A teenager view of gender

After reading some of the recent posts one of my teenager sons said to me:

Dad, why are you debating these minor points with these people who believe in male headship? Surely it is obvious to all that nobody who believes women cannot be in authority over men should be allowed out in society.

Despite appearances it seems I am the mildest in our family on this issue :-)

10 thoughts on “A teenager view of gender

  1. Bill001

    I have searched for blogs or are they threads on this subject of male headship but cannot find one yet where the view of women in leadership is supported by scripture. I appreciate that I have not read them all but could someone provide the scriptural support as I do not know of any nor has anyone yet provided it to me.

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  2. Dave Warnock

    Bill,
    If you are serious then there are plenty of posts and links here. Just search for “gender”.
    But note that you will typically find a different hermeneutic used that means the arguments are not made through reading scripture in the same way.
    Just to get you started consider Romans 16 where we have women as Apostles, woman as leaders of churches, as deacons, …

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  3. Bill001

    Thank you for you reply. I will indeed search under “gender”, whilst i appreciate that this is not straightforward i was hoping that i would be provided with more than one passage which does not actually give any detail of women in leadership (not what they did or actually that they were in leadership at all). The references are less than clear and to my mind do not show an argument to support women teaching men or having authority over them as in 1 Tim 2 nor does it change the qualifications for elders or deacons or any of the other references of the God designed order of headship/leadersip.
    I do believe that women have an extremely valuable place and role in the church but it is not that of leadership over men. Whilst i appreciate this will be seen as sexist and no doubt dismissed as such, my ultimate feelings are that i do not see that we should seek to make the Bible more acceptable to todays society/world by changing its teachings. Which is where i feel the majority of this argument stems. But rather what God has decided in His wisdom is the correct order is the one we should follow, if we stray from His design then we do not experience what He has for us in its entirety. That is not to say that there are not women with a great deal more knowledge and experience than me, who could not doubt teach me a great deal, however it is not for me to decide to change what God in His wisdom has designed and the format He has chosen. Thanks again and when i have searched and digested perhaps i will post again, who knows what i will think then. One thing i will say is that i truly beleive the Bible to be Gods word and as such if this can be backed up scripturally then that is what i am seeking. As i say no one has yet been able to show me the scripture to do so.

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  4. Dave Warnock

    Bill,
    My short reply was due to being on holiday with limited internet access rather than lack of interest or lack of material. Still limited but responding to your points.
    I do think Romans 16 is important and does show women in leadership. For example v7 shows Junia as outstanding among the apostles – as clear a leadership position as we see at that time. Also we see Priscilla (v3) mentioned before her husband as always when referring to the church in their home – clearly indicating she was the lead in church matters.
    As for 1 Tim 2 there is a wealth of evidence for readings of that which do not support a general rule against women teaching men (and Romans 16 is some of that evidence with all the women mentioned in it) see NT Wright which I linked to in this post.
    I resist the charge that egalitarian readings of scripture are to make the Bible more acceptable to the world. I do agree that we have been influenced to re-examine our understanding of scripture (just as Wilberforce etc forced us to on the issue of slavery).
    To summarize what you will find when you look into my posts on this:
    - stuff on poor translation of gender eg in the ESV
    - stuff on how accurate gender translation changes our understanding of creation, of the teaching of Jesus and of the Epistles
    - stuff on how we need a change in hermeneutic on gender similar to the change that happened on slavery
    - consideration of women and their roles in scripture.
    - consideration of the way God has used women in leadership to bless me and the church.
    Hope this helps.

    Reply
  5. Meghan

    Dave,
    I don’t quite understand your interpretation on Rom 16:7 which says “greet andronicus and junia(s), my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. they are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.”
    where are the women in the verse? just because the name ends in ‘a’ does not mean this person is a woman. for example: aquila in v.3
    I don’t see how you can write off 1 tim 2:12-14.
    this is not a cultural issue for paul to address. his reasoning is from creation…from before the fall…so that this is a timeless truth.
    but it doesn’t mean that men and women aren’t equal. we were created equal with different roles. like the Trinity, the Father is the head of Christ…eternal subordination. we can see that in 1 corinthians 11.
    an excellent, academic collection of journals that respond to the evangelical feminism movement is
    ‘Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’ edited by john piper and wayne grudem

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  6. DaveW

    Meghan,
    IMHO you are on very weak ground indeed claiming that Junia is male. The overwhelming evidence is that she is female, an apostle and significant within the Church. We have seen 3 different positions on this from male headship supporters
    - Junia is male.
    - Junia is not an apostle but simply known to the apostles. – Junia is a woman and an apostle but the term apostle here does not mean a lot.
    I am sorry but I consider these desperate arguments that are unsupported by the text or by Christian tradition.
    Suzanne McCarthy did an excellent series on this. See Junia, the Apostle and Junia: A Response to Michael Burer. Also look at More on Junia the Apostle by Henry Neufeld.
    To imply that I am considering Junia a woman because her name ends in “a” is ridiculous.
    I am not writing off 1 Tim 2:12-14, I simply understand it differently to you. In the light of the rest of Paul’s writing where women are frequently in positions of leadership it is inconsistent for this to apply to all women in all places for all time.
    Also as I have written many times the male headship view of creation ignores Genesis 1 completely and ignores the Hebrew gender of Genesis 2.
    I have not read that particular collection by Piper and Grudem but I have read “Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth” which I found completely unconvincing. You could search my blog for a number of posts relating to Wayne Grudem and his teaching.
    In short using the Wesleyan quadrilateral I find the male headship view is unconvincing from Scripture, Reason and Experience although I accept that it is strong within most of the Christian tradition (well after the first century anyway).
    Some of the Scripture arguments are above (by see Dr A Nyland’s work among many others for more).
    The reason arguments include. If God loves women and wants them to enjoy life in all it’s fullness then why would she require women to submit to sinful men who cannot live up to the example of Christ. Reason says it is not God’s will for a woman to submit to abuse from her husband. Therefore God would not require a woman to surrender her God given power, dignity, safety & wholeness to be at the mercy of a abusive husband.
    Experience says: I have been under the authority of many women within the Church, without exception they have blessed me, I have seen the Holy Spirit clearly at work in their ministries and they have been blessed by God – how could this be the case if these ministries were against the will of God. See Thank-you to some of the women in my life and Tuesday Thanks: Sheila Purdy

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