Man and Woman can be one in Christ.

     Recently I was asked to co-sign a statement on Biblical manhood and womanhood prepared and signed by several dozen evangelical scholars and leaders. The document's constitution-like set of scriptural affirmations and denials aimed to answer the modern need for clarification of the roles of each gender in a society where the distinct place of each has become blurred.
     I almost signed. In light of the clear, contemporary call of the Holy Spirit to awaken Christian men to their role as men, I so wanted to add my name to such a needed statement!
     But I ended up writing the brother who had invited my endorsement: "Sorry, I can't do it." As good as the work was I believe it was only almost right.
     The central weakness of the document, in my view, was a proposition stating that the Bible's placement of men as first, in terms of providing leadership, is based on a supposedly GOD-ordered preferential appointment of male over female at the time of creation. In other words, the paper's position was not simply that man has been assigned a leadership role in GOD's order, but that he was created with it. When I read this, my mental brakes locked and I screeched to a stop.
     My concern was more than academic. With the welcomed and widespread rise of attention coming to men's ministries throughout the body of Christ today, I rejoice in any call to Biblical manhood. I say, "Amen!" Let's retool every man for it, with all the implications true Biblical manhood holds for husbands and fathers in assuming their responsible role - and for every believing man in responding to the Master's call to devotion, discipleship and dutiful evangelism.
     And let's assert that men are to lead - to step forth first - not as substitutes for women, but as servants who lead the way so that others realize GOD's fullest potential for them. Men are ordained to lead. But the fact that the Word of GOD calls men "first" should not be founded on a worn-out ecclesiastical dogma persisting today. This "firstness" and its way of service must be established on divine revelation - on the facts of Scripture, not on the chauvinistic disposition of church tradition.
     GOD's intent. Let me put it plainly: There is no way that male authority or leadership over women can be properly deduced from the Bible as being the original intent of GOD. The Bible does show man as being assigned a distinct initiating responsibility with reference to the woman, but he is not assigned a higher authority. The combined records of the creation in Genesis 1-2 establish two facts about the first pair:
     * They were given equal authority (see Gen. 1:27,28).
     * The man was assigned a distinct responsibility. He was the one responsible to relay, share and beget this mutuality of partnership with the woman, who, solely by reason of creative sequence, arrived later (see Gen. 2:7-25).

     In short, before the fall of man the divine order for rule, for dominion, for leadership was entirely equal between the first man and woman. Theirs was an untainted joint-rule over all the earth and the affairs assigned to them by the Creator. At the creation there was no submission of the woman to the man enjoined - only the submission of both to their Maker, and to His divine order for the fulfilling of their destiny. ("Egalitarian" is the term often used by those who hold that men and women have equal roles, and this original order was exactly that. But please note: I am not arguing for the "egalitarianism" being demanded by evangelical feminists, as the following paragraphs will attest).
     A new order. In contrast to the male/female partnership in dominion before the fall of man, a new order was decreed by Father GOD after the fall - an order which both assigns the man's role to lead and, at the same time, asserts that the woman will likely chafe under the new order. Genesis 3:16 not only introduces the woman to the fact that childbirth with travail will now be hers (something her pre-fall condition might have averted), but another pre-fall condition is altered by the words "your desire shall be toward your husband."
     This phrase has been subjected to many interpretations, but too seldom the correct one. The Hebrew verb teshuquah essentially asserts a quest for dominance: "You will want to overcome or over-rule your husband-to lead him." It's an obvious reference to the fact that because she had held an equal role, GOD's new post-fall edict would be a tough pill for her to swallow. And understandably so, given that an inner sense of equality in dominion was created in both the male and female of the human species (not to mention the fact that both have been given equal creative potential and skills for leading to this day).
     But GOD was establishing a new order, intended for the redemptive process He was setting in place - in contrast to the originally arranged creative order which had been violated and rendered dysfunctional. In other words, the man's leading role was not by virtue of creation, but rather was instituted as a provisional part of the redemptive process GOD set forth.
     If one holds that the male is to lead because he is preferred by sovereign choice, the obvious question is: "What is the desired, ultimate objective in this structure of things - benevolent mastery?" Truthfully answered, that can be the only possible conclusion if the original order puts the man over the woman. And such a proposition carries with it a whole trainload of problems, not only where the concept is misapplied, but in the limits it reaches when it finally arrives at its "best case" goal: half the race is kept at a slightly inferior place.
     In contrast, if GOD assigned the male's leadership role after the fall as a means of setting forth a redemptive policy, a much higher goal is plainly in view. The target of GOD's postfall assignment of the man's responsibility to lead (not with privileged power or authority, but in the likeness of Christ, who came not to master but to serve) is clearly the recovery of the original order - of both male and female being restored to equal dominion.[if Ps66:12 into 91:1 or Gen3:24 Rom14:17.]
     In my small book, A Man's Starting Place (Living Way, 1992), I expand on this concept which I believe is not only fully scriptural, but ends in accomplishing what we would expect GOD's redemptive operations to always achieve: the fullest dignity and nobility for every human being who opens to this program of full salvation [1Thes 5:23] through His Son, Jesus Christ.
     An awakening. This month I'll be one of nearly 50,000 men who will meet for the National Men's Conference in Boulder, Colorado, July 30-31. I'll not only be there because I'm privileged to be asked to address this incredible gathering, but because I like the fundamental premise inherent in the name of the organization calling the men together: "Promise Keepers."
     I'm not suggesting that Promise Keepers has made a specific statement like mine in this article, but it is clear that their focus is in the spirit of the distinction I've drawn here. They are targeting the cultivation of a generation of men who keep their commitments, who serve their purpose under Christ and who see their leadership role as servants and not as masters.

