads your blog, aren’t you violating scripture by teaching men? This essay is my response.

I consistently advise 4 things: for women who read my stuff to be faithful in personal prayer, persistent in asking for wisdom from the Spirit as James 1:5 says, constant personal bible reading and checking what I say against scripture, and to discuss these matters with their husband, or pastor or elder if they are single. I do a lot of referring back to the husband, Some women are looking for an excuse to rebel and use female bloggers as their loophole by asking leading questions and overly-relying on my answer. I’m not having it. LOL, once I pointedly asked a woman “What does your husband say about this?” and she wrote back in perplexed confusion, ‘I honestly never thought to ask him about it or discuss these kind of things with him.’ And therein lay the problem.

I remind often that the husband (or pastor or other family member if single) is the spiritual authority. I’m just the Sister with some thoughts and elder advice as per Titus 2:4. I do the same in real life at my local church.

But that isn’t the real question. Isn’t a Christian woman who writes about theological issues on her blog actually teaching men if a man reads her blog, in violation of the scriptures? (1 Timothy 2:12). The scriptures say women cannot usurp authority over men in the church, taking their God-ordained positions of preaching, teaching or leading (as in deacon) for themselves. This is what I believe because this is what God has said explicitly and implicitly through His Word.

This is not the actual question, though. When someone asks “is a woman Christian blogger violating scripture by possibly teaching men on her blog’ it isn’t the real question. The real question is, “Should women speak of or teach theological/spiritual/discipling issues in the public square?” Blogs are the public square. The public square is also the break room at work, the living room of a home where a women’s ministry is being conducted, the cafe at Borders Books, a blog, Facebook wall or messaging, bible study in a living room with other women, or any other place where women of faith may congregate apart from church and men might be present and spiritually impacted by what they hear or read from a woman’s insight.

So we ask the same question but place it in different situations and venues.

Is a woman violating scripture by having a female bible study during lunch in the work cafeteria where men are also at nearby tables? If two women are engaged in a discipling relationship and working out a theological issue at a café, and Christian men happen to be at the next table, are the women violating scripture if the men listen to their conversation? If a woman writes of theological issues on her blog and a man happens to read it, is she violating scripture? What if a woman authors a theological book, and a man buys it and reads it? Did she violate scripture? Did he? The question can be taken to silly extremes.

Not that the issue of women teaching men is silly. We have far too much of that inside the structure of the congregational church these days. Just yesterday I ran across a youngish female “pastor” of a strangely named “church” called “Guts Church” and I commented on her rebellion against the 1 Timothy verse, but she deleted my comment. My friend Jeff Isaiah on Twitter writes,

If your church’s pastor is a woman—you don’t have a pastor, and you don’t have a church. Leave. (See 1 Timothy, chapter 2)

However, the real question as I noted is, can a woman speak theologically, disciple or teach other women in the public square – and to what extent? In the Bible we read of Dorcas, who led a ministry of women and discipled them through her sewing/clothing works. If male workers or house residents were about and heard their discussion, then did Dorcas violate scripture? Did Eunice and Lois, Timothy’s mother and grandmother, violate scripture by teaching Timothy of the good news at home? Did Lydia who contended in public at Paul’s side in public? Did Philips’ daughters who preached/prophesied in public with their father?

I simply don’t worry about it. I aim to reach women and I say so. I take my role seriously as an elder women coaching the younger in being strong in the word and submissive to male domestic and church authority. If a man wants to read my blog, that could also be a good thing. Why? What of the women I’m engaged in a discussion with in the comments section or via email, and I urge her to discuss further with her husband? What if the husband then comes to my blog to investigate me. It is GOOD that he reads it, first so he can protect his wife against heresy I may be spouting. (We all know there are plenty of those kind of blogs online these days). Pastor and noted blogger Tim Challies often reviews books on his site that are aimed at women. He wrote in his essay Book Recommendations: Books for Women

Because I am a husband, I try to read at least the occasional book that is meant to encourage or equip my wife. Here are some of the best of the books I’ve read for women.

