Systematic Theology II - Lesson 23
The Doctrine of the Church (Part 5)
The question of the role of men and women in ministry is a significant issue. The main question is, "According to Scripture, is gender particularly and uniquely relevant in assessing whether or not a person is qualified for a given ministry in a church or home?"
You can download the Roles Handout by right-clicking on the link and selecting the "Save Link As" option.
The Doctrine of the Church (Part 5)
The Doctrine of the Church (Part 5)
d. Roles of men and women in ministry
Egalitarian vs Complementarian: Is gender ever relevant in roles of leadership and decision making in the church and in the home?
1) Egalitarian View
a) Creation: Male and female are created equal in essence and role.
b) Fall: The fall resulted in the women being put in submission to men. Man will rule over women.
c) Redemption: Males and females are restored to original equality in essence and role.
2) Complementarian View
a) Creation: Male and Female created equal in essence but there is distinction in role. Hold to male headship in creation. (Creation mirrors hierarchy in the Trinity)
b) Fall: Essence stays the same but roles are affected. A result of the fall was to build into women a tendency for women to want to reverse the created order of responding to male authority.
c) Redemption: Full equality in Christ but male headship reestablished in the home and the faith community as established in creation.
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully human. The Old Testament contains specific references to His pre-incarnate existence. The New Testament teaches that the incarnation is an historical event that was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christ fulfills the roles of prophet, priest and king. His deity is emphasized by the names of God that are ascribed to Him.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ had attributes belonging solely to God, and did works that were done by God alone. Christ was worshipped and accepted worship. He Himself claimed to be God.
Christ was fully human, as well as fully God. The Old Testament prophesied it and His historical life demonstrated it. Philippians 2: 6-8 uses the word kenosis to explain the relationship between Christ's human and divine natures.
The "impeccability" of Christ deals with the question of whether or not Christ could have sinned. The answer to this question has implications for both His life and ministry. (At the 51 minute mark, the reference to "John the Baptist," Dr. Ware meant to say, "John the Apostle.")
Delegates at the Council of Chalcedon tried to explain the hypostatic union of Christ's natures. The theological bases for the work of Christ on the cross focus on the sin of humanity and God's holiness and mercy. The atonement is God's self-satisfaction through self-substitution
Christ's atoning sacrifice was comprehensive. The different aspects of the atonement may be compared to light refracting through a diamond – you can see different colors, but they are all light. Three aspects of the atonement are sacrifice, substitution and redemption.
Three more aspects of the atonement are propitiation, expiation, and reconciliation. Christ's resurrection is a ratification of the efficacy of the atonement.
The most significant aspect of the past work of Christ is the atonement. Some people teach that the extent of the atonement is limited, while others teach that it is unlimited. Christ's present work is mediator and Lord. His future work is coming judge and reigning king.
Throughout Scripture, the Holy Spirit is referred to as having the attributes and performing the actions of a person. He is also shown to have the attributes of God, and is declared to be God. Both the Old and New Testaments cite examples of the work of the Holy Spirit in empowering people.
The work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is characterized by the empowerment of selective individuals for a temporary period of time, for the purpose accomplishing a specific task. The Old Testament prophets record a vision of the role of the Holy Spirit in the latter days.
The Holy Spirit had a central role in the life and ministry of Jesus. Many Old Testament passages prophesied the coming of a Spirit empowered Messiah. The New Testament records specific examples of the involvement of the Spirit in Jesus' life and ministry. Jesus also promises the future coming of the Holy Spirit and describes what he will do.
At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came into the world and filled the lives of every believer. The first great work of the Holy Spirit is bringing people to Christ. He also empowers believers for service in the Church where we are remade and conformed to the image of Christ. The purpose of the gifts of the Spirit is for us to serve one another.
The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and bring attention to Jesus. He does this by empowering believers in the areas of evangelism and discipleship. There are specific gifts of the Spirit and He gives specific gifts to each believer. There is a question about whether all the gifts are still active today. There is also a distinction between people having a certain gift and God performing mighty acts.
The Holy Spirit accomplishes the work of regeneration in a person by bringing them new life. The Spirit also indwells and fills a believer, produces fruit and gives us the freedom to become what God created us to be. The Holy Spirit is also the guarantee of the hope of our eternal future in God's presence.
Rob Lister, a Garret Fellow, introduces concepts that are basic to the Biblical doctrine of salvation. Salvation is both physical and spiritual, includes all of creation, it is "already, but not yet," and the goal is the glory of God. Election is a key concept in Scripture. Some people think that there is a conditional aspect to election.
Rob Lister continues by reviewing the Arminian position (conditional election), then explains the Calvinist view. The Calvinist position is based on God's sovereign rulership over everything, salvation by grace alone, and God's love and justice. There are major differences between the ideas of conditional and unconditional election.
Among those who hold to the view of unconditional election, there are those who believe in single predestination, and those who believe in double predestination. There is also a difference between a "general call," and a "special" or "effectual call."
Continuing in the logical order of salvation, Rob Lister examines regeneration, conversion, justification, adoption and sanctification.
Christ is Lord of the Church and it is formed by the Spirit. As a community, we testify to what God has done in our lives through the ordinances, the proclamation of the word and the testimony of our lives. We worship God together, and Jews and Gentiles are united in one community, testifying to the preeminence of our identity in Christ.
The "mystery" of the Church refers to the truth that was formerly concealed, but now revealed. Another aspect of the "mystery" is the inclusion of Jews and Gentiles in one community of faith. There is some debate about whether or not Israel and the Church are the same. The "Body of Christ" and "Bride of Christ" are two metaphors used in the New Testament that refer to the Church.
An additional New Testament metaphor for the Church is a "Building," which is made up of the "Cornerstone," "Foundation" and the "Living Stones." "Christ's Flock" is also a metaphor for the Church and relates to Jesus as the "Good Shepherd." There are also passages in the New Testament that give us insight into local congregations by referring to elders as the leaders.
