Peter’s pragmatism

I love it when I discover pragmatism in a Bible story.

I’m sure you remember this one. An angel appears to the Gentile army captain, Cornelius, and tells him to summon Peter, who is staying in Joppa, a day’s journey away. As Cornelius’ servants near Joppa, Peter is praying on the rooftop. Through a vision, God persuades him that all food is good to eat. When Cornelius’ servants arrive at the door, the Holy Spirit speaks and Peter reinterprets the dream to mean that he is supposed to go with them even though they are Gentiles.

Arriving in Cornelius’ home where his household has gathered, Peter preaches the gospel. Even while he is speaking, the Holy Spirit falls on these Gentiles and they begin to speak in tongues. Peter regards this as evidence that the Gentiles, too, can enter the Kingdom of heaven, and baptizes them.

Later on, Peter describes this story to the leaders back in Jerusalem. Speaking into a context where the stricter Jews were criticizing him for entering the home of a Gentile and where people believed that Gentiles were not included in the salvation Jesus won, he makes a remark that to me seems full of pragmatism:

“… Since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11:17)

And the response?

When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.” (Acts 11:18)

Can we not apply that same pragmatism to the church’s attitude to women?

All around the world God is using women in remarkable ways. In China, around 80% of the leaders are women. In India, women are planting churches everywhere—I know a woman church planter who has started more than 6,000 churches. In a rapidly growing Middle Eastern church planting movement, 60-70 percent of the leaders are women. Our friend Heidi Baker, along with her husband, Rolland, has seen more than 10,000 churches begin in Mozambique and the surrounding nations. Women teach and preach, they baptize and give communion. They are free to follow the Holy Spirit however he leads them without being told they are usurping men’s authority or that they aren’t allowed to behave in these ways because of their gender.

I’d love for Peter’s pragmatism to apply here too. Since God sees fit to use women all over the world, can we not say with Peter, “Who was I to stand in God’s way?”

23 thoughts on “Peter’s pragmatism”

  1. Again, this seems to make sense on the surface – but when one looks in to it deeper it doesn’t hold up. We have no right to just do whatever seems to work…

    We can not ignore clear commands in God’s word and do what suits us better or what seems more acceptable to a world system at odds with our God.

    Peter, could easily have confirmed his position with scripture. It was prophesied of Messiah that ‘the Gentiles shall come to Your light’ (Isaiah 60:3) and that He would be given ‘as a light to the Gentiles’ (Isaiah 42:6).

    Your position is contrary to scripture and revealed truth, not in harmony with it. Therein lies the problem.

    Thus says the Lord:
    “Stand in the ways and see,
    And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
    And walk in it;
    Then you will find rest for your souls.
    But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

    ~Jeremiah 6:16

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    1. Forrest, So did God only use Deborah, Esther, Huldah, Priscilla, Phoebe, and Junia because there was no woman available? And what do you say about slavery? There’s more Scripture to support the position of slavery than there is to limit the role of women.

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      1. I will not address the slavery reference here, for in using it you imply that some parts of scripture need to be flat out ignored and disregarded in ‘light’ of the current age rather than properly understood and ‘rightly divided’.

        As for Deborah and the other women God has used, I can not argue that He has chosen to use some very godly women, prophetesses even, in His Divine Pleasure – yet I am sure that these very women would have no issue with the word of the Lord concerning His commandments to women and their subjectivity to men and most of all their own husbands. I am sure that Deborah, like Sarah, honored and obeyed her husband (so long as in doing so she needed not to blatantly sin against God).

        Pointing to women who have been used by God in judging His people and serving Him in evangelism and the like is not proof that a woman is not to obey the word of God and be “subject to her husband in everything”.

        Were these women engaged in a fight to liberate women from the (oppressive?) rule of men of God over them or were they engaged in the battle to free God’s people from sin and disobedience and satans dominion over them through it?

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      2. Ok, I will bite after all: please cite the NT scripture that supports forced slavery based on things such as nationality. Thanks.

