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108 Responses

  1. SJ says:

    What is your take on well known pastors/theologians pushing the contemplative prayer and meditation. What would make a pastor start teaching these methods or give them the time of day?

    It seems that some heavy hitting theos have their Calvinism, evangelicalism, Lutheranism dialed per scripture and then they pitch these newer prayer methods. Vain and repetitious…..IDK but have never gone to one of their classes.

  2. Michael says:

    Depends on how you define contemplative prayer and meditation.
    It’s been in the church from the beginning…hardly new at all.

  3. SJ says:

    I keep hearing/reading the term “eastern mysticism” being dropped.

  4. Michael says:

    That’s because a lot of people who are negative toward anything “contemplative’ grew up when the New Age movement was a big thing and don’t have any real understanding of church history.
    Anything that looks “New Age” is “eastern mysticism”.

    I am an avid proponent and practitioner of lectio divina and using visualization in prayer.

  5. SJ says:

    Would you agree with this def.? I’ll check it.

    When I first got saved I dug into apologetics pretty intensely for my own understanding, so when I read something that maybe a little off center I do a little dissecting. Just my nature…

  6. Michael says:


    That’s a pretty good article.
    Different practitioners will change certain parts, particularly in Protestant traditions.
    My particular version would be as Eugene Peterson outlines in ‘Eat This Book”.
    All that is really being said is that we encounter a living Christ through a living Word…and that’s a good thing.

  7. Michael says:

    In terms of visualization, I learned from Steve Brown the practice of simply visualizing taking people to Christ and leaving them with Him.
    Often we don’t know how to pray for someone, but the Lord knows what they need.
    I shared this with my church and it was the first time I’ve seen them excited about prayer…

  8. SJ says:

    Do you see any issue with emptying the mind of thoughts or repeating a term or biblical phrase?

  9. Michael says:


    I don’t practice or advocate that myself, but I’m not the prayer police.
    We are all wired differently, emotionally and spiritually.
    We are individually fearfully and wonderfully made.
    I have my doubts about any practice that’s not grounded in interaction with Scripture, but it’s not my job to critique how other folks encounter God.

  10. Bob says:


    I’ve read many books on connecting with God through practices like you have mentioned and I see the scriptures teaching meditation (constant) on the words of God, but I always come back to the question, why?

    I found much of my striving was to find a way which would lead to success in life. But, I just stink in all the disciplines accept for one, I love to read and apply it. Read Duet chapter six and see what God instructs for us men to say, write and hear every day. It’s so simple even a Geico commercial wouldn’t find it worthy of posting.

    I might ask you, why are you interested or what is your motivation to engage in contemplative prayer and meditation? If you can answer that question then you will be further along the road you expect such practice to lead you.

    I’m reminded of the man who came to Jesus and asked, “what must I do…”

  11. Babylon's Dread says:

    Isn’t this what all the drama is about with the discernment factory … ?

    Meditation to Rome to Hell?

  12. Babylon's Dread says:

    I cannot convo right now but …

    Who knows anything about the 1982 meeting where Vineyard left Calvary…

    It is an interesting research…
    Did Chuck kick Wimber out?
    Did Wimber try to coup Chuck?
    What would have happened if they had stayed together in a big umbrella .. with different names and even different theologies about eschatology and gifts?

    My opinion is as follows
    Chuck wanted John to rebrand but stay
    John was too offended to stay in the big tent he bolted claiming he was forced.
    This caused a need to differentiate and destroy … too much was at stake…
    If they had remained advocates of one another … truth wars in SoCal would have been changed for a generation.

  13. Babylon's Dread says:

    Southern Baptists lived for 100 years with
    … no set position on eschatology
    … Calvinistic theology and Arminian methodology
    … No clear statement on inerrancy
    … Still have no official position on Christians and demonism
    … No set theology on Spiritual gifts … an experiential suspicion but no set doctrine of cessationism

    The list could go on. The revivalism of the JPM yielded a harvest of doctrinal wars and theological enemies… There is far more sectarianism than before 1960…
    So far that seems to be one of the fruit of American revivalism.

