Was The First Person To Exposit Romans a Woman?

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380 Responses

  1. covered says:

    Excellent! I knew that Phoebe delivered the letter to the Romans but never considered until now that it’s possible that she also interpreted it to the church upon it’s arrival. I hate how I was brainwashed into thinking (past tense), that according to the tribe with the hawaiian shirts, that women aren’t capable of such things. I have repented. For the last 3 years, one of the biggest challenges in our church is the idea that the woman’s role is primarily to serve quietly without a voice in what we do. This must change and thanks to Wright for his observations.

  2. covered says:

    Oh and FiRsT!

  3. Michael says:


    I found that observation as fascinating as you did…it certainly makes us think more deeply about how we define women’s roles in the church!

  4. covered says:

    Yes Michael and I an anxious to hear how we can do this. I’m not ready to let my wife teach from the pulpit but I might consider reviewing her application to usher 🙂

  5. Steve Wright says:

    We have female ushers. I was never “brainwashed” otherwise. They are a blessing to the church and I am sure a blessing to those who visit.

  6. dusty says:

    women don’t have to have the volume in their voice that men do to have her message heard.

    I think women have been doing so very much more in ‘running’ the church and the household than men think we do.

    Covered you think you are ready to let your wife apply ? just apply? I bet she has been leading the whole church much more that you have this whole time. 😉

    The Bible has many instances where the woman HAD to lead, were called by God to lead, because the men were incapable….i am sure that is true today.

  7. I thought NTW’s point was that Phoebe was an independent business person, and that business people were the one’s chosen by the early church to exegete scriptures.

  8. Michael says:


    Covered was kidding…he’s an awesome fellow.
    The idea that an independent businesswoman was the first to open the book of Romans is game changing…and tells us how Paul viewed the ‘place” of Phoebe.

  9. Papias says:

    NTW is kind of funny. He doesn’t want to make a stand over “two or three verses in Paul’s writing” on a subject, but will be “jolly good” to make a point that the Scripture doesn’t address.

    Oh well… he ‘s trying to sell his books…..

  10. NTW always nibbles along the edges where you cannot say “yes he is right” or “no he is wrong”. We have nothing that tells us that the delivery person of any of the letters was either the reader of the letter nor the Bible Answer person if there were any questions.

    You would think that Paul would begin his letter, “please listen carefully as Bob reads my letter – ask him any questions you may have.”

    Anyway, nice thought but I personally will not take it out of this room.

  11. I think Paps said what I was saying. 🙂

  12. Xenia says:

    True! The scriptures never say Phoebe “interpreted” St. Paul’s letter, just said she delivered it. Tiny little mention. If anything, she just read it out loud to the congregation, no need to interpret it, no need for any kind of inductive Bible study to be performed on it. She delivered it and may have read it and we can go no further.

    St. Paul did have quite a bit to say about sex. I agree with Papias, as usual.

  13. Paps and MLD both said what I was going to say.

    It is my major gripe with everything that NTW does. HE can’t leave it alone that there are good thoughts and open possibilities, he has to make every possible angle into a “game-changing” event.

    For what it is worth, I think his take on Paul’s view of women is very close. Paul has been pigeon-holed as a misogynist, which just isn’t true. But we really have no clue if what NTW says about Phoebe is true or not. Junia either, for that matter. They are both worthy of thought, but both situations are the very definition of taking one verse from context and building a belief about it.

  14. Xenia says:

    And MLD too, looks like.

  15. What are the chances that Phoebe could even read?

  16. covered says:

    Dusty and all who misunderstood my attempt at sarcasm; my wife is more of a “shepherd” than I will ever be. There are women who attend our church who are far more qualified than their husbands to lead in many areas. My point was that I am learning daily how wrong I was for buying into the lie taught by the tribe often discussed on this blog which I was trained under and followed regarding the woman’s role in the church. I hate that I used to believe the whole “women need to submit” teaching. If I am loving and leading as we are told in Ephesians, then my wife hopefully would want to be submissive by choice and not because my tribe insists on it. For the same reasons, I want to be submissive to her as well.

  17. Xenia says:

    I collect the mail from the post office for my church. Sometimes we get letters from our Bishop. Does that mean I read and exegete our Bishop’s letters?

  18. Michael says:

    This is a seven minute video of someone who has written tens of thousands of detailed pages on the thought of the Apostle Paul.
    The intent was not to fully flesh out how Wright comes to his conclusions, but to engage my readers to pursue deeper thought and further study on the matters so briefly touched on.
    Deciding the veracity of an argument from a video clip is…odd.

  19. Well, why post it then Michael, if you are going to beat us up for commenting? 🙂

    And I have now read a lot of NT Wright’s thoughts, and watched hours of his talks. I know how he operates. His research is always great, but he throws the little twist in the end so that he has something new to sell.

  20. Steve Wright says:

    covered…what exactly is it you are saying? What “lies” are you talking about.

    Your former tribe, like many other tribes, does not believe in female pastoral leadership.

    Please tell us what other female roles are expressly taught as forbidden to women which you now embrace. I’m not following you….

  21. NTW should subtitle all of his books , “Well, it’s possible isn’t it???” 🙂

  22. covered says:

    I believe that Wright wanted others to know that women are not considered by Paul to be seen and not heard. He also pointed out how we can all build our doctrine around 1 or 2 verses which leads us to an unhealthy view of Paul’s letters.

  23. Michael says:

    A lot of stuff I post is simply to get people to look at other angles, other views, other possibilities.
    My hope is always that people will read more and dig deeper on their own…it’s almost an obsession. 😉

  24. Is there more than one verse mentioning Phoebe? That’s ironic, huh?

  25. Michael says:


    How many of his books have you read?
    I always find him challenging because of the fact that he grounds everything in the text and historically.
    I don’t always agree with his conclusions, but he always makes me think.

  26. I have to react to what is posted. I have studied much of Wright’s work, and like this video, think he often has gone a step too far.

  27. Papias says:


    NTW bemoans that the BBC took him to Corinth and all they wanted to do was talk about s3x. I get where he gets tired of being asked the same questions.

    But then again…..in all his writings does he ever come out and state what we think is pretty clear re: homos3xuality? Does he bother to answer the question and then say “OK – I have answered the question… can we move on?”

    People want to know what he thinks on the obvious issues of the day before they give him the platform to spout what he believes about the meaning of Phoebe carrying the letter….

    If he can’t make a stand on what the Scriptures teach why should I give him the time of day for anything else?

    Porcupines have lots of points as well, and not all of them good.

  28. Michael,
    3 – one of them being his 800 pages on the resurrection.

    But because someone wrote something worthwhile in the past does not give him a pass for all future writings.

    The main point about Phoebe, is that NTW seems to be reading from the white spaces.

  29. Xenia says:

    I hardly know anything about NTW. Some people encourage me to read him, saying he “sounds Orthodox.” In that clip, he does not sound (big “O”) Orthodox, but that’s neither here nor there.

    In that clip he side-steps all that St. Paul has written about sexual morality, basically saying “Paul didn’t really have that much to say on the topic, just a few verses” and then totally speculates about something that Paul didn’t say at all.

    I’m not going to read all (or any) of his books but I can certainly comment on the video clip that was presented to us this morning to comment upon.

  30. Jim says:

    MLD said, “NTW always nibbles along the edges where you cannot say “yes he is right” or “no he is wrong”.”

    I’ve never read one of his books, only several articles. I’ve come away with the thought above.

  31. I have nothing against NTW … but after 2,000 yrs he is always the one coming up with the “new” stuff. Perhaps it is not new, perhaps it has come up before and dismissed with reason.

    This NTW topic is not much different than the other thread. Independent churches do things as if no one has ever done church before, so they are the one’s who will now institute what is right.

    NTW is pretty much the same when it comes to his scholarship – “since everyone has done it wrong or thought it wrong all these years, I will now give everyone the “new perspective” on (fill in the blank) “

  32. Michael says:


    Everywhere I’ve seen Wright address the issue he’s affirmed (quite brilliantly) the “biblical ” position on homosexuality.
    His frustration (and often mine) is that the Bible isn’t simply a handbook on morality, but the grand narrative of how God is reconciling and transforming the world through Christ.
    that narrative is too often lost in debates about what people do in their bedrooms…

  33. dusty says:

    covered,that was sweet.

  34. Steve Wright says:

    I believe that Wright wanted others to know that women are not considered by Paul to be seen and not heard
    So is that the lie you were otherwise taught, covered? That women are to be seen and not heard? From the tribe of Kay, Cheryl, Sandy, Debbi, Janie, Sharon and so many others. The tribe that promotes the idea of women counseling women, of having strong womens ministries in the church.

    This is where I always get into trouble on this board labeled a hack apologist. A good man like covered with a CC past speaks about CC brainwashing on an issue that much of the Body of Christ agrees upon, and on which actually many Calvarys are even more accommodating than other denominations. But why would one not believe covered, who, as I said, is truly a good man and well known here.

    Now, if covered now believes women should participate in pulpit ministry, then yes, he is definitely coming from a different place than not just CC but many many churches. And if he wants to call the old views “brainwashing” then that is his right. But he is not coming from that view.

    Now, as Michael wrote, CC churches are independent and aligned by a few core beliefs. Male pastoral leadership is certainly one of those. But that means anecdotal evidence from a random CC pastor is not at all proper to then speak to as “brainwashing” from the entire tribe.

    Not only do we have female ushers. We have a female on our Board. She was placed there by my predecessor and remains even now, and is a huge blessing. I say that because when I was doing the paperwork to become the pastor here at CCLE, that information was declared and sent to the powers that were at the time in CCOF – and there was no hastle, no veto, no call to repentance. Might it raise eyebrows among some, sure. But the idea that CC as a whole disallows such is simply…wrong.

    I’ve said my peace.

  35. Steve,
    Would you let Phoebe read Romans and exegete it from your pulpit? 😉

  36. Steve Wright says:

    Would you let Phoebe read Romans and exegete it from your pulpit?
    To the women. Absolutely. (And yes, from the same sanctuary and pulpit)

    That’s what the womens ministry does. They teach and study the word of God. And believe me, on Thursdays the church is theirs – morning and evening.

    Did you think they were sharing cooking recipes or something? 🙂

  37. Michael says:


    I’ve seen both.
    I’ve seen CC’s where women were treated horribly and I know one CC that let a woman teach the whole congregation.
    In the CC I was part of, one of the mantras repeated at almost every staff meeting was “women are Philistines”.
    They were portrayed as horny, gold digging, Jezebels who were out to take us all down.
    Heard it hundreds of times…

  38. Shaun Sells says:

    I have never heard “women are Philistines” from a church before.

    We have female deacons in our fellowship because of Pheobe. I don’t have time to watch the video right now, but I will check it out later to see what I am missing.

  39. Steve Wright says:

    Michael, I don’t doubt you. However, when someone speaks of being “brainwashed” by a “tribe” as opposed to his personal experience at one or two churches, then that is an issue for me. The readers of this blog mostly have a speculative or downright negative view on CC – and to insinuate this is common is wrong and needs correction for truth’s sake.

  40. Michael says:


    In my experience it is common…that doesn’t mean it’s prevalent or the norm,it means that at least here in the valley and in many emails from both CC pastors wives and congregants, it’s not rare.
    In my time with CC I probably was around some of the same people that Covered was…and the hostility was often palpable.

  41. I whistle at the women as they come into our church. 😉

  42. Steve Wright says:

    I remember when I was teaching Tuesday School of the Bible classes at Costa Mesa -which were freely open to all, a couple guys got their feathers ruffled at a woman who was teaching one of the classes because it was doctrinal in nature and of course there were men and women in the class.

    But she taught it. Ruffled feathers or not. Approved and placed in that position and not removed from it.

  43. Steve Wright says:

    Misogyny is common in churches of every denomination, Michael.

    However to say it is taught as fundamental philosophy of a movement, akin to brainwashing, is wrong and insulting.

  44. Michael says:

    In my little local area alone at least four CC pastors had to step down either permanently or for a season because of adultery and other marital issues.
    In staff meetings it was always the fault of the woman…and that attitude is what took down a bunch of guys in my opinion.

  45. Michael says:


    If I went solely off of my experience in CC culture, the I would have considered it brainwashing as well.
    Now, I don’t doubt for a minute that yours and Shauns experiences have been vastly different…I would validate the veracity of what you are both saying.
    That doesn’t invalidate what I and others have encountered that is true as well.

  46. Must be a bunch of homosexuals up in your valley if they don’t like women.

  47. Steve Wright says:

    So Michael. Where do you think this was taught? Again, I am not doubting the truth of your experiences. What was the pedigree? Where were these guys saved, discipled, trained for pastoral ministry and so forth. Who were their teachers?

    I’m not looking for specific answers. Just pointing out the larger picture that would have to be examined. As for me, my lineage is directly from Costa Mesa. I see others before me, like in the harvest book, and see the prominent role their wives have in ministry. I see their churches giving prominent roles for women in ministry. I see Costa Mesa itself, when I was there and I doubt much has changed with Brian and Cheryl, doing likewise.

    Why would that be?

  48. Steve Wright says:

    That doesn’t invalidate what I and others have encountered that is true as well.
    Michael you know that I have never sought to invalidate the experiences someone may have had in their local church.

    But you go back and read the first post on here again…and see why I chose to jump in.

  49. Michael says:


    I was told the “Philistines” expression came straight from Chuck, who ordained our senior personally…Smith was very close to the original CC plants up here.
    If you would like me to go through the Harvest book and tell what I know of some of the featured mens attitudes on woman I’ll do it privately…

  50. Steve Wright says:

    Look..the topic I am addressing is women serving at the church, and their capabilities to do so. That was what was first mentioned, that was what I responded to.

    I listened to every tape from Chuck from Gen-Rev and also sat under the man for 8 years and never heard anything remotely like the Philistine comment. I guess the thousands that have been a part of the Joyful Life ministry, as well as stuff like the Tuesday School of the Bible example I shared was all a big ruse to keep women down in ministry.

  51. I must agree with Steve. Back in the 80s and early 90s no one listened to more CC tapes than me. i spent 7 – 10 hours a day in my car. i too listened to all C Smith, G laurie and J Courson tapes along with many, many others and never once heard anything like you said.

    It must have been smoke filled back room talk.

  52. Michael says:


    I’m not saying that at all.
    I’m saying that the culture I was in was hostile to women and in that church the end result was the pastor going down in flames.
    What is put out for public consumption does not always reflect the attitudes of the man teaching outside the pulpit.
    In Costa Mesa today, I think the primary factor that kept Brodersen in charge of the church was that losing Cheryls women’s ministry would have gutted the place…

  53. “They were portrayed as horny, gold digging, Jezebels who were out to take us all down.
    Heard it hundreds of times…”

    Horny? Really? Hate to go all MLD here, but, this was a complaint?

  54. Neo says:

    Wow. Allowing women to be ushers. Groundbreaking!!!!

  55. Neo says:

    More important than expositing Romans would be preaching the Gospel…and who was able to be the very first to do that? 🙂

  56. Michael says:


    The inference was that they were tools of the devil to take down godly men like us…and failing that to harass and distract us from the work of the ministry.

  57. Steve Wright says:

    I think Billy Graham said something very close to that way before there was ever a Calvary Chapel. Women, money and pride – the three so-called enemies of a pastor.

    In fact, I think we could find some interesting ideas going further back to Wesley, Luther (I’ll let MIchael fill us in on Calvin’s take. 🙂 )

  58. Luther liked women – one of the first things he changed was that the priests could get to the nuns. 🙂 Quite the reformation.

    (for those who don’t know, Luther married a nun.)

  59. Steve Wright says:

    Some of you that are greater historians than I can correct me on this, but I seem to remember that Wesley did not feel a man could be both an effective Methodist minister and also have a wife back home somewhere. I recall a quote that upon hearing one of his Methodist ministers was getting married he was upset and said something like “Women are going to get more of our men than the devil does”

    Wesley himself got married late in life, but did not see why that should change the way he ministered (which was traveling thousands of miles a year on horseback all over the land). His wife left him.

    Meanwhile, I was taught at CC SoM that no man should take a position in ministry somewhere without the full and complete agreement of his wife. That was the official teaching at the School of Ministry – and I have no doubt it still is 20 years later since the same man oversees that ministry.

  60. Anne says:

    Don’t even get me started on the teachings regarding a woman’s place via “Joyful Life”! “From the tribe of Kay, Cheryl, Sandy, Debbi, Janie, Sharon and so many others.” Each of which have the tribally approved “covering” of their “God’s anointed” spouses. Lots of lingering genetic code regarding women’s need for covering that just like the God’s anointed refrain have evolutionary roots in CC’s shepherding history. I wonder if the Jezebel/whore strain was especially virulent in OR. That is where I first encountered it. Later experienced at the mothership more perniciously exposited via woman to woman at those studies, conferences and counseling sessions as too our dark powers and further example of needing “covering”. It is great, Steve, that you have established trends in your particular franchise that are slowly shedding some of the earlier dna of your tribe. Because you are different, because many of the 2nd & 3rd generations of chiefs are also evolving towards more positive, life affirming ways of ministring does not negate the truths of what others have experienced/are experiencing via the CC tribe. Especially if their anointed ones are firmly faithful to the earliest dna of the movement.

