Silence them...

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The Apostle Paul is not postmodern. He doesn't preen himself publicly over his meekness and humility. Being fully aware he speaks for God, he's not so arrogant as to refuse to defend his leadership, teaching, and doctrine. He doesn't shrug off his responsibilities, nor is he coy about his authority. When sweet-talking guys invaded the churches of his time spreading their false doctrines and schism, he took a stick to them and beat them about the head until they were driven away from the flock.

God and His truth were The Thing with the Apostle Paul—not himself.

Dear pastor, elder, or Titus 2 woman, how is it with you? When you face a feminist, do you flinch? Do you fear how you'll play in Peoria? Do you say things like...

I wish God allowed women elders because I think women would do a better job at eldering than men, but the Bible is clear and we have to submit to it.

Or worse,

The Church has a great debt to feminists for pointing out the misogyny that has characterized Her communal and family life for many centuries, now.

Or worst,

I appreciate the insights of my esteemed colleague and appreciate this chance to dialog.

The Church today has many men who won't fight. Why not?

Because they aren't humble. Proud of their equanimity in the face of heretics, they don't guard their sheep, but leave them confused and milling about as the rapacious wolves devour them at will. The shepherds live as their sheep die.

Fr. Bill Mouser explains it this way:

* * *

Back in the mid-1990s, I was watching (from the inside) ostensibly "conservative" Episcopalians as they seriously organized themselves around the question "What do we do NOW?" They had their social networks, forums, and bloggers (they still do!). Every once in a while you'd see some form of the following float by in the forums or blogs:

Two aged orthodox Episcopal priests knelt side-by-side in the trendy new diocesan cathedral, waiting for their bishop's Easter service to begin. It commenced with a lonely, eerie wisp of Tibetan bells wafting through the rafters. Then a chorus of plucked hand-harps took up the icy harmonies, and with a rattling slap of feet from the Puppets of Doom (these Episcopals were conceding nothing to the Romans) the procession down the central aisle began.

After the bell ringers and harpists came a dancing troop of near naked young men in red speedos, streamers flying from their wrists. Then something new—six women in purple robes shouldering a litter which bore a larger-than-life-sized Buddha. The bishop brought up the rear, her tresses plaited with white and red ribbons hanging from the edges of her mitre, her brocaded cassock matching the thurible in her hand.

One aged priest turned to the other and said, "Just one more thing, and I'm outta here!"

Like these aged priests, evangelical complementarians never seem to find that one more thing which impels them to inaugurate and maintain a rupture in the conversation. They strenuously keep the conversation going with the wolves in their seminaries, publishing houses, and mission boards, thereby facilitating and validating the right of religious feminists to pursue their obviously lupine (wolfish) agendas.

* * *

These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:16-25)

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!