Not Skillful Considerers of Human Things

Not Skillful Considerers of Human Things

Recently there was a buzz on twitter (#TakeDownThatPost) about an article, “My Easy Trip from Youth Minister to Felon,” in which a youth pastor romanticizes and frames his statutory rape of a girl in the youth group as a consensual adulterous relationship. Christianity Today has since taken down the article. Here are my twitter responses:


And you can read the article here. (<— If this link ever goes bad, let me know, please, and I will post a copy on this website.) The article was supposed to be a cautionary tale about sin, but instead, it offered an inside look at the thought processes of an evangelical sexual predator and how he minimizes his crime.

Christianity Today describes itself as “a globally minded evangelical magazine that provides thoughtful, biblical perspectives on the news and ideas of our day.” I suspect the reason these all-male editors were comfortable with publishing the felon’s story “as is” was because in many evangelical churches, the culture of so-called “God ordained” spiritual authority blinds people in high places and binds those who believe they are supposed to submit to spiritual authority.

Censorship might make people feel better, but it doesn’t resolve the problem. What ought to be held under the light of scrutiny and what ought to incite outrage (while Christianity Today and evangelicalism squirms uncomfortably) and what might have served as a catalyst for reform is now virtually erased from the cultural consciousness.

“They are not skillful considerers of human things, who imagine to remove sin by removing the matter of sin.” – John Milton, Areopagitica

  • Lisa Bertolini June 26, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Had they posted it with insightful commentary to illustrate what was wrong with his line of thinking then I think it would have been accepted. I think the main thing that upset people was the lime light the guy was getting. He doesn’t deserve the lime light.

    • admin June 28, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      I agree. Post his article, but only as a small part of a much bigger picture. That would have been a much better approach.

  • Mary Vanderplas June 26, 2014 at 5:31 am

    I like what you say and agree that the publishing of the article in its original form – i.e., absent (appallingly) any mention of the incalculable harm done to the victim by this predatory relationship – speaks volumes about the unjust power structures that characterize much of evangelicalism, power structures that lead to abuses of power not being seen and judged for what they are (and in some cases even to blaming the victim). I agree, too, that far from helping the situation, to “take down that post” would serve only to perpetuate the injustice (and the power structures that spawn such injustice), sweeping under the rug what needs to be exposed and changed.

    Thanks for your insightful comments on an important subject.

    • Lanny A. Eichert June 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Mary, swept under the rug it is not; exposed it is: FYI, Bible Schools/Colleges and Seminaries do teach Practical Theology which warns ministers against personal involvements with practical advice for maintaining distance for preventative reasons. You two females are too quick shout “unjust power structures that characterize much of evangelicalism” where it doesn’t even exist. Alice has perverted you, Mary, with her anti-institutional church rhetoric since she thinks women can do it better and that speaks loudly to you, so naturally you are resonating with her vibes, as does Lisa.

  • Stephen Helbig June 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    What does this speak about Church Leadership? ~ Mostly that the norm (and the greater percentage) is not qualified to lead and teach in this particular area, along with the many other areas of instruction. I cannot imagine this article and its publication even existing in an equivalent worldly publication (Time Magazine) written by a public school teacher (Felon) referring to the abuse of his or her student (say your middle school child)

    Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?(2)May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?(3)Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?(4)Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.(5)For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,(6)knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;(7)for he who has died is freed from sin.

    “Dullness of spiritual perception”; ~ “They are not skillful considerers of human things, who imagine to remove sin by removing the matter of sin.” – John Milton, Areopagitica

    ~ Likened to using human language not properly applicable to ones spiritual relations. ~ For YOU are not really in bondage now but a new creature; ~ You have been emancipated from your former bondage to sin, and are now called upon to render a free willing allowance to righteousness; being, in fact, sons, and not slaves.” This view of OUR TRUE POSITION ~ that being one of freedom recurs so often and so forcibly throughout scripture. (cf. Romans 8:15 .; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 4:4-7; Galatians 5:1, 13). (Please notice in these scriptures Paul would say) ~ If you fully realized your position as sons of God, you would feel it impossible even to think of sinning willingly; but, in accommodation to your human weakness, and dullness of hearing, One must put the case as if you had only been transferred from one bondage to another, so as to show that, even so, you are under an obligation not to sin in order that our body of sin might be done away with.