  14. Michael says:

    I can’t say for sure, but in all my years I’ve never heard any hint that there was a coup in mind.

    The one thing that probably factored in was Smith’s ego…he didn’t like any competition for being the head of the movement and Wimbers popularity almost certainly didn’t sit well with him.

  15. Babylon's Dread says:

    That idea is here …

    Fromm, Charles. “Textual Communities and New Song in the Multimedia Age: The Routinization of Charisma in the Jesus Movement.” PhD diss., Fuller Theological Seminary, 2006.

  16. Michael says:

    Move on, Solomon…you’ve exhausted my patience and we’re done.

  17. Michael says:

    I’ve spoken with a lot of old line CC guys of the era…and it’s never been said to me.

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    If Fromm is not suggesting a coup at the very least he is suggesting a conspired effort to carve a significant following from Calvary complete with the bulk of the budding musical empire

    Now I know that Fromm had vested interest in all of that

  19. Michael says:

    That sounds very much like a Smith family slant to me…

  20. Babylon's Dread says:

    Fromm’s work is fascinating and I think significant though weakened by vested interest. I quite enjoy digging into it. I have not exhausted it but used it for my purposes. His viewpoint carried some weight with me because I knew that Chuck did not actually ask Wimber to leave the movement. I wonder if it was because of vision, benevolence, of fear of what would be lost. The matter is quite interesting to me… and I think significant

  21. SJ says:

    @Bob, no real interest.
    I may skip a meal or two and take the bible to the beach or mountain bike ride alone to soak in prayer time.

    You just see those terms dropped a bunch in the discernment type sites mentioned above. Just seem foreign to me. Guess i could say deep prayer is synonomous.

    Reading while mobile now and missed Solomons baiting did I?
    Quick on the trigger Michael 😉

  22. #13

    My take on it comes from Lonnie Frisbee.

    Apparently John says, “Chuck, when do we do the stuff?”

    (Chuck), “What stuff?”

    (John), “You know, the stuff we read about in the book of Acts.”

    (Chuck), “John, if your not happy about how we do things here, perhaps you should leave and start your own church.”

    And the rest is history…

  23. Joe says:

    Steve Brown , talk about boring.

  24. London says:

    Centering Prayer, contemplation etc is nothing new. They are practices that are hundreds of years old.
    I like this devotional which includes some of the practices, but is “grounded in scripture”. Might be a good introduction for exercising some different spiritual muscles.

  25. Steve Brown has a polished voice like Chuck Smith had.

    Good inflections and cadence, he could do voice overs.

    Chuck, by his own admission, used to listen to himself on the radio so he could improve upon his diction etc…

    He told the story of the time he was driving along listening to himself on the radio when the sound kept cutting in and out.

    He had a quick mental picture in his mind of a metal sleeve loosely sitting on a peg.

    He wondered if the Lord was showing him what was wrong with his car radio.

    So he pulls to the side of the road and opens the trunk and looks at the speaker connections.

    Sure enough there was a loose connection; he shoved the metal sleeve back on to the speaker pin.

    When he set off driving again the radio worked fine.

    Chuck used this story to illustrate one of the many ways that God can communicate to us.

  26. about the meeting in 1982…

    john higgens used to tell us at tricity that he was there and that chuck kicked wimber out of the fellowship because of his insistence on the gifts being exercised in the meetings.
    not sure myself because I wasn’t there, but that’s how john higgens told it.

  27. Jean says:

    If you’ve ever wondered where Christian egalitarians find authority in the Bible for gender equality at all levels of ministry, this link provides a very succinct outline of the exegetical argument.

