Dr. Brown Answers Your E-Questions

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Does 1 Corinthians 5 require even the shunning of family members? Are there contradictions between Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7 and Jesus’ words in Matthew 19? Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

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Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: If you want change to come in the situation around you, present yourself to God, be changed yourself, and be an object of change for others.

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Other Resources:

If God Still Speaks Today, Does that Mean the Canon Is Not Closed?

Exploring the Old Testament, the Hebrew Language, and the Ancient Near East

An Interview with a Pastor Who Affirms Same-Sex “Marriage”; Thoughts on “Gay Christianity”; and Four Hyper-Grace Fallacies

44 Comments
  1. I found myself both strongly agreeing and strongly disagreeing with Dr. Brown’s response to the woman preacher who was unsure if she should be preaching because of her gender.

    I really liked Dr. Brown’s counsel for her to consider the ambiguities (or maybe contradictions) of scripture and prayerfully decide herself.

    This is generally my approach to the bible and moral issues. As clergy and a fellow Christian I can help fellow church members better understand the bible and support them emotionally but it is the Holy Spirit, not me, who is the guide.

    Dr. Brown was doing so great with his advise until he threw in the “headship” issue.

    The preacher would be well-advised to ignore Dr. Brown on that point. Such advice, I believe, contributes to the significantly higher rates of divorce in the conservative Christian communities.

    It’s surely a complex phenomenon but I believe that rigidly applying antiquated paradigms to modern marriages sends a lot of Christian couples to divorce court.

    Liberal Christians, in contrast, are more free to adjust their marital style to what works and that is why they are less likely to divorce. Clearly, “headship” of the husband over the wife is not working for many conservative Christian marriages.

  2. My parents have been married for 33 years under God’s will. They would probably say they were partners while God is actually in charge. You can’t be at all selfish in a marriage, and when you’re serving God over your spouse you tend to treat them a lot better knowing you’re not only answerable to your spouse, but God.

    It is not whether it’s a conservative or liberal Christian couple that determines the likelihood of a divorce. Conservative and liberal are man made ideals. There are many conservative Christians who are way off base in doctrine. I’m seeing a lot of them falling for hyper grace and prosperity. Liberal Christians clearly adapt their beliefs to fit what the pagan world believes in fear of the world. We have to remember that we are not of this world. We are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Our citizenship in God’s kingdom has to take priority or we can find ourselves cut off. When we are cut off we find ourselves in dire situations like divorce or worse.

  3. I wonder if God would ever put himself in the shoes of a homosexual, like from baby to a grown up, the same way he did with Yeshua. Just wondering what he’d conclude.??? Or is that a stupid question? I think that only God can truly make final judgments because only he can see what a person really goes through.

  4. It seems to me that if a woman is accepted as a pastor in a church, she should feel free to preach.

    Paul the apostle, as far as I know, didn’t even forbid churches from letting women preach, though he did talk about how women should not be speaking in church, or exercise their authority over a man.

    He told Timothy things he himself would not do, but that (to me) doesn’t necessarily mean that Timothy shouldn’t allow them, rather that Timothy should decide some things for himself, thinking carefully about the consequences.

    Paul certainly did not expect Timothy to grow up in his own express image and likeness, nor did Paul ever expect that culture changes in the future could not happen, nor did he (in my opinion) assume that God would never use a woman in a church leadership position, at any time in the future.

    When I think of a woman pastoring in a church, I may think about what might happen if someone comes to the service for the first time, sees a woman preaching from the pulpit, and stands up declaring that she, being a woman shouldn’t be speaking.

    What do I suppose should happen in that situation?
    Should she say something like, “Sir you are completely out of order here.”? I would rather that before she would get the chance to speak, a man from the congregation, or a male pastor, would stand up and say something like, “Sir, this woman is an ordained minister in this church, and you are out of order. Sit down and keep quiet.”

  5. 1Co 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
    1Co 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
    1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    Let me see, if a woman is not allowed to speak, ask questions, or teach in the assembly, how can she be a preacher in one?

    There are no contradictions in scripture about this.

    Shalom

  6. Bo, context in I Timothy shows that because Paul himself would not allow a woman to be an ordained minister in a church, he then went on about bishops and deacons, and these are men. (context)

    Did Paul say that God will not allow a woman to teach, preach, or exercise authority over a man?

    No.

    Do you believe it’s wrong for a woman to become a police officer if she is a Christian?

    I see nothing in the Bible that would forbid it.

