A response to Beyond Sexual Roles by Gilbert Bilezikian.
Grand Rapids: Baker Books, second edition 1985.
- Gilbert argues against the straw man of universal dominance over women. There are but 2 specific frames for Biblical distinction between a Christian men and women:
1. A wife toward her husband. [emerging from the Genesis 3 curse; concurrent with N.T. instruction.]
2. "In the church"; a woman extending authority over a man. [in keeping with the Apostle Paul's N.T. instruction]
- Mr. Bilezikian often succeeds in overstating his own point; as in this quote from page 120, followed by his own note for the bold claim:
"Today, some evangelistic Christians are struggling to justify church and family structures that dehumanize the female half of their populations by placing it under rulership of the male segment. 1" with his notation, "1. Rulership of itself need not be dehumanizing. Self-appointed dictators may exercise benevolent rulership, and appointive representative rulership is often benign. Rulership becomes dehumanizing when it is viewed as deriving from the biological process of sex or rank differentiation at conception, which process then becomes invested with mythical connotations of power by divine right."
- Gilbert's attempt to paraphrase sections from the Scriptures emerge as weighted and specious.
- Gilbert Bilezikian presents us with an incorrect view of submission.
Specific Problems within Beyond Sexual Roles by Gilbert Bilezikian:
P. 23 "God is neither male no female. He transcends both genders since they are both comprehended within His being."
-- Unfounded theology.
P. 24 "The lack of any restrictions or of any qualifications in their participation in the task [dominion over the earth] implies roles of equality for man and woman."
-- Implication by absence? Statement ignores impetus for Eve's creation.
P. 27 "The plight of Adam attests to the fact that God has created humans as social beings and that each person needs other persons for self-definition."
-- Speculation. Psycho-heresy?
P. 28 "In God's very words, without woman creation was 'no good'."
-- Unwise exegesis of Genesis 2:18; contradicts Genesis 1:31.
P. 31 "Both men and women ... are created equal. And if 'we hold these truths to be self-evident,' it is because they were first taught in the Good Book."
-- Assumption of doctrine in source. Rather, because of Christ in us, there can now be "equality". [Colossians 3:11]
P. 34 "According to this text, [Genesis 2:24] the parent's role remains passive."
-- Assumption imposed.
P. 49 "Adam allowed Eve to act out his own emancipation fantasy."
P. 55 "Because death has permeated all realms of life, suffering as a preliminary form of death will be allowed to mar the process of life from its very beginning, in childbirth."
-- Assumption of 'cause and effect'; not concurrent with, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth". [Genesis 3:16]
P. 55 "Instead of meeting her desire and providing a mutually supportive and nurturing family environment, he will rule over her."
-- These things are not mutually exclusive.
P. 61,62 "...God's word was applied to sinful conditions such as polygamy, patriarchy, adultery, and so on, not to condone or endorse such evils but to limit the damaging effects of those inevitable results of the fall." and, "The concept of polygamy is irreconcilable with the original marriage ordinance that called for a man to leave father and mother and join himself to his wife (not 'wives') so that they would become 'one flesh' (Gen. 2:24)"
-- Unsupported statements; extra-judgmental toward "patriarchal" men of God, who have been written of in the Scriptures.
P. 64 "The idea of mutuality in equality provides the best possible conditions for the natural implementation of the 'one flesh' commitment."
-- Contradicts Ephesians 5 and 1st Peter 3, etc.
P. 65,67 "One of the most grievous manifestations of the double standard that characterized marriage litigations in the old covenant concerns a practice that was common among ancient people, the trial by ordeal. [Numbers 5:11-31]" and, "Because of the inequities intrinsic to the patriarchal system, the divorce statutes [Deut. 24] were overwhelmingly one-sided in favor of the husband. He alone had the power to initiate a divorce."
-- The author brings his common ethic against our Father God's Law?
P. 68 "...the old-covenant period was a time of partial accommodation to sinful realities as a way of achieving their resolution in the new covenant."
-- A holy covenant from God accommodating to "sinful realities"?
