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Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 8.20.15 AMThere is a reason for this specific rant and rave. Evidently the Southern Baptists have decided to adopt the ancient Greek version of what women are. During the time of Christ, many of the men in Judea did.

“...On the other hand, he ascribed the inferior status of women clearly to a degeneration from perfect human nature. “It is only males who are created directly by the gods and are given souls. Those who live rightly return to the stars, but those who are ‘cowards or [lead unrighteous lives] may with reason be supposed to have changed into the nature of women in the second generation’. This downward progress may continue through successive reincarnations unless reversed. In this situation, obviously it is only men who are complete human beings and can hope for ultimate fulfilment; the best a woman can hope for is to become a man” (Plato, Timaeus 90e)….”

This was a world where women were uneducated. They were allowed to have one daughter. Any more than that and the daughter was exposed, to be given away as a slave or to be raised as a prostitute. A woman was not allowed to associate with her husband. She could not learn to read or write. She was literally owned by her husband, with a status a little lower than a slave. She could not shop. She could not leave her home. She did not associate with other women. She was nothing.

“...“Women are defective by nature” because they cannot reproduce semen which contains a full human being. When a man and a woman have intercourse, the man supplies the substance of a human being (the soul, i.e. the form), the woman only the nourishment (the matter)...‘It is the best for all tame animals to be ruled by human beings. For this is how they are kept alive. In the same way, the relationship between the male and the female is by nature such that the male is higher, the female lower, that the male rules and the female is ruled.’ Aristotle, Politica, ed. Loeb Classical Library, 1254 b 10-14.”

The new version of Baptist teaches that women who rebel against their husband’s edicts should be abused. They are utilizing the Hellenic view of women – they are nothing. Did you know that 77% of all female ministers have a seminary degree but only 63% of men do?

“…One reason that men abuse their wives is because women rebel against their husband’s God-given authority, a Southern Baptist scholar said Sunday in a Texas church. Bruce Ware, professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said women desire to have their own way instead of submitting to their husbands because of sin….Commenting on selected passages from the first three chapters of Genesis, Ware said Eve’s curse in the Garden of Eden meant “her desire will be to have her way” instead of her obeying her husband, “because she’s a sinner.”

What that means to the man, Ware said, is: “He will have to rule, and because he’s a sinner, this can happen in one of two ways. It can happen either through ruling that is abusive and oppressive–and of course we all know the horrors of that and the ugliness of that–but here’s the other way in which he can respond when his authority is threatened. He can acquiesce. He can become passive. He can give up any responsibility that he thought he had to the leader in the relationship and just say ‘OK dear,’ ‘Whatever you say dear,’ ‘Fine dear’ and become a passive husband, because of sin.”

Ware said God created men and women equally in God’s image but for different roles.

“He has primary responsibility for the work and the labor and the toil that will provide for the family, that will sustain their family,” he said. “He’s the one in charge of leadership in the family, and that will become difficult, because of sin.”

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.”…”

According to Bruce Ware, a member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and a professor of Christian Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Albert Mohler is the president, I’m going to hell. I have no salvation. There are several reasons for this. Now, a number of Southern Baptist theologians think that men can just do the John 3:16 thing, ask forgiveness for their sins, and accept Christ as their savior. The thing is, I’m a woman. Ergo, now, according to the new theology, because I’m a woman, single, and have never had a child, I cannot be saved. Christ did not die for my sins the way he did for men. Women are different. According to 1Timothy 2:15, the only way I can receive salvation is via childbirth.

1Timothy2:11-15 11Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. 12I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.

In other words, I am going to hell. I’m post-menopausal. So, I guess I’m not going to receive salvation. This is what the Mormons believe.

“….Misinterpretation of this verse is where the Mormons get their authority for polygamy. They believe that women are saved (forgiveness of sins) through childbirth. Therefore, men are obligated to marry as many women as possible and have children with them. That, of course, is not what this verse is teaching….”

As for women keeping silent in church, try this by Adam Clark. Some of it wasn’t about theology but about Roman law. As in his requirement for wardrobe, Paul, the Roman, was citing Roman law. It cannot be emphasized enough that Paul was very much a Roman. He was Jewish. He was a Christian, but in many ways, he was first and foremost a Roman.

“...that belongs to man as his peculiar function. This was prohibited by the Roman laws: In multis juris nostri articulis deterior est conditio foeminarum quam masculorun,; l. 9, Pap. Lib. 31, Quaest. Foeminoe ab omnibus officiis civilibus vel publicis remotae sunt; et ideo nec judicis esse possunt, nec magistratum gerere, nec postulare, nec pro alio invenire, nec procuratores existere; l. 2, de Reg. Juris. Ulp. Lib. i. Ad Sab.- Vid. Poth. Pand. Justin., vol. i. p. 13.

“In our laws the condition of women is, in many respects, worse than that of men. Women are precluded from all public offices; therefore they cannot be judges, nor execute the function of magistrates; they cannot sue, plead, nor act in any case, as proxies.” They were under many other disabilities, which may be seen in different places of the Pandects.

