Changing Lanes

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86 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    I once taught on the significant role the Bible presents for women in the church. However, I’ve since changed lanes, that is, left the church.

    I’m sick inside when I see presidential candidates who subscribe to a form of Christianity that places women in a secondary or subservient position. It wouldn’t bother me so much if that was their personal theology, but since some of these guys are essentially running a religious campaign, I dread how their religious based ideals will play out in political appointments, policies, etc.

  2. Bob2 says:


    I used to think the RCC was the Antichrist.

    I used to think all mainline churches are evil and apostate.

    I used to think liturgical churches are “ipso facto” better than other churches.

    If I thought about it a little more, I’m sure I could come up with some others.

  3. Babylon's Dread says:

    Definitely changed lanes.

    Was definitely complimentarian am now egalitarian
    Was definitely eternal conscious torment in hell am now conditional immortality
    Was definitely non-charismatic non-cessationist am now fully charismatic renewal
    Was indefinitely calvinist now see the calvinist/arminian divide as errant efforts to impose outside questions into the text of scripture.
    Was by default inerrantist now see that as unhelpful to our goals. High view of scripture without inerrancy because those texts remain unaccessible.
    Was seven day creationist then old earth creationist, now creationist with questions
    Was always amillennial but now have tons of qualifications that are preterist and hold onto amil essence
    I think I could go on… was exclusively substitutionary atonement now more multilayered

  4. Heidi Smith says:

    Yes, I have changed lanes.
    Dispensationsal to Covenantal
    Pre-tribulational to Postmillinial
    Synergistic to Monergistic

    Regarding women Pastors:
    When all the women and children who need biblical training are completely discipled, then women should become pastors. After all, why would any sensible woman want to be in authority over a bunch of ill-prepared, rebellious, and boneheaded creatures as sinful men fresh from the flesh? Let the men deal with the men, I’m busy with the rest as my Lord commands.

  5. Jean says:

    I was having dinner out of town last weekend with a pastor friend who said:

    Some [pick your tradition] see their tradition (and consequently orthodoxy) as a 4 lane highway, where lanes represent room for some diversity within the fellowship.

    Other folks see their tradition as a 2 lane highway.

    Still other folks see their tradition as a single lane highway.

    However, some folks see their tradition as the yellow line in the middle of the road.

    I used to see orthodoxy as a 4 lane highway. Now I see it as a 2 lane highway. I hope I never see it as the yellow line in the middle of the road. Scripture is just not that tidy. I trust that Jesus had a reason for not sending us golden plates.

  6. Josh the Baptist says:

    Changed lanes from lost sinner to serving the Lord.

    Other than that, I’ve always left the lines a little blurry.

  7. ( |o )====::: says:

    Graciously awesome!

  8. Ixtlan says:

    I think that much of systematic theology has a contextual root. It is difficult to construct a biblical system that is completely free from external forces that shape our thinking. We like to atrribute our learning to the Holy Spirit, which is true, but how do we reconcile two opposing views of theology that both claim to be Divinely inspired? Whether it be existential, or any other underlying epistomology, how we interpret has a strong influence on what we interpret and the conclusions we develop. I think the Holy Spirit only works with the building material that we give Him. That is not to say that He leads us into error, conversely it is ourselves who cut that path in the name of God. The truth is out ther, but it is so illusive.

    I once was a strong dispensationalist, now I lean toward Kingdom theology. I began baptist, ended up in a Calvary, and will most likely finish either Anglican or Eastern Orthodox.

    I don’t see shifts in theological thinking as a threat, rather they are expressions of our hope in Christ and a humble determination to keep on learning.

  9. Michael says:

    “I don’t see shifts in theological thinking as a threat, rather they are expressions of our hope in Christ and a humble determination to keep on learning.”

    That is exactly what I believe.

  10. Dan from Georgia says:

    Interesting comments here!

    Yes I have changed lanes at times.

    Former died-in-the-wool conservative Republican…now swerving more towards progressive-ness, if that is a word (hey, if some can make up words like “complementarian”, I can too!).