    Paul was not speaking the will of God throughout the ages concerning women becoming teachers or of women speaking from the position of an ordained minister in a church. (Context)

    Some people do the wrong thing with the things Paul said.

    People are not called to be legal robots for Jesus.

    Why do you suppose Paul said, “I” suffer not (I Tim 2:12) instead of “God” for example, or “The Lord”?

  7. 1 Corinthians 14
    34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.
    35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
    36 Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached?
    37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.
    38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.

    Paul evidently thought that the scripture taught for women to be in silence in the assembly. That is hard to if they are preaching. He also said that the things he said were the commandments of YHWH. And that anyone that disagreed with him was not to be recognized as correct.

  8. “As also saith the law”

    So Paul got his ideas/doctrines from the law just has he told Timothy to do. Timothy was not going to come up with a different idea than Paul had and Paul would tell us not to listen to him if he did.

    2 Timothy 3
    15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

  9. Bo, I Cor 14:34 isn’t talking about women who are ordained pastors as they are preaching from a pulpit.

    Context.

  10. About Romans 7:24, When we are in Christ we are not in our past but in our future, and our future is very bright. However, a man might fall into his past, into his past ways which were of the flesh and it is then that he may well say, “O wretched man that I am.”, for he found himself to be in himself, in the old man, which is corrupt and has no life that is of God, or is godly.

    And when he finds his connection to Christ again, by the grace of God, he will find his new self, the new man, and that is his real self in Christ.
    It is there that he exists, and lives, and has his being. It is there that he is what he is, and that by the grace of God.

  11. Ray,

    No passage of scripture says that there can be women ordained pastors. Ordained or not, silence means silence and that you disagree with Paul who we are supposed to acknowledge was giving YHWH’s commandments, your statements are not to be recognized.

  12. Bo, there is nothing in scripture that says there can be no female ordained pastors in Christ, who serve in local churches.

  13. No woman can be the husband of one wife.

    1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

    1Ti 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

    Ti 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
    6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

  14. Bo, the reason no woman can be the husband of one wife is because God never called a woman to be a husband to a wife. She was never created by God to be a husband, but rather she was made by God to be a helpmate to a husband.

    That’s why Paul wrote to Timothy things concerning the leadership in the churches who were men.

    Context tells us that the leadership Paul writes Timothy about were in fact men.

    So why is it that God called certain women into ministry today, to speak his word and to teach in church meetings?

    I wonder if it was because of the mass corruption that has happened to men who were leadership in the churches, in the past.

    I just heard on TV about the massive corruption of church leadership at the time of John Huss.

    God certainly may call women into ministry, ordain them, and put them where they will be received by the church.

    I believe that he has done that, and that there is nothing in scripture that says that God would never do that, or that he could never do that.

    I still believe there should be the presence of men in church leadership and expect they will outnumber women, though I certainly don’t know all that God will do.

    Suppose a man read the scripture and interpreted it like this:

    “Since I Cor 14:28 says that if there is no interpretation, he should keep silence in the church, so if a man speaks in tongues in the church one day, and there is no interpretation given, then from that day forward to the end of his life, he is forever to remain silent in the church, and never should he get to say anything.”

    Would a man be right interpreting the scripture that way? Absolutely not.

    Avoid legalism. It’s not the way.

    Any Christian who is born again should know that if he is at a church where a woman is ordained to speak in a church, and she is doing that, he should know it’s OK. He should know in his spirit that it’s OK for her to be speaking at that time and place and that it’s the place God gave her. It’s the thing she should be doing at the time and she’s doing it. She belongs there, and the people belong where they are, listening quietly, and that such is God’s order of things.

    It’s not wrong simply because she’s a woman.

    It’s simply not true that all church leadership must be men according to God, or that no woman may speak from a pulpit. The Spirit of God does not bear witness to that. Those things are simply not true.

    A church may decide for itself that it will only ordain men for leadership positions and that is up to them. Nowhere that I can tell, does the Bible require a church to have a woman in leadership. That’s something that’s up to the church to decide what it wants to do, as are many other things, and that is by God’s divine order, until such a time as God will change it, but so far I’ve never heard of a church that only had men in leadership positions which decided ahead of time that such positions were only for men, and had held to that for a time, until God changed it, but I suppose it could happen.

  15. It seems to me that today in most churches, no one is permitted to speak except the pastor or whoever is up front, and that is decided by either the pastor, or whoever arranges the service, which is usually a pastor.

    Everyone else is to be quietly seated.