    I have now have probably exhausted my commenting stamina for the next 6 months. 😉

  61. Michael says:

    Might of been the “official’ teaching at the SoM, but it sure as hell wasn’t applied that way when dealing with Dwight Douville and others who shall remain nameless…

  62. Michael says:


    I think you make a real good point about those closest to that first generation…and that a lot of this is slowly being shed by the newer generations.

  63. covered says:

    I intentionally didn’t want to hijack this thread so I will not name the tribe that I was referring to. From 1993-2010 I was a part of a specific tribe that you are affiliated with. In that amount of time, I was an assist. pastor and from 2004-2008 I traveled and spoke at one and sometimes 2 churches that you are affiliated with every month. It may have been a small church with less than 100 or a large church like one well known one in Old Bridge N.J. In all of those churches where I either taught or attended like the one in Costa Mesa even, never once did I see a female oversee any ministry other than the Women’s Ministry. I have never seen a woman serve communion, I have never seen a woman do announcements and you are the first guy from that tribe that I ever heard of having a woman usher and serve on the Board. I am very pleased to hear that.

    I was away for over an hour hanging out with my wife while she had her pedicure and pushed the cart while she shopped afterward. During that time I let her know what this topic was about and she made an interesting observation. She said, “I have never once seen a woman usher” she also said that she was taught that under no circumstance was a woman to lead or oversee any ministry besides the Women’s Ministry.

    Now Steve, this has been our experience and I believe with all of my heart that your tribe teaches that the leadership is predominately men because of what Paul teaches. If you disagree, then that’s your opinion but for you to tell me otherwise is wrong because I know better.

  64. Michael says:

    Calvin was funny…he was convinced by others that he needed a wife and only did so to have someone help him when he was sick.
    After he was married he found that his wife was a gift from God and was crushed for a long while after her death.

  65. Steve Wright says:

    Because you are different, because many of the 2nd & 3rd generations of chiefs are also evolving towards more positive, life affirming ways of ministring does not negate the truths of what others have experienced/are experiencing via the CC tribe
    Anne, as I said before in this very thread and have shown for five years here. My experiences are mine and I do not negate the experiences of others.

    My point is that I tire of the “well, you are different” as somehow an explanation. If something is part of the established teaching then certainly I, as a new believer who went straight to CC, would have embraced it, right? And if I later “matured” then at least my actions now would be seen as some sort of rebellion..some rejection of aforementioned rules. Yet, they are not.

  66. Steve Wright says:

    covered, you still have not said what it is you have now repented of. What brainwashing you received that you now reject. I mean specifics, brother – as to women in ministry. You already stated @4 you do not see a women as properly preaching in the pulpit. So that hasn’t changed.

    What in your church would I see different if I visited. That shows this tremendous break from how a typical CC looks when it comes to ministry. Specifics.

    Look, I know women ushers and Board members are certainly rare in CC – but frankly they are rare in just about all Biblically conservative churches are they not? (By the way, we have had one of those female ushers distribute communion to the house in the past as well)

    So when you tell the community that you were brainwashed by your tribe with the Hawaiian shirts but now you see the light, I think you need to elaborate a little more.

  67. At my church we have women ushers, we have women readers and we have women board members (our last board president was a woman). We do not allow women to serve communion nor be pastors.

    He, we’re pretty hip.

  68. Xenia says:

    Let’s not overlook the fact, yes, the fact, that many, yes many women agree with, appreciate, enjoy and practice the kinds of things taught at CC women’s ministries. I don’t consider this to be a bad thing, either. Not everyone agrees with modern feminist theories. No one is forcing anyone to attend a church where they don’t agree with the prevailing theology and practices.

  69. Xenia says:

    I’ve probably heard over 1000 sermons and teachings in my day and I remember the content of very few of them but I do remember a teaching given by Cheryl Brodersen probably 20 years ago. It was meaningful to me then and it is meaningful to me now. She was a bright vivacious cheerful woman and she made me glad to be a Christian while encouraging me to be a better one.

  70. Michael says:


    That is true.
    My problem is that I know for a fact that many of these underlying attitudes have led to marginalization of women up to and including spousal abuse.
    I know of at least two instances where church boards tried to intervene in pastoral marriages on behalf of the wife and were overruled by Costa Mesa.

  71. Michael says:

    There is a three times married, twice busted for adultery, pastor on staff right now in a mega CC in SoCal.
    That invalidates a lot of peoples pain.

  72. covered says:

    Steve, the brainwashing is the idea that women are either not qualified or capable of leading all of the same ministries that men are. It is also taught and believed by many in your tribe that the womans role at home is more as one who is to be subservient to her husband rather than equal. The church that I pastor is a split from your tribe. It would be a conservative estimate to say that I have counseled over a dozen women who were told that they could not serve in a specific ministry because they were female. I have counseled women who were told by the pastor’s wife from your tribe that they need to “obey” and “submit” to their husband regardless of the pain or their ability to know right from wrong. I have spent 3 years trying to undo the idea that submission is a responsibility and not an act of love. Let me say that what I wrote above is not the exception to what I have seen.

    Dino Cardelli’s wife sought prayer and admitted that she would be disobedient if she shared what she needed prayer for. One week later she took her own life.

    That is what I am talking about. That is a form of brainwashing and you denying that it exists or that you are completely unaware of what I am talking about does not mean it isn’t happening. Do you want me to go on because again, this is not the thread for it but I feel as though your pride and loyalty to your tribe is causing you to push this dialogue. You know my email and fb if you want to discuss this further.

    You are an exception to many of your counterparts and for the record, I will remind you and others here that I have personally recommended to people who are in your area to look your church up as I believe you are different.

    What’s the difference from the church now compared to the one I am referring to? Our Children’s ministry leader is a female as well as our youth leader. Our worship leader for 2 years was female. A woman is in charge of our sound ministry and food pantry. A woman co-leads our benevolence ministry. A woman oversees our prayer ministry. A woman handles all of our book keeping. As soon as a woman shows a desire to serve as an usher, we will have no problem with this. Again, I commend you for having a woman usher and serve on the board but don’t expect us to believe that this is normal within your tribe because it isn’t.

  73. Xenia says:

    #71 That is why churches need bishops.

    Are the members of this man’s church aware of this? And still attend? If so, they have examined the facts and made their decision and shame on all of them.

  74. Xenia says:

    On the other hand. people often complain about the feminization of even conservative churches, that every job in the church except pastor is filled by a woman and that this has caused (so the story goes) a lot of feminine touches that make the church unappealing to men, such as the Jesus is my Boyfriend type of praise songs and over-flowery church decor, etc. etc.

    An example from Biola Magazine:


    and from Touchstone:


  75. Steve Wright says:

    OK…I see the goalposts have moved greatly to marital relations and the proper and improper ways the church (all denominations) interprets the Scriptures when it comes to the roles of husbands and wives – as well as the issue of pastoral removal or restoration when it comes to sexual sin and moral failings that likewise is common in many tribes, especially mine.

    That is a far, far different discussion…and one that, at least for me, will have to wait for another day.

    In closing though, given that a lot of CC ministries involve some sort of Bible teaching to men and women, it is not surprising to see those led by men. Again, there is no doubt that CC believes in male pastoral leadership.

    When one starts to discuss worship leaders, or bookkeepers or prayer chains, it is hardly rare to find women in some of these roles. And it is quite common to find husband and wife teams as well. I certainly did not exhaust all the leadership roles at our place for women with just my ushers and Board examples.

    Covered, I appreciate you speaking well of me and referring people our way on occasion. I too remind you that I introduced this discussion by referencing you as “a good man” (twice) and I mean that in total sincerity.

    Peace and blessings.

  76. Michael says:


    I am in favor of bishoprics…
    The man in question is one of the most notorious jerks in the history of CC…when I first learned about him years ago I was told that his first wife was “crazy”.
    Turns out that she is one of the most godly women I’ve known…and the scoundrel is on his third trophy.

  77. Michael says:


    I haven’t moved the goalposts at all.
    I believe that the root of many of the issues I’ve dealt with in this case stem from a deep disrespect for women.
    Not by all, not by most, but it does exist and I’ve personally seen Costa Mesa enforce it.
    I wish I had the old archives for the CC Appleton mess…prime example #1.

  78. So who is the guy? How are we to be warned or how are we to warn if we don’t know who he is. I am in So Cal, I wan to know.

  79. Steve Wright says:

    A deep disrespect for women exists..not by all, not by most, but it does exist. Got it.

    Where can I find the place in the Body of Christ, or for that matter on planet earth, where there won’t be examples of disrespect for women?

    Should I try the Reformed churches? Acts 29? Head down to MacArthur’s place?

    The goalposts started as women’s role in ministry in the local church – per the NT Wright clip. And yes, they did move greatly.

  80. Xenia says:

    In my world, we have so many heroic female saints whose faith and bravery are equal to none, with the Theotokos being the Champion Leader of all Christians. It’s hard to be disrespectful of womenkind when they are part of the Great Cloud of Witnesses that surround us.

  81. Michael says:

    The fact that abuses occur in many places doesn’t justify or negate the abuse in a single place.
    You want to act like it’s not an issue within CC and that’s where you and I will disagree vociferously.

  82. Xenia says:

    Including Saint Phoebe!

  83. Michael says:


    I already gave at the office on this one and I’m not starting that mess again.
    I’m hoping that at his age he can’t attract anymore women to dump…

  84. Xenia says:

    For myself in CC-land, I had some handy technical skills. The pastor needed someone to do a particular time-consuming, labor-intensive, technical job. He offered the job to a man in the church along with a salary. The man declined. The pastor offered the same job to me, a women, on a volunteer basis. I did take it, but man that was irritating.

  85. then I will assume that he is repentant and has been received into his fellowship in good standing

  86. covered says:

    Xenia, your 84 is awesome! I am not a bit surprised that you did it on a volunteer basis. You are a great example.

  87. Michael says:


    Assume what you want…he’s a dirty SOB in my book.

  88. So how am I suppose to know who to steer my friends from? You are telling me that a church has a disqualified pastor who eats the sheep and give no indication how to avoid him.

    Hey, you didn’t hear the guys confession – you are not sworn to secrecy.

  89. Steve Wright says:

    You want to act like it’s not an issue within CC
    How could I possibly act like sexual sin and pastoral failings and improper restorations are not an issue within CC?? Come on, Michael. We know each other too well for you to toss that out on me.

    We agree on that. Where we disagree likely is this cause/effect you seem to be creating. Wives sometimes cheat on their faithful, loving husbands too but I don’t think that equates to a disrespect for men. It speaks to lust and the desire for the sin of fornication. That’s been a problem for quite some time on this earth.

    Likewise, referencing the occasional “good old boy’s network” when a disqualified pastor is brought back to the pastorate is not necessarily a sign of disrespect for women. It’s a sign of something, but not that.

    I contend that CC is no more misogynistic than one could accuse most any other conservative Bible churches. That the makeup of ministry leaders and servants is little different than one would find at such churches like your average Baptist church.

    But what matters to me in this discussion is that it be pointed out there is no systematic teaching in this area that would preclude women from serving as deaconesses in the local church. Nor does this show in practice either.

    Yes, women will not be pastors in CC (or many other church denominations). Yes, every CC church is independent and one can expect different levels of commitment in these areas depending on who is leading that particular church.

    But nowhere is one going to be “brainwashed” that women are “to be seen nor heard”, or are not “capable” of serving in the local church.

    And it’s not just because I am “different” either…You guys can’t accuse me of having 100% CC DNA when it suits your argument in one thread, and then talk about how unique I am when it comes to things in another thread. 😉

  90. Xenia says:

    Covered….. I have to be honest here and tell you that I took the job because it was important and in those days I very much wanted to be important. So…. not such a good example after all, I’m afraid.

  91. Michael says:


    I’m not biting.
    I took the weasel on years ago and helped run him out of town, but he had to run out of the next town too with yet another wife.
    He found open arms in a SoCal CC even though his last church let it be known what had happened.
    No one cares…he’s a “good teacher”.

  92. Xenia says:

    Good teacher….

    I think a genuinely good teacher teaches with his life even more than he teaches from his pulpit on Sunday AM.

  93. Michael says:


    Covered, Anne, and myself have all stepped forward with the experiences we had, that in our circles appeared to be systemic.
    Covered perhaps used some unfortunate terminology, but I have to agree that this is the general attitude I experienced.
    I can prove over and over again that this has played out in practical ways in too many churches.
    I have not even begun to write some things I wanted to on this topic because i just don’t want the grief and strife.
    We have all said that there have been generational changes.
    Let’s hope they continue.

  94. you mentioned the guy in Wisconsin by name, Dwight Douville

  95. I see where Steve is coming from. Everyone, to be nice says, “yes you are different, but you still hang around rapist and murderers – so by default you my be approving of them.”

  96. dusty says:

    Michael said, “….. because i just don’t want the grief and strife.”

    poor big brother,you seem to be a magnet for them both. ;(

  97. Michael says:

    Yes, I did.
    I din’t name the other guy.
    I’m not going to, either.
    I take it you don’t believe me?

  98. Michael says:


    Trying to keep both to a minimum and manageable these days.
    I’m getting old. 🙂

  99. Michael says:


    I am as supportive of Steve and his ministry as I can possibly be…and he’s earned that.
    He has a great church, great board, and strong bylaws.
    Where we disagree is on how pervasive the abuses have been within his movement.
    He and I look at Chuck Smith very differently as well.
    Those differences do not change my views on him or his ministry one iota.

  100. dusty says:

    I have spent my life doing volunteer work…..but Xenia is a better person, Christian, than I am… knowing a salary was being offered to someone else (because of gender issues) and expecting me to do for free….I would not be available. I would not perpetuate such nonsense..

  101. “He and I look at Chuck Smith very differently as well.”

    Wll, if you both don’t look at him as dead and gone, one of you is wrong. 🙂

  102. Steve Wright says:

    A whole lot of readers here are women, and a lot of those women had very bad experiences at their particular Calvary Chapel. I have affirmed that over and over. I affirm it again today (and did in each of those comments earlier). I thought the encouragement for CC involvement here was in part to bring that awareness to corners it might not exist – and likewise for the CC folk to acknowledge the hurt while still trying to maintain some healing between pastor and congregant. To have affirmed “This is wrong”

    You longtimers know a lot of CC pastors that used to post here – used to minister here to the hurting. Do you truly see these men as misogynists? Do you think these men would remain in a predominantly misogynist organization?

    Misogyny is a sin. A great evil. It goes against everything Jesus taught and accomplished for us.

    So in effect to be told that despite my 20 years experience, and despite my own behavior and the behavior I have seen from many many dear brothers in the Lord – that in effect I am in an evil institution is something to react sort of strongly towards.

    It is also true that these same people do not usually have a similar lengthy year track record at a Baptist, Presbyterian, Acts 29 or other church with the traditional views on the Bible’s teachings about males and females in the church to see how radically different things may or may not be there.

    My assumption is that if a whole lot of the readers here were black, and had encountered the experiences that are unfortunately far too common towards black people in America, it might be pointed out that there are few black pastors in CC, and none in major CCA leadership. A conclusion that CC is a racist organization could then be offered, and I would have just as much success countering that accusation as I have had here today with misogyny.

  103. dusty says:

    big brother, you aren’t getting old,,,,just worn out…this blog takes a lot out of a person. but it is a ministry that was much needed and you came when called. You will be blessed for your obedience. .

  104. Xenia says:

    Dusty, I got “paid” in prestige and admiration, which at that time I craved more than money.

    So I got paid.

    It’s good to see you here again, Dusty 🙂

  105. Steve Wright says:

    And having said that..and reading Michael’s compliment above…I never have as my aim simply the desire to bring grief to Michael.

    And I know he knows that.

    I appreciate him, and what he wants to see the Body of Christ look like, and his heart for hurting people and his zeal for righteousness in the pastorate.

    Later all. Peace.

  106. dusty says:

    realizing my comment may sound like a slap to Xenia…

    Xenia,if you did what you felt God calling then you did right.

  107. Xenia says:

    No worries, Dusty. Didn’t sound like a slap at all.

    I am not sure I was doing what God was calling me to do…. it was a complicated and ultimately dark time in my life that did eventually burst into a great and beautiful light.

  108. Michael says:


    If it matters, I think that Acts 29 has a chance to be a far worse outfit than CC ever was…because their misogynistic and abusive teachings by Driscoll are on paper.

