A Voice in the
November 15, 1999
Re: Education and Credentials, or Obedience?
As was to be expected, last week's notice of the link to the article "World Christian Movement" and my introduction to it, raised some hackles. We haven't addressed this issue in awhile. So, we'll make my answer to one subscriber's e-mail into a study for this week.
-Quote from Intro being referenced-
I have no trouble reconciling that uneducated women should tend to the tasks that they know, such as homemaking, raising children, creating a spiritual atmosphere in the home, etc. I believe that my role as a wife and mother should be similar...however, there is a big difference. I have an advanced education equal or exceeding that of many men! And so do many other women in this day and age! There is a big difference between the women of the early Church and the women of the last century!
I am not advocating that women should take the leadership in churches ahead of men. The Lord has given us the order of headship, and we should willingly defer to His will in this matter. However, that does not limit the role of women in the church to that of bottle-washers! Many educated women are gifted in areas of teaching, finance, counselling, for example, and they should be given opportunity to exercise these gifts within the supervised realm of the local congregation.
You may be right about the path Evangelicalism has taken over the last century...I'm not necessarily disputing this. However, you speak as though this must be wrong simply because Henrietta Mears was a woman. I'm surprised you didn't put "woman" in bold with exclamation points! Please, get off that old saw about how women should be "seen but not heard" in the Church. It is not honoring to the Lord who created us to walk side-by-side.
In the past we have addressed how satan first came through a woman, Eve. He did so the same way he does today, and this is what we have referenced in the past, through the emotions. We have addressed how the world's music which has been invited into the "church" comes in through the emotions... the -physical- senses. Modern charismania is a -physical- emotional -sensory- experience. When it was initially breaking into the churches decades ago, it did so typically via pastors' WIVES; and similar spirits which are essentially synonymous with "the Black church" are also typically led by women...via music/worship. [Ed: OK, as before, don't take this last sentence, twist it around, and make me out to be a "racist", too! Nor that I just 'said' that Rock music in the church is 'women's fault'.] The demonic "spirit filling" of charismania is via essentially 100% emotional experience. They conjure it up emotionally, and they know it's there because of the emotions.
This is not to say that women are somehow "inferior" to men. But anybody who knows anything about these things knows that women, intrinsically, by their God-given makeup ARE creatures of "emotion" moreso than men. Satan knows that the man's 'typical' tendency to -analyze- things will make it harder for him to gain entrance. So he attacks the "weaker vessel" first. (1Pt3:7) And from there, it's a "slam dunk" to the man, because satan knows how much the man loves his wife and adores and cherishes her, and often has her on a pedestal. Why do you suppose that modern error preaches the gospel of "feel your heart"? And as the priestesses sit around teaching their doctrine, they exhort to obey your emotions. They preach a gospel about the "feminine side" of "god"; that today we have finally "progressed" to where we have left the "aweful" MALE domination, and we are experiencing the more refined "god's feminine side".
Furthermore, man has abdicated his God-appointed role. Why do you suppose it's so difficult, often, to even find men in churches willing to take on leadership roles? Because they have abdicated it at home, with their wives and with their children. And so then, the wives have stepped in, in disobedience, and taken the leadership. This is sounding an aweful lot like a "catch-22" isn't it.
They ignore Paul's teaching, where he is correcting these -very- errors in Corinth, and exhorts that we are to use "the mind" as we worship. (1Cor14:15) We worship God "in Spirit and in truth". (Jn4:24) Yes, it is a "spiritual" experience enveloped in "truth". How do we discern Truth? With the mind. When the disciples were filled with -emotion- at seeing the resurrected Jesus, in order for them to get past the emotion and see Truth it says that He "opened up their -MIND- to understand the Scriptures." (Lk24:45)
Now, these are "literal" truths. And as such, we need to understand Paul's teachings "literally". He wrote them "literally", to be obeyed "literally". Eve -literally- disobeyed God when she ate the forbidden fruit. She was -literally- "deceived". (1Ti2:14) And when we investigate Gen3, we see how satan reached her through the emotions. If we read Paul's writings with understanding, the -context- of his exhortation that women should not teach and have authority over the man is -BECAUSE- she is more easily deceived. This is why God put her under the protective -shelter- of the man...when He took her from man's rib.
