Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> EAGLES' REST: It Started As An E-Mail To C.B. Scott....

Monday, September 10, 2007

It Started As An E-Mail To C.B. Scott....

But my feeble idea took root and started flowering. Since I don't get much of that any more, I figured I'd post it, instead.

I'd made a remark on Bart Barber's Blog and I referred to the possibility of his daughter preaching one day. That sparked a stream of consciousness which generated a thought: there's a big difference between Preaching, and filling the office of Pastor. Hence, I'd imagine there'd be a difference in the qualifications, too.

First, I don't buy the idea that the prohibition against women teaching men, in the Bible, is an absolute. I'm personally not comfortable in that setting, but I'm not all that dogmatic about it. And I do not deny that women can and and do have the gift of teaching.

OR preaching (Anybody who's been to church in Jamaica, feel free to say "amen!")!

But let's assume there are good reasons for not allowing women to "usurp authority" over men. That would preclude their holding the Office of Elder/Bishop/Pastor, of course. But that Office carries a lot more stuff with it than just preaching.

I confess I've confused preaching TO me, with having authority OVER me. I think the two are separate.

When I examine the Preamble to the Baptist Faith & Message, and focus on the section on Priesthood of (the) (all) believer(s) (choose your own option), I get the impression that I'm responsible before God for ALL that I believe.

Now, as our pastor Mike Shaw has said frequently, we're not to take him simply at his word, but we're to check him out in scripture, for ourselves. Thus, IMHO, the authority over me is scripture (and we know Who breathed THAT), and not he in his own self. In other areas than preaching, he DOES have the authority that his office gives him, again from scripture.

Incidentally, Brother Mike also says that anyone who stands behind our pulpit, whether preaching, teaching, or praying, or testifying, does so under his authority as Pastor, and thus not under their own authority.

Hence, for me, I do not view listening to a woman teach or preach as her "exercising authority" over me. She'd be using a gift that God gave her. Or perhaps NOT, but that's for me to discern for myself, regardless of whether the preacher is man or woman!

So, again, I may not be comfortable in listening to a woman teach or preach. But church is not about my comfort or happiness, but rather about holiness. And God can use anyone to work that into my stubborn life, that He chooses. That thought can be summarized in a teaching I heard over 40 years ago, but I've never forgotten: "Never let what someone is not get in the way of what God has in them, for me."

If God has a message for me, I dare not disregard it, or ignore it, simply because the messenger is not a man.

16 Comments:

At 8:59 AM, September 11, 2007, Blogger GuyMuse said...

Good post, but I have a question for you...

You write, "...there's a big difference between Preaching, and filling the office of Pastor..."

My question: where in the NT do we get the idea of "filling the office of Pastor?" Where is it that we get the idea of the pastoral function (gift of shepherding)as an office to be filled? Why don't seek to fill the offices of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and teachers? Why just pastors and deacons are considered offices of the church?

I believe in the NT teaching of "pastoring" as a function needed by the church, but I can't really find evidence for turning this into an office. Not trying to pick a fight or anything, just one of those things that I keep wondering about in my head. Before using 1 Tim. 3, where the KJV uses the term "aspire to the office..." most later versions do not include the term "office" but simply allude to "anyone sets his heart on being an overseer..." Your thoughts and observations are welcome.

 
At 9:49 AM, September 11, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

I'm really referring to the practice of churches here, and dealing with where we are. And our preacher IS our pastor (I prefer Elder, but...) and that's what I'm talking about. It's a handy term of reference; maybe we can call it a "state" of being an elder.

Plus, I'm not really much of a baptist anyway, as I believe the elders are to be the leaders of the church (much as the apostles were, when they told they folks to go pick 7 guys to handle the table service) and don't see popular elections of spiritual leaders.

Maybe our system of organize - systemize - deputize is necessary; maybe not. But it exists.

All I was doing was separating the shepherding function from standing in the pulpit and declaring the word. I think the requirements may be different. Personally I have no office in the (local) church whatsoever, and have about as alive a ministry as anyone, I suppose. (Add all the usual caveats to that..)

Thanks for commenting. I figured I'd get a LOT of comments, talking about women preaching and all!

 
At 10:19 PM, September 11, 2007, Blogger Bones said...