Now THAT makes me feel great and I can only imagine how good it makes his wife feel to know he is looking out for her.

Husbands, love your wives, AND protect themfrom the monstrous
regiment of women spouting heresy online. Rev 2:20

Therefore, what if a man reads my blog a few times and likes it and decides that he will pass it on to his wife? That also is a good thing. Did he violate scripture in reading my work enough times to get a feel for whether I’m genuine? What if he learned something in the process, or gained an insight? I do not believe these are violations.

Remember, the question is not that women bloggers are usurping male authority in the church in violation of 1 Tim 2:12, the question is can women teach and speak of theological things in the public square, (like blogs) especially if they intend to teach a female audience. John MacArthur has some stances on that.

By the way, if females teach scripture online and/or exposit it, then his own website would be in violation. Many, many women are listed on the gcc.org site with .pdfs and other resources, even sermons- and they are so labeled. Judy Luenebrink’s sermon and bible study expositing Genesis 3 is online. Is she violating scripture by teaching the Bible if a man reads her work? No in my opinion, and obviously not in the good pastor’s, because it is clear she is teaching to women! I assume that a man in the church provided oversight before Mrs Luenebrink’s sermon was even posted.

While Dr MacArthur does not mention blogs specifically, here are his thoughts on women teaching outside of the authoritative structure of the church proper. Inside the church, too many women are filling male roles “because the men won’t.” This is not an excuse, as MacArthur begins his essay. Here are the excerpts from his essayActive Submission:

But God has established the proper order and relationship of male and female roles in the church, and they are not to be violated for any reason. For a woman to assume a man’s role because he has neglected it merely compounds the problem. God has led women to do work that men have refused to do, but He does not lead them to accomplish that work through roles He has restricted to men.

That doesn’t mean, however, that God never permits women to speak His truth in public:

“Paul spoke with various churches and synagogues during his missionary journeys, answering questions from women as well as men (cf. Acts 17:2–4). I see nothing wrong with a woman asking questions or sharing what the Spirit of God has taught her out of the Word during informal Bible study and fellowship.

Women can proclaim the Word of God except when the church meets for corporate worship. The Old Testament says, “The women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host” (Psalm 68:11). The New Testament gives examples of Mary, Anna, and Priscilla declaring God’s truth to men and women (Luke 1:46–55; 2:36–38; Acts 18:24–26).

Women can pray in public. Acts 1:13–14 describes a prayer meeting where women and men, including Jesus’ apostles, were present. But leading in prayer during an official meeting of the church is, as we’ve already seen, a role ordained for men (1 Timothy 2:8).”—end JMac

For another take on the question, here is Tony Miano on the question. Miano attends Grace Community Church (John MacArthur’s church) and is in submission to Phil Johnson in small group. He says things I agree with.Christian Women Bloggers: Maintaining God-Intended Femininity

Here is Phil Johnson on women discernment bloggers. He notes that many female bloggers who specialize in discernment wind up simply having a sharp tongue and use it negatively. I agree with this also. Johnson said there are some personalities which are predisposed to snark and bitterness and they USE blogging as the excuse to let the flesh run rampant. I look to Pastor Justin Peters as my positive role model here. I have listened to his discernment seminars and sermons for many years and I admire the way he continually submits to the Spirit and thus maintains his gentle composure, even when saying the harshest of biblical things.

The Johnson comments come from a Youtube video event hosted by Todd Friel. Start at 25:00 go to about 30:00. I also agree with Johnson that many women discernment bloggers presume to teach but do not display a rational understanding of doctrine. Oftentimes this is why their unfeminine harridan side kicks in. The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Discernment Divas

Sewing circle, 1952. Wikimedia commons

So that’s it. As for me personally regarding the blog, several men whom I trust read it and occasionally touch base with me privately to ask me a clarification question to check for my understanding, they encourage me, or they reprove me. Sometimes they comment openly and I always appreciate the male perspective. I also appreciate the fact that they are ‘out there’, but we’re ‘together in the Body’, jointly performing our gifts and roles. I personally believe that they are taking their leadership seriously by monitoring me and nurturing me. And I’m grateful for it.

