First female Bishop; "Propelling" women beyond their roles, people with discernment called "disgruntled serial protesters"

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (2 Timothy 4:3)

The 'passions' discussed today are the passions of usurping women and the men who let them.

Eve was originally created to be a helpmeet. Hers was the supportive role in helping the man. (Genesis 2:18, 20). It still is, despite cultural pressure and widespread disobedience. But because the man listened to the voice of the woman, (Genesis 3:17) who was rebelling against God and urging her mate to do so as well (Genesis 3:6) all mankind was cursed with bearing a sin nature. (Until the Redeemer came Genesis 3:15).

In addition, the woman was cursed with wanting to rule her husband. This is one of the "passions" we are to guard against, as mentioned so many times in scripture. Passions are also known as ungodly desires. (1 Timothy 1:10, Jude 1:18, etc). Women will want the man's role.

"Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." (Genesis 3:16)

It is a tragedy when we see this played out in the home. When it is played out in the church it's worse. And worst of all is institutionalizing the disobedience of male and female leaders within the church, as seen here in this article today from the LA Times.

Church of England consecrates Libby Lane as its first female bishop
More than 1,000 people attended the service inside York Minster, the cathedral in the northern city of York, but a lone male priest who interrupted proceedings to protest the appointment served as a reminder the move is not universally welcomed. ... “No. Not in the Bible,” the Rev. Paul Williamson said when Archbishop of York John Sentamu asked the members of the congregation whether it was their will that she should be ordained. ... The church later said it was prepared for the outburst because Williamson is a known “serial protester.” ... “There will be a few people who will be disgruntled, but most people in the church will welcome this;"
According to the numbers given in the article, of the people present at Ms Libby Lane's ordination ceremony, 999 people accepted it without protest, and 1 did not.

The bible is clear that leadership in the church is reserved for men. Not even all men are called to leadership positions, so this is not an issue of equality as the article presents it. It is about submission to the roles God has reserved for men, women, and children.

In 2 Timothy 2:17, Paul charges Timothy not to let his flock listen to Hymenaeus and Philetus' worldly and godless chatter, lest their teaching spread like gangrene among them. I have always loved Paul's vivid allusion here. It's graphic and apt. Gangrene is a disease that spreads rapidly and if untreated, fatally. As Pulpit Commentary explains,
spread, like a gangrene, which gradually enlarges its area, corrupting the flesh that was sound before. So these heretical opinions spread in the body of the Church which is affected by them.
In case we don't get the point, Gill's Exposition is even more graphic,
The word "gangrene" is Greek (g), and is derived by some authors from the Paphlagonian "gangra", a goat; it being the character of a goat to browse the grass all around without shifting. It is more correct, perhaps, to derive it from the Greek word "manduco", "consumo", I eat, I consume. The "gangrene" is a disease in the flesh of the part which it corrupts, consumes, and turns black, spreading and seizing itself of the adjoining parts, and is rarely cured without amputation. By the microscope, a gangrene has been discovered to contain an infinite number of little worms engendered in the morbid flesh; and which continually producing new broods, they swarm, and overrun the adjacent parts: if the gangrene proceed to an utter sphacelation (or mortification), and be seated in any of the limbs, or extreme parts, recourse must be had to the operation of amputation''

And so the errors and heresies of false teachers worm and spread, and feed upon the souls of men, and eat up the vitals of religion
How has the spread of the myth of female leadership roles spread like a cancer? Well, it was only 20 years ago, the LA Times article reports, that the Church of England allowed female priests. Unless repented of and rectified, it was a certainty that the gangrene would spread to the next level, the gangrene here being the heresy of women pastors.

Lest we think this is a problem far away across the ocean, let us look within our own ranks of "conservative" denominations to see where our own gangrene is eating away at the body. Beth Moore has been allowed to teach men, then to attain leadership prominence unrebuked alongside John Piper and Francis Chan on stage, and then as the sin of usurpation spread, to solely lead services on Sunday from the pulpit. Read the essay from Ken Fryer about The Strange Case of Brenda Maxwell to see how this particular rebellion heresy spread.

Joyce Meyer, who has for many years has had millions of followers, has not been firmly called out as a false teacher, and her example of being an ordained Minister has both excited and ignited the passions of many women, Christine Caine for example. Of course Caine is not going to gravitate to a woman who submits to the role ordained for her by God, like Nancy Guthrie, for example, because that does not suit her passion. Of course she is going to gravitate to a woman like Meyer who sails on a wide ocean of disobedience in leadership roles reserved for men. Caine calls Meyer her 'spiritual mother."

This kind of pattern is outlined for us in Revelation 2, where we see just what happens to the spiritual mothers who practice heresy, their spiritual daughters, and the people to tolerated it.

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. 21I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22Behold, 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, 23and 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. (Revelation 2:20-23)

Gangrene does not respect boundaries. It does not care that a particular person calls himself or herself Conservative, or Baptist, or evangelical. If it is tolerated for one moment, its leaven will spoil the whole lump. Up until recently, LifeWay was considered to have a good reputation. LifeWay Christian Resources is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and is one of the largest providers of religious and Christian resources in the world, according to its business blurb.

Yet LifeWay promotes the false doctrines held by false teacher Beth Moore and TD Jakes and Mark Driscoll and Sarah Young and Henry Blackaby and William P. Young (The Shack) and Mark Batterson. LifeWay engages in selling heaven tourism to the gullible, dismisses legitimate biblical concerns from pastors who question their business model as balanced against their doctrinal model, provides a platform for atheist contemporary music bands, and is now actually propelling women into leadership roles reserved for men.

It is sad that undiscerning women are propelling other undiscerning women beyond their scripturally ordained role as wifely helpmeet, teacher of younger women and children and submissive servant. I am sad about this, but I am not discouraged.