New Testament passages give specific instructions about the functions of elders in local congregations. There are also lists qualifications for elders that emphasize character qualities. The roles and qualifications for deacons are also given.
The question of the role of men and women in ministry is a significant issue. The main question is, "According to Scripture, is gender particularly and uniquely relevant in assessing whether or not a person is qualified for a given ministry in a church or home?"
You can download the Roles Handout by right-clicking on the link and selecting the "Save Link As" option.
Different denominations have chosen different models of hierarchy and leadership based on their understanding of Scripture. The two ordinances of the Church are Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They are ordained by Christ, point to the Cross, and are to be done in remembrance of what He has done for us.
There is value in studying eschatology besides curiosity about what will happen in the future. The three most common views of the millennium that can be supported by Scripture are postmillennialism, amillennialism and premillennialism. Also related to eschatology is the Scriptural teaching regarding physical death and the intermediate state.
Within the premillennial position, there is a difference of opinion on whether the rapture will be pretrib, midtrib or posttrib. Regardless of your position on the millennium, there is clear teaching in Scripture about the final judgment and our eternal state. There will be a final judgment and everyone will spend eternity either in heaven or hell.
The second of a two semester class on Systematic Theology.
Dr. Bruce Ware
Systematic Theology II
The Doctrine of the Church (Part 5)
Let's pray together. Lord, thank you for the privilege of coming together again this day. We do so as those who recognize the saving work you have done for us in your son Jesus, and have brought to us by the ministry of Your Holy Spirit.
And we thank you Lord for forming us into the church. We thank you, father, for the privilege of looking at these various truths that we have been and continue to, and we ask, Lord, that you would impress upon us the value, the beauty, the goodness, the wisdom of this design that you have made of church. we thank you that Christ is Lord of the church. And we look to him now to guide and direct our thinking and our study of scripture and our own convictions, Lord, as those are formed through this study and we commit it to you, pray for your will to be done and for you to be pleased with all of it and honored through it, we pray in Christ's name.
Amen. Okay, we have talked about under local congregations, first of all offices of the church as being elders and deacons. And, number three now, elders was one, deacons was two.
And number three is this question that I have a handout for you on. It is the question of the role of men and women in ministry. It's a, delicate question. As I'm sure many of you are aware, delicate questions should not mean we avoid them. They should not, should not be questions we put off and avoid.
I think the church is led into heresy sometimes because people who know certain things don't talk about them because they just don't wanna, they don't want the problems. And so obviously the people who have strong convictions on the other side are the ones who are gonna talk about it. And so what gets published, what get, what, what gets said, what gets put out there is more the, the other view.
An example of that is my, my daughter is at Moody Bible Institute right now. And, she tells us that even though the majority of the faculty there is complementarian, which that term means that it's a term that was coined, basically by John Piper and Wayne Gruden and Wayne House and some others who formed the council on biblical manhood, womanhood, they took the term compliment to indicate equal men and women, both equal in essence, equal in personhood, equal in humanness, but different, I mean, things that compliment one another are not identical.
If they're identical, then it duplicates, right? So it compliments. So men and women have created differences that are meant together to, to compliment one another. And those differences involve in the very created order, authority and submission, male headship in the very created design of God. So back to my story about Moody.
My daughter is at Moody and she says, though most of the faculty there by far are Complimentarian. The most vocal faculty are the few egalitarians who are there. And so you would think being a student at Moody, that this is what, what Moody believes, because they do have a few egalitarians in, there're quite outspoken about it and press the issue. So I just think what a tragedy that this is the case. Why don't the the conservatives who have convictions about complementarianism speak up, defend the view.
I mean, goodness, is it of our invention and so we ought to be embarrassed about it. Or is this God's word? And if it is, then shame on us If we're embarrassed about it, goodness gracious, what are we doing? So we need to be people of conviction because God has spoken, whether others like it or not, and of course need to work in our own hearts when we come to issues that we come to the conviction are biblical, but I'm not sure if I like it.
Well, what do you do then? Well, I can tell you one thing for sure is you won't stay in the position of accepting it intellectually, but in your affections being repulsed by you won't stay there. One of two things has to happen. One is you'll reject, you'll let your affective response give you reason for now rejecting what you thought was biblical.
So you'll line up your head with your heart or by God's grace, you line up your heart with your head. So, so you not only know the truth, but you in time see it as wise, beautiful, good, something that God designed and therefore is right and you see it more. This would encourage you on this issue and others to pray for God to help you see the truth and embrace it as something good and right, because it is truth from God.
Baker book House is reprinting the book that Dr. Schreiner is a co-editor of On One Timothy two, but that's about the only one they're willing to do and it's only because it's sold well and they are updating it, but they don't want to take any new projects that are complementarian. InterVarsity has no interest at all. In fact, they've made a decision as a publishing house not to publish Complimentarian.
Now it's different if it's just a complimentarian view as part of a larger book. They will do that, not a book devoted to it, but egalitarian books absolutely eager to have them. Lemme explain what this handout is. I won't read it all to you, leave that to you to do. But I am gonna summarize it briefly on the board up here in a chart form that's different from this. But it really does accomplish this basically sketch of the two leading positions and basic lines of the argument.
Essentially those two things I'm gonna do on the board for you, but not A and b, so much as through a chart that I'll put up here. This handout that you have is presents a summary of the egalitarian view, beginning on the first page. And then it has likewise a summary of the complementarian view that comes on page four and goes to the end of it. And in each case I have first of all a broad overview of each of the positions as kind of the main thing, and that's what I'm gonna sketch out for you on the board.
Then primary rationale, roman numeral two in each case will be primary rationale why they hold this view and a nu number of reasons that are given. And then Roman numeral three is, objections to their position and how they answer them. And so, and I endeavored to represent the egalitarian view fairly.