    • admin July 1, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      Excellent analogy! (Time/school teacher)

  • Lanny A. Eichert June 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Alice does it again showing her female anti-church-male-leadership hatred with her indictment of a male church leader as an evangelical sexual predator accusing him of minimizing his crime. Her vendetta continues as she calls the staff of Christianity Today “these all-male editors” and in bold letters claims church authority “blinds” and “binds” church people. Alice doesn’t realize that she’d be much happier not knowing the things she thinks she needs to know.

    There was nothing in the article to indicate the thirty year old married youth minister was a sexual predator prior to developing his successful church ministry. In the “Author’s Note” he confesses what appears to be the education he received when he was brought to legal awareness under the state law that his indiscretion was legally labeled more than just an illicit affair with a minor. That’s when he owned the title of sexual predator because the law so labeled him. Prior to that he was caught up, not so much in his selfishness, but in his pride of success. His emphasis on selfishness is his self-accusation of lacking real love for both his wife and the young lady. To his wife, he was to be hers exclusively. To the young lady, he was to be only her teacher of godliness, recognizing God had reserved her to another man her own age.

    Do you understand “her own age” means God’s will is never a huge age difference between spouses? Do you remember on this site I told that as a widowerer I received into my house a now 45 year recovering alcoholic old very pretty divorcee with her now 6 year old son? Don’t you think that I had to prior settle the 27 year difference in ages as way more than significant enough to negate any romantic involvement? I am a year older than her own birth father. Romance would be like having sexual intercourse with my own daughter, if I had one, which is incest. There was less than 9 years difference between my wife and I and that was very noticeably unsettling at times. Unfortunately in our culture 18 years old means adulthood at which everybody becomes sort of equal and available for marriage. Such aught not to be, yet Hollywood has made it acceptable. {The divorcee fled my house “under the influence” the first Sunday night in May with her son and I had enough sense to ask for my keys as she left.}

    The article would have served well as a prayer reminder to church people for everyone in the ministry who faces it with personal relationships that should remain distant. FYI, Bible Schools/Colleges and Seminaries do teach Practical Theology which warns ministers against personal involvements with practical advice for maintaining distance for preventative reasons. Ministers are not allowed to love the people they serve; they are only permitted to have friendships. That’s something the people must know and respect. The divorcee in my house respected me and there was no enticement between us even though her addictions included sex: while in my house she became the neighborhood whore when she relapsed, teasing and seducing men. Thankfully she ran away on her own and I didn’t have to kick her out. Ironically she ran away for the same reason Alice is so anti-institutional church-wise: she was no longer willing to tolerate how God ordained spiritual authority made her feel about her sinful addictions of drunken fornication and adultery.

  • Mary Vanderplas June 26, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I should have said in my earlier comment “predatory behavior,” not “predatory relationship.” “Relationship” only fits where there is a consensual connection between those with equal power.

    Behind bars is where he should be and where he should remain – receiving no sympathy cards for the costly consequences to himself of his actions. That he made no mention of the effects on the victim – the wreckage of her life resulting from his violation of her – but talked only about his own losses, shows that the self-centeredness that led him to prey upon this innocent youth is still his way of being. The only person deserving of sympathy and help is the minor he violated. May she get the help she needs to heal and to be able again to trust others who are worthy of trust.

    • Lanny A. Eichert June 28, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Mary, There was nothing in the article to indicate the thirty year old married youth minister was a sexual predator prior to developing his successful church ministry and the resulting pride he felt. He was an unwitting victim of his own unchecked emotions. You should know Frank Sinatra’s popular song “Go Away Little Girl” from our generation that speaks to this “trip” where Hollywood forgets the generation gap and it age difference. The shoe is also on the other foot, dear girl, in that our society has generated female preditors as well who are school girls out to destroy male teachers just for the fun of it.

      • Mary Vanderplas June 29, 2014 at 6:30 pm

        Ah, yes, blame the victim. It stands to reason that you would do this, given your proclivity for defending hierarchy and male domination. He was no victim. He was/is a narcissist who acted out of his desire to satisfy his own lusts/need for approval without regard for the welfare of this young person he claimed to care about. He’s where he needs to be: locked up and prohibited from having contact with other innocent youth he might harm, including his own children.