Is there something you are trying to tell us? I know your wife had her first Bible study this morning, but is she already to preach?(LOL)
Tell her Tina really enjoyed the Bible study.

 
At 10:27 PM, September 11, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Actually today was the second Bible study. The first was last night.

No, she's not ready to preach but she's had enough practice at home to do so.

I passed along the compliment from Tina; thanks.

I hasten to add LOL to the second paragraph. I DO know whom I'm going be spending ALL my time around in 3 or 4 or 5 months......

There's noise of folks wanting to take part in a Bible study. All I need to know is when & where. I'm a teacher but not a planner.

 
At 9:30 AM, September 13, 2007, Blogger Alycelee said...

You're a brave soul Bob.
On Barts blog no less :)
I've noticed of late, that when this issue of women preaching comes up-we ALL squirm in our seats, those on the left AND right.
I'm very sure of my calling in Christ. I'm not a pastor or elder.
Does that mean I don't or can't preach?
When God gives me opportunity and His annointing, I will preach to anyone, any time, in fact I pray for opportunities to do so.
See-I'm not too baptist either.

 
At 10:18 AM, September 13, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Alyce: I had to go to Bart's place and check to see what I'd said. I couldn't pass up the opportunity so I tossed another question into the fray. I'll be interested to see if anyone sees it and/or answers.

Thanks for the good words.

 
At 11:12 PM, September 13, 2007, Anonymous Jenny from chicago said...

I think the NT (especially the epistles that Paul wrote) about the fact that women aren't supposed to be "preachers". It's exactly the same as Men can't be mothers. It's not a slam to a man to say, "you can't bear children".

 
At 6:30 AM, September 14, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Hi Jenny. Thanks for commenting.

I don't see anywhere in scripture that says women cannot preach. My point was that we confuse preaching with having auhority and I don't think that is entirely apropos to do so. It's also obvious to me that Paul never told Timothy not to let women teach, he only said HE didn't.

Heaven be nice for a lot of reasons, one of which is I'll understand all that stuff.

Incidentally I was born in Chicago and lived there until age 14.

 
At 7:19 AM, September 14, 2007, Anonymous Jenny from Chicago said...

forgive me...it was late when I posted and I failed to support a point before I assumed it in the debate.

Paul writes to the Corinthians about how all of us (while all enjoying the same salvation) have different roles within the body of Christ. This does not mean we are all the same. We all have a role to play. And we are not supposed to rearrange those roles. Please see 1 Cor. 12:18

Can I get agreement on that point?

 
At 7:29 AM, September 14, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Oh, absolutely. Ken Hemphill's study course "Serving God .. Discovering and Using Spiritual Gifts" is really dead-on to me. And it emphasizes that passage very much.

The issue I'm dealing with, again, is preaching. That word in the original, in the instances I've looked up, is to evangelize, or to proclaim. I see no prohibition of that.

On the other hand, I lean heavily toward women not "usurping authority" over men.

I should add that I think we all see through a glass darkly and if we get REAL far away from what Peter preached in Acts 2, we start running into differences of opinion. And that's ok with me.

 
At 10:06 AM, September 14, 2007, Blogger Laura said...

< unrelated > I spotted you on the pioneer woman's blog. Fancy meeting you over there... < /unrelated >

 
At 10:43 AM, September 14, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Hi Laura. Fancy meeting you over here, too!

Thanks for looking in.

 
At 3:18 PM, September 14, 2007, Anonymous Lee said...

It was upon reading your second to the last paragraph, that sentence about church not being about your comfort or happiness, but about holiness, that I decided to ask you and your wife to clone yourselves, and then send some of the clones out here to join my church.

Fortunately, we already have some people who understand that, so we wouldn't need very many clones, and the arrangement would probably be temporary.

I'm in agreement with you. I don't think a woman preaching or teaching violates the intent of the scriptures related to that subject. Thank you for saying it.

 
At 4:55 PM, September 14, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks, Lee. There are times, I think, you could ask our pastor reeeeeaaaaalll nice and he'd send us out there on a mission trip.

One way.

 
At 12:48 AM, September 15, 2007, Blogger CB Scott said...

Send the email :-)

cb

 
At 6:46 PM, September 15, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

CB: I'll explain it over lunch. Your side of town. Name it.

 

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