Does the Bible forbid Christian woman bloggers from teaching other women the Bible?

Does God allow women to teach other women the Word of God or does he only allow men to expound on the Word of God? Anyone who has read my blog for any amount of time will know that I believe that God has given different roles to men and women and he has given men headship over women in the home, the church and society.

Man’s headship over women in the Home

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

Man’s headship over women in the Church

“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.”

I Timothy 2:11-12 (KJV)

“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.”

I Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

“2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;”

I Timothy 3:2-4 (KJV)

Man’s headship over women in the Society

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

I Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)

But what about women teaching other women the Word of God?

The Scriptures are clear that women are not to take authority over or teach men in the church. They are also clear that women are to ask their husband’s about spiritual things and to follow his spiritual guidance.

But while the Bible commands that women are to follow their husbands spiritual leadership, ask him questions about the Scriptures and they are not to teach men in the Church what about women teaching women? The Bible answers this question.

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

The Bible is clear that women may teach other women what it means to be holy, truthful, not drunkards and what it means to love their husbands, how to be discreet, pure, how to keep their home and how to be obedient to their husbands.  And what should be the source of what they teach? Christ told us what the source is:

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

So when women are exhorted to teach other women how to live godly lives – they are exhorted to teach them the Word of God.

Some Christians teach against women teaching women

I have just shown from Titus 2:3-5 conclusive proof that women may and should teach other women how to be good, holy wives and mothers and they could only do this by expounding upon the Word of God on these subjects.  Yet surprisingly there are some Christians that use Scripture passages on male headship (which I deeply believe in) to attempt to deny the truths taught in Titus 2:3-5.  If they don’t completely deny it they try and limit it literally by women’s age groups.

I am often an ally of some of these fellow Christian bloggers in our fight against feminism and it’s poisoning of the home, the church and society. We often stand together in our defense of male headship.  So it saddens me when I have to sometimes take my fellow Biblical male headship brothers to task but if the Apostles who were inspired of God had disagreements(Galatians 2:11) then it would follow that those of us who do not write by direct inspiration of God would probably have many more disagreements.

It is somewhat ironic that I find myself in the position of defending Christian women’s rights when I am so often accused of teaching women have no rights and must silently tend to the needs of their husbands, their children and their homes and do nothing else.

But the truth is when it comes to intelligent women who are well read in the Scriptures and spiritually mature I have consistently taught on this blog that they should be encouraged to use their spiritual gifts by their fathers and husbands in ways that compliment rather than contradict God’s roles for men and women.

With that being said here are some areas where I stand against these men on this subject of women teaching women.

Disagreements with Deep Strength over his post “Women teaching women in Church”

In a post entitled “Women teaching women in Church” Deep Strength writes:

“Dalrock rightly points out that exegesis of the preaching and of the Scripture is delegated to husbands in the 1 Corinthians 14 passage. When you combine this with the wording of the passage in Titus 2, it’s obvious that older women are to encourage wifely submission to their husbands. Therefore, it is the case that older women should not be “teaching” what the Scriptures mean to wives but rather encouraging wives to ask their husbands about how they would interpret it.”

Both Darlock and Deep Strength are wrong on this.  I constantly teach on this blog that we must take the Scriptures as a whole. We cannot take those passages that don’t fit what we think God was saying and simply dismiss them and this is exactly what Darlock and Deep Strength are doing.

Here is Darlock and Deep Strength’s logic in a nutshell:

Since women are to be silent in the church and ask their husbands at home about spiritual matters women are therefore forbidden from EVER expounding on the Word of God in any situation.  God only allows men to teach and expound upon his Word in Darlock and Deep Strength’s view.

Darlock and Deep Strength have errored because they have gone beyond “that which is written” (I Corinthians 4:6).

When the Scriptures tell us that women should follow their husband’s headship and ask their husband about spiritual matters at home it does not mean that the only source of spiritual teaching a woman can ever have is her husband.  It does not automatically mean women are forbidden from reading various books or blogs on line about the Bible or even marriage.  And it certainly does not mean women are forbidden from expounding on the Scriptures to other women especially as it relates to about to be good godly wives and mothers.  Titus 2:3-5 proves this to be the case beyond any doubt.

There are two references to women teaching in this passage from Titus.  The first is found in Titus 2:3.

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

Titus 2:3 (KJV)

The phrase “teachers of good things” is a translation of the Greek word “Kalodidaskalos” which means:

“teaching that which is good, a teacher of goodness”

http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/kalodidaskalos.html

The NASB translates this phrase as “teaching what is good” and the NIV also translates this phrase as “to teach what is good”.  The consensus among commentator and translators is that this word literally means “to teach what is good”.  But the key concept is that women are in fact to be teachers.  This cannot be denied.

The second instance teaching is found in Titus 2:4:

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”

Titus 2:4 (KJV)

The word that the KJV translates as “teach” in Titus 2:4 where it says “That they may teach the young women” is a translation of the Greek word “Sophronizo” which means:

“restore one to his senses

to moderate, control, curb, disciple

to hold one to his duty

to admonish, to exhort earnestly”

http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/sophronizo.html

This word is only used in this particular passage of Scripture.

The NASB translates this word as “encourage” but puts in the foot notes that another word for it could be “train”.  The NIV translates this word as “urge”.