I actually sent a copy of this to three egalitarians whom I know and respect highly. And they gave me critique on what I had written. I incorporated the items that they thought needed to be adjusted a bit and they signed off on it. That is, they were in agreement that it, it really did reflect a full fledged egalitarian perspective. So when you read that, at least I, I hope you'll understand my intent is not to caricature, not to build a straw man, but to present in a summary form what the egalitarian view is.
Now my own view is complementarian, so I didn't actually check with anybody on that one. I've just read a ton on it and so did it myself. But in any case, let me summarize just briefly what is at issue. First of all, complementarian and egalitarian, what separates the two? Well, it's really how you answer one question, whether you've got an egalitarian or a complimentarian. And the question is, is gender ever relevant?
Is gender ever relevant in assessing whether a person is qualified for some ministry in the church or if gender is relevant in assessing decision making and responsibility in the home? Is gender relevant? So, so for example, you have two candidates who let, let's take church as an example.
You have two candidates who both have been to seminary, both have strong characters, gifts in certain areas that are needed. One's a man and one's a woman. Well, is that sort of like saying one has blonde hair and one's a brunette, one has blue eyes and one has brown eyes. Obviously hair color you would say, I think is irrelevant. Well, so what That one's blonde and one's brunette, that doesn't matter to the question of whether or not one of these as opposed to the other is qualified.
Well, who caress That one has brown eyes and the other has blue eyes. It isn't relevant. So is there gender relevant? Well, one's a man and one's a woman. Well, if you are egalitarian, you're gonna answer that question. You no gender is not relevant. And what the church has done according to the egalitarian view is imposed a kind of sexism. They usually use the term patriarchal upon church ministry.
And so assume that male gender is in fact requisite needed for ministry at some level in the church. Now I'm not defining yet at what level, I'm just saying at any any church, is it ever at any point relevant? Let's take the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, you know, I mean at some point is gender relevant and and the egalitarian position would say no, it ne never is, is no more relevant than eye color, hair color or the like.
Whereas the Complementarian view, by the way, it's compliment as opposed to Coble with an eye. If I say, oh you're you wrote a good paper. Well that's a compliment. But complimentarian is to complete, just think of the word complete. Come with an E, the complimentarian view would answer the que, is gender ever relevant in considering a person's qualifications for some position in a church?
Is gender relevant in considering decision making and responsibility of parents in a home? And they would answer the question, yes. In fact it is relevant. Once you've, once you've answered that question in a sense, the egalitarian position has a huge advantage. Once you've answered that question, you're done. You can go home, pack up your books, it's over because there are no further questions you have to deal with.
But the complementarian has just begun. Wow. Because now the question is, okay, so you do say there's a difference. So where do you draw the line on a ministry in the church that a woman can rightly do and a ministry in the church that a woman ought not? Do you say the gender is relevant? Gifting can be the same. Training can be the same character.
Qualities can be the same. All these things can be the same. But the fact that she's a woman, period. Period, that disqualifies her from this. Is that what you're saying? Yes. So now where do you draw the line? So of course you have all kinds of sort of gradations on this. And this is where Complementarians will differ is over where you draw the line that you draw the line separates egalitarians and complementarians where you draw the line separates or provides a great deal of discussion and and disagreement on a number of things.
Where you draw the line is a very difficult thing to do. So I'll g I'll give you an example of where I know Complementarians who differ with me. For example, can a woman theology trained candidate rightly hold my position teaching theology at Southern Seminary? Should we have among the five of us who teach theology here, a woman we used to that is Southern used to Molly Marshall taught here for years.
Is that okay? Well my answer to that is no I don't believe it is. I think that this conflicts with biblical principle now. It doesn't conflict with any passage of the Bible. There's no passage. It says that a woman cannot be a theology professor at a seminary. Well it's because the Bible doesn't think about theology professor nor does it think about seminary and and hence one of the reasons is because almost everything that's up here in terms of where you draw the line has to do with positions that didn't exist in the New Testament.
And hence don't have any explicit statement, right? There's a whole ton of 'em. Worship leader. So what do you do then? Well, I invoke a principle, I call it the elder like principle, elder like principle.
I asked the question, does this contemporary non-biblical? By that i, I don't mean it's contrary to the Bible, but it wasn't stated in the bible, this contemporary non-biblical ministry position. Is it sufficiently elder like to warrant carrying over elder principles and qualifications for the one holding it? Is this contemporary non-biblical?
I gotta come up with a better term than non-biblical. Huh? Not existing in the Bible. That's a long hyphenated adjective. Huh? This contemporary nonexisting in the bible position ministry position. Is it sufficiently elder like to warrant bringing over elder principles, which I take it one Timothy two and three articulate that ought to be the case. Well I think so. I think teaching theology in a seminary is sufficiently elder like, I mean remember Titus one nine the elders are to what do you remember we looked at this last class period.
I think it was together Titus one nine. They're to teach, pardon me, teach teach sound doctrine and warn against false teaching. It really is a very important role of an elder to train his people in sound doctrine and warn them against those who contradict against false doctrine.
Well that's my job description. I mean essentially I think that this position is sufficiently, in fact when you think about it, I'm teaching theology to those who will be pastors for whom those biblical mandates apply directly. Which isn't the same for the CE teacher or the missions teacher or music teacher. I do not see a problem with having women on the seminary faculty.
I would think it would be a problem to have a woman teaching theology, bible church history. I think if it's done right would be in that category too. Okay, now this is illustrative. I mean it raises a host of questions, I realize that, but it's illustrative over, you know, where you draw the line becomes then the difficult thing for a complimentarian, and I know complimentarians who differ with me on this, they hold the view that if it's not in the church, and I think that's naive to be honest with you, if it's not in the church, think of all of the parachurch organizations out there and think of whether or not they're following biblical principle.
