29 April 2010

Women must preach in church

by Dan Phillips



...on one occasion.


Dan Phillips's signature

164 comments:

DJP said...

...and it's a wordless sermon... but an eloquent one!

donsands said...

Yes indeed.

David said...

And it's not like a dog walking on its hind legs, either.

Being Transformed said...
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DJP said...

BT, your statement is too brief to assume a context, so I won't.

However, supplying the context of the verse linked in my post, it has absolutely nothing to do with what males do, which never can serve as a pretext for rebellion against God.

Josh said...

If there is no man willing to preach, chances are you need to find a better church with men willing to do their jobs.

Being Transformed said...
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Sir Brass said...

NEXT! :)

Excellent post, Dan. Short, sweet, simple.

DJP said...

Yes, BT, there are many ways to communicate God's word without rebelling against His blanket exclusion of women from teaching or exercising authority over men in church.

But I've heard that used as a situational rationalization for just that sin. I didn't mean to accuse you of it, just to make sure the door God shut was still shut.

Paul D said...

took me 10 minutes of hard thinking and sipping coffee to understand what you were saying - I thought this was some kind of riddle. Frustrating how easily the obvious escapes my understanding sometimes. Cool post.

DJP said...

Paul, your comment is very rewarding. Thank you for that, and thanks for the gracious gift of respect you gave me by pausing to think. I do appreciate it.

SteveFB said...

Indeed, obedience is a much louder, clearer and more God-honoring sermon than any of the pragmatism that passes for modern "ecclesiology" today.

I like to refer to people's pick-and-choose, "proof-text poker" justifications from Scripture as "humaneutics".

Thank you, Dan and brothers, for testifying to God's truth by STANDING for it where it stands rather than by attempting to move it to places it will not and needs not go.

DJP said...

"Humaneutics."

I like it.

Well, the neologism; not the practice.

(c;

Cathy M. said...

Specifically, is it a sin for a woman to speak in a mixed gender Sunday School class? How about a forum like this one? Should a woman post an opinion? My tone is sincere. Please don't read any ire in my questions. Thanks

DJP said...

Cathy, I (A) don't mind the question, but (B) don't want to launch the Spanish Inquisition, yet (C) do want to answer.

The bare minimum of the command in 1 Timothy excludes women teaching or exercising authority in a church setting over men, not children. I define the word Paul uses for "men" as post-pubescent males.

stratagem said...

I guess they could preach in a women's Bible study and still comply. So it should be "two" occasions.

Brittney said...

I have the same sincere question as Cathy M. Indeed, I've received much instruction in His Word in this forum, and I'm eager to share it in the mixed-gender Sunday School class, when appropriate. (Or am I being inappropriate?) Sadly, I am usually the only one making a specific, salient point, and If I don't speak up, it won't get heard.

It's a large church, and I love and admire the men who are trying to lead the class, but the teaching is very weak. As a single woman, I am really stummped as to what to do. I pray. I've prayerfully approached the elders -- who have encouraged me to lead a class, and maybe yhat's the problem right there -- and I don't want to just ditch the place. But how, as a woman, do I point to The Word, in church, without overstepping bounds?

Sharon said...

In a mixed, adult Sunday school class where the format for teaching is open discussion would 1 Timothy then exclude women from the discussion? Thanks!

DJP said...

Brittney and Sharon, I think there's a pretty clear difference between participating in a discussion within a class led by a man, and leading a class with men in it. I don't see the former as violating Scripture, but the latter does.

DJP said...

OK, an ANNOUNCEMENT. I'd like to take this back to the topic of the post: the proclamation that is the Lord's Supper.

I'm going to be pretty firm on this. My one regret about the last meta was not enforcing my call, after the first comment, to get back to the topic. So let's stick with the topic.

Don't be shocked and offended when I enforce this, please.

DJP said...

As an aid to doing what I'm asking:

Have you always thought of the Lord's Supper this way?

If not, does this change, alter, enhance the way you see it?

Chris said...

I give....I am sorry to say that I must be brain-dead because, unlike Paul D who figured the post out in 10 minutes, I'm going on 20 and still don't have a clue how the passage (about the Lord's Supper) relates to women teaching in the church. However, the fact that I'm so perplexed by something so short and (seemingly) simple tells me this is a very cool post....er, puzzle.

Stefan said...

This was about the Lord's Supper? D'oh! I missed the point, too.

On the topic: the Passover meals I had as a child were a form of instruction and proclamation—indeed, God directly decrees that it should serve these purposes in Exodus: as a commemoration of God's salvific work in history.

The translation of the instructive/proclamatory element of the Passover meal to the Lord's Supper was a natural one, especially since there are common elements in both: bread, wine (or juice), and the Lamb by whose vicarious atonement our lives have been purchased.

seeingclearly said...
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Chris said...

I mean, beyond the obvious "given" that the Lord's Supper should be administered by men, as should the preaching...always. Am I missing something?

DJP said...

If you're reading the KJV, that's a problem.

DJP said...

Well, it's many problems, but it particularly won't help with this passage.

stratagem said...