P. 80 "Where work had been a curse, it now becomes a blessing (2 Thess. 3:12-13)."
P. 89 "Rulership confers upon men privileged rights of ownership that empowers them to consider any woman fair game for the satisfaction of their lust."
-- Associative assumption.
P. 92 "The fall and its consequences are to be seen as aberrations that have been resolved in the ministry and teaching of Jesus Christ. ...thus abrogating the authority structure that had been spawned by the fall along with other scourges afflicting fallen human life."
-- Dreamy, though short of supportive evidence.
P. 107 "Since the congregation is not ruled by a leader, decisions are made by community rule. [Matthew 18:15-20]" and, "According to Jesus, the appropriate locus for authority rests within the congregation and not in a leader above it."
-- Matthew 23:10. "Community rule," or congregational-styled 'popular' government is not congruent with the teachings of Jesus or of the Apostles.
P. 108-109 "It explicitly forbids any one individual to assume authority over another in a Christian community. [Matthew 20:20-18]" and, "As Matt. 18:17-18 prescribes, authority is indeed to be exercised in Christian communities, but only on the basis of participatory consensual community rule."
-- Unsupported. Undermines requirements of Ephesians 6, etc.
P. 124 "Because the gift of prophecy is exercised under divine sanction, it epitomizes divine activity in human life, and it authenticates the person whom God is using as His mouthpiece."
-- Not always. [1 Kings 13:11-25; Acts 16:16-18]
P. 130 "The reciprocal obligations are symmetrical. [1 Corinthians 7:3]"
P. 131 "The 'body' represents the totality of a person's being, responding to the Lord or to a spouse. [1 Corinthians 7:4]"
-- Unsupported; may be heretical.
P. 141 "For Paul, a woman's disposition to wear the headcovering was the sign of her willingness to represent the glory of full (male and female) humanhood before God." and, "If these two verses [1st Corinthians 11:8-9] were interpreted as a teaching from Paul on female subordination by virtue of man's primacy in creation, consistency would require that Paul forbid women to exercise leadership in prophesying."
-- Unsupported. False dichotomy. (Prophecy comes from God.)
P. 145 "In particular, the juxtaposition of Paul's approval of women prophesying ([1 Corinthians] 11:5) with this absolute command for women not to speak in church and to remain silent as a sign of their subordination constitutes a monumental contradiction that only a state of mental dislocation could explain..."
-- 2 Peter 1:21 defines for us how, in prophecy, it is God who is doing the speaking.
P. 149, 150 "This appeal to the Old Testament constitutes in itself sufficient proof that Paul is not the author of this statement. [1 Corinthians 14:34]" and, "The contents of the prohibition statement rule out Pauline origin."
-- Not congruent with Paul's Law 'appeal' in 1 Timothy 1:6-11. Gilbert's Higher Criticism (asserting non-Pauline authorship) should be a 'wake-up call' for each man and woman who believes God would have their Bible remain intact!
P. 150 "...while male worshipers would come up with hymns (presumably sung by men only, while women remained silent), lessons, revelations, tongues, interpretations (v. 26), prophecies, and evaluation (v. 29)."
-- To "speak" is the only prohibition; "keep silent" serves as its negative from within the text.
P. 152 "The rebuke [1 Corinthians 14:36] is for their willingness to replace his standards regarding male/female roles with anti-women proscriptions of the Judaizing teaching." and, "Verse 38. The matter is serious enough for Paul to threaten divine rejection of the proponents of male dominance for non-compliance to the 'command of the Lord'."
-- Unsupported; assumes the Apostle Paul's ego influenced the writing of 1 Corinthians 14.
P. 154 "Being subject to one another is only possible among equals."
-- False distinction.
P. 155 "In a Spirit-led church, the elders submit to the congregation in being accountable for their watch-care, ..."
P. 158 "There is no authority or rulership significance attached to headship. [Ephesians 4:15-16]"
-- False distinction by implication. (Since Bilezikian would prefer to define "head" as "source"; "source" and "authority" being synonymous.)