    Former “you can only listen to Christian music”…now changed lanes too “not all secular music is bad”.

    Used to think that only Evangelicals “had it all”…now thinking that there are Christians in other faith traditions, and God can indeed work in those churches.

  11. Paige says:

    Hmmmm Interesting and thought provoking. Thank you.

    I’ve changed ‘lanes’ a few times over 45 years of trying to figure out what the Scriptures really say in context and culture and what God really wants.

    I have more unknowns and questions now than before when I thought I knew ‘everything.”
    The older i get, the less I feel certain of, except the most foundational; Jesus as Savior and Lord, I am lame, and that Scriptures are (mostly) inspired.

    It’s less about “lanes” for me now because I just know that I don’t know, have so much yet to learn, and so much that will never be known in this life.

  12. Michael says:

    Good stuff all…

  13. Xenia says:

    I haven’t changed lanes.

    The Path has narrowed and I stayed on it.

  14. Steve Wright says:

    Changed lanes to see the baptism of the Spirit as simultaneous with salvation. Changed lanes to hold to the security of the believer in Christ. The two went largely together.

    On other issues, became more fixed during the same time of study and teaching.

  15. Bob Sweat says:


  16. OCDan says:

    So much to say on this one, Michael.

    BTW, are you sure you are a Calvinist? Just Kidding!

    Good thing my salvation is based on Christ’s work and sacrifice and not my acing some seminary exam in the original languages.

    Like many, I used to have all the answers. Now, I realize that I don’t Much like the priest in the movie Rudy I know two things for sure. There is a God and I am not Him. I would add a third, however. Christ is the only way to God.

    One point I used to have down in my mind was eschatology. No more. I know that Christ will return and that is good enough for me.

    Besides, As I have said before we have enough to keep us busy loving God with everything we have and our neighbors as ourselves. Arguing over creation and future events is just now really helping anyone or anything when we can’t keep the two commandments Jesus said would fulfill the law and the prophets.

    Michael, there is always room for lane changing in our beliefs, especially as we learn more and just go through life.

  17. Michael says:

    OC Dan,

    Amen and amen…

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    While these lane changes involve dogma the ones I am reading about so far do not involve sin unless you think egalitarianism is sin.

    So who has changed lanes about Biblical ethics and morality?

  19. Laura Scott says:

    WHOA. With a shift like this, I might just go and buy a lottery ticket.

    I am all kinds of proud of you, Michael.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I feel like I am on the road less traveled – there are no lanes — it’s just a path.
    Earlier I was on the 405 freeway at rush hour.

  21. filbertz says:

    I’m on the shoulder with my hazard lights blinking…

  22. Ixtlan says:


    It was the sin in the camp that caused me to question the foundation of what they believed. While many were/are dogmatic about their belief system, their lack of ethics told me there was a huge disconnect in being a disciple and living out what Jesus taught. I came to the conclusion that if their Christian life was not above reproach, then their foundational believes were also suspect. I began to earnestly study the Bible and found that those things that they held so strongly to were those things that I felt that the could not defend.

  23. Cash says:

    Used to be hard right, am now center left progressive in politics. Used to be a Calvary guy, now I don’t know what I am. I know I believe in Christ as the Way to God. That is basically all I know at this point. Sometimes I feel like I didn’t change lanes, but actually swerved off the road somewhere. So many questions with few answers, I have tried to learn to accept the mysteries of God, that there is so much I’ll never know or understand until that Day.

  24. gomergirl says:

    I have always been torn on this. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an alter boy, and a priest. I thought it would be the most grand job there ever was. But I was brought up Episcopal- old school before they broke with the Anglicans…. So that was not something I even spoke about because it was just not possible. I have always harbored this desire, but not wanting to move to a denomination that allowed this, its something that was just pushed aside. Even trying to get into informal “ministry classes” has proved challenging in the more recent past. I always wanted to ask why the men who wanted to be in ministry in that church warranted teaching and coaching and discipleship, but the women did not. They finally relented and I (and another woman who eventually went to bible college as a mature adult) was allowed to attend. (I still think the women’s groups are stunted because they tend to want to teach fluff and the women are not well equipped)

    I have a hard time overcoming my upbringing and cultural training to agree with you, but to a certain degree I do. I would love it. I always wanted to be like Geraldine Granger….LOL!