    I had to deal with some of his nonsense last week…and it was ugly.

  109. dusty says:

    “… eventually burst into a great and beautiful light.”

    so glad you got a happy ending.

  110. Michael says:

    I’m off… time for tae kwan do.

  111. I believe in women in ministry…Let the Word of God explain my position to you.

  112. erunner says:

    Michael @ 37

    “In the CC I was part of, one of the mantras repeated at almost every staff meeting was “women are Philistines”.
    They were portrayed as horny, gold digging, Jezebels who were out to take us all down.
    Heard it hundreds of times…”

    That really surprises me Michael. Why in the world didn’t you get out the first time you heard that nonsense?

  113. Ricky Bobby says:

    Well, unfortunately for Steve, we have a written and recorded record of CC teachings…and I would assert that practice…what you do…expresses Belief and Doctrine much more than words.

    Even so, both in word and deed, Calvary Chapel’s history of misogyny is not the pretty picture an agenda-driven CC rose-colored glasses Apologist like Steve Wright asserts.

    I’ll cover it in depth on the “other blog”. Thanks for the material Steve!

  114. Ricky Bobby says:

    Pretty much the definition of misogyny here, despite the propaganda from Steve Wright:

    “This is the one rule for marriage that God has given to the wife, only one. It should be simple enough for her to keep the one rule. Why would you suppose that God would make such a rule? Because God understands men. God knows that in man there is that male macho image. That somehow a man needs to feel that he is in control, that he is able, that he can handle the situation, that he is boss. I mean, that is just a part of the male ego. God, understanding the male ego and man’s needs, gave to the wife the one rule by which her husband can feel that he is really the man of the house and in control and thus be very compatible and loving towards her.

    So he gave the women one simple rule, which, if she would follow, would make her husband a very responsible, loving person, easy to get along with. “–Chuck Smith, C2000 Series Teaching on Ephesians 5.

  115. Muff Potter says:

    RE: davidsurfer51 @ # 111,

    I too believe in the full enfranchisement (not just partial) of women in ministry. It was the writings of Katharine Bushnell (late 19th cent.- early 20th cent.) that convinced me. I can no longer in good conscience sign on to the teaching that the Almighty has cast-in-concrete-inviolate-gender-roles that must apply to all, across the board, and based solely on plumbing received at birth.

  116. erunner says:

    Why in the world is RB back here??? This is very disturbing.

  117. Bob says:

    My favorite person in the scriptures (OK I have many favorites) is Deborah in Judges. If one reads the whole book it seems to me Deborah is the only example of someone who actually follows God’s instructions. Additionally she gets to sit under the tree and make application for people of those instructions.

    But I’m sure Paul wasn’t referring to Godly Jewish women when he forbid them from teaching.

    PS. RB’s reference to CS commentary is basically why I don’t take much of what he said seriously. Using his commentary isn’t very helpful in exposing the scriptures.

  118. RB,
    Dictionary definition of misogyny = a hatred of women

    How is what you said above to be taken as a hatred of women? It may be an overblown view of man / husband, but it says nothing about the value of women.

  119. Julie Anne says:

    I have counseled women who were told by the pastor’s wife from your tribe that they need to “obey” and “submit” to their husband regardless of the pain or their ability to know right from wrong. I have spent 3 years trying to undo the idea that submission is a responsibility and not an act of love. Let me say that what I wrote above is not the exception to what I have seen.

    Dino Cardelli’s wife sought prayer and admitted that she would be disobedient if she shared what she needed prayer for. One week later she took her own life.

    Whoa, how tragic! Thank you for your work in defending women in this area, covered.

  120. brian says:

    I found what Bishop Write said very interesting, I have never had a problem with women preachers, priests (Anglican), Pastor etc. I dont like some of what the word of faith male or female teachers but that is based on what they say and do not their gender. I think the best preaching I ever heard in real life was from somewhat liberal but traditional pastors of both genders. The first church I attended had gender roles I E women could not teach or preach or even speak during the communion service. Men were able, I know I made an annoying blank out of myself as I spoke way to often. What was interesting is the women, certain women had a huge amount of “authority”, usually they were married to an elder or were being polished or were a favorite of the church.

    But they were fine people but I think the gender roles and fear of “sin” did screw us up. I know I got tired of being looked at like I was just this side of a “rapist”. I mean I did not even sit next to women at church and if I did usually they would move, that happened to alot of the single younger men except the leaders. I think that is part of the toxic fear of sin of falling into sexual immorality etc. From the cheap seats I think most of the heat generated by this topic as to gender roles in a complete and utter waist of time, but that is just me. I lean more to who can do the best job should get it. Gift based leadership I have heard some call it.

  121. Calvary Chapel’s school of ministry actually ordained two women in the 90’s. Donna and Massy, last names are known but it is best to not say. Then they extended ordination offers to Karen Lafferty and Debbie Kerner Rettino. I believe they had declined the offer.

    Donna has disappeared. Massy believes in reincarnation mixed with Christianity and is currently working at starting a move of sorts in that direction; all against the wisdom and advice of her husband.

  122. brian says:

    Covered spoke about a women being excluded could not ask for prayer or being marginalized. It happens to many groups, I know the mentally ill and disabled at times are marginalized, the poor and even single people. Of course this happens in many groups, I think many churches try their best. But for a man/woman etc to feel they cant share a prayer request because it would be disobedience is utterly stupid on its face, personally it should be actionable, just like most other professions if you give advice outside your area of expertise. I cant speak to that particular incident but this goes on alot with “experts” telling people not to go to doctors, seek professional help, stay with an abuser, dont report to authorities etc. It is brainwashing and it should be illegal, in some circumstances it is.

  123. Neo says:

    Is that George Lucas interviewing NT Wright in the video clip?

  124. Steve Wright says:

    Calvary Chapel’s school of ministry actually ordained two women in the 90′s
    Well…you did not specify which CC as several have schools of ministry, but the school of ministry at Costa Mesa does not ordain anyone, nor does graduation from the school do one single thing towards anyone eventually being ordained. That was certainly true in the 90s which is when I was around.

    So if they were ordained, it was by the Board at Costa Mesa, led by Chuck. I have no idea what another CC might do but David, you usually refer to Costa Mesa in your CC comments.

  125. Nonnie says:

    I have seen both extremes in the CC churches we have ministered in or visited. I know that an elderly missionary woman named Helen Salibian was given the pulpit in some CC’s back in the 70’s. Our sending CC church has women ushers and greeters.

    I also know CC’s where women are marginalised and I too have heard the Jezebel references about women.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that in the churches who have women in ministry roles, the pastor and his wife appear to have a very loving and mutually respectful marriage.

    I have a friend who (in her 40’s) was at a conference. (This is a very down to earth woman, a pastor’s wife, doesn’t dress provocatively, etc) She happened to see a “famous” CC pastor sitting (alone) in a hallway, as she was passing by, so she stopped to greet him and she said she was going tell him how much his teaching had ministered to her. As she began to speak, he interrupted her and said, “Where is your husband?” She said she was mortified and didn’t know what to think. She walked away, thinking she had done something wrong. I still get upset when I think about that.

  126. Patriarch Bob says:

    “Our sending CC church has women ushers and greeters. ”

    Sadly, this is a sad commentary on church today where an usher and greeter is considered a special position.

    Basically both men and women should be able to teach their faith and its foundations to others. Too bad what most of us call church is more in line with pagan sacrifice than a place to learn about God and life outside the church walls.

    Could it be many people attend church to fulfill some personal sacrifice to gain favor with God? All too often I hear things like, “God wants me to be happy,” and then these same people go and do the most evil and horrible things in their daily lives. Hey maybe God wants others to be happy and we/I’m are the source of that comfort.

    Ok life’s good, I went to the “house of God” this weekend and sang a few songs about me, and said “holy” and “Jesus” a couple of times so I’m good to go for this week. Oh, I think the Pastor said something good because the audience laughed and they played a video clip from youtube.

    “Honey you got dinner ready yet! You know I’m hungry after a hard days work!!”

  127. This SO bears repeating…

    “Basically both men and women should be able to teach their faith and its foundations to others”

  128. Nonnie says:

    PB I was commenting that I know of churches that have women in ministry as ushers because it was a subject brought up.
    I’m not into fighting in my old age. I only have to read how Jesus treated and sent out women to preach the good news to know where I stand on the subject.

  129. brian says:

    I would like an aside, it concerns science and basically the tech that has built our modern world, the fact we are using computers shows we all use modern tech to some degree. The first time I stumbled onto the ToE I denied it and dismissed it as a spawn of Satan and all the sciences involved in supporting it were denying the truth in unrighteousness I E Romans one. As I began to explore the topic I E talk origins, AiG etc I came away that the ToE denial group was well losing hands down not even a chance. Dont believe me just research it yourself. Then came the YEC pov this aspect of reality is not tenable at all it just is not, The fact you use a computer supports an OE worldview. Dont trust me research that as well. If the speed of light changed or is variable in recent history basically all science cant be supported, that to is just a simple fact. Again go research it please dont believe me look at both sides and follow the evidence.

    I just dont pull this out of my backside I mean there are literally dozens of sciences that rely on a ToE and OE paradigm. I will acquiesce, admit I am wrong repent in sackcloth and ashes but it is a big deal. Offered for what it is worth.

  130. “Basically both men and women should be able to teach their faith and its foundations to others.”

    And who says this cannot take place? My wife teaches any and all that she encounters in her daily life and she is not even in professional ministry.

    I feel bad for those of you who church has become equated with a center for learning and not a place where we meet God each week – a place where you see the pulpit as the seat of power.

    You my friends are sad little people.

  131. brian,
    The theory of evolution has nothing to do with technology and you are leading people astray … so your confession is appropriate.

    Darwin used technology to do his work – the HMS Beagle itself was a work of technology – maps, navigation equipment… not to mention the paper he wrote on.

    No my friend, I think technology was around long before ToE

  132. Andrew says:

    I’m not really sure what NT Wrights motivation is. However, I do feel that lots of times women in the church are treated very badly and particularly in patriarchal type churches. I do recall one time where there was a licensed female counselor on staff at a CC church but she was only allowed to counsel women. I found this completely bigoted. The male pastors were allowed to counsel women in their office alone but none of these pastors were licensed by the state creating a very hypocritical situation. However the woman that was licensed by the state was refused to counsel any man. To me this just didn’t sit well. This had nothing to do with a women having pulpit responsibilities or a woman and a man being alone together because the male pastors were allowed to counsel women alone.. In my estimation women make much better counselors than men.

  133. “Dont believe me just research it yourself”

    Brian, you said that 3 times in your evolution rant. Do you honestly believe that the only people who are creationists are ignorant people who haven’t done the research?

    I know you don’t mean to be, but that is insulting.

  134. Shaun Sells says:

    So, after watching the video I think this is much ado about nothing. N.T. Wright is obviously smarter and better read than I, but it is clear he is making some assumptions here.

    Assumption #1 – Phoebe delivered the letter to the Romans. This is a modern idea that is nowhere in the text.

    Assumption #2 – That if Phoebe delivered the letter she also read it. This may very well be the tradition, but not necessarily true in all cases. Even if she did read it that does not lead to the next assumption being true:

    Assumption #3 – Phoebe exposited and answered questions about Paul’s meaning. Again, no scriptural evidence of that sort, only an assumption that is nowhere in church history to my knowledge, only guesses by modern scholars.

    I have no problem with the idea of Phoebe could have delivered, read, or even answered questions about the letter to the Romans, but that does not change the fact that the evidence is not there.

    That being said, what the scripture does say about Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2) is very instructive for the church:

    Phoebe was a “servant” of the church at Cenchrea – this is the greek word “diakonos” where we get our modern word deacon. Although the word does not always point to the position of deacon, it almost certainly does here as it is used in conjunction with here role in the church.

    Phoebe was also a “helper” of many, and of Paul as well – the word for helper is only used here in the Bible, but prostatis means female patron, protector or helper. The fact that she was such to many people including the apostle Paul shows why Paul treated her with such respect, not just because she was a sister in Christ and a saint, but because she was also a deacon in her church and a helper in Pauls ministry.

    This shows three valuable points:
    1. Women may serve in the role of deacon.
    2. Women are a great help to the body of Christ.
    3. Women are to be honored for their service.

    How does that play out in Calvary Chapel? Particularly for me at Calvary Chapel of Cheyenne.
    1. We have women deacons and have had women board members. Currently we have a non voting woman at each board meeting because she is out book keeper and can answer all those questions.
    2. Women serve in many roles both public and behind the scenes: teaching kids, youth, women’s ministry, and various evening classes. Greeters, offering counters, set up communion, missionaries (who share what God is doing through their work from the pulpit), staff positions (at different times we have had women receptionist, facilities managers, youth directors, childrens directors, book keepers, office administrators). Many lead ministries in the church such as the library, media ministry, coffee shop, women’s Bible studies, the prayer ministry, and the list goes on. They are not excluded from courses on how to study and teach your Bible, in fact they are the some of the most active participants. We have had women baptize people, do announcements, read scriptures, and share testimonies.
    3. Women are honored because they are fellow heirs of the grace of life.

    Stated more simply, the only thing we don’t allow is for women to have the title of pastor/elder because of the qualifications found in Timothy and Titus.

    Ok, fire away.

  135. covered says:

    Nonnie, when we confronted our pastor about constantly counseling certain women alone in his office with the door closed, he told us that it was how he was trained! The pathetic part was that it was the same women. There were a few women who he would pass on to his wife.

    He actually decided that I should do most of the counseling when it came to men. It was a CC and he is still in business…

  136. J.U. says:

    Some good doctrinal questions in this discussion. Is the Bible misogynist? Certainly not. God doesn’t hate women and Jesus said to love our neighbor. You would assume that commandment ignores gender. There are many positive examples of women’s roles throughout the Bible.

    Is the Bible paternalistic? Well, most cultures were during the times the Bible, our written instruction from God, was being set down. Besides, is paternalism bad? Or should there be no difference in gender roles? That is really the question and their are fair and honest and holy opinions on both sides of that discussion.

    In fact, the society of Bible times was also practiced polygamy. That isn’t too common in modern churches except for one exception based in Utah. And even there, the formal position is one wife.

    What about the Bible’s view of divorce? Has that changed?

    Have we “evolved” to a higher social consciousness now and the church must evolve with society? Or is the church and our faith unchanging? Or is it just our interpretation that is changing? Or is our interpretation becoming more clear and improving? These are questions that must be answered to fully examine this issue.

    If you analyze the gender roles in the Adam and Eve story from Genesis and apply motives to genders, do you come up with a condemnation of Eve because she was deceived and poor Adam just went along for family tranquility?

    Lot of good questions here. How were these questions answered by our religious forefathers (or foremothers)? Have the times changed? Does that matter with an ancient faith in an unchanging God? Again, is it just our new interpretation or have things changed at all?

    I must make one additional comment. When Michael described a group of men cautioning each other to watch out for advances from women, I think the gender roles were very reversed. As with any generalization, you have to allow for exceptions, yet I find it comical that a bunch of men are worried that women in general are sexual predators. I find it’s the guys who are mostly on the prowl. I suppose that is another social evolution that modern women are also actively seeking liaisons, but I always thought guys were the ones that had only one thing on their mind. Seems odd to blame the women. (And Michael didn’t say that he shared that opinion, simply reported it.)

  137. covered says:

    Re my #135. Some of my best friends and mentors are CC pastors. I do not want to throw the baby out with the bath water. I’m sorry that Steve seems to get offended when we share some of the problems within CC but there are issues with every church. Not every CC pastor is like Shaun or Steve or the others that I love dearly but there are many who bought the kool aid.

  138. Steve Wright says:

    I’m sorry that Steve seems to get offended when we share some of the problems within CC
    I get very tired addressing this same canard. Very..tired…

    (but still not offended 🙂 )

  139. Andrew says:


    I personally feel that for counseling to be effective it should be with the door closed because its too easy for others to over hear perhaps very confidential personal information and the trust can be easily broken.

    I also don’t have a problem with mixed gender counseling although I do believe caution is always wise. All the arguments against it seem to be about the potential for romantic involvement. Although, I found it fascinating when a homosexual male friend told me the same thing yet choose to counsel with a male. It just didn’t make sense to me.

    I think the problem is when a super powerful male pastor makes his own rules and doesn’t apply it evenly to everyone. This creates a disastrous situation. This is where the board and congregation need a say. No pastor should have that much power. Women should be allowed to counsel men in the church.

  140. Steve,
    I said it yesterday and you just need to accept it. They want to be polite and say you are different, but they also think you hang with rapists and murderers and you approve of their actions.

    You will never hear one of them say “Steve is different than the other CC guys”, without the BUT…

  141. Steve Wright says:

    In 20 years I have heard a consistent message that a man should never be alone with a woman behind closed doors in a counseling session. From Chuck on down.