That's what has to be looked at. And this is a parachurch function. There are not seminaries in the Bible, this is parachurch but biblical principle. So just because we're not a local church, we can do away with biblical print. And it's interesting, first Timothy two 12, we looked at this last time, I don't allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over man does not say what he could have said.
What Paul could have said. He could have said, I don't allow a woman to be an elder. That's essentially what he's saying because you come to chapter three and an elder, you remember the two qualifications that separate an elder from a deacon able to teach and managing his household well because he is supposed to rule the house of God. So those two functions of an elder are what?
Separate elder from deacon teaching and ruling. So he could have said in one Timothy two 12, just a few verses earlier, I don't allow a woman to be an elder, but he didn't say that he didn't focus on office, he focused on function. I don't allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man function. Well if a theology teacher is a woman, is she not teaching over men?
It's not a church, but is scripture being violated? Yes, I think so. Yes. A couple questions. Do you go that to A secular place too? like a, you know, a non-Christian class such as Mathematics? No, I don't think so because I think the context is clearly teaching doctrine, teaching the faith that's clearer in Titus one where the responsibility is to teach the faith to people, nor do I think we are on as solid ground just applying it to culture.
Generally the two areas in the Bible where this is applied is home and let's call it believing community. Believing community. Those two are clear cut. Yeah. Oh, you answered one of my questions already. The second one is the text you quoted out of one Corinthians about function. I think it was Corinthians No one Timothy two 12.
Yeah. Um, well it does mention function, it's addressed to a church. Well that's true. It's obvious That it's within the church, that it's a Focus, but there is no other non-church happening. I mean this is the thing. So if we invent something that is not the church, could we all of a sudden violate the principle that applied in church? I just don't see how that gives us warrant to do. So here's another argument that is out there common.
It scares me because when you think about the implications, here's how the argument goes. Well, I'm a complimentarian. I believe that women, no teach unless They're under the authority of their husband, under the authority of male elders or pastors. And as long as they submit to them, then they can go ahead and preach. Think about this. This is, I mean I could give you specific names, I won't, I don't mean to harm anybody's reputation or character, so I won't, but I know specific names that I could attach to this both in terms of the rationale and the women who do it.
And here essentially is the impact of that argument that even though the Bible says I don't allow a woman to teach her exercise authority over man I the pastor or I the elder board or I the group of male leaders can give permission for her to do what God prohibits her to do.
This is scary. It is wrong. And this argument is prevalent. You'll hear it, you'll see it all over evangelicalism. Oh goodness. I believe in complementary view, I'm under the authority of my pastor or my husband. Yikes. And so the authority of your husband or your pastor allows you to do what God says you can't do. So can a pastor say, you know, you guys are really having a rough marriage here, I give you my permission to divorce.
There's no grounds for it, but you're under my authority. Is that gonna work? Oh, that this homosexual couple will just go ahead and marry them. Just think of the implications of this robbing God of his authority, taking it by men. Yikes, this is not good, but it's happening on this issue. It sounds right At first I'm under the authority of men.
Well what relevance does that have? The point is you're under the authority of God. And he's already spoken. He's already spoken. One more and then let me move ahead. Yes. This is amazing. This very subject we, saw at a church we visited this past Sunday when we went to visit our parents. This is dividing the church. Yes. And 'cause they know I'm a seminary, I would, they asked me to arbitrate on the issue as if I had some kind of authority of years study on that.
Completely humbling because I just said, you know what, I'm gonna be praying for you guys. I'll tell what the scripture Says and I'm gonna, I've been there before. You take a pass, don't you? Yeah, right. Um, The one, the one thing that that I I I did not know and I was gonna see, and you may address this later, so if you put that's fine. Um, what does, what is Carl referring to, as far as women's prophesying in church?
Um, and and the function that that serves in that church? Yeah, that's good. Most Importantly because, um, that seems to um, that seems to be a point that kept resurfacing Right in the Discussion. And, and that goes back, that even blends over into dispensationalism. But Oh, don't bring that up. I mean that don't come, but, but okay, I I get your point. I get your point. I don't even know if that's relevant, but I didn't know how to answer that question without Okay. Chasing that dog. Well, Wayne Gruden has written extensively on this.
He wrote his dissertation on prophecy and he's a very strong complimentarian. So I mean this was right at the heart of much of what he wrote. I think Wayne got it right. And that is the prophecy in the early church was a revelatory gift. Much like speaking in tongues, women and men spoken tongues, women and men prophesied. And what is true in both those cases is you have no control over what you say. When the gift is exercised, you basically become a mouthpiece for God.
This is what prophecy is. And so women or men can prophesy because the gender is irrelevant. Actually nothing is really relevant in this except it is a person who opens his or her mouth and speaks what God has to say. So if that's the case, if prophecy is this gift of revelation that comes, which I take it, it is in the New Testament, it's not preaching prophecy in one Corinthians 14 is not preaching, it is revelation.
Then you can see why the prohibition is not against women. Prophesying one Corinthians 11. They do, women in church ought to have their head covered when they pray and prophesy. So prophecy happens in the church, but I don't allow a woman to teach. So teaching involves something more than direct revelation.
It involves processing, understanding, synthesizing, studying, preparing and presenting. I mean teaching, it involves a lot of work and preparation. That prophecy doesn't. You come to church Sunday morning and if God gives you prophecy, you state it. I mean that's the way it went in the, I don't believe the gift continued. I believe it was until the, the Bible was completed essentially or at some point right in there it it ended Ephesians two 20.
The church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets and those are New Testament prophets. We talked about that before. So I don't see the gift of prophecy continuum, but that's what it was. And that's why it didn't matter if a man or a woman did it, but the one who teaches, teaches with authority as having studied and bringing this to bear for the people as the doctrine the church should hold. It's a different level of gift.