I am fully submitted to the concept of women not teaching in the church- unless it is to children or other women only. And no female pastors or deacons. And no women interrupting male-led bible studies or co-opting lessons held in the church with their own insights etc. Submissive and orderly is the command and I am firm on that!

As for women writing books, blogging, discipling, or speaking of theological things in the public square, I follow Philip’s daughters, (Acts 21:9), Eunice and Lois, (2 Timothy 1:5), Lydia, (Acts 16:14),  Dorcas (Acts 9:36) and other women who restrict their ministry to women, submit to the men in their lives, but unashamedly proclaim the glories of this wonderful Jesus whom we share and whom the dying world needs to know.

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Resources:

Woman to Woman: Answering the Call of Titus 2

Biblical vision for Pastors discipling men and women

The Titus 2 Challenge

Going Beyond Titus 2: Gospel-Centered Whole Bible Discipleship

Posted in bible, encouragement, gracious, women

The View’s women: noisy & clamorous, shameful & infamous

Source- ScriptureByPicture.com

The television network ABC has produced for the last 18 years, a show called “The View.” The show is a talk show with an all-female panel discussing news, politics and cultural events of the day. Initially, veteran journalist Barbara Walters was the main host. The show has since rotated different women on and off, each panel becoming more strident than the last. It is a fair thing to say the show is hosted by cantankerous and quarrelsome women. It is an unattractive show.

I have seen the show once or twice. I don’t watch it because I have a severe distaste for programming that includes yelling, and that is pretty much all these women do.

The show’s blurb is: “Created in 1997 by veteran journalist Barbara Walters, “The View” is a daytime talk show hosted by women — Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Candace Cameron Bure, Michelle Collins, Paula Faris and Raven-Symoné — and each offers her take on the day’s news during the opening “Hot Topics” segment. Later, the ladies welcome various celebrities, who join them in a chat or perform for the audience. The program also offers tips on beauty, fashion, diet and relationships. Known for their freewheeling style, the hosts are often lampooned in late-night sketches.” (source)

This week, two of the panelists commented on a contestant in the Miss America pageant. The contestant they mocked was representing Colorado. During the talent portion of the pageant, Miss Colorado appeared in her nurse’s scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck and delivered an original monologue relating her experience working a particular Alzheimer’s patient.

The two women on the show mainly involved in the mocking were Joy Behar and Michelle Collins. They mocked the woman’s ‘lack of talent’ and her choice to relate her professional experience. They mocked her scrubs. They mocked her stethoscope. They mocked her profession.

Collins’ and Behars’s remarks became controversial and five advertisers have since withdrawn support on the show.

The controversial comments made by Behar and Collins came in response to Sunday’s 2016 Miss America pageant featuring Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson, whose talent consisted of a monologue about being a nurse. The next day, Behar said she did not consider the monologue a legitimate talent, and appeared ill-informed on the nursing profession as a whole. (source)

Feminism has done women no favors by insisting they must have a loud voice in the public realms. (I am not saying woman cannot speak publicly.) However what I am saying is that a continual pattern of strident, loud opinionated screeching in public does not become a woman. Many people, including myself, are turned off by watching such behavior. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about quarrelsome females.