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I just saw that Xenia said @ 13 about what I said in my #20. The path is narrow – it’s not an open highway to swerve all over.

    Remember, there is a highway to hell but only a stairway to heaven 🙂

  26. filbertz says:

    less scrutiny, more reflective
    less fist, more palm
    less assertive, more inquizative
    less smug, more depressed
    less coke, more beer

  27. Papias says:

    On essentials… straight down the road.

    On non-essentials…slow down…look at the scenery…pull over, get out and stretch your legs every so often…

    You also find that your list of essentials gets smaller and smaller as the trip proceeds…

  28. filbertz says:

    your inquiry is a worthy insertion into the discussion–more of an observation me-thinks.

  29. Jean says:

    Another worthy piece of advice that a pastor recently wrote is:

    It is foolish to major in the minors while the souls of men are dying.

  30. Em says:

    “The Path has narrowed and I stayed on it.” that’s good if Christ is clearer … and dearer

    “I feel like I am on the road less traveled – there are no lanes — it’s just a path.” astute! from a Lute? … 🙂

  31. Em says:

    if it’s a path, does anyone get to ride? funny isn’t it that we get off the path and complain about how rough the road and how unclear the way is?

  32. dswoager says:

    In my years as a driver and a passenger I have noticed that when I am driving, that a lane is almost always with intent, I feel that it is the best way for me to get where I’m going. When I am a passenger, and I suggest a lane change I am just about as likely to get a, “shut up, I know what I’m doing” as an, “oh crap, thanks I wasn’t paying attention”.

    Am I allowed to use the “make your own application”?

  33. Andrew says:

    I view my theology like a bowling lane. I take tremendous caution to stay out of the gutters on either side and go for the strike.right down the middle.

  34. Jean says:

    Andrew, what’s your average?

  35. Em says:

    no one church wraps and ties the Christian way of life for me … i love Watchman Nee and Packer and many, many more who are willing to search the depths of the hidden things of God (not the same as a god with “marbles in his mouth” as MLD accused a while back) – i don’t expect anyone to take 45 mins to listen to this man, but he does explain what works best for me … or what works for me best… a little time beside the road with flashers going has paid off well for me … 🙂

  36. Andrew says:

    Jean, if I can break 100 I hope I am doing ok.

  37. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, not that I don’t go in for the deep things – but isn’t that Kathy Lee Gifford’s old church?
    I think she grew up there under the Colonel 🙂

  38. Xenia says:

    Dan Quayle too, I think.

  39. Josh the Beloved says:

    Scripture as laid out by Paul support the office of Bishop or a Deacon to be men only, I dont know why, I could guess but that will be opinion only. Scripture I think supports the office of women apostles but the local church Bishop or deacon calls for men only. Paul says I don’t allow a women (minister) to teach or have authority over a man.

  40. Michael,

    Changing lanes = Growth you heretic you 🙂

  41. Em says:

    i follow no man and identify with no church – i’m less of a “lane changer” and more of a slow mover … so i stay in the right lane (sorry about that one)

    MLD and Xenia,
    i am indebted to the late “Colonel” as the Thiemites like to refer to him – his teachings as distilled well in the link by his son (yes, i know about his past) have played a big part in my “path,”
    i have no ties to Berachah Houston and yes, there are several “names” that do – some i admire, some i don’t

    i wouldn’t recommend anyone who is satisfied with where they are to bother to listen to the link … but 🙂 be surprised – someday 🙂

  42. Xenia says:

    I like Dan Quayle! My referencing him wasn’t a criticism.

  43. Linnea says:

    I’m not so concerned about changing lanes as long as we’re headed the same direction! This site has broadened my understanding of biblical Christianity. Once I thought I had all the answers, now I know I have only one. On a personal note, I’ve often wondered why God has given the gift of teaching and administration to women, with no place to practice in the church.