Every Yes ma'am. Every Sunday Morning. Yeah. Teach An adult Sunday school class of men and women. Yes, I teach the word, I study, I simulate, I do everything you just said. And I feel gifted of God to do that. But you're saying that I shouldn't. Yes ma'am. Okay, That's fine. I thought that's What you said. Yeah, I am. That's fine. I could put it to you more gently, but you, you asked me that's fine. You asked me directly. No, that's fine. You know, but that I'm not sure What to do when you know as a female and you've been put in that position by God and then, and yet I believe in, I believe we are different.
Mm-hmm Equal and yet different. And yet in teaching, if God's given you a mind and ability and gifts by his spirit, It doesn't mean you have to teach a a mixed adult Sunday school class. You can teach a women's class Not in our little community Yes, that's very remote. There's, Well the fundamental question is what does the Bible teach? And we have to submit to that, right? This is my argument is this is what it teaches. So, alright, I wanna move ahead.
I'm sorry. How did we get to these two views? Let me just summarize this for you. Creation, fall and redemption and over here egalitarian and complimentarian. I think it's just a handy way to see in a summary fashion how the two views hold.
What they do and where they differ is when you visualize it this way, it's on that handout I gave you that creation fault, you could read it there, but visualizing it is clearer. Basically here's how it goes. What happens in creation? Well egalitarian view holds the God created male and female equal. And that equality has to do with both essence and role. That is, and they would cite Genesis 1 26 to 28 in support of this, where God creates man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female, he created them.
So you can see in essence they are equal. And then he goes on to say, and he told them to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and so on. So here you have their responsibility is to carry out God's mandate and it's to both of them.
So they are equal in essence and equal in role. There's no distinction between the male and the female that is their gender as it relates to their identity as humans or their responsibilities that they carry out. What happens in the fall? Well the fall brings in an illicit, sinful, hurtful hierarchy of relationship that comes about because of sin.
In Genesis three 16, God's curse upon the woman begins with in the beginning of the verse that she will have pain and childbearing, but then it says, and your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you. So Genesis three 16 indicates, ah, there will be on the part of a woman for the first time, this sort of passive acquiescing desire.
Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you. So he will. So this whole relationship of him being over you, him being above you, him ruling you is the effect of sin. You can begin to see why there is such disagreement with an evangelicalism on this question because these folks look at Complimentarians like myself who say I'm jumping ahead here but say this hierarchy isn't the creative design of God.
And they say No, it is the byproduct of sin. It's horrible, it's what God wants us to get out of. And that's demonstrated by the fact what happens in Christ. Back to male female equality. What's the main text for Egalitarians on this point?
Galatians 3 28. There's no distinction between Jew or Gentile. Slavery free male or female all are one in Christ. Paul Jewett in his book male and female called this the Magna Carta of the Woman's Movement. It is clearly, in fact if you look at the website for Christians for biblical equality, CBE international www.cbeinternational.org, you'll find Galatians 3 28 prominently displayed.
And for Egalitarians, this indicates that what happened in sin is now obliterated in Christ. And so we can have relationships of mutual submission in marriage. There's not male headship in marriage, there's not an authority of the husband and a submission of the wife. No, there is a joint submission of one to the other in marriage.
Marriage is mutual submission to one another and in the church there's no basis for distinguishing. Remember Gala Galatians 20, there's no distinction between da, da, da male and female. So no basis for saying women should not or cannot or ought not perform certain ministry functions. There should be no distinction made and no limit to what women may do in the church.
So ordination of women would be proposed and and supported and a number of denominations have gone this direction. There are Sister seminary over here, the Presbyterian Seminary in the P C U S A. This is an article that has to be held for those who are ordained in the P C U Ss A, you have to affirm the legitimacy of the ordination of women and women being appointed to any position in the church, senior pastor, whatever, in any position, every position.
Willow Creek Church, I ministered when we lived in Illinois at Willow Creek, a fair bit in their apologetics ministry. But Willow Creek Bill Hebels was strongly influenced by Gilbert Zeki, a former theology teacher from Wheaton College. And in fact he's so much a part of that church, they just call him Dr. B. It's a term of endearment at Willow Creek. Dr. B is Gilbert Bian. Of course it's a lot easier isn't it?
Dr. B is than Bian and Willow Creek. If you join as a member at Willow Creek, part of what you sign is a statement of your full endorsement of women's ministry in any role whatsoever. It's being sort of formalized in certain church settings. Okay, so here's the egalitarian view, here's the complimentary view. What happens in creation? Complimentarians hold that there is full male female equality in essence just as egalitarians do.
That is both men and women. Fully image of God, fully human persons fully divested as it were of all that God intended humans to have. And so Genesis 1 26 To 28 is about that, is about the equality, both image of God and both fully human, sometimes egal in fact often egalitarians accuse complimentarians of being disingenuous about this in part because of the tradition that they call attention to of hierarchical structures that bring about abuse.
I'll say more than that in a moment. If you really believe they're equal, then you ought to have structures that are equal they'd say. But also because they claim that there can be no true equality of essence if there is also a hierarchy or a distinction in roles.
That's part of this too Because the complimentarian view holds that there is, I put it in this form because there is male headship in creation in the very created order, God intended for Adam to be viewed as head over eve. Actually she isn't called Eve until chapter three, but we'll call her that.
But the the woman, in the very created order of God and Paul Jewett for example, he's egalitarian. Paul Jewett says that if you hold that there is a created role distinction. So there is authority and submission built into the created order, then it must require that the female is inferior. That's his claim. And I deny it. Complimentarians deny it.
Here's my chief defense for why we deny this. What about the trinity? Did you say Trinity? What about the trinity? Here we have the son who is the eternal son of the Father. He's not the son just in the incarnation. He came to do the will of his father by coming, right? I came down from heaven to do the will of my father. Jesus says, well what does that mean? That means he actually left heaven under orders. From whom? From the Father. And when he goes back, you know, at the end of the age, one Corinthians 50, he hands everything over to the Father that God may be all in all the Father.
