Monday, January 05, 2009

Women In Ministry


A follow up to my post a couple of weeks ago: How Would You Answer My Friend?

Joe Coleson, who teaches at Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, recently sent me this e-mail in response to the post. Joe and I have been friends ever since we went to Israel together back in 2000. I thought Joe's comments were insightful, and with his permission, am posting them for you:
I was directed to your blog question about women in ministry, but a little late to join the discussion.

I’m saddened that not one of your nineteen respondents is aware of the book that settled the 1 Timothy 2:12 question sixteen years ago. Catherine Clark Kroeger published I Suffer Not a Woman with Baker in 1992. She proved the standard English translations wrong at several points in that verse. I abstracted and referenced her most important evidence in my booklet published in 1996, and available ever since for free download on the Wesleyan/Holiness Women Clergy website.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry over the anonymous posting suggesting God will forgive his (her?) willful ignorance on all the Bible. I wonder if that person uses a physician who never has studied medicine, an attorney who never has studied law, or an auto mechanic who never has read anything about the subject(s), and the knowledge needed to keep him/her alive on the highway in the vehicle brought to him/her for service?

God’s Shalom,
Joseph Coleson

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I don’t know whether to laugh or cry over the anonymous posting suggesting God will forgive his (her?) willful ignorance on all the Bible."

I do not laugh at others who exhibit 'a learned behavior' after generations of conditioning. In fact, I try to have compassion for them. And if possible help them to grow!

Anonymous said...

I'm stunned at the "educated" responses against a person who reads Gods Word and follows it as closely as possible. And to make it even more unbelievable they do it in an arrogant, unloving way. I had no idea people in these positions would have these attitudes. As far as I'm concerned, to associate with no church body would be better than to be exposed to a group that belittles someone committed to loving God and His Word as it is. God gave us His Word. I believe it's the only Book we need for instruction in our Christian life. I trust my life with the Great Physician, not the pre-med students. Those not knowing whether to laugh or cry are the ones needing to do soul searching, in my opinion.

Mark O. Wilson said...

OK -- we have some reactions to Joe's second paragraph. I know Joe and he has a beautiful heart. He's not arrogant and he doesn't laugh at people. He is a man full of love -- and he has devoted his life to "in-depth" study of the Scripture. I think our two anonymous commenters have misunderstood my friend. He loves the Word of God. The point Joe was making was not to belittle or diminish people who simply read the Word.

Rather, he was saying that when you simply read the Word and come up with your own conclusion (interpretation) about what a verse means you ought to be open to testing your interpretation with the rest of Scripture, and not to be quick to judge a genuine believer who studies it deeply and comes to a different conclusion.

Some of the comments on the original "women in ministry" post were like this: "I don't don't give a hoot what the Bible scholars say. I just read and believe the Bible - period."

There are many solid, evangelical Bible scholars (like Joe) who also read and belive the Bible -- period. However, they want to be sure that the text is understood in context.

Refusing to consider the context of the whole is NOT taking the whole Bible for what it says completely. Scripture must always be interpreted in the light of Scripture.

Accusing people who support women in ministry as being unbiblical disgregards the whole. There is a much stronger Biblical case FOR women in ministry than against.

The essence of Joe's e-mail is the first paragraph, not the second.

Let's keep the focus of this discussion there.

Anonymous said...

Mark,

I know where you are coming from. We all have to be careful to think that God is speaking only to us, and there is no way he could be speaking to someone we disagree with. Joe was being judged by one statement/speech. Do we not do this to our leaders each and every day?

I do not think any question as big as this one is answered/settled by one book. If this were the case, then why do we have Christian Bookstores with millions of books in them?

I feel God speaks differently to different people. Even you and I do not talk the same to a highly educated person as we do to a small child. The more knowledgeable we are, the more we are held accountable.

Be it good or bad, we are all a product of our upbringing and education. But - we all have to be willing to change, and we all definitely need to be tolerant of others.

Anonymous said...

Gang

I do not think that God will be mad at me and send me to hell because I don't understand and believe something that he told Joe.

When we laff with people we share and multiply the joy and when we cry with people we share and reduce the pain.

Remember sometimes we laff to keep from crying.

Walt

Anonymous said...

....."suggesting God will forgive his/(her?) willful ignorance on all the Bible". That seems like a terribly judgmental remark to me. It seems a person that has a strong opinion of a Biblical subject probably has done in depth reading and studying of the entire Bible. I won't argue the point about women in the ministry, but will say it doesn't seem like it's absolutely clear in the Bible that women should be pastors over men, and I certainly don't think someone believing they should not is willfully ignorant.

larry said...

Amen to Walk

Larry said...

I meant Amen to Walt