  28. j2theperson says:

    I doubt the story recounted in 28 actually demonstrated God communicating as Chuck speculated. If a person has even a slight understanding of how electronics work (and it certainly sounds like Chuck did given he knew where his car speakers were and how to access them) then the image he described flashing across his mind could easily spring from the sub-conscience accessing Chuck’s knowledge of electronics, analyzing the problem, and coming up with a likely solution.

  29. Nonnie says:

    Jean, Fuller Seminary has some very interesting articles on Women in ministry.

  30. Jean says:

    Thank you Nonnie.

  31. I don’t know – Jean’s article spent a lot of time telling me why all the passages don’t mean what we think they mean (and perhaps none of them do) – but shouldn’t the researchers have been able to point to a couple of verses in the scriptures that clearly reference Pastor Sally?

    Surely Rabbi Sally could have been on the road to Damascus, gotten knocked of her donkey and renamed by the Lord Pastor Pauline … but alas no. 🙂

  32. Em says:

    women pastors may fall into the same category as other things that must be taken in the context of the societal times… are there women today who take offense at the instances in Scripture where our Lord and the guys were sitting around (assuming that they were ‘sitting around’) the house talking about important eternal stuff while the women were tending the house and fixing the food… today, everybody under 50 would be in the kitchen kibitzing and pitching in or sitting around waiting for a pizza delivery, i think

    to tell the truth, i like the old way better… but women today have more control over their lives and are out there, of necessity, in the workforce trying to earn their own bread and butter – while i don’t think that makes them more worthy of respect, it doesn’t make them less so… it is what it is today… we’ll see how it all plays out in this century – i fear, tho, it’s a part of a downward spiral – praise God when it’s over – He does, ultimately control our history

  33. I don’t think it is a matter of respect. i am egalitarian here – but what does that mean?

    I was once court martialed in the army for telling my company commander that I didn’t have to do what he told me. True story.

    But think about it, me and the captain are equal in substance and nature and a whole list of other human characteristics you can think of. In other words we are equals and in fact in the end were working for the same company … the US government. Well, just because we are equals (and do you know that just as I am required to salute a superior officer, he too is required to salute me back) does not mean that we have the same responsibilities or that we do the same job.

    But in the end we are equal. So, even though I DO have to do what he says, that does not make me a lesser equal … just a different equal.

    In the end, they dropped the charges … Although I was equal, I was not a good soldier 🙂

  34. Em says:

    #37 – i was thinking about how we seem to be descending into chaos in the civilized world – some of it caused by the uncivilized world, but most of our own doing
    #37 expresses it very well – we need organization both in the Church and in society, too and that necessitates a chain of command, doesn’t it? the tricky part is to know when to buck that chain (as a soldier and as a Christian)… don’t shoot babies and don’t get drunk on the Host… errr something like that
    MLD put it better

  35. Richard says:

    Explains why you’re the cranky old bastard you are.

  36. Em says:

    i’m thru for the day … it is plain yucky up here 4 – 6 inches of snow that imitates wet cement and i’ve been out slogging all over taking care of the ponies… the walk is good for me, i guess… but i wish we had a big old barn (i’d throw my daughter’s 2 cats out there, also)…
    God keep all close this winter eve

  37. Jean says:

    I just got home from Exodus: Gods and Kings, and I’m very disappointed. I’m not disappointed because Ridley Scott did not use the Bible as his script. For example, I thought Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, staring Russell Crow, was an excellent movie. I also don’t fault the acting. Christian Bale is a competent actor.

    My complaint is that Scott used the story of the Exodus as nothing more than a backdrop for a fantasy action movie. Any moral or theological message did not come through (if there was one). In fact Scott’s portrayal of God was, on balance, negative. Thus, I don’t think this movie will get anyone interested in the God of the Bible or give Christians or Jews an opportunity see their faith portrayed on the big screen.

    I expected to provide a positive review, based on reviews I’ve read. I typically give art a wide latitude to interpret text. But, except for grand cinematic effects, there isn’t enough art in Scott’s Exodus to give it my thumbs up.