P. 162 "Literally, verse 22 reads 'wives to their own husbands as to the Lord.' Verse 22 derives its verb from verse 21."
-- (Textus Receptus [Scrivener] contains the verb, to be rendered "subject yourselves", specifically within verse 22.)
P. 170 "It [Ephesians 5:31] calls for total reciprocity, which also happens to be the essential principle that underlies the concept of mutual submission."
P. 177 "The fact that one of the attributions of these women teachers was the training of younger women does not limit their teaching to women only. [Titus 2:3-5]"
-- Assumption against the context.
P. 184 "In our day, restrictions to the teaching ministry of the church on the basis of gender are necessarily made with the tacit implication that the authority resides in the teacher rather than in Scripture."
-- Presumption and error. All authority comes from God.
P. 188 "In his instructions to Timothy for the Ephesian church, Paul requests that leaders be married men, because of specific circumstances proper to the Ephesian church at that particular stage of its history. [1 Timothy 3:1-13]"
P. 191 "Peter forbids Christian wives to submit out of fear. [1 Peter 3:6]"
-- Unfounded. [Ephesians 5:33]
P. 191 "The use of Sarah as an example of obedience [1 Peter 3:6] shows that Peter was not devoid of a sense of humor." and, "...who lived on the 'dark side' of the old covenant compromise, when she had to 'obey' her husband."
P. 196 "While the apostles received immunity from persecution because of their tacit acceptance of the Judaic status quo ([Acts] 8:1)..."
P. 198 "Apparently, the openness of the early church to women in positions of leadership was such that their identification as 'apostles' was received without difficulty."
-- Doubly unsupported.
P. 200 "There is no restriction mentioned in the numerous references to teachers and teaching in the Epistles except in 1 Timothy 2:12, where it is required that learning precede teaching."
-- Disingenuous with the reference cited.
P. 204 "While listening to the mourners, Peter became convinced that at that point of time in the life of that community, Tabitha had become indispensable and irreplaceable." and, "...for Peter to decide that the only solution to the crisis created by her death was to bring her back to life."
-- Unfounded. 'Sandman humanism'.
P. 212 "Inevitably, the question arises as to the resolution of the decision-making impasses that occur when opinions differ. Consistently placing the responsibility for the final word on the husband is the least God-honoring method for resolving such deadlocks. This puts an unrealistic burden on the husband to make always the right decision, and it promotes a cop-out mentality for the wife,..."
-- Rejects Ephesians 5:22-33. Neglects the husband's "fountainhead" source-authority, as defined by the author same.
From: http://www.tbaptist.com/aab/webofwca.htm [NLA]
Every Sunday morning about 15,000 people gather in the Willow Creek Community Church (WCCC). This is not your regular church service. There is no organ, piano, hymnbooks. They do not join in singing the grand old hymns of the Christian faith. Neither is there a biblical sermon preached. This is their so-called Seeker Service, which is produced in order to get lost people to enjoy church without guilt or shame. There are no sermons against sin, nor is there a call for repentance...
The Man Who Inspired Hybels
Bill Hybels proudly gives Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian the credit for inspiring him to build the Willow Creek ministry. This French born professor did his undergraduate work at the University of Paris. Then he enrolled at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, where he received a Master of Divinity degree.
While Gordon-Conwell is named after two great men, it is a hotbed of new-evangelicalism and modernism. Gordon and Conwell would flip over in their graves, if they knew how their names were being used.
After pastoring for five years in Albany, New York, Bilezikian moved on to teach in Wheaton College. (This is another hot bed of new-evangelicalism, and a synonym for compromise.) After accepting the presidency of a Christian college in Beirut, Lebanon, he returned to the United States in 1971. He soon joined the staff of Trinity College in Deerfield, Illinois (another school of compromise). It was there that he indoctrinated Bill Hybels into this new kind of ministry.
I have before me an application form for churches to fill out if they want to join the WCA. On the line for the Senior Pastor's title which is to be circled, it says, "Senior Pastor: (Circle) DR. REV. MR. MRS. MISS MS."