        • Lanny A. Eichert June 30, 2014 at 2:51 am

          Mary has a proclivity for defaming what she insanely calls the hierarchy and male domination of the church that “burnt” her too. Like Alice, she wants women to rule the world, which is just the opposite of God’s structure for the world He created. These two women suppose more wisdom than God. I guess they think of themselves as goddesses able to slander God. He will not be mocked: so it is time for you girls to fear.

          • Mary Vanderplas July 2, 2014 at 5:32 am

            Total equality of men and women is God’s design and intention (Genesis 1:26). Social orderings that involve gender inequity are not in line with God’s will.

            • Lanny A. Eichert July 2, 2014 at 11:37 pm

              Wrong, Mary, God ordered man to be head over women and it carries through the New Covenant.

              But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. {1 Ciorinthians 11: 3}

              Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. {Ephesians 5: 22 & 23}

              Ministerial male domination over women doesn’t lessen Christian equality of the sexes as you seem to suppose. There is a reason why God first created a man and LATER AFTER A LAPSE OF TIME created a woman. You women better not forget God FIRST put the man in charge. That’s God order in the world and He hasn’t changed it not even in His church. God made the woman to HELP the man not dominate him. She supplements the man, not visa versa. He’s the locomotive and she’s the tender. He’s got the power, she only has the fuel. Stay behind your man women. That’s God’s ordained church order in the New Testament, Mary.

              • Lanny A. Eichert July 2, 2014 at 11:50 pm

                Mary, you also seem to forget the Son is subject to the Father typifying the woman being in subjection to the man: Genesis 1:26 image. What about being equally God’s image? Domination is still maintained.

              • Mary Vanderplas July 4, 2014 at 5:31 am

                The order of creation pictured in the second creation narrative does not necessitate the subordination of woman to man. Indeed, such an interpretation is inconsistent with the first creation narrative (which clearly affirms the equality of male and female), with the lifestyle of Jesus, and with Paul’s affirmation that in Christ there is no male and female (Galatians 3:28) – i.e., differences of sex no longer count because of the Christ event. The text in Genesis 2 is not a literal piece of scientific reporting, but a narrative that tells something about the origin of humankind as male and female. What it tells is that woman is like man, fully his equal, not that she is subordinate to him. That woman is made from the man does not imply inferiority/subordination any more than man’s being formed out of the ground (2:7) implies his inferiority in relation to the ground. Moreover, even if the text were to be taken literally, which it isn’t, the idea of temporal priority does not imply subordination. If it did, humankind would be subordinate to the animals, since, according to the first creation narrative, animals were created before humankind.

                That Paul was torn between the traditional teaching of Judaism, which emphasized female subordination, and the revolutionary teaching of Christianity, which affirms complete gender equality, is evident in his writings – including the text in 1 Corinthians.

                Stay behind your man, woman, only if he’s acting like a jackass and needs a kick in the behind (the same can be said to man if the woman is acting like a jackass). Otherwise, stay next to him, because the two of you are equals, both made in the image of God and both endowed with the responsibility of caring for the creation (Genesis 1:26-27).

                • Lanny A. Eichert July 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm

                  Mary, Adam named all the animals as God paraded them before him. That was God’s revelation to man that a woman is his helper not his boss. He is her boss. That took TIME, putting woman’s creation significantly AFTER man’s by the purposes of God for your specific instruction, dear woman. {1 Timothy 2: 13 in context given by the Holy Spirit God-breathed}

                  You ignored the order of the Trinity, that the Son is obedient to the Father: so the woman is obedient to the man. There’s your equality of the sexes, Mary. You can’t go around ignoring Scriptures to prove your rebellious stupid stance without showing that rebellion against God and your unsaved state. God moved Paul to write His words telling us His order of the sexes in His church and the world. Your LOW view of Scripture makes your disrespect for God obviously the way you justify your lack of submission to Him.

                  • Mary Vanderplas July 6, 2014 at 6:01 am

                    The emphasis in Genesis 2 is on the woman being essentially like the man, literally the “help of his like,” meaning one who is equal and adequate to the man. There is no hint whatsoever of inferiority or subordination in this designation. The word for “help” that is used here is never used elsewhere to refer to a subordinate. It is sometimes used in reference to God himself (e.g., Psalm 121:1, 2) – indicating clearly that it doesn’t necessitate any difference in status. The woman is not, and was not intended to be, man’s “little helper,” doing his bidding, staying behind him, bowing to his authority, as you falsely (and perversely) suppose. She is, rather, fully his equal, having been made in the image of God as he is, and with him having been charged with the care of God’s good creation (Genesis 1:26-27).