    If some CC pastor said otherwise, I would be on him like white on rice. And if the response was “This is what I was taught” I would demand to know who taught him that – give me a name. And then I would be on the phone that moment to that person to verify if it was true and to tell him some pastor is going around saying he teaches this. That is a scourge that needs to be purged and I can’t imagine any Christian hearing that nonsense face to face and just letting it pass.

  142. Michael says:

    I want to affirm N.T. Wright…I want the Bible to allow for women to have full participation in all the ministries of the church.
    When I match my credentials, training, and gifts against my beloved friend Sarahs I have a real hard time saying that purely because of my gender I’m somehow qualified and she’s not.
    It seems ludicrous.
    However…I can’t get around this verse without some real damage;

    “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.”
    (1 Timothy 2:12–15 ESV)

  143. Andrew says:

    n 20 years I have heard a consistent message that a man should never be alone with a woman behind closed doors in a counseling session. From Chuck on down.


    This may be good advice for some people but in reality when you state it like you did above it is nothing more than a very legalistic mandate. It appears to be almost the same thing that many CC pastors say about an elder consuming alcohol. Statements like this are nothing but 100% pure unadulterated legalism.

  144. Michael,
    Well, as NTW so eloquently said “why do you concentrate on what Paul says, when we can make up so much stuff by reading between the lines.” (my paraphrase since words don’t mean anything to NTW)

  145. Michael says:


    I realize you want to keep the pot stirred…it is who you are.
    My pastor is a CC pastor…and he’s my pastor and my friend in the truest sense of the words.
    I have many friends in the movement…after all these years I probably know more CC pastors than most CC pastors.
    Why in the world would a CC pastor be friends with the Phoenix Preacher?
    Because many of them agree with the criticisms i’ve made…and acknowledge that there have been and are some real issues in that tribe.
    The really amusing thing to me is if you could hear how many of these guys have spoken about the bad guys and even Chuck himself over the years you would consider me quite the gentle critic.
    It is appropriate and necessary to differentiate between guys like Shaun and Steve and people from the rogues gallery we’ve fought here.
    There is much to be said for good examples.

  146. Shaun Sells says:

    We have doors with windows – we can close it so someone can feel safe sharing the difficulties in their life in confidentiality, and we don’t have to worry about accusations. I refuse to ignore the spiritual needs of women who ask for my counsel/Biblical insight because I fear someone might think something else is going on. Jesus didn’t do it, and neither will I.

    It’s not rocket science.

  147. Michael,
    All I said was that none of you guys will make the statement “Steve is different than the other CC guys and CC in general – without the BUT.

    Say it without the BUT and move on. If you want to critic CC don’t do it in the same comment.

    That was all – not stirring anything.

  148. Michael says:


    Again you are pot stirring.
    That verse doesn’t stand alone…we have women elsewhere referred to as apostles, we see them commanded to pray and prophesy in the assembly…we have Gal 3:28 .
    We have to wrestle with the whole counsel of God…evidently until we join a tradition and think all the wrestling was done for us in the 16th century…

  149. Andrew says:

    Shaun Sells,

    I like the closed doors with windows ideas. Sounds like a great idea.

  150. Nonnie says:

    I agree that men should probably not counsel women, and if they do, their should be protection for both parties.
    I never broached the subject of counseling, so I am not sure why people commented on it and referenced me. I commented that within the CC’s there is a diversity of views on how women are treated in the church.

    I also told a story about my friend. “…a very down to earth woman, a pastor’s wife, doesn’t dress provocatively, etc) She happened to see a “famous” CC pastor sitting (alone) in a hallway, as she was passing by, so she stopped to greet him and she said she was going tell him how much his teaching had ministered to her. As she began to speak, he interrupted her and said, “Where is your husband?” She said she was mortified and didn’t know what to think. She walked away, thinking she had done something wrong. I still get upset when I think about that.”

    I understand that pastors have to have an appearance of avoiding evil, but to not even be able to greet a sister in the Lord with a polite reply…well that was creepy and rude to me.

  151. Xenia says:

    The thing is, Michael, that Sarah is truly a godly women and not a grasping, ambitious person. She (from what I have read of her own writings) relishes her role as the teacher of her children and (again, speculating on what I have read from her) has no desire to be a pastor or priest. She is content with the role the Lord has given her and is not discontent because He did not create her as a man. (This is a better use for the “potter/clay” verses in Romans than the use some have put to them.)

    The idea that some people believe that women should not be content with so-called “women’s jobs,” that this work is somehow inadequate or unfulfilling, that they need to strive and fight for the right to be a pastor…. I find this insulting, personally. God, the Potter made me, the clay, as a woman, and I am not going to fight against this. I am only here on earth for maybe 80 years (only 18 left, possibly!) and I have been given this life to work out my salvation, not to strive for things I was not created for. I have all of Eternity ahead of me and this short time here on earth in my female body that is not permitted to obtain to the priesthood is just a blink of the eye. I am not going to waste it wishing I was something I was not created by God to be.

    Are people called to the pastorate/ priesthood? Is God really going to call someone he has already disqualified?

  152. Michael says:


    As I look back on it now I understand that they were simply setting up their restoration defense for the day they were caught.
    Literally half the staff was involved in some sort of sinful relationships and they are all now divorced, remarried, or dead.
    Interestingly enough, they were all replaced with people with similar histories…

  153. Papias says:

    Xenia @ 151. 🙂

    (Standing up… hands clapping in the Midwest)

    And that doesn’t just apply to women…. 😉

  154. Michael,
    You can have your own take on scripture – this is America.
    All I can tell you is that every denomination that has allowed women to be the pastor had to first give up the sanctity of scripture. I can speak from my own case with Lutherans – when those who would later form the ELCA gave up Genesis 1-10, gave up Jonah and several other passages – only then could they say that scriptures were open enough to allow the scriptures to be clearly read allowing women pastors.

    Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ and several others … all, everyone had to first destroy the scriptures. Most women end up in the Word Faith movement and look what they have done to scriptures.

  155. Papias says:

    Shsun Sells. I thought you comment @ 134 was spot on.

    Thank you sir. 🙂

  156. Andrew says:

    I think some of the comments here show that some men are still living in a patriarchal bubble. I have two older sisters. My oldest one brought me to the Lord at a young age. We counsel each other all the time as we both get older and we usually are alone. If only men could start viewing the ladies in the congregation as real sisters, we wouldn’t have this problem. Creating rules on how men and women are to interact may appear to put a hedge of safety in place but if its at the cost of devaluing a sister, its not freedom and it actually makes things worse.

  157. Xenia says:

    MLD is right. Look at the the “churches” that have given in to popular culture and ordained women. These are the dead mainline churches. Dead. You can’t deliberately disobey God without consequences. Once you ask “Did God really say….?” and you decide He didn’t really mean what He clearly said, everything’s up for grabs.

  158. Steve Wright says:

    Folks, the key is “behind closed doors” – not that a woman can’t confide in the pastor on some personal matters. I speak to women privately, with nobody able to hear a word, all the time. But never “behind closed doors”

    Yeah, it ain’t rocket science.

  159. Andrew says:


    Koodos to you for NEVER speaking to a women behind closed doors! You want a brownie point for that?

  160. Xenia says:

    My old CC pastor’s office door had a small window. People walking past could see the people inside (behaving themselves) but could not hear anything said. Seems like a good idea.

  161. Michael says:


    I make much more out of Sarah’s training and abilities than she does…because she’s been hugely influential and valuable to me both as a friend and teacher.
    You have a great perspective that fits within your faith tradition and it’s as worthy of note as all the other views presented.

  162. Xenia says:

    Look what a mess Aimee Semple McPherson started!

  163. Michael says:


    Bringing these matters up for discussion does not equal a complete endorsement of either the view or the one expounding it.
    You are a disciple of Luther, I of Calvin…we both disagree with Wright on justification.
    It is still worthwhile to hear him out on the matter.

  164. Michael says:

    Counseling is a delicate business fraught with many land mines that don’t apply to regular life in the Body.
    Proper precautions when men are counseling women or vice versa protects both parties.
    That’s not rocket science.

  165. Andrew says:

    Proper precautions when men are counseling women or vice versa protects both parties.

    Well said Michael. This is why a state licensed counselor subject to the laws of the state and their profession should hold a little more respect than a self appointed pastor who makes his own rules.

    That’s not rocket Science.

  166. Most pastors are not qualified to counsel on the topics they tend to counsel on. Scriptural issues and such, go to the pastor. Depression, possible mental illness…etc? Go to a licensed counselor.

  167. Xenia says:

    Michael, it’s not just “my faith tradition,” it is traditional, historical Christianity. We were all going to study church history more this year, correct?

  168. Michael says:


    I agree that it is traditional, historical, Christianity.
    I’ve got some ideas for a series on church history…it’s going to depend on how much time I have to execute my grand ideas. 🙂

  169. Neo says:

    More times than not, a guy having extended counseling sessions with a gal, in the name of ministry, that doesn’t end well. I mean a guy who isn’t licensed to do so through proper education and degrees.

  170. Andrew says:


    You are absolutely right @ 166. The problem I have seen at CC is that there was a tendency to devalue psychology, counseling and the mental health profession pretty much regularly from the pulpit. That was probably 10 years ago or so but it was very apparent at the time. Everything was taught to have a spiritual origin with an answer in scripture. It is only natural to go to the pastor with this kind of preaching.

  171. Xenia says:

    #168 That would be great! We will not agree on much, but it will be a load of fun!

  172. Xenia says:

    My old CC pastor mean well but his counselling sessions always began with that pythagorean (read: pagan) temperament quiz which he seemed to believe was the key to relationship problems. “Oh, you’re a choleric which explains the conflict you are having with your phlegmatic spouse.”

    Is this still a common practice?

  173. Bob Sweat says:

    I have mixed feelings about pastors counseling women. I did so for over 20 years without any problems, then I failed. When I have had pastors ask my opinion, I have discouraged them from counseling women. My wife, or other qualified women handle that responsibility. I would not call what Shaun is doing wrong. The window in the door is an excellent idea. Much has to do with the condition of the pastor’s marriage, and heart condition. I have come to realize that I was in prime condition for an affair. I was living in denial of the strength of my marriage. I thought that I had it all together, when in fact I did not.

  174. Chile says:

    “So he gave the women one simple rule, which, if she would follow, would make her husband a very responsible, loving person, easy to get along with. “–Chuck Smith, C2000 Series Teaching on Ephesians 5.”

    Yep, this is what was taught to the ladies at my CC. Funny how the men didn’t become more responsible, more loving and easier to get along with. We had a bunch of divorces the year I realized this was the teaching. In each case that I was aware of, the men were unfaithful, one even walked out and stopped paying the mortgage and food bills for a boat load of kids, yet was able to continue in ministry unaffected.

    When the women didn’t get help after coming to the leaders, they left. They women were vilified for leaving the church and the men were comforted. It was so backwards I was stunned.

  175. Bob Sweat says:

    “Most pastors are not qualified to counsel on the topics they tend to counsel on. Scriptural issues and such, go to the pastor. Depression, possible mental illness…etc? Go to a licensed counselor.”

    Josh, I agree.

  176. Xenia says:

    How qualified is a pastor’s wife to counsel anyone? She might be a complete wingnut. Sure, a godly pastor’s wife could offer empathy, sympathy, simple advice (maybe), prayer and a shoulder to cry on- depending on the pastor’s wife, that is. Would she be knowledgeable enough to know when she’s in over her head and it’s time to seek out professional help? If that church even believes in professional help? What if she is a gossip? Seriously, the idea of turning all female counsellees over to the pastor’s wife is scarier than anything else I’ve read here today.

  177. Andrew says:

    Bob Sweat,
    Thank you for your candid honesty. You are right that it has to do with the condition of the heart and a pastors marriage. I would say if these two things are not right it won’t make a hoot of difference in the world if there is a closed door or not. People will always find a loop hole to have an affair if they want it.

  178. Bob Sweat says:


    Good point. I believe my wife gives great counsel. Pastor or wife should know when they are over their head. Josh’s 166 is spot on.

  179. Bob Sweat says:

    Again, I’m not saying a pastor cannot counsel women. But they better take a realistic look at their own marriage.

  180. Michael says:

    Xenia @ 172…I remember that junk!
    I think it’s gone the way of all flesh at this point. 🙂

  181. Michael says:


    I know of a church right now where they are grooming someone for leadership who hasn’t lived with his wife for a couple of years and lives as if he’s not married at all.
    When I made an inquiry about the matter I knew what was coming…”she’s crazy”.
    Sure enough…

  182. Bob Sweat says:

    A brief follow-up to #166. I have witnessed, since leaving pastoral ministry, pastors who refuse to believe in the reality of psychological problems, preferring to blame it all on satan believing they can pray the problem away.

  183. Xenia says:

    I’ve observed many pastor’s wives over the years and most of them fall into the category of decent, god-fearing faithful women who managed their husband, children and households with grace and efficiency. They were terrific role models and it would be beneficial for a young woman to pattern their lives after them, if they happened to find themselves floundering. A few were very young and needed their own mentors, one was a certifiable lunatic and another… well, to be polite I will just say she misplaced her moral compass somewhere.

    If I needed something more than a shoulder to cry upon, I would not have gone to any of these women for serious counselling.

  184. Steve Wright says:

    We do not do extended counseling at our church. I encourage people to get trained professional help if that is their need. We listen, pray, encourage, share Scripture. That is the extent of our “counseling”

    And for every pastor being ripped on here who imagines himself some Solomon-like counselor (and there certainly are many out there) even though he has no training, there is a person who is really not serious but just looking for what will get a loved one off their back and that they don’t have to pay for. Yes, that happens too. When someone asks for marriage counseling from the church, watch the response when you suggest a licensed, experienced, counselor who also charges $100 a hour for their skills.

    As far as the behind closed doors thing – like Michael wisely said, rules like that are not legalism but intended to protect BOTH parties. Surely we don’t cry legalism to a similar rule when it comes to children.

    False accusations destroy people. And they are somewhat common. Michael will vouch, I have some experience on the receiving end of a few.

  185. Steve Wright says:

    Bless you Bob Sweat for all you shared here. Just so right on in every way…

  186. Papias says:

    Michael @ 168. 🙂

    “This mistaken preference for the modern books and this shyness of the old ones is nowhere more rampant than in theology. Wherever you find a little study circle of Christian laity you can be almost certain that they are studying not St. Luke or St. Paul or St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas or Hooker or Butler, but M. Berdyaev or M. Maritain or M. Niebuhr or Miss Sayers or even myself.
    Now this seems to me topsy-turvy. Naturally, since I myself am a writer, I do not wish the ordinary reader to read no modern books. But if he must read only the new or only the old, I would advise him to read the old. And I would give him this advice precisely because he is an amateur and therefore much less protected than the expert against the dangers of an exclusive contemporary diet. A new book is still on its trial and the amateur is not in a position to judge it. It has to be tested against the great body of Christian thought down the ages, and all its hidden implications (often unsuspected by the author himself) have to be brought to light. Often it cannot be fully understood without the knowledge of a good many other modern books. If you join at eleven o’clock a conversation which began at eight you will often not see the real bearing of what is said. Remarks which seem to you very ordinary will produce laughter or irritation and you will not see why—the reason, of course, being that the earlier stages of the conversation have given them a special point. In the same way sentences in a modern book which look quite ordinary may be directed at some other book; in this way you may be led to accept what you would have indignantly rejected if you knew its real significance. The only safety is to have a standard of plain, central Christianity (“mere Christianity” as Baxter called it) which puts the controversies of the moment in their proper perspective. Such a standard can be acquired only from the old books. It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones.”
    CS Lewis – Introduction to “On the Incaranation” by Athanasius.

  187. Nonnie says:

    “When I made an inquiry about the matter I knew what was coming…”she’s crazy”.

    When I hear stuff like that, I think of Dino Cardelli’s poor wife. What that poor woman must have gone through.

    Oh, and on another note…I appreciated how Steve and Shaun have described their counseling atmosphere.

  188. Michael says:


    That’s a great excerpt.
    Our problem is trying to get people to read any book…

  189. Chile says:

    Re: Michael @181

    I hear ya.

    We had a woman who discovered her husband’s online affair. He left and flew to the lover’s home with the intention of ditching his wife with the broad of adopted special needs kids. The other woman rejected him upon meeting him so he flew back the next day. The wife did not allow him to come home, but suggested they get counseling to work out the issues that got them to that point.

    They went to the church, where she was summarily told to immediately accept him back into her bed, because he said he’s sorry. When she pushed back, expecting some help, they disparaged her, rebuked her, and sent her on her way. Without the help of the church, and the overwhelming load at home, plus an unrepentant man pretending to be repentant (so it seemed,) she lost it. They carted her off to a rubber room. NO ONE visited her from the church. People got the impression that having any dealings with her would be viewed poorly. The pastor/leadership insinuated she was getting her just reward for disobeying their counsel.

