House Church Talk - Look who Jesus Chose
dlbeaty at copper.net
Sun May 2 10:41:46 EDT 2004
No apology needed for the long post. Sometimes it takes a few extra words to
communicate a point. You have noted an angle that I have never looked at in
these passages, that of primary and secondary responsibility. I will have to
consider the application to the various references you have presented, and
some others I am wondering about.
The part about Jesus "doing nothing of His own initiative" is one that I was
taught in my early Christian experience. This principle is found throughout
the Scripture, in Noah, Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah etc etc.
Watchman Nee made an excellent balancing point from the Acts chapter13.
While the prophets and teachers ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy
Ghost said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have
While these historic missionary journeys were initiated by God, the church
in Antioch was not passive but active in seeking the Lord's direction. He
initiated the work through those who were preparing their hearts,
effectively saying, "Here I am Lord, send me!"
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Woodford" <bwood4d at hotmail.com>
To: <House Church Talk at housechurch.org>
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 10:17 PM
Subject: Re: House Church Talk - Look who Jesus Chose
> Hi Dan,
> In response to my former post relative to who Paul was addressing in I Cor
> 14, you wrote:"Bruce, Using your logic, then Paul rarely addressed the
> females in any church, as he in most every case I have found, the same
> word was used "adelphos" for brethren. That would mean, that when Paul
> wrote, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of
> might," then only the men were to be strong, putting on the whole armor of
> God, praying always with all prayer and supplication with all the saints."
> You have raised an excellent and thoughtful question which I knew would be
> asked after I wrote that last post, and it deserves a thoughtful answer.
> hope you will be willing to pardon the length of the following!)
> Let's deal first with the good example you have quoted from Ephesians 6.
> Does the fact that Paul addresses "the brothers" mean that the sisters are
> excluded from the application of the instructions given? Not at all!
> According to the text, who was to be praying with all prayer and
> supplication? Brethren were! But they were to be doing it "with all the
> saints"!! All the saints certainly includes the sisters as welll! Then
> extension we may also ask, "Who was to be strong in the Lord and putting
> the whole armor of God?? The brethren were! But they were to be doing it
> "with all the saints"! So we see that when males are the particular
> addressees of certain instructions, it does NOT mean that sisters are
> excluded from the application of those instructions, have nothing to learn
> from those instructions or that the instructions do not apply to them at
> Rather this mode of address, i.e. "brethren", or "men (literally males)
> brethren" as in Acts 1:16
> 2:29 ; 13:26,38; and 15:7,13 did not mean that no women were present,
> the speakers were rudely ignoring the women who were there or that what
> said had nothing whatsoever to do with women! Rather, that males had the
> PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY to respond to what was being said!
> Let us consider some other examples:
> In I Timothy 2 there are some clear instructions to men (males) and
> women(females). In verse 8, Paul writes:" I will therefore that men
> ) pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting."
> this mean that women are NOT to pray everywhere? Does this mean that it
> alright for women to pray without holy hands, or that it is alright if
> pray WITH wrath and doubting??? Of course not!!! But the PRIMARY
> RESPONSIBILITY for this instruction lies upon the males!
> Let us go on to verses 9-11 where the women (females) are addressed. Do
> these verses mean that men are excluded from obedience to these
> instructions? Is it proper for males to be adorned in immodest apparel??
> with braided hair?? with gold, pearls or costly array??? Is it proper
> males NOT to be adorned with good works?? Of course not! But the PRIMARY
> RESPONSIBILITY for this instruction lies upon the sisters.
> When women are instructed to learn in silence (literally quietness) with
> subjection, does this mean that this instruction has nothing to do with
> and that they should be noisy and boisterous and disruptive when another
> teaching?? Of course not!!! Simply that the PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY for
> this instruction lies upon the sisters.
> Verse 12 is a very poor translation! "Usurp authority over" is translated
> from one Greek word "AUTHENTEO" which is the Greek word from which we get
> our English "authentic"! It is a compound word comprised of two other
> words: AUTOS or "self" and HENTES "a worker". It thus means "to act or
> work of one's self". When Paul wrote, "I suffer not a woman to teach or
> act of herself in relation to a man", does this mean that it is perfectly
> normal and commendable for men to teach and work OF THEMSELVES, i.e,.
> their teachings and their works OUGHT TO BE
> SELF INITIATED??? Of course not!!! It simply means that the primary
> responsibility for obedience to this instruction lies upon sisters
> to their teaching and actions towards men!