Dan
Posting something ambiguous about women not preaching in church and then getting irate when people assume that IS the topic? You can do better than that.
S.

DJP said...

Who's irate? Just leading.

Chris said...

I'm not bothered, just perplexed still... (-;

David said...

To spell it out:

The Lord's supper is a proclamation of the gospel, folks. It's preaching. It proclaims the Lord's death until He returns. And everyone who takes part preaches it.

David said...

And thanks, Dan, for saying so!

So now, I just realized, I'm married to a preacher. My son's a preacher, too. I'm raising my daughters to join this ministry as well.

Joey Phillips said...

Irate? Maybe that was a joke.

The point of the post (as I see it) was to point out that the Lord's Supper preaches. And since women participate, it really is women preaching with the men. A clever way of making the point that the Lord's prayer is not just a ritual, it teaches.

That's how I understood it anyways.

DJP said...

I think you're right, Joey. Paul depicts it as an acted sermon, in which the entire congregation participates. I think that really should have an impact on our attitudes, our hearts.

There are words, of course, as the leader reads the words of institution which frame the action.

Respectabiggle said...

Eloquent, Dan.

David - that's exactly what I was thinking about my children.

God desires obedience above sacrifice (or liturgy), and the obedience to the command to "do this in remembrance of Me" is a powerful testimony and a wordless sermon.

David Kjos said...

I hesitate to comment, since Dan is obviously so irritable today, but ...

I've only recently begun thinking of the Lord's Supper in those terms. That's an embarrassing admission, but even worse is the fact that I still only think of it that way occasionally. Years of sacrementalism are hard to overcome!

Brad Williams said...

Dan,

I love the Lord's Supper, and I believe in general it is probably the least understood, most under-appreciated ordinance in evangelicalism. At least, I feel strongly that this is the case amongst Baptists.

HSAT, if what a woman does during the Lord's Supper may be considered "preaching", then she is free to preach the gospel anytime she has a chance. The same word is used in Acts 17:3, "And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, 'This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.'”

If someone, male or female, is going to proclaim the gospel, give them some space to do it appropriately.

So, I think I may not completely follow you here:

1. In the Lord's Supper, we preach the gospel.
2. Women preach the gospel in the Lord's Supper.
3. That is the only time a woman should preach the gospel.

I don't agree with that, as long as by "preaching" you mean "proclaiming." There is a time and a place for a woman to proclaim the gospel in the gathering of the body. I speak as a complemenatrain.

Stefan said...

If it's all about the Gospel, how come so much of (nominal) Christianity is about anything but the Gospel?

David said...

Oh, great, so now our church has a drama every week, too.

Brad Williams said...

HA!

I'm not sure what a "Complemenatrain" is, but I reckon I'm on of'em. Yikes. More coffee, please.

Joey Phillips said...

I also liked the use of the word "must" rather than "can". Highlights the essential nature of the act for all believers. That's what actually caught my eye first. Women "must" preach? I had to see what that was all about.

DJP said...

Kjos! Oh my gosh, tell everyone you're doing that dry sense of humor thing you do! I'm in a fine mood, had a play-date with Timothe yesterday, nice sleep, right as rain.

DJP said...

So cousin Joey, explain it to Brad. I don't want to seem irate.

Sharon said...

Just to clarify, the "Sharon" who made a comment at 7:05 AM isn't me. I'm the one with the profile picture. And an available Blogger profile.

On topic: There are many ways a woman can "proclaim" in a church setting. My preferred method is singing the great hymns of the faith (note: 7-11 choruses need not apply)!

A Musician by Grace

Joey Phillips said...

Brad,

I'm sure Dan will have a better, more thorough answer for you, but it seems to that there is a big difference between participating in an act that preaches (under the direction of the man leading the communion) and actually teaching and preaching from the pulpit.

Also, Dan has never said, in this post or elsewhere that woman should only preach the gospel via the Lord's Supper. That's a little crazy. They should preach the gospel regularly, to anyone unbeliever who will listen, same as men. Again, there is a big difference between that and preaching and teaching the gathered body of Christ.

Rachael Starke said...

I'm a passenger on the complementrain too.

I loved this. And just think, if you have communion every week, the women in your church get to preach every week.

;)

Brad Williams said...

Dan,

Oh yeah, like there's a big difference between "must" and "can." O.o

...

...

Ok, there's a big difference. You got me. But obviously, you are a very irate person. And it only demonstrates how mean you are to insist that I read that carefully so early in the morning. Well, it feels early, anyway.

Love,

Brad

DJP said...

< slaps forehead, stares at wall >

Mesa Mike said...

Proclain the Gospel IN CHURCH? What a novel idea...

And here I though church was about getting all filled up with rainbowie feelings.

Brad Williams said...

Joey,

I hear you. I'm a complemenatrain. (I know how to spell complementarian, really I do.)

However, I believe that, besides the "sermon" that an elder/pastor/man delivers, the entire worship service should be an act of corporate participation. So, if during this time of participation in singing, we should have a woman stand, read Scripture and pray, and even add a comment on said passage, that would not be a violation of male headship in my opinion. I would liken it to the participation Dan spoke of in the Sunday school environment earlier. The elders plan the service, direct it, and the pastor delivers the sermon. Up until then, I view it as corporate.