Nice alliteration, Propel People. How about this: Service, Submission, Silence.
1 Peter 3:3-6, 1 Timothy 2:11, 1 Corinthians 14:34
Sin left unchecked always spreads. The sins of Sodom spread to Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim. The sins of Hymenaeus and Philetus would spread unless Timothy confronted them. The next generation is always worse, (Matthew 23:15 and Revelation 2:20-23.)

For people fond of saying "God told me", here is something God told us, a woman will desire her husband's position and usurp. He said that in Genesis 3 and then caused it to be recorded for all succeeding generations to be warned about. Paul told Timothy that he does not allow a woman to teach OR exercise authority over a man. Teaching leads to other areas where women exercise authority (Greek meaning of the word, domineer, exercise authority over, have mastery over, just as Genesis 2:15 says).

Ruling over, such as being ordained a Bishop in the Church of England, where Reverend Bishop Libby Lane will rule over men in the leadership hierarchy, but it's also where one lone man stood up for Jesus.

In another place and time, Germany, May 2014, Heidi Mund stood up in her Christian church specifically built to honor Martin Luther and opposed the singing of a Muslim Imam at the pulpit in an interfaith concert. She was seen as a disgruntled protester and hustled out by police.

When we stand for Christ, we will be called these names. Don't fear them, these names like disgruntled, negative, critical, judgmental, or this new one to me, serial protester.

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. (John 15:18)

As upsetting or uncomfortable as it is at the time, later we will be glad we had participated in Christ's sufferings, even momentarily. We will be glad we glorified Him. We will be grateful we stood for truth and not the lies and schemes of the devil.

There are some things we can do to diminish, but never avoiding the charge, of being a serial protester.

--do not scream in all caps on Facebook at every outrage. The Holy Spirit has all things in hand, and each of us are burdened to address one or a few, not all wrong things. In other words we don't have to do it all. Pick your battles.

--be prayerful about where and when to address things of concern, whether they are in church (submissively and carefully to your pastor) or online. Online comment sections are bastions of poor doctrine, with many honest and solid women, undiscerning but earnest women and others outright destroyers mixing truth with lies to confuse the young. Usually the solid women are drowned out and thus online blogs, comment sections and newspapers quickly go beyond the discernment level of many people. Be careful.

--be teachable. I'm not right about everything and other sisters are not right about everything, so if  you're approaching a leader or pastor, be ready to learn.

--be encouraging sometimes. There is much that is right with the church. Let people know it.

--be repentant. Pray for forgiveness of all known and unknown sins. Sin left unaddressed will be easily matched by satan to lead you to a place of uncertain doctrine or even of falling prey to wolves for long periods, polluting your witness. For example, the doctrinal sin discussed today is one of women's leadership beyond the scriptural boundary. This desire stems mainly from the sin of pride. These women who want to lead are prideful and arrogant. Many who fall prey to prosperity doctrines are greedy or jealous. The cleaner we are before Jesus the stronger our armor. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Always stay in the word, pray, and congregate with brethren so we can stay sharp, clear, and submissive. Then when the time comes, as it did for Heidi Mund and the Rev. Paul Williamson, whether publicly or privately ... your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15)

He deserves so much more, but this, this, is something we all can do.


Further Reading

Why the Malarkey/Tyndale/Lifeway Scandal Matters

Can a woman be a pastor or preacher?

And in a sad bit of irony, the Southern Baptist Convention (LifeWay's functional boss) has a lengthy article describing the theological reasons why a woman is not biblically ordained the role of pastor or church leader and concludes: Women Pastors: What Does the Bible Say?
Therefore, based upon these texts and models, a woman's spiritual service is to be in those roles assigned her by God. These do not include the role of pastor.


  1. Elizabeth, thank you for your discerning and scriptural words. This is a topic (women's roles) that I continue to learn and understand about! Being a woman of strong personality, a non-mother, with gifts in teaching and exhortation, and a strong interest in theology, doctrine, and expository teaching, I don't seem to "fit in" to most of today's church body. I have high respect for (and have never sought to overthrow) the male authority in the church...but I do pray for God to show me what it is that I *am* supposed to be doing...sometimes I wonder why He made me this separate/different from others (is what I feel).

    Sorry, that is a bit of a digression, but I think I've been meaning to tell you for a while since I discovered your blog. You seem wise and scripturally intelligent and are among the women I would say I respect for your biblical diligence. I feel a kinship with you in the sense that I veer toward the "older" theologians and bible teachers rather than trending toward every "new" thing that comes along. I'm definitely learning from you and am blessed you are here, saying the hard things that need to be said.

    As for Beth Moore, I want to add that my church body's "women's ministry" (a term and concept I'm not thrilled with) did a Beth Moore study on James (watching the dvds). I was very uncomfortable the whole time and didn't know why. Now I realize why. I disliked the fluff and the rah rah teaching (I'm sure that style of teaching must appeal to someone, but it didn't me).

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      I'm overwhelmed by your very kind words! Thank you.

      I agree, it is a strange amalgam, to be a woman and called to submit, but given by grace of God and Spirit gifting a whole lot of discernment and burden to call out falsity. I am always striving not to go beyond my role or to be confrontational in a manly way.

      I'm glad you're learning and I assure you, I am learning too. I love studying and though the more I study the more I see my sin, the more I see Jesus a bit more clearly too. I long for the day when all this glassy dimness will be lifted and we see Him face to face.

    2. Hi Jennifer, take heart, the Lord gave you those talents and He will surely use them! I'm praying for you.

      Elizabeth, as for Propel, no thank you. More rubbish being done, bringing reproach on Christ's name.


  2. Beautiful work, Elizabeth.


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