  44. Em says:

    Linnea, don’t you practice that gift daily? your post here over time tells me that you do it and do it well, as do most of the ladies who post here – IMHO – should there be a place for it in the churches? perhaps we have very few ‘secure’ men?
    hmmm… come to think of it, in this topsy, turvy mixed up time it’s not just in church, but in society, too

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Linnea, I thought several of us gave testimony to women teaching and administering. The only office roped off to them is that of pastor. I showed how our previous president was a woman, our school director who has a huge job / position is a woman.

    I went to the office yesterday (to sign loan papers to renew our Line of Credit) and today (to sign a contract for asbestos inspection) it was all women there administering the work of God. Both days it took a church woman to run me through the paperwork and make sure I understood what I was signing etc.

    I don’t know how you can say there is no place to practice … unless you think the pastor is the only person in the church who has a valid role.

  46. Rick says:

    I made the same shift, Michael, when it dawned on me that if it is true that the curse of sin is broken, isn’t the entire breadth of the curse broken–is not all of humanity, both male and female, redeemed?

    Boggles my mind that men would endeavor to keep women under the curse.

  47. Xenia says:

    I have the gift of teaching which I have used teaching history at a Christian high school.

  48. Kat says:

    Would you be willing to share a blog outlining your biblical case for women in church leadership? It seems to me that, as we are broken humans with finite understanding, we need to change lanes often.

  49. Surfer51 says:

    I like that about you Michael, you “Grow.”

    Women Can And Should Be In Ministry.

  50. Eric says:

    Where I am a lot of denoms ordain women. I know women leading churches who are doing it well. If I am pressed for my opinion I’ll say I’m uncomfortable with a strong clergy/laity divide in the first place.

    The only thing that makes me uncomfortable here is that some of the reasoning here feels similar to reasoning behind a lane-shift regarding what sexual relationships are permissible for Christians.

    Michael, you’re brave for sticking your neck out. You’ve stuck your neck out for so many things that no one would have thought less of you for leaving it alone. Having done this, many here will be pleased if you go on to talk about the scriptures involved.

    Everyone else, please recognise that he’s holding it lightly compared to the emphasis he gives to many other issues.

  51. Linnea says:

    Em, yes, you and I and many of the women here practice that gift daily.

    In the churches I’ve experienced, teaching in a women’s ministry and Sunday school is the only place for women with those gifts. I find more opportunity to exercise my gifts outside the church as MLD and Xenia described.

  52. Xenia says:

    I don’t consider teaching women and children to be 2nd class ministry.

  53. Michael says:


    Thank you…and thank you more for your consideration toward me.
    I’ll revisit this soon.
    Tonight I’m helping Trey pack as we leave tomorrow for Portland, then he’s gone for three months in Germany.
    I will lay this out for everyone when I get home .

  54. Linnea says:

    How many men do you see choosing that path?

  55. Xenia says:

    Is it a matter of ambition, then?

  56. Xenia says:

    Are you saying that you believe teaching women and children *is* a 2nd class ministry?

  57. Jean says:

    Although I am no longer Methodist, the hymns of Charles Wesley live on and are included in the Lutheran hymnal. John’s mother home schooled her 9-10 children, including in Latin and Greek. Teaching children certainly is not 2nd class ministry.

  58. “Is it a matter of ambition, then?”

    I think for many women being a pastor is like the tree in the Garden.

  59. filbertz says:

    I think the ambition angle taints the discussion, for it is no more true of some women than it is of some men. I would assume all parties would understand the callings and gifting of God is not the matter of our choices and pursuits, but of His divine determinations. Anyone gifted of God should desire to serve in the ‘field’ of their opportunities and the provisions of God. Xenia’s exercise of the gift of teaching is a perfect example.

  60. Linnea says:

    I don’t wish to be a pastor, so no, not of ambition. I’m just asking, if it is not viewed as 2nd class ministry, why don’t more men aspire to do it?