When man submits to Christ's authority, he does not stray. When woman submits to God under God's protective covering, the man, she is secure. (1cor11)
Now, let's get to the issue of Dr. Henrietta Mears, with a doctrate in education. Because of her training and vocation, also set up Sunday School curriculum after the world's model she was used to. The person making this complaint is also -educated-. And uses the same 'cultural/educated' argument I've heard many times before.
Just because a person was a huge corporate CEO, and then becomes a Christian, does not give him authority to be on an assembly's board of elders; nor to run the "church" the way a corporation is run. Peter did that when he persuaded the rest to "vote" for Matthias to replace Judas. Jesus didn't tell him to do that! Matthias was man's choice, not God's. God does not work the way man does. "For as the heavens are high from the earth, so My ways are high from your ways, and My thoughts from your thoughts." (Is55:9) The methods we are to use are not "carnal" ones... "for the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful to God in order to pull down strongholds.." (2Cor10:4) The ways of the world's intelligentsia is at enmity with God; and also, the educated of the world typically think of God's ways as being "foolish". (1Cor2) When God set up His ways, "..God chose the foolish things of the world that the wise might be put to shame.." (1Cor1:27)
Certainly, people would have considered Dr. Mears' methods to be wonderful, since she was a successful educator. But she was disobedient to God. She was usurping authority and teaching men "how to" preach. Jesus did not call Mary Magdalene, Joses, and the other women; train them to, in turn, train the men. The apostles He chose were -men-.
Besides; test scores of this country's youth prove how this country's education system leaves much to be desired. It is a dismal failure. And why? Well, what are they being taught? How to "feel". When X, Y or Z happened..."how did it make you feeeel?" They are taught how to be "in touch" with themSELVES. Emotions. The same 'gate' by which satan deceives. "If it FEEEELS right, it must be right" ...not learning to decipher imperical data "with the mind" to make proper decisions.
Who says a "graded" Sunday School is needed? Back in the days of the one-room schools, children were typically better-educated; when they were still being taught the "three Rs".
How did God indicate that children were to learn His Law?
"And these words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. And you shall teach them to your sons, and shall speak of them as you sit in your house, and as you walk in the way, and as you are lying down, and as you are rising up. And you shall bind them for a sign on your hand; and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house, and on your gates." (Deu6:6-9)
[Editor: Hmmm! Put this together with the above paragraph regarding our present system's failures, and we have a strong case for 'home schooling' don't we! ...even academically. And truly, even on a purely statistical basis, home schooling produces far better results! Perhaps even God knows something about 'regular' education that the 'wise' of the world are missing..?? Oh...but that's right...He doesn't exist!!]
God was speaking to the "men" of Israel. These kinds of assemblies were assemblies of the men. The discourse includes terminology regarding their "sons" and their "fathers". "Male" terms. When a woman had certain desires regarding "vows" before the Lord, anything she did was under her husband's (or father's) authority. (Nu30)
Where/when did the children receive their training? At home, through their fathers... day-in and day-out. They didn't have "Sunday Schools" back then. God never set up such a thing. That was one of the father's responsibilities regarding his household. Israel was a kingdom of "priests", (Ex19:6) not 'priestesses', like the world did with their "queen of heaven" as Jezebel led Israel away down the path of rebellion against God. While Israel had many evil kings, there was none like Ahab... who was "incited" by Jezebel in his wickedness. (1Kg21:25)
This has NOTHING to do with "education". It DOES have EVERYTHING to do with "obedience" to God. It is not because today's feminists are educated, and the poor slobs-of-wenches of 'yore' were not. I've never been able to understand such elitist snobbery! Let us never forget that most of the apostles Jesus hand-picked to be the beginners of the Church were "uneducated". And yet in God's wisdom, to man's foolishness, it was noted when brought before the educated intellectually snobbish elite, that what? They had a "good program going?" No! That "they were with Jesus." (Acts4:13) And what was the result of these poor "fools" bumbling about, without their education and fancy pedagogical methodology? "..turning the habitable world upside down.." with the message of Jesus Christ. (Acts17:6) You see, not only were the -women- "back then" uneducated... so were the -men-.