        Also, Paul admonishing a believer who is a slave not to fight for his liberation but to honor God in his station is not one and the same with condoning slavery. It actually hurts your argument because it reveals that the apostle saw that we ought not to fight merely to right social wrongs (in themselves) but to bring sinners to Christ.

        We can only affect the world to the extent that we succeed in bringing sinners to Christ and therefore getting Christ in man again and allowing His Life to rule and His Will to be done on earth through the regenerated hearts of His followers. We ought to strive to see Christ be formed in people, not to see them ‘set free’ from a positional inferiority that we see as unjust.

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  2. Hi Felicity, I agree with you, but (and I have said this before) I think this means we need to re-think our doctrines of scripture and authority.

    Peter acted contrary to the prevailing Jewish interpretation of their scriptures, but he did it because he was convinced the Holy Spirit was leading him that way (and who would argue with that?). For first century Jews, it appears that the scriptures were not inviolate, but able to be re-interpreted.

    We can see this in the way Jesus and the New Testament writers interpreted their scriptures as recorded in the NT. If you compare the original (OT) scriptures with the quotes and references in the NT (which I have done) you find that about half the time they didn’t quote them precisely or didn’t interpret them according to the original context. In this therefore they were not conforming to how we modern evangelicals interpret scripture.

    The Jewish religious teachers seemed to believe that they could be freer with the scriptures and apply them in new ways according to interpretive rules they had developed or according to the new circumstances they found themselves in. And Jesus and the early christians did exactly the same. (I can give scholarly references to support all this.)

    The big question is, are we free to do the same today? If we are not, then I agree with Forrest S that pragmatism isn’t sufficient reason to change an established NT teaching. But we have the Holy Spirit just like they did, and the leading of the Holy Spirit is surely sufficient authority to re-interpret, then and now.

    The problem is (I believe) few in this debate (and other debates too) seem to be relying on prayer and the Spirit’s guidance to lead them to what God wants for today – most know the answer they “want” already.

    I believe you are correct that the Spirit is leading us to a new interpretation on the place of women in ministry, and i think those of us who support this view should be making it clear that the Spirit’s leading is the key factor in our decision. And we should be praying earnestly and honestly that (1) the Spirit will correct us if we are wrong in this and (2) he will show others this truth if we are right.

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    1. I disagree with the ‘reinterpretation’ concept, but do appreciate you oost in that you seem to honestly desire to get it right and hear from God on this issue…

      I would say that the apostles didn’t reinterpret the scriptures but that they had the same old true meaning, which had been wandered from in times past due to the carnal mind interpreting the spiritual things of God, revealed to them afresh by God’s Spirit.

      I do not deny that in a place like China where the men that God puts in leadership may be quickly persecuted and thrown in prison, which I have heard to be the case there, women by necessity have a more prominent role in preaching and teaching and the like…

      But as a general principle, the word of God is clear on the issue and to ‘reinterpret’ it is dishonest, for it is the edict of the King delivered to us by His messengers, we have no right to alter it’s meaning but only to find out the true meaning by the Spirit of the King in us.

      But to hold a position such as Mrs. Dale and others I this discussion, I feel that you have to twist the scriptures and ignore the clear meaning of them, and once we are well aquainted twith that road, what is to keep us from doing that to avoid the cross on any issue and spare our self will and sin?

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      1. G’day Forrest. I’ll give you a couple of examples of what I mean.

        Matthew 2:15 says that Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to Egypt “fulfils” the prophet’s words “out of Egypt I called my son”. But when we look at Hosea 1:1, we see a clear reference to the Exodus, not a prophecy of Jesus. Matthew has changed the original meaning and re-applied it to Jesus, This was quite acceptable practice in first century Judaism, but it was indeed a change of meaning. Doubtless God had that intention from the beginning, but it was still a change of meaning.