                    Do you regard Galatians 3:28 as being inspired by God? There Paul affirms the equal status before God of male and female.

                    Get off your throne, man, and start treating women as the equals that they are, by God’s making and willing.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 8, 2014 at 11:56 pm

                      Mary, adequate FOR the man

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 10, 2014 at 3:59 pm

                      Mary, are you “left brain” or “right brain?” You must know the sexes process differently. We are not equal in the way we think and that’s by God’s design, so He has the right to assign women to the place of submission as He has. Why do you fight against God. Don’t you see that demonstrates you are not confessing the LORD Jesus {Jesus as lord of your life}, exposing your lack of salvation.

                      Helpers serve those they help. They don’t initiate the action, but they support the action. You wrote the MAN is charged with the care of God’s good creation. Don’t you see the woman is to help the man carry out that charge, yet the charge is the man’s responsibility, not the woman’s. Her charge is to help the man. He makes the decisions and she obeys them. He is the initiator and she is the responder. That’s sexual order.

                      Don’t you want to be a daughter of Abraham? {See below my July 7,2014 at 1;15AM post}

                  • Lanny A. Eichert July 7, 2014 at 1:15 am

                    Mary, you are too quick to condemn me as if I belittle women refusing their equality simply because I respect God’s order of creation and His commandments for both sexes. There is clear inequality expressed in Scripture regarding their POSITIONS in God’s church and in the world. There is NO inequality in their worth since God’s blood is required to purchase them both. There IS inequality in what the Scriptures define their responsibilities to be.

                    Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. {1 Peter 3: 6}

                    Mary, don’t you want to be a daughter of Abraham, the father of all them that believe {Romans 4: 11}?

                    Don’t you see verse 16’s “all” {Abraham; who is the father of us all} is defined as ONLY “all them that believe” of Romans 4: 11, not every person who has, is, or will ever live. Only believers in the right stuff are Abraham’s children, sons and daughters.

                    So please do well without any amazement {1 Peter 3: 6} submitting to male domination in the church and in the home. It is your God-defined mission in life to support male leadership. If you resist, you resist God Himself. Supporting the men in your life could mean implementing your ideas in some dull men’s minds to get the job done correctly. If they get smart in the process they may even give you the credit. What real difference does it make if you are doing God’s will since in His sight you will without fail be recognized by Him and only His praise is worth anything eternal.

                    Galatians 3:28 Subject is ONENESS of the saints, not responsibilities.

                    Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to KNOWLEDGE, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the WEAKER vessel, and as being heirs TOGETHER of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. {1 Peter 3: 7}
                    Do you see both the inequality and the equality? I open doors for even strangers when they are women and I literally run to make it happen and draw attention to that act of dying courtesy; I would do that for you if I were in your presence just to embarrass your equality and make you feel like a woman of worth. Just ask Alice’s mom and dad: they remember me from long ago. It is an honor for a man to open a door for his woman and any woman in his life, stranger or not. Equality says let her open her own doors. No, she’s not equal, or giving her honor is not in the Bible.

                    • Mary Vanderplas July 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm

                      Galatians 3:28 is about the essential equality of all persons before God, about old social distinctions no longer counting, about the sense of superiority and inferiority between the different categories being destroyed. It has nothing to do with chivalry, with men showing courtesy toward women by opening doors, etc. It’s nonsensical to say that there can be any true fellowship or oneness when some members are dominated by others and not all members are truly free. This text reflects an enlightened Paul spelling out the revolutionary implications of all being united as a community of equals in Christ.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 17, 2014 at 12:03 am

                      Mary, Galatians 3: 28 ye are all ONE in Christ Jesus says the text, not equality. Having put on Christ and become Abraham’s seed are the unifying factors of the context. In verse 22 the unbeliever was united in sin and in verse 23 he is united in the Law. In verse 26 & 27 the believer is united in faith and immersion. Throughout oneness or unity is the point, not equality.

