Friday, June 10, 2016

Teaching activities of the church that 1) should be restricted to men and 2) should be open to both men and women


My dear French sister Caro, gave me a thoughtful response after reading my previous post entitled; "But, is it correct for a woman to debate? Is it correct for a woman to involve herself in theological argumentation?": My journey on seeking a balanced complementarianism (here)
 
"Hello dear Kinuko ! The question you are talking about is exactly the trouble I had in my heart about my blog. I was talking about biblical femininity and submission in my blog, but at the same time I was writing theological contents and publishing Bible studies for "teaching" people the need of modesty/submission/headcovering etc...

On the other hand, both men AND women are called to be prophets. A prophet is not silent. A prophet is burning with a godly vision, and the prophet's mission is to alarm, inform, awaken the body of Christ, with the spiritual truth God has poured into our heart. It is not easy to distinguish the right borders. I believe there should be a godly way for women to fully use their intellectual abilities, and spiritual gifts, without ruling over men."

Several days ago, I found the following section from the book called; Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth: An Analysis of More Than 100 Disputed Questions by Wayne Grudem.
 
 
Dr. Wayne Grudem is a research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary and he is a board member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He was the general editor of the ESV Study Bible and is a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version Bible as well.

So, I'd like to quote the section which I think it would be useful for all of us.
 
 

Areas of Bible Teaching:
Which Activities Should Be Restricted to Men? (from Chap 2)

(listed in order of greatest to least teaching influence over men in a group or congregation)

 

Teaching activities that should be restricted to men:

 

1. Teaching Bible or theology in a theological seminary

2. Teaching Bible or theology in a Christian college

3. Preaching (teaching the Bible) at a nationwide denominational meeting, or at a nationwide Christian conference

4. Preaching (teaching the Bible) at a regional meeting of churches, or at a regional Christian conference

5. Preaching (teaching the Bible) regularly to the whole church on Sunday mornings

6. Occasional preaching (teaching the Bible) to the whole church on Sunday mornings

7. Occasional Bible teaching at less formal meetings of the whole church (such as Sunday evening or at a midweek service)

8.Bible teaching to an adult Sunday school class (both men and women members)

9. Bible teaching at a home Bible study (both men and women members)

10. Bible teaching to a college-age Sunday school class
 
 

 
Teaching activities that should be open to both men and women:

 
11. Bible teaching to a high school Sunday school class

12. Writing a book on Bible doctrines *1

13. Writing or editing a study Bible

14. Writing a commentary on a book of the Bible

15. Writing notes in a study Bible

16. Writing or editing other kinds of Christian books

17. Bible teaching to a women's Sunday school class

18. Bible teaching to a women's Bible study group during the week

19. Bible teaching to a junior high Sunday school class

20. Teaching as a Bible professor on a secular university campus

21. Evangelistic speaking to large groups of non-Christians (for example, an evangelistic rally on a college campus)

22. Working as an evangelistic missionary in other cultures

23. Moderating a discussion in a small group Bible study (men and women members)

24. Reading Scripture aloud on Sunday morning

25. Reading Scripture to other, less formal meetings of the church

26. Giving a personal testimony before the congregation (a story of how God has worked in one's own or other's lives)

27. Participating in a discussion in a home Bible study (men and women members)

28. Formally counseling one man

29. Formally counseling a married couple

30. Formally counseling a woman

31. Teaching children's Sunday school class

32. Teaching Vacation Bible School

33. Singing a solo on Sunday morning (this is a form of teaching, since the lyrics often have biblical content and exhortation)

34. Singing to the congregation as a member of the choir

35. Singing hymns with the congregation (in this activity, sometimes we teach and exhort one another in some sense, see Colossians 3:16)
 
 
 

 
*1. Regarding writing a book on Bible doctrines.

"I have put four examples of writing activities here on the list because the author of a book is doing some kind of teaching, but it is different from the teaching of the assembled congregation that Paul prohibits in 1 Timothy 2. The teaching relationship of an author to a reader is much more like the one-to-one kind of teaching that Priscilla and Aquila did when they explained the way of God more accurately to Apollos in Acts 18:26.
 
When I am reading a book, it is similar to having a private conversation with the author of the book. And there is another difference: Christians often read books they disagree with, but we do not expect the sermon on Sunday morning to be given by someone we fundamentally disagree with. One more difference is that authors of books do not think of themselves as having any governing authority over their readers. "  by Wayne Grudem

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Yes, I have longed for such a Christian fellowship!

 

 
 
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17

 
There is a verb called "confront" in English language.

