As the Denver Christian Apologist writer at Examiner (here), I receive many comments. One article brought out a reader with the following civil exchange (this is slightly abbreviated):
[Responding to my comments about female pastors in another article]:
L- Galatians 3:28-29 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
[I replied that I would write an article on that set of verses, but it was not accepted...]:
L - What about Deborah? Judges 4:4-5 Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided.
L - I'll also throw in Junia: Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. And Phoebe: Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. And I'll add that Miriam, Moses' sister, was obviously a leader.
Denver Christian Apologist - Lori: In a proper exchange of ideas, it behooves both parties to acknowledge the facts. Please ask yourself (don't need to write it here) if I properly explained Galatians 3:28? As for my part, I never dealt (nor could w/ short articles) other passages or the broader issues involved. 1.Deborah was a prophetess--if there are prophetesses today then they can be leaders (but prophets and apostles ended when the Bible was finished). 2. Deborah actually chided Barak for letting a woman get the victory in battle: "So she said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman."
Denver Christian Apologist - Lori: to continue: 3. Phil. 2:25 calls Epaphroditus a "messenger" (NKJV) wh/ in the greek is 'apostle' b/c apostle means 'messenger/one sent'. 4. Clearly there were only 12 Apostles at the beginning (Acts 1 records the election of another to replace Judas) and at the end (Revelation has the 12 Apostle names in Jerusalem). So, Epaphr. could not be another apostle in that specialized sense of the word. 5. Therefore, rom. 16:7 is not another Apostle (w/ capital A). 6. "Among" the apostles may mean with them not one of them. 7. Deacon means 'servant', so more than the word is needed to determine if the text means an office or simply a 'helper' (like all of us should be). thanks for asking.
Lori - 1. Why does God make an exception (according to you) for prophetesses if He doesn't allow women as leaders? And where does it say in the Bible that prophets and apostles are finished? 2. My reading is that Deborah was chiding his lack of faith. 3, 4, 5, and 6. I didn't read the text about Junia to mean she was 1 of the 12. Paul refers to himself as a apostle. I believe she was an apostle in the same sense...
Lori - To continue: I base some of my argument on what I have seen, felt and experienced through the powerful ministry and leadership of women in the church. “Of course, you also used emotionally loaded words "suppression" and "oppression", but these are not reasons either.” I used suppression and oppression based on women having the Spirit quenched by being denied the full use of their spiritual gifts. I remember hearing Beth Moore saying something like, “I teach women and those men who are humble enough to listen.” What a wonderful world it would be if more men were humble enough to listen to her. That’s how I feel.
Denver Christian Apologist - Lori: You stated: "If you don’t see my questions as relevant to your argument concerning Galatians, that’s how you see it. I see differently." That is part of the difficulty: what is considered a proper rationale. The other verses you pointed to were not relevant to Galatians. Books are written with their own context and my primary argument was within the book and chapter itself. None of your other passages bear *directly* on that text. Thus, Galatians cannot be used for your argument. And so I moved on to the other texts and explained them as well. This could go on ad infinitum unless you are willing to struggle with a single text and defend your position from that text (other texts are helpful but an argument must be based upon texts not general impressions).
Lori- To continue: I base some of my argument on what I have seen, felt and experienced through the powerful ministry and leadership of women in the church. “Of course, you also used emotionally loaded words "suppression" and "oppression", but these are not reasons either.” I used suppression and oppression based on women having the Spirit quenched by being denied the full use of their spiritual gifts. I remember hearing Beth Moore saying something like, “I teach women and those men who are humble enough to listen.” What a wonderful world it would be if more men were humble enough to listen to her. That’s how I feel.
Denver Christian Apologist - And yet Beth Moore is not humble enough to listen to me? Using language this way is not a defense of any position but poisons the well of the discussion with the insinuation that the opposing party is not 'humble'--that certainly has not been proven. Remember: the first thing offered as an argument was Galatians. I offered a cogent explanation that has not been answered beyond quoting other verses.
Lori - You seem determined that I reply to your posts in a manner you think appropriate, not in the manner I would naturally respond. I’m not sure why that is. It makes for an awkward conversation. Regardless, I don’t see the point of continuing as we aren’t going to agree. I don’t like straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Gives me indigestion.
Denver Christian Apologist - Dear Lori: I am hopeful that God does use this conversation for His glory so I do not think it needless. I think upon reflection you will see that I spent some time answering you point for point (not always) but did not receive like response. So, I could contend that you are forcing me to dialogue the way you want...but I won't do that. For your sake and the readers, I will take some of those point-by-point answers and flush them out for clarity in the next article. Either way, I hope you will continue to read and find more common ground in my other articles.