    That woman withered away into a shell of her former being. Her husband proudly attended church each week. What a sham!

    Meanwhile, a guy on the worship team walked out on his wife and 7 kids. They lost the house and had to go on welfare to eat. He got an apartment, had more money to spend, and found another wife online. It’s his third marriage. When the wife stopped coming to the church and struggled with her faith, she was blamed. When I asked if some of us could visit her (didn’t know her personally, but her story was being spread by leadership,) I was told no, because she was in the wrong for leaving the church. Where’s the ministry to the hurting? Where’s the grace? Where’s the holding the man accountable for what he clearly did wrong?

  190. Chile says:

    Crazy pastor’s wife … hmm, isn’t that what they said about Dino Cardelli’s wife?

    Sometimes there’s a reason a woman is losing it.

  191. Michael says:


    It’s unreal to me…except I’ve seen it time after time in too many places.

  192. Wow, this has taken a strange turn from – did Phoebe deliver Paul’s letter?

    All of the above is anecdotal and gossip – basic pandering for no purpose.

  193. Chile says:

    People seem to like to discredit the one struggling with their faith. But so often the struggle comes from some religious person perverting the message of God through their life. They may be able to preach a wild streak, but the hidden truth is not a pretty picture. It makes people really question God. When I see a big faith struggle, I start hunting for the prodding pitch fork held my a “holy” man.

  194. Nonnie says:

    Chile, I am guessing she must have heard that when she brought up her suspicions, and who did she have to turn to for help?
    To do what she did….It breaks my heart to think what she must have gone through.

  195. Chile says:

    MLD, when you have women leaving the church and even committing suicide because they are not being cared for properly in a church culture that is propagating itself, passing on teaching to devalue women in subtle -yet effective- ways, then such discussions as this are appropriate.

    Like I said, I pray you grow a heart.

  196. Chile says:

    Nonnie, the women in our church had no one to turn to. For many reasons, many pastor’s wives don’t have anyone, either. The issue is truly the structure of the church first, then the culture of the church second.

  197. Michael says:


    It all falls under the general heading of womens roles in the church.
    This has always been a place where people grow and learn through shared experiences…you can call it what you want and you can choose not to participate, but I think it’s healthy and necessary.

  198. Andrew says:

    As far as the behind closed doors thing – like Michael wisely said, rules like that are not legalism but intended to protect BOTH parties. Surely we don’t cry legalism to a similar rule when it comes to children.


    I’ll cry legalism. I honestly think the RULE that many CCs have that children are a distraction in the service can also be very legalistic. I am not advocating a crying baby to stay in the sanctuary but I see nothing wrong with a well behaved 6 year old with their parents stay in the service. In fact, if I had one of my own I probably wouldn’t trust them to a stranger in CC. To me this is common sense.

  199. Chile,
    You are wrong – all this discussion has done is make the PP duplicate of CCA.

    My point is that no one here is saying this is what happened to me – what you all are saying is “here is what I heard was happening.” – comments like “(didn’t know her personally, but her story was being spread by leadership,)” don’t do much for me.

    Chile, let’s take a ‘live’ example – did your husband leave you, disrespect you, beat you up due to the ‘training’ he received in his years at CC?

    I was a part of CC for many years and never got ANY impression from ANY of the teaching that I was to do anything but love, cherish and protect my wife.

  200. Neo says:

    Papias, very poignant, thanks. Lewis spoke of “chronological snobbery”. That is, we tend to think just because a book or thought or idea is new or new-er, it must be better. Not necessarily so. In fact, more often than not, the older the better. Thanks again for the contribution, Pappy.

  201. not that liberal Bob says:

    “MLD is right. Look at the the “churches” that have given in to popular culture and ordained women. These are the dead mainline churches. Dead. You can’t deliberately disobey God without consequences. Once you ask “Did God really say….?” and you decide He didn’t really mean what He clearly said, everything’s up for grabs.”

    Since these two have said God instructs against ordaining women, not that I may or may not disagree, can I challenge you to provide the biblical text (other than Paul who says something about forbidding a woman) from both the old and the new Ts which states God does not allow a woman to be ordained.

    Now I am asking specifically for biblical text, not an interpretation, exegesis, or tradition from church history. And please don’t confuse the marriage roles here either, agreed the text does say a lot about that.

  202. Michael says:


    No, you’re wrong.
    We don’t live out our lives in a vacuum, but in community.
    I have never been raped, robbed at gunpoint, been a victim of identity theft. or many other crimes…but I know people who have been and I don’t don’t either the veracity of their stories or the the reality of the pain they express.
    Often, in the sharing of those stories, others are able to avoid being victims as well.
    That has great value.
    It has great value here as well.

  203. Michael says:


    How in the world do you exclude Paul from any discussion about what the Bible says?
    That’s ridiculous.

  204. Chile says:

    MLD, you lived willfully ignorant in your CC. You try to often make the case that if you didn’t know it was going on that therefore it wasn’t. You are wrong. Too many of us saw it front and center, first hand. We disregard your take on it.

    My recollection of the woman who was carted off to the psychiatric ward, is something I know about first hand.

    My recollection about the woman who was abandoned, was through her husband’s own words. Then my stating how the leadership responded to me, personally, is poignant.

    Did I beat my wife? No. We were outsiders looking in. We were older and less affected. The teaching in 2 of my CC’s undermined women’s value by consistently taking the men’s statements at face value and disregarding women’s statements regularly. I’ll add that I was involved with counseling at 2 of the churches and saw this for myself. I could tell you stories that would make your toes curl, but I won’t to protect the people.

  205. I will just ask here to the group of male CC exiles – “which of you was specifically taught by CC teaching or picked up any hint that you were to cheat on your wife, beat on your wife or to disrespect or belittle your wife.

    I will ask the same crowd, which of you were taught specifically by CC to love, cherish, protect and honor your wife? I will cast the first answer – I was taught #2

  206. Chile says:

    The men were told to love their wives in church. Then when the couples came in for counseling the women were told, in front of their husbands, to simply obey him no matter what. Their sole duty is to obey their husbands and their church leadership. Any disobedience (which included challenging a husband’s view on something) would incur God’s wrath and punishment.

    Over time I heard the pastor teach caveats to “loving one’s wife” that included loving her enough to make sure she obeys you, that she realizes you are the leader and she is the follower.

  207. Michael says:


    “Teaching” is done in many ways.
    The verbal pulpit proclamations were orthodox.
    The other teaching was that he was having an affair, sanctioning other affairs, and threw me out of the freaking church for objecting.
    Which was the most powerful lesson?

  208. Michael says:

    What is the church “teaching” when they embrace a thrice married adulterer as clergy overseeing the flock?

  209. Michael says:

    When a church allows a married man to live as unmarried while grooming him for ordination what is the “teaching” taking place?

  210. Michael says:

    This isn’t just a CC issue…it’s an issue that plagues all of independent fundamentalism.
    It’s a blight on our witness.

  211. No one stood up and said “hey, that’s not what you taught last Sunday!”

    So the guys just role over, forget about what they were taught and start beating on the old lady??? I have a feeling, these folks were beaters and cheaters long before they ever set foot in church.

    This really get funny sounding.

  212. Chile says:

    You sound funny, MLD, the way you consistently choose to not see the truth.

  213. Chile,
    “Over time I heard the pastor teach caveats to “loving one’s wife” that included loving her enough to make sure she obeys you, that she realizes you are the leader and she is the follower.”

    Send me the tape, I gotta hear this one. 🙂

  214. Chile says:

    Look it up yourself.

  215. Chile says:

    Thanks, Michael, your posts explain what I mean much better.

  216. Tell me who the pastor was so I can look it up.

    This is where you always jump the shark – be default CC teaching causes husbands to beat their wives and cheat on them … with full immunity.

  217. Michael says:

    I have to step out…time to pick up Trey.
    Before I go…it’s as important to let MLD speak as it is to hear the rest of us.
    His attitude needs to be recognized because it’s how many react to this sort of information.
    He’s wrong as sin this time, but this is what we’re up against.

  218. Chile says:

    MLD, you, by your own admission have said on this forum that you went to a CC to not be involved so you could recover or something. People who are not involved at CC’s don’t know what is going on. It’s a consistent story told by all who got involved that their eyes were opened.

    So instead of continuing to defend something you actually have no first hand information about, why don’t you go back to a CC, get involved and then come tell us your experience and what you learn.

  219. Michael says:

    “This is where you always jump the shark – be default CC teaching causes husbands to beat their wives and cheat on them … with full immunity.”

    That is a dishonest caricature of what has been said here.
    Completely dishonest caricature.
    I’ll ask again.
    What is the more powerful teaching…what is said or what is lived?

  220. Chile says:

    “He’s wrong as sin this time, but this is what we’re up against.”–PhxP

    True dat.

  221. Chile says:

    I’ve said the pastor’s name in the past. Go and look for yourself.

  222. Chile, at my last CC – Ocean Hills I was a teacher for 3 years teaching twice a week. I can still cool my jets and not be involved in church politics while still keeping up a healthy teaching schedule… and none of my teaching involved telling people to beat and cheat. 😉

  223. Chile,
    “I’ve said the pastor’s name in the past. Go and look for yourself.”

    You have said the name of dozen’s of pastors – I couldn’t even begin to guess which one you are talking about. But that’s OK.

  224. Andrew says:


    I am a male exile from CC. I was not married at the time, but my observations are more in line with Chile than with yours. The CC church I went to had more divorces in it than the national average. MLD, I agree with Michael on this one. Its not always what is said from the pulpit but what is demonstrated in their life. For instance, I don’t think I will ever go to a church where I don’t see the husband and wife together interacting at some level. Too often in mega churches, the pastors is seen in the sanctuary and the wife is teaching the kids but I never see them together to witness the reality of their marriage. This is another reason I don’t like multi-site churches because its very hard to see the pastor amongst his family and see the interactions. To me this is very valuable.

  225. Chile says:

    You still were not involved enough to know what was going on then. When I was teaching, at first, I was isolated and no one checked on us. Later, a leader became agitated because people left that group to come to mine. That leader stirred the pot and was shocked when I tried to deal with it properly. My hand was forced to take this to the pastor and from there I began to see things unfold very quickly. It was like scales falling off and suddenly seeing things for the way they actually were and not just the pretty facade.

    MLD, I implore you to realize you have never had an accurate picture of CC, yours or the whole. You have very limited exposure. What grieves me most is your lack of empathy for those who consistently give the same stories of their bad experiences in differing CC’s, in different states, in different countries. To hear so many first hand experiences that caused pain and even devastation and to not respond compassionately speaks volumes about the state of your heart.

    With so little true exposure to the under workings of CC’s in general, it confounds me that you feel it your place to be such a vocal defender of the group. But Michael is right, with your voice we can be reminded of just exactly what the opposition thinks.

  226. Chile says:

    MLD, I’ve clearly stated who my pastor is, who all three of mine were.

  227. Andrew,
    ” The CC church I went to had more divorces in it than the national average.”
    1.) I don’t know how you counted them, but good job – what is the national average.
    2.) Perhaps they were all divorced before coming to CC and were there for the healing and recovery.
    3.) If I came to you place of work (yes, the church is the pastor’s place of work) would I see you and your wife together to see “the reality of your marriage?”

    You would at my work because i work for my wife. 🙂

  228. Chile,
    “MLD, I implore you to realize you have never had an accurate picture of CC, yours or the whole.: -Perhaps mine is the accurate view and yours is skewed.

    “You have very limited exposure.” You don’t know what my exposure was in my CC days. When I taught at Ocean Hills I taught 100 people in each class – i was exposed to many people and their experiences.

    At Ocean Hills I reported directly to the pastor who was 2nd behind Skip – i think I know what I speak of.

  229. Steve Wright says:

    why don’t you go back to a CC, get involved and then come tell us your experience and what you learn
    MLD, just don’t go to mine, or Shaun’s, or Dave’s, or Tom’s, or Tim’s or fyi’s or…..(well, just avoid all those that are ‘different’ you know) 🙂

    I do think it would be interesting if the same criteria was asked of someone to go back to church and get involved in a Baptist, or some other evangelical church (that does not allow women to be pastors) and see what the divorce rates, counseling suggestions and other stuff happen to be like there.

  230. Andrew says:


    Yes, you would see me and my wife working together many times. I work from home most days. I am very blessed. Anyhow, its not worth arguing with you.

    It concerns me with what you wrote here:

    “I feel bad for those of you who church has become equated with a center for learning and not a place where we meet God each week – a place where you see the pulpit as the seat of power.

    You my friends are sad little people.”

    You see its not about your place of work that is so important but what you do when you go home. Church is not a once a week phenomenon.

  231. Michael says:

    We are close to the point of strife without profit…and I won’t have that anymore.
    Time to either find some points of mutual affirmation or close the matter.

  232. Michael says:

    Me, I’m waiting for a bus…

  233. Thank you, Michael—-it’s good to know that in the midst of a horrendously trying time involving that which I had placed my trust, there are some who believe what I have shared in spite of others wanting to cover these things up by saying that: “she’s crazy.”

  234. Bob says:


    “How in the world do you exclude Paul from any discussion about what the Bible says?
    That’s ridiculous.”

    I’m not excluding Paul, I narrowing the scope. I hear ad nausea the “I forbid” quote and yet the scriptures are a whole lot bigger than his one sentence and that is what I am getting at. The question is this, outside of Paul’s, statement to a non-Jewish former pagan group, how do the scriptures defend the “ordination” of men alone.

    When reading Paul one must always consider he is a Pharisee taught from the school of Hillel and attempting to teach Jesus is Messiah to cultures who are largely pagan, a bunch of idol worshipers.

    I submit to you most of what people proclaim on the subject is more about their particular church traditions rather than a careful exegesis and review of the pre and post church history on the subject.

    Of course it is much simpler to say, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” because Paul taught it.

    But who did he teach it to, what city was this young pastor to be in and what was the prominent religion in this location.

    BTW I have read a number of texts on this subject, John Piper’s is probably the most comprehensive.

    My most basic starting position is this:

    The problem isn’t that woman shouldn’t teach men, the problem is where are the men who will step up to the plate, do the tedious work of learning the scriptures and be willing to teach?

    It’s a whole lot easier to watch football (name some sport here), eat our favorite snacks, drink our favorite adult beverage and then be too tired to do anything else. It’s hell being man!

  235. Michael says:


    Your sanity has absolutely nothing to do with the churches responsibility in this matter.
    Even if you were to be crazy as a loon, your marriage is still bound in heaven and earth.

  236. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    I feel as though I need to say the following and at the same time my greatest concern is that I might be misunderstood or that anyone would take this personally. Nevertheless, I think it most urgent that all should know. I have never, not once lied, or stretched the truth concerning my situation with my biblical and legal husband, nor my experience and failed attempts to meet with his pastor, as my husband has since 2005. I have tried to educate and to bare a truthful witness regarding my husband’s diagnosis: sexual addiction and Narcissitic Personality Disorder. Yet was totally ignored due to the same mindset that MLD exhibtis concerning those things that are rarely found on tapes and stated from the pulpit. In return, I was met with silence, but behind the curtain much was being shared to discredit me. My heart has not just been broken over and over again by my husband’s choices, but also due to CC’s failure to understand what domestic violence is and how an NPD is quite adepth at leading a double and triple lifestyle, while garnering others to stand beside him as he covers up and minimizes the harm he had perpetrated against our marriage, me personally, as well as, using what I want to believe to be well meaning and good hearted people. At the same time, after now becoming acquainted with so many other who have experienced similar types of abuse, betrayals, and schemes to not address that which does leaven the entire body of Christ, I am also convince that much of this has to do with the Moses model structure in place.

    It warms my heart to see Michael pose these types of issues concerning women in the church and in the home. I think we become far too preoccupied with theological issues, although they should not be ignored, whereas, the heart of the God is swept aside when it comes to our willingness to jump in the mud, so to speak to clean up the pulpit, it’s leadership, and those things that we all know are going on.

    Until those entitlements that one gender thinks they have upon another is dispelled, there will remain this mindset of being “equal, but different.” Until these are exposed, discussed, and seriously examined, that is, aside from the sarcasm, and distracting comments, to come to the realization that such abuses do take place, and that it is not uncommon, and that there is direct correlation of enabling such things, men and women will continue to take one scripture to fortify these notions of patriarchel and gradiose entitlements. And finally, until those in the church develop within themselves, as some have posted on this blog, a heart that is able to be empathic, thus enabling them to look beyond and underneath these entitlements and the way they use scripture to reinforce them, there will continue to be great harm done to individuals and the body of Christ, at large.

