A letter to the Body of Christ: Women in Ministry over Men

2 Aug 2011
1815 Skyline Dr.
Russellville, AR 72802

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It has come to my attention that the Lord Jesus wants to address an issue in the Body of Christ. I waded off into this issue earlier this year unprepared and was quickly attacked, beaten, and repelled online by Brothers and Sisters of the opposing camp. I have enjoyed the safety of retreat, and muted myself. Needless to say God is not happy with me and even this past week has goaded me into confronting this issue once again. I’m not stupid, nothing has changed on the other side so why bring it up again and get beat upon? It’s simple, they are not the Boss, Jesus is. Nor are they the enemy, they are brothers and sisters who have accepted a false outlook as being from God, therefore I am compelled to revisit this issue. Oh, what is the issue? Must I, should I, well, okay here we go: the issue is women in ministry over men. Can you imagine that it bothers God that clear directives have gone unheeded and error has entered the church? First we will touch on some scripture from the Apostle Paul in Corinthians, Timothy, and Titus. No, first it’s off to Genesis.

Rembrandt's Adam and Eve 1638Adam and Eve

We all know this familiar story of creation and the beginnings of man. In Genesis 3:16 God meets out the results of Eve’s involvement in eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil: To the woman he said, I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing: with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you. Already I can hear the groans from my readers. I didn’t write this stuff, I’m simply your reporter and reminder. Adam also got his come-up-ance as well, he was told that the ground was Cursed because of him and through painful toil “you will eat of it all the days of your life. So begins the course of human events at Creation, and the woman, created by God to be a helpmate to Adam, and so he would not be alone. Gen. 2:18 At this juncture it would be a good reminder that Adam is not complete without Eve his wife, and neither is Eve complete without Adam, they are one flesh.

Now we head over to Timothy, 1 Tim.2, Paul is sharing some details with Timothy about men and women. He talks briefly about men and various prayers, his own credentials and calling, and women and what is appropriate for them. Then he drops the bombshell in verse 11 and 12: A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. He then proceeds to tell us why, two reasons, in verse 13 and 14: For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and… Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. He offers redemption as a consolation in verse 15: But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith , love and holiness with propriety. (NIV version)

Okay, here is where I pull my sword and hoist my shield not to do battle, but to protect myself. I had no idea those things were necessary in dealing with Christian brothers and sisters, the ones who would rip these verses apart and explain them away citing the Apostle Paul as a chauvinist or worse yet as a misogynist and anti-feminist. These were the words I heard as I ran for cover back in the Spring of this year during an online discussion, headed by none other than a woman, a sister in the faith whom I otherwise respect and love. She was pretty adept at refraining from the battle herself, rather allowing her “friends in the faith” to do battle in her stead, and battle they did. I was dazed and lonely finding solace from only one soul in a distant country. Thank God for him, he was my Good Samaritan but then, he was gone, and it felt quite lonesome. I wondered if I could be wrong about it? I had no desire to continue to engage, and here now months later, back on my feet, I seek the solace of scripture and the blessing of a God who requires I seek truth and speak it boldly. This is exactly what Paul was doing with Timothy, he was charging him with the truth and telling him not to back down one bit in the face of adversity.

Your bro in Christ, Bruce Dickey

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RE-THINK Priesthood, by Ed Waken, Phoenix, Arizona

Ed  WakenReThink: Priesthood
What concepts come to mind when you think of the word, priest? I was at an organic church recently and I asked that question. The answers ranged from a ‘a person to go between God and man’ to ‘a holy man’ to ‘one who offers sacrifices to God’. How would you answer the question?

In the Old Testament, we learn that priests main job are to bring two parties at odds together for peace. In other words, a priest is a go-between for man to God. A priest was to mediate between himself and God (Lev. 9:8, 14:28-29), between his family and God (Lev. 16:6, 16:11) and between the people and God (Lev. 9:15, 10:17, Numb. 8:19). Priests are also to do wha is in God’s heart and soul (1 Sam. 2:35). These responsibilities are a high calling. It was an honor to be a priest in the Old Testament and only a small percentage ever had the honor to a priest. To be a priest of Jehovah was the best job one could have.

The New Testament also talks about priests of God but the application for priests was changed. As the church age began to mature, the church seemed to revert to a more Old Testament concept of priest where one man would represent a whole group of people before God and also speak for God to the people. The Catholic Church has promoted this Old Testament concept of the priesthood for over 1700 years now. On October 31st, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, in this he began to deny the priesthood as it was then known and began to elevate the concept of the priesthood of every believer. This truth is certainly found throughout the New Testament (1 Pet. 2:5-9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10).

Martin Luther changed the theology regarding the truth that every believer is a priest before God but since 1517, hardly anything has changed in practical terms in the church. Whether Catholic or Protestant, most churches simply do not allow the common people (the laity) to administer communion, baptize believers, perform weddings nor are they trusted to impart the Word of God with authority to people. In reality, there still is a division between the clergy (priests or pastors) and the laity (common people). This division must be done away with by doing away with the laity. We must adopt the Biblical concept that every believer, from the moment of salvation is a priest of God and is capable of pointing people to Jesus for salvation, strength, hope and faith. Every believer is a child of God, equally connected to the head of the Church, Jesus Himself. Every believer has the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of God is able to minister to and flow through the youngest and newest believer with powerful results (Mark 5:1-20 is just one example).

