Sunday, November 29, 2015

What about the "Apostle" Junia and "Female" Preachers?

Last week's post Men Make Better Pastors caused quite a stir among women. They used four different verses in Scripture to try to prove to me that God approves of female preachers having authority over men in the church. I am going to go through all four and show you how wrong these arguments are so when others use these verses to try and convince you of female preachers, you will have a good defense to these perversions of Scripture in justifying female preachers.

Many use Junia in Romans 16:7 to claim Junia was an Apostle, therefore she must have had authority over men; "Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me" {Romans 16:7} Paul states "my kinsmen" right after using this name, so we can be sure it was a male since he wouldn't call a female "my kinsmen." Secondly, just because he wrote Junia was "of note among the apostles" doesn't necessarily mean that Junia was even an Apostle; just that the Apostles took note of him and he was special to them. If Junia was an Apostle, God's authority structure throughout the Bible was given to men, except in a few rare instances.

Another verse many use to say that there were female deacons in the church concerns Phoebe. "I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea" {Romans 16:1}. All of the translations call her a "servant of the church" except for the NIV and the New Living Translation which call her a 'deacon.' These are the more recent transliterations of the Bible. There is NO way she can be a deacon since Paul made it very clear that deacons were to be the husband of one wife. After giving all of the qualifications of a deacon in 1 Timothy 3, Paul wrote, "Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well" {1 Timothy 3:11, 12}. However, women have always served at churches in some capacity that didn't include being in authority over men.

Others will use this verse to argue that women can be preachers thus having authority over men. And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams {Acts 2:17}. Every single person who believes in Jesus with saving faith receives the Holy Spirit, including sons and daughters. He is the Comforter that Jesus told His disciples they would receive after His resurrection. This verse does NOT prove that there can be female preachers or elders in authority over men in the church!

The final argument I was given for female preachers was when the women found the empty tomb and were told to go share the news that Jesus had risen. They went to the disciples and "preached the Good News" according to those who want to use this verse to support female preachers. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word {Matthew 28:7, 8}. Does this mean that the women were preachers, elders, deacons, and in authority over men because they told the disciples what they had seen? This is an extremely weak argument for women preachers, wouldn't you say? 

Be very careful what teachers or preachers you learn the Bible from since many will turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables {2 Timothy 4:4}. All throughout God's Word, He used men as the leaders. They were the Patriarchs, Kings, the leaders of the twelve tribes of Judah, Jesus' Disciples, Elders, Deacons and Authors of the Bible {For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:21}. This is the authority structure God has instituted and we best be abiding by it. 

He has given women the special role of being a help meet to their husbands, bearing children for Him and raising godly offspring. There are also many ministries women can do in the church that are not in leadership positions over men. Older women are called to teach younger women many good things. He also calls us to use our lives to glorify Him in whatever we do and as an offering for Him, including telling others about the Lord and sharing the Gospel. 

Every single human being has purpose and is deeply loved by our Creator. Having an authority position doesn't make the one in authority better than those under their authority just as parents are not better than their children. We all have value in the Kingdom of God and should use our gifts and talents in serving others and serving Him, recognizing and appreciating the authority structure God has ordained.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

When the Leader Isn't Respected

Grandma wants to feed her grandson who has Type 1 Diabetes junk food when he’s at her home since she believes his parents are way too strict and health conscious. The father wants to feed him only good and wholesome food because he has this disease. He wants him to be as healthy as possible. They fight back and forth, calling each other names and always angry at each other. The daughter of Grandma wants peace between the two. She loves and respects both her mother and husband and wants them to stop arguing about it. How does the psychologist help them?

She counsels them to think how they will act before they see each other. Ask “How…?” questions instead of attacking each other and so on. She gave several steps they needed to take anytime they are with each other. I have heard the same type of steps given to married couples in order to solve marital arguments and conflict.

My answer to the above problem: The husband is the head of his wife and family; what he says goes! Easy! There is no trying to remembering what to say, how to ask the questions, etc. There’s a leader in this home and it isn’t Grandma. See how easy the problem is solved when there is one leader and a final decision maker?

Conflict and arguing are bound to happen when there is no leader. Of course, this solution wasn’t given to this couple since they don’t believe in biblical headship of the husband and neither do a lot of Christians. Trying to do things that are contrary to God’s plan makes things SO complicated! The whole time this conversation was taking place, I knew the answer immediately and it would have been solved if I could have given it. I would have been laughed off the stage, however. They would tell me I want women to go back to the Stone Age. No, I want women to go back to the Lord’s ways; the ancient paths laid out for us many, many years ago.

