Skip to comments.How the Apostates Take Over, Part 1
Posted on 03/18/2012 6:59:01 AM PDT by Kaslin
The evangelical church is under constant threat to compromise its reliance on biblical truth. The human desire to be accepted, to not be seen as outside the mainstream, can be overwhelming. But that desire is our weakness, our downfall. It does not always immediately destroy the dam we build to protect the waters of truth, but instead it leads to tiny fissures that grow until destruction is inevitable.
Twenty years ago, I experienced the painful demise of the Episcopal Church, who once was a bastion of biblical truth. It was not a pretty picture. It was a picture painted in the primary colors of relentlessness and deception.
The combination of those elements inevitably led some sincere folks to weariness, and willingness to compromise, and yes, ultimately to surrender. For those who sought peace at any price, conformity over conviction, and popularity over principle, capitulation seemed the easier way out.
The initial compromise, which caused the first cracks in the dike, seemed innocent enough at the time: the ordination of women.
But to truly understand how that initial compromise caused a wave of liberalism to overcome biblical boundaries within the Episcopal Church (and soon by the rest of the mainline denominations), we have to understand the different groups involved.
Sincere followers of Christ made up the first group. They believed in Jesus and the scriptures. To them, the effort to ordain women seemed genuine. But they ultimately bought into the secular argument that the ordination of women was merely an issue of equality, sharing power, responding to new realities, and gaining relevancy with modern culture. Those believers were most troublesome of all. Although they adhered to the secular perspective, no one could accuse them of having departed the faith once delivered.
The second group, which pushed the breached even further, was comprised of people who were religious but biblically illiterate. They followed a simple faith not rooted in history. They were more willing to follow than to think.
The third group was made up of committed liberals, or as I prefer to call them, apostates. That group often worked behind the scenes. They hid in the shadows, preferring to steer the second group forward while putting pressure on the first group. They fueled the secular media with proclamations that the church was hopelessly out of touch with the real world or that the male-dominated church is unwilling to share power with women.
The mediawhich loves to denigrate the church and its leadership for refusing to adhere to a godless cultureused its powerful megaphone to condemn the church. Of course, the media never understood that ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ is not about power. A pastor models himself after Jesus, who did not come to be served, but to serve.
When apostate Christians and agnostics were allowed to set the agenda and define the arguments, the faint of heart self-consciously sought to surrender. Quickly abandoned were Martin Luthers words: Here I stand. I can do no other.
The ordination of women was not the end of the roadnot by any means. Those who had stood up for adherence to biblical standards knew all too well that the push for compromise was merely a prelude to a long hidden agenda: extreme feminism, abortion rights, homosexual advocacy, and the tolerance of all sorts of unsavory practices within the church.
Back then, I watched and wept over the first group; they were my comrades in arms, and they surrendered their birthright for a morsel of peace and acceptability. They surrendered their birthright, and before long, the cracks in the dam led to its massive collapse.
When communities in the Bible rejected the disciples, Jesus instructed his followers to shake the dust off their feet and move on. He did not instruct them to compromise in order to avoid rejection. He told them that rejection would be part of the deal.
Countless followers of Jesus, from those first disciples to todays martyrs, have ultimately given their lives rather than compromise. That same courage is expected of us as well.
The disease that kills all freedoms, be it religion or individual rights.
You think it’s bad now, wait until Romney either insures Obama’s reelection victory or personally finishes us off if he is elected.
We have no one to represent us on earth or in heaven.
“Courage is the foundation of all the other virtues.”
Sad but these are the principles I see all over the growth movement. Apply the formula that brings them in, keep them happy and by all means don't offend anyone with the Rock of Offense himself. The gospel is divisive or it's not the gospel but "another gospel" that Paul condemns as anathema.
“The initial compromise, which caused the first cracks in the dike, seemed innocent enough at the time: the ordination of women. “
It wouldn’t seem innocent to me; it directly denies Scriptural instruction. There is no question that the Bible allows only men to be apostles/elders/bishops, the instructions are plain and repeated frequently and easy to understand.
The question is, are we going to obey the instructions or cast them out like yesterday’s news?
“There is no question that the Bible allows only men to be apostles/elders/bishops, the instructions are plain...”
Interesting. I’d like to read for myself. Can you point me to where the bible plainly instructs us that only men should be apostles/elders/bishops?
1st Titus 1, on appointing elders:
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you 6 if a MAN is blameless, the HUSBAND of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop[b] must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
1st Cor 14:34
Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.
There are more but those are two main ones.