May concern is that in our efforts to be complementarian and practice male headship, we often to so to the exclusion of healthy female participation. Our churches suffer for this, I believe, and I fear it can be discouraging for our sisters. It is a short trip from male headship to male domination in our fallen world, and I am trying to practice one without falling into the other.

GrammaMack said...

"Have you always thought of the Lord's Supper this way?"

I don't think I've ever thought of participation in the Lord's Supper this way but rather as personal obedience to the Lord's command to "Do this in remembrance of me." It's always a time to remember and give thanks in unity with our church family.

"If not, does this change, alter, enhance the way you see it?"

I will have to do some pondering on this. The ESV Study Bible doesn't have a note for this verse, strangely enough. Since it is done in a church setting among other believers, who is it preaching to? Unbelievers who may be in the church? Or to each other and "the rulers..the authorities...the cosmic powers over this present darkness...the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places"? Although I guess that could be asked about all preaching in the church.

Thanks for help in thinking this through.

Mesa Mike said...

We proclaim it to each other. We need to be constantly reminded of Christ's sacrifice 'cause we humans have short attention spans (I do anyway) ...

DJP said...

Interesting question, Gramma; and good answer I think, Mike. It's of the nature of a group confession, a corporate proclamation. We preach the Lord's death by thoughtful, hearty participation in Communion.

David Kjos said...

Jeepers, Dan, you don't have to bite my head off.

Chris said...

Ahh...thank you David! I'll assume Dan agrees with David's explanation entirely? If so, I finally got it! Come to think of it, you gave a good hint when you said "wordless" in the first comment on the thread. Thanks for keeping me on my toes...and humbled!

Jim Pemberton said...

I agree, and I have 2 obervations:

First, it's all about authority. None of us has authority except what God has given us. And it's God's authority to give, not ours to take. And while Christ submitted to our need in his sacrifice he never rescinded his authority, for it was his authoritative will that submitted to death on the cross.

Second, God reveals himself by establishing righteous activities and relationships in the church and family as prophetic (in the sense of proclamation) illustrations. The Lord's Supper is one obvious illustration of the death of Christ. The corporate leadership of the church is another less-obvious one since it's tied to the family. the term "complimentarian" is either too often misunderstood or a misnomer. Too often we think of the general visible gifts of men and women complimenting one another. However, it should refer to the complimentary gifts of position as the relationship between husbands and wives are an illustration of the relationship between Christ and the church. Since this illustration should not be controverted by the church, women should not be seen to lead to their husbands, or anyone's husbands, in a corporate context. It makes me want to get up and adjust the vertical hold on an old tube set TV because I could have sworn I just saw a remake of Gone With The Wind with Rosie O'Donnell playing Rhett Butler and Johnny Depp playing Scarlett Ohara.

But the proclamation of the gospel in the taking of the Lord's Supper is a corporate thing, not an individual thing. This is where we must portray the egalitarian nature of our utter need for Christ over and against the complimentarian portrayal of God to his people in corporate leadership. At stake is the picture we paint of God's authority.

Larry Geiger said...

Paul D. -
Amen!

DJP said...

... a remake of Gone With The Wind with Rosie O'Donnell playing Rhett Butler and Johnny Depp playing Scarlett Ohara

And thank you very much for that mental image.

archshrk said...

A post on this issue has generated a lot of comments for me and I find myself having to make the same response in some form or another. Basically that:

There is a difference between preaching, teaching and evangelizing.

Trevor said...

DJP: < slaps forehead, stares at wall >

Might I suggest < facepalm > ?

Anyways, on topic: As an earlier commenter noted, you definitely had me thinking about this one for a few minutes before I got it and now I think a few more minutes of pondering are called for.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Dan,

I saw your post title and my head exploded. Then I clicked the link and world shifted back onto its axis again.

Like Gramma Mack, I had thought of it in terms of remembrance and thanksgiving. Hmmmm, remembering what the Lord has done, and giving thanks... sounds kind of like preaching, too ;D

I have to "preach" to myself, daily. Remind myself of God's truth, to counter my natural impulses.

DJP said...

Thanks, HG. I love engaged readers! And explosions!

Mark B. Hanson said...

Dan, I am not quite sure of the easy equivalence in the post and meta between the preaching role Paul assigns to men and the proclamation of the Lord's death at the Lord's table (which is what the passage actually talks about). Or rather, the more general equivalence assumed between preaching and proclaiming the gospel.

Although I realize that the immediate context is "in church", can a woman not lead a man to the Lord by teaching him of Christ's death, resurrection, etc? Is this what Paul forbids? (Or part of what Paul forbids?) I think you draw the circle of "preaching" too broadly here.

misty said...

Dan, thank you for this! Oh how I love being a Christian!

One of the many great things about being a Christian is that the truths you learn just keep getting deeper and deeper and deeper. I never saw the Lord's Supper in this way! Who'd a thunk it?! I'm a preacher! Well, once a month anyway...

