Vol. 2       Num. 2



The following is taken from Equal to Serve by Gretchen Gabelein Hull, Baker Books  pp. 180-182

My traditionalist friends told me that the order of creation determined that male-female relationships were to be hierarchical, with women subordinate to men, and that certain New Testament passages reinforced this two-tiered structure of society.  Although they told me this hierarchy primarily facilitated the decision-making process, it was apparent that I was again being confronted with male supremacy.  Equality and mutuality could not exist in male-female relationships if only the male made all the final decisions.

 Clearly, they said, woman had been created to be Adam’s helper and therefore his subordinate.  But was that so clear?  Much has been made of woman as “merely” helper, but any suggestion that the word for “helper” indicates a secondary function is not in keeping with the meaning of the original Bible language.  The Hebrew word for “helper, “´ēzer, does not indicate a weak or subordinate person, but someone who is strong.  Of all the times the Old Testament uses this word most of these uses refer to God.  No´ēzer does not indicate subordination or subservience.

Think of the tension and competition between men and women, single or married that has arisen because of the tragic misconception that the word ´ēzer means a subordinate.  Man and woman emerge from a distinctive creative act, in their case alone designed to portray their fellowship and unity, their partnership and mutuality of mission.  There was no independence of the one or dependence of the other.  In Eden there was no portrayal of dominance or subordination.  Of exactly the same substance as man, woman was an equal human being, suitable to be a strong helper.  When God took woman from man’s side, she was to be his “completer,” not his competitor.

Yes, men and women are individuals, and yes, they are different sexes.  But they are equal human beings, designed to complement and complete each other, as the marriage union demonstrates.  Scripture says that when they unite, the two “become one flesh,” not “the two become a hierarchy.”  The two now side-by-side should carry out God’s order to multiply and oversee the world together

What’s Happening on the Web? 

9/16/01  A Brief History of Some Women In Ministry by Richard Riss.  From the first century to the present God has used women.  This article will be an eye opener for most of us.  

8/16/01   Discussion on 10 Lies...article    We received the following comments from Seth Masek on Lee Grady's Article  10 Lies the Church Tells Women.  Barbara responded and they got into a discussion, which we felt was too good to keep to ourselves.  It is presented with Seth's permission.  We hope that it may encourage other "good Bereans" to write and question.   

10/14/01  Testimony of Mary Shattuck

10/1//01  Healing Words for October 2001  Healing Words is a monthly feature providing encouragement and healing through selected scriptures. 


We’re Still
Looking for Intercessors

We have had a wonderful response to our call for intercessors, but we believe that there are more of you out there.  As the ministry has expanded, it has become increasingly clear that we need a team of intercessors with us!  We are looking for those that God has called for this assignment.  After going to the website and reading the mission statement, seek the Lord.  If God is calling you to minister in this way, please e-mail us at telling us about yourself and why you believe God would have you pray with us and for us.   Pray for the mission statement to be manifested in all we say and do.  From time to time, Gay Anderson will contact you with specific needs.  We’ll leave it to the Lord to show you what we’re missing or what He’d have you tell us.

Jesus said:  "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one can come to the Father except by me."Jn. 14:6 

We have been deeply disturbed as we watched supposedly Christian leaders joining in prayer with those of other religions as though all were equally valid paths to God.  

Many people today believe that religion's job is to promote moral and ethical behavior. According to this viewpoint, different religions with their different spirits, names of god or gods, all should be tolerated because these are simply different ways of expressing the same divine and ethical truths.  The Bible does not agree with this argument. From the Bible's perspective, there is only one true God.  A false god is a demon, and he who follows a false god engages in idolatry and participates in counterfeit worship. This may not be a politically correct viewpoint today, but the Bible focuses on eternal truths and does not try to be a spiritual chameleon. (1)

Having said this, what is our response as Christians?  I believe a letter (see next column) we received from our friend Mary Shattuck has said it very well
1.  Avner Bosky, “A Perspective On Islam” pp. 1-2.

