Page 5 - May 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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organization, does not violate her worth   to men who aspire to serve as overseers
        or minimize her importance as a person.  (3:1-7). He gives Titus a similar list to help
          Satan, unsurprisingly, hates headship   him recognize elders in the assemblies of
        and undermines it whenever he can (Isa   Crete (1:5-9). In both lists, Paul restricts the
        14:13-14). He upended headship in the   qualifications to men. He consistently uses
        Garden by isolating Eve from Adam (Gen   only masculine pronouns and adjectives
        3:1-7), and the aftermath brought sin into   and includes “the husband of one wife,”
        the world (Rom 5:12). Today, God calls His   a phrase that can only apply to males (1Ti
        people to restore and maintain the original   3:2; Titus 1:6). The biblical model is servant
        creation order by practicing headship, not   leadership, not oppressive tyranny. Peter
        only in the home but also in the assembly.   writes that overseers should not domineer
        By intelligently and willingly submitting   those in their charge but serve as examples
        to headship women can honor Christ in a   to the flock (1Pe 5:3). Shepherds must nev-
        way open only to them. In assembly meet-  ertheless teach and exercise authority over
        ings, we communicate this headship by   the flock – headship functions designed by
        male leadership and teaching, and female   God for men. Godly men lead and godly
        head covering and silence (1Ti 2:12-15;   women serve in crucially important sup-
        1Co 11:2-16; 14:33-35). When men act as   porting roles.
        men and women as women, they portray    Teaching  gender  roles  for  men  and
        the relationship of Christ to His body, and   women clashes with the egalitarianism
        delight not only angels (1Co 11:10) but   that now prevails in the Western world
        God Himself.                          and in some Christian circles. Fearing
          Before Paul turns to discuss the quali-  reprisals  from  the  state  and  buckling
        fications for overseers in his first letter to   under feminist pressure, even conserva-
        Timothy, he asserts that “a woman should   tive Christian groups are now open to
        learn in quietness and full submission.”   “reinterpreting” the plain statements of
        He continues: “I do not permit a woman   Scripture on gender roles. In this age of
        to teach or to have authority over a man;   mass media, these trendy opinions and
        she must be silent” (1Ti 2:11-12 NIV). He   hermeneutical oddities have flooded the
        makes the same argument in 1 Corinthians   evangelical world and are seeping into
        14 where he writes, “The women should   assemblies.
        keep silent in the churches. For they are   Egalitarians herald Galatians 3:28 as
        not permitted to speak, but should be in   their manifesto and the last word on the
        submission, as the Law also says” (v34   subject. When Paul wrote, “There is no
        ESV). Paul bases his inspired teaching not   male and female, for you are all one in
        on current cultural issues in Ephesus or   Christ Jesus” (ESV), they say he reached
        Corinth but on the man’s priority in cre-  his noblest thinking; in the “problem pas-
        ation (1Ti 2:13) and the woman’s “priority”   sages” where he taught male headship,
        in the fall, where the headship order was   he was relapsing into his pre-conversion
        reversed from God-man-woman-serpent   Pharisaism. From this they conclude that
        to serpent-woman-man-God (v14).       women and men are interchangeable
          After affirming male headship in as-  everywhere, and that there should be no
        sembly gatherings in 1 Timothy 2, Paul   gender-based restrictions on any church
        applies this principle in the next chapter   “office” (their term) or ministry.
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