Think of Philippians two, verse 11. Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. So here Christ in his pre-incarnate existence, in the incarnation, in his eternal existence afterwards is in submission to the Father.
Now does that make the son inferior to the father? No it does not. Both are equally God. They share the identical same essence as God. And this is what the doctrine of the Trinity is about, is essentially the equality of essence and the distinction of persons That's then mirrored of course in human creation and what would be held here for support that in fact it was God's design for male headship in the created order is a whole bunch of stuff in Genesis two and three.
Let me give you a, a couple of them because they're cited by the apostle Paul. A man was created first You think, well so what? So what that is the male, a adam as opposed to his wife was created first in Genesis two, right? I mean, you know that happened, right? And so God put him to sleep and took the rib from him and out of him came the woman. And so she was bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh.
Well you might think, well, you know, so what if God wanted to make the point that both were needed? It really was irrelevant whether you would create a woman first or a man first. He just picked, you know, you might think that until now you come to the Apostle Paul in one Timothy two and he says, I don't allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over man four. It was Adam who was created first, not eve. Guess what he's doing?
That's the first of three arguments that Paul gives in the rest of that chapter to indicate back to the created order. Why is it a woman ought not teach a man? Because God created the man first. That's his first argument. It indicates something like primogeniture the priority of the firstborn. Something like that is invoked as the basis for it. Here's another indicator in one Corinthians 11 where the head covering passage is about women ought to have their head covered.
Why? As a symbol of authority that is the head covering symbolizes she recognizes the authority of qualified men in the church who are the elders of the church. That's what this is about. And when Paul asks the question why, guess what he says for Adam was created first. So he has the very same argument that's in verse seven I think now one Corinthians 11. No it's verse eight. A man ought not have his head covered since he's the image of glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man.
Four, the man does not originate from the woman, but the woman from the man for indeed the man was not created for the woman's sake, but the woman for the man's sake. And so Paul gives that argument. So you have both in one Timothy two and one Corinthians 11, Paul going back to the created order. Now I think there are at least eight reasons for this being the case. I talk about them briefly in the doctrine of humanity. So those of you who had me for theology one, we've dealt with that briefly there, but so I won't take more time on that.
What happens next? What happens in the fall? Well, essentially what happens is obviously male female essence carries forward in terms of, you know, both the man and the woman created by God as fully human are now defiled by sin fully. You know what I mean? So the same total depravity is true for both men and women.
No distinction there. So essence carries forward, they still are the same human beings now sinners and one is not more sinful than another. But in terms of function, here's what sin does is it builds into the relationship A tendency for reversal of what God designed a tendency toward reversal. And this is what Genesis three 16 is about. Same verse, how about that is cited by both views and they understand it so differently.
So Genesis three 16, remember she will have pain and childbearing and then he says, for your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you. Now what does that mean? Well, if you look a few verses later in chapter four verse seven, this is the account of Cain who's about to kill Abel.
And God says to Cain, sin is crouching at the door. And now here the language is identical to three 16. It is identical in Hebrew sins desire is for you, but you must master it. Rule over it. Okay, think about that. What does it mean when God tells Cain sins desire is for you?
What does that mean? Sins. Sins desire is to have its way with you. Sins desire is to have you do what it wants you to do. Isn't that what that means? Sin wants you to do this. Sin wants you to do what it wants you to do, But you must master it. Rule over it. So in response to that, you have to exert authority.
Now, if there were no sin, you wouldn't have to do that. But in the presence of authority being challenged, authority has to be exercised. It wouldn't happen if authority was not challenged. Okay? So if you come back here to chapter three, verse 16, God, to the woman says, your desire will be for your husband. One of the problems with the egalitarian view is that phrase, because that doesn't sound very sinful.
Your desire will be for your husband. What you'll have a desire to serve him. Give into. Well I thought that's what mutual submission was all about. Both of you're supposed to do that, right? Well, so that doesn't work very well. Instead what he's saying, your desire will be for your husband, namely, your desire will be to have your way, not his. Your desire will be to use whatever means you can to get what you want.
And for the first time, he is gonna have to rule over you in response to this, which he didn't have to do back here. Why didn't he have to? Because the woman submitted gracefully, graciously, she never challenged his authority. There was no sin. So he didn't have to rule over her. But now the question of putting down his foot, insisting on something is now an issue.
And of course the whole thing, because it's in a sinful environment, means that the woman may do this challenging of authority in a variety of different ways and the man might respond to it in a variety of different ways, many of them sinful. For example, you could respond to challenged authority with oppression and violence and abuse, can't you?
And so this is the kind of response that go gets in the papers wife beating or something like that. But you know another way that men can respond when their authority is challenged, they can acquiesce, they become limp dish rags. They just say whatever. In my judgment, my friends, this is the biggest problem in our churches as they relate to marriages and families, is fathers who do not have a clue what it means to be head of the home.
It means they bear responsibility before God to be the ones who exert spiritual influence. They bear that responsibility in a way the wives don't. Men are passive in church every so often, not as much in the church that I'm in now as other ones I've been in, they have many, many recollections of sitting there in church.
Very typical picture. Here's three kids, mom, dad, and dad's listening to the sermon. And the kids are down here cutting up a bit and dad is pious listening to the sermon. I wanna go up and shake the guy and say, get down to the other end of the row and take care of your children, your dad, for goodness sake.
If that means marching 'em out to the back and having a good stern talking with and maybe a paddle, so be it. Be dad for god's sake, be dad. But passive fathers, passive husbands. This is what Genesis three 16 is. Understood then in the complementarian view is the tendency toward reversal of the good design. Now what happens in redemption? Well, obviously male female equality of essence, goodness, both redeemed in Christ.
This is where Galatians 3 28 I'm in by the way, Galatians 3 28. It has to do with this both men and women, both Jews and Gentiles, both slave and free one in Christ. It has to do with our position in Christ, our inheritance of all the spiritual blessings in Christ. Jodi, my wife receives every bit as much as I do so fully quality in Christ, but male headship, male headship, reestablished in the home and in the believing community in the home and in the believing.