Dear Friends:

It seems that when the Twin Towers came down that a host of confusing spirits were released about who God is, what His nature is, what His judgments are, etc.  He is being lumped up with other false gods in group prayers being held publicly in many places.  I turn to prayer and the Word of God. 

 In Genesis 18 we see Abraham interceding on behalf of a wicked nation.  It is wonderful to consider the heart of God.  Look at how tender the Father is in saying if there were even 10 righteous He would spare.  I know our nation has its problems, but I believe there are more than ten righteous here.  

I agree with the work of the Holy Spirit as Jesus said in John 16:8, "And when He (Holy Spirit that now fills us) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment.”…(vs. 11) "of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged."  It is time more than ever to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and let Him use us to fulfill His work here on the earth.  I look at the first sermon preached by Peter in the book of Acts after the Holy Spirit was poured out in Acts 2:14-37, and the result was that the listeners were cut to the heart and thousands were saved.  This is the work of the Holy Spirit and what He wants to do through each one of us.  

This hour upon us is one of faith and not of fear.  What is inside us?  Who is our source?  I want to encourage all of you to spend time in the Word of God, prayer and reaching out to the truly lost and dying world that God loves so dearly.  This is time for faith.  Luke 18:8: "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"  I say YES.  Let's strengthen each other with words of faith.  Be a beacon of truth concerning your heavenly Father and who He is.  

God fill every one of you with a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.  

 In Jesus,  

Mary Shattuck

To read Mary's Testimony click here



by Barbara Collins

 Is there any scriptural basis for the husband serving as priest of the home?  If so, where?  Have I totally missed it?  Or, is this principle birthed in man's traditional mind?  If so, and we've got the order in the home mixed up, then that error will carry over into the local church as well.

 During a time when there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes, the idolatrous Micah committed a sacrilegious act by consecrating a young Levite to become his household priest. (1) This single Old Testament example of a priest in the home has nothing to do with the subject at hand since the only other family members mentioned are his sons, excluding his wife. More importantly, Micah is disobeying God's law.  However, it remains the only instance in God's Word that speaks of a priest in the home.

In the New Testament, Peter writes to Gentile Christians about a holy priesthood that offers up spiritual sacrifices as well as a royal priesthood that is a chosen generation and a holy nation - the Lord's own special people. (2) In neither verse does he specify gender.  The apostle John writes of Jesus Christ who "made us kings and priests to His God and father" who "shall reign on the earth."(3) John, too, makes no gender distinction.  Again, we ask the question "Was the doctrine of the husband as 'priest of the home' spawned out of man-made tradition?”

Certainly, we acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as the great High priest over all members of ahousehold.  However, some take the major "chain- of-command" scripture in I. Cor. 11:3, which says, "But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God," and use it to support the subordination of woman to man which God did not ordain.

Genesis 3:16b (4) is merely the fruit of sin.  The root of subordination is found in rabbinical and pagan teaching particularly after the Babylonian captivity, not in the Scriptures. If one believes in the subordination of the Son of God, then no problem exists in assigning woman a subordinate role in the home. However, the truth is that the Son of God is not less than His Father in any way.  Indeed, He "did not consider it robbery to be equal with God." (5) 

The hierarchal view supporting male headship that gives man authority over woman is reinforced by a twisted concept of the meaning of "head," not only in I Cor. 11:3 but also in Ephesians 5:23 as another example.  The most common Greek word for "head" is "kephale."  Alvera Michelsen captures these rarely considered thoughts. Those translators who wrote the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, rarely chose "kephale" when ro'sh carried the idea of authority, realizing that kephale did not carry the same "leader" or "superior rank" meaning for "head" as did the Hebrew word ro'sh.  In seven New Testament passages where "head" is used figuratively, Paul took pains to use different words than "head" (kephale) when the Hebrew word for head implied "superior to" or "authority over." Paul didn't use "kephale" when the Hebrew word for "head," which is "ro'sh," depicted authority but rather chose the word "archon" for leader or ruler as in Romans 13:3 or exousia (authority) in Romans 13:1-2.  Many Christians have been taught that "kephale" means authority rather than “source or beginning or completion.”  For a more thorough study of "head," please refer to Berkeley and Alvera Mickelsen's article on our website entitled, "The Head of the Epistles.”

