The work of women in the local church must be defined by gospel standards and not by our culture. The way we live is vastly different from New Testament times but God has permanently set the pattern for work and organization of the church outside of time and human influence. Regardless of how much more social freedom women have today, the work of women in the church is the same as it was when Priscilla traveled with her husband, when Dorcas made clothes for the needy, and when Phoebe was serving the church in Cenchrea. To learn our role, we must go the Bible and follow its examples and commands. This article will attempt to study all of the positive roles that women played in the New Testament.
Women with JesusBefore the church was established, women assisted in the life of Jesus by providing for his needs from their substance. Luke mentions Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, and many other who helped him this way (Luke 8:1-3). Domestic duties, from clean clothes to good meals, help workers to do their job whether they are carpenters or evangelists. These women were blessed that they were able to serve Him and the disciples this way.Mary Magdalene stayed with Him to the cross as did his mother, aunt, and Mary the wife of Clopas. After his death, these women may have helped Joseph and Nicodemus prepare his body. Mary Magdalene was still visiting his tomb on the first day of the week and she wouldn’t leave even when she discovered his body was missing. I’m glad the two angels and Jesus himself appeared to her there. She was a woman of great devotion (John 19-20). Continue reading » The Distaff: The Role of Women in the Local Church
The New International Version (NIV) is very easy to read and comprehend. Perhaps this is the reason it is given to so many children for their Bible study. Should we allow our children to use the NIV? Is it a reliable translation of God’s word? Since we know that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is our source of authority for everything we do in the name of Christ, these are serious questions. This article will examine the accuracy of the NIV with a view toward any Calvinistic influence by the translators.
A study of the New International Version should start with Calvinism. John Calvin was a Frenchman of the 1500’s. He was instrumental in the shaping of Protestant theology and a key figure in the Reformation movement. Most of the current members of Protestant denominations take for granted the Calvinistic doctrines of total depravity and predestination. To the Calvinist, total depravity means “on their own human beings can never achieve a true religious life based on the knowledge of God” (1); they must have grace (given by the Holy Spirit) to learn the truth about human depravity. All man’s actions are tainted with evil which he inherited from the original sin of Adam and Eve. (2) This explains the practice of infant baptism since, to the Calvinist, all babies are born as sinners. Continue reading » The Distaff: Should We Let Our Children Use the New International Version?
The temple of Diana at Ephesus was a huge palace of marble columns. It was beautiful and imposing with an air of majesty. As the Ephesian passed through the massive colonnade to the golden interior, his perverse worship of an idol with prostitution was validated by the splendor of the structure itself. He was joined by almost all of Asia. How could that many people be wrong? Even their economy was consumed with the support of their religion. Then along came Paul with his teaching about a God not worshipped with idols made by hands. How foolish he must have seemed to the Ephesian silversmiths in the shadow of their temple! In like manner, God’s message about modesty may seem foolishly old-fashioned in the shadow of our culture. One may be influenced by fashion magazines, clothes worn on television, or all of the tempting goods at the mall. Together they can make an impressive temple to the god of this world. Here is the comparison: just as Paul’s preaching was foolishness to the Ephesian living in sight of the marble temple to Diana, so may sound doctrine about modesty seem foolish to modern man. Continue reading » The Distaff: The Foolishness of Preaching Modesty
Did you see the pictures of the women in Afghanistan on the evening news recently? They were literally covered head to foot by heavy gray veils. Even their faces were covered because their country has fallen under the control of a militant Islamic group. These women have lost all of their basic human rights: they cannot have a job (only beg) and they cannot have any health care. This horror is brought about by a religion. In Saudi Arabia, a woman who had seven babies was not allowed to come home by her in-laws because a western reporter had photographed her. She is the victim of her religion. These cases made me think about how our Lord treated women while he walked with us, what he offers in this life, and for eternity. Why should women come to the Lord? Continue reading » The Distaff: Why Women Should Come to the Lord
The objective of this article is to study the marriage covenant from the woman’s perspective. We will examine how a woman should approach this covenant, a woman’s responsibility to this covenant, and what a woman should look for in a mate for this covenant.
Women and Marriage
In order to study how a woman should approach the marriage covenant, we should first examine how God views it. From Malachi 2:10-16, we can see that God views marriage as a “holy institution which he loves” (NKJV). Also God calls marriage a covenant in verse 14; “Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant.”
In the beginning, we see that marriage was part of the first covenant God made since He created them male and female on the sixth day (Gen. 1:26-31): “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, `Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’.” Continue reading » The Distaff: Women and the Marriage Covenant
There was much celebration that day in Jerusalem.
The Ark of the Covenant had been in the house of Obed-Edom for three months after a disastrous and unlawful transport that led to the death of Uzzah. The Lord had blessed the household of Obed-Edom and David had decided to bring the Ark up to the City. David and all the house of Israel brought up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord with joy. As God helped the Levites who bore the Ark, they stopped to make generous animal sacrifices. David was clothed in special linens and he danced before the Lord with all his might to shouting, music and trumpets. Continue reading » The Distaff: She Despised Him in Her Heart