I thought I understood the gospel (and I did, on some elementary level). But now we're going through Romans on Sunday mornings at church and now I REALLY understand the gospel. It's deeper than I ever imagined!

It's that way with God, too. It's like the more you learn about Him the more there is to learn about Him. Before I was saved, I used to think an eternity in heaven sounded boring. What could fill your interest for an eternity? But now that I know God and I know eternal life is to know Him (John 17:3), eternity doesn't seem long enough!

slave4Christ said...

Wow! just Wow! Ladies,our actions do speak louder then words!
Great post.

Stefan said...

Communion is the monthly centrepiece of corporate worship at our church. The Gospel is implicitly and explicitly wrapped up in it.

Misty:

Isn't it wonderful, discovering all this stuff for the first time and thinking, "How could I not have known this all this time!?"

stratagem said...

Glad to hear you're not petulant, Dan. It seemed to me as though you were. My apologies, sincerely. Your insights are an ongoing source of blessing to me.

halo said...
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Stefan said...

Yeah, Stratagem: best to be gentle. Somebody said he's irritable today.

MarieP said...

My pastor pointed this out long ago... he's the invisible Pyro!

Seriously, I'd been meaning to add it to my church newsletter, and I did just last night! We include the preaching schedule, and now each first Sunday of the month will include "Congregational preaching of the Gospel in the Lord's Supper"

As the Turk says, nice and Bibley and Gospely!

MarieP said...

Stefan wrote:

"Isn't it wonderful, discovering all this stuff for the first time and thinking, 'How could I not have known this all this time!?'"

AMEN!!! I love it...

DJP said...

MistyI'm a preacher! Well, once a month anyway...

It gets even neater.

On that occasion, all of us (in a local assembly of Christians) are wordlessly making the exact same proclamation together. As a body, we proclaim the Lord's death.

Stefan said...

Dan:

Amen!

MarieP:

THAT's how the Holy Spirit works!

Stefan said...

I mean, that providential coincidence you mentioned.

greglong said...

I remember a Christan telling how he came, as an unbeliever, to a communion service. He had a lot of questions about its meaning, and upon receiving answers to those questions, he trusted Christ.

Dan, do you think the communion service itself is sufficient (with the Holy Spirit's help, of course) to help a person understand the Gospel and be saved, or must it be accompanied by verbal proclamation?

(Obviously all communion services are accompanied by verbal communication. But let's say its extremely minimal--say, just the "This is my body..." and "This cup is..." Is that sufficiently "preaching" the gospel?)

All aboard the complemenatrain! Choo choo!

DJP said...

I'd never rely on it, Greg. "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17).

dede said...

I've been praying and asking God for the following...

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

i believe hanging around here is gonna get my prayers answered.

i love the way all your minds work.

Jugulum said...
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dede said...

To the authors of this blog,

A bit off topic but, which version of the Bible to you all use?

Jugulum said...

It's worth noting here that Paul's concern in 1 Cor. 11 was with the Corinthians' jacked-up proclamation--the proclaimed message of Christ's death being distorted by the way they went about it.

It's supposed to be a participation in the body of Christ--in the "his body suffered and died" sense, and the 1 Cor 12 sense. They "came together", but not with the attitude that was in Christ. They weren't acting like the Body as they shared in the body & blood--called into the most excellent way of love, by which the world will know that we're Christ's disciples.

In the Lord's supper we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes, as we wait for our blessed hope--but they came together without being reverently conscious of their need, Christ's sacrifice, and what he gave himself for.

DJP said...

Dede: Hebrew, Greek, ESV.

Jim Pemberton said...

Jugulum,

Kudos for checking the context! I'd like to say, "I knew that," which I did, but I made the mistake of not checking it myself.

dede,
RE: Bible versions. Looks like the ESV is a top reference based on the link. I use it and my wife just found new ESVs for herself and the kids (their old Bibles were falling apart and my oldest son had resorted to whatever free versions he could find for his Ipod) so now we're all on the same page.

swimthedeepend said...
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Scottj said...

I'm a bit curious--how often is the Lord's Supper observed in the churches represented here? In our congregation, it's each week.

DJP said...

Virtually every church I've attended, first Sunday each month (hence the timing of this post). One was second Sunday.

I think the Grace Brethren church in Long Beach was quarterly (because, for them, it's a major undertaking).

Jim Pemberton said...

Roughly quarterly for my church as is the common practice among Southern Baptist churches in the area. My former church (not Baptist) had communion once a month for the traditional service and every Sunday for the contemporary service.

Daryl said...

It took me a second, but, Dan being Dan, I knew there had to be a catch.

Count me in with David Kjos. Having heard that Scripture a million times before, I'd never actually HEARD it.

Thanks for making me hear.

I will definitely effect how I see participation in the Lord's supper.

Sheesh...how many times does someone have to say 'proclaim' before I hear...proclaim?

Mark B. Hanson said...

At our PCA church, weekly. Glory be to God!

stratagem said...