So today, we must recapture the truth that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a priest of God to the nations to bring the Good News of our King to their ears and hearts. It is our distinct honor to do so.

Your input…
How should the truth that every believer is a priest for God change the church?
If you lived out this truth, that you are a priest of God , how would it change the way you do life?

I would like to hear your insights.

(Find Ed’s original post on his blog: Thoughts Out There by Ed. http://edwaken.blogspot.com/2011/04/rethink-prieshood.html)

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Create in Me a Pure Heart, Psalms 51

Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. Psalms 51:10-12

Sometimes even Christians blow it. David sure did just before this psalm was written down. If there is one thing we need, it is a steadfast spirit within us.

If we have fallen into sin, we don’t need condemnation, we need forgiveness. That forgiveness is abundantly provided in Christ and through his blood. His blood washes whiter than snow.

We need the presence of the Lord with us. He said that he would never leave us nor forsake us.

There is great joy in the salvation that only Jesus can provide. Repent, shake off any sin, and the burden it brings. Cast your cares on the Lord because he cares for you.

This is my prayer today: Lord for anyone reading these words David penned in the Psalms and those I have written here: Let the annointing break the yoke of oppression, let forgiveness flow from your throne Lord. Raise up your servants to new life. Let your joy flow from that forgiven heart, and may it water those around them and bring forth new life. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.

Here is a song by Keith Green: Create in Me a Clean Heart. Hope the link works.

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The Sign of Jonah Prophecy by Jesus, Fulfilled (via Church, Organically Simple)

Here it is Resurrection morning. He is risen, he is risen indeed. Jesus said to the Pharisees that he would give only one miraculous sign that he was their Messiah. He told them he would rise from the dead after three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish. Print out the diagram image and study the Jewish feasts that fell in perfect alignment this year of Jesus’ horrendous death and equally glorious resurrection. Mankind was redeemed once and for all, for all eternity. This is the solution to the Sign of Jonah Prophecy of Jesus.

The Sign of Jonah Prophecy by Jesus, Fulfilled Three Days and Three Nights, The Sign of Jonah Prophecy by Jesus Did Jesus fulfill the sign of Jonah which he prophesied days before his death?  Tradition teaches us that Jesus died on Good Friday just before dark.  He was hurriedly buried in a nearby tomb, rushing to beat the approaching time of the weekly Sabbath of Saturday as night fell.  We are told he resurrected bodily before daylight on Sunday morning.  That time line, if it is true, is o … Read More

via Church, Organically Simple

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Neil Cole Quotes from Organic Church

Links to OrganicChurchQuotes by Neil Cole and others from Organic Church the book. Without counting to be exact there are somewhere around 90-100 quotes. I certainly got a lot from Neil’s efforts in writing Organic Church. The Life Transformation Groups idea is incredible as a discipleship tool. I hope you enjoy these quotes and if you don’t have a copy of the book, I think they still sell them at amazon.com and cmaresources.org

https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/mining-cole-part-one/
https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/mining-cole-part-two/
https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/mining-cole-part-three/
https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/mining-cole-part-four/
https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/mining-cole-part-five/
https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/mining-cole-part-six/

https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/mining-cole-part-seven-organic-church/
https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/mining-cole-part-eight/
https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/mining-cole-part-nine-organic-church-by-neil-cole/
https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/mining-cole-organic-church-part-ten-end/
One list of Neil Cole Quotes by Guy Muse of Ecuador. https://brucedickey.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/top-ten-neil-cole-quotes/

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Roy McClung explains Simple or Organic Church

simplechurch

By Roy McClung

How to explain simple or organic church to a friend in two minutes.

Click the previous sentence for the YouTube video link. Thanks, Roy McClung in Houston for putting this together, Bruce

man-on-bench

Artist McNaught in the UK.  That is our man of peace from Luke 10:5-6  He is simple church.

 

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A Spiritual House, A Holy Priesthood

1 Peter 2:4-5 As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered….. chosen according the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. (paraphrase of 1 Peter 1:1-2)

Peter so beautifully paints with words who we are in Christ, we are priests, part of a priesthood, a spiritual family. So, being like Jesus, we too are after the order of Melchizedek, not Levi. Believers are not Levites who were the priests of the old covenant. No we are part of a new house, a spiritual house, built on better promises, we are a holy priesthood, we belong to God.

This passage applies to every believer of Jesus Christ under the New Testament, paid for with his shed blood. So priest, what are we going to do today? The bible leaves us a few suggestions? No, commandments. Love God, love man, very simple. So God loved us, it’s fairly easy to love him back. Man on the other hand, not so easy, this is the test of a disciple, loving man who may not love in return. This is a principle of investment, of giving, of sowing, of cultivation, of hope, and finally of obedience.

Then there is the commission to go. We are told the fields are white unto harvest and to pray to the Lord of the Harvest for laborers. While we are praying are we secretly hoping that God will send someone else, not you and I but someone else? Our prayer must include ourselves. We too must be planted, we too must be willing to be pregnant with the gospel. We must be willing to die in order to bring forth much fruit, 30 60 and 100 fold fruit.

Can we make ourselves do it? That is a great question. Are we willing to believe it enough to the point of being a living sacrifice to God? Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief! He has walked this pathway before us, it is narrow, the multitudes choose another path, the wide path. It’s our choice.

Bless you Lord Jesus for calling our names, the voice of a stranger we will not follow. Amen.

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