     I am of the conviction that this "men's awakening" (for that's what many are calling it) is one of the most pivotal things happening in the Holy Spirit's strategy for the close of this century.
     Yes Sir, my brother, go for it! Rise to take your leading role. And as we do that together, expect the end result to be the fullest realization of both men and women's purposes under GOD. Not the submersion of one sex at the expense of the other, as though GOD had ordained one as secondary - but the emersion of men and women as partners unto GOD's highest destiny for all of us in Christ. [if 1Jn2:6]



     In the authentic letters of Paul, women are singled out by name and given titles the same as or comparable to those held by male leaders. Prisca, a traveling missionary, is described by Paul as a peer, a "co-worker." Phoebe, in Cenchreae, is called a diakonos, a title Paul also gives himself.

Gal3:28... there is neither
male nor female; for you are
all one in Christ Jesus.


1Jn2:6... He  who  says  he
abides in Him ought himself
also to walk just as He walked.

GOD's intent has essentially not changed from Gen1:27-31 to Gal3:26-29,
His desire for mankind to have dominion, as an heir or partner, continues
(despite the interruption of man's fall into sin), but few meet His holy
standard thru obedient faith to join Him (as Abraham) into all eternity.
GOD's Biblical standard has been perverted by the Judas church, but
some men and women "strive to enter" till a few become His elect or
chosen 2Pet1:10 into 11 or 1Jn2:20-28 into 1Jn3-5, grafted into His true vine
in Christ, overcoming satan, self, sin as Christ; not as satan's sinners.
GOD's grafting process is ignored by the Judas church, claiming His holy promises,
but still living as demons, mickey mouth Christians believing fables and myths, so
mocking His word from Gen to Rev that obedient faith is essential for soul salvation,
true eternal life thru the 1st resurrection of the holy ones; all others face death.
1Cor11:11...    neither man independant of woman, nor woman
independant of man, in the LORD.
15:22b...  in Christ all shall be made alive.
15:23...    each one in his own order: Christ, (then)
the firstfruits, afterward those (who are) Christ's
at His coming.   1Thes4:15-17 (James1:18 Rev14:4)
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Christian Community Churches Inc.

Christian Community Churches Inc.

Dear Larry,
May '99
Women in Ministry
GOD kept me basically ignorant on this subject, except to affirm the likes of
Arthur, Briscoe, Hickey + Jacobs as called to be His holy 3rd part; Joni Tada is there.
GOD also showed me that each obeyed 1Cor7; 14 1Tim2:12, in that 2Cor3 starts
at Jn14 to test our obedient faith to GOD only, so Rom2:13; 6:16; 7:22 into 8:1-4.
GOD, this month, showed this lack in general, by women seeking to over-rule or
dominate men, in the dying churches or the mainline sects; so cursed 2Tim2+3.
GOD led me to an ELCA city church several times to listen, share, watch, hoping for
Jn14 level Spirit contacts 1Cor2, but instead Jesus' life, power, truth is 100% rejected Jn6.

Jn6:63.."It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.
64 "But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.
65 And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
66 From that many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

2Cor3:6..not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.