Silencing Women – the guaranteed way for men to stay in control

Silencing Women in the Name of Religion

Last month patriarchal pastor Tim Bayly called out two women for supposedly overstepping their role, for doing “men’s work” instead of staying in their place.

When women such as Dr. Valerie Hobbs and Ms. Rachel Miller publicly admonish and rebuke [John Piper and Douglas Wilson], particularly men who are ordained officers of Christ’s Church, it would be hard to imagine any clearer rebellion against their sex.*

He then points to 1 Timothy 2:12-15 for the proposition that no woman should teach any man ever. Only men can do that.

If Pastors John Piper and Doug Wilson have betrayed the Word of God in their teaching on sexuality, they both are surrounded by pastors and elders whose duty it is to watch over their teaching and correct them when they are in error. This is not women’s work.

So says the Word of God.

Unbelievably, Mr. Bayly is saying that if a woman speaks God’s truth to correct a man who misrepresents God’s truth then it is the woman who is in violation of God’s truth.

Misrepresenting God’s Women

Mr. Bayly misses the point of Paul’s letter to Timothy. Ephesus, the city Timothy led a church in, was full of wrong teaching based on pagan beliefs, including a creation story that completely contradicted Genesis and a temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis. To take a personal letter advising a pastor facing those specific issues and then use it like a strait-jacket to control all other passages that show women teaching and leading as servants of God is not only irresponsible; it is inexcusable. (See The Junia Project’s  Defusing the 1 Timothy 2:12 Time Bomb for a fuller discussion of the meaning of that verse.)


Mr. Bayly then discusses Old Testament leader Deborah (Judges 4) as he preemptively answers those who might point to women in the Bible who led and taught men. During Deborah’s rule the enemy under General Sisera invaded the land. God told her to call upon Barak to lead the Israelite armies against the enemy. Barak agreed but asked Deborah to accompany the army. Mr. Bayly picks up at this point and pities Deborah for being “forced” into leading Israel:

He is sovereign over His Order and may set it aside as He chooses, but when He sets it aside, He never does so in order to dispense with that order or undercut it. Rather, through setting it aside He establishes it all the more. We see this with Deborah who, when forced to play the man, rebukes the man:

She said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. (Judges 4:9.)

Mr. Bayly reads more into this passage than is there. Deborah did not tell Barak that his request caused God to choose to give victory to a woman instead of to him. In context, all Deborah said was that her presence would not lead to him capturing Sisera because God had chosen to hand Sisera over to a woman (later revealed to be Jael). Mr. Bayly wants it to be quid pro quo, but it’s simply narrative.

The other problem with his reading of this passage is that it fails to consider this event in context. Nowhere does the Bible say that Deborah was chosen by God to judge Israel because no man was willing. And when did God ever find that a person’s unwillingness is insurmountable? Moses was unwilling, but God got him to return to Egypt to confront Pharaoh and lead the Israelites from bondage. Peter was unwilling, but God got him to enter a gentile household and preach the good news of the gospel of Christ. Simply put, God knows how to get people to work.

The truth is, Deborah was chosen by God because God wanted her to lead.

Women Using the Voice God Gave Them

Mr. Bayly  reads the Bible to mandate allowing a man’s false teaching to continue rather than have it corrected by a woman. And while he does tangentially say that one way he knows these two women in particular are wrong is because Mr. Piper and Mr. Wilson are not in error (a point on which Mr. Bayly himself is in error), he says the real way to tell that the women are wrong is by recognizing that they are women.

God has not called Dr. Hobbs and Ms. Miller to rebuke Pastors John Piper and Doug Wilson. … Dr. Hobbs and Ms. Miller are women and women are forbidden by God’s Order of Creation and Word from teaching or exercising authority over men.

It is of less importance to Mr. Bayly that a pastor is a false teacher. It is of greater importance that women should not speak God’s truth in the face of that false teaching. He finds this supposed rebellion-against-creation-order to be a bigger offense than a false teaching from the pulpit. What an odd position for a person claiming to follow Jesus to take.

Jesus encountered those who thought people should remain silent rather than speak God’s truth.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:37-40.)

The passage doesn’t say that only men disciples were calling out. Nor does the passage say that the Pharisees wanted only the women to pipe down. But if Mr. Bayly prevails in his teaching of Scripture, this is what it means for other passages in the Bible:

    • Mary’s Magnificat is a song by a woman so skip over those verses. (Luke 1:46-55.)
    • Samaritan men shouldn’t have listened to the woman at the well tell them of Jesus because she’s a woman. (John 4:28-30, 39.)
    • Anna should’ve kept quiet when she saw baby Jesus in the temple because women aren’t supposed to speak in church. (Luke 2:36-38.)
    • Tamar never should have told Judah to provide her a child. Who is she to tell her father-in-law how to run the family? (Genesis 38.)
    • Abigail never should have helped David. She should have supported her husband Nabal even if he was wrong, and sent David and his army away empty-handed. (1 Samuel 25.)
    • Pilate was right not to heed his wife’s warnings about harming Jesus. After all, she’s not the husband in that family. (Matthew 27:15-26.)
    • If King Josiah knew his officials were going to ask Huldah – a woman – for advice, he’d have never let them do it. (2 Kings 22:11-20.)
    • The church would be much better off if the apostles had refused to listen to Mary talk about the empty tomb. (John 20:1-10.)
    • No wonder Philip’s daughters weren’t married. He let them prophesy? What kind of Godly father does that? (Acts 21:8-9.)
    • When Peter told the crowd in Acts 2 that women would prophesy, he must have meant only to other women. (Acts 2:14-21.)
    • Mary told the wedding servants to listen to Jesus. How could she exercise authority over them? (John 2:1-11.)

And in that passage above where Jesus enters Jerusalem:

    • When Jesus said even the rocks would shout out praise to him, he meant only the boy rocks, right? (Luke 19:39-40.) At least in public?

The Pharisees knew that one way to control the people was to keep them silent so no one would challenge their teaching. Jesus was having none of it.

Some church leaders today still think they can control the people in the pews by silencing them, and what better way to shut up half the church than by telling women the Bible forbids them speaking God’s truth to men who are in error? Once you’ve silenced all the women it’s easier to pick off the men who disagree with the leader as well because at least half the people who would possibly speak up are silenced. Just as Jesus with the Pharisees, the church should have none of this.

Women should speak up.

Men should speak up.

And if both remain silent, let the rocks cry out.


[Here’s the original article by Hobbs and Miller: The Subordinate Place of Supreme Honor: A Response to Douglas Wilson.]

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160 Responses to Silencing Women – the guaranteed way for men to stay in control

  1. Tim, thanks for writing this. I have definitely encountered these attitudes in churches and personal situations.

    In one small group situation, a man told me he was going to drive his bus over my ideas and back up three times. Those were his words. He continued the offensive behavior and told me he was trying to “build bridges.” I said, No, you are throwing grenades.” Not a man in the room would come to my defense. I sent him a civil letter addressing this bullying behavior (especially since it had already happened many times toward me and others) and someone blasted me for daring to correct a man. So apparently I was not even allowed to defend myself when the men who were present were too intimidated to do so.

    The man had the grace to apologize, and though I no longer see him often, I’ve been told by others that he doesn’t act that way anymore. I don’t bear any hard feelings toward him.

    I just wonder about people who won’t allow a woman to speak up to injustice.

    After that, I lost my fear and began blogging about church abuse. Plenty have listened.

    Just one story!

  2. Bev Murrill says:

    Such a powerful and pointed post here, Tim. Truthfully, the kind of thinking that Bayly exhibits is on the same trajectory as those who jail or even execute a woman who has been raped, for the crime of immorality. It’s all the same way of thinking, the only difference is the severity of the hypocrisy and abuse.

