Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Women Bishops?

For the past week, I have great sadness in my heart. I expected the decision to come in favour of women bishops because what else can one expect in this day and age? The wheels of so-called progress, human rights, gender equality and tolerance turn fast, all these wonderful sounding words that supposedly only the backward or out-dated oppose. What is happening in the world and in churches that allow the spirit of the world to dominate its thinking is not surprising given its modern or post-modern culture or framework that rejects divine authority. What can one do when the foundations are destroyed? A man or a woman who rejects God is making a god of himself or herself because ultimately there is no reference point or external criterion with which to judge one's view except what feels right now according to the spirit and flavour of the age. It is here the Greek of Romans 12,1 matters where Paul the apostle exhorted the Roman believers not to be conformed to the age (aeon) but instead be transformed by the renewal of the mind in order to know what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. Once God is rejected, everything goes. If there is no effort in determining where the divine will lies on any issue, then the spirit of the age takes over for the world apart from God is under the power of the evil one. He is the antichrist, for he denies the words of Christ that reveal divine will, God's heart and mind. When I put divine authority alongside biblical authority is because the century old tradition that the Bible discloses God's mind and God's will. What Scripture says is what God says. Scripture is the Word of God because the Bible is divinely inspired or God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16-17). Therefore, it is only right to go back to the Bible to search out whether it is God's will to have woman bishop. First, you won't find a single woman bishop in the New Testament. The word, bishop or overseer is taken from 1 Tim 3,1 and it is equivalent to the office of an elder in Titus 1. We can conclude that a bishop and an elder/presbyter does the same functions. It is only in the 2nd century as evidenced in Ignatius' letters that bishops were becoming monarchical as we see now in Catholic and Anglican churches. Hence, the bishop's chair is now known as the bishop's throne once the bishop's authority has developed way beyond what the NT bishops were meant to be. But women bishops are another issue altogether.
As far as Scripture teaches, a woman is to keep silent in churches (1 Cor 14), and she is not permitted to teach or exercise authority over men (1 Tim 2,12-15). If a woman is not supposed to teach men, how can she then be a bishop or elder whose requirement among others is that they are apt to teach? And if we look at Paul's teaching carefully, it is assumed that a bishop is a man or how else can he be a man/husband of one wife/woman as 1Tim 3,1-2  makes clear? This woman bishop issue is again a reflection of the church or so-called church rejecting divine authority. Rejection of biblical authority is but a symptom of the great apostasy prophesied by Paul that before the second coming there will be two clear signs, the first the great apostasy or falling away from the faith (2 The 2) and as Paul says elsewhere on the woman issue that if any man rejects apostolic teaching delivered as God's commandment, that man is thus ignorant and a reject (1 Cor 14,37-38). Even as apostle Peter said in his letter that judgment must begin in the house of the Lord, judgment is indeed coming to the church and it will fall on the heads of those who reject God's truth. The prophet Ezekiel prophesied this long ago, "see all the abominations they are committing to drive me far away from my sanctuary", saith the Lord (Ezek 8,6). Even now many abominations are done in Christ's Church that Christ is driven out, standing outside knocking at the door, per chance someone inside listens to his voice and repents from all the abominations done inside and from all the heresies taught by false prophets and false teachers and bishops so-called, both men and women bishops included.

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