Actually, one of the -problems- with today's "church" is that churches treat the aquiring of a pastor much the same as a company finds a CEO, which they "hire" based on "credentials". Pastors are sought based on the status of the -name- of the seminary they attended, and how much of the alphabet can be found behind their name; rather than to discover if they love the Lord and know Him. And -that's- one of the major discrepancies. As Believers, one of the definitions of a Christian is one who lives "by faith". (Rom1:17) But typical institutions of education teach people to "question" (doubt) everything. Yes, we are to "test the spirits" (1Jn4:1) but when we know that Scripture is our foundation for -everything- we need to know (2Tm3:16-17) and we accept it by Faith as we compare everything -TO- Scripture (Acts17:11); the ones with typically more education actually -question- the Scriptures. Seminary graduates, rather than proclaiming "thus says the Lord", sit around -questioning-, "did God REALLY say THAT? Oh, nooooo...that passage actually means THIS!" Ummm! Let's see... Who said that the very first time? (Gen3:1) And so, things they don't like, they recompartmentalize into catagories: literal, figurative, allegorical, cultural, etc. If they don't like the concept of a 'just' God Who punishes sin, then "hell" becomes figurative. If modern woman likes her feminism, then, anything that tells her she is not in compliance with God is "not literal". We can always find -some- manner in which to excuse it away, so that we can justify ourselves, and our sin.
No, we are not 'picking on' women. We are merely understanding how God said things should be, and seeing how satan has been using the "weaker vessel" over the years to propagate his agenda... ever since Eve.
I'm sure there must be some Godly women out there. Some who write in to VW seem to be. So, no, we are not talking about ALL women; just like we are not talking about ALL 'men' who have fallen short of the mark. Although, we know from Jesus' own words that the faithful, both men AND women, are "few" (mt7:14) We see the 'obvious' apostasy in things like Billy Graham, Campus Crusade, etc. and all the men leading them. But it hasn't always been generally known that the present course was charted by this particular woman years ago.
We would not necessarily say that a church should dispense with its already-established graded program if it's working. Many children come from homes without Believing parents, and they need to be reached. But according to Scripture, your church should NOT have a 'female' Sunday School Superintendant. If you have classes with young men in them, their teachers should be 'men'. Your college-career group should be mentored by 'men' (or married couple). Yes, Paul says that women should be "..lovers of husbands...lovers of children...keepers at home.." (Tit2:4-5) But notice he does NOT say, as many feminists misquote this passage, that they are "in charge" at home, or that they are the family's "priestess". [As the writer said, "creating" a spritual atmosphere] Even though they have their at-home authority, they are still "subject to their own husbands." (vs5) And why is this? "..so that the Word of God may not be blasphemed."
When all these leading men took their training from Dr. Mears, ever since then, God's Word has been "blasphemed". And this whole way of doing things has been the accepted norm for pretty much -all- of modern-day christendom. We have become so "used to" it, that we haven't seen anything wrong with it. Sometimes it takes an article like this one in question, to "connect the dots" for us, to open our eyes as to what the -reality- of the situation is. "Literally"
Even if something seems like a "good idea", as Believers, the Church should be more concerned with "obedience" to God.
"Does Jehovah delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice! To give attention (obedience) is better than the fat of rams." (1Sam15:22)