  16. Ray,

    It is not a matter of what was happening, but what is supposed to happen. Men are to lead in the body of Messiah. If you want it different, then it is part of a different body. Paul’s doctrine is about what ought to be.

  17. Bo,Men are to lead in the Body of Christ and they do.
    That’s what they are supposed to do and they do it.

    Some women have been given ministries by the Lord and they are active in serving him in that capacity.

    If you are not happy with women in ministry, take that up with the Lord. Feel free to mention my name if you like.

    And if you feel you should ask him for judgment on this matter, feel free, knowing that with what measure you meet out, you will also be judged.

    So do you really believe that women like Joyce Meyer or Marilyn Hickey are serving God in a different body and that they are not serving as part of the Body of Christ?

  18. Ray,

    2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

    1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

    You have failed to mention one passage of scripture that is pro women pastors, bishops, shepherds, elders, deacons. There are none. You reject what Paul did write to all believers and churches by inspiration and contort the truth to mean that Paul was only speaking for his time or specific instances. You do not believe that Paul’s wrote the commandments of YHWH and therefore your ideas are to be ignored.

    Paul wrote to all men that in every place call upon Messiah. Paul’s teaching about women not being in leadership was for the whole church. Paul told Timothy to pass on his teaching to faithful men that would continue the process.

    There can be no elder/deacon/bishop that is not a man that is married to one wife. Women can not qualify simply because they are women. YHWH wants it that way and you want it different.

  19. Bo, Do you believe that allowing women in ministry opened the door for the gay community to find acceptance in some churches?

  20. I suppose there are many ways people could respond to I Cor 14:34,35.

    A. Start writing letters to women in ministry and tell them that what they need to do is shut their mouths, get off the stage, and repent, because all of the years they have been doing that has been contrary to the truth.

    B. Recognize that although men in the church are primarily the ones God has called to hold leadership positions, there will be women who do some kind of ministry work, and we ought to let them do whatever it is that God has called them to, and understand that it’s up to individual churches to decide who they will ordain, knowing that they will be responsible for their decisions, while we encourage men to rise up to levels of responsibility so that many of them will be good leaders, and also encourage women to find out what it is that God has called them to, and encourage them to be the best they can be for God, and to do all that he has called them to.

    C. Anything goes. Ordain anything.

    It’s been said that there are ditches on both sides of the road. I will go along with something that most resembles B. above, rather than A. or C.

    I was in a church service once where there were two women in the back who were constantly talking to each other, so much so that I could barely hear what was going on up front. It caused me to move up toward the front, and even up there I could hear them talking in the back, but couldn’t understand what they were saying. I was surprised that the leadership let it go on like that.

    I believe it’s important that we know that somewhere we should draw the line, and hold the line, knowing that discretion will preserve us as we seek to know the will of God on these things, though sometimes we might not see clearly where the line should be drawn and held. Prayer will be important at those times.

  21. Ray,

    The problem is that you have no scripture to back your position and neither do women preaching and teaching in the assembly. If you are happy to do things differently than scripture describes, there is no passage of scripture that will change your mind.

    Ro 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

  22. Bo, Do you really believe women like Joyce Meyer and Marilyn Hickey are no longer connected to Christ, and are no longer members of his body?

    (post 19)

    If there were a street revival that went into a park in your city, and there was a woman giving her testimony of her life on a stage, telling how the Lord had saved her, and what he did for her, would you be one to go up there and tell her that it’s wrong for her to speak as this is an assembly of the church, and that it’s not just you saying it, but rather it is a commandment of the Lord and that she has no scripture to account for what she’s doing, so while she might appear to others to be clothed, she’s really naked?

  23. Ray,

    Isa 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Jer 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

    Marilyn and Wally Hickey will answer to YHWH for the way they have dealt with the scripture whether it was more fruitful or less fruitful for her to teach in the assembly instead of her teaching the young women how to prevent the word of YHWH from being blasphemed.

    Titus 2
    3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
    4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
    5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

    Just remember that the concept of “against such there is no law” means that if there is a law against it, it is not truly the fruit of the Spirit. There is a law against women teaching in the assembly.

  24. Bo, There is no law against the fruit of the spirit because God is not in opposition to himself.

    You have a need to know him who is the Lord over the law.

    The perfect law of liberty isn’t the law of Moses, it’s Christ. He is the perfect law of liberty, and his Spirit is greater than the law.

    The gospel is greater than the law of Moses also.

    Jesus is the Lord of the word and he rules over it. He doesn’t mishandle it.

