Dialogue between Adam and John Houk
Edited by John R. Houk
© May 11, 2011
This is part two of an interchange between my son Adam Houk and myself that began as thoughts on the acceptability of Mitt Romney being the GOP nominee for the 2012 election against President Barack Hussein Obama.
Along the way the discussion merged with thoughts on women having positions of authority and being a Christian as well as the responsibility in using the American right to vote.
RE: Mitt Romney
Yes I agree with you on all these points and I do pray for our leaders everyday and it is our duty to respect follow diligently the authorities put over us (as long as they aren’t asking us to violate biblical doctrine). You also make my point for me: when God allows an evil ruler over us it is usually in judgment of us, while at the same time he will put it in the heart of evil rulers to do his will in blessing us when the proper times come as in Cyrus. Also note that David repented to Nathan over what happened with Bathsheba and if I remember correctly, removed all his concubines upon return from Absalom’s betrayal. And [then] David had a heart after God to start with and that is why he chose him as king to start with. I do believe God ordains those who are put in authority over us. As a democracy we are responsible as a people for the action of those we put over us. I will never vote for someone that so vastly opposes what is scriptural even if that means I have to write someone in. We have been given the power to vote for who leads us and I believe God pays attention to who his people vote for. If this fails to produce a good candidate so be it, I will pray for whoever is in authority with reverence for the position they hold.
I am hesitant to endorse any woman for presidency as God has called men to be leaders and woman primary responsibility to the home (This is stated clearly in Titus Ch.2). Women in leadership should be a rare thing. For this reason I have found one woman I would be willing to vote for in Michelle Bachman. When I looked up her political background I found out once in history that she quit her job to be a stay at home mom at some point, which clearly shows that she has this priority. I have yet to look up everyone’s political background yet including Sarah Palin’s, but if I remember correctly doesn’t she have small children at home still? If so I’m not willing to consider her for political office. I personally know how much small children need attention.
A latter day’s prophecy
As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. (Isaiah 3:12)
After Absalom rebelled and attempted to usurp the crown of Israel by force, David was forced to flee. One of Absalom’s advisers told him to seal the deal on being king he should go into David’s concubines and had carnal knowledge with them to let all the people know who the new boss is. Young Absalom did so in a public tent and I get the impression the ladies did not put up much of a fight.
Of course we know from the Bible that Absalom was not God’s Anointed. As God turned around the circumstances to favor David, Absalom had to flee and found himself tangled in branches by his own long hair. Absalom’s entanglement led to David’s general Joab to run him through with the sword.
I have heard that David’s problems with his sons was due to that sinful night of lust that led to adultery with Bathsheba and for David ordering the death of Uriah by placing in the foremost of the battle lines.
So yes there was forgiveness for David, the man after God’s own heart. Nonetheless, whatsoever one sows one also reaps. David sowed dishonor by adultery and murder. David reaped a bad family life beginning with the death of Bathsheba’s first born son. Bathsheba’s second born son was Solomon who ultimately ended up as King of Israel even though he was younger than his other brothers who were involved in a lot of disappointing turmoil for David.
As to the ladies that Absalom slept with, David forgave them by giving them the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they were unwilling partners of Absalom’s dishonoring of his father. On the other hand David would not have anything to do with those ladies conjugally for the rest of his life.
Now going to women and Offices of authority
Since you referenced Titus Chapter two, my examination leads me to believe you were referring to verses 1 – 5.
1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (NKJV)
This is indeed the primary role of a woman as a wife. Here is something to think about though. In giving reverence and love to husbands there is no proscription for leadership roles.
I oft times run into the Christian that will tell me that there is proscription from authority in the New Testament. The point of reference is I Timothy 2: 11-12. However let us examine the context of this Scripture from verses 8 – 15 and then let us reference other Scriptures on women and authority to perhaps get a clearer understanding of what women can and cannot do.
8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. (NKJV)
Note that verses 8 – 10 tells men to be prayerful and in an attitude of worship (lifting holy hands), not being in ungodly and or ungodly doubting (the opposite of doubt is faith). Then note the phraseology that precede “women.” The phrase is “in like manner.” Women are to be in like manner to what? The preceding verses would indicate the meaning to be in like manner to men. Then the Scripture tells us that women should not dress like sex symbols which would be the context to the culture of the day. Women were objects of passion in the cultural milieu of that period of time subservient to men who were taught to be oppressive toward the female gender to control them. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul previously informs that Christian men are to be prayerful with an attitude of worship, godly and full of faith. The meaning being men were to act differently toward their women by not being oppressive, condescending and not being just downright mean. Women are coequal partners in which the male is the managing partner.
A good example of this is indeed Adam and Eve. Eve was created differently than Adam. Adam was created from the fertile earth (as clay) and brought to life by the breath of God. (Just as a side note it is interesting that breath and spirit are derived from the same word in the Greek. Thus the breath of God would be life-animation by the Holy Spirit.) Adam was originally created with a union of male and female genders unlike the rest of the living creatures of the earth. Then God concluded that Adam would operate better under the original design of different gender mates. Thus God created women from Adam’s side traditionally viewed as Adam’s rib which may or not be totally accurate.
