Vol. 7, No. 1
Since You Asked
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Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.
I have a question regarding the role of women. Can a woman assist a man in teaching a Sunday school class for 7-8th graders? What does the Bible say about it? If you can be of assistance to me in any way I would appreciate it. Thanks and God bless! ~ Ryan Wilson
Essentially the question arises: "Is a Christian woman biblically permitted to teach teenage male Christians in a Bible class where she is the teacher?" The passages of Scripture that come to bear on this question are the passages of Scripture that concern the woman's role in the church and religion. Further, the question is how to apply those verses to the real life circumstance of the presence of Christian young men in our Bible classes. Christian women predominately fulfill our teacher responsibilities in our Bible classes, but when should our Christian women defer to male Christians to teach our newly baptized, teen and preteen male children? The problem is magnified when we often have a shortage of willing or able male Christians to lend themselves to our Bible classes. The fact that a male Christian and a female Christian, in the question posed, may teach a class together (team-teach) is immaterial to consideration of passages of Scripture that affect whether God permits Christian ladies to teach young male Christians as their class teacher.
The passages that concern the role of women as teachers of men are: "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence" (1 Timothy 2:12). "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3). "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law" (1 Corinthians 14:34). "And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly" (Acts 18:24-26).
First Timothy 2:12 is the closest of the passages cited above to applying to the question under consideration. A Christian woman is forbidden to subordinate a Christian man to her (in religion and in the home). This she would do were she to be a class teacher in which class the occupants were subject to her and men were present. First Corinthians 11:3 is simply one of many verses that reminds us of how God has ordered the roles he has assigned men and women in the church and in the home. First Corinthians 14:34 extends the respective, God-assigned roles of men and women in religion to the worship assembly, which does not directly have to do with a Bible class. Acts 18:24-26 shows that in a situation that is not structured with a teacher/class scenario where no one is subject to anyone else, a woman may participate in the teaching process. That is not the same as team-teaching Christian males who are, in fact, subject to the teacher duo.
However, the answer to our initial question turns on when does a boy become a man. Hardly anyone would avow that baptism turns a boy into a man. Frankly, the Bible does not answer the question posed above as to when Christian women should defer to Christian men the task of teaching Bible classes in which Christian young men are present. Prudently, usually Christian women stop teaching Bible classes in which young males are present when they enter their teen years. This practice is to ensure that 1 Timothy 2:9 is not violated, instead of opting for seeing how close one can get to violating 1 Timothy 2:9 without actually violating it. Since we do not know precisely when we ought to consider our young males Christians as men for the sake of 1 Timothy 2:9, it is better to exercise prudence.
In order to repent of the sin of gambling, a person would have to stop gambling. Let's say the person that is repenting of the sin of gambling has won thousands of dollars gambling. Does the person have to return the thousands of dollars that was won to the gambling company in order to repent? Thanks for your help with this issue.
Tongue in check, my first inkling is to provide my address and suggest you send the thousands of dollars to me for disposal. Joking aside, we will attempt to provide a serious answer.
A car thief upon repenting must quit stealing cars, and it would be reasonable for him to make restitution, especially if he still has some of the stolen cars in his possession. A man who has stolen another man's wife (i.e., adultery, Matthew 19:9) upon repenting certainly cannot keep her for his own. Yet, the man who through manslaughter or murder takes another person's life, upon repenting, must not murder, but he cannot provide complete restitution (i.e., bring someone back to life). The fact that a penitent murderer cannot restore life to the dead would not necessarily make true repentance impossible.
Someone who has won thousands of dollars from an organization (e.g., racetrack, casino, state lottery, etc.) and subsequently repented of gambling may not have the opportunity to return the money acquired through gambling. In addition, it may not serve much purpose to refund some gambling venture were they willing to receive the money back. However, should one's conscience dictate or to restore one's influence among godly people, the penitent gambler who won great sums of money from an organization may opt to dispose of the funds in a charitable way.
