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Posts Tagged ‘Lydia’

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Lifeway Bookstores Is Right: Gospel Today Magazine IS Promoting Women Pastors!

Posted by Job on September 19, 2008

Gospel Today magazine pulled from Christian bookstores’ shelves

Now do not go overboard in your praise of Lifeway, for they also carry the heresies of not only Rick Warren, but also oneness pentecostal prosperity doctrine word of faith T.D. Jakes. But in this matter, Lifeway is 100% correct. Gospel Today made their decision easy by telegraphing the fact that they are obviously promoting being conformed to the ways of this world rather than following scripture with this quote:

“It’s really kind of sad when you have people like [Gov.] Sarah Palin and [Sen.] Hillary Clinton providing encouragement and being role models for women around the world that we have such a divergent opinion about women who are able to be leaders in the church,” Hairston said. “I was pretty shocked.” 

Not only is this worldliness, but it is deception and dishonesty, flat out lying with the willful intent to confuse, mislead, and deceive Christians. Hairston well knows that the Bible only withholds from women positions of leadership over men, including pastorates, in the church and in the home. Outside of the church and home, a woman can hold any position that she wants: CEO, president, lawyer, doctor, you name it. And the Bible practices what it preaches, for Lydia of Thyatira of Acts was an entrepreneur/businesswoman who opened her house to the very New Testament writer whom the Holy Spirit inspired to restrict women from pastorates, apostle Paul. Lydia is credited with founding one of the apostolic churches in her home and therefore played a key role in bringing the gospel to a new area, but she was not a pastor. If these people are willing to throw away what the Bible says on women pastors to follow Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin today, what other confusion and disobedience will they cast aside the Bible in order to follow tomorrow? Hillary Clinton’s embrace of universalism and abortion? Or what about Sarah Palin’s refusal to denounce the sin of homosexuality, claiming that she has “diversity in her family”, thereby implying that being homosexual is no different from being Native American like her own husband and children? The same Palin who can proclaim that God’s will is being advanced by our invading Iraq and her seeking federal money to build an oil pipeline in her state says that she is unqualified to discern and judge what the Bible plainly says about homosexuality? And we are still looking for the snipers that were shooting at Hillary Clinton in Bosnia, aren’t we? And these are the people that Gospel Today wants you to cast aside your Bibles for and follow? It is becoming ever easier to determine in this day and age who is loving Jesus Christ by keeping His commandments (John 14:15)  and who isn’t. In many cases all that is required is to open your eyes.

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Does The Bible Command Married Women To Run Businesses And Work?

Posted by Job on May 9, 2008

It is difficult to read Proverbs 31:10-31 and conclude otherwise.

10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. 
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. 
12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. 
13 She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight. 
14 She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar. 
15 She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens. 
16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard. 
17 She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong. 
18 She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night. 
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle. 
20 She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy. 
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet. 
22 She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 
23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen. 
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 
27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 
28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: 
29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” 
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. 
31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.

Pay attention to the portions in bold. The woman in this passage from her own initiative and without the aid of her husband is a self – sufficient craftsman, trader, and merchant. She buys wool and yarn to make into clothes to sell. With her own money she buys land and farms it herself, taking the harvest of it (say, cotton), converts the raw materials into finished goods and sells it. Be clear: this does not describe a woman who has a little garden that she uses to grow summer vegetables to cook for her family, or a little sewing machine that she uses to make quilts and dresses primarily for her family’s use, and sells whatever excess she has or whatever she produces from her knitting hobby at church bake sales and carnivals for extra money. Now of course I am not speaking against full time housewives and homemakers who do these things and bless their families and others with their activities … God forbid. But one should not claim that this is what the clear references to the business/economic activities in this passage mean, and claiming that it refers to what a woman does while tending the home and in her spare time is a distortion. So would any attempts to allegorize or “spiritually interpret” the verse in order to achieve a desired result.

We also have the New Testament example of a virtuous woman

14 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us. 