The point is Adam and Eve were created as coequal mates clothed in the Glory of God with Adam as the managing partner. Female subjugation toward the rule of man as he saw fit was after the Fall, not preceding the Fall. Has anyone ever wondered why the woman is saved in child birth? That is a prophetic moment of the coming of Christ that would be born of the seed of man (via a woman of course) and of the seed of God to reclaim the perfect human being lost by Adam in the Fall.
In full disclosure this is not the majority thought that II Timothy 2:15 is connected to the first prophecy of the birth of a Savior (Genesis 3:15) to knock the control of the old serpent Satan from the lease willing transferred from Adam. Nonetheless, it is my favorite one that makes sense.
So with my reading of Scripture the plan of Salvation means the beginning of the coequal nature originally established between Adam and Eve with Adam as the managing partner as in the buck stops with the male. Eve in the original plan before the Fall was in a position of authority but Adam had the veto power and the power of the direction to follow if the male determines the womens authority is not in line with the Will of God.
The two classic examples in the Old Testament are Sarah and Deborah.
Now no one had better tell me that Sarah did not have a position of authority within the tribal group of sojourners that Abraham had formed at the direction of God. An example of a bad choice by Sarah was telling Abraham to make whoopee with her handmaid Hagar to produce the heir promised by God. Sarah in using the wisdom of man (for that was not an uncommon practice in those days) rather than paying attention to the Word of God that specifically spoke the prophecy that the promised son would be from both Abraham and Sarah. And yet the Fallen nature of man reared its horse and Abraham said that works for me.
Another example of Sarah’s authority was within the Wisdom of God and not human wisdom. After Isaac the son of promise was born she told Abraham to ship out the slave Hagar and her son Ishmael out of Abraham’s camp. Abraham balked at first but God told Abraham to listen to Sarah.
Another example of women in authority in the Old Testament is Deborah:
4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. 6 Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Has not the LORD God of Israel commanded, ‘Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun; 7 and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand’?”
8 And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!”
9 So she said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.
14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the LORD has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the LORD gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 15 And the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth Hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.
17 However, Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; do not fear.” And when he had turned aside with her into the tent, she covered him with a blanket.
21 Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground; for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.
24 And the hand of the children of Israel grew stronger and stronger against Jabin king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan. (Judges 4: 4-9, 14-18, 21, 24 NKJV)
Of course there are women of authority in the Old Testament and one that comes to mind is Miriam sister of Moses and Aaron.
The Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote the verses in I Timothy and Titus who tends to be taken when looked at singularly produces the image that women are second class citizens compared to males. Unfortunately for those male Christians that demand subservience from women no matter the goodness or badness of male instructions need to consider the Pauline words with the fact that Paul worked with women that had authority over men but were good wives to their husbands or were single.
Prisca (aka Priscilla) and Aquila:
2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them.
18 So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.
25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18: 2, 18, 25-26 NKJV)
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. (Romans 16: 3-4 NKJV)
1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also. (Romans 16: 1-2 NKJV)
Phoebe is described as a servant and a helper. The Greek for servant is diakonos and for helper is prostatis.
Strong’s Concordance for diakonos:
- b) a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use
As a diakonos-servant-deacon Phoebe obviously had some authority over males in sense of distribution.
Elizabeth A. McCabe at subtext “Phoebe: A Prostatis”:
In addition to being identified as a diakonos, Phoebe is also identified as a prostatis in Romans 16:2. Because prostatis is a hapax legomenon, translations have often been at odds to define this term, most settling with “helper.” But is “helper” true to the nature of this position in antiquity? In determining the proper definition and connotation of prostatis, I will examine its verb form proistēmi in the New Testament to gain a better understanding of the semantic range of prostatis.
Proistēmi in the New Testament
The verb form of prostatis, proistēmi, occurs eight times in three different contexts in the New Testament. These contexts include church leadership (Rom 12:8; 1 Thess 5:12; 1 Tim 5:17), household management (1 Tim 3:4, 5, 12), and the practice of good deeds (Titus 3:8, 14). For the purposes of this article, the first context, proistēmi in church leadership, will take priority in my analysis.
In 1 Tim 5:17, the term hoi proestōtes is used in describing the presbuteroi. This verse can be translated, “Let the elders who rule [hoi proestōtes] well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the Word and in teaching.” Hoi proestōtes is rendered by different nuances in translations, including “rule” (American Standard Version: ASV, English Standard Version: ESV, King James Version: KJV, New American Standard: NAS, New King James Version: NKJV, New Revised Standard Version: NRSV); “direct the affairs of the church” (New International Version: NIV, Today’s New International Version: TNIV); “do their work” (New Living Translation: NLT); and “well-leading” (Young’s Literal Translation: YLT). In whatever fashion, proistēmi is utilized, however, a leadership capacity is being conveyed. Some type of leadership position is in order, for proistēmi can be defined as “to exercise a position of leadership, rule, direct, be at the head (of),” which are all perfectly appropriate here.