    I get tired of these guys. They’re boring, for a start, but also incredibly damaging to the effectiveness of the body of Christ. Shame on them for their close mindedness.

    • Tim says:

      I too thought that this line of thought would lead to problems beyond men getting away with bad teaching. What happens if a husband is committing a crime, possible harming members of the family? Can the wife then make the decision to correct her husband, or must she instead hope some other man (elders or pastor) will appear to step in and stop the guy for her?

      • Yes, that’s a large part of why I stayed with my abusive ex-husband for so long. I believed that, because he was a man, he had some invisible ‘authority’ over me. This teaching is not only unsound, it is dangerous!

      • Tim said,

        “Can the wife then make the decision to correct her husband, or must she instead hope some other man (elders or pastor) will appear to step in and stop the guy for her?”

        This reminds me of comments on this page:
        John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy (on “Heretic Husband” blog)

        Here is an excerpt from that blog page:
        …Piper’s original line of reasoning is that the wife should involve the church authorities if this [domestic violence] happens. Recently (four years after the statement in the previous link) he clarifies his position to say that women can involve the police if the church authorities can’t resolve the situation.

        At no point is the complementarian position violated [in Piper’s complementarian teaching]. The abused woman is always under an authority – her husband, her pastor, or the civil authorities. In Piper’s world, two out of the three are guaranteed to be male, and there’s a good chance the third will probably be a man as well.
        Well, what if the police can’t resolve it either? Can the woman get a divorce?
        I mean, I know it’s next to impossible that the situation wouldn’t be resolved by this point – we’ve involved not one, not two, but three men and their massive male brains! But, hey, humor me. …Nope. I couldn’t find anything in which Piper said that an abused spouse could get a divorce.

      • Pastor Bob says:

        I was brought in to deal with a situation that was very odd.
        Husband was accused of abusing a younger female relative. (Pretty bad!) He was aslo accused of infidelity. Well known church name chose this approach:
        – All offended people are to forgive
        – Wife is to move back with husband
        – Criminal proceedings are to end
        – Reconciliation and counseling are to commence
        As a child advocate I was brought in by the wife, and mother of the victim. After hearing what I did, I told them that the “agreement” was unenforceable, and illegal.
        Results, I was forced to report the allegations as a first-reporter under state law.
        The church was investigated for non-reporting.
        The young victim’s family did not seek charges, too traumatizing.
        The divorce was finalized.
        All of them left the church.
        The offending man abused (assaulted another) and is in jail.

        My conclusion, Patriarchy gone SERIOUSLY wrong, long before this article was posted.
        GOD HELP US!

        • Tim says:

          That’s a horrific story, PB. I’m glad the family reached out for more counsel rather than blindly follow what the leadership told them to do.

      • Lisa says:

        No, she cannot correct her husband, in their world. All she can do is submit, and pray for him, knowing that God will reward her for her obedience to His Word, and the husband will be punished by God (in the *next* world, of course, and only if he has truly erred–there are “Christians” who tell men that it is not only their right, but their duty, to physically beat their wives if they are Disobedient, Dangerous, Disrespectful, or Dishonest).

        I have also read of more than one woman who approached her “leaders” for help in an abusive situation, only to be told that it is Christlike to suffer, and that therefore she should take her undeserved beatings without making a sound, like Christ did. “If he kills you, it will be to the glory of God.” one male pastor said. Or, they call the husband and tell him before she gets home that she has been “gossiping/lying” about him, so she arrives home to find him waiting and enraged.

        I am sure that, as a judge, you have seen more than one woman come before you for trial or sentencing, that would not have been there had she not been tolerating criminal behavior by her husband or boyfriend.

  3. Pastor Bob says:

    Having had the opportunity to address this issue, tell the “women Silent” group that God’s word(s) need to go out, be heard. I ask if a man tho is called will do NOTHING as in ignore God’s call, a woman can, will and DOES the calling God has placed. many in this group almost stop short when it comes to criticizing the work of famous women in ministry (Joyce Meyers comes to mind).

    On the other side, i had the dubious distinction of being called “sexist” because a woman the church publicly addresses an issue and she was WRONG. Biblical and historical truth did ltittle to cahnge this incorrect response.

    Polarization is alive and well! (ARRGH!)

    • Tim says:

      It truly is polarizing, PB. And whether it’s a man or a woman who is teaching wrongly it needs to be addressed even if we do get called sexist along the way.

  4. Laura Droege says:

    Love the last three sentences, Tim. Great post.

  5. DragonLady says:

    Tim, you just tore down most of what I was taught growing up. In essence, you just vindicating me as seeing something that wasn’t quite right about male headship as I was taught it. It wasn’t just my rebellious nature. Thank you! 🙂

  6. Leah says:

    Happy Monday Tim! Great post to start off the week. I love the list of godly women who did great things for the Lord.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Leah. It’s impossible to see Deborah as merely an exception to the supposed rule when God uses women over and over and over again. Eventually such instances can no longer be seen as exceptions but must be recognized as part of the regular course of business in the kingdom of God.

  7. Valerie says:

    Thanks for speaking up, Tim! It seems that often, when someone tells women to be silent, what they are really saying is, women can only speak if they agree with me and my friends.

  8. Sarah says:

    My fiance and I laughed out loud about the bit about the boy rocks.

  9. Michael says:

    Tim, I found the Order of Creation (caps like it’s a proper noun) nonsense sad, if it weren’t to amusing. Just curious, how does Gal. 3:28 figure into all this with these guys? I find it outright infuriating that these troglodytes have nothing better to do than making sure these women are in
    ‘their proper place’. The truth be considered, yes, Eve was deceived….but Adam willing defied God by doing what God told him DIRECTLY NOT to do.

    • Tim says:

      And when Adam saw Eve talking to the serpent, he didn’t do a thing to stop her. Talk about a mess. How they get Men being superior to women in God’s kingdom out of all this is beyond me.

    • Michael asked,

      Just curious, how does Gal. 3:28 figure into all this with these guys?

      Over the years, I’ve seen complementarians / patriarchalists claim that Gal. 3:28 applies only to salvation, not to gender roles. They argue it means that men and women are “equally saved,” and that’s all it’s saying.

      I’ve seen other pages by egalitarians or other Christians which disputes that view. The site Junia Project has a page about Gal. 3.28 you can check out (one of their G 3.28 pages is entitled “The Logic of Galatians 3:28” ), and there is this one on newlife. id. au: “Galatians 3:28: Our Identity in Christ & in the Church”

      There’s this page, which disputes the complementarian interpretation of Gal 3:28 that the verse is only discussing equality in terms of salvation:
      What Galatians 3:28 Cannot Mean (on Wordgazer’s Words blog)

      • Michael says:

        Interesting they should view it as such, however, as you probably realize too, this is nonsense and requires creativity to make the passage reflect their Caveman Theology. 🙂

      • Michael says:

        Hmmm, it appears since Constantine, we’ve had issues we’ve just refused to deal with.

      • ancadudar says:

        There is not a single Law in all of the Old Testament that said a Jewish woman or a woman that converted to Judaism could not be saved, gender was never the issue for salvation! Think Rahab, a Gentile woman who converted and was saved as a daughter of Isreal. The same with Jewish slaves of both male and female, they were saved and part of Abraham’s inheritance if they Kept the Torah and Law. Galatians 3:28 cannot be speaking of mere “salvation” because you were either Jew or Gentile regardless of gender or social status.

        Slave or Free, Male or Female is not speaking of salvation. Colossians mentions different races of people as a spin-off of Galatians 3:28. Why would Colossians do that if it was speaking of mere salvation since the barrier between Jew and Gentile was already broken down? Does that mean that any none mentioned races of people are now excluded? No, the point was social status in the body of Christ with full equality and participation!

