Desiring to be God – Part 8

Many scriptures in the Bible cannot be understood as written. But one scripture, 1 Timothy 2:15, has theologians, seminary professors, and pastors creating a separate step that women must take in order to enter into heaven. Men can simply ask for forgiveness for their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

But certain complementarian Christian leaders are introducing a new element into salvation for women. So great is their desire to keep women subordinate, that they have reached into salvation itself and changed the way women are saved.

“But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety” (1Timothy 2:15).

Bruce Ware, a prominent member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and a professor of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where Al Mohler is president, is someone who uses this scripture to change the way women accept Christ as their savior. What Ware says is shocking and you must read it carefully. Look for two things: 1) that women cannot become Christians (submit to God) until they accept the fact that they are not men; 2) Ware’s elevation of earthly men by putting a man as a factor in a woman’s salvation.

Read Ware’s words in the following interview as reported by Bob Allen, then a reporter for ethicsdaily.com. Allen quoted Ware when Ware spoke at a church in Denton, Texas:

“Ware also touched on a verse from First Timothy saying that women “shall be saved in childbearing,” by noting that the word translated as “saved” always refers to eternal salvation. “It means that a woman will demonstrate that she is in fact a Christian, that she has submitted to God’s ways by affirming and embracing her God-designed identity as—for the most part, generally this is true—as wife and mother, rather than chafing against it, rather than bucking against it, rather than wanting to be a man, wanting to be in a man’s position, wanting to teach and exercise authority over men,” Ware said. “Rather than wanting that, she accepts and embraces who she is as woman, because she knows God and she knows his ways are right and good, so she is marked as a Christian by her submission to God and in that her acceptance of God’s design for her as a woman.”

We remember that in Genesis 3:4, Satan tempted Eve with the fruit by telling her that God knew that their eyes would be opened and they would be like God, knowing good and evil. God was the ultimate Being, there was none like God. Now Ware claims that women want to be men and I find his comments very disturbing. Ware says that women’s salvation depends upon their denouncing their desire to be men. In this way, Ware has elevated men on earth to the status of God on earth. This doctrine diminishes God and elevates man to the status of earth-gods. In addition, Ware is claiming that women are still seeking to be as God just as the serpent said in the Garden of Eden (only now it is an earthly man-god that Ware claims women desire to be). My message to these complementarians: It is not women who desire to be God.

Ware is not the only seminary professor who subscribes to the belief that women must first bow to human males before they can be saved. James (Jim) Hamilton, Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) where Bruce Ware is a professor, says the same thing as Ware. Before coming to SBTS, Hamilton served as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Houston campus and was the preaching pastor at Baptist Church of the Redeemer. This connects two major Southern Baptist affiliated theological seminaries with Ware’s theology.

Hamilton says, “All women must embrace their role as women and bear children, and if they do so in faith they will be saved.” Hamilton continues, “And I agree with Schreiner and others on the point that Paul wants women to embrace what it means to be female, and he has chosen childbearing as an example of something that only women can do. This doesn’t mean that single women or barren women can’t be saved, but they should by faith embrace what it means for them to be women.” Thus, these words by Hamilton make a woman’s salvation dependent upon a human male, because it is only human male sperm that can impregnate a woman. The woman also has to put aside her so-called yearnings to be a male and accept the fact that she doesn’t measure up.

Not all complementarians believe that a woman must denounce her desire to be a man, and then have sex, in order to be saved. Tom Challies is often quoted and he weighs in on 1 Timothy 2:15 by saying that the scripture means that women in general have been given the chance to redeem Eve’s sin by bearing children.

Challies says, “There is good warrant to expand the word childbearing here so it points not just to the act of giving birth, but to all that Paul has just discussed a couple of verses earlier—godly womanhood. In the wider context of the passage Paul is referring to the whole of a woman’s calling within the family, within the church, within the world. She is to embrace godly womanhood, to be who and what God has created her and called her to be. She is to fight against that tendency to usurp authority that is not hers.”