  61. Michael says:

    After 25 years of watching men sell their families, souls, and futures for a shot at being a “senior pastor” I laughed out loud at the “ambition” card…

  62. Xenia says:

    Obviously there are men who aspire to the pastorate who are not called by God, either.

  63. DavidH says:

    Pre-Trib to Pre-Wrath

    Calvary Chapel to still searching

    Christian Music Only to Whatever I like I listen to, and you can listen to what every you want. This one’s hard, I’m a guitarist, and love music, and I sure have a lot of catching up to do.

    Early Creationism to I don’t know, but the Earth is a lot older than c. 10,000 years.

    Inerrancy of Scirpture to Inerrancy in the original, but altered by years of translation.

    Women as pastors, why not?

    Dispensationalism to That stuff was created in the 19th Century, and is wrong.

    Spoke Christianese but “I got better.”

    I wonder why my old CC “friends” won’t speak to me anymore. That part hurts.

  64. Open24Hours says:

    Michael, were there any particular resources that prompted your lane change? It’s funny that just yesterday on Amazon, I inadvertently found “Man and Woman, One in Christ” by Philip Payne. The reviews on Amazon (mostly by egalitarians) were obviously quite positive, but I searched for a few scholarly reviews. Blomberg was pleasant but unconvinced. Then I found a review by a certain young-gun SBTS professor. It was so hypercritical (he called for Payne and Zondervan to repent), and at times seemingly hypocritical (he accused Payne of slandering, and then slandered Payne), that it led me to order the book to read for myself. I am becoming increasingly frustrated with how sectarianism makes us not have the humility of mind to regard our brother as being more important than ourselves. I guess my name here links to my blog, where I wrote about it yesterday.

  65. Michael says:

    “Partners In Christ: A Conservative Case For Egalitarianism” by Dr. John Stackhouse.

    I had to hear it from my own tribe…

  66. Josh the Beloved says:

    Mld, when you say tree in the garden. Its trees plural. Tree if life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

  67. The Dude says:

    Lane changes………Over the last several years i’ve morphed into a moderate calvinist…Now for me that’s a lane change.

  68. Em says:

    hmmm.. Biblical trees are interesting – anyone ever done a study of all the trees mentioned with all the new search tools? … but MLD and Josh, it was the fruit that God focused on wasn’t it? … might be an interesting study there… hmmm

    God keep all close (the best way to stay on the path is, oddly, to keep looking up IMHO)

  69. Em says:

    hmmm.. Biblical trees are interesting – anyone ever done a study of all the trees mentioned using all the new search tools? … but MLD and Josh, it was the fruit that God focused on wasn’t it? … might be an interesting study there… hmmm

    God keep all close (the best way to stay on the path is, oddly, to keep looking up IMHO)

  70. Em says:

    did it again, apologizing profusely – must be my age?

  71. Josh the Beloved says:

    @ EM,

    Isnt interesting that the tree of the knowledge of G&E was in the “center” of the garden.
    Could that be allegorical to sin which is self- centeredness?

  72. Dan from Georgia says:

    Nice to see a lack of judgement and questioning someone’s salvation in this comment section. Thanks Michael for the opportunity for some of us to open up something that, in other venues/blogs, would have been a major can o’ worms.

  73. Ellen G. White Disciple says:


  74. Ellen G. White Disciple says:

    Once believed 10 commandments not for today now I believe they still apply including the 7th day Sabbath.

    Once thought Geo-Political Israel was Jehovah’s chosen nation now I think the Israel of God is the Christian Congregation.

    Once believed in a spiritual underworld of never ending torment called Hell now I believe in conditional immortality and the annihilation of the wicked here on earth (Gehenna judgment) after the Heavenly millennium when the second resurrection occurs. Once believed that upon death believers went to heaven now I believe they rest in their graves until the ressurection at the last day and then those who are alive will be translated to be with the Lord. Now I believe the definition of a soul is a living being not a disembodied spirit.

    Once believed in Trinitarianism now my belief about the Godhead is One God the Father Jehovah and One Lord Jesus Christ His literal Divine Son and their Holy Spirit.

