Daily Archives: May 3, 2008


A comment by minnowspeaks (an egalitarian):

"Then as now my greatest difficulty is with the notion that a loving Creator would purposely gift His creation in a certain way only to insist His creation NOT use the gifts. Such a notion goes against my belief in a loving God as well as the idea that our gifts are meant for the edification of the whole."

1) Complementarians do not deny that all members of the bride of Christ are gifted OR that they should be able to use their gifts within Scriptural limits.

2) Why is it that if a woman cannot use her gifts to teach or lead men, you do not consider her to be using her gifts?


...continue reading


No...that's not my question, but rather the question on ""Parchment and Pen."

"Why is it okay to think that men know so much, have so much insight, are so sensitive to all the nuances of a particular Bible passage that they can teach women in a way that women are able to learn and understand week after week but the insights and sensitivities of women are so inferior that men could/should never learn from them? Or how is this not what is being said?"

Since this is not what is being taught by most complementarians, it might be useful to note that complementarians are not monolithic (just as egalitarians are not).

It might also be useful to note that most complementarians do not teach that women are not insightful, that women are not sensitive to Scripture or that women are inferior.
Most complementarians do not teach that "men could/should never learn from them?"

From "The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:"

"Listen to how John Piper and Wayne Grudem summarized this answer to this question. "When Paul says in I Timothy 2:12, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent,' we do not understand him to mean an absolute prohibition of all teaching by women. Paul instructs the older women to teach what is good, then they can train the younger women. And he commends the teaching that Eunice and Lois gave to her son and grandson. Proverbs praises the ideal wife because she speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction on her tongue. Paul endorses women prophesying in a church and says that men learn by such prophesying. And that members should teach and admonish one another with all wisdom as you sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. And then, of course, there is Priscilla at Aquilla's side correcting Apollos. It is arbitrary to think that Paul has in mind every form of teaching in I Timothy 2:12. Teaching and learning are in such broad terms that it is impossible that women not teach men and men not learn from women in some sense. There is a way that nature teaches and a fig tree teaches and suffering teaches and human behavior teaches. If Paul did not have every conceivable form of teaching and learning in mind, what did he mean? Along with the fact that the setting here is the church assembled for prayer and teaching, the best clue is by coupling teaching with having authority over men. We would say that the teaching inappropriate for a woman is the teaching of men in settings or ways that dishonor the calling of men to bear the primary responsibility for teaching in leadership. This primary responsibility is to be carried by the pastors or elders. Therefore, we think it is God's will that only men bear the responsibility for that office."

Also from CBMW:

Also, I see no need to go be­yond Scripture, which does not prohibit (permits but does not mandate) prayer or testimony by a woman in the con­gregation nor forbid her interaction on biblical truths in a private conversation with a man (as Pricilla and Aquila with Apollos in Acts 18:26).

From another article by Wayne Grudem on CBMW:

Now regarding the question of women in the church, what actions should we put on this scale? On the left side of the scale we can put verses such as 1 Timothy 2:12, where Paul prohibits a woman from teaching or having authority over men. Since I think it is very evident from the context that Paul is talking about the assembled congregation in this passage (see 1 Tim. 2:8-10; 3:15), and he is giving principles that apply to the entire congregation (see 1 Tim. 3:1-16), I think that the left end of the scale prohibits women from teaching or having governing authority over the whole congregation.

What shall we put on the right end of the scale? Here we would put verses such as Acts 18:26, where, in a less formal setting apart from an assembled congregation, we find that Priscilla and Aquila were talking to Apollos, and "they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately." This situation is similar to a small group Bible study in which both men and women are participating and in that way "teaching" one another. Another verse that we can put on the right end of the scale is Titus 2:4 which tells the older women to "train the younger women to love their husbands and children..."

We see from these writings that an across the board prohibition of women teaching men is not what is being taught. Rather it is the teaching that complementarians believe that Paul is teaching that women should not teach the congregation at large, or have authority in that context.


What is the difference between a "ruler" and a "leader"?

Short and simple (and leaving a lot of blanks)

  • A ruler can lead from anywhere. Front, back, middle. As a participant or not. "do this and I'll have coffee" is an option. A ruler is more forceful (sometimes of necessity, sometimes out of character)
  • A leader gathers information (this is not ruled out with a "ruler") makes a decision based on the input of others (also not ruled out with a "ruler") and states a goal. The attitude is "Let us ALL go in this direction - I'll be the first to step out."

A leader is (by definition) a participant in the achieving of the goal. A ruler may or may not be.

What is the difference between "having authority" and "taking authority"?

There is a line from "Braveheart" the movie. William Wallace says,

"he is not my king." The interrogator tells him (not a direct quote), "oh...he IS your king. Whether you accept it or not makes no difference, he IS your king."

"Having authority" means that...well...the authority is inherent in your position, regardless of whether or not those you have authority over accept it or not. The authority is sometimes God-given, sometimes government-given, sometimes "other"-given (organizations, etc.) The proper attitude toward a person who "haves authority" is an attitude of submission.
"Taking authority" (to me) means that submission is not freely given, it must be taken. Sometimes this is because it is an illegitimate authority, or that a legitimate authority is being abused. Sometimes it is because the legitimate authority is being ignored.

Whether or not the king in Braveheart "had" a legitimate authority, he "took" authority over William Wallace because of Wallace's refusal to submit.

So we see that one does not exclude the other (the king with a legitimate authority "took" authority over Wallace".

On a board of directors there is a legitimate authority in the elected chair. The chair has the authority to lead the meeting in an ordered manner. When a person present attempts to hijack the meeting, the chair also has the right (and responsibility) to "take authority" and get the meeting back on track.

The person who is the "hijacker" is "taking authority" (or attempting to), but they do not "have" authority from a legitimate source. Regardless of the attempt (even if successful) people are free to follow (or not) the source of an illegitimate "taken" authority.

Bottom line?

In my ideal world, leaders would be more plentiful than rulers.

In my ideal world, "taking authority" would not be needed. If those under a person who "has" legitimate authority willingly submitted to that authority, there would be no need for the "taking" of it.