According to complementarians, Godly womanhood is totally dependent upon human males. It is solely a woman’s relationship to a man determines that whether or not she is exhibiting Godly womanhood. Depending upon which complementarian you believe, 1) women are saved by having a baby and denouncing their desire to be men; or, 2) women have a chance to redeem all mankind by having sex and giving birth to babies and not usurping authority from males.

It appears that Ware, Hamilton, and Challies believe that a woman’s salvation is dependent upon the sex act by a man inserting his seed into the woman. If this is the case, then it is as if he has inserted his godliness (giver of salvation) into her; or if she has no male to have sex with (marriage does not come into the picture), she must be willing to have sex with a man (because sex is the way children are conceived), and it is only then that she, or mankind, can be saved.

The one thing all these men have overlooked is that Jesus was born of a virgin, and that would signify that men no longer would have saving power for women. Of course men never had saving power for women in the first place, but why let a few facts get in the way of demeaning women.

If they do not believe it this way, then why are they saying it? There is no justification for making such outrageous statements about women. There is no justification for making women’s salvation different from a man’s salvation. It is their desire to be god – giver of salvation – that compels them to do this.

Can you imagine Jesus telling women that in order for them to be saved, they must denounce their desire to be men, and then be willing to have sex with a man?

Pastors, you who have studied the Word, do you have no understanding of what you are saying! How is it that you do not understand that in your desire to elevate man, you have diminished God? My soul, my heart, cries out for to you to repent. Do you not see your own desire to be God?

Exodus 20: 1-5 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. Do not worship any other gods besides me. Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god!”

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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24 Responses to Desiring to be God – Part 8

  1. Cindy K says:

    I love how Challies tries to distance himself from the more blatantly problematic statements of his betters/superiors, for he is duty bound to support them. If you follow a Reformed theology, you’re required to accept this stuff. It’s as if he realizes that this is flawed, but he doesn’t know what to do about it.

    I can’t believe that this has just been so widely accepted without any protest or question.

  2. I don’t always stop to comment, but I regularly read your blog, and appreciate the ministry you have here, and elsewhere. It was Spurgeon who said that it is the job of the proclaimer of the Word to “stain the pride of all human glory.” Sadly however, it has become the work of many men (and even more sadly, some women) to secure, protect, and spread the pride of human glory, by offering men a way to call themselves Christian, yet avoid the call to humility, kindness, and the Grace that both men and women need, and can share, in mutual submission to one another.

  3. Carly says:

    Great post.

    I’ve seen this concept(being saved through childbearing) advocated elsewhere, and found it so troubling.

    Once you put this concept elsewhere, I don’t know how you couldn’t expect that women who are unable to have children or choose not to have children wouldn’t be deeply hurt by this message.

    I’m a mom myself, but have had lots of extended family members who didn’t end up being moms. so it would trouble me to think that I’m on a different level than they are just because I decided to have kids and they did not.

    One blog post I saw even hinted at non-medicated births as potentially more saving than those that might require additional intervention.

  4. krwordgazer says:

    I’m just going to call this what it is: heresy. I don’t use that word very often, but it was Paul himself who said, “let them be accursed who preach another gospel.” If anything– anything –besides or in addition to the blood of Christ is put forth as necessary or in addition to salvation by faith alone, through grace alone, it’s heresy. Frankly, I’m astonished that any of these men actually go this far. If the way we’re reading a text flatly contradicts the clear message of the rest of Scripture, particularly when it comes to salvation– there’s a problem with the way we’re reading the text. That’s all there is to it.

    • It is heresy. Ware says out of one side of his mouth that he doesn’t believe that, but then he turns around and says that it means eternal salvation. And his follower, Hamilton, says the same thing. How many are he telling in his classes as professor? Who knows what is being fed to ministry students? All of Ware’s writings are mysognistic.

      • Cindy K says:

        Worse yet (to me) are the number of people who soak this stuff up without calling this filth what is really is. That’s what bothers the heck out of me. There’s not a single person that will stand up and challenge this? I know that a student cant, really, without getting a bad grade, BUT what about the other PROFESSORS????