        Colossians 3:11
        Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

        “Circumcised or uncircumcised” is a social practice not just a Jew or Gentile issue for salvation as that was already mentioned in the same verse. Barbarian and Scythian are two different types of gentiles that were enemies. These are social statuses that are being broken down, not just salvation. Women are left out this time, and it is suspected that Colossians is not written by Paul but comes decades later after the Church began to exclude women from leadership. If it was just mere salvation in view, why was “male and female” left out in Colossians, what harm would have there been in repeating male and female if salvation was the only issue?

  10. Michael says:

    Reblogged this on The Stench of Discovery….. and commented:
    Another Excellent Post…

  11. Jeannie says:

    You pinpoint why Bayly’s (and others’) arguments are so destructive, Tim — the fact that women are rebuking men who teach false things becomes a worse crime than the actual false teaching that the men are doing. It’s OK for a man to rebuke women or other men, but it’s not OK for a woman to rebuke men. And then they hide behind the “I’m just telling you what God’s Word says – take it up with Him” argument. Again, just putting women in their place. Thanks for calling them out again.

  12. Bronwyn Lea says:

    So well, said, Tim. Your list of questions at the end are a veritable BOOYAH!

    • Tim says:

      According to Tim Bayly, each and every one of those women is an exception to the rule and allowed to teach/preach/lead only so God could emphasize that men are the only ones allowed to teach/preach/lead.

      • Bronwyn Lea says:

        That really is a lot of exceptions. More exception verses than silencing verses by an order of magnitude, in fact.

        • @ Bronwyn Lea. I completely agree with your post.

          You can have a page full of examples of women in the Old and New Testament doing stuff (with God’s permission or approval – e.g. leading men, teaching men, holding jobs outside the home, etc.) that gender complementarians or patriarchalists say God forbids women to do, contrasted with maybe a small number of like 2 to 4 of their go-to, cherry picked verses, to limit women.

          Comps try to cram the Bible’s long list of women leaders, warriors, workers, and teachers into the 2 to 4 limiting verses, when I think they need to be interpreting things in the reverse.

          They need to be looking at the small number of verses in light of the long list or portions that say that women can and should do ‘X, Y, and Z,’ or the verses that tell believers not to crave authority over others, or the ones that say that all members are equal, etc.

          But they keep wanting to interpret the many examples through the prism of one or two limiting, era- or culture- specific verses (which are usually misunderstood anyway and are not saying what complementarians think they are saying).

      • Retha says:

        “[God] never [sets His order aside] in order to dispense with that order or undercut it. Rather, through setting it aside He establishes it all the more. We see this with Deborah who, when forced to play the man, rebukes the man…”
        In that case, it is okay for a woman to rebuke a man when called by God to do so. Yet, he complains that these 2 women rebuke a man – he never even considers how often God may actually call women in today’s world to also rebuke men.

        • Tim says:

          The inconsistencies are rampant in the post, aren’t they Retha? He calls out women for doing what God called Bible women to do.

        • Retha said,

          Yet, he complains that these 2 women rebuke a man – he never even considers how often God may actually call women in today’s world to also rebuke men.

          Your post also got me to thinking. Why do complementarians find it hard to believe that God would and can use women to correct men?

          In the Bible, God says (and there are examples) that He will use what people consider the “lowly” people or things of this world to accomplish his purposes.

          In the ANE culture, or at least in ancient Judaism, the oldest son was supposed to get the inheritance, and what all. But look how often God went against that to choose the youngest son.

          David was chosen by God to be king, but if I remember right, he was the smallest or youngest of his brothers, so much so that his father did not even include him in his line of sons for the prophet to choose from.

          God does not always use what people think he should use to accomplish his purposes. God does not always pick the biggest, best looking, smartest, greatest, most powerful, or most wealthy. Therefore, I think it’s rather arrogant and unbiblical for a man such as Bayly to therefore assume God can or will only use men to teach, correct, or lead.

          The Old Testament says that God spoke the truth through a donkey to correct some prophet or whomever the guy was.

          Surely if God can and did correct a false teacher through a donkey, God can, will, or does correct false teachers and teachings through human women, and I would think even Bayly would have to concede that women are several steps above donkeys in worth and intelligence, and are more in God’s image than a donkey is? (Can I drop the mic on that last point? 🙂 )

      • Tim said,

        According to Tim Bayly, each and every one of those women is an exception to the rule and allowed to teach/preach/lead only so God could emphasize that men are the only ones allowed to teach/preach/lead.

        Even when I used to be a gender complementarian (though while I was one, I had nagging doubts about it being true), I never understood this sort of reasoning by gender comps.

        Any time I’ve heard a gender complementarian preacher mention Deborah from the Old Testament – who led men in ancient Israel – they always explain her away as being an exception. That always sounded like special pleading to me.

        And if God were dead set against women leading (and leading men), why should I expect to ever see God permitting a woman to lead men, ever, for any reason at all?

        If God was so incredibly opposed to female leadership, and felt it was a terrible sin, there would be no exceptions to it at all, it seems to me – so no, God would not have made an exception for Deborah for any reason, as gender comps like to argue.

        • Retha says:

          Even if comps say there are special exceptions in which it is okay for a woman to lead, they should not oppose women leaders. Like Barak listened to Deborah and Appollos learned from Priscilla, they should speak for, not against woman leaders.

          But they do not.

  13. Chris E says:

    Another example that can be used is Priscilla (along with Aquila) correct Apollos’ doctrinal errors.

  14. Michelle says:

    Once again Tim you’re able to break this down so clearly that it’s obvious these guys have no theological ground to stand on. After being raised with this type of teaching, albeit a “softer” version, I am so thankful that the Lord has used blogs such as yours to help open my eyes. I am also very excited that my girls will be taught the truth from the beginning and will no doubt call out a man, or a woman, who is a false teacher without ever thinking twice about it.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Michelle. I hope to do this in the 1 Cor. 13 mode as well, that is, if I speak God’s truth but have not love I am nothing. So here’s to speaking his truth in love whether we’re men or women!

    • Michelle said,

      I am also very excited that my girls will be taught the truth from the beginning and will no doubt call out a man, or a woman, who is a false teacher without ever thinking twice about it.

      Tim, Michelle’s comment here got me to think a couple of things. I’m not sure how to convey what’s grabbed me about this, but I’ll do my best…

      On one point… I don’t remember the Bible saying only males are to practice discernment concerning Christian teaching. The NT passages don’t limit discernment to males only. Women are expected to evaluate teaching they hear and to be Bereans, to study the Scriptures.

      I don’t see how Bayly can teach that only men can correct false male teachers (verbally or on a blog – does the Bible even mention blogs? I didn’t think so), but women have to stay silent on that point.

      If women are sanctioned by Scripture to use their own minds to determine if a teaching they hear is of God or not, it doesn’t make sense for Bayly to say women cannot give voice to the thoughts in their mind.

      I mean, the Bible teaches women can, in their minds, mull over a man’s teaching, so why cannot they not write about or verbalize what they have thought over in their minds? (The Bible also says women believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit, who will guide them into truth – the Holy Spirit does not reside in men only.)

      Also, I think Bayly’s teaching is dangerous in that it may cause some women to become too reliant on human (in this case, male only) guidance. As a result, some women may stop being critical thinkers and turn over all their decision-making to male teachers.

      Well, what if those male teachers these women are listening to are teaching false things? Bayly may be helping to set up naive women (or new female converts) to being conned by dishonest men, on spiritual matters, or who knows what else.

      He’s basically telling women to shut up, don’t think for yourself, let men around you do all the thinking, rebuking, discernment for you. That’s pretty dangerous, IMO.