 Confront= come face to face with someone

*origin mid 16th century: from medieval Latin confrontare, [con-'with'+ front-'face']

--------
Praise be to His name, the Lord has brought me several friends in Christ who care to come to confront me, correct me, challenge me and exhort me.

Of course, this kind of confrontation often accompanies certain pains, since--as "iron sharpeneth iron" (Prov.27:17)--, in the process of sharpening, our own faults and shortcomings will be revealed and thus, we find ourselves so vulnerable and defenseless.

An elderly sister once told me that I should seek "the love of the truth" (II Th.2:10) to be applied to --no other person or organization but-- to me at first and foremost. "Lord, show me the naked reality of myself!"--Oh, it is indeed a dreadful prayer, a prayer which inevitably draws us to the place of pains and humiliations. However, she says, only through this painful process would our heart be drawn closer and closer to the heart of God.

Martian Buber, an Austrian philosopher, in his famous work I and Thou (Ich und Du, 1923) says one of the major problems in our modern civilization is that human life finds its meaningfulness in relationships.
 
Instead of having a living, personal, face-to-face relationship with other(s) [*I-Thou relationship], our relationship with God and with others have been degraded into non-personal, mechanical one [*I-It relationship]. Indeed, the attitude of the "I" towards an "It", towards an object that is separate in itself, which we merely use or experience.

How is my relationship with God? And how is my relationship with my fellow human beings? Is it I and Thou or is it merely I and It relationship?

To me, a friend who comes to confront me with all of his/her being is the one who draws me to the I and Thou relationship. In the midst of the lifeless, gloomy world of the I and It, the fellowship with such a saint is indeed the time of life and light.

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." I John 1:7
 
Yes, I have longed for such a Christian fellowship, in which I have found a true, eternal friendship.

 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Think through me


 

 
Think through me,
Thoughts of God;
 
My Father, quiet me,
Till in Thy holy presence, hushed,
I think Thy thoughts with Thee.
 
 
Think through me,
Thoughts of God,
 
That always, everywhere,
The stream that through my being flows
May homeward pass in prayer.
 
 
Think through me,
Thoughts of God,
 
And let my own thoughts be
Lost like the sand-pools on the shore
Of the eternal sea.
 
 
 
-Amy Carmichael
 
 
 

Friday, June 3, 2016

I've got convicted that I need to be corrected regarding the "women and theological debate" issue


 

 
Those who read my previous post know that a dear friend of mine challenged me and said it is not desirable for women to write or to involve themselves in theological argumentation.


After publishing that post, I've received wise counsels from various believers which were really edifying. Some of them told me that in the area of informal settings such as blog, there are not (and there should not be) absolute rules as to whether she should (shouldn't) do this or that. Rather, they told me, that each sister must sincerely ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.

So I followed their counsel and sincerely asked the Spirit to show me whether I should correct myself at certain point or I can continue in this way. I opened the Bible and read 1 Timothy 2:11-12 one more time, very carefully and prayerfully.

 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

-learn in silence
-with all subjection
-to be in silence

Then I've got more and more convicted that I do need to be corrected. I used to publish theological articles and discussed various doctrinal issues with men and women, but I came to realize under the light of His word that I should have done those theological research more privately and that I should have been silent in public.

So, my dear ladies. This is my current point on my spiritual journey. It is my desire and prayer that He would transform me into a woman whom He truly desires. I am so grateful for each one of you who sent me emails and gave me useful counsels. May God bless you.

A hope in the lidded box

 
A hope.
 
A hope which still moves and aches in me from time to time.
 
Yes, Lord, I know that
Thy answer on this was No.
 
No longer do I argue with you.
For Thy will is always good.
 
So I put this hope in a tiny little box and
buried it in the grave.
 
But oh, Lord, I am still struggling and hesitant to put the lid on the box,,,
'coz, one day,,,I wonder if,,,you may reconsider Your decision?
 
But today, I understood
that Thy answer is as firm as a rock
and nothing ever can change it.
 
O Lord, I am a fragile, weak daughter.
 
Would You please hold my hand and
help me to close the box together?
 
---------
 
One thing needful.
 
One way to heaven.
 
Let me move forward to that one thing.
I shall no longer look back.
Nor do I look at the things left behind.
 
Gracious King, my Bridegroom Jesus.
Heavenly treasure, the Beauty of beauties.
 
Lord, remember Thy little maiden.
 
Until the day of divine consummation.
Until the day of divine consummation.
 
 
 
written by Kinuko