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Monday, September 21, 2015

Recovering a "neglected doctrine" through a godly "neglected man" (1 Corinthians 11)


I didn’t write the book to make a name for myself or to further my own purposes, but to teach on a neglected doctrine that I saw many ridiculing and dismissing too quickly. Since I wrote the book for God’s glory, if He didn’t want me to release it, I wouldn’t.
                                 -from  Jeremy's Journey, How the Headcovering Movement came to be 
                                (*Jeremy Gardiner is a founder of Head Covering Movement)

In this short but sincere confession, I saw brother Jeremy's pure motivation,,,and his God-given vision. I realized that this vision captured him, drove him and placed him to the cross. I realized that God wants to recover "a neglected doctrine" through a man who can endure to remain as "a neglected man". As many ridiculing and dismissing this doctrine too quickly, so is the man who teach this doctrine destined to be treated alike.

Last week, I wrote a biography of William Tyndale in Japanese.

He was also a man who was captured by His vision. Godly vision is totally different from self-fulfillment-type of human ambition. It is costly. It demands man's everything. It drives him to the lonely, neglected path.

We usually find that the prophets arose as a reaction from God to the course and drift of things amongst His people; a call back, a re-declaration, a re-pronouncement of God's mind, a bringing into clear view again of the thoughts of God. The prophets stood in the midst of the stream - usually a fast-rushing stream - like a rock; the course of things broke over them. They challenged and resisted that course, and their presence in the midst of the stream represented God's mind as against the prevailing course of things.
                             -Austin-Sparks, Prophetic Ministry

Often times, the visionary man has to suffer in the Slough of Despond, sinking and struggling in the total dark. But the help comes. Surely comes.


Here we come to the most important point of the whole. It is the absolute identity of the vessel with the vessel's ministry. Prophetic ministry is not something that you can take up. It is something that you are.,,The vessel itself is the ministry and you cannot divide between the two.

..God is not allowing us to take up things and subjects. If we are under the Holy Ghost, He is going to make us prophets; that is, He is going to make the prophecy a thing that has taken place in us, so that what we say is only making vocal something that has been going on, that has been done in us. God has been doing it through years in strange, deep, terrible ways in some lives, standing at nothing, touching everything; and the vessel, thus wrought upon, is the message. People do not come to hear what you have to teach. They have come to see what you are, to see that thing which has been wrought by God. What a price the prophetic instrument has to pay!
                                                                                           -Prophetic Ministry

Dear headcovering sisters in all over the world, shall we offer prayer for our leaders today? Let us unite in Spirit and ask Him to inflame His vision in their hearts and strengthen them to endure unpopularity, neglect, human desertion and loneliness for His glory? Let us write an encouraging words to our leaders this very day and make them happy. In Jesus' name. Amen.



*If you'd like to write a note of encouragement to brother Jeremy Gardiner, please click here.

 
 

9 comments:

  1. May God be with Mr.Gardiner and HCM team who work for His glory.
    History tells us that those who work for Him as a pioneer was most always persecuted,scorned,not understood. But now we can see their fruits in many ways.
    I hope readers of this blog pray for them,too.



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  2. Amen! And you are right that those who work for Him as a pioneer have been almost always persecuted, scorned, neglected and forgotten but we see their fruits in many ways today. We see this very example in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I also remember Felix Mantz, who was executed by the Swiss authority in 1527 due to his teaching on adult baptism. He was the pioneer, too. Just before his execution, he shouted;

    "I testify with my death today that the baptism which we have taught and practiced is the baptism of Jesus Christ and the Bible."

    The Bible and later history proved that his testimony was true. I really appreciate what Brother Jeremy Gardiner has done and has been doing. May God continue to walk with him and sustain him. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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  3. Thank you for telling about Felix Mantz's story.(Anyway I am Sanae,sorry I fogot writing down my name on my former comment.) Talking about gender,creation order causes a lot of discussion today. Without courage from God,I think that it's very hard to tell about headcovering for male leaders. I continue to pray,too.