      I see a lot of male preachers and Christian authors teaching all sorts of bogus things online, on Christian TV, and in Christian podcasts. Bayly is just sort of asking me (a woman) to put my brain in the shelf and let other men tell me who to trust, what doctrines to believe in, etc.

      I certainly don’t agree with Word of Faith teaching, which a lot of men teach (eg, Rod Parsley, Benny Hinn, etc). Can I not on my own (and/or with the Holy Spirit and/or with reading the Bible) determine that these guys are teaching incorrect doctrine, or do I need to look up blogs by men and wait for them to tell me, “Yes, Benny Hinn teaches false stuff, don’t listen to him” ?

      • Tim says:

        I wondered the same thing, CP. If a man claims to be a Christian pastor but denies the deity of Christ, can a woman then call him out publicly or must she wait for a man to do it for her?

        • Yet another thing I find ridiculous about all this. You cannot always necessarily tell if someone online is a man or a woman, unless they tell you, or unless it’s obvious (ie, their screen name is “Girly Susie Girl Woman” or “Manly Man Joe Smith”).

          When I picked my blog title a few years ago, I picked one that is gender neutral – not on purpose, it was just the title I happened to choose (same deal with my Twitter name).

          I’ve had men assume on the blog and on Twitter that I am a man, even though I don’t try to fool anyone or pass myself off as a guy. I even mention in some of my blog posts that I’m a lady. Some of these men are surprised or shocked to discover I’m a woman.

          If you cannot tell if an author is a man or a woman on their blog, does gender really matter, concerning ideas?

          I think the Baylys of the world put way to much emphasis on gender, far more than the Bible does. When I write blog posts on my own blog, unless the topic I’m writing about specifically pertains to gender in some way, my own gender doesn’t come into play, nor do I sit there thinking about my gender when writing stuff.

          If I am writing a post critical of something a man wrote, I just deal with the guy’s opinion, not his gender. I don’t even take the author’s gender into account (again, unless it’s specifically something about gender).

          I’m not grasping why the Wilsons, Pipers, Grudems, Baylys, Owen Strachans, etc get so hung up on gender. I just find it very weird.

  15. Truth Detector says:

    It goes farther than just women rebuking false teaching being a greater sin that the false teaching itself, it typically (actually, always) gets applied by this crowd as follows: “If any of you, male or female, who do not share my great calling as leader over you dare to criticize anything I say, even things flatly false, you will be in rebellion against God Himself and have the greater sin.”

    I simply have come to believe that for most of these people, Jesus is a prop, when they use His name, they sin by speaking it in vain, that they are really about control and abuse. Many of them hate the truth and are drawn to Christian fellowship primarily because it enables them to more efficiently abuse Christ’s followers.

  16. Truth Detector says:

    I believe the best example is Moses’s wife Zipporah upbraiding him vigorously (“Husband of blood!”) because Moses was in disobedience to God, and that harsh correction and Moses’s submission and obedience to it being the very thing that saved his life. But for that woman and that rebuke preserved for posterity, there may not have been anyone to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and we might not be talking now because the point of our faith would be moot.

  17. Carmen S. says:

    Rev. Sam Powell:
    “God will ever give His glory to another. Since the Garden of Eden, we all have been sold into a bondage so deep and so cruel that none of us can ever escape it. And God promised Adam and Eve that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. The fact is– God ALWAYS delivers His people in such a way that the strong, and powerful, and wise can never, ever take the glory. Deborah is actually clarifying the choice for Barak, “You can go in your own strength, in your own wisdom and seek glory—but without God. Or you can submit to God’s word and expect victory from Him alone.” “I, the prophetess of God, will certainly go with you. And with me will go the word and blessing of God. But if God fights this battle, you won’t get the glory. God will deliver you at the hand of a woman, so that no one can ever say that Barak’s strength got us the victory.” This passage says nothing about women in position of leadership in the church or elsewhere.

  18. Retha says:

    What makes Bayly’s idea even worse, is the topic Hobbs and Miller discussed. They talked of how Doug Wilson views women, women’s capacities, their purpose in marriage and what fulfils them. (See here for the article by Valerie Hobbs and Rachel Miller: )

    Bayly tells us here that a woman cannot disagree with a man about the topic of womanhood. Only men can correct a man on what womanhood is and where women belong.

    • Tim says:

      It’s because in their doctrine only men are anointed by God to teach men what it takes to be a woman. Sheesh.

    • Retha said,

      Bayly tells us here that a woman cannot disagree with a man about the topic of womanhood. Only men can correct a man on what womanhood is and where women belong.

      This is one other thing in gender complementarianism that I’ve often found silly and ridiculous:
      Christian men telling women how to be women, how women should feel, act, and think as women and about womanly stuff. Give me a break!

      I was born as a woman. I am a woman. I have been female my entire life. I think I might have a better idea of what being a woman is like than comp men will ever know.

      There are also passages in the NT that say that leading women in some circumstances should only be done by OTHER WOMEN, hello (eg Titus 2:4)!

      That is something else these types of men don’t seem to care about or consider. Even the Bible says it’s not always a man’s place to teach or correct a woman (on some particular subjects, at least).

      It would be kind of like these gender comp (hetero) men starting blogs telling me, and other women or girls, how to apply lip stick, mascara, instructing young women how to walk in high heels, how to put on panty hose, how to deal with ‘that time of the month’ etc.

      These are all women-related issues – I (as a woman) wouldn’t presume to lecture men on “man-only” type stuff that only men deal with, so I don’t know where comp men get off doing this to women, but they do it. It is so condescending.

      On a related note, I hate how comp men are always telling wives to submit. I don’t think it’s their place to do that.

      Even if Ephesians 5:22 (and like passages) are telling wives to submit to their husbands, in the way comps think those passages teach, such passages are
      1. directed at the women, and
      2. such verses are ASKING women to do it voluntarily, not commanding them;
      3. Nor does (that I can recall) the text say it’s a man’s place to command, instruct, or tell women to submit to men.

  19. This is convicting. Thank you.

    • Tim says:

      He’s so far off base I thought of letting it go, but apparently there are a lot of people reading him who think he’s right. So I hope some of them might find their way here and read a different take on women and men in the church.

  20. Jennifer says:

    I just wanted to say I really appreciated this post. This whole blog, really, is beginning to unchain me from some heavy shackles.

    I did speak with a complementarian pastor who believed that women could “spread the gospel” and convert unbelieving women and men–but could not function as a corrector/doctrinal stronghold. But if a woman was strong enough to convert someone in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, what would hold her back from providing more complex doctrinal guidance? The blurry line in the sand didn’t make sense to me. I forgot about it until I ran into a female missionary who did solo work in an African village. According to her, she was in charge because there was no one else, and she even helped to translate the Bible into the native tongue–but if a male pastor visited, she respectfully stood aside and deferred to his primary authority. She said it was the right thing to do, to stand aside when the male pastor visited.

    I am very confused about how to respond to all of this and am feeling alienated in real life. The thought of equality–that men and women were designed to be equals helping each other, that we are both “helpmeets” to one another–is so wonderful. It’s like the scales are falling off my eyes, and this new fire to understand everything is consuming me. But I keep getting sat down by other female and male friends in my life telling me that this “equality” thought is wrong and that I am being deceived. They instead call male/female egalitarian doctrine a part of apostasy–a departure from sound teaching and a disrespect to the metaphor God designed marriage to be. This is a hard tension to balance and even harder to respond to when suddenly you’re being attacked by people who attended Dallas Theological Seminary. I don’t even know how to respond. Everything seems so tangled.

    • Tim says:

      Jennifer, I think you hit it when you wrote of the fullness of the Holy Spirit. He indwells each of us, and according to scripture there are repeated instances of women leading and teaching. If that’s what happened in those patriarchal times then there’s even more reason to expect it today. There is no male or female in Christ, since it is his Spirit that works in and through us all.