                      You’ve got domination on the brain and you can’t think clearly enough to see the contextual point. You’re a biased feminist by appearances. Do you really think “Paul” has one opinion in one place and a different in another? What happened to God-breathed Scripture? Did God change from one place to the other? Where’s the unity of the Scriptures? No wonder you have a low view of Scripture: it doesn’t fit with feminism. Which came first: the Galatian Epistle or the Pastoral Epistles to Timothy and Titus? Did “Paul” loose his inspiration of “his” earlier epistle? Where’s your consistence, Mary?

                      Tell me that “Paul” died hating women ministers. Have you ever become the husband of one wife that you could qualify to be an elder/bishop? I bet you’re a divorced wife, or remarried. In either case you’re disqualified from being an elder/bishop simply on the grounds that you’re not the husband of one wife. The words are not reversed, dear Mary, to say the wife of one husband. You cannot mess with those gender specific words and be true to the God-breathed Bible.

                    • Mary Vanderplas July 17, 2014 at 7:30 am

                      “No longer male and female” means that this social distinction no longer counts; men and women are equal before God, united in a community in which all members are truly free. This, plainly, is the point of Paul’s words – words that were revolutionary in the male-dominated culture of the time.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 17, 2014 at 4:31 pm

                      Mary says: Galatians 3:28 is about the essential equality of all persons before God, about old social distinctions “which God made” no longer counting, about the sense of superiority and inferiority “which God made” between the different categories being destroyed.

                      So God destroys what He made. Why then, Mary, do you have problems with God permanently destroying every person He made who lived in Sodom and the region around about it? ET Everlasting Torment

                      Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. {Jude 7}

                      I vote for the extermination of the entire gay community world-wide as a global threat to the human race and I’d gladly lend my hand to doing it. I hate gays.

                    • Mary Vanderplas July 19, 2014 at 5:15 am

                      What is destroyed in Christ is not what God made, but the divisions that have separated human beings from one another, including the antagonism between the sexes.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 19, 2014 at 11:43 am

                      Mary, Which came first: the Galatian Epistle or the Pastoral Epistles to Timothy and Titus? Did Paul loose his inspiration of his earlier epistle?

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 20, 2014 at 12:52 am

                      Mary, the divisions that have separated human beings from one another God put in place when He scattered them from the Tower of Babel. Let blacks marry blacks and whites marry whites; never let blacks and whites marry. Never in Scripture does God command the unity of what He has separated. Light and darkness don’t merge.

                      There is no equality of the sexes in the sense you mean because women don’t think and feel the same way men think and feel. You cannot expect unity in thought and emotions between men and women. Face reality, dear Mary: the sexes are vastly different from one another by the design of God and therefore cannot attain unity, so God designed each for their different respective complementary responsibilities. Women should make babies and men should fight wars. Men don’t belong in the nursery and women don’t belong in the battlefield. Any sensible person knows that. Women are as the weaker vessel, so says God, your Creator, in 1 Peter 3: 7, so believe it and do your duty: get in your rightful place of submission to male authority in the church. Quit your rebellious wining.

                    • Mary Vanderplas July 20, 2014 at 5:12 am

                      The Pastoral Letters likely were not written directly by Paul but by later advocates of the Pauline tradition. In any event, it does not follow that because Paul seems to teach female subordination in some of his writings, the text in Galatians cannot mean what it plainly says, namely, that in Christ there is a new community in which women and men are united as equals. That Paul, the former Pharisee, did not fully grasp the implications of this radical oneness when it came to the relationship between men and women is hardly surprising. It remained for later Christians to implement the newness in the relations between women and men that Paul in Galatians proclaimed.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 20, 2014 at 11:49 pm

                      Mary, how pitiful an answer can that be when you admit Paul seems to teach female subordination after the Galatian epistle. Was he or wasn’t he “inspired by God” in writing the Epistles? Did he write two opposing doctrines? CAN he do that under inspiration? Is that possible? Is God the Author of Confusion? Please explain.

                      My point is that God by Paul’s pen is consistent and your interpretation of Galatians 3: 28 is inconsistent with God because you come to the text with your own bias instead of God’s bias. You need to interpret 3: 28 based upon the other texts that clearly express female subordination to males and moderate you idea of equality to WORTH instead of RESPONSIBILITY. Women are vastly different than men by God’s design and that design assigns them naturally to different responsibilities. The Cross does not change creation’s design. You even admitted the care of creation was Adam’s responsibility and Eve was his helper BEFORE sin entered the world: before the Cross was necessary.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 23, 2014 at 1:15 am

                      Mary, the reason Paul did not grasp your interpretation of what he wrote is because God did not mean what you think Paul wrote. You’re the faulty person, not Paul. You’re the one practically outside the church looking in. Paul built churches, not you. His proof is his work. You have no such claim. You have joined Alice in tearing down what Jesus is building.