  38. j2theperson says:

    ***shouldn’t the researchers have been able to point to a couple of verses in the scriptures that clearly reference Pastor Sally?***

    Junia was an apostle. Priscilla was a teacher who instructed men. Deborah was a judge. And there were multiple female prophets.

  39. Em says:

    J2 – good point… one thing God does not do is hew the line of societal rules…

    glad i stopped by one more time tonight… got some pondering to do

  40. Em says:

    one thing more… i find that there is plethora of women out there today who feel they have a ministry, but as i listen to them it seems to me that they just want to tell us how they feel, how they overcame and now – some very winsomely – they want to tell us to feel like they do… too much feeling
    i like the observation, “feelings are to be the appreciators, not the governors, of our lives…”
    may be men are doing the same – dunno, don’t listen all that much… for my part, just show me Christ, help me learn of Him and my feelings seem tol fall into line

  41. Babylon's Dread says:

    Hollywood cannot tell our stories better than they are … not capable

  42. Babylon's Dread says:

    You cannot ask a community that does not honor our God to tell our stories in honoring ways.

  43. jlo says:

    BD, I agree. But there are more Christians in Hollywood, than we realize.

    The movie being spoken about, ehhh not so much.

  44. jlo says:

    Our stories are amazing, miraculous, impossible outside of the Holy Spirit.

    Sometimes Hollywood gets it right, sometimes not. Depends on who is behind the production, our who is trying to corrupt it.

    There are a lot of earnest people trying to stay true to their beliefs, only to have it fall apart in post production.

  45. Nonnie says:

    Jumping onto J2’s number 42…

    God using Mary in His plan to bring redemption. What Eve did in self sufficiency and pride of having her own way, Mary sets a reversal of humble submission and obedience, and proclaimed “Let it be, according to Your will. I am your servant.”

    Luke 2, Anna the old woman who served in the temple and was the first to proclaim Christ to those in the temple: “And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.”

    The Woman of Samaria in John 4 preaching the Messiah to her city.

    God chose a woman to be the very first person to proclaim the resurrection.

    God does things in ways that break through cultural boundaries and rules. We see examples of God using women throughout history to teach and preach…there is no limit to whom He will use and how He will use them, except in the eyes of some men.

  46. I am not saying that women are not gifted and used of God, and I am not saying that women cannot do all the things that a man can do.

    What I ask is – are women called to do all the things that a man is called to do? Women can teach and preach … but can they be the pastor?

    Many times (perhaps not here but in academia) the conversation sounds much like The Garden – you can have everything except this one thing.

  47. Jean says:


    The word pastor associated with a church position is only used once in the NT in Eph and is not associated with any particular ministry gifts, so what functionality do you think God does not gift women for?

  48. Functionally probably none – positionally is another story. Just because women can usurp the pastor’s position in the ELCA does not make that it has a legitimate call attached. But in the end, they functionally perform.

  49. Jean says:

    “Just because women can usurp the pastor’s position in the ELCA does not make that it has a legitimate call attached.”

    Since the Bible doesn’t tell us what the pastor’s position is or does, don’t you really mean: “Just because women can usurp the man’s position in the ELCA…”?

  50. Call the position what you will – pastor – elder – bishop it doesn’t matter to me.

    All you have done is made a case that all church pastors/leaders hold an illegitimate position and should vacate.

    The funny thing is in the individual LCMS churches the board is over the pastor – and we have women on our board and our past president was a woman… so in function we allow women to be over pastors .

    It’s not about function – it’s about calling. If your assembly wants a woman (you fill in the blank) go right ahead … but don’t ask why the LCMS draws a tight circle on communion.

  51. Jean says:

    There is actually nothing funny about the issue. What is at stake for many women is whether, as seen either by God and/or by various church bodies, women are ineligible for certain service in the Body by virtue solely of their gender. Of all the issues facing the Church today, the issue of the role of women is right up there at or near the top.