    If what I’m telling you seems contrary, please remember that some children of God were raised by the book of Job.

  25. Ray,

    Ro 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    Anything against YHWH’s law is not the fruit of the Spirit. Messiah’s law and the Father’s law is the same law. Moses was just a mouthpiece. Paul uses the law to back up his statements concerning women speaking and teaching in the assembly. The law and the Spirit agree. The carnal mind cannot make itself subject to YHWH’s perfect law of liberty. James is making reference to the same thing that David and Paul did…he perfect law of YHWH that brings liberty and blessing when walk in it.

    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
    24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
    25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    Ro 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

    Ps 119:44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.
    45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

    Both the law and Paul, the messenger of the gospel to the gentiles agree. Women should be quiet in the assembly and it is a shame when women are leaders.

  26. Ray,

    The law needs no interpretation. It says what it says. Paul uses it as proof for his doctrine on women not teaching and speaking in the assembly. His application (not interpretation) of the law is directly called the commandment of YHWH…not some interpretation for a certain time or place.

  27. Bo, legalism is extreme. It isn’t in Jesus. Extremists fall into ditches.

    Are you so afraid of lawlessness that you will stay in the ditch of legalism?

    Living in fear will always brings a man into bondage. Christ came to deliver us from both fear and bondage.

  28. Ray,

    I somehow knew that you would accuse me of legalism…which is not even a biblical word. It is a word that is used for character assassination so that you will not have to deal with what the scriptures do in fact say. An examination of scripture will produce myriads of passages calling us to obedience and a very few that call us to overlook sin in the assembly.

    I also knew that you would not be able to produce one passage of scripture for your stance on women leading the assembly. So be it. Call me a legalist if you want, when actually I am a law abiding citizen of the kingdom of heaven.

    If you do not want to be great in the kingdom, it is your choice.

    Mt 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

  29. Bo, You don’t have to always overlook sin to be a Christian. Overlooking sin isn’t the way. Christ is the way.

    So, Bo, do you believe women like Joyce Meyer or Marilyn Hickey will be, or are the least in the kingdom of heaven?

    When it comes time to see the fruit of some people’s life, what do you think might show up, stand up, and declare what someone else did for their life, and give God all the glory, giving him thanks for all he did through some people even though they were women?

    I think there will be many who will testify of some of the things some women did for them, which could not have been done by them, if they were forbidden to speak publicly from a pulpit.

    I believe their righteousness is of God and they will be able to expose legalism, and condemn any mouth that rises up against them through legalism.

  30. Bo, don’t think legalism doesn’t exist just because you can’t find the word in your Bible, just like you might not find a specific verse that says it’s OK for Christian women whom God has ordained to speak from a pulpit.

    These things are spiritually discerned.

  31. One thing about legalism on the one hand, and lawlessness (or license) on the other, is that though they are both ditches on either side of the path of life, they seem to connect, for the Pharisees joined hands with Judas.

    Yet that connection was only for a short time.

  32. Ray,

    How long will your ramble and rant about it being Biblical for women to be in leadership or teach in the assembly without a shred of Biblical evidence? How long will you accuse of legalism those that simply believe what is written in scripture and attempt to practice it? How long will you encourage disobedience? Messiah and His word are a stumbling stone for the disobedient. They are the ones that continually fall into the ditch…not those that are obedient to the words of scripture.

    Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

    1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
    8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient:

  33. Bo, I don’t remember saying it was Biblical for women to preach from a pulpit, as if I can show you word for word and line by line specific instructions on how women should teach and preach in an assembly of the church, or exactly what qualifications a man should examine a woman for, to see if she indeed meets them prior to an ordination in a leadership position.

    Did I do that? I know of no such thing. Yet, you accuse me of ramble and rant about it being in the Bible.

    Kindly show me where I said it was given specific mention, then I will accept your accusation, if indeed you will also prove it to be both ramble and rant.

  34. Bo, I believe you think you have proved that Marilyn Hickey (for example) is in fact disobedient to the word of Christ simply because she preaches and teaches from a pulpit, but I am not convinced it is so in the eyes of God.

  35. Ray,

    I am convinced by the words in the Bible. You are convinced to the contrary of the words in the Bible. There is no way around it.

  36. Could it be that God has given us a measure of grace (which permits some women to preach from pulpits) because we are in the last days?

  37. Ray,

    The last days are marked by apostasy and lawlessness according to the scripture. So it is no surprise that there are more and more women leading and teaching in the assembly.

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