                      Beware, God is not mocked.

                    • Mary Vanderplas July 24, 2014 at 5:18 am

                      The Bible is the product of both divine and human action. As such, it reflects both God’s word and will on the one hand and the limitations and biases of its human authors on the other hand. Any theory of biblical inspiration that dismisses or minimizes the human aspect of the writings is off-base; and any interpretation of the text that fails to take into account the limitations reflected in the views of the human authors is misguided.

                      My point is that the plain meaning of Galatians 3:28 is that men and women are equals before God, old social distinctions having been rendered of no account by the new reality created in Christ. My point is that Paul’s vision of the social implications of his insight “no longer male and female” was less than totally clear, even though he did begin to implement the equality of the sexes in his life and in the life of the church.

                      Your “equal but unequal” interpretation is utter nonsense. Either people are equal, possessing the same rights and responsibilities that obtain to free adults and having the same social status, or they’re not. No, I don’t have to force an interpretation of Galatians 3:28 that violates its plain meaning in order to make it “consistent” with what Paul suggests in some other places (and with your self-serving theology of male domination).

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 25, 2014 at 2:31 am

                      Mary, must I need to remind you ALL, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. {2 Timothy 3: 16 & 17} It is ALL God-breathed, dear one, and NONE of it is humanly limited. God-breathed leaves no room for human limitations in the writing of Scripture.

                      Prove that Paul “did begin to implement the equality of the sexes in his life and in the life of the church.” Paul’s later texts on female subordination prove you absolutely wrong, especially since they are God-breathed Scripture. ALL, All scripture is given by inspiration of God. What’s the matter, Mary, you don’t want to accept the meaning of ALL in this setting? You want to redefine God-breathed?

                      To whom was “no longer male and female” less than totally clear. To God or to Paul or to the readers of the Epistles? You mean God can’t inspire that phrase clearly as worth equality by having His same man spell out female subordination in responsibility also?

                      Like it or not, Mary, you need to take all the Scripture TOGETHER to interpret Galatians 3:28 correctly.

                      It still remains, Mary, how pitiful an answer can that be when you admit Paul seems to teach female subordination after the Galatian epistle. Was he or wasn’t he “inspired by God” in writing the Epistles? Did he write two opposing doctrines? CAN he do that under inspiration? Possible or impossible? Is God the Author of Confusion?

                      FYI “equal but unequal” works everywhere, Mary. You’re equal to the President of the United States of America, but yet you’re not. Do I need to explain that to you? You’re equal to your doctor, but you’re not. You’re equal to the traffic cop, but you’re not.

                    • Mary Vanderplas July 26, 2014 at 6:00 am

                      The assertion in 2 Timothy that the scriptures are God-breathed doesn’t mean that don’t reflect human limitations, any more than the picture in Genesis 2 of God breathing into the man means that the man is without limitations. The fact is that God speaks through human writers whose writings reflect the particular culture in which they lived, their ancient views of the world, and a host of other human factors.

                      Paul greets women by name in the Roman congregation (see Romans 16) – something that no rabbi would ever do. He mentions Priscilla along with her husband Aquila, even naming her first. In Acts 16:13, he is pictured as addressing a group of women when no men were present – again, a radical act for a former rabbi. He accepted Lydia’s invitation to stay at her house (v. 15). The church in Philippi had women in prominent roles, as evidenced by Paul’s exhortation to two women, whom he mentions by name, to get along for the good of the whole church (Philippians 4:2). Likewise, in Acts 17:4 and 12, mention is made of women who were prominent among those converted as a result of Paul’s ministry. So, while Paul didn’t fully implement the vision of equality of the sexes in Christ in Galatians 3, he did begin to live out the implications of “no longer male and female” in some pretty amazing ways.