    • Emmy says:

      Hello Jennifer.
      I saw your comment a couple of days ago and something of what you wrote really moved me. I’ve been mulling it over since then and decided I should reply. It does sound like a tangle, but I’m happy for you that you’ve decided to try to unravel it.
      The only thing that’s come to mind regarding the people who say you’re wrong is that God created both male and female to make humanity fully in His own image. And as for “the metaphor God designed marriMage to be”, it is one of unity, not hierarchy.
      May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you. Always.

    • Dalaina May says:

      Hi Jennifer, Your post touched me because I was sitting in your shoes just a couple of years ago. The egalitarian perspective just made sense in my head, yet so many (smart and godly) people were telling me I was bordering on heresy. It took be a couple of years to do the reading and studying on my own to come to my own conclusions (which are that gender hierarchy is a consequence of the fall and not a part of the Kingdom of God which is what we are striving for).
      Anyway, I wanted to share this resource with you. I found it very respectful of complementarians, very logical, and very thorough looking at tradition, history, scripture and philosophical arguments. It was SO helpful.

      Also, this is a link to a series of 11 lectures by Ron Pierce. He was a complementarian seminary professor in Talbot for years until his studies changed his position. These lectures spell out pretty clearly the egalitarian reading of Scripture. He walks from Genesis all the way through the Epistles. Totally worth watching

      May you be blessed on your journey toward truth. God always answers people who are seeking. It’s hard work, but totally worth it!

      • Velour says:

        Thanks for posting this video. I heard about his book from someone who posted over at The Wartburg Watch. I posted this video in the Off-Topic Discussion at Julie Anne’s Spiritual Sounding Board blog. I know that others there will find it helpful.

  21. leefischer says:

    [Deleted at commenter’s request]

    • Bev Murrill says:

      One thing that has often really surprised me is how many men (and women) who espouse the complementarian doctrine, don’t actually live it in real life. I’ve met many a very strong, authoritarian teacher on the platform whose wife tells him off and he meekly responds… I almost feel sorry for them. I’m sure they’d love mutual respect in a marriage more than what they live.

      • leefischer says:

        very true

      • Retha says:

        I find the complementarian teachers who do not live it at home even more frustrating than the dyed-in-the-wool believers.
        If you know that what you teach does not work in real life, then your message is not one you should be teaching. It is hypocrisy, and not caring about others as yourself, to spread a message that you do not want to live by.

        • Bev Murrill says:

          Yes, it is irritating but I think that those people dont’ realise they are living in a disconnect… they say one thing and are another, but don’t realise it. Trouble is, they influence so many others who then live it… REally, it’s pure phariseeism.

    • Tim says:

      “Bayly bees nest” is a wonderful way to put it. I can imagine the buzzing that goes on. I hope one day they will see that women are not subject to men but that women and men are together in leading and serving Christ and one another in God’s kingdom.

      Thanks for the link to your blog, too. I enjoyed your most recent post on commenting out of character and left this comment there for you: “I find myself wondering sometimes just who that person is that has left a comment with my name attached. Why I let myself devolve is a mystery, but as you say it can happen. I am glad for the graciousness of others who don’t write me off completely when I’m jumping into a quagmire of my own making!”

    • Julie Anne says:

      Where’s the like button, Tim? I want to like leefischer’s comment! 🙂

    • Hannah Weeks (Bayly) says:

      Good one, Lee, somehow my sisters and I both “speak up in the family” AND have a dad that micromanages how we use our time on the internet. As the quietest of the 3 sisters, when I read these types of comments I usually roll my eyes and get on with life. But your disingenuous remarks should be challenged. Isn’t it funny how comments lambasting patriarchalists always end up dismissing the women in their lives too? But we’ve just been brainwashed, so no need to take us seriously. We’ll just go back to our place in the kitchen. Because that’s clearly all you’re good for once you’ve been brain-washed by a patriarchalist, right? Thanks for putting us in our place, feminists!

      • Velour says:


        Plenty of conservative Christians (older men and women), not just feminists, have a problem with the patriarchy beliefs that are being espoused. Record numbers of conservatives are leaving the church, high rates of divorce, children who are turned off to the church and its hypocrisy, and a poor witness before unbelievers.

        I saw those bizarre patriarchy beliefs destroy so many lives at my former church. What “Good News”? Really? Just oppressive nonsense and extra-Biblical doctrine.

      • Tim says:

        Hannah, no one has said what you are asserting to have been said. I’d love to read your thoughtful comments on your take on the place of women and men in the church, family and society, though. Please feel free to comment at length as well.

      • leefischer says:

        Dear Hannah and Michal, and Tim B.,
        Now that I see my flippant remark about thinking that you ladies would be forbidden to engage in conversation with me through your eyes, I wish I hadn’t written it. You sound very angry, and understandably so. It was wrong to make such an assumption, and hurtful to make it publically. I am glad that you called me on it. I feel just awful for it and offer my deepest apologies.
        hoping to do better in the future, lee
        (I don’t know really how to post this response, so that you will all be sure to see it, so I will post it in reply to each comment… sorry about that)

        • Tim says:

          Lee, thank you for a gracious and kind response. I can substitute anything you like for that comment above, or delete it all together. Just let me know, either here on the blog or by email through the address on the contact page.

    • michalcrum85 says:

      “Tim’s bark is worse than his bite…”
      You all choose to think that either my dad is a chauvinist pig (he’s not, as Lee implies above), or he doesn’t “walk the talk,” ie, he talks like a patriarchalist while living like a feminist. What you fail (or perhaps refuse) to recognize is that he loves and respects women, welcoming their correction (even inviting it), and his life and faith and conduct stem directly from his theology. Yes, that’s right, there is nothing contradictory there.

      Tim F, my dad has written thousands of words on his blog about sexuality and feminism. The above quote is hardly a good representation of his position. And keep in mind, you’re taking issue with thousands of years of orthodoxy and Biblical teaching within the Church–the same Church that has fought for women’s rights around the world and revolutionized the treatment of women. Again, no contradiction there.

      “…I think their wives have been forbidden to debate me…”
      Lee, we might alternately draw the conclusion that your husband has been forbidden to debate us, mightn’t we?

      Michal Crum (Bayly’s mouthy middle daughter)

      • Tim says:

        Michal, thanks for coming by. I appreciate your insights on your father’s track record. I’ve read several articles on his blog about women, and didn’t grab the quote I used above out of thin air. Rather, I read the article it’s from and chose the quote ad representative. In fact, from what I’ve read on his site it is a bit tamer than other ways he’s expressed the male/female dynamic. I’m glad to hear from you that his teachings about women not correcting men do not in fact silence women in his family from correcting him when necessary.

        Tim (the Tim who’s not your Dad)

      • leefischer says:

        Dear Hannah and Michal, and Tim B.,
        Now that I see my flippant remark about thinking that you ladies would be forbidden to engage in conversation with me through your eyes, I wish I hadn’t written it. You sound very angry, and understandably so. It was wrong to make such an assumption, and hurtful to make it publically. I am glad that you called me on it. I feel just awful for it and offer my deepest apologies.
        hoping to do better in the future, lee
        (I don’t know really how to post this response, so that you will all be sure to see it, so I will post it in reply to each comment… sorry about that)

  22. krwordgazer says:

    Wait a minute! Even if Deborah was (as Bayly claims) the “exception that proves the rule,” how dared she rebuke Barak? Shouldn’t she have said something more along the lines of, “Oh Barak, I know I am a woman and you a man, and it would be so sweet to me if I could submit to you in this, but I really feel I can’t, and I hope you’ll understand”? 😛

    On the contrary– everything Deborah said and did showed that she was in charge, she knew she was in charge, and she saw no reason to be embarrassed or apologetic about it. She never even slightly hints that the only reason she’s leading is that Barak and the other men are not stepping up.