Romans 12:8 writes of ho proistamenos, which is used in describing the different gifts that are bestowed upon members of the body of Christ. It reads, “the one who exhorts, in exhortation, the one who gives, in liberality, the one who leads [ho proistamenos], in diligence, the one who shows mercy, in cheerfulness.” Every English translation surveyed conveys the idea of leadership for ho proistamenos: “he that ruleth” (ASV, KJV), “he who leads” (NAS, NKJV), “the one who leads” (ESV), “the leader” (NRSV), “leadership” (NIV), “to lead” (TNIV), “leadership ability” (NLT), and “he who is leading” (YLT).
In surveying the semantic domain of prostatis in regard to church leadership positions, one can see that the semantic range of meanings for proistēmi differs from the rendering of prostatis in English translations in Rom 16:2. According to the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, in surveying the eight occurrences of proistēmi (as noted above), the majority of these instances have the sense of “to lead.” However, English translations do not take this factor into account in their rendering of Rom 16:2 or the fact that prostatis in its proper sense means “a woman set over others.” Instead of seeing Phoebe in a leadership capacity, English translations account for Phoebe as a “helper” (ASV, NAS, NKJV), a “succourer” (KJV), a “great help” (NIV), or as “helpful” (NLT). The YLT, however, adhering to the most literal rendering of prostatis, renders this term as “leader.” Douglas Moo argues that if the cognate verb proistēmi is considered in determining the meaning for prostatis, Paul might be characterizing “Phoebe as a ‘leader’ of the church.”
To what degree the difference of gender influenced translation committees is essentially evident in their renderings, choosing a word like “helper” when cognate terms of the same root are translated in verb forms with “rule,” “lead,” “leadership,” or “leaders” in other passages. If Paul wanted to describe Phoebe strictly as a helper, he likely would have chosen another Greek word that addresses this nuance, such as boēthos (“helper”) or hupēretēn (“one who functions as a helper”). (Click on the Elizabeth A. McCabe link above to read the entire article)
There are other New Testament women in positions of authority (including over men) I will make the scant attempt to list some without comment but the list will probably not be exhaustive.
- Euodia and Syntyche: Philippians 4: 2-3 NKJV
- Chloe: I Corinthians 1:11 NKJV
- Damaris: Acts 17: 33 NKJV
- Lois and Eunice: Acts 16: 1; II Timothy 1: 3-7 NKJV
These gals I found haphazardly. They by no means demonstrate that a woman is equal with the male in any Ministry Office; however it does demonstrate were more than homemakers raising babies. The early Church was a perilous time to live in. Christian women oft times at the very least shared authority positions with husbands, fathers or brothers because of the life-threatening nature of existence that existed from pagan Gentiles and Jews that looked upon Christians as heretics eschewing the value of the Law in favor of a Rabbi claiming to be the Son of God fulfilling the penalty of the Law.
Adam I agree with you in the appeal of Rep. Bachmann (R-MN 6) as a potential candidate for President. I would vote for her. And yet, Bachmann’s recognition is not quite ubiquitous in America. Those who know of her outside of the Conservative more than likely know her from critical analyses from the Left leaning Mainstream Media (MSM). At this point I believe Bachmann would be better suited as a Vice Presidential nominee that has proven campaign capability that matches the influence of Sarah Palin. Bachmann would be a good old fashion rabble rousing (in a positive sense) get out the vote work horse for who ever won the GOP nomination.
The Palin children approximate ages in 2011:
- Track born 1989 – 22
- Bristol born 1990 – 21
- Willow born 1995 – 16
- Piper born 2001 – 10
- Trig born 2008 – 3
When Sarah Palin is at home in Alaska it appears she works from home while managing the children. When Sarah Palin travels it appears the underage children travel with her.
Sarah Palin says hers is “just like most American families. Both parents working, juggling kids.” Judge for yourself:
On who does the household chores: “We do the cooking. We do the cleaning. We all do the laundry.”
On teaching her children “Alaskan skills”: ”I think it’s very important for the kids to learn the hunting and the fishing and the four-wheeling and the gold-panning — all those things that I grew up doing. That’s the spirit of Alaska.”
On computer use: “I do not like my kids reading the blogs that are so often very, very negative and untruthful. Todd and I tell the kids: ‘Don’t Google this stuff. You know it’s going to ruin your day.’ ”
On not giving the kids any allowance: They are “expected to work if they don’t have a sport.”
On raising girls: “I don’t want them to believe they can’t do something because they’re a girl.” All three girls played football.
Sarah Palin has proved that raising children and being involved with politics is something she works very effectively. Palin is family oriented and even though she has the dough, nannies and preparatory boarding schools are not part of the family plan as it is for many wealthier families. Also Sarah Palin has already weathered the attack of the Left and MSM about her personal life. Every single item of alleged law-breaking, impropriety and conspiracy theory have already been proven as a bunch of muck.
Sarah Palin is currently my favorite person for the GOP nomination; however there are many other potential candidates that I would be willing to support. One of those is Michele Bachmann. I also like many other hopefuls of which Mitt Romney definitely is not one of.
This is part two. Part one was posted yesterday. In writing this interchange between Adam and I spell check and personal editing were involved to make up for both of our quick jotting of thoughts via email. All links even in Adam’s are provided by the Editor.