Monthly Archives: June 2009

Is This Reality?

John_Kate-hawaii-vows_split

I guess it is official. We are all self absorbed in our own reality. I thought reality TV was a fad. I figured it would pass (pretty obvious why I’m not a network exec.) So there I was suckered into the Jon and Kate “announcement” last night. After foreboding it the first go round, watching the ever exciting “The crumbling of America’s transit system”.  They re-aired the episode and hooked me. It could quite possibly be one of the most eye opening things I have seen.  I guess if you want reality this is it. It was gut wrenching poignant when observing from a sociological perspective. From an outside view of the show it seemed self got in the way of what love really is, and unfortunately that reality we can watch play out everyday. Our reality TV now resembles our own reality! It makes you wonder if we will ever get it.  Will we ever understand that our communities and families need us to be involved and engaged in the people around us? To me, this was a baffling earmark of where and what our society has become. It’s as clear as ever we need unselfish love. Love we can’t understand because we have rarely seen it. As Revolution’s focus shifts back to loving the community and away from the “show” , it’s painfully obvious the magnitude of the mission.  Once upon a time “let’s start a revolution” was fun and exciting, now the need is so great that it requires resolve and faith.  We are beginning a mission that only God can start and finish.  Let’s hope He will provide the strength, endurance, and wisdom to carry us through. So with opened eyes, let’s start a revolution.

 Ryan Rolfe

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This Sunday Night at Revolution…

We begin a new series called “The Mission of God.”  We will study God’s rescue plan for his fallen creation.  After the teaching then Ryan Rolfe & The World’s Most Dangerous Praise Band will lead us in worship.

Revolution meets at 315 Chillicothe Street in Portsmouth, Ohio.  Coffee & Community at 6:30pm  and Justin Clark will bring us together at 7:00pm.

Hope to see you there. Grace and peace.

Posted by Matt, Revolution Leadership Team.

Revolution Church: Worship-Grow-Serve.

Women in Ministry–Decision Sunday

The Leadership Team has struggled with this issue in prayer and study for several weeks.  We looked at the strengths and weaknesses of both the egalitarian position and the complimentarian view.

On the one hand, we see that the overall trajectory of Scripture is that men are cast by God to lead.  However, there are notable exceptions in the Bible when women rise to the occassion and serve God as a judge, prophet and possibly even an apostle (see Romans 16). 

Moreover, we think that egalitarians better interpret 1 Timothy 2, especially verses 14-15 which fit nicely into the argument that Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to silence women influenced by the local Cult of Artemis or by the 1st century radical Roman feminist movement.

Keeping all these things in mind, we have decided that Revolution will be open to women leaders, preachers and teachers should God present them.

The Leadership Team has also decided to appoint “deacons” to assist us in leading Revolution.  We will call this group “Core Leaders” and they will serve specific tasks rather than just have a title and look for something to do. 

For example, this fall Revolution will hit the streets of Portsmouth at night to reach out to the homeless and to the drug addicted.  We will appoint Core Leaders to put together a plan for the church as a whole to execute.

We have already appointed our bro Eli Wallace as treasurer/Core Leader.

Next week I (Matt) will begin a series entitled “The Mission of God” as we build up to our fall launch.  I hope you check it out.

Until then, grace and peace.

Posted by Matt, Revolution Leadership Team.

Revolution: Worship-Grow-Serve.

This Sunday Night at Revolution…

This Sunday night at Revolution is Decision Sunday.  I (Matt) will announce the decision of the Leadership Team regarding women in ministry, outline the future of Revolution and call us to an extended time of prayer and worship.

Revolution meets every week at 315 Chillicothe Street in Portsmouth, Ohio.  Coffee & Community kicks off at 6:30.  Come and hang and listen to the new release by Brandon Bee.

We will kick things off at 7pm.  After our announcements and prayer, Ryan Rolfe & The World’s Most Dangerous Praise Band will lead us in worship.

Hope to see you there.

Come as you are.

Posted by Matt, Revolution Leadership Team.

Revolution Church: Worship-Grow-Serve.

Women in Ministry: The Complementarian Position (He Said) Versus the Egalitarian Position (She Said)

He said: God created man first and later He created woman to be man’s “helper” (Gen. 2:18-25).
 
She said: God created male and female in His image (Gen. 1:26-27) and there is an argument that any hierarchy is a result of the fall (Gen. 3:16), which has been reversed by Christ (Gal. 3:28).
 
He said: There were no female priests in the Old Testament!
 
She said: That’s because menstrual cycles precluded women from serving but now, our only priest is Jesus! (Heb. 4:14-16). Moreover, there were female judges (Judges 4-5) and prophets (2 Kings 22)!
 
He said: Jesus only chose men to be his disciples!
 
She said: Jesus could not have chosen women disciples without endangering his ministry. Yet, he encouraged many women to participate in his ministry (Luke 8:1-3; 10:38-42) and, after his resurrection, chose to reveal himself first to women! (See Matt. 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8 and John 20:11-18).
 
He said: Yet, there is not one example of a female preacher/teacher/elder in the New Testament!
 
She said: However, the Holy Spirit is poured out on all (Acts 2:17-18) and Paul is clear that God distributes gifts to all His people (1 Cor. 11-12) regardless of gender. Moreover, Priscilla (named first) and Aquilla taught Apollos (Acts 18:26).
 
He said: Prophesying and praying is not teaching! And Priscilla clearly taught Apollos as a team and in private!
 