I attended one of the Churches of Christ/Christian Churches that are prevalent in the Midwest and they took Communion every week. However they weren't too big on that whole "when popular authors and the Bible are in conflict, go with the Bible" thing, though.
So the church we now belong to (Baptist) it's once a month. I kind of wish I got to "preach" once a week, but you can't have everything I guess.

Stefan said...

The first Sunday of the month at our church as well, followed by baptisms and the benevolent offering.

Stefan said...

Together with the baptism testimonies, the whole Sunday ends up being a powerful witness to God's work among His people.

trogdor said...

Every church I've ever been a part of celebrates it once a month.

Perhaps a question I should already know the answer to: is it permissible to celebrate the Lord's Supper other than in whole-church worship services? That is, would I be allowed to lead it for my Bible study, or should it only be led by elders/pastors in big-church time?

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...
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Brittney said...

Dan, in my haste to drag the comments off-topic ;) I failed to thank you for the beautiful, brief, though-provoking post.

I've known that I am proclaiming along with fellow believers, but I never equated that to any sort of preaching. Only God could come up with Corporate Preaching! What a joy! And what a responsibility to come to the "pulpit" having spent significant time in preparation.

I made many mental leaps before asking my questions this morning, but I really appreciate your answer - I'll not lose any more sleep over pointing to the Scripture in class.

I am continually amazed at what God shows me in His Word. Daily, little by little, as I can grasp it. That He would allow me to proclaim anything at all -- let alone the Lord's death until he comes again -- is just astonishing. I'm blown away.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...
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Disciple of Jesus Christ said...
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DJP said...

One would think that, before responding to a three-word post, a commenter might read the comments. But there are many of them, so it may be overwhelming.

At least read the 7:14 AM, APRIL 29, 2010 comment. It is programmatic.

Jugulum said...

Troggy,

The London Baptist Confession says nope, it's not OK--the Lord's Supper belongs only in a full assembly of the local church. Our Boy Frank argued a couple years ago that this is indeed a bibley restriction, on the basis of 1 Cor 11's discussion of coming together and division.

I respect the biblicity of the concern, but I'm not convinced--for that to fly, I think you have to be saying that small group fellowships are divisive of themselves.

Along those lines, imagine that you hold an invitation-only party at your house--you traipse through the congregation, bestowing invitations on the few you think worthy. Then you all take communion together. That would clearly be a twisted, sinful "Lord's Supper".


But if it turns out that it is wrong to hold communion in small group meetings, then it's because "come together as a church" assumes communion is only done with the whole congregation.

Chris said...

Dan,

Just curious what you meant about the "major undertaking" comment w/ regard to Grace Brethren Long Beach? Were you once involved with this church?

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...
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DJP said...

Chris, you're unfamiliar with GB churches? They practice threefold communion, including a fellowship meal and foot-washing. Large church = major undertaking.

I attended a GB church in LB in the 70s.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...
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Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

OK. Now, another question. This should be on topic, according to your definition...

Is any meeting of Christians called "in church" if it is not around the Lord's Table?

Please, back up your answer from the Bible.

Thank you!

Grace be with you!
Jdisciple†

donsands said...

We observe the Lord's Supper every 1st and 3rd Sundays.


I wonder if these Scripture verses, and words from our Lord, are referring to the Lord's Supper? I've never settled it in my mind that they were, and are. But they surely correlate very well.
If this isn't too far off subject, that is?

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”"

"“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."

Chris said...
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DJP said...

If you assume you know which of the several churches I attended, you're probably guessing what was once Hocking's church. Instead, I attended North Long Beach Brethren, and it was straight-up Bible-preaching and Bible-teaching. In the 70s, anyway.

DJP said...

Tell you what, "Disciple of Jesus Christ." I have this feeling you rode in with an agenda, not asking to learn but setting a trap. I'd be happy to find that my feeling's wrong.

Meanwhile, I'll be watching.

Stefan said...

Don:

The last two passages, both from John 6, certainly seem related to the communion meal, although here, Jesus Christ seems to be speaking more in the sense of receiving His sustaining power (see below) and atonement for sins, rather than saying that the act of eating bread and drinking wine are in and of themselves salvific.

Of course, there is the direct mention of the manna in the wilderness in 6:49, and the general sense of "bread" as our spiritual and material sustenance (as in the Lord's Prayer).

As for the first passage from John 1, others have pointed out in the past (i.e., it's not my original insight!) that the Greek words used for "dwelt" literally means to "tent" or "encamp," and is a direct allusion to (and fulfilment of!) the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, when God made His presence visibly manifest in the midst of His covenant community.

DJP said...

No Don, John 6 cannot possibly have been referring to Communion, which was not to be instituted for some time. Jesus explains exactly what the metaphor means in v. 35.

Stefan said...

Greek word (εσκηνωσεν: "eskenosen"), not words.

Chris said...
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Chris said...

