A Prayer For Friday (November 8, 2019)

How long, o Lord, how long? How long must death walk among us, using sin’s power to create chaos in Your world? How long will evil men prosper? How long will the unrighteous hold power over the godly? How long will the rich and powerful boast against You? How long must the downtrodden cry out for liberation?

Come, Lord Jesus. We await the revelation of Your children, the manifestation of Your Kingdom, the final triumph over the powers that be. We long for Your salvation. We long for Your Kingdom. We long for You.

Come quickly Lord.

Amen.

Links To Go (November 5, 2019)

How Calvin Responded When Luther Went Full-Out Luther

Besides, you will do yourselves no good by quarreling, except that you may afford some sport to the wicked, so that they may triumph not so much over us as over the Evangel. If they see us rending each other asunder, they then give full credit to what we say, but when with one consent and with one voice we preach Christ, they avail themselves unwarrantably of our inherent weakness to cast reproach upon our faith.


Dinner Church, anyone?

You’ll need a table (or a few tables), some food, a basic liturgy, a welcoming spirit, lots of prayer and patience and grace, and a willingness to do life with a group of neighbors as you orient your lives around Jesus together.


MacArthur, Moore, and Gender

It is important to note that those remarks, while stated by someone who claims to be a proponent of complementarianism, are not a true representation of this viewpoint! Complementarianism does not mean women are inferior, that they are “less” or incapable in any way. Complementarianism does not grant permission to demean a sister or brother in Christ, regardless of their viewpoint. Jesus showed us a better way.


Study: 75 Percent of White Evangelicals Still Approve of Trump

While only 39 percent of Americans give Trump a good approval rating, 75 percent of white evangelicals say they approve of him and, what’s more, 31 percent of that group say there’s “almost nothing” Trump could do to lose their support.


Six reasons Romans 7 is written from the perspective of a post-conversion Christian

  1. Paul’s description of his struggle with sin in Romans 7:14-25 is nowhere found in his pre-conversion testimony or in the description of other Pharisees.
  2. Paul, in Romans 7:5-13, spoke of past realities; in 7:14-25, he speaks of present realities.
  3. Paul distinguishes between the “I” and the “flesh” or “sin” that dwells in him (7:17-22).
  4. Paul delights in the law of God in the inward man (Romans 7:22).
  5. Paul describes this experience in a similar way in Galatians 5:17, and the passage in Galatians clearly refers to believers.
  6. This is my experience.

Undercover reporter reveals life in a Polish troll farm

“The aim is to build credibility with people from both sides of the political divide. Once you have won someone’s trust by reflecting their own views back at them, you are in a position to influence them,” said Wojciech Cieśla, who oversaw the investigation in collaboration with Investigate Europe, a consortium of European investigative reporters.


Lazy horse plays dead every time people try to ride him

The clip shows a horse named Jingang bucking and flopping to the ground whenever someone tries to hop in the saddle. To complete the effect, he even lolls out his tongue and twitches his eyes while prone in what the scorned riders dub a “cute but naughty” performance.


Someone In Colorado Is Putting Out The Funniest Signs Ever, And The Puns Are Priceless (New Pics)

Colorado native Vince Rozmiarek is the man behind these hilariously creative roadside signs, which showcase the kind of laugh/cringe humor that only dads seem to really excel at. What started as an April Fools’ prank has put him and his town, Indian Hills, firmly on the map, with a Facebook page dedicated to the sign having over 90k followers worldwide!


A Prayer For Friday (November 1, 2019)

Holy Father,

Not to us, o Father, but to You be the glory. May others see my life and glorify You. Shape my life into a life that brings glory to You.

May I be forever Yours.

Amen

A Prayer For Friday (October 25, 2019)

Father of mercies,

Teach me to love. May Your love for the world show me the way. May Your compassion be my guide. May Your forgiveness bind me. May Your kindness mold me.

Take from me the hate, the jealousy, the resentment, the conceit, the anger, and all of the other things that lead me away from You.

May love be my goal. May love be my practice. May love be my guide.

Amen

Women in the assembly of the church

Nick had a good suggestion in the comments yesterday. (Why does he get all of the good ideas?) He thought I should point out some of the ways in which my views differ from the traditional viewpoint held by many in churches of Christ.

Traditionally, we have mainly built off of what Paul says to the Corinthians about women being silent and his instructions to Timothy in chapter 2. (Though it’s a gross oversimplification to say that’s the whole of the argument) Key verses are:

“Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.” (1 Timothy 2:8) — the argument being that men and only men are mentioned as praying in this verse.
“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” (1 Timothy 2:11-12)

As Nick pointed out, I think that 1 Corinthians 14 is addressing a specific problem that existed in the church in Corinth. This last part of chapter 14 is dealing with disruptive behavior in assemblies. Paul has set limits for those speaking in tongues and prophesying; he also limits how the women should behave. The wording makes it sound like some women were asking questions inappropriately, possibly challenging their own husbands in the assembly. It probably has to do with the testing of prophecy that is mentioned earlier in that chapter. Whatever was going on, I see no reason to see these instructions as trumping those in chapter 11, where Paul told how women were to pray and prophesy in public. (I recognize that some feel this was public prayer/prophesy that didn’t take place in the assembly; I find this unconvincing.)

If Paul’s comments in 1 Timothy 2:8 were meant to keep women from praying (overriding 1 Corinthians 11), he was remarkably obtuse with his instructions. What I see is men being told to stop arguing and concentrate on praying. I see nothing about what women can or can’t do. And I definitely can’t agree with those that insist this verse refers to the assembly while 1 Corinthians 11 doesn’t.

As for the last part of 1 Timothy 2, I find Paul’s whole argument difficult to understand. But I also feel that he was dealing with something specific that was going on in Ephesus. Ephesus was a center of goddess worship, and women were active in pagan religions in that area. Plus there were false teachers in Ephesus who were taking advantage of some of these women. Some of what Paul says to Timothy elsewhere points to this:

“Besides, they (young widows) get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.” (1 Timothy 5:13)
“They (false teachers) are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:6-7)

It’s also worth noting that Paul says that women are to be in quietness, not in silence. It’s the same word he uses in 1 Timothy 2:2 to describe our lives.

I think one reason that Paul said the things he did (including passages like 1 Corinthians 11 and Ephesians 5) was to defend the principle of male leadership. He could make these arguments because the church was aware of this principle.

Now, how do I differ in application?

  • I see absolutely nothing wrong with women serving communion. The only objection I could see is the idea of authority/leadership (sort of like Paul’s arguments about the veil), but I have yet to find anyone who sees this act of service as authoritative.
  • Since I don’t see Paul’s command about silence to refer to every situation, I have no problem with women giving a greeting or making announcements when the church is gathered.
  • I believe that 1 Corinthians 11 describes women praying in public; I don’t believe that 1 Timothy is saying that only men can pray. Therefore, I don’t have a problem with women leading prayers in the assembly.
  • I believe that reading Scripture is analogous to prophesying; both speak a message from the Lord, not “private interpretation.” I have no problem with women reading Scripture in the assembly.
  • I believe in women deaconesses. I see that role as a role of service, not authority.

I’m sure we can lay out other scenarios and debate if God has authorized women to do this or that. But this is a start. I hold firmly to the principle of male leadership, yet feel that we have wrongly limited women in several areas.

(There should be enough in this post to make just about everyone angry! I’m always open to constructive criticism and instruction.)