  23. Emmy says:

    Tim, this is excellent. If I were the one to hand out marks, this would be A*. 😉
    Two more women for your “this should never have happened!” list:
    – Mary of Bethany who sat as a disciple at Jesus’ feet AND who anointed him with oil
    – Lydia who became the leader of a local church at Philippi.

    By the way, do you know if the article by Hobbs and Miller is available elsewhere or in another format (pdf, maybe?). I really want to read it but there is something about that website that keeps causing my browser to crash.

  24. Tim Bayly says:

    Hey Lee, you can’t be serious. You really do think I’ve forbidden anyone to discuss anything with you—ever?

    Tim, you’re ham-fisted in your reading and understanding. But maybe the problem is my own writing, so instead of reading me again, read all the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, or Protestant church officers across 2,000 years of Christian history. Everyone says the same thing about God creating Adam first, then Eve, and what it means for life and authority. Everyone. It defines orthodox Christian doctrine concerning sexuality. Yes, there are lots of rebels against God’s Fatherhood in our sick church today, but don’t let that deceive you. Yet a little while and God will vindicate His Fatherhood among us.


    • Tim says:

      Thanks for coming by, Tim. I appreciate both you and your niece Lee taking the time. As a retired colleague of mine once told me, “I’ve found that more communication is almost always better than less.”

      Here’s to more communication – irenic and Spirit-led – among the members of God’s family.

    • TeresaR says:

      Church officers are not scripture. You would say that women cannot confront corruption and injustice, but the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 says just the opposite. You would say that women cannot be civic rulers, but Jesus praised the Queen of Sheba twice. It is you, Bayly, who is the rebel.

      • Tim says:

        And of course it’s just not true that every church teacher in the last 2000 years sees that passage referring to creation as barring women from leading and teaching God’s people, men and women both. Some do and some don’t. Jesus certainly didn’t see a problem with women confronting men who were in error, as you pointed out Teresa. Thanks.

    • It always strikes me as odd when Protestants use tradition to defend their interpretation of scripture. The whole Reformation involved sifting out the ‘traditions of men’ and seeing if they measure up against scripture.
      A big danger is taking obscure verses and using them to ignore clear ones. What is the meaning of authentein which is only used in 1Tim 2:12 in the NT, it is translated by the AV as ‘usurp authority’ but was never ever used for authority in the church. In fact it’s context outside scripture was often sexual and was considered crude by teachers. If the bible is clear what Paul meant about Adam being born first, what does ”the women will be saved through childbirth mean”? Instead of an obscure passage in a letter written to a specific situation where the reason to write about authentein would have been clear to Timothy, we have a vast multitude of of example of God raising up women to lead and teach men. Long before Barak got cold feet, God had raised Deborah up as prophet and Judge of Israel, and she summoned Barak to come to her to hear the word of the Lord. The Spirit of God is not bound by human traditions.

      • Tim says:

        Good points about Deborah’s place leading Israel predating any issue with Barak’s place at the head of the army. And besides, he wasn’t asking for anything that anyone else leading Israel’s army wanted: the presence of teh prophet of God as the army faced the enemy.

    • Retha says:

      “…there are lots of rebels against God’s Fatherhood in our sick church today…”

      I do not follow how Tim Bayly connect the idea of this blog post to rebelling against the fatherhood of God?
      When Daniel and friends refused to bow before other kings, they were admitting God’s kingship. They had only one King, and He is not from this world.

      The same with patriarchy: We have only one Father, and we (even those who are biological fathers) are all siblings. (Matthew 23:9, “Call no man on earth Father, for One is your Father, He who is in Heaven.”)

      • Tim says:

        I didn’t get that phrase either, Retha, unless he means that no one has God as Father unless they also hold to comp doctrine. That’s not true, happily.

    • leefischer says:

      Dear Hannah and Michal, and Tim B.,
      Now that I see my flippant remark about thinking that you ladies would be forbidden to engage in conversation with me through your eyes, I wish I hadn’t written it. You sound very angry, and understandably so. It was wrong to make such an assumption, and hurtful to make it publically. I am glad that you called me on it. I feel just awful for it and offer my deepest apologies.
      hoping to do better in the future, lee
      (I don’t know really how to post this response, so that you will all be sure to see it, so I will post it in reply to each comment… sorry about that)

  25. Dash says:

    No mortal man outside the law has any authority over me. No one. And I could even argue that lawful officers of the government have no authority over me unless I acquiesce to it willingly.

    It’s no different for a woman. “Submission,” pfft. Give me a break. DO WHAT YOU WANT.

    The last thing I *ever* want is a woman who “submits” to me. Like I don’t have enough problems of my own, now I have to babysit and be responsible for a grown woman if I want to be in a relationship?? Watch me run away screaming.

    I want a strong, willful, idealistic woman who won’t take no for an answer, who’s willing to stand toe-to-toe and argue with me until she gets her way, who chases her dreams and does whatever she pleases. THAT’s my idea of a dream woman. Any man who wants less than an equal is a coward.

    Stop buying into this stupid, stupid, brain-damaged notion of “Biblical authority,” folks. Or, you can buy some ocean-front property from me, if you want. It amounts to the same thing. If you opt for the ocean-front property, I’ll be happy to give you an address so you can send me some money in a shoebox.

  26. Retha says:

    The church has a divided history on woman’s issues, sometimes freeing and sometimes not. On the freeing side, there have among others been Christian feminists like my hero Catherine Bushnell, who fought against sexual enslavement.
    But there were also myriads of teachers who were influenced by their sexist culture. ( speaks of how Plato influenced church leaders, and how they then delivered Plato’s ideas to one another without thinking deeper.) These are all things said by church leaders of ages past:

    You are the devil’s gateway… Woman, you are the gate to hell.– Tertullian,
    I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children.”– Saint Augustine of Hippo
    “Woman is not the image of God but as far as man is concerned, he is by himself the image of God.” –Thomas Aquinas,
    “No gown worse becomes a woman than the desire to be wise.” –Luther
    “Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman.” –Clement of Alexandria
    “Woman is slow in understanding and her unstable and naive mind renders her by way of natural weakness to the necessity of a strong hand in her husband. Her ‘use’ is two fold; [carnal] sex and motherhood.” — Pope Gregory I

    Tim Bayly is welcome to tell us if he agrees with Luther, Augustine, Aquinas, Tertullian, Clement, and Pope Gregory. If so, he is undeniably a sexist, regardless of what treatment his daughter have always regarded as normal at home.

    (I have never heard of a male being called “mouthy” – was that a subtle reminder that her “mouthy” behaviour is less acceptable from a female?)

  27. Pingback: Women and the Church | J'ai Vaincu

  28. Thanks for this excellent article. It was well put.

    I appreciate the comments on Deborah. I had not noted before that the text does not clearly state that Barak was being “punished for not leading properly” by having a woman take Sisera. That’s interesting in light of a lot of teaching that has gone on over the years. I have been working on paying closer attention to the difference between what God thinks about a thing and what the narrative tells us, or what humans express.

    The examples at the end are great. 🙂

    I do disagree a little on one point and that is that silencing the women in quite a few churches is not silencing “half the church”. It is silencing more than half the church – sometimes a lot more. I think that is a significant point because by silencing the women they are in effect silencing the majority. Then I agree with you – it is easier to pick off the male dissenters, and keep tighter control over the whole. Frankly, I think a lot of this has more to do with insecurity than with any real desire to follow scripture.