        Secondly, the Old Testament law was given in the 10 Commandments and all the other laws. But whereas the OT (including the 10 Commandments) gave us Sabbath laws, Paul says in Colossians “do not let anyone judge you … with regard to … a Sabbath day”. And in Romans 7:6 Paul says “we have been released from the law, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code” – and then gives as an example the Commandment not to covet! This agrees with Jesus’ statements in Matthew 5 that the OT laws on murder and adultery are now superseded by his much tougher commands against hatred and lust. So in all these cases we see Old Testament commands re-applied and reinterpreted or even done away with in favour of new commands and new freedoms.

        There are many more examples like these. And since Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead his followers in to all truth (John 16:13), we can at least be open to the possibility that what Felicity is talking about is one such time, when the Spirit is leading us into new truths and re-applying and reinterpreting some familiar scriptural passages.

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      2. Here is Hosea 1:1:
        “The word of the Lord that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.”

        How is that a reference to the Exodus, and what relevance would such a reference have here?

        Your second example is dealt with in each basic seminary NT introduction I have used.

        Maybe you do not see the Bible as authoritative. Or, maybe you do not believe that the Bible we have reflects the autographs (another topic dealt with in basic intro to NT or OT texts).

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    2. Eric, well said. I agree that pragmatism is not sufficient grounds to reinterpret. We have to see what the Holy Spirit is doing. And we need to understand the Scriptures. My position is not one I’ve come to lightly. For years I subscribed to the “men lead, women follow” philosophy. But I was convinced both by what God was doing around the world and by my own study of the Scriptures that that position does not hold.

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  3. Just so it doesn’t get buried and overlooked, here is a question I posed to Mrs. Dale on “He Shall Rule Over You”:

    Mrs. Dale, why would you guess that the scripture never directly commands husbands to submit to their wives but does give the reverse command on many occasions?

    Also, the instruction in Ephesians 5:1-21 seems to be practical instruction to believers regarding their general conduct in the world as well as among one another. It instructs Christians to walk in love, sincerity, gentleness, humility by revealing how that practically plays out.

    This doesn’t negate the special instructions on gender roles also given by the same apostles. In general I am to be submissive and yielding, but primarily to my brothers in the Lord and especially to those that have been gifted and called as elders and are recognized as such. I can submit to a woman in a some things,
    but as a rule the men of the church are to have the authority and responsibility (especially concerning doctrine and other matters of high importance).

    It is in verses 22-33 of the passage that Paul directs his instruction toward the marriage relationship and the positional roles of men and women is more clearly seen. To try to squeeze the descriptive illustration of the love of God working in the
    brothers and sisters into some directive command specifically regarding the relational roles of men and women is not true to the text as it ignores the context.

    In opening the next thought with “Wives…” it is clear that that is the beginning of his instruction to wives where he lays out the role of a woman in relation to man. He reveals the positional authority of men in general that accords with godliness, and the more acute submission (“in everything”) that takes place withing the
    marriage covenant.

    Then, with the term “Husbands…” he ends his direct instruction to wives (primarily contained in verses 22-24 but briefly returned to and reiterated in verse 33) and begins to more directly instruct husbands on how they ought to behave in relation to their wives… Notice that there is not a single word about the wife’s positional equality nor one word commanding the husband to submit to his wife. Instead he is commanded to nourish and cherish her and even to follow Christ in the giving of ourselves on order to wash and sanctify them… But why no direct instruction to treat them as administrative equals? If this is the apostles instruction, why be so ambiguous about it? Why not be clear and direct as he is on so many other issues
    (including the submission of a wife to a husband ‘as to the Lord’ and ‘in everything’)?

    Also, if you notice in Genesis 3 God says to Adam “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree…”, you’ll notice that it was the man submitting to the woman in disregard for God’s command the he was held accountable for. God didn’t merely say “Because you have eaten from the tree…” but He, in His Holy Perfection and Severity, does not mince or waste words in
    saying “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten
    from the tree…”

    It may be that the main thrust of the transgression was a willful submitting to one-who-is-not-God (in this case Eve) and a willful rebellion of God. Ultimately satan was the deceiver, but Eve became his agent and Adam received her on his behalf and rejected the Word of the Lord in doing so.