> An excellent example of this very point is found in the life and testimony
> of the Lord Jesus, the very Son of God, Himself. See His own words in John
> 5:19,20: "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say
> you, The Son CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF, but what he seeth the Father do:
> what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the
> Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and
> he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel."
> It was brother Henry Blackaby who first brought the truth of this
> to my attention. In his very excellent study series, "Experincing God:
> Knowing and doing the will of God", Henry pointed out that even the Son of
> God, the Lord Jesus, NEVER EVER initiated anything of Himself!!!
> He lived His life in tune and in communion with His Father, and whatever
> saw the Father doing, where ever He saw the Father working, He just got
> involved in what the Father was up to!
> That truth really rattled my cage and revolutionized my whole view of
> "Christian ministry"! For years I had been busy, busy, busy planning this
> program, organizing that outreach, trying to get lost people saved and
> trying to get Christians to live like Christians etc and at the end of the
> day I was always so frustrated, uptight, and saw so little real fruit for
> such an expenditure of hard work and planning!!!! My problem was that I
> thought that if anything was going to happen, I had to "get the ball
> rolling"!!! I really didn't think God had very much on His agenda in my
> particular part of the world. So I'd plan and organize and manipulate and
> then PRAY THAT GOD WOULD GET INVOLVED IN ALL OF MY WONDERFUL PLANS!!!
> But as Henry shared this truth with us on His video series, the thought
> through my head, "WOODFORD!!! Who in the world do you think you are are
> anyway???!!! If the very Son of God never initiated His own works, WHO DO
> YOU THINK YOU ARE TRYING TO INITIATE YOURS???!!!
> Of the seven realities of experiencing God, Henry had already shared the
> truths that
> (1) God is ALWAYS at work around you.
> (2) GOD PURSUES a continuing love relationship with you that is real and
> But now it was the third one that came crashing through my consciousness
> brought such liberty as it revolutionized how I looked at ministry! That
> truth was expressed by Henry in this way:
> (3) GOD INVITES YOU to become involved with Him IN HIS WORK!!
> What a relief and joy it brought to my wife and I as we began to realize
> that we no longer had to invite God to become involved with us in our
> but rather to get to know Him and respond to His invitations to become
> involved in the work that He was already doing in the lives of people
> around us! It was the massive difference between self inititiated work
> teaching and God inititiated work or teaching!
> Please forgive me for such a long digression from I Cor.14! But what I
> trying to express is that certainly the instructions in 14:34 and 35 have
> direct bearing on sisters in whole church meetings! However, THE PRIMARY
> RESPONSIBILITY for those instructions DOES NOT LIE UPON THE SISTERS! IT
> LIES SQUARELY ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE BROTHERS!
> The instruction: "LET YOUR WOMEN KEEP SILENCE IN THE CHURCHES", does NOT
> mean that the primary responsibility is for sisters to be tight lipped in
> these large gatherings! Rather it means that the brothers are TO SHOULDER
> THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO COME PREPARED IN HEART AND MIND TO HAVE SOMETHING
> CONTRIBUTE THAT WILL BE EDIFYING TO ALL IN THE GATHERING, SO THAT IT WILL
> NOT BE NECESSARY FOR SISTERS TO HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING!
> The instruction, "If they (the sisters) will learn anything, let them ask
> their husbands at home..." does not mean that the primary responsibility
> upon the sisters to be seen and not heard in the whole church gathering,
> that they can chatter all they want once they get in their own kitchens!!!
> Rather, it means that as they listen attentively to the praise, the
> the prophesying etc in the large city gathering, spiritually minded
> sisters are going to do a lot of
> thinking, meditating and that new thoughts are going to be introduced to
> their thought process and that they are going to have many questions to
> because they will be intent on learning more! So where does the PRIMARY
> RESPONSIBILITY LIE?? It lies squarely on the shoulders of those husbands!
> They are not to dismiss such earnest questions as unimportant "woman's
> talk", but rather they are charged with the responsibility to "let their
> women ask those questions"! The natural force of all this is that the
> husbands had better be prepared with solid answers or at least be prepared
> to find them by dilgent study of the scriptures!!!
> So it is my conviction that such "gender specific" terms as "brethren", or
> "sisters", "men" Or "women" are NOT used in scripture to set the one in
> opposition to the other, but rather to emphasize how each is necessary and
> complementary to the other!!
> I realize and apologize that this has been a loooong post! I trust you
> forgive, if there has been some little light shed. If that is NOT the
> please let me know and I will try to do better another time!
> Your brother in Christ,
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