    Years ago my dad had a friend who got his feelings hurt by a book written by a woman on a Bible related subject. He declared her a “female theologian” and condemned the book and her because women “had no business” writing on such subjects, etc. ad nauseum. I think my dad mentioned some of the examples you gave when he told us about the situation, but he also thought it rather amusing that this pastor (and others like him) would still allow hymns by Fanny J. Crosby and Frances Ridley Havergal to be sung in their churches. My dad pointed out that those ladies were definitely “female theologians”, and it quite tickled him. 🙂

    I was blessed to have a grandmother (who was a mentor to me) who knew the Bible very well and was not afraid to speak up about what she knew to be true in certain situations. Her knowledge of scripture and ability to use it were an inspiration to me. When women are silenced in the church then older women may not have the privilege of inspiring and teaching the younger women to be **wise and courageous** in the word of God. And, maybe that is what those particular type of men are afraid of. It reminds me of Matthew 21:23, “And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?” So often it all comes back to authority, doesn’t it? “Who said you could do that?”

  29. Oh….one example you missed that I especially like is Miriam. It says in Micah 6:4, For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

    Three leaders, and one was a woman. 🙂

  30. Chara says:

    I’m curious about how these people respond when Abigail is brought up. She was specifically praised for rebuking David. How can they be dismissive of that?

  31. Lisa says:

    Wonderful! As usual! Yes, let’s spread heresy instead of allowing correction. And let’s not forget that Saul wanted to lead so much that he went and hid among the luggage. If God wanted a man to replace Deborah, He would have done so!

    • Tim says:

      Saul’s reluctance is an interesting episode. The man God chose hid, but God called him out anyway. Deborah showed no such reluctance and she led extremely well by all accounts.

  32. casabeca says:

    For those of us who deeply suffered from this doctrine in the past, even those of us like me who married out of it, it’s just so encouraging to find good, Godly, bible-loving guys who argue so well against the madness. With all my heart I thank you and the other brothers!

    We recently had to leave our egalitarian church because of terrible personnel issues from lead /teaching/hiring& firing pastor. Our son and several best friends had been on staff long-term and the control in the one guy’s hands blew up a lot of lives. We left in solidarity.

    The other church choices are not easy to sift thru, and theTGC-types keep hiring our son for singing gigs and we go as support of course. We’re not ready for Anglican/Methodist as a family, but neo-Cal is not working either. To sit in that bro-Cal pulpit feels unsafe, just waiting for the ugly to drop in the sermon…that’s no way to surrender to teaching and worship.Its hard to be adrift w/o a home church. It’s also a touchy subject among friends, can’t share the journey with many.

    So, for all of you men leading and supporting the full personhood of women, in family and life and church, thank you so much. That you do it not to build your own power bases, but to help your sisters is profoundly loving and beautiful.

    If you care to, pray for all our conversations with various leaders, that we would be loving and brave, and that God will lead us to a place to call home where we can serve together wholeheartedly in agreement on the essentials, which include women elders and teachers of the precious Word.
    Love to you Mr Fall, you make it seem like a cure for this mutation of crazy could be on its way.

    • Tim says:

      I’m praying for you and your family, casabeca. I hope you find a fellowship that is thriving and where you can all serve with the gifts God’s given you.

  33. Jon Zens says:

    In 2011 I sent Tim Bayly a review copy of my book “What’s With Paul & Women? Unlocking the Cultural Background to 1 Tim 2.” Here is the reply I received.

    February 4, 2011

    Dear Mr. Zens,

    Thank you for sending my brother, David, and me your book, “What’s With Paul & Women?” Sadly, what you’ve written is an attack upon God’s order of creation and all the texts of Scripture that apply that precious order to the church and Christian family life.

    Be of good cheer, though: the world is panting for your rebellion and will give you its cheap applause.

    What will you do in the end, though, when you face Almighty God? Will you tell Him the people were demanding an idol?

    I recommend you pull the book from circulation and repent, as I did, for this rebellion.

    In Christ’s love, Tim Bayly [Presbyterian pastor, Bloomington, Indiana]

    Tim Bayly’s logic is unbelievable. Because “officers” like Piper have elders, that insures he will be corrected? They believe like he does, they are rubber-stamps, so they are the last people that would correct “the pastor.”

    • Tim says:

      His response to your book is appalling, but not out of character. As for Mr. Piper and his elder board, Mr. Bayly’s position is that even if they were heretics it would not be a woman’s place to speak out against them. It really seems like he doesn’t get what Jesus was saying about the rocks crying out when the religious leaders refuse to do so.

  34. lyricolaurie says:

    Bayly’s error (sin) can be summed up in one word. PRIDE! God opposes the proud.

  35. Pingback: God Never Settles – exposing patriarchy’s nonsense about women | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

  36. Barb says:

    This blog is EXCELLENT! Here’s what I wish I would have done some years ago, long before I’d read this: When I learned of my deacon- and adult-Sunday-School-teacher husband’s adultery, and when I learned that the pastor, another deacon, and other church members already KNEW about it and did nothing (I thought I was keeping the secret ALL to myself), I should have taken note of the deacons’ meeting date, interrupted them, and should have given them all a chronology of events and how they did nothing. After it did become common knowledge and I was able to talk to the pastor on the phone, I said, “My FIL respected me as a DIL so, had it not been for his advanced cancer and age, I would have talked to him first. In his former days, he was a boxer and still strong in spite of his current health. I have no doubt that he would have slugged his own son.” And the pastor LAUGHED. I said, “It’s not funny.” Pretty much the end of the conversation. Ex-husband, ex-pastor, ex-church. Too bad it all happened that way.

  37. Donna Gonzalez says:

    Hi Tim,
    I’m no theologian but have gone before the Lord Jesus to see what He says regarding whether or not we women can teach and He led me to Matthew 5:1-20 where He is speaking to as the text says: “seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain…” meaning there was a huge amount of people hearing Jesus not all of one gender! But my point is this, the Lord showed me that He did indeed wants women to preach/teach others and that teaching/preaching isn’t gender based. Below is what I posted on my FB wall just the other day in response to what I read in Marge Mowczko’s article about her research on I Timothy 2:12 and below that post I also gave her link for others to read. (Her article link is here if you want to read it:

    Tim, I have yet to hear any pastor/preacher or teacher use what the Lord gave me to read in Matthew 5:1-20 as a proof that Jesus does expect women to preach/teach others regardless of age or gender. Also of note, I can’t find one translation that translates what Jesus said of Matt.5:19 as referring to one specific gender either. See
    I have told other women what the Lord Jesus showed me and I’m telling you it’s like freedom for them! Praise God! May many women be blessed and freed from the all the oppression pastors put on them by taking out of context and quoting I Timothy 2:12 and find freedom in what He showed me. Here’s my FB post from the other day below:

    Excellent article link below! I remember Jesus said it plainly too. Just go back to what Christ said to the multitudes of people listening to Him on the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:1-20 Jesus’ audience was male AND FEMALE…men AND WOMEN and after explaining to this crowd of people how they are blessed, He then tells them how believers are the salt and light in this world ( by their words and actions) then tells them He is the fulfillment of the Law…then explains what this salt and light is and says in Matt 5:19 “Whosoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven but whoever does and teaches them he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Have you ever thought that if teaching was regulated only for men to do and it’s not for women to teach a man…why does Jesus tell a crowd of men AND WOMEN…”Whosoever teaches?” instead He would have made a clear gender distinction and said something like: “When a man teaches others…” Sounds to me if women aren’t supposed to teach men Jesus had the perfect opportunity to say it right here and didn’t! Jesus meant what He said “WHOSOEVER DOES AND TEACHES” that’s male or female teaching others (males and female) via their (salt & light) words and action/deeds.

    • Tim says:

      There are just too many instances in the Bible of women teaching and taking the lead for us to say that Paul’s instructions to Timothy for the church in Ephesus (which had its own cultural problems not shared by the church worldwide) are biding on everyone everywhere for all time regarding gender issues.