                      God is a God who chose not to drop out of the sky a collection of timeless “God-words,” but to speak through human writers who used particular languages and lived in particular times and places as part of particular cultures. God’s word comes to us in the human words of these authors, with all of the limitations that define their writings. Galatians 3:28 means what it says: that the old social distinction of male and female no longer counts before God. It does not mean what you say it must mean in order to avoid “confusion” and create a false consistency that supports your self-serving hierarchy.

                      This isn’t about the different roles people play in society. It’s about the essential equality of women and men, about women not being inferior to men but in every way being equal to and partners of men (not “little helpers,” but true partners). There is no “equal but unequal” here; there is only “totally equal.”

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 27, 2014 at 8:41 pm

                      Mary, all the women Paul addressed were never in Pastoral leadership. Doesn’t that tell you something regarding their disqualification and Paul’s understanding of that disqualification from church leadership.

                      “Equal but unequal” STILL works everywhere, Mary, even in Bible doctrine. Biblically women are still disqualified from the pastoral ministry and leadership by God’s decree. Scripture does NOT develope what you have developed falsely. Mary, even if you got a sex change operation, you’d still be disqualified by God from the pastorate.

                      Galatians 3:28 is NOT a vision of Biblical proportions, except to you. It is God-breathed text limited to worth, without responsibility.

                    • Mary Vanderplas July 28, 2014 at 5:17 am

                      Yes, it does tell me something. What it tells me is that Paul, the former rabbi, made only a beginning in implementing his Spirit-inspired insight in Galatians 3:28 regarding the equality of the sexes in Christ.

                      You read your own false doctrine into Galatians 3:28 in support of the hierarchy that you evidently desperately need. The text says nothing about there being any limitations to the equality of women and men. “No longer male and female” means full equality in every way.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm

                      Mary, ALL former statements are moderated by latter statements. God, by Paul, never initiated female equality of responsibility with males. Galatians 3: 28 is not such a statement as you think by your throwing away the latter statements as not quite there yet. Throw away your Galatians 3: 28 idea as not yet there because of the latter statements. In fact, your statement is not yet there for twenty centuries from the original penmanship.

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 29, 2014 at 1:47 am

                      Mary, if Paul made only a beginning, why does he retreate back to male dominion in his later Epistles which were also equally God-breathed? Who is writing confusing erroneous conflicting ideas? You or God?

                    • Mary Vanderplas July 29, 2014 at 5:04 am

                      Throw away the plain meaning of Galatians 3:28, did you say?? Is this what your “high view” of scripture compels you to do, in service to making the Bible say what you need it to say, what is “consistent” with the view that fits your idea of what God wills?

                      Galatians 3:28 is a God-inspired proclamation of the new reality that that has been brought into being by God’s act in Christ: a community in which old social distinctions no longer count before God and all people are equal – essentially equal, totally equal. That is what this text says. You twist and distort, imposing limits that aren’t there, reducing Paul’s statement of radical newness to some silliness in which there is no newness at all.

                      No – this text is not to be twisted, nor is its plain meaning to be subordinated to other texts in which Paul seems to support female subordination. Paul’s understanding and his practice in working out the implications of his vision were a work in progress. It remained – and still remains – for the church to fully implement his radical vision of complete oneness and equality of the sexes in Christ.

                    • Mary Vanderplas July 29, 2014 at 5:14 am

                      If you really believe the crap you propound, why do you spend your time on this website – which is run by a woman and in which you engage in theological discussion with a woman? Why not stay on the all men’s fundamentalist website – where women have no voice, where only men are allowed to be in “leadership”?

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm

                      Mary, throw away your feminist thinking as the plain meaning you think it to be is certainly what I’m telling you. That IS the high view that is consistent with the rest of the New Testament Scriptures, that being male domination. Can’t you read: HUSBAND of one wife. I’ve yet to see a women be the husband of one wife. Your radical newness didn’t show up until the twentieth century. Keep to the historical interpretation, dear Mary, and stop importing 21st century radicalism into the Bible. You know better than that. See, I told you so that you, a woman, need straightening out because you’re driven by your hormonal imbalances instead of reason. You serve as an example why women don’t belong in the pastorate. You can’t harmonize Galatians 3: 28 with the rest of Scripture. You ARE “as unto the weaker vessel” of 1 Peter 3: 7 in your mind, emotions, will, and spirit. You desperately need help from men to properly understand Scripture. Let us, men, teach you how to be the helper fit for helping men since you haven’t gotten it yet.