Can we agree that man was the source or beginning of woman in that woman came forth from the side of Adam? (6) Can we agree that the Father was the source of the Son and that our very life is dependent upon the Son as our source?  (1 Cor.8:6)  The whole doctrine (and doctrine it is!) of subordination diminishes the Son of God, making Him less than the Father.  Believing this heresy denies the equality of the Triune Godhead as well as the equality of man and woman.  The perfect unity that existed between the Father and the Son caused Jesus to say to Philip:  "He who has seen Me has seen the Father. . ."(7) If we falter in our understanding of this root principle of equality, we will surely slip easily into patriarchy and/or the complementarian persuasion that relegates woman to a subordinate position with man, the superior. When the Bible tells us "God created man in His own image. . .male and female He created them."  He is saying that He created them equal. (9) Yes, God did "form" (elaborate) Adam first, but both were created simultaneously. (10)  When God said He would make a "help meet" for Adam, He was saying that He would make a helper comparable to, corresponding to, or suitable for Adam.  (Gen. 2:18).  The Hebrew word for "meet" means to aid, protect, surround or succour.  This help that woman would provide for him is superior, not inferior help according to the Old Testament.  Of the twenty-one times the word "help" is used, sixteen times it refers to divine help. What a beautiful example of the spirit of a comparable one who comes alongside man to surround and succour him with aid.  Could it be that the Holy Spirit, who is called the Helper, is a role model for woman in her coming alongside man and surrounding him with aid in loving harmony?  Paul's instruction in Ephesians 5 doesn't give a Christian husband the role of chief honcho of the home, having the final word on all family decisions. The husband is not given the responsibility for governing his wife.  Even when these verses are interpreted to mean that encouragement is given for the husband to act in a Christian way in exercising his authority, and the woman is urged to voluntarily subordinate herself; you still end up with inequality and what has become known as "patriarchy."

Actually, the equality of husbands and wives is revealed in verses 15-33.  One of the evidences of being "filled with the Spirit" is the "submitting to one another in the fear of God." In v. 22, "submit" or "be subject to" does not appear in the original Greek.  It says only "wives to your husbands" and refers to the same kind of mutual submission demanded of all Christians in verse 21.  In her book, Equal to Serve, Gretchen Hull points out that in the ancient world, "submit" could also mean "identify with" or "become one with."  In that context, Hull notes that the passage then emphasizes the couple's oneness as they identify with each other's interests as they would with Christ's.

Additionally, in Eph. 5:25, Paul told the husbands to love their wives "just as Christ also loved the Church."  What?  Are women to receive the same grace of God that men receive?  The concept of sacrificial self-giving so that a spouse can achieve full potential has been the role that society has traditionally given to the wife. In radical departure, Paul gives it to the husband. (11)

When Paul told the men to "love their own wives as their own bodies," he followed that statement with "he who loves his wife loves himself." (v. 28) Paul is telling the husband to nourish and cherish his wife as he does his own body.  These verses sound the gavel, not on gender inequality as we have been taught, but on gender equality - equally human, redeemed, and free.  As co-equals and partners in that holy, royal priesthood, both husband and wife are priests in the home seeking God's will in all family decisions and His will for their children

(1) Judges 17:1-13.
(2) I. Peter 2:5, 9.
(3) Rev. 1:6; 5:10.
(4) Gen 3:16b "...your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you."  For a full discussion of this verse see God's Word to Women by Katherine Bushnell
Lessons 16-19 
(5) Phil. 2:6.
(6) I. Cor. 11:12.
(7) I. Cor. 8:6
(8) John 14:9.
(9) Gen. 1:27.
(10) I. Tim. 2:13
(11) Mickelsen, “The Head of the Epistles.”.

We recommend Why Not Women? by Loren Cunningham and David J. Hamilton with Janice Rogers.  This excellent book is a biblical study of women in missions, ministry and leadership.  The partnership between Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With A Mission and David Hamilton, a dedicated student of the Word is augmented by the insights and assistance of Janice Rogers.  You’ll be blessed!