  75. gomergirl says:

    Wow, Em…. that took me back, talking about Berachah and the Colonel….. My mom would listen to him on reel to reel, then cassettes when they came out….. I remember the monotony of his voice, and later, I always thought his teachings a bit… maybe cultish is too harsh. My parents even went to a church that just played tapes of his teaching. Maybe the first “multi-site” church. LOL! I will have to listen to that. And I wonder if my mom knows about it… probably….

  76. Babylon's Dread says:


    “Rebound and Keep Moving” Colonel Thieme was and is an enigma …

    Glad I do not have to deal with anyone entangled in his web.

    Strangely he was still a blessing in ways.

    Glad to have this walk down Christian PTSD lane 😉

  77. Babylon's Dread says:

    I lost my Grace Apparatus for Perception of his teachings long ago but …

    Think of it … our world in those days was
    Hal Lindsey
    R B Thieme
    Bill Gothard
    the ‘Happy Hunters’ for tongue speakers
    the “Chaplain of Bourbon Street” for evangelist

  78. Em says:

    #’s 76,7 – R.B. Thieme – not too many in the Christian world have a high opinion of the man – i still do and would be proud to be such an enigma, sorry about your lost GAP, (taken from “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” he’d do that with acronyms ‘n things) – everyone in Texas is a little off, however 🙂
    Gothard had some good stuff, like so many that have crashed and burned
    Lindsey ? his wake-up call had everyone out of their bunks and jumping overboard
    never heard of happy hunters or Chaplain of Bourbon Street (i do, however, remember being impressed with B.D.’s account of taking his young people down there on a mission… think my memory serves me on that)
    sorry about the PTSD, tho – there does seem to be quite a bit of it

  79. Em says:

    gomergirl, good for mom! 🙂 however, Thieme had been a military recruit trainer (A.F. WW2) and his approach was harsh: sit down, shut up and listen up – appealed to a segment of the population that probably would not have been willing to sit under the teachings of a more flowery presentation… my late husband liked his style of teaching very much – found him very organized and logical

  80. Linnea says:

    Em @ 68…that is an interesting study…

  81. Steve Wright says:

    We’ve had both men and women leaders for childrens ministry and I would say presently we have more men teaching in childrens ministry than women (maybe it is 50/50 but I think I am accurate) and this is with a woman leader….

    So I must say, we just don’t see childrens ministry as somehow women only at our place.

    It most definitely is not 2nd class ministry either…it is one of the most important ministries of the church if you ask me…

  82. I found a film clip of Steve Wright’s library 😉

  83. Although I joke, this could be standard issue to the rapture theology crowd and should require a lane change.

  84. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m on the edge of changing lanes from theoretical continuationist to cessationist.

  85. Andrew says:

    Josh, that is an easy lane to change. Most folks I talk affirm that God can do anything he wants anytime he wants. So no one is a real strict cessationist when we know God does miraculously heal people at times. And no one is really a full blown continuationist unless you can affirm even one person speaking in a real tongue that he is not familiar with. Those that claim that every Christian should be able to speak in tongues is full of baloney that its utter nonsense. This whole tongues controversy is so misguided because not one person has been ever able to demonstrate speaking in a language he is not familiar with. If this is even remotely common, show us all a youtube video so we have some proof. But than again I’m sure someone will show us all a video but this will be the rare exception rather than the norm which really is required to be a true continuationist. God can and does do anything he wants, anyway he wants with whom he wants.

  86. gomergirl says:

    Em #79… Yeah, I think that is why my parents liked him. My dad had just gotten back from Vietnam, and while they may have looked like your typical SoCal, late 60’s young beach dwelling hippies, my mom was an old lady at heart. (she was like that as a kid to according to her mom) And that really appealed to them. When my dad was dying, I found some books from the Colonel, and read them, to pass the time. The basics were there, and that’s what’s important, but yeah, the style and some of the peripheries were a bit askew to my newly found CC sensibilities. (LOL!!!!)

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