    Sanae

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  4. Thank you, Sanae! There are many wonderful complementarian Bible teachers (such as Wayne Grudem, John Macarthur,,,) who still do not think that the headcovering doctrine is applicable for today. But oh, what a pity! Because there is such a spiritual blessing in this Bible truth. I am praying that our Lord guide our dear complementarian brothers and sisters to read the following article wriiten by brother Jeremy.


    http://www.headcoveringmovement.com/articles/an-open-letter-to-complementarians-about-head-covering

    I am a complementarian. This means I believe that while men and women are both created in the image of God and are equals in value and worth; they each serve a different function.

    In the home, the husband has been given the authority (headship) to lead his wife whereas the wife was created to help her husband and follow his leadership (submission). I believe the authority and submission in the home, pictures the relationship between Christ and His church. I also believe this was God’s original design; a pre-fall masterpiece, not a post-fall disaster.

    I am encouraged by the large resurgence of complementarians and the numerous biblical scholars who defend this truth. They uphold male authority and female submission in the home and believe the office of elder (pastor) is for men only.

    Within complementarianism, I hold to what is now a minority position. I believe that the functional difference between men and women should be symbolized to both men and angels when the church gathers together for worship.

    Yes, I believe that head covering (as taught in 1 Corinthians 11) is a timeless, transcultural symbol for Christians under the new covenant.

    Throughout church history this belief in head covering has been the majority position. In America it continued to be practiced roughly until the 1960’s when feminism gained popularity.

    Both Christian and secular observers have noted the connection between feminism and the decline of head covering. The New York Times published an article showing how feminism was largely responsible for shutting down the industry of millinery (manufacturing of hats and headwear). They said:

    “But as the beehive hairdo gained popularity in the 1960’s and the feminist movement made it acceptable for women to leave their hats at home, the industry faded.” 1) Carrie Budoff – Headgear as a Footnote to History (New York Times, April 6, 1997)

    With the rise of feminism, egalitarian thought permeated the church, popularizing the belief that men and women serve no functional difference in the home. The man does not have a God-given responsibility to lead and the woman does not
    need to submit to her husband. Within the church, all offices are open to women.


    (continued to Part 2)

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  5. (Part 2)

    In recent history, complementarians have fought to restore the biblical roles of men and women. The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood was formed in 1987 and men such as Wayne Grudem have spent much of their life responding to egalitarian objections. I am grateful for and supportive of these efforts.

    When it comes to head covering however, complementarians (in large) have not sought to restore it. Complementarian leaders such as Wayne Grudem, Thomas Schreiner and John MacArthur have argued that while the principle of male headship continues, the symbol of head covering was a cultural practice.
    Why is this an issue?

    One issue that concerns me with this view is the very argument for male eldership (the pre-fall creation order) is the same argument given by the Apostle Paul for head covering.

    In a previous article I made this point:

    Before we examine the next verse I want to challenge my Complementarian friends. I know the arguments you use for male eldership & husband headship. I agree with you fully. In 1 Timothy 2 it explains why a woman cannot “teach or exercise authority”, doesn’t it?

    But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into
    transgression. (1 Tim 2:12-14 NASB)

    “The reason is based in creation” you would say, “therefore it isn’t cultural”. Agreed. But now I want to challenge you to remain consistent as we examine this next verse.

    For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head… (1 Cor 11:7-10a NASB)

    Paul says why women must have a have a symbol of authority on their head: because of the created order.

    While I understand that many complementarians would object to marrying principle and symbol together here, we must remember that the head covering is the imperative (command) of the text, not the roles of men and women. The principle of headship is what Paul wanted the Corinthians to understand (1 Cor 11:3) but it’s the actual practice of head covering that he wants them to do (1 Cor 11:4-6).

    Because of this, I believe the simultaneous acceptance of complementarianism and rejection of head covering is inconsistent. Most of us hold to at least some inconsistent beliefs. I’m thankful that we often don’t follow the harmful ones through to their logical conclusions.

    My concern however is that future generations will see the inconsistency and abandon Biblical manhood and womanhood. What complementarians do with head covering will be the test.

    continued,,,

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  6. (Part 3)
    Wayne Grudem as I previously mentioned, does not believe that head covering is a timeless symbol for the church. He has however publicly pointed out an inconsistency in egalitarian thought.

