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Archive for the ‘1Tim’ Category

344. But Paul adds very important conditions beyond the mere birth of a Redeemer into the world, with which Christian women must comply before their social redemption will be wrought out, “If they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety” (R. V.). Alas! women did not “continue.” It seems clear that within fifty years after Paul’s utterance, they had largely yielded their faith,¾that they were to be saved on precisely the same conditions as men sinners. They accepted the mischievous teaching that in addition to meeting the conditions laid down for men sinners, they must do penance for the sin of Eve (as though Christ’s atonement had not been sufficient for Eve’s transgression). Faith went; love and loyalty to Jesus Christ and His atonement waned; and finally they accepted a precisely opposite condition to the one laid down by Paul so impressively,¾with sobriety.” They have now, through the weary generations since, too often bent themselves to the task of winning approval from God, by yielding all their nobler instincts towards pure living within the marriage relation to the sensual “desire” of their husbands, in mistaken obedience to the misinterpretation of Genesis 3:16. The meaning of the Greek word translated “sobriety,” we set forth as “self-restraint” (see par. 327). The word is sophrosune, and 4 Maccabees 1:31 tell us, “sophrosune is the mastery of the lusts.” Several sayings in the Greek classics tell us the same. Paul declares, and we are sure it is the truth of God, this self-control is an essential in woman’s social redemption. Woman can never be matured as a useful instrument in God’s hands, or an efficient servant of His Church, until she comes to understand that “she is not her own; she is bought with a price,” and it is neither her duty nor her privilege to give herself away to any human being,¾in marriage or in any other way. Her bodily appetites are subject to God’s control and cannot be indulged in violation of conscience; any other teaching is but teaching woman how to be a pleasing slave. There is no social redemption for woman until the chain that binds her to the lusts of her own, and of man’s flesh is broken, and she maintains the inviolability of free will, as her sustained attitude towards every human being, including her husband. There is no method of moral improvement remaining, after the loss of a free will. To attempt to accept any means or method of salvation from sin different from or beyond the simple act of accepting Christ’s atonement for sin,¾be that act “circumcision,” which Paul so strongly denounced, or woman’s service in the lusts of the flesh, is to accept a condition in which “Christ shall profit you nothing,” “Christ has become of no effect unto you” (Galatians 5:2-3).

345. …” Luther, who established for the Protestant Church the truism: “It is a great error to seek ourselves to satisfy God’s justice for our sins, for God ever pardons them freely by an inestimable grace,” never paused to think that as to women this is true also. To the present day, the women of the Protestant Church are taught by Bible commentators to keep to penance (seek to satisfy God’s justice) for Eve’s sin by silence in the Church and obedience to man.

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363.      Expositors of the Bible will never be able to understand, or to set forth a clear, consistent, correct interpretation of the Word of God as regards women until they abandon, once for all, the attempt to found the social, ecclesiastical and spiritual (as far as this life is concerned) status of Christian woman on the Fall, and found it, as they do man’s social, ecclesiastical and spiritual status, in the atonement of Jesus Christ. They cannot, for women, put the “new wine” of the Gospel into the old wine-skins of “condemnation” before God’s law. The skins burst, the wine is spilled; and such “theology” is responsible for much “free-thought”: among justice-loving persons, who confuse the teaching of the expositors with the teaching of the Bible, and denounce the latter instead of the former.

364.     The Lord says, through the mouth of Moses, “Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small,” Deut. 15:13; and Proverbs 20:10 teaches us: “Divers weights and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord.” It seems to us that divers weights and measures have been employed, occasionally, when translating the utterances of the Bible. For instance, the word for “minister, deacon,” diakonos, is used, properly, of a helper of any sort who is not a slave. It occurs 30 times in the N. T., and is almost always rendered “minister.”  It is translated “servant” only 7 times and “deacon” 3 times, and “minister” 20 times. We will notice only those instances in which it may, or certainly does, refer to an ecclesiastical office,¾Romans 15:8; 1 Cornthians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 6:4; 11:23; Ephesians 3:7; 6:21; Colossians 1:7, 23, 25; 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 3:2; 1 Timothy 4:6 (rendered “minister”). And Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8, 12 (“deacon”). But in Romans 16:1, where the Apostle Paul says: “I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is diakonos of the church which is at Cenchrea,” referring, beyond all possibility of a doubt, to her status in the church, the A. V. translates “servant” (the R.V.margin translates “deaconess”). Bishop Lightfoot speaks of the mistranslation, “servant” in this place. He also gives strong reasons for believing that 1 Timothy 3:11 refers also to women deacons, and adds: “If the testimony borne in these two passages to a ministry of women in the Apostolic times had not been thus blotted out of our English Bibles, attention would probably have been directed to the subject at an earlier date, and our English church would not have remained so long maimed of one of her hands.” We suppose the Bishop’s thoughts went no further than to the thought of a needed order of “deaconesses,” when he penned these words. But they apply with greater force all the way along to woman’s full equality with man in the ministry of the Gospel,¾for until that point is reached, the Church will ever be maimed of one of her hands in her struggle with the world, the flesh and the devil.

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30. We return to the story in Genesis. We conclude that the first chapter of Genesis describes the original creation of “Adam,”–mankind. (We must bear in mind the fact that the word “Adam” is applied sometimes to mankind, and sometimes to the individual being who was husband of Eve). The second chapter describes the elaboration of the first Adam into two sexes. The second chapter nowhere uses the word “create,” of Adam, but a totally different word,–“formed.” Please look up this same word, “formed,” in Isaiah 44:2, 24 and 49:5, and convince yourself that it is used there exclusively of all idea of creation. Then turn to Isaiah 43:1, 7;  45:18, and see how it is used of a process additional to creation. This is what St. Paul refers to, where he says, “Adam was first formed then Eve,”—1 Timothy 2:13. He is speaking of development, not of original creation. Adam and Eve (so far as their primal state is concerned) were created simultaneously; but Adam was “formed,” elaborated, first.

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