Sunday, October 21, 2012

How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 3

Christian secret feminists Part 1
Christian secret feminists Part 2

I've been looking at Christian secret feminism. I call it secret feminism because as opposed to the open Christian feminists, these women live as feminists but cloak their lifestyle and teaching in Christianese talk. Look at part 1 for how they do that, and look at part 2 for an examination of what the bible calls women to be like.

In this final part I want to look at Revelation 2 again, the church at Thyatira. This part will look at the final outcome of what happens to churches that tolerate this stuff.

In April of this year I proposed that the false prophetess Jezebel-spirit spoken against by Jesus in who was being tolerated in the church at Thyatira was a Beth Moore type. I am going to deepen that study a bit.

In the previous two parts I've spoken of the lifestyle that Beth Moore and other female celebrity teachers  lives is more one of feminism than wifely biblical womanhood. I parsed their speech and compared that to their life and the difference is amazing in its gap. One does not match up to the other. I've examined many times how Moore in particular has brought false teachings into the church, particularly the American church, much to the detriment of her students. I said that one way to discern if a person is true or not is to match what they say with what they do and if there is a discrepancy over time, it is in fact a pattern of falsity. Beth Moore exemplifies this both in her lifestyle and her teaching.

Theologian Robin Schumacher wrote about the church at Thyatira. First, let's see what Jesus has to say to this church, which was an actual church in the first century, but is also representative of the church of today.

"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze."

“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’" (Revelation 2:18-29)

 Oh, Lord Jesus praise Your name!!

Schumacher writes of the verse referring to Jezebel, "Christ condemns what was evidently rampant immorality in the church that was spearheaded by a prominent female figure that Jesus likens to the Old Testament character of Jezebel. The specific deeds called out are spiritual adultery and the worship of idols signified by the eating of things sacrificed to them."

He notes that the Greek term tolerate means to 'let go' and 'allow.' "The main complaint Jesus had against the church was that they were allowing a false teacher to parade her teaching and her practices in their midst, with the end result that some were being led astray. We need to remember that the church is not to be a home for false teaching."

John MacArthur explains what happens when a church tolerates false teaching, "Sin and false doctrine always appear together. Whenever false doctrine enters into a church, sin follows. For example, the church at Corinth was subject to false teachers. As a result, sin became widespread throughout the church. The church at Thyatira represents the church characterized by sin and false doctrine. Where there is a tolerance for false doctrine, theological liberalism begins to creep in and the gospel is watered down. That is how Satan brings about sin."

It is exactly happening like that today.

Let's look at the verse referring to this false teacher as prophetess. Schumacher again:

"The word 'prophetess' is only used in the New Testament here and once in Luke 2:36 to speak of Anna- it means one who interprets oracles. The easiest way to justify false teaching is to make the claim that you are a prophet from God and that the things you advocate and teach come directly from Him."

Wow. I want you to think for a minute if there is any woman in today's Christian world who is

--teaching
--proclaiming false things in that teaching
--wielding major influence across the church
--leading many astray
--claiming direct revelation from God
--and was told to teach it to the people
--having been around long enough to birth spiritual daughters

Going on, the Lord said He gave her time to repent. She did not want to, the verse says, but in the meantime she birthed spiritual daughters.

The Lord is gracious and kind. He gave time to repent, and in so doing he also gave the church time to put a stop to the false teaching. However as much as the Jezebel teacher didn't want to repent, the church didn't put a stop to it.

When we step outside our roles God assigned us chaos ensues. Men are giving up on their biblically mandated charge to the shepherds and teachers and handing over the roles to women, who are also taking up those roles at home. Women, emboldened by their secular feminist sisters, are yielding to satan's temptation to go after leadership roles.

Brethren, God is the authority. He knows best. If He ordained things they way they are it is for our good. We must believe that. We must. It is what faith is, believing and living out a life submitted to His precepts.

Now, I don't think all the woman I've mentioned throughout his series are terrible people. Some may even be saved, and love the Lord. They may not be aware of the fact that they are part of a generation that has compromised on their biblical role, having only had spiritual Jezebels to look up to. But the word of God is the ultimate authority and His lenses are always clear.

I've seen submitted woman living a life of care and nurturing love to their family and it is a beautiful thing. Beautiful. I've seen modesty displayed and humility exhibited, and it is a gentle refreshing rain to my soul. When a married man and a woman demonstrate a life of complementary roles is it a wonder.

And above all, Jesus is glorified.