  52. It may just be me, but I do not judge or set the Bible up against the current culture and fads on on the scene.

    As I said, to me it is you can eat of all the trees in the garden … except this one.

  53. I don’t see why Women as Pastors would have to be a big deal. There are lots of denominations that already have women pastors, and a few that don’t. Does everyone have to be exactly the same? I like, and understand the diversity.
    A sidenote: Does anyone know of women pastors, outside of charismatics, who hold an otherwise conservative view on Scripture?

  54. Kevin H says:


    The Brethren in Christ is a smaller denomination with headquarters in Pennsylvania who has, I believe, a mainly conservative view on Scripture and also has women pastors. The denomination has Anabaptist roots with some other influences in it, but I don’t believe any charismatic influences.

  55. Nonnie says:

    Josh, there are women vicars in the Church of England that preach the gospel, preach the risen Christ, etc. “Conservative” would be a very relative word.
    I have a good friend who is a vicar and she is passionate to see people come to Christ and grow in Christ, through hearing the word of God.

  56. Bob Sweat says:

    Coming late to the party. Josh, during my time with the Friends Church, I knew several women pastors.

  57. Nonnie says:

    I met a woman here who was returning to the states to receive her ordination in the Mennonite church.

  58. Kevin H says:


    The Mennonites actually have quite a wide swath of beliefs amongst those who claim the name of Mennonite. They will range from those who come close to Amish living to others who will ordain homosexually active pastors. So I would guess the woman you met belongs to a more liberal wing of Mennonites, but I couldn’t say that for sure.

  59. Nonnie says:

    She is quite “conservative” as far as I could tell.

  60. Kevin H says:

    She could be. The Brethren in Christ example I gave is a pretty conservative denomination and there is a lot of similarities and interchange between them and Mennonites. So there very well could be some Mennonites who are on the conservative side and still approve of women pastors.

  61. So with all the examples of churches with women pastor, why is it still being discussed. Women have pastor opportunities all over … go for it.

    On a side note, I will bet that all (ok perhaps exception for a few) deny the literal acceptance of the first 11 chapters of Genesis – the Joshua long day and the Jonah story. This is where the ELCA began. Once you can start denying scripture and God does not send fire down on you, well it’s just easy for the next step.

  62. “So with all the examples of churches with women pastor, why is it still being discussed. Women have pastor opportunities all over … go for it.”

    That is pretty much my take. If I stopped believing in believer’s baptism, I wouldn’t try to change the SBC, I would just go to a different denomination. Seems the same idea to me.

  63. I am glad to hear that there are conservative churches with women pastors, though. Mostly around here, the churches with women pastors don’t believe much of anything. I think the conservative churches are just SO prevalent here, that to get a church with a woman pastor, it has to be all the way liberal. Hopefully that will change with time.

  64. Babylon's Dread says:

    Conservative churches always have the best women preachers… but they play word games over ordination so they do not recognize the women.

    Baptist commission rather than ordain missionaries… a distinction without a difference spiritually … women write books, preach at conferences.

    They give ‘talks’ in the churches… they ‘share’

    Shall I go through the list of conservative women preachers that everyone knows have call of God on them?

  65. Steve Wright says:

    I second (or is it third) the motion that if someone really wants a woman pastor, they can find such a church..likewise if a woman feels God would want her to be a pastor, she can find a home somewhere.

    What has been missing in this discussion is that this is not just a “man” thing. If our church (or many other churches out there) declared a woman to be our new pastor, we would have a flood of people leaving the church, and many of those people would be women. In contrast, having just finished 1 Timothy, I had the chance to speak on the woman pastor issue a couple weeks ago and nobody left the church, nobody challenged my teaching on it (and I am challenged on many things) – there was a basic, Amen.