It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. (Proverbs 21:19)

A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike;  (Proverbs 27:15)

Gill’s- and a contentious woman are alike; troublesome and uncomfortable; as in a rainy day, a man cannot go abroad with any pleasure, and if the rain is continually dropping upon him in his house he cannot sit there with any comfort; and so a contentious woman, that is always scolding and brawling, a man has no comfort at home; and if he goes abroad he is jeered and laughed at on her account by others; and perhaps she the more severely falls upon him when he returns for having been abroad;

to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand. (Proverbs 27:16)

Gill’s -Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind,…. Whoever attempts to stop her brawls and contentions, to repress and restrain them, and hinder her voice being heard in the streets, and endeavours to hide the shame that comes upon herself and family, attempts a thing as impossible as to hide the wind in the palm of a man’s hand, or to stop it from blowing; for as that, by being restrained or pent up by any methods that can be used, makes the greater noise, so, by all the means that are used to still a contentious woman, she is but the more noisy and clamorous, and becomes more shameful and infamous;

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs 21:9)

Gill’s- It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop,…. The roofs of houses in Judea were that, encompassed with battlements, whither persons might retire for solitude, and sit in safety: and it is better to be in a corner of such a roof alone, and be exposed to scorching heat, to blustering winds, to thunder storms and showers of rain, than with a brawling woman in a wide house; large and spacious, full of rooms,

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. (Proverbs 11:22)

Pulpit Commentary- So is a fair woman which is without discretion; without taste, deprived of the faculty of saying and doing what is seemly and fitting. The external beauty of such a woman is as incongruous as a precious ring in the snout of a pig.

The Bible on having a bitter tongue:

Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers, From the tumult of those who do iniquity, 3Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword. They aimed bitter speech as their arrow, (Psalm 64:2-3)

Brawling women are not easy to live with (Proverbs 21:9; 25:24).

Angry women are never good company (Proverbs 21:19).

The Bible on speaking defilements:

It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person. (Matthew 15:11)

And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. (James 3:6)

The Bible on how women are to conduct themselves is also equally clear.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, (Titus 2:3)

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6. This verse is aimed at both genders. This is a good, short essay.)

Gracious women retain their honor. (Proverbs 11:16)

The women on The View can’t help being strident, loud, obnoxious, or shameful (perhaps with the exception of Candace Cameron Bure, who is a Christian, one who unfortunately is partnering with darkness though by being a panelist on the show). This is because the Bible says–

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:8).

Only with the help of the Holy Spirit in us with the new creation being sanctified can a person hope to tame the tongue. The Bible says much about the tongue, pro and con, male and female. It is a big subject.

Meanwhile, if you watch The View, I’d hope that you would reconsider, it isn’t edifying to the Lord to participate in these women’s shameful acts and support their bitter tongue. I don’t watch the show but I will keep these women in mind when I am about to speak-ill advisedly or ungraciously. It isn’t attractive, but gracious speech most certainly IS.

Posted in bible study, encouragement, jen wilkin, male headship, women

"What Women Need Most for Better Bible Study"

 

Jen Wilkin is a Bible teacher of women who has also recently authored a book called Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds. It has been reviewed positively from several different quarters, for example,

9Marks reviewed her book here

Tim Challies reviewed her book here

I have not personally taken any of her in-person or online studies, but I did order her book last night. What got me interested is that a 6-month old clip from a conference in which Mrs Wilkin was an invited speaker surfaced. I loved what she had to say about what women need when studying the word. I say, hear hear, especially to #3.

The clip is 9-minutes. Please share with pastors and leaders and elders and deacons.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/107665966

For those who can’t stream video, here is a short synopsis:

1. Women need better definitions about what Bible Study is, and what bible study isn’t. It is not a devotional and it is not topical. Have you ever seen a devotional on Leviticus? No. If we only study devotionals we will only get a skewed view of God and only learn about topics we personally like. Devotionals are not Bible study.

2. Women need better resources. Resources that focus on who God is, first, and who we are, second. We need resources focusing less on us and more on studies that teach us about who God is. Too many studies, topical books and devotionals open with asking questions like “Who are we before God?” when the real question is “Who is God, and THEN we will know who we are before Him.”

2a. We need resources that target the mind and not solely the emotions. When the verse that says “Love God with all your soul, strength, heart, and mind, it means women too. Our intellect should be engaged in the pursuit of the knowledge of God.