    He sees the re-interpretation of Biblical passages concerning the roles of men and women as an undermining of the Scriptures and a path towards liberalism. He’s thankful that many Christians who hold to an evangelical form of egalitarianism, reject a liberal view of the Bible.

    Having said that, he highlights his concern that while many egalitarians today hold fast to conservative biblical theology, future generations may not:

    I realize that a person can adopt one of these [egalitarian] arguments and not move any further than that single step down the path to liberalism for the rest of his life. Many of these leaders have done just that. But I think the reason they have not moved further toward liberalism is that they have not followed the implications of the kind of argument they are using and have not taken it into other areas of their convictions. However, others who follow them will do so. Francis Schaeffer warned years ago that the first generation of Christians who lead the church astray doctrinally change only one key point in their doctrinal position and change nothing else, so it can seem for a time that the change is not too harmful. But their followers and disciples in the next generation will take the logic of their arguments much further and will advocate much more extensive kinds of error. 2)

    (from Wayne Grudem – Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? (Crossway, 2006) As quoted from the Introduction found here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/06/12/an-open-letter-to-egalitarians-about-liberalism/ )

    I have this same concern for complementarians who reject head covering. Unfortunately, it’s not a hypothetical concern.

    Some Christian feminists such as Rachel Held Evans have caught the inconsistency:

    Anyone who says that Paul’s instructions regarding the women at Ephesus are universally binding because he appeals to the creation narrative to make his point can be consistent in that position only if they also require women in their church to cover their heads, as Paul uses a very similar line of argumentation to advocate that. (See 1 Corinthians 11.)

    and some complementarians have begun to question whether appeals to creation are a strong argument for male eldership in light of the head covering issue:

    …I have grown to see that my own treatment of, say, I Timothy 2:9-15 has not always reflected a sensitivity to the points made in an egalitarian exegesis of this passage. For example, I used to think that Paul’s mandate here is obviously trans-cultural because it is rooted in his doctrine of creation. Then I realized that Paul’s instruction about head coverings in I Corinthians 11 (which I have always accepted is culturally conditioned) is also rooted in creation. There is no reason in principle why exhortation grounded in the doctrine of creation must necessarily be trans-cultural.

    continued...

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  7. (Part4)

    I’m concerned many more will also see this inconsistency and instead of embracing head covering, will leave behind complementarianism. It’s not too late to make a change. If we restore the practice of head covering, I believe complementarianism will be embraced by more and will increase its longevity throughout future church history.

    The Lord’s supper was given to us as a picture and a reminder. When we partake of it, it reminds us and causes us to think about what Jesus did for us on the cross. In a similar way, head covering is a picture and a reminder to the gathered church. It reminds us and visually teaches us that God has designed men and women to fulfil a different function.

    At the Head Covering Movement we hear from women regularly who after embracing this symbol, are more vividly reminded of this truth.
    To give an example, Laura (from Washington) said:

    “My prayer at church changed because now I am worshipping through prayer with an outward symbol and reminder of submission to God and to my husband. The devil makes it tempting not to submit to either, but when I wear the symbol of authority, I can’t help but remember and be humbled.”

    So to my complementarian brothers and sisters, will you devote some time to thinking through this issue? Will you with an open mind, listen to the best case for the timelessness of head covering and consider thoughtful responses to common objections? My hope is that you will, because more than a symbol is at stake.

    -end-

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  8. Kinuko, Jeremy was attending my church for almost a year. He is one of the most humble people I have ever met. I didn't know about the movement until he left the city.
    Our young adult group is studying 1 Corinthians and we will be discussing headcovering soon

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  9. Dear Irina, thank you for your comment. Oh, I did not know that brother Jeremy was attending your church before! And it is wonderful you mentioned "He is one of the most humble people I have ever met." It reminds me of the word of Proverb which says;

    "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips." (Proverb 27:2)

    I always like to hear such an encouraring, uplifting words! Thank you, Irina. It's also good to hear that your young adult group is studying 1 Corinthians. I heard that Sanae's church is going to study this passage soon. May the Spirit works in the hearts of all who read and study this passage. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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