    So I hope there is a courtesy granted that women in churches like ours are not seen as some sort of beaten down Christians who don’t know better. They simply agree that women are not to be pastors of the local church. Like MLD mentioned, at our church women to everything else..sit on the Board, usher, and they know they are complete equals and just as valued in Christ and in the church as any man.

    The only place we do not put a woman is in outdoor security. Does anyone object to that? The reason I ask is because there are a lot of special attacks on pastors of churches that go beyond the general persecution all Christians, whatever the gender, are subject to. I speak once more of my current connections in India and the things I am being reported by my friends.

    And locally, though we do not risk that sort of persecution, when I have to go tell a 6’5″ homeless guy that he can’t keep living in our bushes, and do so as the pastor of the church with the final say on such things…is there really a desire for a woman to be given that role? I’m of the sort that jumps in when women in leadership are being criticized by men (and that can be bullies)…but that is just me. I have no doubt that there are plenty of women who are tough as nails and would jump in as needed (look at the political arena) – but I wonder if God would want it so….

  66. Jean says:

    Where Satan really wins in these debates is when Christians, who should be able to engage in a discussion over differeing interpretations of Scripture, instead resort to underhanded and dispicable games.

    One person throws up some exegetical arguments for an interpretation of Scripture. Instead of a response to the interpretation of the texts, some people respond with these types of arguments:

    (1) Women can’t be trusted to teach Scripture because God apparently designed them to be weak and easily decieived. If you don’t believe me, just look what happened in the garden.

    Or, how about this one:

    (2) Anyone who would misinterpret Scripture on gender roles in ministry can’t be trusted to interpret Scripture accurately on any number of other issues.

    And, then there’s this one:

    (3) Anyone who is egaliterian obviously doesn’t believe in the authority of Scripture, and so probably holds heretical views on many other points in Scripture.

    It’s a pitty really that Christians can’t treat each other with respect.

  67. Babylon's Dread says:

    “A sidenote: Does anyone know of women pastors, outside of charismatics, who hold an otherwise conservative view on Scripture?”

    First, why exclude the charismatics…? They only represent the fastest growing and second or maybe third largest Christian sub group

    Conservative churches by near definition exclude women

  68. Babylon's Dread says:

    Jean is teaching the boys a lesson 😉

  69. Jean,
    If you haven’t seen that type of argument here why are you bringing it up?

    Aren’t we as Christians here treating each other with respect?

  70. “First, why exclude the charismatics…? They only represent the fastest growing and second or maybe third largest Christian sub group”

    – Because charismatic churches have women pastors, and I already knew that. I was asking for some new information.

    “Conservative churches by near definition exclude women”

    – According to the answers I got, I think you are wrong.

    I would like to see your list of great conservative women speakers. Beth Moore?

    We have a retired female professor who works for our local association, writing curriculum and such. I think she is fantastic.

  71. Jean says:

    “So I hope there is a courtesy granted that women in churches like ours are not seen as some sort of beaten down Christians who don’t know better. They simply agree that women are not to be pastors of the local church.”

    I agree wholeheartedly in every church’s right to freely practice their religion. I don’t believe in pressure from the outside. And where there’s desent from the inside, when a controversy is ultimately resolved, the desenters should get in line or find another place.

    What I don’t find helpful or “Christian” is when churches which may believe differently from one another on issues where Biblical views differ are charticactured by one side or the other.

  72. Is that being done here, Jean?

  73. Jean says:

    Yes. Everyone here is educated, so don’t ask me to point it out.

  74. I haven’t seen it.

  75. Found it. Mld’s 66. MLD has been know to “overstate his point” on occasion 🙂

  76. What’s wrong with my #66? I spoke the truth only of my denomination – I didn’t pull anyone else into it.

    The LCMS actually split over the issue of those literal interpretations and the onset of women pastor. It was a part of the Battle for the Bible. Pretty much only the LCMC and SBC stood up.

  77. ” I didn’t pull anyone else into it.”

    Well, you kind of did. You said “I’ll bet all of them…”

    But anyway, I mostly have observed what you said. I just couldn’t figure out what Jean was responding to.