A father has every right to do with his child as he sees fit and mothers-in-law should respect that right. We need to do everything we can to promote peace in families and peace always comes when there is one designated leader. I was talking to my neighbor the other day. I said to him, “Aren’t your children your greatest blessing?” He responded, “They are one of them but my wife is by far my best blessings. God threw out the mold after He made her.” His wife loves to serve her husband and make him happy. She respects him as the leader of their home. There is peace in their home. Peace comes from doing things God’s ways. They will NEVER come by trying to do them our way.

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, 
the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
1 Corinthians 11:3

Friday, November 27, 2015

Modesty and Neatness Over Elegance and Fashion

Oh, how I love the preachers of old who were not afraid of the culture they lived in and spoke the Gospel plainly and unashamedly. They were not afraid of the feminists and women leaving their church in droves because they spoke the Truth of Scripture. They didn't water it down; making it lukewarm to make sure those listening were comfortable in the way they were living. No! They wrote boldly and fearlessly; fearing God rather than man {or woman}! I came across this great commentary by Matthew Henry ~

Women who profess the Christian religion, must be modest in apparel, not affecting gaudiness, gaiety, or costliness. Good works are the best ornament; these are, in the sight of God, of great price. Modesty and neatness are more to be consulted in garments than elegance and fashion. And it would be well if the professors of serious godliness were wholly free from vanity in dress. 

They should spend more time and money in relieving the sick and distressed, than in decorating themselves and their children. To do this in a manner unsuitable to their rank in life, and their profession of godliness, is sinful. These are not trifles, but Divine commands. The best ornaments for professors of godliness are good works.

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price 
{1 Peter 3:3, 4}.

When trying to figure out what picture to use for this post, I decided to use one of Nancy Campbell who has raised ten godly offspring with a godly husband. She has been ministering to women for over 27 years teaching them in the ways of the Lord. She began her free magazine in a response to feminism to encourage women in their high calling of having as many children as the Lord blesses them with while being a keeper at home. She lives simply and dresses modestly and neatly. She is a great role model for us!

We must not spend loads of money on our clothing since Scripture does forbid it. We should be known more for our good works than how we dress! Our clothing should be modest, clean and neat, not showy or always having to be in fashion. Women today spend way too much time and money on how they dress and look, instead of the good works they are called to do, including being the best help meet to their husband they can be and caring for their children and home. Look into women's closets and makeup drawers; many will attest to where they are spending their money. We must not get caught up in this culture's craze to stay beautiful, fashionable and perpetually young, but instead spend more time working on acquiring a quiet and meek spirit which is precious to God.

A young woman's "good works" are clearly listed in Titus 2:3-5 and older woman's "good works" are as follows: if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work {1 Timothy 5:10}.

Now that you clearly understand what the Bible teaches young and older women, get to work living a life that is pleasing to the Lord, instead of trying to fit into the stressful and expensive societal mold of our culture that is on the broad road to destruction!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

When Your Husband Irritates You

All husbands will irritate their wives at times. Some chew with their mouths open. Some watch too much television. Some are messy and never pick up their clothes. Some never tell their wives how wonderful they are or how much they appreciate them. Some are often late for dinner and forget to call. How are we to handle these irritations? Should we get angry about them.

No, for anger does not achieve the righteousness of God {James 1:20}. So what are we supposed to do? I'm sure most women have already spoken to their husbands about the things that irritate them but either the husbands don't agree, don't want to change or forget. Now what? Learn to accept it. How? Every time they are doing something that irritates you, think of something you love and appreciate about them instead and learn to be thankful. 

They chew with their mouths open. Thank the Lord that they work so hard to provide your family with food! They watch too much television. Thank the Lord you have a comfortable home for them to watch television in and that they are able to get some much needed relaxation. They don't appreciate you like they should. Begin telling them all the things you appreciate about them. Treat them the way you want them to treat you instead of expecting them to treat you a certain way. Model this behavior to them and they just may catch on! They are late to dinner. Thank the Lord they have a job to go to everyday to bring a paycheck home to pay the bills. Be transformed by renewing your mind with Truth and thankfulness, instead of irritation and anger.

We are to win our husbands without a word. This means we don't scold them, yell at them, boss them around, treat them like a child or get angry with them. We work on our own behavior in becoming more like Christ who lives within us and allow the Lord to work on our husbands. We learn to win the battle in our mind and quickly change negative and critical thoughts to good and pure ones. We speak uplifting and encouraging words instead of degrading and discouraging words.

If you're having difficult relatives over for Thanksgiving, practice the same with them. There's good qualities in everyone. Seek them out and dwell on them. Make sure you do everything tomorrow to have a peaceful, thankful holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, 
to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15