    I wish with all that is within me that people would learn from my own situation. This is real, folks. Make no mistake, I am totally sold out for Jesus, but I refused to cosign my husband adulterous and wicked behaviors, no would I be held silent in asking that he keep his word to me in getting the treatment. He made it out to be as if I had abandoned, and rejected him, instead. He also told others that I had refused to submit to his leadership by agreeing to participate in marital therapy with him. This is not true—we did and he lied, then went back to his pastor and others, saying I was delusional while at the same time created situations to make it appear as though this was true. In truth, in counseling he was told this was not a marital issue at all, that in fact, once he dealt with his issues concerning his “entitlements” and the defenses he uses to cover up the addiction and narcissim, he would find the issues he has with me was never ever there in the first place.

    So what he says to others and what he says to me and then what he has said in those times that I, against my own wisdom, counsel with peers, and colleagues, I relented and participated in a few sessions with muliple therapists, while listening to my husband weave one story after another.

    But I am the “crazy one.” My husband has found a place where he does not need to be held accountable. Unfortunately, it appears that he is among many others that is like-minded.

    I care deeply for my husband. At this point, for the state of his soul. I understand why he does what he does, but I do not understand why it is that good men will stand by and do nothing, while I am literally forced to hide, being homeless, in order to avoid further harm keeping in mind the severe verbal threats he has made upon my freedom, and very life, while speaking as calmly as one who might comment upon the weather.

    The horror of having place my heart, my home, and my life in the hands of a church and such a husband, is more than I could bare at one time. I do not go to church anymore, simply because I have found it to be unsafe to do so. I do stay in fellowship in other ways. And through it all, thus far, my walk with my Lord has become stronger and more resilient, if you will.

    As for the comments made, there seems to be much more consideration being given on the topic of women in the church and its related issues. I hope that this continues and will be a vehicle for many to open their eyes and to deal with that which has place this one child of God in great danger, while having her heart broken over and over again, simply because eyes would not see and ears would not listen.

  237. Michael says:

    I do need to say this as well.
    This situation wouldn’t be happening in my pastors church, Steve’s church or any other of the CC guys churches that post here.
    They feel as strongly about this issue as I do.
    It would be dealt with head on and resolved.
    If my pastor thought I was abusing a woman I’d be wearing my ass for hat on his next visit.
    Now that I’ve made that clear, it is happening in a mid size CC…and there is no excuse for it.

  238. Well, if bad counsel is the culprit I agree 100% – there are bad counselors, bad pastors and rogues all over this world.

    But the discussion began above when Michael laid claim that it was due to CC’s Teaching on the topic of the role of women in the church – not counseling or back room back slapping – but by how the church taught about women … and we were speaking in the context of the NTW discussion.

    When I bring up the actual teaching, Michael agrees that from the pulpit it is orthodox … but in the backroom it’s different. Well how many make it to the back room 1/2 of 1 %?

  239. Shaun Sells says:

    uriah – I will pray for truth to prevail leading to repentance and healing where possible. I will pray for your safety as well.

  240. Michael says:

    “But the discussion began above when Michael laid claim that it was due to CC’s Teaching on the topic of the role of women in the church ”

    You might want to produce a quote that says that…real fast.

    I don’t mind being challenged, debated or argued with…I despise being misquoted or having my words twisted.
    It’s dishonest and destroys real dialog and I flat won’t put up with it.

  241. Thank you, Shaun and Michael.

    It is that which takes place behind the curtain that “leaders” take their cue. That is, as long you give the appearance of godliness, anything that is not recorder, written, or publicly witnessed simply does not exist. If witnesses start coming forth, you simply discredit, distract, and or sue them.

    Shaun, has been my prayer, now since 2008. I feel as though I am living in the catacombs —-very much on fire in the faith, but ever so, grieved at the same time.

  242. In reply to my #192 where I steer the conversation back to NTW, your reply at #197 was,
    “It all falls under the general heading of womens roles in the church.”

  243. Michael says:


    Where I said the general discussion fell under the heading of women’s roles in the church?
    That is pretty lame, MLD…very weak defense of twisting my words intentionally.
    I did not say what you said I said, you know I didn’t say it, and you need to retract it or shut the hell up.

  244. Bob says:

    “Until those entitlements that one gender thinks they have upon another is dispelled, there will remain this mindset of being “equal, but different.”

    I believe this statement pretty much spells how I feel when I hear men state how they are the head, yada yada yada, and yet they fail in the basics told by Paul to the same man he instructed about woman, study to show yourself approved…

    Before I say more I need to make sure the readers know I’m a man and believe I understand the gravity of spousal submission. It’s just I see such hypocrisy and the use of a few scriptures to subjugate women to a lesser role and often at great cost to them. I know far too many woman whose scripture knowledge, application and practice far exceeds that of most men to say “they can’t teach men.” Am saying this in opposition to Paul’s teaching to Timothy? Absolutely not!

    Michael thank you for posting this thread and stimulating the conversation about the use of religion to abuse and control women.

  245. Sorry, but your whole case is built that CC teaches erroneously about the role of women in the church. When I specifically challenged you saying that I had never heard the teaching you implied, that I had only heard that I was to love, honor, protect and cherish my wife – your reply was a curt, “well from the pulpit the teaching is orthodox” and then went on about the backroom “teaching” implying that really it is all wrong.

    What can I say … perhaps you want to retract your statements. Is it CC teaching or not? If not, then you agree with me.

  246. Michael says:


    I’ve endured all the useless strife on this blog I’m going to…forever.
    I’ve been careful to be as balanced and nuanced in this discussion as possible.
    You are choosing to misrepresent that and I’m not going to put up with it.
    This conversation is over and if you twist what I say again, you will be moderated.

  247. Papias says:

    Michael – I wanted to say earlier that I generally agree with your statement @ 142. The part of about NTW….meh. I know that you respect him, and I respect you. I just wish he didn’t act so bloody excited about these little “discoveries” of his.

    As regards to the role of womens role in the church, that verse is crucial towards understanding what we believe God has said. (If one doesn’t believe its Gods word, they have other issues besides the role of women).

    If we attempt to explain that “Paul didn’t mean what we think he meant” and attempt to couch the meaning of the verse as only applying to one particular situation or one culture – we become interpreters in a peicemeal fashion – where Scripture, in effect, does not apply to me or the issue at hand.

    Ramble over. 🙂

  248. Josh Hamrick says:

    I’m not sure that Paul’s moratorium on women pastors was meant to be an eternal binding law. May have been for a specific time and specific purpose. Now that women can get a PHD, would Paul still not have them teach? I don’t know, because the bible doesn’t say. Therefore, I have to stick with what the bible does say.

  249. Xenia says:

    Bob’s 201 asked me (us) to give a verse that says why women can’t be pastors but he specifies:

    “Now I am asking specifically for biblical text, not an interpretation, exegesis, or tradition from church history” and also “other than Paul who says something about forbidding a woman.”

    I am not going to be able to accommodate your request. The verse from St. Paul that we have been referring to all day(I Tim 2:12) is good enough, just as it stands. It is perfectly clear. It is those who don’t accept it at face value who have to do all the extra interpreting and exegeting or whatever. Just read it as it is, that is all that needs to be said. If you want to speculate about cultural issues you have entered the realm of speculation, not me.

    As for Tradition, Church Tradition also says that women should not be pastors. St. Paul was writing within the Tradition of the Church.

  250. Michael says:

    Here’s the problem with trying to wrestle Pauls’ statement down as a cultural or temporal issue.
    He carefully grounds his argument outside the culture and in the creation narrative.
    I think he knew exactly what he was saying…and he was saying this is about how we were created, how we fell, and the roles we are to fill going forward.
    I don’t like that but I don’t see how you can come to any other conclusion.

  251. Neo says:

    Piper’s not the guy to go to on this, IMO.

  252. “I don’t like that but I don’t see how you can come to any other conclusion.”

    If you take those verses out of their historical and textual context, you are correct. There is no other way to understand them. Shut up ladies!

    But, if you read those verses against what was happening in the world at that time, what was happening locally in the church Paul was writing to, and weigh those verses against the rest of Paul’s writing, you can certainly come to a different conclusion.

    Now, I am more in agreement with you. SBC does not allow women to be Pastors, and I can live with that. I would rather be guilty of trying to hard to stick to what scripture says, than to be guilty of making it up as I go. Still, there are great Bible scholars, both conservative and progressive, who read Paul’s statement with more nuance than you suggest is possible.

  253. What’s the big deal of not believing Paul’s words? When Jesus said “this is my body … and this is my blood.” most of you here say “well that’s not what he meant.”

    So, “I don’t allow a woman to teach” should no biggie .. what Paul meant was “ordain women pastors.”

  254. Michael says:


    Paul himself takes the words out of the historical and cultural context for us…and grounds them directly in creation.
    How very odd that I get flack for presenting a more open way of looking at the issue and for the traditional conservative one.
    Good discussion for the most part anyway.

  255. Michael says:

    Jesus also called Himself a vine, a door, and other metaphors.
    Some of us wonder if Jesus was literally parting Himself out at the table…

  256. Who is giving you flack?

    I think it is clear that NTW has gone beyond what the text says about Phoebe. He’s speculating.

    I think it is possible that Paul’s words on women in ministry were only temporary restraints. Not sure, but possible. I’m not giving you flack, just sharing in the discussion.

    My question, which isn’t answered in Scripture, is would Paul have said the same thing to a group of women who had Phd’s? I don’t think the answer to that question is nearly as clear as you seem to think.

    Paul was very progressive in his view towards women, as in relation to his time. At times he call them “co-heirs”. Women at the time weren’t heirs to anything outside of having a husband or a son. For Paul to insist they be treated equally according to God’s inheritance was a radical concept in the first century. IT seems possible, though not certain, that Paul’s views on women may continue to progress as culture and society progressed, women are able to work, learn, and have property values. I am sure, if nothing else, the way PAul speaks of women would be completely different if he were writing today.

  257. Property *rights*, not values.

  258. Nonnie says:

    This is an excerpt from an interesting paper I read from Fuller:

    Most of us do not literally exchange the kiss of peace or holy kiss even though the New Testament commands it five times (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14). Most of us do not consider foot washing a necessity even though Jesus explicitly commanded it (John 13:14–15). Obviously, our inherited tradition and/or our sense of the cultural contexts of certain texts strongly inform our interpretations.

    Finally, consistency and balance mean that we cannot impose on texts understandings that are not there. We cannot devalue the authority Jesus gave to his followers or the authority of prophecy in the Corinthian church just because they do not have the same structural pattern as that of 1 Timothy. We cannot divide the injunction of 1 Timothy 2:11–12 into two levels of authority imposed from our context so that women can be included in some activities but excluded from the “highest” levels.

    In conclusion, it is my deepest conviction that the full evidence of Scripture and an understanding of balance and consistency in interpretation mean that we must rethink some of our traditions and reaffirm with clarity and conviction the biblical basis for the full participation of women in the ministries of the church. The underlying biblical theology of a “new creation in Christ” in which there is “neither male and female” is a powerful affirmation of the commitment to equality in the gospel, the Church, and all of its ministries. Jesus’s inclusion of women among his disciples and witnesses, the coming of the Holy Spirit on both sons and daughters, and Paul’s inclusion of women in his circles of coworkers in the ministry all affirm the full and equal participation of both women and men in all the ministries of the gospel.


  259. Michael,
    “Jesus also called Himself a vine, a door, and other metaphors.”

    No he did not – you are 100% incorrect – can you show me where Jesus called himself a door? a vine? Bet you can’t and it makes all the difference in how you read the bread and the wine.

  260. John 15:1

  261. That was easy.

  262. Papias says:

    Jesus seven I AM statements from the Gospel of John:

    “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35,48,51).

    “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).

    “I am the door of the sheep”(John 10:7,9).

    “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11,14).

    “I am the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25).

    “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

    “I am the true vine” (John 15:1,5).

  263. Papias says:

    C’Mon MLD. You’re being contrary. 😉

    When I say that to my 4 year old son, he says “NO I’M NOT!!”

  264. Sorry Josh and Paps – none of those passages say A door or A vine or any A something.

    This is why I said it makes all of the difference.

    Jesus says he is THE vine and THE door which takes it completely out of metaphor

    All of those have a particular meaning – the vine has already been described in the OT and Jesus is laying claim to that.

    I have to drive to my office, but while I am gone do to those passages that you listed and do to them what you want to do to the bread and wind / body and blood.

    Say each on “I symbolize the door” or “I represent the door”

  265. “Say each on “I symbolize the door” or “I represent the door””

    Yeah, exactly.

    Unless you think he is literally the door, or literally the vine. It is without question…without question…symbolism. There is no argument to be had. Sorry.

  266. Bob Sweat says:

    MLD must use the Lutheran translation. 🙂

    “I think it is possible that Paul’s words on women in ministry were only temporary restraints. Not sure, but possible. I’m not giving you flack, just sharing in the discussion.”

    Josh, I have a tendency to agree.

    Culture or doctrine? I like the link to Fuller. Of course, I spent 30 years in a denomination that recorded (ordained) women. I was the senior pastor of 5 different churches in my 22 years, and the wisest counsel that I ever witnessed in any of those churches was from an elder who was a women. This isn’t a hill that I would choose to fight on, but what I experienced is a fact. I’m certainly aware of Timothy and Titus, but there are times when its difficult for me to believe that a Jew 2000 years ago would ever want a women to hold any position in the church that would put them above a man.

    I know that I’ll get shot down for these comments, but it gives MLD the opportunity of enjoying his Friday! 😉

  267. Ricky Bobby says:

    CC Sean said, “uriah – I will pray for truth to prevail leading to repentance and healing where possible. I will pray for your safety as well.”

    Uriah, I’ll send you $5. That and Seans’ words will buy you a coffee at Starbucks.

  268. So, back to women in ministry, I was hoping someone would make a joke about Fuller when Nonnie posted that article. Oh well, opportunity missed.

    Joking aside, Nonnie, that pretty well sums up my understanding, though I am not as convicted towards it as the writer is. If my daughter were to grow up and feel led to be a pastor, I would probably rejoice, and direct her towards the UMC.

  269. Michael says:

    If you ignore the fact that Pauls words are grounded in the creation narrative, you have to do so with every other doctrine we ground there.
    If he had simply said “I forbid a woman to teach”…without reference to the creation narrative I would be much more inclined to go for the cultural argument.
    What he said was “I forbid them to teach”…and this is why.

  270. Nonnie says:

    I won’t take issue with any church that does not ordain women, but I have seen what God does with women and I also will not take issue with what the Lord wants to do in and through a woman’s life. God is too big to put in a ministry box.

    I’m sure I have told this story, but it bears repeating: I knew an elderly woman missionary in the Philippines who went there to teach Sunday School to children. She was there for many, many years and her children grew up to be adults. One time a team of men from the USA came to visit her ministry and saw that she was teaching the word to a group that included young men, and they learned that she had actually baptised some of these young men and women. The pastor in the group pulled her aside and told her, as a woman, she should not be doing these type of ministries. Her reply was something like, “Oh! Will YOU be moving her to teach these young men and women? Will YOU be coming? I am very happy go back to teaching only the children. When can I expect you?” He didn’t say much after that, and she continued her ministry for a few more years before returning to the states.

    Was she wrong??

  271. Bob Sweat says:


    When you were in the Philippines, did your know The Cadds?

  272. Nonnie says:

    Yes, we were very good friends of Dick and Helen and their son, Steve and his kids. Dick and Helen helped us so much in our first few years there! Wonderful people.

  273. Michael says:


    Whether she was wrong or not is above my pay scale…but I wouldn’t have rebuked her.
    I’m just trying to wrestle with the text as honestly as possible.

  274. Josh, Jesus did not claim to be a door – like wood and hinges or a vine, like the arm of the Jolly Green Giant. What Jesus laid claim to was what was described in the OT. If there is a True Vine it is actually Jesus, if there is a Door, yes it is actually Jesus, if there is a Good Shepherd, yes it too is actually Jesus. As I said those are all described in the OT.

    So you think Jesus is just saying I only represent the door, or I only symbolize the door? – but I am NOT actually the door – geez, guys look, the door is over there..

    So now he says this IS my body – but you read it to say “actually, this is not my body it is just a symbol of my body.”

    There are perfectly good words in the original languages to say this represents or this symbolizes.

    The point being we can’t play with the words – those of Paul or Jesus.

  275. “The point being we can’t play with the words – those of Paul or Jesus.”

    You just did.

  276. Bob Sweat says:

    I knew them from their days in the Friends Church. When they came to the states, I always had them come to my church.

  277. Bob Sweat says:


    You’re messing with MLD stirring stick. 🙂

  278. Show me one place where I did not take Jesus at his exact words.

    Only you and Bill Clinton question the meaning of the word “IS” – you Baptists (you and Bill) are all alike. 🙂

  279. Michael, I guess I’m missing your overall point. Way up the thread, you said this:
    “The idea that an independent businesswoman was the first to open the book of Romans is game changing…and tells us how Paul viewed the ‘place” of Phoebe.”