  78. I haven’t even brought up the abortion issue … until now 🙂

    I wonder, once again, the view on abortion of those women led churches and church bodies that allow for such. Again, the ELCA no longer cares about the sanctity of life. Dr. Tiller, the late term abortionist was welcome and comfortable sitting each Sunday morning in his LCMS church.

  79. Kevin H says:

    As for the Brethren in Christ example I gave, I take this excerpt from a position paper on abortion from their website:

    “Hence, the Brethren in Christ Church opposes the practice of abortion and affirms the
    sanctity of human life from conception to physical death.”

    MLD, I assume you meant to say that Tiller went to an ELCA church in your last comment.

  80. KevinH – indeed I did.
    Are you coming out here next summer to watch Jimmy Rollins play? 😉

  81. Kevin H says:

    No, probably not. My uncle and I try to take an annual baseball trip each year but SoCal is too far and expensive for our budgets. St. Louis is as far West as we’ve made it so far, and that was with finding a really great rate on airfare. However, if you happen to see advertised any roundtrips from the East Coast to LA for less than $200, just let me know. 🙂

  82. Babylon's Dread says:

    Josh… Beth Moore is on the list but I suspect her of being a closet charismatic

  83. True Fact:

    CCCM ordained 2 women, one believes she is a reincarnated woman from ancient times. The other was never heard from again after being ordained.

    ( It must be noted that the school of ministry ordained them under protest. )

  84. Nonnie says:

    “The other was never heard from again after being ordained.”

    You mean like “Jimmy Hoff” never heard from again??? 😉

  85. Nonnie says:

    “Jimmy Hoffa.”

  86. Steve Wright says:

    David, you need to elaborate on that because the moment you mention the School of Ministry you..

    a) speak to something I know a little about as a SoM graduate, one-time teacher, and one-time guest speaker….and my experiences do not match your words and

    b) most importantly you involved someone I care more about than anyone else at Costa Mesa – and a person of great integrity.

    The School of Ministry ordained NOBODY. Including me. The Board of Costa Mesa ordains…if you simply are speaking about a female student or auditor, then you need to clarify your remarks

  87. j2theperson says:

    I don’t understand how a woman can be an apostle but not a pastor. Or a teacher but not a pastor? Aren’t they basically the same thing?

  88. j2,
    I am a teacher and I am not a pastor

  89. Jean says:

    Nobody really knows from the NT what a pastor does, because the position is not defined in the NT. People (traditionally “men”) have defined the role.

  90. How can you say that the role of pastor is not defined in the NT? All you need to do is look at any descriptive verse/passage telling what was to happen in a church and apply the Elder – Pastor – Bishop to be the one who leads those activities.

    Again, you continually make the case for the illegitimacy of the pastor in the church. (this is totally aside from the discussion about women.) By your argument, women also should vacate this non defined position.

    I have made the case that women are gifted in all areas of ministry and can even hold positions greater than that of the ‘Senior Pastor’ – they have only one restriction in ministry life. I am not timid to repeat – I see great similarities in the this grab for position as we saw in the Garden.

  91. Jean says:


    “How can you say that the role of pastor is not defined in the NT? All you need to do is look at any descriptive verse/passage telling what was to happen in a church and apply the Elder – Pastor – Bishop to be the one who leads those activities.”

    Elder and Pastor are never once associated with one another in the NT. So what gives you or me the authority to apply one to the other?

    “Again, you continually make the case for the illegitimacy of the pastor in the church. (this is totally aside from the discussion about women.) By your argument, women also should vacate this non defined position.”

    LOL! Bad pizza or toothache?

  92. Well, another difference we have. 🙂

  93. Nonnie says:

    I was wondering how many here teach that Junia was (or could have been) a woman?

    I listened to a Bible study recently where the pastor/teacher didn’t even mention that some believe Junia is a woman. Junia was a man in this study.