But to be in silence – It was lawful for men in public assemblies to ask questions, or even interrupt the speaker when there was any matter in his speech which they did not understand; but this liberty was not granted to women….”

A little background about Ephesus and why some on the far right are so abjectly stupid for not knowing their history.

“…This is the first temple in the world made completely of marble. The richest man in the world in his day, King Croesus (595-547 B.C.) of Lydia (modern Turkey), ordered the Temple of Artemis be constructed in honor of the Greek goddess Artemis. Work on the Temple of Artemis began in 550 B.C. and took over a century to complete. King Croesus lived long enough to stuff the foundation of the Temple of Artemis with tens of thousands of gold coins to serve as talismans, ensuring the Temple’s protection from destruction. Generations of people, even in America, have used the phrase “Rich as Croesus” to describe wealthy people in their day. King Croesus is given credit by many historians as the inventor of cold and silver coinage. His wealth is legendary, and he gave his riches to fund the building of the Temple in Artemis. Croesus was a contemporary of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire. Cyrus was the king who defeated the Babylonians, freeing the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, enabling them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild Solomon’s Temple. Therefore, the Temple of Artemis and the Second Temple in Jerusalem were built during the same time period (the 6th century B.C.).

However, it was only the Temple of Artemis that became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World because of its stunning beauty. The Temple of Artemis was a temple dedicated to the power, beauty and strength of women. Marble artesians from all over the world carved Amazon women into the base of the 120 columns. Amazons were “warrior women” from an area north of Ephesus and the Black Sea (modern Ukraine). These Amazon women were known for their fierce fighting ability and had been made famous by the Greek poet Homer in his portrayal of them in The Iliad.

Homer (c. 750 B.C.) also gave tribute in The Iliad to Artemis, the Greek goddess of women and of war. Artemis is called by Homer “Artemis the Hunter, Queen of the Wild Beasts” (Iliad 21.470). Artemis is also presented as the goddess Phosphorous or Light (Strabo, Geo. 1.9.). If worshipped properly and prayed to during childbirth, Artemis promised to deliver women from death while giving birth. For this reason, women in the ancient world revered and worshipped Artemis. Likewise, men worshipped Artemis during times of battle and war. Since the ancient world was always at war, Artemis was often on the lips of men during times of battle. The Greek men (and later the Romans) prayed to Artemis (the Romans called her Diana), not Apollo in time of battle. In Greek mythology, Zeus fathered the twins Artemis and Apollo through the Titaness Leto. The Artemus cult taught that Artemis was superior to Apollo because she came (was born) born first.

When men and women entered the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, the women would wear fancy hair braids, bedeck themselves with jewelry and ornate clothes as they prayed to Artemis. Heliodorus said, “Their locks of hairs carry their prayers.” There were no sacrifices in this Temple. The women worshipped Artemis with their clothing, jewelry, and their words. Artemis, in turn, gave them their sexual prowess over men and their deliverance during childbirth. Likewise, men came to Artemis, acknowledging their need of her strength during time of war. The men would hold up hands, palms up, just above their waist as they prayed for victory in battle. Not surprisingly Ephesus, above all other places in the ancient world, celebrated the power, strength and beauty of women and their ability to use their sexual prowess to manipulate and dominate men. The Temple operations, which included prostitution and craftsmen who sold gold and silver idols of Artemis, drove the economy of Ephesus. Hundreds of thousands of people visited the city annually….”

James Watkins wrote:

“...If you have a church filled illiterate women who are recent converts from goddess worship (or ex-temple prostitutes), 1 Timothy 1:12 is wise advice for that church at that time. But if you look at the entire Bible’s view of women, you see many leaders and teachers: prophets (Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Isaiah’s wife, Philipp’s four daughters), military leader and judge (Deborah), disciples (Mary, Martha, Joanna, Mary Magdalene, Susanna, and “many more”), deacon (Priscilla), and church leader (Lydia).

Then you have to deal with Acts 2:1718 which is a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy “your sons and daughters will prophecy.”…”

Context is important:

“…Another crucial aspect in studying these letters is to consider the cultural and social context of early Christian women. Entering the social world of Christians in the late first and early second centuries is for us a cross-cultural experience. We encounter a way of thinking that is quite unlike modern Western worldviews. In the letters of Paul, for example, we are reading the thought of a man who was a first-century Jew, steeped in the traditions and perspectives of a certain kind of Judaism presented to Gentiles in the common Greek language of his day, who formulated arguments on the basis of conventions of ancient rhetoric and letter writing. Likewise, in the letters to Timothy and Titus, we glimpse how an unnamed admirer of Paul struggles to address problems in certain Christian communities for which he feels intensely responsible. They are by a man with particular perspectives; women are described and indirectly addressed but not given a voice. Thus, reading what he writes about women entails considering the male values and male assumptions about women and gender roles embedded in what he says….”

The series finally concludes tomorrow.

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