Dan,

I'm sorry--I didn't mean to go off topic. It is just so interesting that you went to a church I thought was the same as our old church. Nonetheless, considering the fact that we live in LB, it is also interesting that you used to go to church here in our city. Now we simply make the drive to Sun Valley in order to call GCC our home church--the greatest church we could ever imagine...for the obvious reasons C-;

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

DJP,

My mission, not only here but everywhere, is to call myself and all people to obey God's Word. My purpose with those questions is to make people try to conform their beliefs with what the Bible says, leaving their human assumptions. Those who think about the answers to my questions will learn a lot, just as I do, because the righteous man does not think he knows all, but he meditates on the Word of God day and night (read Psalm 1 for example...)

I experienced something discouraging in this post of yours, and I just finished talking about it in one of our posts on our weblog.

By the way, I stated in my article on our blog something about which I want to ask you, if that's not off topic again... Where did you ever read in the Bible that women can participate in the Lord's Table?...

Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Stefan said...

Don:

Okay, in light of what Dan wrote, I clearly answered too hastily. There's probably something in Proverbs about that... ;)

The bread and wine in the communion meal have very specific meanings as representing Jesus Christ's broken body and shed blood, of which we partake in remembrance of Him. Since they would have been consumed as part of the Passover meal, they also have an indirect significance that derives from the first Passover, which was of course a prefigurement of the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ on our behalf, and His deliverance of us from our enslavement to sin.

From the context of John 6, our Lord and Saviour was referring to His flesh and blood not in the sense of His atoning suffering and death, but in the sense of His being manna from heaven, of which the original manna from heaven was a prefigurement.

(I use "prefigurement" rather than "type" because to me, saying that this or that is a "type" of Christ sounds odd.)

donsands said...

"Jesus explains exactly what the metaphor means in v. 35." -Dan

"From the context of John 6, our Lord and Saviour was referring to His flesh and blood not in the sense of His atoning suffering and death, but in the sense of His being manna from heaven, of which the original manna from heaven was a prefigurement." -Stefan

Thanks for the feed back. Good stuff.

I would also say that when Jesus was talking about feeding on Him, He no doubt had His upcoming death and resurrection in the back of His mind.

I have some run-ins with Catholic nuns, and when we discuss the Lord's Super, they almost always go to John 6.

Thanks again.

DJP said...

I have some run-ins with Catholic nuns, and when we discuss the Lord's Super, they almost always go to John 6.

Yes, they always do, and they're always wrong. Demonstrably and beyond reasonable doubt.

DJP said...

Really proud of everyone for not taking the bait so far, btw. Listen to Admiral Ackbar. He knows.

Rachael Starke said...

Taught us well, you have, ObiWan...

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

Roman Catholics do not like to study what the Word really says... Read with me:

"So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves." (John 6:53)

Is this not clear? If you don't eat the flesh of Jesus Christ and you don't drink His blood (in the sense that Jesus is saying it in John 6), then you don't have life in yourself. What does this mean? This means that you're not reconciled with God, you're still dead in your sins, and you don't have anything to do with Christ UNLESS you eat His flesh and drink His blood.

But guess what! The Bible ALSO says that you should NOT participate in the Lord's Table if you don't have this life in yourself... Read with me:

"Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly." (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)

So how can John 6 be about the Lord's Table when it is impossible to participate in that Table unless you eat the flesh of Jesus Christ and you drink His blood?...

Told you: Roman Catholics do not like to study the Word as it is. They refuse to accept the fact that ONLY the Bible can interpret the Bible (as we have seen in this comment), and NOT their human assumptions.

Grace to you!
Jdisciple†

donsands said...

"Admiral Ackbar?"

Ah, The fish guy. That cracked me up.

And there was the other fish guy (I think he was part fish, or something), who flew with Lando Calrissian, and had that cool speech thing going on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY0ClsW1QX4&feature=related

trogdor said...

The "fish guy" Admiral Ackbar is of the Mon Calamari species, and the patron saint of the obvious. They were a peaceful race who made luxury starships until they were enslaved by the Empire. When they won their freedom, they converted their cruise ships into warships capable of taking on Imperial Star Destroyers.

The other fish guy was Nien Nunb (sp?).

Now the train's about gone and I'm back on my way to Bible study. Later.

Disciple of Jesus Christ said...

And talking about Admiral Ackbar is not off topic...

Reminder: "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." (Luke 12:1)

This is what this Admiral Ackbar is all about...

Be in Peace!
Jdisciple†

Zaphon said...

The acts of the people of God, in eating the broken bread, and drinking of the fruit of the vine, emblems of the Lord Jesus' body and blood, is the simplest, but most solemn, sacred, and powerful acts of testimony to the Lord's death.

We're remembering Christ our Passover, 1 Cor. 5:7, and I know that it is at that time, when we as a church partake of the Lord's Supper, that is a wordless sermon, as Dan called it, that I take with me for the rest of the week.

Like a good sermon preached from the Pulpit, it convicts of sin, it makes us examine ourselves, and judge ourselves in truth, and sets forth Christ as the all-encompassing Lord, in his suffering, death, and glory for us.

Eat...Drink...Proclaim

As I think Frank Turk would say...be in the Lord's house with the Lord's People on the Lord's Day..(or something like that)...because if we are habitually not, we cannot proclaim this powerful thing we're ALL called to do.

