Monday, August 16, 2010

Men Should Be Leaders

We live in a world where society teaches us that men and women are the same.  We are taught that men have some feminine side and that women need to be more masculine.  I addressed this in my posts regarding husbands and wives in how this affects the family, but today I want to talk about how this is affecting the church. The effect is an effeminate church equipped with female pastors, bishops, and other leaders.  The effect is that men are emasculated by having to submit to women in the church and many women are made to be more masculine.  There are many examples of women leaders in the Bible in terms of being civil leaders, business leaders, and examples to other women but they are not called to be leaders in the church.  This is against God's Will and not in line with His model for the church. 
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.  1 Timothy 3:2-6
And again:
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.  Titus 1:5-6
These passages are clear that men are to be leaders in the churches. This call is specifically to men as it is a call to "husbands" to be appointed leaders.  I know many argue that these passages are a product of the culture and the times and that women, back then, were simply not qualified or educated enough to be leaders.  They then go on to explain how women are more educated today and therefor qualified to be leaders in the church.  This argument does not survive the testing of Scripture for several reasons.  First of all, these passages give one test for an elder as being how he rules his own household.  Women are not leaders in the household and so there is no basis to evaluated their leadership.  They were not called to lead their homes and so they can not lead the church. Paul also addresses this issue specifically:
And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 1 Timothy 2:12-13 NKJV
God established the authority of man over woman at creation.  That is unarguable Biblical Truth.  It is not a product of culture or education but an expression of God's model for church leadership.  And so with the authority of God's Word we have established that men are leaders in the church, let's not talk about what that means practically.

One qualification is how men lead their home.  Men, as leaders in their homes, are naturally also leaders in the churches.  How they lead their home is used to judge how they would be a leader in the church.  Look at the qualifications - husband of 1 wife and having faithful and well-behaved children.  Paul even says in the first passage that how a man rules his house is a measure of how he will rule the church.  This goes back to being good husbands.   You can not be a good leader in church if you are not a good husband at home.  If you want to be a leader in church, first work on being the husband God has called you to be. 

Now let's look at the other qualifications.  The things an elder does need are: blameless, temperate, sober-minded, hospitable, well behaved, able to teach, and gentle.  What an elder can not be is: drunk, covetous, violent, greedy for money, and quarrelsome.  What is amazing is that these qualifications are called for by every Christian.  An elder is supposed to live as an example.  God is not calling them to any special kind of righteousness but as an example to the righteousness that all Christians are called to live by.  Here are a few passages:
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  Galatians 5:19-23 NKJV
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
What you see from these passages is the fact that all men are called to the same things used to qualify an elder.  An elder is not a special calling so much as a man of God who has lived a Godly life.  So if you can show that all men are called to the same qualifications of a leader in the church, then you can say that all men are called to be leaders in the church.  Maybe you will not be an elder, but you are still a leader.  You lead your family, you lead as an example, you lead because you are a man of God. 

I want to make a special note to husbands now.  You are not just a leader of your wife and family at home, but in church as well.  Read this passage:
Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.  1 Corinthians 14:34-35 NKJV
Understand that verse. Its not for you to ask your wife what was talked about in church but for her to ask you.  You are the one who is to explain what was learned in church.  You are the one to teach her what she does not understand.  So pay attention and get into the Bible because you are accountable for what your wife learns in church. 

I believe that much of the church is falling away is because the men are not being leaders. How many times do I see the women dragging their men to go to church or asking them to read something that may be edifying to them or asking them to go to a conference.  How many women are pleading with God for their men to be leaders all while the men are more interested in how many beers they had or what sports are playing on TV.   It's tragic and it's pathetic.  How many families do I hear women forced to lead because their husbands do not care to grow in Christ?  I see it all too often.  Women are not supposed to have to remind their husbands about being Godly, men are supposed to be an example to their wives. 

If you are a woman who is going to ask your husband to read this because he is not being a leader, I pray for you.  If you are a man reading this because your wife asked you because you are not living up to your God-ordained role of a leader, what is wrong with you? Does the calling of God mean nothing to you?  Are you willing to watch your family and church fall further into apostasy because you refuse to be a man? I challenge you to take on that role God has for you.  Lead your family and be a leader in your church. 

As for the women, you need to assist in this as well.  If you are in charge of men at church, step down from that authority.  It is not your role.  If you have a question about something in church, respect your husband's God-given role and ask him. If he does not know the answer, expect him to find the answer and share it with you.  If you treat your husband as a leader, there is a better chance of him taking on that role.  Remember,  the world has tried to convince him that he is not a leader, that he is to submit to women.  You need to be the submissive example to show him otherwise. Respect your husband, especially in church.  Expect him to be a man and treat him as such.  Remember, other young women will be taking what you do as an example.  You need to be that example. 

Men, you have a great calling to lead your church.  If you want your church to be fruitful, you need to be the example.  You need to be the leader.  You need to be a man.
 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  2 Timothy 2:22 NKJV

4 comments:

  1. I am so blessed to call you mine, you are what I prayed for...a godly husband with a beautiful heart desiring to serve Christ! I love you!!
    I agree, it is so sad what this world has turned men into...MAN UP, men!! MAN UP and SERVE your SAVIOR!!!

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  2. While I left with my final comment in the "Back to School" saga I had to take a glance at the "Men Should Be Leaders". I find your use of 1 Timothy 2:12-13NKJV to back up your argument, but not providing the entire passage, thus taking it out of context perplexing. I'll write word for word what the Life Application Bible NKJV states concerning verses 9-15 where you take these two verses.

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  3. And I quote “To understand these verses, we must understand the situation in which Paul and Timothy worked. In first century Jewish culture, women were not allowed to study. When Paul said that women should learn in silence and full submission, he was offering them an amazing new opportunity. Paul did not want the Ephesian women to teach because they didn’t yet have enough knowledge or experience. The Ephesian church had a particular problem with false teachers. Evidently the women were especially susceptible to the false teachings (2 Timothy 3:1-9), because they did not yet have enough biblical knowledge to discern the truth. In addition, some of the women were apparently flaunting their newfound Christina freedom by wearing inappropriate clothing (2:9). Paul was telling Timothy not to put anyone (in this case, women) into a position of leadership who was not yet mature in the faith (see 5:22). The same principle applies to churches today (see the note on 3:6)”. End quote.

    I’ll leave you with that and will restrain from posting further as our opinions vary greatly. God Bless!

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  4. Leaving out verses 9 -11 and 14 - 15 did not affect the meaning of only using verses 12 and 13. In fact those verses only support the leadership of man vs. the submissive of women in church. My focus was on the men so I left out the exhortations to the women. Paul clearly makes the authority of man over woman being established at creation. Any commentary attempting to explain that away ignores that fact. Paul did not only stated what women should not have authority over men, but why. The reason was not education but that the authority of the man was established at creation. The church family is also an extension of the Christian family of which the man was the appointed leader. Egalitarianism is untenable when held under the light of Scripture. The education argument also falls flat in that in 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul gives credit to his mother and grandmother for being good examples to him.

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