Friday, March 11, 2016

Evangelical Feminism is the New Path to Liberalism


Accommodation, accommodation. How the mindset of accommodation grows and expands. The last sixty years have given birth to a moral disaster, and what have we done? Sadly we must say that the evangelical world has been part of the disaster. More than this, the evangelical response itself has been a disaster. Where is the clear voice speaking to the crucial issues of the day with distinctively biblical, Christian answers?

-Francis.A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, chap.6

Wayne Grudem, in his article Is Evangelical Feminism the New Path to Liberalism, mentioned that a clear connection can be seen between the theological liberalism and the endorsement of women's ordination.

And it is not the final step in the process. If we look at the denominations that approved women's ordination from 1956-1976, we find that several of them, have large contingents pressing for (a) the endorsement of homosexual conduct as morally valid and (b) the approval of homosexual ordination. Grudem, then points out a predictable sequence as follows. (here)


a female preacher
 
 
Stage 1. Abandoning biblical inerrancy

Stage 2. Endorsing the ordination of women

Stage 3. Abandoning the Bible's teaching on male headship in marriage

Stage 4. Excluding clergy who are opposed to women's ordination

Stage 5. Approving homosexual conduct as morally valid in some cases

Stage 6. Approving homosexual ordination

Stage 7. Ordaining homosexuals to high leadership positions in the denomination.

 
Total surrender to evangelical feminism?: NIV 2011 issue


The new gender-inclusive NIV was published in 2011. Now sorrowfully I share with you what has happened with the so-called "literal" translation of the Holy Bible.

 
Excerpts from An Evaluation of Gender Language in the 2011 Edition of the NIV Bible: A report from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (here)

We expect that evangelical feminists who claim that women can be pastors and elders will eagerly adopt this 2011 NIV because it tilts the scales in favor of their view at several key verses. This is especially true because the new NIV changes the primary verse in the debate over women‘s roles in the church.

1984 NIV 1 Timothy 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

2011 NIV 1 Timothy 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. (same as TNIV, but with modified footnotes)

Evangelical feminists will love this translation because in one stroke it removes the Bible‘s main barrier to women pastors and elders. As soon as a church adopts the 2011 NIV, the debate over women‘s roles in that church will be over, because women pastors and elders can just say, ―"I‘m not assuming authority on my own initiative; it was given to me by the other pastors and elders." Therefore any woman could be a pastor or elder so long as she does not take it upon herself to "assume authority."



..But in saying this the NIV translators fail to understand the full force of what they have done: They have given legitimacy to a feminist interpretation that did not have legitimacy from any other modern English translation (except the discontinued TNIV).

Whether the verb is understood in a negative or positive way, the focus of the verse is now on prohibiting a self-initiated action, taking it on oneself to "assume authority" over men. And so feminists will now quickly say that they are not assuming authority on their own initiative – they are just "accepting"it because others entrusted it to them. In any local church that uses this new NIV, no one will be able to answer their argument from this Bible.

 

This verse alone in the 2011 NIV gives evangelical feminists the most important advance for their cause in the last thirty years. But the translation is simply incorrect, as many writers have demonstrated in extensive scholarly discussion elsewhere, and as all other modern English translations agree: Even the gender-neutral NRSV translates authenteō ―have authority here —along with the NIV, NLT, RSV, Holman CSB, and NKJV, while the NASB, NET Bible, and ESV similarly translate it as "exercise authority."

Thus, the NIV is out on a limb here over against the other main modern English translations. And it is out on a limb precisely because of its attempt to be "neutral" on a passage that even the liberal translators of the NRSV have not attempted to make more amenable to an egalitarian interpretation. The verb authenteō here means "exercise authority" or "have authority", not "assume authority."

This mistaken NIV translation of 1 Timothy 2:12 we find to be particularly unfortunate, because it might well constitute the single reason why churches decide no longer to use the NIV Bible, since apparently it will now be available only in this new 2011 edition and the 1984 NIV will be discontinued. (here)


 

William Tyndale who literally gave up his life for the Bible translation said, "I never altered one syllable of God’s Word against my conscience, nor would do this day, if all that is in earth, whether it be honor, pleasure, or riches, might be given me." O that He give us the honesty and humbleness like Tyndale!

Epilogue


The Jointly Ordained Lesbian Couple in Presbyterian Church, Mar 2015 source

With tears we must say that largely it is not there and that a large segment of the evangelical world has become seduced by the world spirit of this present age. And more than this, we can expect the future disaster if the evangelical world does not take a stand for biblical truth and morality in the full spectrum of life. For the evangelical accommodation to the world of our age represents the removal of the last barrier against the breakdown of our culture. And with the final removal of this barrier will come social chaos and the rise of authoritarianism in some form to restore social order.

-Francis.A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, chap 6

Prayer
O Lord, we are in the crucial moment of the history and we desperately need your wisdom and courage to stand up for the Bible truth in love. Help us to be faithful to You and Your word until the end. In Jesus' name. Amen.