                    • Mary Vanderplas July 31, 2014 at 5:09 am

                      Twist and distort to your heart’s content. It doesn’t change the plain meaning of Paul’s words or the radical nature of his vision: full equality of the sexes in Christ. That the church has taken centuries to live into this new reality created in Christ doesn’t make it any less God’s will for the people he loves and is in the process of renewing.

                      So, why do you spend your time reading and pondering what Alice thinks and what I think? If, as you contend, women are severely limited in their capacity to reason and are thereby disqualified from teaching men, then the rational thing – and the consistent thing – would be for you not to give a flying crap about what we think and not to spend a single minute reading what either of us posts on this site. Alas, your actions betray your stated beliefs – and your claim to possess, by virtue of your being a man, superior reasoning powers…..

                    • Lanny A. Eichert July 31, 2014 at 3:06 pm

                      Mary, if “the implications of his vision were a work in progress. It remained – and still remains – for the church to fully implement his radical vision” were truly a vision from God, WHY hasn’t it been accomplished in twenty centuries? Why after two millennia is it still a work in progress? 2,000 years of failure proves your feminist interpretation of Galatians 3: 28 false. It must NOT be God’s will, or else your god fails to get what he wants. Like I’ve been writing, 2,000 years and the god of this blog site hasn’t gotten even 10% of this worlds’ historic population saved through the Gospel; a god who supposedly will save everybody. Your god and their god are terrible failures at what they want to accomplish.

                      Please realize “a work in progress” is a lame excuse for any failure.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 1, 2014 at 5:30 am

                      A lame excuse for failure – really??? The New Testament testifies throughout that the final victory over sin and evil has not yet been won, that God’s work of renewing his creation has not yet been completed, that there is still work to be done. It’s the essence of Christian hope – not indication that the vision of God’s world made new has failed.

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 1, 2014 at 5:39 am

                      Answer my question: Why do you spend inordinate amounts of time and mental energy engaging in theological debate with two women – an utterly irrational thing to do if you really believe that women are intellectually inferior and disqualified from theological conversation?

                    • Mary Vanderplas August 1, 2014 at 7:13 am

                      The ancient rabbis, who shared your view of women, would be appalled at your behavior of going on this website and engaging with women. A notable exception is Rabbi Jesus.

            • Lanny A. Eichert July 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

              Mary, do you also forget church leaders are SERVANTS to those they lead? The Biblical picture is that the head of the body serves over the rest of the body, yet that doesn’t lessen the value of the hands and feet. Ever member of the body is necessary and equally valuable. That’s the total equality of every body part, hence “total equality of men and women” while having ONLY ONE head which God appointed to the male gender.

              Just as God designed our bodies for heterosexual procreation, He has the right of creation to destroy every homosexual who violates His intended design, even in an act of genocide against a culture such as Sodom & Gomorrah, setting us an example that we should abhor all expressions of homosexuality, both hating them and fearing their effect upon our straight society. Homophobia is rational and necessary national behaviour and every American who opposes homophobia is guilty of national treason against the United States of America and should be taken and shot to death by firing squad. Likewise every Christian who opposes male leadership in God’s church is guilty of antichristianity and should be removed from the church and treated as a heathen.

  • Lanny A. Eichert June 28, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Mary, I am not at all justifying any person, male or female, who takes away somebody’s virginity whether they be a minor or an adult. Virginity is the most powerful gift God gives to an individual for the perservation of their until-death-do-us-part marriage. It insures perfect trust between spouses and keeps the surviving spouse pure in any new relationship following the death of the life-long partner. I can attest to that by my experiences of the last three years since my wife died.

    When two people marry in their virginity, they know they were both pure going into the marriage and know nothing else to compare it. You see, had they not been virgins, there is always a suspicion the other might not be satisfied by reason of comparing previous relationships. To loose one’s virginity is truly robbery of a kind that is never recoveryable. Unfortunately our society now views the loss as a normal part of living with the emphasis on normal because “everybody is doing it” making virginity cheap any more. Love is respect and those who no longer respect their own bodies no longer know how to love or respect others. That very pretty alcoholic 45 year old divorcee that had been in my house had wriiten me an apologetic note saying she always wanted to respect me, but in fact she disrespected me when she refused to admit she’d been drinking and whoring while you could smell it meters away evaporating from the pores of her skin.

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