Zaph

Aaron Snell said...

I'm getting a kick out of the fact that a three-word post has garnered 120+ comments. That's not a record for you, is it Dan?

I like how high you set the pithy bar. :)

Jacob said...

Yes, this should be added to the NEXT! series :)

DJP said...

I do think it's a comments-per-word record.

recreatedinchrist said...

I attended Grace Brethren Long Beach for awhile; my high school graduation (from Brethren Christian High School) actually took place in their sanctuary. We never did any foot-washings during communion; although I know this is part of the "Grace Brethren" tradition.

Dan, were you there when David Hocking was at the helm?

Bobby G.

Rob said...

Such an awesome post... it's one I'll be thinking about next time we break bread at our church.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

I thought you were referring to the profession of faith at baptism. :)

John Christian Medearis said...

Fantastic post Dan! However I got the biggest chuckle from the fact that nobody took the bait and found themselves more amused at the leaven of Admiral Ackbar.

DJP said...

I think I may have attended a service or two while Hocking pastored, and he spoke at Talbot while I was there. We chatted a little; nice man.

But I attended North Long Beach Brethren, while (memory straining) David Moore, I believe, was pastor. Also a nice man, labored diligently in preaching the Word.

Thanks, Rob. That was my hope.

Becky, that makes perfect sense and is a decent enough point. But I don't refer to it here simply because I don't have as direct an apostolic word as we do in the charge to "proclaim" the Lord's death in communion.

Everyday Mommy© said...

"May concern is that in our efforts to be complementarian and practice male headship, we often do so to the exclusion of healthy female participation. Our churches suffer for this, I believe, and I fear it can be discouraging for our sisters. It is a short trip from male headship to male domination in our fallen world, and I am trying to practice one without falling into the other."

Best comment on this intentionally, inflammatory titled post. Tsk, tsk DJP.

DJP said...

"Inflammatory" in a 2 Peter 1:3, Hebrews 10:23 way. Or such was my intent.

(c:

Everyday Mommy© said...

DJP....It's clear that the title, "Women Must Preach in Church" was intentionally provocative and designed to generate comments, and not in a 2 Peter or Hebrews "kinda way".

Then you wag your finger at the commenters with your "announcement" that the topic of the post: the proclamation that is the Lord's Supper? Really? Don't be shocked and offended? Really?

If, in fact, "Paul depicts it as an acted sermon, in which the entire congregation participates", your inflammatory title came off as a cheap, comment-gathering stunt.

Disappointing.

DJP said...

Oh, you're actually in a snit about it! I misread you.

Well, sorry you think that way about it. Beyond that, I'm unapologetic, and very pleased with and grateful for the thought it's provoked.

Everyday Mommy© said...

You usually are Dan. Unapologetic, that is.

Everyday Mommy© said...

"'Well, sorry you think that way about it."

How's that for a postmodern apology.

round.tuit said...

It would have helped if the original post had included the Scripture text, rather than assuming that others were aware of the link.

DJP said...

Thanks for your opinion, round, but it would not have helped what I wanted to accomplish. I always prefer to err on the side of subtlety, and of a high estimate of my readers.

Jim Pemberton said...

Dan,
I for one appreciate a certain amount of subtlety. Being explicit is fine, but certain implicit language is good for exercising the minds of one's listeners or readers to engage the truth rather than simply pass it by. It also engenders the sort of discernment that allows us to tell the difference between Admiral Ackbar and someone who honestly wants to dialog.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Everyday Mommy: Wow. I am amazed you are frustrated with the post title. When I saw it I thought, What is that Dan up to this time? I know his theology well enough to know that he does not believe women should be in the pulpit (and I agree) and that he was baiting us. It worked, I clicked, I agreed, I commented.

What is new here? I read the Pyro's whenever I can because we are of the same mind theologically and the posts are usually meant to provoke thought and comments. Why else would they be doing this?

stratagem said...

You sure it isn't Allah Ackbar?

Or maybe that Admiral in the white suit is really a troll?

DJP said...

You're going to get me in trouble.

DJP said...

More trouble, I mean.

Phil Johnson said...

Such a short post. So many comments.

How do you do it?

stratagem said...

I think it's the scimitar he's wielding that causes it. Maybe we should all get a scimitar?

halo said...

DJP,

may I ask why you deleted my comment?

It seems to me that you don't want any discussion here about women in ministry? (despite the title of the post!)

I think it is sad that we must tip-toe around this sensitive issue rather than have some constructive dialogue about it. If you're going to preach that doctrine be willing to deal with the questions people have. I think (judging by some of the comments) that you'll find that people would prefer to talk about it and get questions answered rather than be shut down and prevented from saying anything.

No disrespect, but it angers me that for someone with a reputation for not being afraid of controversy that you won't allow us to discuss what the scripture says on this most sensitive of issues in the church today. Sweeping it under the carpet and shutting down discussion will not make it go away. Many of us still have questions to work thru and could benefit from interaction with others.

Everyday Mommy© said...