  38. Shy1 says:

    Tim, I love your oasis of sanity in the midst of so much “Christian” craziness.

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  41. “Some church leaders today still think they can control the people in the pews by silencing them”

    Sad, but predictable (and, in holy scripture, predicted!), that such men, with such horridly controlling aspirations, should occasionally wheedle their way into positions of ecclesiastical power during the gospel age.

    Still, leaders who organise anything at all, do tend to try to control the people in their organisations, by silencing any dissidents whom they can. Alas, this is the way of the world. It is a manifestation of human nature, which has developed a stubborn immunity even to the grace of God. The Lord Jesus Christ, during his earthly ministry, according to scripture, admonished his disciples and (indirectly) future leaders of organised Christian religion, definitely not to lord it over the faithful thus, specifically distinguishing, as He did, worldly hierarchy from the servant-leadership he expected his disciples to wield. It would require a naively over-realised eschatology, and an abysmal ignorance of church history, to suppose that that this way of the world wouldn’t spoilt the experience of church for some Christians, in some places and ages.

    So, so far, I agree with you. Some church leaders today do indeed still think they can control the people in the pews by silencing them. Terrible isn’t it?

    “and what better way to shut up half the church than by telling women the Bible forbids them speaking God’s truth to men who are in error?”

    This where we part company, I’m afraid. I don’t find credible this *second* part of your hypothesis, about any conspiracy that you think you have uncovered, to shut up half the church, by telling women that the bible forbids them to speak God’s truth to men who are in error, a decidedly dodgy doctrine, I agree.

    You postulate that that crude, gendered conspiracy theorised, is an *effective* way for bossy church leaders, to shut up the dissidents in their congregations who threaten their power. What better way, you ask! Silence the females, dissident or supportive, and give voice to the males, supportive and dissident alike. What better way, you ask, for control freak church leaders, to control their churches?

    Unless the objective is to shut a certain *percentage*, about “half” the churches concerned, as close as possible to 50% – i.e. to shut up all of the women (even those who agree with the bossy leaders) and none of the men (even though some of the men might disagree with the bossy leaders), then shutting up dissidents (male and female alike) and giving voice to the compliant and supportive of one’s leadership (males and females alike) strikes me as a great deal more effective, than expounding a far-fetched, over-gendered theology, and shutting up the women, and giving voice to the men. Your conspiracy stretches credulity, to my way of thinking.

    Worse, to postulate that there is no “better way” for control freak ordained ministers of religion to silence their rebellious congregants, that “to shut up half the church” “by telling women the Bible forbids them speaking God’s truth to men who are in error”, strikes me as playing disastrously into the hands of feminists, whose neo-Marxist ideology of gender warfare, analogous to the harmful class warfare that Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and others recommended, has harmed so many children, churched and unchurched alike, because they have lost the parenting of their fathers (mainly, but their mothers occasionally), in the gynocentric, misandric, single-parent culture that feminists have helped to construct.

    • Tim says:

      John, you and I will never agree on women.

    • Melissa says:

      Wow. “Think of the children!”

      Yes. Generally, half of those children will grow up to be women. And it’s in everyone’s best interest–yours, mine…we are the world, we are the children–if men unclench their fists from the reigns of power and discover that the world God has made is one of abundance, and not scarcity.

      And in the meantime, all of us fully human women and the men around us suffer. It’s no mere idea.

      Though I will admit that I found your characterization of Tim’s argument amusing at least, along with your alternate history fairy tale about the feminists (quel horreur!) with their magical evil powers. Was I meant to take you seriously when you mocked Tim’s estimate: “half the church” being at the same time an exact mathematical proportion and also being completely arbitrary? I mean, it just so happens to be women, but it could’ve been any half, because the number is the point, right?

      You cannot interpret the history of oppression of women in the church in any other way than as some sort of secret cabal, meeting to plot some completely new and bizarre way of gaining power over a nice round number of the flock, but you can imagine all feminists doing just that–quite necessary if one were to hold us guilty of the grand culture-altering nefarious schemes you ascribe to us.

      Really, I feel quite powerful, but I assure you that though I am a feminist, I have no mustache to twirl, and alas, there is no secret handshake.

      We should work on that.

      Nah. Too busy living wonderful, productive, redemptive lives.

      • Tim says:

        And it actually turns out to be more than half in many of those patriarchal churches. The leadership silences women and it silences the men who want the women to speak. There have been articles form those women and men who have left those churches because they were put down repeatedly by the leadership who wanted to control everything said by everyone in the church

      • I don’t see that trying to silence the women, is the most effective way to wield in control over a congregation. That was my point.

    • Lisa says:

      The fault of homes without fathers lands squarely on the shoulders of the fathers who abandon their families.

    • Nancy Le says:

      Aren’t you generalising as much about feminists as you postulate Tim is about freak ordained ministers? Seems so to me. I’m with Tim. With all due respect, our points of view seemingly will never converge.

  42. Thank you Tim Fall for your humility, wisdom and Christ likeness. You give me hope for the Church and God’s transformative plans for us all.

    • Tim says:

      Thank you, Carol. I have hope for the church as well, and it’s all based on the Spirit of Christ working within us all. Otherwise we’d be doomed.

  43. Patricia Hanlon says:

    My husband and I knew the Baylys (Tim and his wife) back when Tim was at Gordon-Conwell in the early 80s. So I was stunned, 30 years later, to run into his blog and see the direction he had taken.

    • Tim says:

      I’ve heard that from a couple others who knew the family back then as well. I wonder what caused the Baylys to go to such an extreme position on their doctrine regarding women.

      • Mike Young says:

        The complementarian church is presently operated as a single parent family, fathers (men) only in leadership positions. Mothers (women) have no authoritative voice or seat at any discussion or decision making table. Imagine gathering all the fathers from your neighborhood to your house to make decisions about your family and leaving your wife completely out. Ridiculous you might say. But that is precisely how it works in the complementarian church. We aren’t missing fathers or male leadership, we are missing the complete onenes God instituted at creation.

        • Tim says:

          Great analogy to the single parent home, Mike. And i love this conclusion, as sad as it is: “the complete oneness God instituted at creation.”

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  48. Freeatlast says:

    The silence is deafening …. thank you Tim for correcting so many errors in scripture that I have been exposed to … I have chosen to no longer be silent.
    “You need to stay home with him “
    “Show me in the scripture you are a godly and biblical women “
    “Man and woman are equal in humanity but are to theologically and ontologically submit “
    “Ephesians 5:22” shoved down my throat until I couldn’t breathe.
    “Let me show you how God restored my marriage “ as if to say there is no independent situations or thinking
    On and on and on
    Until God restored me to a church that displays full mutuality, love , true respect for the Hoky Spirit

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  50. ancadudar says:

    Acts 18:24-26 King James Version (KJV)
    24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
    25 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.
    26 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.

    In the original Greek text, Priscilla is mentioned not only alongside her husband, but before him in order, a big thing in that culture, King James scribes changed it on purpose! Priscilla took in Apollos who was an educated man and knew the scriptures VERY well, and corrected his doctrine! They “more accurately expounded” the way of God to him! This looks like a woman teaching and correcting a man to me, and not just any man, but one who was well educated in the scriptures already.

    In the Greek, below it is literally word for word as follows in verse 26;
    Having heard however him, Priscilla and Aquila they took to them him and more accurately to him expounded the way of God.

    How then can a woman be banned by God from correcting a man who teaches false doctrine when we have an example of a woman correcting and explaining a more accurate doctrine to a man who was already accurate in most of his teaching?

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  52. angconley says:

    Awesome! But you forgot Priscilla in your list! The obvious example of a woman correcting a male teacher.

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