Monday, November 19, 2012

God's design: Women should not preach in the churches

by Al Sabado

To this day, however, we find women pastors and preachers in the churches. And so we wonder, how are they in line with God's Word instructing that women keep silence in the churches? God's Word is clear:
34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
That is God's design, which does not say that the woman is an inferior being. But the man--by God's design--is the leader. So again, we find the following verses in the Bible:
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. (1 Timothy 2:11-12)
The woman, whose unique tasks complement the role of the man, may share God's Word to another. But to preach God's Word to a congregation or a public assembly contradicts God's instruction for her to "keep silence in the churches" (1 Corinthians 14:34).

Should we then leave churches that ordain women to be pastors to preach in the pulpit? God's Word commands us to let our 'yes' be 'yes' and our 'no,' 'no' (Mt. 5:37). So the answer to that question is 'yes.'

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Response to a friend who has stayed in an emergent church: "But God says in His Word. . ."

by Al Sabado

Very few of us will agree that this is no longer new: responding to former church mates and friends who tell us to attend a local church. I've mentioned before that I've nothing against attending a local church, unless of course, if that church chooses the path that leads its members to compromise their faith, then its messenger is accursed (Galatians 1:9).

So how do we respond to people's anxiety about our not attending a local church and their other concerns?

Honestly, we have no control over people's anxiety and concern. Some are probably inclined to think we're losing or neglecting our faith, now that we're not attending a local church. What I was more concerned about was how to tell the people about the false church we used to attend "together." I was distraught when people I cared so much about wouldn't take heed of the warning that the church we both attended have finally become false, emergent churches. Warning them was like talking to the wind that wouldn't obey the Word of God. Yes, they've made such poor choice to stay there, and that was just heartbreaking. But God's Word brought me back my strength upon reading John 21:22.
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. (John 21:22)
Accepting the indifference of people is also a process, and I've just gone through that like going into battle. But indeed, the battle is not ours but God's (2 Chronicles 20:15). This is nothing new indeed, for God has already told us in His Word:
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:12-17, emphases mine)
I can't help but notice that those who stay in emergent churches can give excuses for staying there--sans the Word of God. They say, "I'm staying for the sake of other people who don't know these things." Or they say, they heard God told them "No" when they asked God if they should leave these [emergent] churches. Their mission now for staying there is to intercede or pray for the emergent church. But we shouldn't do that, lest we too be deceived while being a part of it. Besides, we can pray while we're "out" of such congregation.

Worse, they say that they will only leave such church when it no longer mentions "Jesus." Well of course, such church will keep mentioning "Jesus." The Catholic Church does that, doesn't it? But see how its teachings and practices heavily contradict and malign God's Word.

Those who stay in emergent churches cannot even give a Scripture that supports their decision to stay. They will talk about "love" and "forgiveness," sure. But we know that God's sovereignty isn't limited by these two factors that the emergents propagate to win people. (An example of this is "Love Wins," a book authored by emergent leader Rob Bell.) And we also know that love without the Truth is a lie.

Brethren, be careful not to fall into such trap. God's Word is our guide in making decisions--not our thoughts, not our feelings, not the influence of people around us. What God says in His Word, that we shall do:
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7, emphases mine)
Following is my response (with the subject line, "But God says in His Word . . .") to a friend who has chosen to stay in the once-Biblical-turned-emergent church we both attended. English translations follow parts written in Tagalog: 
. . . [Hindi] ako nasaktan sa sulat mo. Hindi na bago sa akin ang usapang ito. Isa ka sa mga taong nagsabi sa akin . . . kung bakit ka hindi umalis sa church mo ngayon. (. . . Your letter does not offend me. This conversation is no longer new. You’re among the people who told me such reasons for staying in your church.)

Totoo, walang perfect church . . . Pero tinagubilinan tayo ng Panginoon sa Kanyang Salita na humiwalay tayo at huwag makiisa sa mga maling gawi ng tao. Hindi natin sila kinukundina, ngunit hindi tayo nakikiisa sa kanila. (True, there is no perfect church. But God commands us to separate ourselves and not to be one with the erring deeds of men.) God is firm in His Word. He doesn't only talk about loving and forgiving people. He commands us to stand firm, but not in a way that compromises our faith. We do this by holding on to His Word:
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. (Ephesians 5:11-13, emphasis mine)
Sabi pa ng Panginoon (God has also said):
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17, emphases mine)
Because . . . we're commanded to contend for the faith, and not to compromise by taking part in what we know is in "error."
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude, verse 3, emphasis mine)
I echo in the book what the apostles have also said in the Bible:
We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
Kung tungkol sa pagpapatawad at pagmamahal, hindi sukatan niyan ang manatiling makipanayam sa mga taong iba sa atin. Sabi sa Bible (With regard to forgiveness and love, that’s not measured by keeping in touch with people who are not among us. The Bible says):
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7, emphases mine)
Hindi na nakapagtataka kung bakit ganito ang nakikita natin sa churches ngayon. (It is no longer surprising why we find these traits in the churches.)

Pagdating naman sa hindi pagdalo sa church, ito ang aking pinanghahawakan (When it comes to not attending a church, I hold on to these Scriptures):
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24)

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Proverbs 30:5)

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
. . . [The] Lord Jesus is never weak. There is no perfect church, true. I love to fellowship with the brethren, which I do from time to time. But God warns us of compromising churches that are certainly not His. For this reason, God is most able to nourish His own flock in the purity and power of His Word--not in a "pigpen" or in any place that serves spoils.

You take care . . .

Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No,' 'No'...