Thank you for those of you who shared in the last post. Wonderful, thought provoking stuff. I love having my brain stretched and joyfully challenged when it comes to the Word and it's Truth. I love to be reminded to be patient (and I need it, let me tell ya) and loving (thank you Julie!) and I love the absolute simplicity of faith from Tricia who said:
"I am not a scholar and do not claim to know everything about the Bible. I know a few important facts the Bible is the truth, it is God's Word, and it does not contradict itself. Since the Bible does not contract itself, Paul would not be saying in one place that men are the leaders (elders and teachers) of a church and then in another place say that a woman was a teacher (an apostle). This is a contraction. Junia would have to be male. Maybe, my thinking is to simple."
WOW! That was just so profound to me!!!! Yikes, it was like the lights went on in the realm of my faith and dimmed in the room of intellect. Both are important but it all comes down to having Faith to take God at his Word and believe that He will not let His Word contradict itself!! Excellent! Praise Him for using you Trish! It reminded me too that God meant for things to be clear and simple. We are the ones who start chopping and jumbling until what was so straight forward a child could see it, to scrounging though with our human brains to find what we think it "really" means when God has all ready told us what it means. It reminds me of what I tell the kids all the time:
"Don't come and keep asking me something until you get the answer you REALLY want." "I have answered you, you know what I have said."
We do the same to God and we somehow think that he will be quiet while we change his Words to mean what we want them to mean. The sad thing for us is that we will miss out on the blessing of taking Him at His word. That is why speaking the Truth is so important for the Glory of God and the joy of all peoples! His ways are best, even if we don't agree with them (thanks for that point Donna!)
So, if God does not contradict Himself. Then all of this issue is resting on one thing, and one thing alone. It does not rest on Junia because this coming point negates the concern to solve that mystery since God would never let His word contradict itself. The issue is whether 1 Timothy 2 is talking to the family ALONE or to the church as well.
1 Timothy 2 says:
1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8I desire then that in every place the men should pray,lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control."
The first paragraph is setting the stage for the process of the testimony of Jesus (the gospel) being proclaimed. This takes place in three places the home, the church, and in public to the unsaved men and women (gentiles at the time) who need to be taught the Word of God.
What we do see:
1) "in every place"- this does not allow the detailed relation to only the home.
2) "men" and "women"
3)"Adam" and "Eve" (referred to not because JUST because they are man and wife, but because they are the beginning of the pattern God set down for roles of manhood and womanhood . Basically, they are the beginning of man and woman. The reference is to point out that God's intent was for this to be the way of blessing from the very beginning, and yes, that means before sin. Sin did not make it so women could not authoritatively preach, God designed those roles from the get go. Sin made us have a rebellion of it and mess it up from what it aught to be. The enemy wanted it messed up, Christ wants us to get back to the way God wants it)
4) "childbearing" (is is common sense that childbearing in its actually physical sense takes place in the home (or at the hospital if you want get picky). This does not mean these passages are referring to the home only, because children are born into the church, and the world for that matter. So, this word along cannot give us the context of where these rules are to take place. Remember too, that "home" is included in the spheres where men women interact. Paul did not intend for us to think that women birth at church. :* I think he knew we would not assume that specific element.
What we don't see:
1) home (though it would be included in the places men and women interact so it is part of the whole, not excluding the whole)
2) family (again, part of the whole sphere of where women and men relate, not excluding the whole)
3) husband (we all know husbands are men, but not every man is your husband, so the admonishment is all inclusive and purposefully non-specific)
4) wife (again, we know wives are women there is no question, yet not all wives are you! The passage intently says women to refer to the women of the family, and the church. Otherwise it would say "wives" as it does in other places in scripture)
Other related passages:
1 Corinthians 14:34-36; 11:2-16.
Again this article address MANY of the questions circulating this topic and I would never bore you with putting them all here. The format is question and answer so you can scroll down and read the question you would like some information on.
The limitation is not as huge as we make it out to be. The setting is the home and the church or the place of congregated unbelievers who need to be taught the gospel but include men. The restriction is on authoritative teaching roles (pastor, elder, apostle in it's greatest sense). It is on nothing else. Christ has give women amazing freedoms and opportunities to teach, lead, and minister. A woman whining about not getting to preach is like a man who's angry he can't birth children. It is what God made it to be, and we don't have to like it, we have to obey it if we honor the words of God.
The Old Testament has women leaders and prophets. It is of note that they do not have ongoing ministries as the male leaders and prophets did and their intervention, though profound and from God is brief and in desperate times. This is not an argument against them however.
The role closest to pastor and elder in the OT is the priest. There are no women priest.
The importance of 1 Timothy 2 's application is massive. We must recognize the admonishment to the church and not just specifically the home. Again, we have to look at what it says, and what it does not say. Adam and Eve were man and woman before they were husband and wife. The problem is when we look at what the Word says and say, "this is what it means specifically" when the adress is not specific, it is general. All husbands and wives are men and women, but not all men and women are husbands and wives. That is why the passage is general and inclusive not specific and exclusive.
The evidence proves that 1 Timothy 2 is speaking to the family and the church. It is referring to all women and all men. So, if God does not want women being authoritative teachers, then they should not be. Since he does not contradict himself, if Junia was a woman apostle, she was not an authoritative teacher of the scriptures to men. Otherwise, Junia is a short version of Junius and he was a male.
Simple, and straightforward. Just like most things God wants us to know.
There will only be one more part to this this weekend. In everything that comes my way, especially the things that shake me up and get me seeking Truth, I want to ask God one thing "What do you want ME to learn from this." Boy has he been showing me! One thing about this blog is that you get to see me rise and fall. Sometimes that scares me, especially because I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve in my writing. These writings are from a sinful woman. These reactions are from a sinful woman. So, you will find many faults here. Yet, if I was trying to hide that, I would not be doing God the justice of showing His glory in my life. Where I am weak, He is strong. Where I fail, He forgives. What I screw up, He uses for His glory. So, I have to be welcoming some mud on my face in order to show how He can shine despite it.
I have learned a lot from this study. God has stirred up some things in my personal life that he used this dive into womanhood and manhood to show me. He showed me the importance of studying to give an answer. I took a class that I loved in highschool (from Donna actually) in critical thinking. We learned how to debate and how to dissect faulty logic. It was one of the best classes I've every taken. There is no better place to put it to practice than in the defence of the Word of God. The lesson I learned was to keep it to my own blog. I always think everyone is as eager to stir the pot and find what's true as I am. That was conceited of me I think . So, from now on, I will be free to bring up my topics, but I will do it here. And you can come if you want to, and leave if you want to. But if you stay, I hope you always see Veritas. Challenge me if you don't.
Tomorrow I am off to second grade again! This weekend there will be a part three, and next week I am taking a break from blogging. Besides, if it were me, I would be way behind on all this reading and probably too intimidated by it's length to start!