“Let your women keep silent in the churches...”
I agree that women should not be ordained clergy; but just as a footnote, the first part above actually probably refers to conduct during a service. In those days, men and women were seated apart (in synagogues) and the meaning is likely for the women not to call out to their husbands if they don’t understand something, but to keep quiet and not disturb the service.
While appearing to express the position of the article, this statement isn't true.
Any and every believer is to be a witness who ministers the gospel. No differentiation between male or female in this regards.
Women may also teach Scripture academically. No problem there.
Not every believer has the spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher or of Evangelism. These are very real spiritual gifts, not soulish gifts. Every believer receives gifts upon receipt of salvation, but not all spiritual gifts include the communication spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher, or of another communication spiritual gift of Evangelism.
Both which are recorded in Scripture as having been given to some men. No women are recorded as having these gifts.
In regards to the business having come or not come from believers is irrelevant. It might very well have come from believers. A believer out of fellowship with God by having sinned and not confessed that sin remains out of fellowship with God until he returns to God on God's terms. Some of the most antiChristian acts, behaviors, and beliefs come from believers not in fellowship with God. This is why some believers are known to have committed very heinous crimes, such as mass murder, or serial killing.
What does matter is that in God's Plan, He provides for teaching of believers by the the spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher given to some men and He provides for the communication of the Gospel to unbelievers also by the spiritual gift of evangelism.
Most believers don;t know what their spiritual gifts are and unfortunately too many churches have mistaken the worldly leadership offices as simply being soulish positions void the spiritual action of God the Holy Spirit communicating to the Pastor how, when, what, why, and who to preach to in their messages.
A believer learning the Word should seek out the Pastor-Teacher God has provided for them. As soon as one sees a woman in the pulpit claiming the office of Pastor, it is obvious even in a soulish perspective that the person lacks the academic background to understand the gift, but instead is likely guided by some form of arrogance seeking worldly approbation for their desires, instead of walking by God's Plan.
There is no question that the Bible allows only men to be apostles/elders/bishops, the instructions are plain...
Interesting. Id like to read for myself. Can you point me to where the bible plainly instructs us that only men should be apostles/elders/bishops?
This is a subject of contention in which the historical position is less popular, but here goes. First, for more of my examination of this subject by God's grace see here. For substantiation on the sanction of the practice of female pastors within Protestantism being a recent development, and for more on 1Cor. 14:35 as i likely somewhat imperfectly see it, see here.
As for your polemic, if by "plainly" you mean a verse that states plainly "only men shall be ordained apostles/elders/bishops," then you will find it right next to the verse that states, "though shall not marry fish" or the thou shalt not engage in the practice of consensual cannibalism.
The point being that if even these prohibitions can be warranted derivations, then how much more is the rule of male leadership, when Scripture only has them ordained as O.T. priests, and as apostles/elders/bishops in the New, and distinctly requires general silence of women in the assembly as regards giving the word of God in the church, occupying the office of a teacher, and straightly forbids women having authority over men, by principle and precept, and thus the aforementioned type of greater explicitness is not needed.
Likewise, while scripture does not explicitly forbid marrying fish (it forbids bestiality, but the word for beast is never used for fish, to my knowledge), and it only describes and sanctions marriage between opposite genders.(Gn. 2:18,24; Mt. 19:4,5)
Nor does Scripture plainly forbid consensual cannibalism, like you have me for dinner if i die first. But as it only provides as food beast of the earth, and fowl of the air, and fishes of the sea and fruit and veggies for food, (Gn. 9:2,3) and never sanctions eating the flesh of men (while cannibalism metaphorically used in the negative sense of Israel's enemies: Ps. 27:2), then a general prohibition of cannibalism is warranted.
However, as the law is meant to save lives and not destroy them, (Lk. 6:9) and food itself is not sin, then in case of dire need cannibalism of the already dead (by natural causes) - as in the case of the Andes survivors - might be allowed.
Likewise while female authority over men is contrary to the rule of God, yet there can be exceptions, to the shame of men who would not lead, as in the case of Deborah in the period of Israel's declension. But exceptions do not make the rule.
Nor is the women excluded from ministry, as they are are part of the team, but the male is to be the quarterback.
Moreover, when a covenantal distinction or important departure from the norm does exist then the norm in revelation is that the Holy Spirit makes it manifest.
Primary texts which support only male leadership in the family and the church are:
"And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel. And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. " (Numbers 3:9-10) [Unholy presumption was one of the most common recorded causes of capital punishment.]