2b. We need resources that train us to do the work. We need to learn how to be better students of the Bible so that at the end of it we feel more comfortable opening the bible without study aids rather than less comfortable. Too many current studies make women feel less confident of studying His word.

3. We need better leadership support. Women flourish in the church when men care about women flourishing in the church. If you’re a church leader, educate yourself on the kinds of studies that your women are doing, caring about what is going on with over half of the people who fill your seats on Sunday.

I have very recently written about how good it feels as a woman to see a Pastor taking the time to delve into popular women’s Bible Studies and make a learned determination as to their edification level. I said that Pastor Hull, a Lutheran Pastor who researched Beth Moore, had spoken gently but firmly to his flock about the unworthiness of Moore’s teachings. He said that only one or two ladies were upset, but none left the church. In the end, he said, they understood his role is to make these kind of calls. I agree with Wilkin that women DO flourish when Christian men in church take an interest in their studies and gently but authoritatively assess and decide.

Jeff Maples wrote a very good essay called “The Rise of the Feminine Church of Eden” in which he charged the men with their part in the women usurping male roles, drifting off into poor theology of emotionalism and romanticism of the kind of books that Sarah Young and Ann Voskamp write. Maples said,

I would suggest that Christian men turn off the televisions, open a Bible, and learn how to step up and be a man. Pay attention to your wives. Your wife needs your affection, your love and your acceptance, but she also needs your guidance. You must be able to provide her with guidance. Your problem is you care more about who your NFL team is drafting than you do about your wife sitting in her bed reading Jesus Calling while looking for some kind of affection.

Please take a listen to Mrs Wilkin above.

Here is Tim Challies with a page of recommendations of studies for Women.

Bless you all. Men, we need you to guide us. Women, we need to choose Bible studies that engage the mind. Once the mind is illuminated and refreshed with knowledge of Who God is, the emotions of loving God and being in awe of Him will follow!

 

Posted in encouragement, ministry, teachers, women

Add one more good woman teacher to the list: Chapter 3 Ministries

I recently finished a series on rebellious women who claim to be Christians, and the final entry extolled the virtues of many different women’s ministries. I presented a list of good women teachers with a synopsis, and said that in my opinion these are profitable for women to follow. There are many teachings among these women’s ministries that are currently safe in which to indulge.

Many women despair of finding a female teacher of substance who study the word with care and create solid curricula for us to use in bible study, Sunday School, or personally. Beth Moore is a false teacher. Joyce Meyer is also. Christine Caine,  Bobbie Houston, and many others are false teachers too. Well, thanks to some time spent researching, I shared a list of good female teachers.

Just after I published the list, I became aware of another woman that should definitely be added to the list. I’d like to introduce Sharon Lareau, of Chapter 3 Ministries.

Her web ministry is is aimed at women and is founded on 1 Peter Chapter 3:1-6 & 15. She is married with two children, is a member of a local church along with her husband, and has homeschooled both children from kindergarten to college, over the course of 18 years. Mrs Lareau has health issues that keep her homebound most of the time. She wrote on her “About” page,

In my life as a Christian, I have been led by a desire to minister to Christian wives in the spirit of Titus 2:3-5. I have been blessed with many different opportunities to serve in that way through the years. I have taught classes at our church as a part of Women’s Ministry, I have been involved with different online support and outreach endeavors, and I have sought to fulfill the call of Titus 2:3-5 on a one on one bases.

Her foremost prayer is that the ministry brings glory to God. In addition,

The circle of my ministry expands to all women whether they are married, single, divorced, or widowed. Though I know I am not well equipped to minister to all in some ways, my heart is open to learning. I hope and pray to be an encouragement along the way.

Mrs Lareau ministers to women in matters of Christian marriage, apologetics, and faith. I found her discernment essays regarding Beth Moore to be humble, discerning, and biblically solid. She participated in a BM simulcast in September 2014, and reviewed them. Part 1 of 3 parts is here.