Yet, were someone to win money from individuals (often who cannot afford to gamble their earnings away, but do anyway), it may serve two purposes in returning those funds. First, the individuals from whom a person won much money may really need that money (should they be prevailed upon to use it more appropriately in the future). Second, repentance that returned the money would demonstrate before those who are aware of one's gambling that he has sincerely repented; and the other individuals whose money is restored may be influenced to reconsider their ill-advised gambling habit.
In areas where the Bible does not specifically provide the details, one must attempt to ascertain appropriate biblical principles and apply them to his conduct as his conscience allows. We need to be careful not to make new laws where God has not made any, as Christianity is difficult enough as it is without any additional input by mortals (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19). The Truth by which we can be freed from sin can be known (John 8:32); anything else that falls short of definitive knowledge is not the Truth by which we must order our lives and by which we will be judged at time's end (Revelation 20:12-15).
Praise the Lord, I am a believer and wish to take water baptism, however the church I go to follows a pentecostal belief. Its been their belief that a believer should not be wearing ornaments, if however they wear it after their baptism then they will not be given communion. This rule has made me step back on my decision I am confused. My argument is why does man have to fall under the human laws when God's one and only one condition to receive baptism is to have faith. There happens to be a few who forgo communion after baptism since they wear ornaments. To favor the new generation kids and the above mentioned category of people the commitee has come up with modified versions of their law, saying that sunday's its a must to follow traditions and the rest of the week is not the church's responsiblity. I need I answers I have been worried about all this hypochrisy. I will be grateful if you could convince me. thanks regi
You are right! No one should be subject to human laws when it comes to God's religion, Christianity. The group with which you are familiar is biblically astray in a number of ways, some of which you announce in your question.
First, it is a misunderstanding of Scripture to forbid the wearing of jewelry. The passage of Scripture to which Pentecostals appeal and misapply to dismiss jewelry would also dismiss wearing clothes. "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (1 Peter 3:3-4). The contrast is between the extravagant, lavish (notice me) jewelry (and clothes) and the inward spirit of mankind. The passage does not address the ordinary adornment with jewelry and clothes.
Second, New Testament baptism is the point at which one's sins are forgiven (1 Peter 3:21; Acts 22:16), preceded by Bible faith derived from the Word of God (Romans 10:17; Mark 16:16), preceded by repentance (Acts 2:38) and preceded by acknowledging Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:37). This baptism is immersion (a burial) in water (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12) and places one into Jesus Christ where are all spiritual blessings, including salvation (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3; Ephesians 1:3). This baptism places one into the church for which Jesus Christ died and over which he is the head (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13); however, the Pentecostal Church is not the church of the Bible to which one is added by New Testament baptism, because the Pentecostal Church (1) does not worship the same way the first century church worshipped, (2) is not organized and governed the same way the New Testament church was organized and governed, (3) has doctrines and a creed unknown in the first century, (4) was founded in the wrong place by the wrong person at the wrong time, whereas the Lord's church was established in Jerusalem by Jesus Christ in A.D. 33, and (4) the Pentecostal Church purports to perform Bible miracles today that the Bible says were to cease when the revelation from God provided through the miracles was complete, whereby we have the Bible (Mark 16:20; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Ephesians 4:11-14; Hebrews 2:3-4).
I respectfully suggest that you contact a congregation of the churches of Christ. The churches of Christ endeavor to be identical to the New Testament church for which Jesus Christ died and for which he will return to take to heaven. They are not a part of denominationalism; they have no human creed, but use the New Testament alone as their creed. There is no human headquarters with a human form of government. Every congregation is independent and associated with other congregations through common regard for the authority of the Word of God. The unadulterated Word of God when planted in honest hearts produces Christians, who then comprise local congregations; the seed of the kingdom or church (Matthew 16:18-19) is the Word of God (Luke 8:11).