She said: In Romans 16:1, 7 Paul commends two other women (besides Prisca in 16:3): Phoebe, who is a servant, perhaps a deacon, in the church; and Junia, who (if in fact a woman) is named as “outstanding among the apostles.”
 
He said: No one is arguing that a woman can’t be a deacon and Junia may have served beside, and under the authority of, her husband. Furthermore, “apostle” is a loose term, sometimes used authoritatively and sometimes it used to designate a church planter.  AND Paul tells women to submit to their husbands. How can he rightly do this if, as you say, he has declared hierarchy the result of sin and now abolished in Christ?
 
She said: Interestingly, the fullest treatment by Paul on husbands and wives (Eph. 5:22-23) is introduced with a transitional statement in 5:21 that reads, “and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” What follows after this verse, then, cannot rightly be seen to contradict his clear command that Christian people be subject to one another. What, then, does he mean in 5:22? He gives this as a prime example of the kind of submission that needs to go on more generally among all Christian people. Its purpose is illustrative, and is not meant to single out wives as subordinate to their husbands.
 
He said: Yeah, well, when Paul says that the man 1 Cor. 11:3 or husband Eph.5:23 is the head of the woman, doesn’t he mean that the man has the position of authority and responsibility over the woman?
 
She said: No, and this can be shown by looking at the word translated as “head” (Gr.: kephale). This term is widely used in Greek literature outside of the NT to mean “source” (as with the “head” of a river). Therefore, what this means, then, is that woman owes her existence to the fact that man was created first and, in his incomplete state, God made from him the woman. The woman, then, is “sourced” in man. As such, this word does not suggest, as many think, that man is has some rightful authority over woman.
 
He said: When Paul says in 1 Tim. 2:11-15 that women are to learn in submission and not to teach or exercise authority over men, and that this need be the case because of the order of creation and Eve’s fall into sin, doesn’t this require that women are to be in a subordinate relationship in the church, with only qualified men teaching or preaching?
 
She said: This traditional understanding errs because it treats Paul’s specific instruction to one particular church situation as though it is normative instruction to all churches at all times. There is evidence that the church at Ephesus (where Timothy pastored) was plagued with false teaching, and that this false teaching was coming primarily from women in the church who usurped authority and taught wrong doctrine about the creation and sin of Adam and Eve. If this is the case, then we must see this passage not as precluding any and all female teaching in the Church, but as a direct prohibition to these certain women in the church at Ephesus who were false teachers.
 
He said: Look at 1 Peter 3:7 While the second half of this verse stresses the equal honor accorded to women along with men (as fellow-heirs of the grace of life), the first half of the verse clearly indicates the fundamental gender difference between a husband and his wife. She, according to Peter, is a “weaker vessel,” and she needs to be treated with tenderness and understanding as such. This implies that 1) while she is fully equal in essence (3:7b), she likewise is constitutionally different from him as a woman (3:7a), and 2) the husband bears particular God-sanctioned responsibility to care for his wife, indicating his leadership and primary responsibility in their relationship.

She said: See my earlier comments  on Ephesians.

What do you have to say?

This Sunday Night at Revolution…

We will continue our discussion of women in the ministry.  I (Matt) will present the pros and cons of each side of the debate and then we will open it up for polite, grace filled discussion.

Coffee & Communiy at 6:30.  Justin Clark will bring things to order around 7pm.  After our discussion, Ryan Rolfe and the World’s Most Dangerous Praise Band will lead us all in worship.

Come as you are.  Hope to see you there. 

Posted by Matt, Revolution Leadership Team.

Revolution Church: Worship-Grow-Serve.

Women in Ministry–The Complementarian Position

Last week we covered the egalitarian position, which teaches that women are not restricted from serving in any church office.  Egalitarians argue that 1 Timothy 2 was directed toward a group of women in the church who were teaching false doctrine largely due to the influence of the Ephesian Artemis cult and/or the 1st century radical Roman feminist movement.  Therefore, Paul’s admonitions are not timeless commands for the church.

How do complementarians respond?

While nearly all scholars agree that Timothy’s job in Ephesus was to fight false teaching that threatened the church, complementarians argue that it is far from clear that the false teaching was connected to the Artemis Cult or a feminist movement.
 
Professor D.A. Carson argues that 1 Timothy 1:7-11 implies that it is an abuse of the Jewish law.  Thus, the problem may be legalism and the answer to this is the Gospel (1:12-17) taught and modeled by righteous men (3:1-7).  
 
Complementarians also argue that if the problem was a Cult or a feminist movement why doesn’t Paul identify it by name? And why would he forbid all women from teaching (2:12) if the problem was just caused by some women? Certainly not all of the women were teaching false doctrine!  And was it just women? There were men who worshipped Artemis, so why not just forbid false teaching in general? After all, to just forbid women is sexist and Paul was not sexist. He had nothing but positive things to say about Priscilla, Phoebe, etc.
 
Furthermore, what of the trajectory of all Scripture? Where are the women preachers in Scripture? Women priests? What about the 12 Disciples? Where is the evidence of women elders in the early church?

Moreover, aren’t men to be heads of the households (Eph. 5:22-23)? Shouldn’t that be modeled in the church?  Are there no real gender distinctions?
 
Complementarians like John Piper argue that among the women he has encountered, the problem is not the idea of men leading but the type of men who have tried to lead.  Piper argues the real problem is the absence of real men! Men who lead with love, respect and model the life of Jesus.

We’ll talk more about it this weekend at Revolution. 

You are welcome to join the conversation.

Posted by Matt, Revolution Leadership Team.

Revolution: Worship-Grow-Serve.