At the website you can expect to find essays on subjects ranging from the Sovereignty of God, analysis of “The Message” bible, marriage & family, discernment and more. Mrs Lareau believes that Christian women are called to the defense of the faith just as much as men. We have no less need to be equipped.

I hope you enjoy her website. I’ll add others as I discover them. For every Beth Moore out there, chanting mantras and proclaiming prophecies based on the deceptions of her own mind (Jeremiah 14:14), there are twice as many women in all corners of the United States and in other nations, persevering in the faith, ministering, laboring, loving fellow sisters through Christ.

Posted in encouragement, Proverbs, submit, wife, women

Ladies, do you want to revile God’s word?

Ladis, did you ever consider the opposite of Titus 2:5? Here is the verse:

The Graphics Fairy

to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

I use the ESV.

NIV: “so that no one will malign the word of God.”
NAS: “so that the word of God will not be dishonored”
KJV: “that the word of God be not blasphemed”

The Greek word for ‘reviled’ is blasphemeo, means-

refusing to acknowledge good (worthy of respect, veneration); hence, to blaspheme which reverses moral values.”

If we are NOT self-controlled, we revile the word of the Lord,
If we are NOT pure, we revile the word of the Lord,
If we are NOT working at home, we revile the word of the Lord,
If we are NOT kind, we revile the word of the Lord,
If we are NOT submissive to our own husbands, we revile the word of the Lord,

Please think about what we do as women, widows, and wives before the Lord. I know I will try to be more careful to adhere to the behavioral standards outlined in the verse.

Posted in bride, complementarian, egalitarian, encouragement, Eve, women

The first and last women mentioned in the bible

Jezebel, Byam Shaw, 1898.

I recently studied the four women of Revelation. My favorite books are Genesis and Revelation. I love firsts and lasts, the beginnings and endings of things. The 4 women of Revelation are the Jezebel of Rev 2 representing the pagan church, Woman clothed with the Sun in Rev 12 representing Israel, the Whore of Babylon of Rev 17 representing the apostate church, and the Wife of Rev 21 representing the true church.

So here is how the Holy Spirit extended my thinking some more. I was thinking about the covenant of marriage as described in the bible and reading some passages from the bible.

I took a break and was watching a tv show online from 15 years ago that used to be on the Pax channel, called Hope Island. It is a family oriented drama, a kind of faith show. It is an excellent show, the best scripted drama Pax ever put on, and it got high reviews and fan raves. So they canceled it right away. But enough about my grief.

In the episode I was watching, two main characters are getting married. She is 25 and still lives at home, not with her intended husband-to-be. Even by 1999 standards this was unusual. So the ceremony was concluded with all due gravitas and it was good, and I got to thinking about marriage and what it means to be a wife.

And then I realized that in my penchant for thinking of extremes, firsts and lasts, that if I learned in my study time a few days ago the last woman mentioned in the bible is “Wife/Bride”.

Whore of Babylon, Russian engraving, 1800s

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:9)

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” (Revelation 22:17)

The first woman mentioned in the bible was wife also!

And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:22-25)

God takes marriage very, VERY seriously. In watching the very good clip of Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation explaining why gay marriage doesn’t exist, it hammers the point home even more. And not just homosexual marriage, bigamy or polygamy is an affront to God. Divorce is also, if done under any conditions but the allowances given in the bible. The first woman is mentioned as wife in Genesis and at the end in Revelation the entire human history is seen to be God’s gathering a wife for His Son.

Margaret Murray Prior, 1882 wedding dress

It also brings home the importance of women in God’s plan. Complementarians know this, but egalitarians don’t. God loves His people. He made two genders and two genders only. This is for many reasons, some obvious and some known only to God. But one thing is sure, one reason was so that we could unite and form a marital union ordained by God, grown by God, and pleasing to God.

And pleasing God is the thing for which we are made.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10).