So, so in the home, Ephesians 5 22, wives submit to your husbands, I dunno if you were in chapel this morning, some of you there, Ephesians five is a picture of Christ and the church for marriage.
However, that picture of Christ and the church in marriage is of the wife as the church who submits and it is the husband as Christ who seeks to make his bride holy shows sacrificial love. What was the third point? And who is committed to see this through?
These relate to the husband, not to the marriage of mates. Ephesians 5 22 and following is this, reinstitute the right relationship of husbands and wives, church to Christ. So husbands ought to submit to their wives as the church submits to Christ In everything.
That's what it says in everything. Now, when you read that in everything, surely it does not mean your husband tells you to help him rob a bank and you submit your husband and do it. Why doesn't it mean that for the very same reason, it doesn't mean that my pastor said I can preach and therefore I'm under his headship and I can preach for the very same reason. It doesn't mean that there, why? Because God's already spoken on that. We don't need another authority to tell us what we ought or ought not do because we already have a word from God that says this is it.
And no human authority can trumpet, right? No human authority can trump God. So in everything doesn't mean help me rob a bank and you need to do it. No, but it does mean how much is the church responsible to submit to Christ? What percentage would you put on it of submission of the church to Christ? 82%. You think maybe, you know, if we've done that, then we've, we've fulfilled what we're called to do.
82, 80 4%. You get the point, don't you? If in fact, marriage is a picture of Christ in the church, and the church is to submit to Christ and the wife pictures the church. Well, how much does the church submit to Christ? How much is the church called to submit to Christ in everything? So how much is the wife called to submit to her husband in everything? That's why the in everything is there. It's to indicate the parallel nature of these two realities.
Christ, church, husband, wife, husband, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. So your position of authority is like Christ's Christ doesn't give up his authority to serve the church. He serves the church by his authority. So use your authority, husband, love your wife and bring good into her life and bless her by your authority.
Do something that you will to do that brings blessing, growth, benefit to your wife. Act sacrificially. I mean, Paul even makes the point. If you love your wife, you're loving your own body. And so you're loving yourself. I mean, essentially he's saying you're a fool if you don't do this as you read through that passage.
But notice every single passage in the New Testament that directs wives has one command common in all of them. Submit to your husband's, I am tired of going to weddings where the SS word no longer appears. We are embarrassed by the Bible, we're gonna hang our heads one day before God in absolute shame at being embarrassed by the Bible.
Whether it's embarrassed because Christ is the only way to salvation. Faith in him is necessary to be saved. Goodness, we could spend a half hour going through the things we could be embarrassed by in the Bible. But my friends, we are called to believe the Bible. Live the Bible, embrace the Bible, love the Bible and it's truth. So wives embrace it.
Remember it's just remember the Trinity? What? What's Christ's relationship? The son's relationship to the Father. Submission just as God-like for a wife to submit to her husband as it is God-like for the husband to direct the affairs that relate to his wife Just as godlike, by the way, first Peter three, in this passage that deals with lives and husbands, this is an unbelieving husband.
Do you remember that? And in that passage, Peter uses both the word submission and obedience of wife to husband. The same word obedience that is used in Ephesians six of children obeying your parents. And that's in relation to Sarah who obeyed Abraham and called him Lord. She is upheld by Peter as the example in this. So be like Sarah and live this way.
Okay? So wives submit and husbands lead with your authority as loving leaders church. One Corinthians 11, one Corinthians 14, one Timothy two Church is meant to manifest male leadership, male headship, just like it was in Israel. Priesthood, All men, no women in the priesthood. The 12 sons of Jacob become the 12 tribes of Israel.
Jesus chose 12 male disciples. You know, the argument here from Egalitarians is very strained because on the one hand they say Jesus is the real liberator. I mean goodness. Jesus had women traveling with him, taught women, remember Mary and Martha, and he's commended. Jesus is the great liberator of women. Oh, okay, how about that little minor point that when he chose his disciples, who would become the apostles of the church?
It was all men. Oh, but you know, there were limits to what Jesus could do in light of social constraints. I mean, certain things just wouldn't be acceptable. Honestly. I find this to be so utterly laughable. Think of Jesus, which Jesus are you talking about? Think of Jesus who bows to social constraints. Are you out of your mind? No way.
This was deliberate. Remember, he spent all night in prayer praying for the Father directing to pick the right men. Men all men. Why male headship, male headship, male headship is a good thing. If men would just get it through their thick skulls, it's a good thing. And quit either, right? Either acquiescing, passive, do nothing.
Go play golf Saturday and leave your family at home. You know, I some decisions men make, I can't understand what they are thinking. How much time you have to be away from your family and then to devote yourself to a hobby that deliberately takes you away from your family again when you could be with them. When I had two daughters, and I knew at this point we would have no sons because we were gonna have no more children for a variety of reasons I won't share with you right now, but we knew this was gonna be the end of our family.
Two daughters, I who grew up fishing and hunting, and I who grew up loving hunting, sold my guns. If I'd had a son, I would've kept my guns, but I could not fathom taking my daughters out hunting. And I could not fathom going hunting without my children. So I sold my guns and say, you know what? I'm not gonna take as an avocation, something that will take me away from my family.
What I will choose to do are things that involve my wife and children. And God has blessed. We have wonderful, despite my schedule, despite how much time I am away, despite traveling, despite here, despite all kinds of stuff, we have had wonderful times. And it's primarily because all the time we have to be together. We are together. I would commend you gentlemen to consider that.
And boy, when I'm home, I'm dad on the job and Jody knows it. There were times when our girls were little, when things would happen through the day, and yes, she would discipline, but it would be kind of on the mild side because she would say, when daddy gets home, I'm gonna tell 'em about this and he will talk to you. So it's sort of waited the final sort of culmination of this, waited for dad to get home. And that's as it ought to be. Now there are exceptions. I think there are times when you can't do that, you've gotta deal, you know?
