Question:

My home congregation is slowlybeginning to make some unscriptural moves. I have been told by another gospel preacher that my home congregation has a bad reputation. Our evangelist holds anerroneous view on marriage, divorce and remarriage. He believes that Christ's covenant is for Christians only and that since an alien sinner didn't know Jesus' teaching on MDR, both parties can be baptized without terminating the adulterous relationship. Such isnot right.

This morning during worship, a woman responded to the Lord's invitation. She wanted to share with the congregation that she had not been living her Christian life the way she should be.The evangelistand elders allowedher to go before the congregation and share her confessions. I almost got up and walked out after she did this.I began to feelvery uncomfortable becausethe apostle Paulsaid:

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be underobedience as also saith the law. 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).

After worship services this morning, I went to one of our elders and told him that I appreciated her willingness to confess those sins. It takes a lot to do such things as that. I also told him that it made me feel very uncomfortable, because of what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. He told me that we are commanded to confess our sins in James 5:16. He also told me that she wasn't usurping the authority over the man or teaching. He also said, "We're not going liberal on you, buddy!" The thing is liberals are not going to admit they are liberal. Actions speak louder than words (Matthew 7:20).

If I withdraw fellowship from my home congregation, my mother is going to stay all over my case about it. I still live in my parents home, because I have no other place to live. What should I do in a situation like this because my mother is going to continue worshiping in my home congregation? My mother is unfaithful. My grandmother is not much better.


Answer:

If Christ's covenant does not apply to the sinner, then why should anyone become a Christian? The fallacy in the reasoning is that only selected commands are said not to apply. Commands against sins, such as lying, idolatry, adultery, and fornication, are still applied against the non-Christian. The sinner is expected to repent of his sins and come to Christ. The truth is that all sins remain sinful. There are no sins which only apply to Christians. It is adultery when a person leaves his wife for another woman (Matthew 5:32; 19:9). That doesn't change. Nor does that adulterous relationship change just because a person becomes a Christian. It would be similar to telling a thief that he can continue to steal because he was stealing before he became a Christian and his conversion makes stealing for him righteous. The whole line of reasoning is ridiculous!

The error your elder made was applying I Timothy 2:11-12 to the situation. There are two commands regarding women and speaking. I Timothy 2:11-12 is a general statement that applies to all of life. In that passage, a woman is to speak in a quiet or submissive fashion, not to teach or in any other way usurp authority over men. I Corinthians 14:34-35 applies to the worship service. There a woman is not permitted to speak from a position that is not submissive. "Silent" in this passage is a different Greek word from the one used in I Timothy 2:11-12. It is because of this verse that we do not have women serving the Lord's Supper, leading singing, leading prayers, or addressing the congregation. When you have a general command and a specific situation command, the specific one take precedence in the specific situation.

What I found disappointing is that you brought up I Corinthians 14, but he only replied with I Timothy 2. He didn't answer your point; he avoided it.

In regards to your family: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26). Your family's position should not factor into your careful decision regarding what is right and wrong. Besides, does it make sense to avoid doing what you know to be the right thing to do because an unfaithful Christian objects?

Find a congregation willing to stand for the truth and then encourage your family to join you. That would do all involved a world of good.

The unfortunate truth is that the principles which allow congregations take a liberal position in regards to the spending of the Lord's money have no boundaries. If you can find ways to ignore what the Lord said, then people will eventually discover that the same principles can be applied in any other situation where they don't enjoy being obedient. It is a slippery slope with no bottom. What you are seeing is the inevitable progression away from the truth.