    In light of everything else that you have said in this thread, what part of the game is changed by this Phoebe revelation?

  280. Nonnie says:

    Bob S. The Lord used them greatly in getting us through our first year of culture shock. We also ministered with them on a worship team at Union Church of Manila. We shared Christmas with them and they were surrogate Grandparents to our children for a few years. Dick and Helen Cadd were a precious gift to us from the Lord.

  281. Bread and wine is also addressed in the Old Testament. You choose, by faith not by reason, that Jesus meant literally that his body was actually bread. That’s fine, but it is a matter of faith, not of reason or even pain reading.

  282. Bob Sweat says:


    Small world. Then you probably knew that Dick was part a quartet that was formed from his days at George Fox College called the Four Flats. Harlow Ankeny, Ron Crecilius, Norval Hadley, and Dick.

  283. Nonnie says:

    Oh, yes!!! He and his son and grandson also sang together, when we knew them. Like I said, the Cadd family are just wonderful people. Our lives are richer having known them.

  284. Josh, the claim is NOT that Jesus’ body is bread. It is that that bread is Jesus’ body. I believe literally that God can do whatever he wants with his body, walk on water, walk through a hostile crowd unmolested etc. – even hand it out as bread.

  285. Michael says:


    If we actually knew that Phoebe was indeed the first person to exposit the letter to the Romans it would mean that there are exceptions to the prohibition against women teaching by Paul’s own command.

    It would be we did indeed have to wrestle with why he made such a clear statement grounded in the creation narrative, yet sent a women to first exposit his greatest work.

  286. Andrew says:

    Israelites ate Manna in the wilderness. This is symbolic of Christ I believe. The eating part, I believe is the metaphor for our faith. The Manna is the actual incarnation of Christ. So yes, I am with MLD that Christ’s body is actually what is referred to here but I think the eating part is more of a metaphor. Because I need to reconcile John 6:40 which only talks about believing and not necessarily eating:

    “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

  287. Nonnie says:

    Again, I am not arguing with churches who choose not to ordain women, but I have to ask why would Jesus send the Samaritan woman to preach the good news to her people, rather than his disciples, and why would the first person to preach the resurrection to the apostles, no less, be a woman?

    What was Jesus saying in all of this?

  288. Michael says:


    Those are great questions…and there are no simple answers, at least that I’ve found.

  289. “If we actually knew that Phoebe was indeed the first person to exposit the letter to the Romans it would mean that there are exceptions to the prohibition against women teaching by Paul’s own command.”

    It would seem, by Paul’s other writings and exhortations that we already know that there were exceptions. That is the entire reason that it seems to me that his prohibitions were for specific times and specific people, because he did commend women ministers in other places and times.

  290. Since Andrew brought up John 6 – Jesus goes on this big deal about eating him, feeding on him etc and what was the reaction of the hearers?

    V. 60 “On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

    V. 66 “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”

    Now we know that Jesus was speaking in metaphors 😉 so the following verses are Jesus chasing after those who left saying “come on guys, don’t you know a metaphor when you hear one? Get your butts back into camp, right now!”

    And we know that they came back and the other 12 disciples laughed at them.

  291. Glen says:

    Bob, your #283 – Ron Crecilius – if my memory is right and he had curly blonde/light brown hair and he is from Southern California, I knew him in night school. Small world maybe?

  292. Michael says:


    Then how do you explain the fact that he bases the prohibition not on cultural or temporal reasons but on creation itself?

  293. Glen says:

    Something changed make that #282.

  294. Nonnie says:

    And then I think of Anna, the old woman in the temple who spoke of the Saviour to ALL who were awaiting redemption. (I am surmising that “all” implies men, as well as women, and she would have been speaking forth/teaching them what the scriptures said of the coming Messiah)

    Luke 2:36-38

  295. Bob Sweat says:

    Ron lived in Azusa for awhile. I believe he was pastor at Azusa Friends Church at one time.

  296. Andrew says:


    Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

    Eating and drinking appear to be metaphors for believing and putting trust in Christ. I believe Jesus made a big deal about this so there would be no misunderstanding of His incarnation. His body was very real.

  297. “Then how do you explain the fact that he bases the prohibition not on cultural or temporal reasons but on creation itself?”

    Well, I don’t, but I weigh it against other things that he said. Again, I am SBC, and we don’t allow women to be pastors. But I certainly understand the other side. If Phoebe were the first expositor, how would you explain this text?

  298. Andrew, if that is the case, what was the “hard teaching” ? Why could they not accept it? That seems pretty simple.

    The Jews knew exactly what Jesus was saying “Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

    That my friend is the hard teaching.

  299. burp.... Bob says:

    I hope the readers understand my complaint that men have used a few scriptures to mistreat and reduce women’s roles over the millennium and yet in the beginning it wasn’t so. Using Paul’s own direction if we return to Genesis it will be found that Adam willfully defied God’s instruction while Eve was, by her own admission, was deceived.

    Even a casual reader will see God’s judgment on the pair was very limited to Eve while Adam not only is condemned to death he causes the very ground to be cursed. This judegment continues today.

    Why then does Paul seem so harsh on women in his instructions to Timothy? He states the obvious about creation and who sinned first, but why does he essential command men to be the teachers? Evil men would say it is because women are easily deceived. But what about men refusing to lead and follow the instructions of God? Could this actually be a curse?

    As I said before , men where are you in your commanded role to instruct, love and lead your families?

    Oh well back to the beer, music and YouTube. Women stay in line don’t teach a thing!

  300. Andrew says:


    I believe the hard teaching was the fact that he was God in the flesh. Wasn’t this the exact same reason the Jews got so mad at him and accused him of blasphemy and eventually crucified him because he claimed to be God in the flesh. This truly was a very difficult for some back then as it is for some today. But Jesus also was claiming to be the only way which makes what he was saying even more difficult for many.

  301. Michael says:


    It becomes almost unexplainable at that point because of the grounding in the act of creation.
    Paul seems to be arguing that to have a woman teach in the assembly is a violation of the creation order and that the evidence of that is Eve’s deception in the garden.

  302. Bob says:

    So Michael, which ones worse, being deceived or willfully disobeying and lying to God?

  303. Andrew,
    I think the hard teaching was “This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” – followed by “eat”

    The Jews knew he was talking cannibalism of sorts and they weren’t buying it. I have heard many Christians say the same thing.

    But what they heck – on the other conversation it looks like Paul was at odds with some of the other writers. 😉

  304. Michael says:


    I hear what you’re saying and I may even assent emotionally.
    However, we (or at least I) have to wrestle with what Paul said because what he said is holy writ and what I think…isn’t.

  305. Bob says:

    Back to the beginning:

    Evil Lamech! In the line of Cain, was the first to have two wives and the first to threaten them by bragging how he killed two men.

    Could we men actually use scripture to threaten women and make ourselves superior?

    Are we sons of Lamech?

  306. Michael says:

    I believe it was at Marburg where Luther and Zwingli were trying to find a compromise on the doctrine of the Lords table to unite the Reformed and the Lutherans as one tribe.
    Luther wouldn’t budge..and took out a knife and carved ‘THIS IS MY BODY” into the table they were sitting at.
    The rest of the meeting didn’t go well… 🙂

  307. Glen says:

    Bob, that sounds about right. He would have graduated high school around 67 or 68 and did sing in choir.

  308. Bob says:

    Michael church order, while often difficult, is really not the subject being debated it is abuse and how church leadership at all levels uses excuses to hurt people.

    I do believe men are called to lead and teach, but I also defend women to the point of death, not threaten them with it in the name of god.

    Put Lamech’s boast about what God told his father Cain and match it with men who claim the superiority over women because of Paul’s teaching to Timothy.

  309. Michael says:


    I do not think myself superior to woman and I loathe men who threaten them in any way.
    I still have to wrestle with what the text says until I’m tired or convinced.

  310. Andrew says:

    I think the hard teaching was “This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” – followed by “eat”


    Eating and drinking were a metaphor used by Jesus for believing in the same passage. When Christ said this bread is my flesh he used the analogy of the Manna in the wilderness coming from Heaven just as he had come from the father. He was stating the he was both 100% man (flesh) and 100% God at the same time. After the disciples started grumbling he referred to his ascension to where he came from. Its pretty clear to me that Jesus is talking clearly about his incarnation and then his ascension. If Jesus ascended into heaven and will return some day, I think its pretty clear that no one is actually eating his real body because He’s in heaven right now.

  311. ” I think its pretty clear that no one is actually eating his real body because He’s in heaven right now.”

    So Jesus is not in our midst like in “where 2 or 3 are gathered…”? but is locked up in heaven?

  312. Bob says:

    Michael you may not but many did, do and will in the future. While the text describes church order to a part Jew who is pastoring a Christian church in a historic pagan city, ultimately the protection of the weak is the overriding issue for those who love God here.

    I would rather allow women to teach than let men abuse women because they use scriptures to do so.

    BTW it’s a life time of struggle with the text (that makes us sons of Seth and not Cain) and sometimes the answers are not as easy as MLD makes them.

    Had to harass you MLD. 😉

  313. Andrew says:

    So Jesus is not in our midst like in “where 2 or 3 are gathered…”? but is locked up in heaven?

    Spiritually Christ is present because he is God, but physically he is not here because he is also man unless you attribute characteristics of Christ’s divinity and mix them with Christ’s humanity as is done with Monophysitism.

  314. Andrew, you do know that is a heresy to think that you can separate Jesus’ body from his spirit … don’t you?

  315. Steve Wright says:

    What was Jesus saying in all of this?
    Nonnie, Christianity elevated women in society – and continues to do so. Look at Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist societies to see a stark contrast – any nation where Christianity has not had a major influence in either the present of at some point in the past.

    Your examples are of women sharing the faith. Nobody would deny the validity of such a thing. Paul was writing about the establishment within the local church.

    Paul also said the older widows (females) were to be supported – no reference to the men. No doubt because, as Paul also wrote, if a man does not work, he does not eat – and women should not have that same expectation. Is there an argument that the church should now neglect widows who are widows indeed and can only trust on God to meet their needs (though the church). Obviously not.

    As an aside, would it be a point of irony to note that the Driscoll plagiarism issue was initiated by his copying a commentary written by a woman? A commentary which I also own, have read, and found very helpful as I preached through the book – and which I see no contradiction whatsoever to Paul’s admonition.

    Michael’s point about the argument going back to the Creation narrative is crucial to me as well.

  316. Andrew says:

    Andrew, you do know that is a heresy to think that you can separate Jesus’ body from his spirit … don’t you?

    Oh, Yes. Believe me. I have see a lot of Nestorians. I’m not separating he Spirit from His body. They are inseparable except perhaps when he physically died on the cross and before he rose from the dead. That one is a complete puzzle to me.

  317. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – Is Christ physically present in the elements at communion in churches with the memorialist view?

  318. Michael says:


    Men who use the word to abuse women invalidate themselves, not the text.

  319. “MLD – Is Christ physically present in the elements at communion in churches with the memorialist view?”

    No, He doesn’t show up until after the elements are blessed by a Priest. Otherwise, there are pounds of Jesus on every grocery store in the country.

  320. Josh…lol

  321. “MLD – Is Christ physically present in the elements at communion in churches with the memorialist view?”

    yes, but the participants deny his presence.

    Here is a question – is Jesus bodily present at your church?

  322. Well, it’s completely true. For all the talk of taking Jesus words literally, they’ve added the statement “after it is blessed by a Priest”.

  323. Mld – What is the difference between the bread and wine at a grocery store? Seriously?

  324. Well I didn’t say anything about being blessed by a priest.

    “Mld – What is the difference between the bread and wine at a grocery store? Seriously?”
    Nothing, where do you think we get our supplies?

  325. Steve Wright says:

    Here is a question – is Jesus bodily present at your church?
    Bodily? Nope. We are still awaiting the 2nd Coming over at our place. He very much is present though…and not just at (or in) communion.

    Of course, we don’t think Jesus’ glorified body dissolved after the ascension of Acts 1 either…

  326. “He very much is present though…”

    How? How is he present without his body? Did he leave his body in heaven?

    Ever see the movie Cacoon? Is that how he does it?

  327. Andrew says:

    Of course, we don’t think Jesus’ glorified body dissolved after the ascension of Acts 1 either…

    Steve is this a universal belief in CC? Cause I just listened to a sermon by a CC guy where he said that only the Spirit of a man will enter heaven. Kind of gave me the impression that somehow Jesus dissolved with his accession.

  328. Bob Sweat says:

    Some great “stand up” material here!

  329. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, why do you keep using the word, body, in the singular?

  330. “MLD, why do you keep using the word, body, in the singular?”

    I know there is a trick here but what the heck – I’m a big boy.

    Because I am a Christian who believes in only one God who had a body. I don’t think that Jesus even in his glorified state has a closet full of bodies on hangars, that he puts on like a suit of clothes each day.

    If you want to make the case for ‘the many bodies of Jesus’ I will listen.

  331. Steve Wright says:

    Oh no, I know there is only one body. I guess my question is then which part does your church get on Sundays there in Orange County? Obviously you are not the only church doing communion, and you already stated that every church that does communion has Jesus’s body there, even those who do not recognize Him as such. Seems like a lot of bodies to go around the world…OR….the dissolve theory goes into practice and the need is for a few atoms to be spread here and there to each church.

    You see, when I speak of Jesus’ human body, I am thinking of two legs, two arms, a face – sure in a glorified state (and no, I don’t know precisely what that would be like) – but I know it (the body) is fully human. 100% And this body we await to return at the 2nd Coming. As He will return just as He left (per the messengers there in Acts 1 who told the apostles to stop looking at the sky)

  332. Why do you limit what God can do with his body? How did he keep handing out fish after fish after fish?
    Believe me, one thing I never claim is to know how God does what God does.

    You on the other hand, if you have trouble with the how, just shrug it off to metaphor.

    When the Lutherans settled this, we made the claim that jesus is present ‘in, with and under’ the elements – we don’t know how and we can’t even describe it – so we tried to cover all bases.

    All we know is that Jesus said … well you know what he said and Paul (the woman hater) ;-0) repeated it with absolutely no ‘clarifying comments.**

    **clarifying comments – I heard Chuck Smith and one other pastor on another occasion in the middle of the institution of the supper when they said “and Jesus said this is my body…” make a side comment “but we do not take this to be his literal body”

  333. But you did not answer (and no one does) how is Jesus present in your fellowship if not bodily?

  334. Steve Wright says:

    When the Lutherans settled this, we made the claim that jesus is present ‘in, with and under’ the elements – we don’t know how and we can’t even describe it – so we tried to cover all bases.
    I appreciate the honesty of motive there, as well as the source of your beliefs.

    As to your question to me, so I understand, Jesus only shows up at Lutheran gatherings when communion is served? If you believe that, please say…If not, then answer your own question.

    You see I can take Jesus’ words literally too. He said “Lo, I am with you always” – and did not add “in the supper”

  335. Steve, you asked me ““MLD – Is Christ physically present in the elements at communion in churches with the memorialist view?””

    I answered in my #321.

  336. “You see I can take Jesus’ words literally too. He said “Lo, I am with you always” – and did not add “in the supper””

    Bodily?? You need to answer – this is critical.

  337. Andrew says:

    MLD, when you talk about presence, I feel you are referring to a physical dimension that we understand. I believe Jesus is present because he is Spirit connected to his body in heaven.

  338. “Jesus is present because he is Spirit connected to his body in heaven.”

    Rope – chain or power cord? 🙂

    This is what i mean – if you can’t wrap your head around it you deny that he can be bodily present … even in the very place where he promised to be bodily present … the supper.

  339. Steve Wright says:

    So MLD, what is the 2nd Coming? Defined.

    If Jesus has been returning to earth thousands of times a day for a couple thousand years….

    (have to run out for awhile…now…bodily..) 🙂

  340. Bob says:

    Men who use the word to abuse women invalidate themselves, not the text.

    Agreed, but men who succumb to their evil inclinations in the name of scripture exist and none of us are exempt from those same inclination. Guarding the weak starts in our hearts and minds to prevent us from perverting the scriptures to satisfy our lusts.

    Ok this thread has turned to the old communion issue. I guess it’s a safer subject.

  341. Josh Hamrick says:

    You guys do realize that MLd just said that Jesus’ physical body is laying on a grocery store shelf.

    I think that ends the discussion.

  342. Wow, my position will never recover from that one Josh. 🙂

    How about the day old bakeries.

  343. Michael says:


    I’m all for dealing with abuse and abusers…but I’m not willing in any way to disregard the text of Scripture to do so.