Lydia is credited with being the founder of the Philippian church (though not pastor, preacher, or other leader of it, that is a completely different issue which is dealt with here). Again, do not distort the text. Lydia was already a worshiper of God, a Gentile partial convert to Judaism called a God – fearer … as a matter of fact Paul encountered her worshiping and praying on the Sabbath. So Judaism did not require this woman to exit the marketplace. And nowhere is it given in scripture that following Jesus Christ required Lydia to give up her commerce. Speaking of Jesus Christ, women supported His ministry with their commerce (one of the bests argument against the prosperity doctrine lie that Jesus Christ was rich). See Luke 8:1-3

Ministering Women1 Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.

This is not as explicit as the examples above, but here is an interpretation that represents a Biblical Christian perspective (its writer is a product of Dallas Theological Seminary). Keep in mind: the followers of Jesus Christ were poor, not aristocrats who had bank accounts, inheritances, or wealthy fathers or husbands to ask for money. As a matter of fact, the only one of these women that were married, Joanna, was the wife of a servant. 

There are several verses that speak ill of them doing nothing. Not only is there Proverb 31:27b above, but also 1 Timothy 5:13.

At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also (A)gossips and(B)busybodies, talking about (C)things not proper to mention.

Some might say that the next verse forbids women from working however:

Therefore, I want younger widows to get (X)married, bear children, (Y)keep house, and (Z)give the enemy no occasion for reproach;

Titus 2:3-5 is even more problematic to my thesis.

 3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, (A)not malicious gossips nor (B)enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,  

4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 

5to be sensible, pure, (C)workers at home, kind, being (D)subject to their own husbands, (E)so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

1 Timothy and Titus were written by the same Paul that worshiped at the church founded by Lydia the entrepreneur?? I must say that those verses give more than sufficient basis to justify the doctrine of Martin Luther in this matter, who advocated for Christian women to be homemakers. There is also the fact that the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, the women who assisted Jesus Christ, and Lydia until her conversion describe women that were worshiping God under the old covenant. In dealing with Lydia in particular, some theologians refer to the time of Jesus Christ as a “transitional generation.” When Jesus Christ died, the new covenant came into effect. Yet you had people that had true faith in YHWH under the old covenant and were thereby justified the same way as was Abraham. It is impossible to fathom that such people as not only Lydia and Cornelius but also righteous Jewish followers of Jesus Christ like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea would not have ultimately rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ (which is very injurious to the claim of many Christians who assert that such was the case of the rabbi Gamaliel in Acts). Some people say of those faithful believers in YHWH prior to the death of Jesus Christ that they were “born again under the old covenant” or that they “were regenerated under the old covenant.” Rather than using that terminology, I will say that such people were justified under the old covenant the same way that Abraham was before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and of course would have accepted Jesus Christ during His life or upon hearing of His resurrection. Why? It is about election and predestination. If they were God’s predestined elect before Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, they still were afterwards. And the converse was also true: if they were never called out of the world for salvation before Jesus Christ died and rose again, they would have rejected the gospel afterwards. 

Therefore, it was probably acceptable to make some accommodations for already women such as those that ministered to Jesus Christ and Lydia that were justified in the same manner as was Abraham and consider Proverb 31:10-31 as applying to them, those who were living under the rules governing old covenant Israel (whether they were born into Judaism, fully converted proselytes, or God – fearers practicing a partial set of Judaism for Gentiles). But 1 Timothy 5:13 and Titus 2:3-5 would apply to the young women in that time and those coming after. When you consider that those books were written from 60 to 67 AD, 30 – 45 years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ (which date ranges from 31 AD to 33 AD), said “young women” would not have been born into this speculated transitional generation between covenants. Those young women and the women after them – not to mention the men – would have had to follow after the doctrines of the New Testament church, whether Jew or Gentile. 

Thus, it would appear that Proverbs 31:10-31 was for women back then, 1 Timothy 5:13 and Titus 2:3-5 are for virtuous women today. However, is this a core doctrine where adherence to it affects a person’s salvation, i.e. belief in the virgin birth, deity, pre – existence and resurrection of Jesus Christ? I would say not. 

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