Has Church Doctrine Become Culturally Conditioned? (PART ONE)

CHURCH LEADERSHIP IN THE MIRROR

I think most reading this blog have a pretty good idea on how to define Biblical Christianity–but just in case, here’s but one definition:

Biblical Christian (Luke 8:15); a person who trusts in Christ alone for salvation.  As a result of a SAVING FAITH, has the desire to be obedient to God’s principles out of the overflow of a grateful heart (see Romans 1:5).  [ See Footnote {i} ]

And then there is the Cultural Christian definition:

Means, pursuing the God we want instead of the God Who is.  It’s the tendency to be shallow in the understanding of God, wanting Him to be more of a gentle grandfather type who spoils and lets them have their own way.  [See Footnote [i] ]

SCRIPTURE 1 Timothy 2:12 (ESV):

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Have our Churches today become Culturally Conditioned?  Should women teach men in the Church?  Should women lead men in the Church?

Paul the apostle seemed to say, “No way!”  And in this blog, it is his teaching, empowered by the Spirit upon which I want to focus.

From the Spirit to the Apostle, to the Believers of All Time –

There is a way to find the perfect will of God.  And, there’s a way not to find that will.

There is a way to know exactly what God says and wants–and there’s a way to arrive at a system of guesses.

Many believers, some even known as “scholars”, have fallen into the trap of guesswork, based on culture, history, and semantics.  The statements I make in this blog will be based on the words given by the Spirit, the apostles, and prophets.

God’s Way of searching for answers is even prescribed in the Scriptures:

Psalm 119 for example, says it in 176 different ways: the written Word of God is our source.

eg. V. 2:  “Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek, inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart.”

V. 30:  “…Your ordinances have I set before me.”

V. 31:  “I cleave to your testimonies;…”

V. 42:  “…for I lean on, rely on, and trust in Your Word.”

V. 75:  “I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right and righteous…”

Many such sentiments given by the Psalmist, are then coupled with the wise words of the apostle Paul to his son in the faith, Timothy.

2 Timothy 3:15, 16 (NIV):

[15]  and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  [16]  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”

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…and the  strong warning in chapter 4:1-4 (there isn’t a break in the original document):  “I CHARGE you therefore…Preach the Word…for the time will come when they will not endure sound teaching, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears…they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned to fable…”  (NKJV).

Thus, “God’s way” is to see the clear statements of Scripture and find in the Bible, examples and patterns written expressively for us through the men of God.

This discernment of the Spirit will reveal, that the tendency to want more or less than the prophets have spoken, is from the one who appeared in the Garden so long ago, who spoke to our first parents:

“Did God REALLY say that? Oh my,

he actually MEANT this!”

His LIES are so convincing and only a few care to challenge them and cling for dear life to what God has said.

So why is the Church today looking for “explanations” of the passages regarding female leadership?

Are we somehow afraid of political powers that now reign in the World?  What is wrong with the Scriptures as they are and as they have been believed all these many years?

Some folks reading this may feel the questions I bring up are a bit too harsh a way to introduce the subject at hand; which many I’m told, believe to be a topic of relative insignificance.  I stand with the tone of my words based on the following grounds:

#1.  Every Word of God is pure–Proverbs 30:5:  “Every word of God is tried and purified…”

And Jesus, in Matthew 5:19 says “Whoever then breaks or does away with or relaxes one of the least [important] of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least [important] in the kingdom of heaven, but he who practices them and teaches others to do so shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”  (Amplified Bible).

The Holy Spirit still quickens His Word to the hearts of men.  Whatever He says is PURE and HOLY.  Let no one despise even the smallest of the commandments of God.  And yes, in dealing with the topic at hand…we’re dealing with commandments and not suggestions of true prophets and true apostles.

Let every mouth be silenced as He speaks!

#2.  CONSIDER how important this topic is, even in the Word.

FIRST, there are direct statements in the Genesis Record, she was taken out of man, he shall rule over you.

1 Corinthians,  Let your women keep silenced as the law says (14:34), and 1 Timothy,  I do not allow a woman to teach (2:10).

“That’s it!  just two verses?”

These concepts are backed up with a multitude of examples throughout Scripture which we’ll look at in this Series.

#3.  CONSIDER also the great numbers of women affected by this teaching.

As the spirit of lawlessness continues, especially in the Western Church, more and more women will be drawn into this desire of authority over men.

#4,  CONSIDER the effects of this teaching on men.

A strong woman in a local church will put male leaders in the background.  Many of them will not rise up and take their place in the secular world.

#5.  A feminized church can’t model the marriage of Christ and His Church.  A feminized church cannot picture the Fatherhood of God.

Oh God, give us the men to stand up for Christ!

#6.  Even if this teaching were but a “little truth”, is it not a truism when “little” lies become embedded in a congregation, it will not be long before bigger ones are at home too?

#7.  If any reader still believes this all to be a “minor” issue, let them hear Isaiah’s sadness over backslidden Israel (3:12):

[12]  “Youths oppress my people, women rule over them.  O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path”  (NIV).

Let’s CONSIDER now, the Scriptures.  Surely the Lord hasn’t left us without GUIDANCE on such a serious matter.

Let us investigate the Truth by searching the beginning of ALL things.

It was here that JESUS sent His disciples when questions arose concerning MARRIAGE.

He sends us here too, for MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP is the heart of the matter.

To understand MARRIAGE is to understand the role of the WOMAN at home.  And…to be secure in that RELATIONSHIP is to solve the Church issue as well.

Before SIN came into the world, God created FIRST, a man.

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Then in response to man’s need, and out of man, God created woman– woman is from man, woman was brought to man.  Woman was to be a HELPER for man.

THAT IS THE DIVINE ORDER.  All else falls short of His glory!

We must remember that this was before the CURSE!  When that CURSE came, the natural submission of women to men became law.

Now in Christ, the CURSE is done away with.  Men are to “rule” in LOVE and WOMEN return to natural and holy submission, as before SIN came into the world.

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The error into which women fall in our day is the departing, not only from the days of the CURSE, but from the very order of Creation.  This, the apostle Paul tells us, cannot be in the true Church.

Paul’s Letter to the Corinthian Church lists some straightforward commands.

FLEE SEXUAL IMMORALITY–

FLEE FROM IDOLATRY–

EARNESTLY DESIRE THE BEST GIFTS–

LET ALL THINGS BE DONE DECENTLY AND IN ORDER–

Few of us would not have a problem with any of the above.

In the middle of all of this, the command giving (Chapter 14), is the command of equal authority (verse 34):  

“The women should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but should take a secondary and subordinate place…”

Oh my!  We have a serious problem with that one.

“That was cultural; that was historical; that was temporary.”  I’ve heard all three of those particular explanations.

Oh, a multitude of “reasons” are lifted up to truth status by those who would excuse the woman teacher, for this is not an age when one wants to confront WOMEN’S RIGHTS!

Now that’s a good place to pause and take up the conversation in PART TWO.


CREDITS & FOOTNOTES

Footnote [i] :  Patrick Morley, Charisma News. “Are you a Biblical Christian or a Cultural Christian?

Photos:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified bible, except where noted in the text.

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2 Replies to “Has Church Doctrine Become Culturally Conditioned? (PART ONE)”

  1. I listen to plenty of women who are powerful teachers of the Word, they could not be so if the anointing of God was not upon them. However in most cases (unless their husband has died) they are not the main leader in their church / ministry. Paul’s instruction about women keeping silence in church was due to them interrupting the meetings by shouting questions to their husbands.

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