    We see multiple other times in the scripture that a man went astray from the Lord in obeying a woman over Him.

    In Genesis 16 it was Abram heeding the voice of Sarai that led to trouble
    (v2). In chapters 12 and 15 of Genesis God had promised to make him a
    great nation and to give him an heir, but He clearly said that the heir
    would come from his own body (the two shall become one flesh) – thus
    signifying that it would be through Sarai that He would make good on His
    promise.

    But Sarai must’ve doubted and she convinced Abram to connive with her and they conspired to bring about the blessing the God had given by a promise through their human understanding and ability. Through this, Ismael was born. Ismael, like Cain, is a type of carnal religion done in the flesh (legalism/man’s best offered to God and not God’s promises believed and His mercy and faithfulness hoped in).

    Paul expounds on the types and ramifications of this passage in Genesis 16 in Galatians 4.

    Moses in Exodus 4 may well have been honoring his wife’s displeasure for
    circumcision in not circumcising his son. It almost cost him his life.

    Numbers 25 records satan’s old tactic of using women to draw God’s people into sin, disobedience and rebellion to Him.

    Jezebel wreaked havoc on Israel in the Kings…and is referred to thousands of
    years later in Revelation 2 as still ‘seducing’ God’s people into
    idolatry and sin.

    The ‘immoral woman’ is used in the Proverbs to represent a false way/system that ensnares people in error – whom God even uses to judge those who He abhors (Proverbs 22:14).

    This system is a false representation of God’s church – an unfaithful woman,
    not the chaste virgin to be presented to Christ. She wanders with her
    feet and does not abide in the truth. This is what I fear you may be
    doing, Mrs. Dale, in dreaming up your own ideas for the church and not
    remaining faithful to the plain and clear word of the Lord.

    I am not saying that women are all evil (not in their redeemed state, and not any more than men), but that man obeying a woman and not God has been a reoccurring theme in the word of God and this may well have been what Paul was emphasizing in saying:

    “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed
    first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being
    deceived, fell into transgression.”
    ~ 1 Timothy 2:11-14

    The woman was deceived, the man willfully defied God and chose rather to
    obey her than God. This is why Paul commands that the men be in
    authority and the women be subject to them.

    Again, this is all very clear in the word of God, as revealed by the Spirit of God, and I do sincerely ask you to honestly reflect on what I have said and
    sincerely pray to God and ask Him to reveal to you if there is any truth
    in my words.

    Blessings, sister Dale.

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    1. Forrest, one of the books I’ve found incredibly helpful on all these topics is written by theologian Philip B. Payne. It’s a 500 page deep theological discussion from someone far more knowledgable and learned than I am–and I suspect than you are too. I’d willingly send you a copy if you would agree to read it all. I think you would find it very enlightening.

      Have you thought about:

      1 Corinthians 7 which shows a mutuality of submission within marriage?

      In Proverbs, wisdom is personified as female.

      Adam was with Eve when she was being tempted (Gen 3:6 NLT). He was the one who had received the command not to eat the fruit, not Eve, (Gen 2:15-16) and he did nothing to stop the situation.

      As I’m sure I’ve said to you before, I love to submit to my husband, and he consistently lays down his life for me. The two combined together make for the most wonderful marriage I could wish for (42 years and counting!)

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      1. Odd, that passage came into my mind as I was lying down to sleep last night… Although the context there is the marriage bed, not the administration of the home or the church of God… Is there any direct teaching from Paul or the other apostles that teach that man and woman are positionally equal in terms of the administration of family and the operation of the body of Christ?

        As for Proverbs 31, why do you say it is Wisdom here portrayed? I think it is a godly woman portrayed and ultimately the true and faithful church of God revealed here through her.