There is nothing that has more eternal impact than a Christian life of men and women in their Godly roles. Please do not believe your self worthless or marginalized. I see. I watch. Others do too. We love the sweet life of a modest woman and the husbandly care of a submitted man. To Whom does the man submit? To Jesus. (Ephesians 5:22-33.)

Jesus is our all in all, sufficient for all things, eternally. And that is a praise to Him!

Christian secret feminists Part 1
Christian secret feminists Part 2

7 comments:

  1. What a great series of posts! I appreciate all your research. I also appreciate that you are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and bold, courageous and biblical in your stand. You have clarified some issues that I had been struggling with and could not come to pinpoint the problem or the reason that the pat answers just didn't seem right with scripture. Thanks for your help!

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    1. You're entirely welcome! Glad the scriptures came thru and the light shone!

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  2. I appreciate the way you have addressed the truth in this article.

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  3. I found it difficult to follow your posts at a few points, but I really enjoyed what you have to say. I appreciate your outlook on the roles men and women have to play... how they are both equal, but with distinctive places within marriage. I'd be interested to know your thoughts on the roles of men and women as singles.

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    1. Hi Lynnae,

      I'm so sorry I wasn't clear in parts. If you still have questions I'd try to clear them up for you. Thank you for reading it despite the confusion I put in it.

      Singles have roles as well. The bible does speak to it, just not as often or clearly as marriage. There are distinctions for divorce as well as widows, and further distinctions for young widows as opposed to elder widows.

      First, here are the verses which speak to being unmarried

      1 Corinthians 7:8 “I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

      The context is for those in Corinth. Paul was concerned about the rampant idolatry and paganism, specifically addressing that culture, then.

      Matthew Henry commentary says of the verses,

      "The apostle tells the Corinthians that it was good, in that juncture of time, for Christians to keep themselves single. Yet he says that marriage, and the comforts of that state, are settled by Divine wisdom. Though none may break the law of God, yet that perfect rule leaves men at liberty to serve him in the way most suited to their powers and circumstances, of which others often are very unfit judges. All must determine for themselves, seeking counsel from God how they ought to act."

      1 Corinthians 9:5 “Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?”

      Paul is saying here that he has a right to be married but chooses not to. As a Pharisee who had reached the upper echelons of his profession, and was likely a rabbi, it seems that Paul had probably been married at some point. Rabbis were required to be married and even if he wasn't, as a Pharisee it was strongly suggested. He was probably a widower but we can't be sure. Paul wrote in this verse that those who are not married have more time and can devote themselves to the Lord. In this day and age that could translate to ministry in church, or works in some way that devote themselves to advancing His work. He re-states it in this verse from 1 Cor 7:34-

      1 Corinthians 7:34 “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.”

      As for widows, they should be looked after. If younger, they should probably marry, as he said men probably should if their passions can't be controlled (1 Timothy 5:11)

      "Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander." (1 Tim 5:13-14)

      This is an area of Christian liberty, where we seek the Spirit's help for the state of matrimony He would place us in. Jesus deems is best for MOST people to be married, but not all. It is not a sin or a crime not to be married, Jesus has specifically ordained that state for some of us. For those who aren't, whether it's a season or for life, we can choose to serve the Lord in ways that married women can't, and that is a blessing in itself.

      Look at Luke 2:36-37- Anna. Married only 7 years, widowed as a young woman, God left Anna in the temple to be a faithful witness for His name, in that terrible time just before Jesus came and Phariseeism and legalism were the norms. In Acts 21:9 we read that Philip had "four unmarried daughters who prophesied." As for Lydia, the seller of purple, we can't be sure of her marital status but we know she had a thriving business and a household, and was potentially a widow. (Acts 16:14-15, she said come to 'my' house and hadn't needed her husband's permission first. And she is presented to us as a business woman and not a widow or a daughter). She used her means, both the money and her house to have a home church and to support Paul in his kingdom work.

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    2. Lynnae,

      Here are some links for you which explain roles for singles further, and I hope that your search through the scriptures for clarity on the roles of single women brings you peace and comfort.

      "What does the Bible say about a Christian staying single?"
      http://www.gotquestions.org/single-Christian.html

      Does the Bible teach that there is a gift of celibacy?
      http://www.gotquestions.org/gift-of-celibacy.html

      Guides for singleness and marriage
      http://www.gty.org/resources/study-guides/40-5136/reasons-for-remaining-single-part-1

      Women of the bible: Lydia
      http://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/all-women-bible/2011/08/02

      Women of the bible: Anna
      http://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/all-women-bible/2011/07/26

      Women of the bible: Daughters of Philip
      http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Daughters-Philip

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  4. thank you! a great series! Leslie

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