This morning, with a trembling heart, I composed an open letter to the female preachers in Japan, pleading them to keep His word which clearly forbids women from preaching or ruling over men in the church.
As many of you know, I used to preach and rule over men in the church, purely believing that it was His Will that I was chosen as one of the spiritual leaders.Later, however, someone told me very clearly from the Bible that what I was doing was not biblical. And I accepted it because the agonies and instabilities which I had suffered during those periods indicated that something was wrong in me. And then what happened? Healing after healing! I tasted that when we respect God’s creation order which is written in the Bible, we can truly rest in Him.
Biblical equality between man and woman is fundamentally different from the “equality” which secular humanists or egalitarians claim. I learned that we are equal in nature (ousia in Greek) but different in order or function.
I used to think if I obey someone, it means I am inferior ontologically, but I was wrong. The Bible says the head of Jesus is God (I Cor 11:3). It also says “when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all (I Cor 15:28)”. Does it mean Jesus is inferior to Father ontologically? No, not at all! They are totally equal in nature but different in terms of order/function. The same thing can be said between man and woman. We are totally equal in nature but different in terms of order/function.
Though I found this truth many years ago, I have been silent. I did not dare to make my belief about this issue in public for fear of losing favor or old friendships which I had cherished. I loved man’s favor more than Bible truth.
Through intimate interaction with you, my dear sisters, God started to change me and mold me. I have been inspired by your truth-seeking heart and passion. I was amazed to see your courage to stand in His truth in spite of oppositions or cultural tides. You are so brave and faithful. Your words and actions remind me of the following words of Martin Luther when he was in a very difficult situation;
Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen! Martin Luther (1483-1547)
Here I stand! And here we stand! Though our battles are hard in this modern age, His pure words shall endure and prevail at the end. So, let us not dismay nor overwhelmed by the great numbers who are against us! Jesus Christ is our Victor and He shall win the battle for us! Amen.
|God is our fortress|