More than a look at marriage and family: lesson 1

Have you seen this diagram yet? According to facebook it has been shared 7,000 times from just one person's profile and there is little doubt many others have shared it as well, just as I have done here.

I did not make the chart and since it is not given there is no real way to know what passages of scripture the person had in mind if any when creating this illustration. All too often in our day and age Christians have abandoned the word of God for Christianized verbiage or generalized assumed teachings of God without the actual word of God present. Without any scripture present in the illustration the viewer is left to, "fill in the blanks" and this is always a recipe for disaster. I do not know if that was the case when this was originally created. Perhaps there is a study associated with the illustration, perhaps there were verses to the side that have since been cut off. This is all that I have seen each time it has been shared. The best thing to do at this point is to view the umbrellas and words given in this illustration in light of scripture.

Jesus Christ the top and largest umbrella for which the others are beneath:
      1 Cor. 11:3 says the following:
"However, I want you to realize that Christ has authority over every man, a husband has authority over his wife, and God has authority over Christ." Although this passage is primarily dealing with the roles of husbands and wives in the church Paul uses this theme throughout his writings both in the church and in the home as often the church and the home were the same place.

    We also see this three tiered structure of authority again in Ephesians 5: 22-24:
"Wives, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority as you have placed yourselves under the Lord’s authority. The husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. It is his body, and he is its Savior. As the church is under Christ’s authority, so wives are under their husbands’ authority in everything. "

As we are reading these passages it would not be prudent of me not to address a confusion that has risen among the role of women in the church. When the above passages are key to understanding what God has said and not said on the matter.

Let me begin by first asking each of you, what roles of teaching and ministry, to what degree, or not at all, have the women in the churches you have attended had seen as appropriate by that body of believers?

What are your current views of women in ministry?

What do you feel has motivated you to have these views, scripture, traditions, culture?

Even among this panel I am sure that initially there is going to be some disagreement that may even continue when we are done but as this study is primarily for NDCM and our leaders I will be teaching from the stand point that we have accepted to be how we as a ministry operate.

Have you ever read passage of scripture that have seemed confusing or contradictory to you concerning the roles of women in the church?

It does not take a person very long who is studying about the roles of women in the church to come across passages of scripture that seem to be direct contradictions. The question is how does that happen?
Let's take a moment to look at a few passages of scripture that refer to women and their rolls in the church.

Rom 16:1  I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea,
that you receive her in
the Lord, as becomes saints, and that you may assist her in whatever business she has need of you. For she has been a helper of many, and of myself also.

Who is involved, what are they doing, what are they told to do if anything?

Acts 21:8-9 "And the next day those around him going out, Paul came to Caesarea. And entering the house of Philip the evangelist, he being of the seven, we stayed with him. And there were four virgin daughters to this one, who prophesied.

Who is involved, what are they doing, what are they told to do if  anything?

Act 2:17-18
"And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy."

Who is involved, what are they doing, what are they told to do if anything?

1Co 11:5-6 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head; for that is even the same as if she were shaved.

Who is involved, what are they doing, what are they told to do anything?

1 Cor.14:34-35 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.  If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Who is involved, what are they doing, what are they told to do anything?

One of these passages is not like the other. which one is it and why?
If God's word is true and does not contradict why does it appear to?
This is not the only area we will see confusion in the English Bible. Who knows what a transliteration is?

A transliterated word is one that comes to us from Greek, but was never really translated, it was just transliterated.  This is done by basically changing the Greek letters into our English letters, and then perhaps smoothing up the pronunciation a bit."

Please give me a few examples of transliterated words you know.

Angel, Deacon, Deaconess, Baptize. There are actually several more.

I just want to look at two for now. (diakoneo¯)   and its female ending both that should have been translated  "a servant of the Lord" were translated deacon. The only time it is translated and not transliterated is in Rom 16:1  As we read above concerning Pheobe.

The other I would like to look at is (baptizo¯)  or Baptize when literally translated the word means to totally immerse. The meaning of this word comes from the act of taking a material and placing it under water. This was done for washing and also dying clothing and other materials.

So why not translate baptism properly as emersion and deacon as servant of the Lord?
These two words were not translated properly for one of two reasons.

The translators were afraid of the repercussions it would cause or they did not want to make changes in the way they were doing things and so to avoid these two realities they transliterated these two words.

Truth is more important than tradition, and God’s original intentions are better than man’s religious teachings so we will not use these transliterated words and instead we will translate them properly. When translated properly we see very quickly why the translators decided to use transliteration and not translate this word every time it is used.

The same mind set is true when it comes to the use of the word women when wife should be used and vice vs. There is an agenda being imposed on the scriptures not being gleaned from them.

Greek is a very precise written language. Each word has prefixes and suffixes that help tell us what words belong to others, the gender of the word, they even convey the tenses. Once for all time, started and is continuing on ext.

The confusion of the roles of women in the church are only confused because of the way they are translated and no confusion exists when seen in the light of the original text and language it was  pinned.  A closer look at every time the word man, women, husband wife are used would clear up all misunderstandings concerning the matter.

Let us look at the context of I Cor. 14:34-35 one last time before we move on to God's example of how this husband wife dynamic is suppose to be seen in the context of the church and the family.

"The word husband has been properly translated but the problem comes here with the word women. The word women here in relation to its connection to the word husband in the  Greek really should have been translated wife not women. Paul is addressing the husband and wife relationship within the context of a church’s worship service.

Even Paul is unwilling to instruct these wives directly and respects the authority given to the husband over the home, directing his instruction to the husband and not directly to the wife.
The issue of churches usurping the authority of the husband/father in the home could be a full discussion on its own. 

The word speak (
laleo¯ ) means to utter unintelligible words. Paul is still keeping with his main theme of everything being done properly and in order and is addressing this interruption in the church properly by instructing the husbands and wives of their positions in Christ.

Paul here is addressing another issue concerning distractions in the worship service in as he has already done earlier in the passage when he instructs those who speak with an unknown tongue to be silent when there is no interpreter. This is not a general order for all men not to allow women to speak in church. This also does not mean that this was always the biblical response to any women that spoke for God or in the context of a worship service or in the work of the Lord.

let's not forget that the first person to tell anyone else to follow Jesus was the women at the well. :-)

When looking at the instructions given for the church we must not lose sight of the fact that they did have a few large places for gathering but most often they were meeting in small groups in people's homes this meant that the husband wife dynamic was an important one to the congregation when it came to how they respect one another as we will continue to see.
With our last point of discussion for the evening let me ask you a question:

How important is it to you that your spouse loves the Lord, and desires to co-labor with you in the work of the kingdom?
Perhaps no other couple  in the Bible exemplifies  my idea of what I would want Heather and I's marriage to look like than that of  Priscilla and Aquila

What do you already know about this couple?

·Priscilla is the wife and Aquila is the husband.
There he (Paul) met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.

·They are mentioned 7 times and never mentioned separately, they are always addressed as a couple.

·They were missionaries who traveled with Paul   Acts 18:18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila.  Acts 18:19 : They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila.

·They did not shrink back from death:   Romans 16:3-4: Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.

·They both taught others about God: Acts 18:26 began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

·They lead a church in their home: ·  1 Corinthians 16:19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.
Paul viewed them as equal partners with himself in the work of the kingdom
Romans 16:3-4 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.

How has God spoken to you today?
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