But there are other times where, boy, it's an awfully good thing to wait a few hours, let it soak in a bit. The judgment day is coming, let it soak in. Be dad on the job, be the main disciplinarian, be the main spiritual leader. Yes. I'm just Wondering because I think, I think a lot of churches today, probably, or a lot of men and women in the church today would say, yeah, we believe in submission, but a lot of times they get down and to kinda what you're talking about Men.
Yeah. Passive And act. But I'm, I'm also wondering how do you avoid that acquiescing side of I believe in submission, but I'm a weak man versus how does, how does it work out where, I mean, certainly it's not, you always get your way right. No. So how is, so how does, how does that, How it happens is think of Christ in the church. How it happens is Christ decides what he ought to do. That is for the benefit of the church.
And even though that involves this enormous sacrifice, guess what He does it. And so really does involve the husband deciding what is best for the growth of my wife, my children. And doing that, it doesn't mean you get what you want. It means you do what is best and you're the one who makes that decision and chooses it. You choose, you exert leadership by choosing what is best and goodness.
A lot of times there is consultation. I mean, Jodi and I, most of our decisions we make in agreement with one another. I'm hesitant to go forward if Jodi is not in agreement. However, I hear this too from complimentarians, it boggles my mind. I hear this, you should never make a decision if your wife is just completely opposed to you on it. I wonder what submission means then. So Leah submit in all the easy things, but anything hard, guess what? You've gotta guarantee.
Everybody's told him already. He doesn't have to do it. And you don't have to submit to it because you don't agree. Oh, good. And what does submission mean? I'll give you one example that the toughest decision I ever made in my life was going to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School from Portland, Oregon. I was teaching then at Western Seminary, my wife grew up in Portland, hometown, family roots, beauty, beach, mountains. She could be the chairman of the Chamber of Converse in Portland, Oregon.
She loves that city. I, over a long period of time, I can't tell you the story, long period of time, God made clear to me, so clear it would've been a matter of sheer disobedience to deny this, that he wanted me to teach in Deerfield, Illinois, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. 2000 miles away I had a contract at Western I can stay. So for months I'm praying, believing that God is leading this way.
Confirmations come, it is clearer and clearer and clearer. God's will go to Trinity. My wife, Jodi, she would tell you this, if she were here, she was 100% opposed to this move with all of her heart. She did not want to do it. And she told me, I mean, she didn't tell me with anger, she didn't tell me with bitterness, but she told me with clarity and precision that she was 100% opposed to this and gave me her reasons for it.
Folks are here, da da, da da. So obviously this put me in a very, very difficult position. And I asked from the Lord more confirmation. He gave it, he gave more confirmation. So when the final day came, I had to decide. I had these two contracts sitting in front of me for the next year and I mailed back Westerns unsigned and I sent in Trinity's, signed, we're moving to Deerfield, and I prayed.
I said, God, please work in her art. Of course, I've been praying that for months and he had not done a thing. The day after I signed the contract, put it in the mail to Trinity, Jodi's heart began to change. And by the time we moved, about two months later, she was pretty much at the point where she was not only willing to do this, but believing that this was gonna be good for her and the family.
But until I made that decision, God did not do anything to her heart. I think he did it that way because I was head of the home and he had shown me what we should do, and she is supposed to submit meaning. It was just a wonderful opportunity for headship and submission, which is not the case.
If you follow this policy, you only make a decision and go forward. If you both agree, headship and submission just goes out the window then. But the fact of the matter is, most of our decisions, we do agree. It's true. Just a couple minutes. Yeah. So My wife and I faced the exact same thing when we flew over and, and another friend of ours who up here faced the exact same thing and the situation worked out differently in that situation. His wife believed it was God's will, not for any situation, not for family, not for any, any other reason apart from ministerial work.
They were already involved in that. They didn't need to leave where they were. She thought it was plain as the day he felt that it was a hundred percent the Lord's will for them to come up here. And it was a source of contention in their relationship. Mm-hmm. Because it wasn't just an issue of our folks are here or our family is here, this is our home church.
These are people that we love. It wasn't any of those considerations. It it was directly both them viewed conviction of the Holy Spirit in completely opposite ways. How would you advise, because that's subtly different than just saying, we're gonna miss our folks. That's saying obviously you're not, the spirit's convicting you in another way and you're not understanding it or you're wrong exclusive. Both can't be right. So how would you, how Would you address, address that situation? Well, my wife would have claimed that she believed before God that was best for us to stay there.
So I don't think it's really that different. And ultimately, I think any husband in a situation like that would be sobered greatly by, as I was the clear, clear difference of a godly wife as mine was and is. But nonetheless, you seek the will of the Lord in this. Yes. One more then we're done. Yes. After The argument saying that, we should not use Trinity as a, because, the Father cannot be the Father if there's no son, and the Father also depend on Son to carry out the His will.
So now this doesn't work. Miller Erickson uses this argument. It's a, it doesn't have. The fact that the father needs the son to be the father doesn't change the fact that the father is the Father over the son. It's an equivocation. It's a difference between what constitutes father as father, what constitutes son is son, and what each has by virtue of their positions.
It's two different issues. I can't be a dad without a child. That's true, but that doesn't mean I depend upon my child the way my child. There's not a codependence there between my child and me because I could not be a father without a child. That doesn't mean codependence. That simply establishes the only way I can be father is if I have a child.
The only way there can be a child is if there's a father. Okay, that's fine. That's who we are. Now the question of authority comes in, it's a separate question. It's apples and oranges. It's equivocation, it's smoke and mirrors. It's a way to avoid the obvious. And that is that the father is the father of the son who commissions the son to come carry out his work. Jesus says, I've carried out everything you sent me here to do, Gives glory to the Father.