      • It is a case of them “prettying it up” again. Childbirth and childbearing, and mothers are acceptable words. Sex is not, but you can’t have a mother without sex. And to have sex, you must have a man. So what is not said is that it is a man who is in charge of a woman’s salvation by either his sperm, or her unfilled desire to be impregnated by a man. What absolute garbage they have come up with! Yet, this is what they are saying. You are right. Nobody is speaking up.

  5. Tom Parker says:

    The guys that “preach” this nonsense know of a “Jesus” I want nothing to do with. They twist and turn verses in the Bible to suit their sick beliefs about women and destroy the fellowship in so many places. These men will do anything to spread this “gospel” and any one who stands against them must understand they take no prisoners.

    • I can’t believe that they desire to dominate women is so great that they are willing to constantly find ways to demean women. But they do. I don’t anybody has ever told them that they are promoting sex as a way of salvation. But they do.

      Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 02:52:10 +0000 To: bwebaptist.women@live.com

      • Cindy K says:

        It isn’t just sex, though, Shirley. It’s childbearing. I wonder if I will get any kind of grace points for miscarriages and for the chronic illnesses my husband and I have contended against? I suspect not, especially considering that I’m outspoken… So I guess I’m going to hell, according to these folks. (Not that I’m a bit worried about it. I know Whom I have believed, and it’s none of them.)

      • They have hurt so many people. Surely they must know God is not pleased with this.

      • Tom Parker says:

        Shirley: The very sad part is it is like they all have the same talking points and dare not vary from them. They are just very dangerous talking heads with no heart.

  6. I recently read a good article on this passage in Timothy.

    http://carm.org/1-tim-215-she-they-and-salvation-through-child-bearing

    I am not sure how to link this, sorry.

    The author makes a suggestion I have seen before and it makes good sense. He purports that Paul was referring to the practice of Greek women to pray to Artemis to keep them safe in childbearing and that he was trying to encourag the new converts to pray to God to keep them safe. So instead of “you will be saved by bearing children” its “you will be kept safe whilst bearing children”.

    I spent many years in a church which also taught that women were so weak, sinful and corrupt that they could only enter heaven by obeying both their husband and the elders of the church. It created nothing but confusion, depression and self-hatred in the congregation and the men were put in positions they were never created to be in. It will no doubt come as no surprise to learn that the elders now claim to be Christ incarnate.

    I simply can’t believe that so many other christian pastors are preaching such obvious drivel. It would seem they have been swep away by doctrines of demons and are on the road to destruction I pray that they will have their eyes opened before it is too late.

    • This drivel is being taught in one of the 6 Southern Baptist Convention affiliated seminaries by two of its professors. Every time a church member puts a dime in the offering plate in their SBC church, a portion of it goes to teach this. Pastors won’t speak up. So we must. Thank you for your comment.

    • More than likely that is what Paul was talking about. Paul KNEW that women were not saved by childbearing. But Bruce Ware and Jim Hamilton say that this means eternal salvation, and in this way they have changed the way women are to be saved. They must have a baby and be good (after they denounce their desire to be men , of course!) What stupidity. But most importantly, is that it diminishes God and demeans women.

      Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 07:09:17 +0000 To: bwebaptist.women@live.com

  7. Right now, as with the fires of hell, I’m doing more than a slow burn. This is making me absolutely furious. In other words, according to these godly men, because I’m post-menopausal and not married, I’m going to hell. Doesn’t matter if I’ve accepted Christ as my savior. I’m going to hell – which is one of the words I’d like to use just about now, along with a few others. How long do we allow this manure to continue? Do these men hate women that much? Do they fear us that much? What about the poor women who actually believe this stuff? This is pure evil. There is no other word for it.

    • Welcome! Thanks for joining in. Yes, they do hate women so much and they get away with it because they use churchy bible words. Like saying hell and damn in church is ok because it is in the Bible. But their thought and the innermost desire of their heart (as demonstrated by their actions and words) is to demean women by keeping a boot on their throats. In the process they diminish God, but they are willing to accept that because nobody is pointing it out to them. Help us as we stand up in protest though our words and actions.

  8. Pingback: Part VIII: Seriously Corrupted Faith | The Pink Flamingo

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