Playing Twister with the Scripture

I love to answer email questions from pastors. More than likely they tell me things they would not admit to their church members. Most use anonymity and hide behind that cover. This Pastor, like other pastors, seeks to set me straight on 1Timothy 2:15. This Pastor quotes well-known John MacArthur, mega-church pastor of Grace Community Church in California, when he says:

Paul teaches here that although a woman precipitated the Fall and women bear that responsibility, yet they may be preserved from that stigma through childbearing. The rescue, the delivery, the freeing of women from that stigma of having led the race into sin happens when they bring up righteous children. Women are far from being second class citizens because they have the primary responsibility for rearing godly children.

Huh? To those who wonder what this pastor just said, let me explain. He said that women caused the Fall and women will always be responsible for it, but God prepared a way out of that sin for women by allowing them to give birth to the next generation and by raising godly children.

He continues:

Paul teaches here that although a woman precipitated the Fall and women bear that responsibility, yet they may be preserved from that stigma through childbearing. The rescue, the delivery, the freeing of women from that stigma of having led the race into sin happens when they bring up righteous children. Women are far from being second class citizens because they have the primary responsibility for rearing godly children.

Mothers spend far more time with their children than do their fathers, and thus have the greater influence. Paul’s point here is that while a woman may have led the race into sin, women have the privilege of leading that race out of sin into godliness.

That does not mean God wants all women to bear children; some He doesn’t even want married (1st Cor. 7:25-40). Paul speaks in general terms. The pain associated with childbirth was the punishment for the woman’s sin, but the joy and privilege of child rearing delivers women from the stigma of that sin.

In this passage we can see how God has perfectly balanced the roles of the sexes. Men are to be the leaders in the church and the family. Women are kept from any accusation of inferiority through the godly influence they have in the lives of their children. For the church to depart from this divine order is to perpetuate the disaster of the Fall.

This pastor’s response was to quote John MacArthur. Parts of what he said comes straight from John MacArthur in a sermon in 1989. MacArthur says“They (women) are delivered from being thought of as permanently weak and deceivable and insubordinate.” I would like to ask MacArthur that if women have been delivered of this sin, then why is he and this Pastor still talking about it? And why am I writing a book to counter this unholy teaching? I personally would love to be delivered from their interpretations of women’s roles.

Now, back to the Pastor and his response. I wish I knew which Bible this pastor is reading because I do not think he is reading the one I have. 1 Corinthians 7:25-40 is referencing Jesus’ imminent return, with Paul telling men and women not to marry at all unless they cannot help themselves and not have sex. In fact, 1 Corinthians 7:29 advises men that if they have a wife, they should live as if they have none (celibate). Now, pastor, what kind of leadership is that? You see from this example that you must check out every scripture that anyone gives you to convince you of male headship because, in truth, there are none.

My response: Ah, Pastor, untwist yourself. You have played Twister with those Scriptures. What about the blood of Jesus delivering us from all sin, even the stigma of the Fall? You are telling me that Jesus does not have the power of Himself to free me, a woman, from that? How on earth could giving birth to a baby free a woman?

Pastor, your explanation does not make one bit of sense. It gives men far more power than God or Paul ever intended. Because you see, that makes our whole salvation dependent upon an earthly male to make us whole. And it also depends upon our ability to raise righteous children. My salvation cannot be based upon whether or not my children are Christians, just as their salvation is not based upon whether or not this poor mother was a Christian.

Do you know how you sound with that “joy and privilege of childrearing delivers women from the stigma of that sin?” Those who teach that women are inferior have not erased that stigma from me, and I have given birth to two sons. Once I have a child, then, from your reasoning, I should be free of the stigma. Does the fact that I had pain killers during childbirth change that? Do I get a certificate saying that I am now “preserved” from that stigma?

Pastor, one day you will realize just how ridiculous your explanation is, or, which is more likely, others will wake up and realize how ridiculous your explanation is.

Repost from July 2010

About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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2 Responses to Playing Twister with the Scripture

  1. annbayliss says:

    I cannot tell you how much I love this!!! Preach on. Ann

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  2. I get lots of comments from people on Twitter who “Twist” the scriptures. I thought it was time to repost this article I wrote several years ago. Your comment made my day!

    Like

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