@ Becky, slave of Christ...

If the post author must enter the thread and make an announcement that reads...

"OK, an ANNOUNCEMENT. I'd like to take this back to the topic of the post: the proclamation that is the Lord's Supper.

"I'm going to be pretty firm on this. My one regret about the last meta was not enforcing my call, after the first comment, to get back to the topic. So let's stick with the topic.

"Don't be shocked and offended when I enforce this, please."

...it is an indication that the post and/or it's title are possibly misleading, poorly written or intended to provoke.

I appreciate the content and meat of the posts a Pyromaniacs. They're like a good steak, and good steaks don't need ketchup.

Phil Johnson said...

Halo:

I was reading the comments in reverse order and wondered the same thing. Dan's comment at 7:14 am on the 29th explains it.

halo said...

Phil,

thanks,

but the title of the post is 'Women must preach in church' - combine this with the point he was making and surely it is within reasonable bounds to discuss what kind of speech is acceptable for women in church.

I can only conclude that DJP is a bit sensitive about dealing with this issue. (no hard feelings DJP, except for small portion of anger that will subside before the sun sets).

DJP said...

Why, Halo? Why read my mind? Why insinuate there's anything more to it than what I say? You only have to read three more words, and click a link, to see what it's about.

Surely, you're not telling me that reading three words and clicking a link are too much to ask?

Jim Pemberton said...

Halo,
Good conversation about complementarianism versus egalitarianism would be a good thing. Such conversations as I have had in the past have been anything but good. Egalitarian discourse tends to devolve into hurt feelings over unfortunate historical events related to male headship and a focus on human abilities rather than what God's Word actually says. As evidence of how carefully (carelessly) this is handled, many of the egalitarians comments here seem to have missed that the point of this very small article is on the positive proclamation of the gospel in the midst of our sinful inadequacy rather than whether than women or men deserve to proclaim anything.

halo said...

DJP,

your comment does not detract from my point that discussing the kind of speech acceptable for women in church is within reasonable comment bounds given the title and the meaning of the post. A natural question to ask if someone says 'Women can silently proclaim the gospel in church via the Lord's supper' is 'What other kind of speech is appropriate?'.

I have noticed that many complementarians due to incurring strong backlash in the past become overly cautious about discussing it. I think this is harmful as many people want to ask questions and discuss the issue so that they can come to a fuller understanding.

Jim,

btw I am not an egalitarian. And if people do start making unsavory comments why not just delete those particular comments rather than shutting down the whole conversation altogether?

DJP said...

Well, you've got your answer. This is simply not about that.

halo said...

No hard feelings DJP. I would like to say though that I do appreciate this blogs and your willingness to talk about controversial issues (e.g. charismatic/cessationist) when everybody else seems to steer clear.

DJP said...

Then stay tuned. I've got one in mind for next week that will rattle many windows.

(c;

Everyday Mommy© said...

I second Halo. I do appreciate this blog and your willingness to talk about controversial issues when everybody else seems to steer clear along with your unwavering defense of the centrality of the Gospel.

dede said...

Everyday Mommy said...
I appreciate the content and meat of the posts a Pyromaniacs. They're like a good steak, and good steaks don't need ketchup.

i said...
me too; and how do i convince my kids about good steak don't need no ketcup...LOL!!!

btw, you don't have to post this. have a nice weekend!

Bobby Grow said...

DJP said:

I think I may have attended a service or two while Hocking pastored, and he spoke at Talbot while I was there. We chatted a little; nice man.

But I attended North Long Beach Brethren, while (memory straining) David Moore, I believe, was pastor. Also a nice man, labored diligently in preaching the Word.


I know this thread is probably dead, but I thought I would respond.

It's a small world. My Dad pastored a church in North Long Beach --- Calvary Baptist Church (on South St. and Atlantic). I've heard of David Moore, it's been awhile now. And Hocking is a great guy (I sat under him for a few years --- he is a powerful teacher of the Word).

Diane said...

Nodding heartily!

Andrew D said...

Dan,
You rock. This was fun to read (the 3 words, the link, AND THEN the comments). It reminded me of one of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books I read when I was a kid, except the choices were already determined for meh :)

Some are offended by the cleverness of your method. I am not sure what to make of that. We do not want to needlessly offend anybody but nevertheless it seems impossible to choose a method of communication that does not offend somebody.

EverydayMommy,
I normally appreciate your comments here. Please take they opporunity to RETRACT or SUBSTANTIATE this comment:

"You usually are Dan. Unapologetic, that is."

EverydayMommy, this is either sladner or it's true. Would you please clarify? I have been reading BibChr.BlogSpot.org since 2006 (shortly after I became a Christian) and have not seen much
evidence of your claim.

Thanks,

Andrew

DJP said...

(Andrew, it's BibChr.BlogSpot.com ...but otherwise, thanks.)

(c:

BaritoneJP said...

DJP,

Please explain why you said that there were problems with the KJV? (simply want to know for information, not wanting to start anything)

DJP said...

For starters, it's in a language nobody speaks today.

Except pentecostals, faking prophecy.