        Yet even if we accept your position that God here portrays the Wisdom of God as a woman (as He does in other Proverbs), what exactly does that prove?

        That God chose to use a (submissive and humble) woman who diligently serves her husband (lord, master) and children to reveal something of Himself does not mean that He hasn’t decreed that a woman be subordinate in position (but not in worth) to man – as the apostle Paul VERY clearly laid out (and by the way it seems that you never address these clear teachings by the apostles head on).

        Did you notice that in verse 23 and 28 God uses the word “ba’al” for “her husband”? I’m sure you know that ‘ba’al’ means “master” or “lord”.

        Though I would quickly reassure you that ‘lord’ itself does not automatically imply harshness and brutishness, for Jesus is our Lord, no? He is by no means harsh or unloving toward us, but He does rule over us and command us. He is our Head. We are His body. He is in charge and commands the body. But it is not a heavy burden or a hard yoke – it is light burden and an easy yoke, for it is carried by and bore with gratitude and a willing heart in love.

        “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” ~ 1John 5:2,3

        As for the laying the blame for the fall on Adam, I don’t disagree. As I’ve stated, Adam was ultimately accountable for both himself and his wife, for he was entrusted with a stewardship. I have also said that Adam sinned willfully and it was Eve that was deceived – just as Paul also says in explaining the need for a woman’s submission to her husband and the men of the church in general.

        Although, the bible does declare that Eve know of the commandment not to eat of that tree, for she told the serpent what God had said when he first tempted her (Gen 3:2).

        Also, just because we know that Adam was there when she ate it, that does not in itself reveal that he was present when the serpent first tempted Eve – nor was he (as far as we can tell) in her mind and heart as she doubtlessly pondered the prospects of selling herself out to satan, to obey him and not God, in order to posses the knowledge of God and be ‘like’ God.

        Adam did eat too, and as I’ve pointed out, God said “Because you heeded the voice of the woman, and…” God held him accountable for obeying and following the creature over the Creator. He was placed over all that was as God’s delegated lord and appointed head of mankind. He is ultimately accountable.

        But all of this supports my position (in my eyes anyway), not yours…

        What I think is hard for you to grasp is that position does not equal worth. Jesus said that His Father is greater than Him, and that He submitted to His Father in all things, but He also said that the were ‘One’ and that He shared in the same Glory as the Father before the world was…

        Positionally (in love and harmony) Jesus is subordinate to the Father, but in value and glory He is equal.

        God doesn’t favor men over women, but He has decreed that they be in authority in the earth – and if we want to see what ‘in authority’ truly looks like as humanity, we can look to Jesus.

        I can assure you that no woman who rejects God’s law concerning submission and obedience to Him and those He has put in authority over them has any spiritual authority. For spiritual authority is given to those who obey God – not rebels and disobedient children.

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      2. Forrest, a quick reply to just one point in the above. I was not referring to Proverbs 31 in my comment but to Proverbs 4. I’ll try to get to some of your other points later.

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      3. I’m sorry, I was certain I saw 31. Must have been my presumptuous mind. My apologies. My point is still the same nonetheless. Blessings in Jesus’ Blesssed Saving Name.

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      4. Felicity Dale is correct when she asserts that Wisdom, as personified in the book of Proverbs is feminine. Here is Proverbs 1:20-22:

        “Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice;
        21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
        at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
        22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
        How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
        and fools hate knowledge?”

        The relevant question is, though, “How does that fact change Paul’s teachings on the relationship between a husband and his wife, or the place of women in authority positions in the church?”
        (http://www.gotquestions.org/women-pastors.html)

        The Bible makes clear self-reference to the truthfulness, and utility of every part of itself. It seems that some people here do not really believe that the autographs are preserved in the text we have today. But that position is well supported and thoroughly discussed in basic NT and OT introductory texts. (It is a huge topic, too big to discuss here.)