  94. Steve Wright says:

    Elder and Pastor are never once associated with one another in the NT
    Sorry, Jean..they are..along with bishop/overseer the three terms are used, together, to describe the same individual(s). I think you are forgetting that the word, pastor, is the word for shepherd and it also has a verb form.

    Acts 20 and 1 Peter 5 are both passages that incorporate all three.

  95. Whether Junia is a man or a woman may not be the issue – are Andronicus and Junia actually apostles or are they folks who are well known among the apostles or are they a couple who are highly thought of among the apostles?

  96. Steve Wright says:

    I was wondering how many here teach that Junia was (or could have been) a woman?
    Nonnie, I spent about 30% of my message on the Sunday we did the entire 16th chapter of Romans on the Junia discussion…keeping in mind this is a Sunday service and not some seminary class.

  97. Bob says:

    Steve’s right about the elder/pastor association.

    The problem is when does a person becomes an “elder.” If the Priesthood of Torah is modeled the lead pastors of a church are sometimes too young and too old.

    But of course that only applied to the Levitical Priests and there is no real mention of when the community’s elders should retire (or when they qualify to be called an elder).

    For some reason a random thought came to mind, who are the elders in “The Lord of the Flies?”

  98. Bob says:

    The problem with the “Junia” debate is, as in all interpretation, flavored by the readers of the day rather than fully understanding the audience to who the original was written.

    What the debate says to me is how people want to be valued and correct in areas where it is difficult to be so. Without a doubt from the moment the first man with more than one wife (mentioned in scripture) threatened them with murderous acts of violence he had similarly perpetrated on others, things have been difficult for women.

    Why do we men often choose to put down and subject women like Lamech (even subtly) rather than encourage and lift them up lie Paul does in Romans? What are we afraid of?

    I like the whole idea that Paul is lifting up, recognizing and encouraging those mentioned. So if Junia is a woman and a fellow messenger of the Gospel of Jesus, Amen! (Notice it doesn’t say she or he is a pastor or elder)

  99. Steve Wright says:

    I’m out for won’t see David’s reply likely. So just from my experience, the School of Ministry is NOT an ordination school or process. It is not a place where one then is sent out to start a church. It is not formally accredited, though having also gone through seminary, I can say that in many ways the workload and requirements equal or even surpass accredited seminary training. (The reasons for lack of accreditation are many, one of which is it opens the door to all, not just college grads – I went to SoM with a guy I think dropped out of High School before he got saved). It is a place to get equipped to serve the Lord.

    My ordination, as I assume all ordinations at CCCM – was through the Board of Directors at the proposal of Chuck Smith, whom I asked to ordain me. My SoM experience was important to that request being granted since Chuck did not know me very well, but others at CCCM did – but it was not the deciding factor. In fact, I was told by those in SoM that CCCM does “not do that” (i.e. ordain SoM grads)

    So I do not know what reply David has about the ordaining of two women, and the role of the SoM in all that…but like I said, won’t be around to respond.

  100. Jean says:

    “Sorry, Jean..they are..along with bishop/overseer the three terms are used, together, to describe the same individual(s). I think you are forgetting that the word, pastor, is the word for shepherd and it also has a verb form.”

    You are correct on both points. I didn’t pick up the verb form in my word search. Thank you for pointing this out.

  101. Jean says:

    Now I’ve botched your name. Strike “Steven” and insert “Steve.”

  102. Xenia says:

    Junia was a woman. She and her husband were “of note among the Apostles.” <— This may not mean what some people think it means.

    Even if she was an apostle, she was not an Apostle, not one of the Twelve or of the Seventy.

  103. j2theperson says:

    I totally understand that different traditions have different interpretations of what exactly Junia was. However, I don’t think people in Calvary Chapel have any standing to say she wasn’t an apostle because that is the most simple and literal interpretation of what it says and CC is all about reading the Bible simply and literally.

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