"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man [anēr], but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. " (1 Timothy 2:11-14)
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. " (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
"As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." (Isa 3:12)
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. " (1 Corinthians 11:3)
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. " (Ephesians 5:22-24) [Note that as in all cases of submission to man including to the government, this is conditional, in which dissent may be required in instances where it clearly conflicts with Scripture and a goood conscience toward Him.]
"This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; " (1 Timothy 3:1-2; cf. Titus 1:5-7) [Note that while the word for man is not gender distinctive, the word for husband (anēr) is abundantly used for males, and in distinction to women.]
"Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men [anēr] of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: " (Acts 15:22)
“As for your polemic, if by “plainly” you mean a verse that states plainly “only men shall be ordained apostles/elders/bishops,” then you will find it right next to the verse that states, “though shall not marry fish” or the thou shalt not engage in the practice of consensual cannibalism. “
The directions for ordaining men only as elders are not near any verses about fish or cannibalism.
“just as a footnote, the first part above actually probably refers to conduct during a service. In those days, men and women were seated apart (in synagogues) and the meaning is likely for the women not to call out to their husbands if they dont understand something, but to keep quiet and not disturb the service.”
Why not give the same directions to men, then, so that they didn’t call across the aisle?
? is this the logical end of protestant thinking?
? is this the logical end of protestant thinking?
Nearness is irrelevant; the issue is principles of exegesis, with the argument being that the kind of “plain” explicit statement that the poster seems to demand is not necessary, in the light of what the precepts and principle behind them provides.
That is hardly classic Protestant thinking, as it holds that Scripture is the only assuredly infallible material authority, and thus the supreme standard for obedience and testing truth claims, and materially providing for the church;
The authenticity of which was and is based upon Scriptural substantiation and the manner of supernatural attestation it affirms being given to Truth and men of God. To the glory of almighty God.
Now may i and we who believe better attest to His reality myself.
‘course there couldn’t be Protestants if there weren’t scripture (or, for the matter, a Catholic Church) but I think that point is too sublime for many.
1 Timothy 2:12-15 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearingif they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Not very popular today, but there it is in black and white and Paul even gives the reason behind it; because women are more susceptible to deception than men are.
It is there, but its easy to “not see” the speed limit when you want to speed.
The problem with RCs, is that Scripture is not the supreme authority, nor can is provide doctrinal certitude, but the self-proclaimed assuredly infallible magisterium is (sola ecclessia) presumes that position, although their interpretation of what is infallible and what it means is not assuredly infallible, nor is the sola scripturists interpretation of Scripture.
But rather than the church establishing what Scripture consists of by decree (which Rome did not infallibly, indisputable do until the year Luther died), as helpful as they can be, writings became established as being Divine, like as men of God became established as being such, by their Heavenly qualities and attestation, and conformity to established truth. To the glory of God. “For the kingdom of God is not in word [self-proclamation], but in power. “ (1 Corinthians 4:20)
Let me add a different thought to the discussion. The writer is making a fundamental error in thinking that the demise of Biblical Christianity among the European Protestant churches is a decline in Biblical Christianity. However, Evangelical Christians are growing in number throughout Asia, Africa and in Central and South America. Also, as the European Protestant Churches have declined in America we have seen Biblically centered non-denominational and Pentecostal churches growing.
True, but i think the old time Prots which saw revival would weep at the condition of the modern temple-even the evangelical one. We have lost much.
But have we?
I see the same historical pattern being repeated. Prior to the Reformation we saw the development of a hierarchy, using the power of the State to impose it's will. During this period there were Christians who refused to be a part of the State church, but they were limited in number, until Bibles became easily accessible. However, once Bibles became easy to obtain the deviance of the State church from clear Scriptural teaching became obvious and Christians left that church. Now instead of Christians fleeing a State imposed religious system they are fleeing churches that are clearly not in step with Scripture.
So who is left behind in this process? I think it is those who place to great an affection for an institution, or family tradition. The Christians are reading their Bibles and see how their church has deviated from truth and are leaving. It seems to me it's a long process that keeps being repeated. For me I don't worry to much about these old church bodies. They had the truth and in their arrogance decided they knew better.
Thank you metmom, and others, I wasn’t familiar with this verse.
I just left a very large Southern Baptist church that will not ordain women, but its committees have been taken over by women, to the point that the deacon ministry has been relegated to disbursing benevolence funds.
At its 25 anniversary, one of the founding members cheerfully stated that they wanted a “moderate” Southern Baptist church in the local area. Well, they succeeded.