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    2. Forrest,

      1. “She [the false representation/unfaithful woman] wanders with her feet and does not abide in the truth. This is what I fear you may be doing, Mrs. Dale, in dreaming up your own ideas for the church and not remaining faithful to the plain and clear word of the Lord.” Could we please refrain from ad homoniems and address arguments only? Dale is hardly alone , so it is not as though she is dreaming up her own ideas or being unfaithful to the text.

      2. “I’m not saying all women are evil…” Well, that’s how it reads. You refer to Eve as Satan’s agent multiple times and argue that because Eve was deceived all females for all time must be inferior in status to all males while almost dismissive of Adam’s deliberate sin because he was only drawn into it because of Eve as an agent of Satan. (Scripture teaches we are tempted when we are dragged away by our own lust and enticed Jas 1:14). To bolster your point, you draw examples and claim there is a consistent theme in scripture of men being drawn into sin by women as agents of Satan. Has it occurred to you there are also examples of women and girls, even some you mentioned, doing noble, godly things and examples of men, to use your words, drawing women into sin e.g. Abraham telling Sarah to misrepresent their relationship and offer her over to a king’s harem to save his own skin?

      3. “The woman was deceived, the man willfully defied God and chose rather to obey her than God. This is why Paul commands that the men be in authority and the women be subject to them.” So, Adam deliberately disobeys and all males for all times are given authority over women? Eve is deceived and she and all females for all time are relegated to subordination? This makes no sense and paints a less just god than I or any other good-willed parent. A god that gives authority to all men for all time over women for Adam’s deliberate transgression when Eve’s transgression was born of deception is irrational, capricious, and arbitrary. When one of my own children has been deceived or misunderstood an instruction whether given to them by me directly or received second hand, I do not necessarily hold them to the same standard I would a child who heard my instructions first hand, yet chose to deliberately defy or disregard. How much more just is God, particularly as revealed in Jesus Christ.

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      1. Good Point, Angie! (I’m talking about your third point.)

        It does not seem to make any sense if we are being asked to believe that the Genesis account is the reason Paul gives his teachings on the relation between a husband and wife. I believe we are better off understanding Paul’s teachings as coming directly from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which is how the early church fathers understood it.

        That is not to say that the reality of the Genesis account is out of sync with the teachings of Paul. And to be fair to Forrest, maybe that is all he intended to assert . . . but got excited and carried away with his reasoning.

        I think we will understand Forrest’s argument better if we cancel any sense that he was trying to assert that the reason for Paul’s teachings on submission of a wife to her husband is because of the events of Genesis. In fact, I bet he would easily concede that.

        Our primary point here is the authority of Scripture, and as Forrest has written several times, the clear teachings of Paul on the submission of women. You seem to be in rebellion against these teachings, unable to accept them as coming from the Holy Spirit.

        In one sense, it would be almost refreshing to read you acknowledging that you do not actually believe Paul’s teachings here on the required submission of women to their husbands (and also the subordinate position of women in the Church) are true. That would seem to clear the air of the “Scripture squeezing and Scripture twisting” about which Forrest has written, and moreover, it would suddenly, in one fell swoop, endow your arguments with a higher level of integrity. And that, in itself, is not a bad thing.

        And yes, in your first point, Angie, I also agree that even if it is not an ad hominem attack, then it could have been written better, as follows:

        If Forrest has a reason to suspect that you do not believe all of Scripture is true, then he would probably be better off not using gratuitous portions to make a point he can make just as clearly, if not more clearly, in this abbreviated form of his words, as follows, “I fear you may be dreaming up your own ideas for the church and not remaining faithful to the plain and clear word of the Lord.” That is really the point he was trying to make, and I can see how it may be hurtful to have it compared to the “unfaithful woman” of Scripture.

        Regarding your second point, I do not think Forrest would at all deny this statement of yours, “there are also examples of women and girls, even some you mentioned, doing noble, godly things and examples of men, to use your words, drawing women into sin e.g. Abraham telling Sarah to misrepresent their relationship and offer her over to a king’s harem to save his own skin?” Nor do I believe that Forrest would agree that he was trying to asset that women are evil. That seems like a distraction from his argument regarding Paul’s teachings on the submission of women, something you seem to eschew addressing “head on,” as Forrest has written.

