We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Random Good Stuff

I’ve come across some more good stuff these past few weeks, and I want to share them with my readers.

I found a very good article explaining why there should be women deacons.

Something to think about is the “Rampant Biblical Illiteracy” in the church

Pornography has reached pandemic proportions in the USA, let alone in the rest of the world.  It seems like it’s almost daily that I read about arrests for “kiddie porn,” or new types of porn, or new media for porn, etc.  And it is taking its toll among members of the Church.  If you or someone you know is caught up in pornography, then here are "7 Good Reasons to Stop Looking at Porn Right Now."

Did Paul Think Jesus Was God?

From Answers in Genesis comes this excellent article about Prayer and the Trinity.

Lastly, the doctrine of the Trinity with early church fathers is further investigated.


Joe said...

I completed my first Bible read through in 1964. The woman vs man deacon was hot and heavy at the time. I kept looking and could not exactly find it in Scripture. But my church said women couldn't be deacons and so I thought it must be so. So I read again and still could not entirely follow my church's logic. Having ventured into Greek myself, and a little Aramaic on the side, I have concluded that there is nothing preventing women from serving as deacons if the church so desires.

But that's just my humble, but correct, opinion.

Anita said...

Thanks for the link to the 'women as deacons' post.

I have been trying to get my head around this issue for some years.

I am beginning to understand how important it is for men to have authority over other men. I have two sons who naturally gravitate to their father in most things, yet my daughter has no trouble talking to either my husband or myself. Obviously there are some issues which are girls only.

As far as being able to help, serve and support in church, women already do that anyway, so being a deacon seems to me to be fairly natural outworking of god-given talents.

Doug Evans said...

I'm not a Greek scholar by any means but other than the heretical Message, in every bible translation I can find 1 Timothy 3:12 clearly says:
12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.
nowhere does the inverse "or wives of one husband" appear. I looked up the Greek words anēr (G435 male, husband) and gynē (G1135, woman: virgin, married, or widow) and I don't see the option for the inverse where a deacon can be a woman married to one male. I know this has been debated over the ages, but what's wrong with erring on the side of caution?

Anonymous said...

I appreciated the article on women deacons. I've come to the same conclusion from reading 1 Tim 3. However, my husband and I have rarely encountered a Bible believing church that permits female deacons. Our current church does not. The only exception I can think of is a pentecostal church we attended for a season. We personally are not pentecostal leaning, but appreciated our time there.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

As a deacon, a woman is not teaching, and so will not be teaching me. The office of deacon does not include leadership, so a deacon would not be in any authority position.

I think there could be many issues in which a woman needs a servant of the Lord to provide help where a man can't.

I'm not holding to a dogmatic position either way. I just think there is a possibility for women to be biblical deacons.

I think the writings of the early Christians, as shown in the article, demonstrates that women have been used as deacons.

I admit that vs 12 certainly says that deacons must be husbands of one wife. But what if that is just a qualification for a man deacon? After all, a woman wouldn't be the wife of many men, so it wouldn't be necessary to put that qualification in there. I have read many commentaries which suggest this.

Jon Gleason said...

Hi, Glenn. The deaconesses argument is not strong.

1. If Paul meant deaconess, he could have used the feminine form of diakonos. He used it in Romans 16, so he knew the word. If used here in I Timothy 3, the office of deaconess would have been crystal clear.

2. In near context before (v. 2) and immediate context after (v. 12), the Greek word gune means "wife" not "woman". There is nothing to indicate it means anything different in v 11. Since Paul used it as wife in the next sentence, we would expect a different word if he didn't mean "wife" here, since diakone was available.

3. Our author applied "likewise" in I Tim. 3:11 to draw a parallel between the men and the women. "Likewise" could be read that way. On the other hand, it can be a parallel to the wives of the elders. Elders must rule their houses well, which by necessity means their wives being just such as described in verse 11. If this way of reading the verse is correct, Paul is saying, "Look, this is serious about the wives and families of the deacons, too."

My point is not that "likewise" requires this interpretation rather than the author's, but rather that "likewise" does not prove his point. In fact, there is a reasonable basis for the interpretation of "likewise" which I have given -- we see it in verse 8. Diakonos osautos ("deacons likewise") -- v.8 followed by gune osautos ("wives likewise") -- v. 11. The parallel is between elders and deacons, then between elders wives and deacon wives, rather than elders, then deacons, then deaconesses (and then back to deacons).

4. The structure is bizarre if we have qualifications for elders, deacons (male), deaconesses (female), and then deacons (male) again in verse 12. If women were to be added, one would expect them added after the male qualifications were complete, not in the middle of them.

5. If you have women deacons, then verse 13 applies to deaconesses. Is the language of that verse consistent with Paul's words in I Timothy 2:9? Titus 2:5? I Cor. 14:34? Seems a stretch. However one sees those passages (and others) it is hard to reconcile them with "great boldness" in an office of the church....

6. Acts 6, almost certainly the initial institution of the office of deacon, is problematic for women deacons.

6A) The apostles said to choose men. This was provision of food, a task women could certainly do, yet men were to be chosen.

6B) The men were to oversee / exercise authority over specific tasks. In all probability, women were very involved -- perhaps more so than men. But oversight was given to men. It would be hard to reconcile I Timothy 2 with ever putting women in an oversight role of a task in which men will ever (even peripherally) partake.

6C) At least two of the deacons were public preachers, a role not given to women. This alone is not a strong argument, one could simply say that only men deacones, not women ones, should preach, but given everything else, it is one more pointer towards only men having this role.

Women will serve as much, or more, in areas which deacons should oversee. But deacon is a position of oversight and authority, and in areas in which men also should assist.

The argument for women deacons requires a doubtful translation of gune in I Timothy 3:11, and is not proved by "likewise" in the same verse. It forces us to accept that Paul used (for no known reason) the confusing gune rather than diakone, which would have made it clear, to ignore aspects of Acts 6, and to turn the office of deacon into a non-authority role.

Colour me unpersuaded.

As usual, my comments are too long. Sorry. :)