  344. Neo says:

    Just because a text has been used in abusive ways doesn’t mean we toss it. Having said that, I sure wish Paul would’ve left those couple verses out. 🙂

  345. Steve Wright says:

    In a nutshell, all sides have to admit a degree of mystery behind the ramifications of the hypostatic union of Christ in the Lord’s present ministry during the Church-age as we await the 2nd Coming. However, the idea that a rejection of the Lutheran view of communion equates to some heretical separation within Christ’s Being is a bridge too far.

  346. Steve, there is no heresy on your end since you don’t think that Jesus is present in the supper at all. You have not divided anything.

    I tried a couple of times to steer it away from communion and just tickle your view on how Christ is present today at all … say in a church service.When Jesus spoke of his presence -” lo I am with you” or “where 2 or 3 are gathered” – in whatever context, he is amongst his Church (I know you will deny the existence of the church at that time), so at least among his people… always.

    Somewhere in the world 24 hours a day, God’s people are gathered, the bread and wine are consecrated and Jesus is bodily amongst his people.

  347. Steve Wright says:

    Ok..to be clear then. I asked you earlier if Christ was with you Lutherans when you aren’t having communion. I am assuming here you say ‘no’

    And that His promise was not something we can individualize – Christ with ME always, Christ with US (2 or 3) gathered unto His Name…but rather the promise is general in nature and fulfilled because somewhere, 24 hours a day someone is gathered for communion.

    That’s your take?

  348. That wasn’t the conversation and no I cannot micro manage Jesus. When Jesus is with us at all other times I don’t know – I can only count on when and where he has made a direct promise in the supper.

    But you have continued to avoid the question – is there such a thing as a Jesus with no body?

  349. I do find it quite humorous that you believe that Jesus can be everywhere – except in the bread and wine.

  350. brian says:

    Josh that is a good question no I do not think you are ignorant etc. I am looking at it different, I am trying to see if people can understand how people like me can struggle with it. We are not using it as an excuse to sin, hate God, lie, manipulate etc. That just maybe they might understand why we interpret the evidence different and in norm with most professionals in this area. My rants come because it is so utterly frustrating because the rhetoric from both sides just snuffs any real discussion. I hope that makes sense. I do wish to apologize if I gave of the ideal that I thought you were ignorant etc.

  351. Andrew says:

    Steve, there is no heresy on your end since you don’t think that Jesus is present in the supper at all. You have not divided anything

    Don’t forget the trinity. If you are a Christian, you are in dwelt with the Holy Spirit which can not be separated from Christ. So its seems to me that where ever the Holy Spirit is, the body of Christ is also right according to your logic? Which begs the question of why Jesus said he would send the comforter when he was going away.

  352. Andrew says:

    Rope – chain or power cord? 🙂

    Probably more like a wireless internet connection with Skype. 🙂

  353. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    It seems to me that we need to read what Jesus said prior to dividing the bread and passing around the cup of wine.

    (KJV) Luke 14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

    15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

    16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

    17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

    It also seems to me that we forget what Jesus said when consoling his disciples regarding his departure:

    John 14 (KJV) 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

    25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

    26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

    John 15 ESV “26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.”

    Is not the Holy Spirit also God and is not it He who bears witness to Jesus and is it not He who lives within us?

    Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
    15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,[f] to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be[g] in you.

    18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

    25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.”

    So is Jesus in our hearts, or is it the Holy Spirit who lives there doing the things that Jesus told the disciples that would happen while He went to dwell with the Father, seated at His right Hand.

    God is omnipresence, omnipotent, and omniscience, as you all well know–therefore, I think we may err in forgetting that oftentimes when we speak of one person of the trinity, the others are not represented as well, in whatever capcitity they may be present at the time.

    As for communion, I believe that as we come before the throne of grace and mercy and do as Jesus has told us to do, He (God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost communes with our spirit, as much as, we have chosen to clear our conscious to pour whatever, they think is needed to bless each person individually. I think it is more of a “heart’s positioning” of the person receiving communion, than a matter if Jesus is in the blood and wine. I don’t believe that He is, simply because He told us to do this in remembrance until He returned, whereas, He would once again partake again with his disciples ( or all disciples). It was the passover supper and Jesus was telling them that it was his blood and body, as a way of letting them know or at least come to realize after the fact of being crucified, dying, then resurrected, that God, the Father had sent Him for this purpose. To die for us all, who would believe, then follow after Him, and that in commemoration of this and understanding this, we were to gather together to remember: He is coming back one day, as promised.

  354. Steve Wright says:

    brian – I read every article I can in mainstream news sources about new discoveries in evolutionary theory and doing so increases my faith in God’s word everytime.

    I thought of you and Josh and this thread last night, when I read this article.


    This is one of the money quotes:

    “He and his colleagues expected to find that the dog breeds had closer genetic connections to one of the wolves over the others. That would have provided a new clue in the detective story, but that’s not what happened. Instead, the results suggested that the Basenji and the dingo both descended from an older, wolflike ancestor.”

    You have to read the whole article but in summary all that evolutionary models had predicted were wrong, and now they come to something new – and yet, what is new matches exactly what we would expect from the Genesis account of created animals reproducing after their own kind. If you read the article you see why this makes no sense to their initial theory (since the samples are from all corners of the globe) but of course fits Genesis to the letter.

    I know science is all about discovery and adjustment to prior theories as new evidence arrives and no Bible believer is going to fight true science on those terms. But my observations (and I often post the wilder articles on my facebook feed) of every new discovery shows that the emperor wears no clothes and points us back more and more to the Bible’s teaching.

  355. Neo says:

    Steve. You read new articles on evolutionary theory and each one bolsters your faith a bit more. What’s funny is, I do the same, my faith in God is bolstered a bit every time, as well. Only, we have two different conclusions on Evolution.

  356. Steve Wright says:

    Neo – Maybe I should have qualified. I speak of the only evolution that is taught as science today…100% random chance…with no intelligence, no guiding hand, nothing but lots of time, chance and mutations.

    Although I will acknowledge that even in those circles the theory that life showed up here on a meteor one day seems to be gaining in popularity. Since it sure couldn’t have happened here, starting from nothing, in only 4.54 billion years. 4.54 billion years is a blip for the amount of time necessary…

  357. brian says:

    Thanks all a confession I have struggled with this for years if not a decade, I have to admit that the other side has ticked me off and I may be a bit, no very rhetorical in my approach. I will read what you said but from what I see there is a huge amount of evidence on the modern side. I actually hope the other side is true. One side leads to meaninglessness from what I have seen. If that makes sense. Thanks I will read what you have posted. Again my apologies for my rhetoric and belittlement that is uncalled for and I will really try to tone it down. Thanks.

  358. brian says:

    PS it is most likely better to not continue the rhetoric online if anyone is interested my email is brianinsj@gmail.com. I think this would be better as I do not wish to stumble other folks online. Take care.

  359. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    On women and their role outside of church traditions, it appears as though traditionally speaking, God used them quite often although some would minimize the importance of such role by redefining them as something as not being equal with similar roles that men also were also called by God to fulfill or to take on.

    Paul referred to Junia as an Apostle, yet we are to believe that she served in a “lesser” capacity. Yet, Paul never stated this. Church traditions and the patriarchel system has done much in achieving this. In light of weighing out the scriptures pertaining to women with the one scripture that Paul states, also making reference to Genesis, I have to go with that He was speaking culturally, and reminding us that, yes, in terms of this culture that they were living in, we are not to fall into the same trap that Eve did by being deceived, nor are we to follow after another, simply because they fell, or out of our own disobedience. As for the curse regarding the woman desire for her man and man desire to control her, I believe Jesus has set us free from that curse and that we are one and equal in Him and that in this, we have the Holy Spirit, so that none of us need to be deceived, nor disobedient, in order to fulfill the lust and ungodly desires of the flesh, but rather, to dwell together in love, and exercising the gifts and talents given to each one of us, no matter what they may be—for to do otherwise, is and will quench the Holy Spirit and the power that we have been given in protecting one another while also being a light unto the world.

    It is the pride of the heart that seeks to dominate and control another to enable them to feel greater than what they are and what God has told them they cannot possibly be apart from Him and in Him alone.


  360. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Interesting Article:

    Martyrs and Heretics: Aspects of the Contribution of Women to Early Christian Tradition


  361. Neo says:

    Lol. Steve. Got it. 🙂

  362. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Another article relating to how the experience of women in the faith is downgraded from men who also were martyred:

    Foxe’s Female Martyrs and the Sanctity of Transgression


  363. stumbling Bob says:


    “I do not wish to stumble other folks online”

    Are you saying your opinion and views are more correct on the subject of evolution and you may cause others to lose faith by them?

  364. Michael says:

    There are real textual issues with the “Junia as apostle”meme…it is not something I feel confident on revising the church’s historical position with.
    One of the issues that we’ll talk about soon is the issue of patriarchy…which whether we like it or not is very much in the Bible.

  365. Xenia says:

    There’s Apostles and apostles. There’s “The” Apostles and there’s people who were apostles, just like there were the Twelve Disciples and then there are the rest of us disciples of Christ. Since “apostle” means “someone who is sent,” the word could be used to describe a variety of people, men and women, who were about the work of the Gospel, being apostles but not Apostles. Junia, no matter what sex she was could certainly have been an apostle in the sense that she was someone sent by God to do some kind of work in furthering the Gospel. While women were not permitted to obtain to all the jobs in the early Church, they did do many important things. However, just because the Myrrh-Bearing Women (referenced above by someone) were the first to find the empty tomb and ran back with the report, that does not make them pastors!

    Mary Magdalene (and a few other women) have been given the honorific “Equal to the Apostles” to commemorate their role as someone sent with a message. But they are not called Apostles, just “Equal to the Apostles.”

    Why is it so important to some of you that women be pastors? Is not the job of a pastor to explain the Scriptures accurately, upholding what has always been believed? Or is the job of the pastor something to be grasped for to demonstrate to the world that women can have men’s jobs, even if the Scriptures say otherwise? What’s being promoted here, the Truth or some woman’s idea of self-worth?

  366. Michael says:


    There are many who believe that unless a woman is allowed the same authority and duties in the church as men that they are subjected and abused.
    I understand the concept and I understand that this has happened far too often…but when Paul played the “creation” card he completely removed the matter from the cultural context in my opinion.

  367. “There are many who believe that unless a woman is allowed the same authority and duties in the church as men that they are subjected and abused.”

    This is absolute total crap. There is abuse in all functions of life that have nothing to do with church or women pastors. Men who beat on women are not going to stop because women are allowed to be pastors.

    This ongoing cry for women to be pastors is not valid – there are women pastors all over the place – in dozens of denominations. If you are a woman and want to be a pastor, join a denomination that interprets Paul the way NTW is leaning, that ordains women as pastors … issue closed.

    This is totally society wanting to use the church as a petrie dish for social change – and many of you are leading the band.

  368. Steve Wright says:

    I’ll repeat an earlier point. I have experience with how women are treated under Hinduism. I think most of us know how they are treated under Islam. And I don’t think the Buddhist Far East fares any better (Do they still have to walk two spaces behind the men, I don’t know)

    There is no doubt whatsoever that Jesus Christ and His Church have elevated a woman’s worth in the world greater than any other institution or organization.

    Does that equate to perfection? Of course not. I just find the irony in that hyper-feminist mentality only gets an ear in nations where Christianity is (or was) a dominant influence. As an atheistic woman in America grabs a microphone to condemn Christianity as being hurtful to women, the only reason she has the right to say such things is because of the influence of Christianity in her country. You don’t see women saying similar things in the Middle East against Islam….at least not for long.

  369. Michael says:

    “This is totally society wanting to use the church as a petrie dish for social change – and many of you are leading the band.”

    Actually it’s been a hell of a good discussion and we’re all a bit wiser for engaging in it.

  370. Yes, at least the readership has been warned of the dangers of NTW.

  371. Michael says:

    I enjoy reading Wright immensely….he makes me think.
    I’m grateful that Luther didn’t stop thinking about the faith…and that Calvin kept thinking and corrected Luthers errors… 🙂

  372. Going to recount a story from Iraq to illustrate how much different a society that “on a whole” treats women terribly.
    We were in Iraq pulling security for a Civil Affairs unit. They were out “winning hearts and minds” and we had a contingent inside assuring their welfare and outside we were keeping watch over the area around the building they were in.
    They had the interpreters with them, so we were pretty much left with our limited Arabic, maybe 5 or 6 words, and hand gestures.
    A woman, garbed entirely in black came up to me and started speaking to me in rapid fire Arabic. She handed me a card and then bowed down to me with her face to the ground.
    I immediately forgot the card and gestured for her to get up and it took about 5 minutes to convince her of that.
    I then read the card which was in English and Arabic. It was a pass to come onto our base and receive free medical care from our doctors.
    Well, as I was reading it, the woman had bowed down to me again and it took another 5 minutes to get her up again.
    When the CA team came out with the interpreters came out, I was able to communicate all that I had wanted to say to her.
    It was all very embarrassing and illustrative of a culture that is actually steeped in disrespect of women.

    Once, while my men were on guard duty, they had to watch a woman stoned to death near the front gate for adultery. We were not allowed to interfere in their affairs. It really disturbed the men who had to watch it, who kept calling command to try to intervene.

    None of this is to excuse anything that men who abuse women do in our own culture, but to illustrate the fact that a culture that has a larger Christian culture is far different, without even worse abuses.

  373. Josh Hamrick says:

    I like a wide range of opinions on secondary topics. I don’t think everybody has to be the same on every issue in order to have unity in the Body. I actually agree with MLD. There are plenty of denoms that ordain women. I don’t see a reason to force everyone into the same box.

  374. Xenia says:

    I have to agree with MLD. If a woman decides that her personal fulfillment trumps the plain teaching of Scripture and insists on being a pastor then she should go to a liberal denomination which already believes that personal fulfillment trumps Scripture in every other area of human existence.

    Also, is there a study that demonstrates a correlation between female pastors and a decrease in violence against women? I will concede that some churches have a very condescending attitude towards women but that does not rise to the level of physical spousal abuse. The number of female pastors has been increasing over the years. Has there been a corresponding decrease in domestic violence?

  375. Michael says:


    MLD is the only one here who is strictly defining abuse as physical violence.
    I would say that what I encountered in the group I was end formerly was often oppressive and emotionally and spiritually abusive.
    I don’t attribute that to the groups position on the ordination of women, but on a sinful and unbiblical view of male headship and authority.

  376. Xenia says:

    If you broaden the word abuse to include manipulation, arrogance, meanness, lying, yelling, etc then I am here to tell you that I have met more abusive women than men.

  377. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    I agree with Michael comment at #375. I would not agree with anyone in thinking that just because a congregation or church denomination does not ordain their women that it leads to the abuse of women. As for comparing how women are treated by those who practice other religion to that which women are treated in Christian churches does not negate the fact that abuse is abuse. Nor is abuse to be viewed as critical only when it involves physical abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse is far more destructive and unfortunately difficult to prove. Nevertheless, this type of abuse does cause the victim to suffer long lasting and at time irreparable harm to their physiological, mental, spiritual, well being. PTSD is often experienced, which often leads to over medicating and at times, suicide. Particularly when no one believes her and are not willing to hold the abuser to an account. Domestic violence is progressive and will be repeated until there is not even a shred of a person left in the person being abused. Domestic Violence is about domination and control. One does not need to lay a finger of the victim to cause irreparable damage to them. The abuser knows this as much as he knows how to play the game to cover and to play out the image of a god-fearing person. Yes, I use “he” as overall, the numbers of abusers are overwhelmingling males—also saying that there are females who abuse as well. And they also need to be held to an account through a process of church discipline by those who understand just what abuse does and does not constitute. Saying that we all sin, or that abuse happens everywhere does not fix anything. Anymore than telling an abuse person that you will pray for them. Not when you have the ability to speak up for them and come alongside of them to make sure they will be safe and protected by that body of Christ that you are affiliated with.

    There is a huge difference between being oppressed or subjugated vs. one chosing to submit. Just as there is a huge difference in being subjected to that which is totally ungodly then told to submit and truely being disobedient to the Lord. Yet, many seems to still get this turned upside down, thus enabling the abuser to continue while also join in the revictimization of the abused. That is why it is written: to expose evil, and not participate in it, either by being passive, nor active in it by cosigning it, out of ignorrance or intentionally burying our heads by switching topics or distracting to talk about something else. It is a problem, a huge glaring, blot upon the church.

    With the exception of my position regarding the role of women in the church, I am quite conservative in my faith, btw.

  378. Michael,
    “MLD is the only one here who is strictly defining abuse as physical violence.”

    Once again simply not true. I have calls these guys what they are – cheaters AND beaters. Cheaters can include multiple abuses.

  379. It is quite apparent that Michael has never worked for a woman. 🙂

  380. Xenia says:

    Worst boss I ever had was a woman. She wanted me to mend her clothing in my spare time.

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