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      2. Nathaniel,

        1. “That is not to say that the reality of the Genesis account is out of sync with the teachings of Paul…” I am not saying Paul’s teaching is out of sync with Genesis. It appears to me Forrest’s interpretation makes Paul’s *Holy Spirit inspired* teaching in this text under consideration, inconsistent with Genesis. Paul issuing an *inspired* corrective to gnostic teaching is more tenable because this makes sense of the instruction in its historical and cultural context and is consistent the Genesis account and doesn’t rely on subjective conjecture of a narrative text.

        2. “I think we will understand Forrest’s argument better if we cancel any
        sense that he was trying to assert that the reason for Paul’s teachings
        on submission of a wife to her husband is because of the events of
        Genesis.” It’s not a matter of canceling any “sense”. This is what he says: “The woman was deceived, the man willfully defied God and chose rather to obey her than God. This is why Paul commands that the men be in authority and the women be subject to them.”

        3. It appears to me by “authority of Scripture” and “clear teachings of Paul”, you mean your interpretation. They are not the same.

        4. I have not reread my comments here, so if it has not been said to your satisfaction, let me offer you what you think may be refreshing. Paul gives a Christian ethic to first century women who are essentially chattel and subordinate. I do not believe Paul is concerned with establishing for all times a hierarchy in which women are are chattel or subordinate to men, in general, or husbands.

        5. Our theology about women has implications for what we think about and how we apply our theology towards women. That Forrest connects the dots, so to speak, through scripture of having a recurring theme of women leading men into sin or men listening to women and falling into sin is very telling. It is no less telling you think my assertion that the bible is replete with noble and honorable women and women following men into sin is a distraction rather than a valid observation and counter-point to Forrest’s claim.

        6. It is not lost on me that your commendation of my points comes off as a back-handed compliment by following up with comments about supposed rebellion and suspicions about taking scripture authoritatively and true. How refreshing it would be if we could address arguments rather than assume motives about one’s heart and allegiance to scripture. It is beyond me how any of my words can be construed as rebellion and denial of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration upon scripture. We have nuanced to different interpretations and applications, but I would not charge you nor did I charge Forrest in kind.

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  4. Here is the pragmatism that I try to follow: God is good, He’s revealed as loving and kind, and he is no respecter of persons. Along with that He is revealed by Jesus as being inclusive of all mankind ( sermon on the Mount ).

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  5. Great observation…yes, I believe God is pragmatic. This pragmatism is also evident from the beginning. Humanity as God’s icons are not inanimate objects like ancient kings would erect to mark out the boundaries of their realm. Rather, male and female are living, breathing statues. God’s logic and practicality are seen in the use of male and female, animated royal representatives, to mark out the boundaries of God’s realm and to guard, keep, fill, and replenish God’s cosmic temple.

    God’s pragmatism is expected to be seen in the New Covenant as well. Like Peter, may all have the eyes to see.

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  6. For more on Peter’s rooftop experience and how it is the foundation for a fresh move of the Spirit in our day, see https://www.vizaviz.org/therooftop/us/ — a call for both men and women who follow our great Lord to join with Him in His redemptive work outside the four walls of our church buildings. (I am not officially affiliated with the Rooftop ministry; just someone who has been touched by it and believes it is something the Spirit is empowering right now!)

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  7. The reason women have taken these leadership roles is because men have become pathetic cowards and have left it up to women to lead. Along with the jezebel spirit of feminism that has destroyed women and the proper roles in submiting themselves to their husbands. This is destroying families all around the world and now you are really seeing it in JerUSAlem America. You can be told what ever you want and image that it is true, but the roles of women and men are not the same. When men and women are in there proper roles than there is harmony, honor, trust, order, responsibility, accountability, etc.

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