Even if this word means encourage we still have the first instance of women being commanded teach in verse 3.  And this is all part of one thought by the Apostle Paul and women teaching other women.  So even if it means “encourage” Paul is telling women “Be teachers of good things by encouraging women to do these things…”

How can women both teach and encourage other women to be good, to be holy, to be discreet, to love their husbands, their children and be obedient to their husbands without teaching them the standard for all these things which is the Word of God?

So while Darlock and Deep Strength want to deny the meaning of this passage because the Greek word  Sophronizo could mean encourage they cannot deny that the Greek word “Kalodidaskalos” found in verse 3 of Titus chapter 2 clearly involves teaching, not just encouraging.

And even if Sophronizo was the only word used in this passage it would be absurd to think that women could exhort other women to Godly living, to be good wives and mothers without ever referencing the Scriptures.

What about proper authority to teach?

We have proven that God’s Word does command women to teach other women how to be good wives and mothers from the Word of God from Titus 2:3-5. But what about the authority to teach the Word of God?

Deep Strength writes:

“All of this stems from as couple of things. Generally, In the Scriptures “teaching” and “preaching” are validated by “authority.” Authority is given in the Scriptures to specific roles such as husbands, pastors and elders, governments, and the like in order to love, shepherd, or maintain order and law.”

I agree that God has established various spheres of authority such as the family (which is headed by the husband) churches that are headed by Pastors and elders and of course civil government.

There are two types of authorities in the Bible – worldly authorities and spiritual authorities.

Worldly authorities would include Presidents, Governors, mayors, employers and school and college teachers and any other authority outside the home or the church.

Spiritual authorities would include people like our pastors or elders of our local churches and then husbands and fathers.

The uniqueness of the father/husband authority role

The father/husband is the only human role to which God has given both worldly and spiritual authority.  The husband and father roles are actually very similar to one another but the husband role is the most powerful human authority because a husband has authority to have sex with his wife but he does not have authority to have sex with his children.

The husband and father have responsibility for both the worldly affairs and spiritual affairs of their family. This is why husbands and fathers must teach their wives and children as well as discipline both their wives and children.

Each sphere of authority has its responsibilities, rights and limits. So for instance while civil government has some authority over family it does not have complete authority over the family.  For instance my local police department has the right to enter my home if they get a 911 call from my wife stating that I am trying to kill her.  But my civil governments (whether they be local, state or Federal) have no business telling me how to operate my marriage or what I teach my wife and children.

The authority of the Church also has it responsibilities, rights and limits.  All of the ministries of my church fall under the authority of my Pastor.  So if I were to teach in my church I must teach things in accordance with my Pastor’s interpretation of the Scriptures while participating in any official church activity.   However in my home I have the full right to teach my children Scriptural interpretations that are contrary to those taught in our church.

Let me illustrate with some examples.

A mother teaching her children

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;” – Proverbs 1:8 (NASB)

If a mother teaches her children the Word of God, she does so under the authority of her husband and their father.  This means that whatever his interpretations and applications are of the Scriptures this is what she must teach the children.  It does not necessarily mean that she agrees with all of them herself, but she must submit to his Spiritual views in how she conducts her life and how she teaches her children.

A woman teaching a woman’s Sunday school class

In the case of a woman teaching a woman’s Sunday school class she would first be doing so under the authority of her husband (if she is married) or else her father if she were unmarried.  But since she is teaching within an official ministry of the church she also falls under the authority of the church. So when she teaches she must teach in accordance with her husband or father’s interpretations as well as her church’s interpretations.  If the church would require her to teach something that conflicts with her husband’s teaching then she would have to resign that position in deference to her husband’s authority.

A woman has a Christian blog

When a woman has a Christian blog she is operating that blog under the spiritual authority of her husband or father. This means even if she disagrees with her husband or father on some interpretations and applications she is to teach what is in accordance with her husband’s interpretations and applications of the Scriptures.

Deep Strength is wrong that the teaching women is ONLY under the jurisdiction of their fathers or husbands

Deep Strength writes:

“Thus, in no situation is a woman “free unto herself” and thus given a voice within the Church in a position of authority whether over men or over other women. Daughters and wives are under their fathers or husbands authority. Likewise, older women are encouraged to teach younger women to obey the authority they are under and act in a godly manner.

Women teaching other women

As of now it should be quite clear that [older] women do not have the authority to teach or preach the meaning(s) of Scriptures to [younger] women because it is under the jurisdiction of their fathers or husbands. The Bible does not contradict itself on this front.”

Again let me reiterate from his statement the absurdity of what he is saying. He is saying older women should teach younger women to obey authority but why? Just because? Or is it because God’s Word says so? Do we live by our opinions or by the Word of God? So she can say “Ladies obey your husbands but I can’t quote the Scriptures that tell you to do that – only your husband can.”  Do you not see the absurdity of such a view?

I proved from the Scriptures that women do in fact have the authority to teach both their children (Proverbs 1:8) as well as other women(Titus 2:3-5).  The authority they have to do this comes from their husband or fathers first and secondarily from their church authorities if their husband or father allows them to do so.

Does God only allow older women to teach younger women?

Let’s look at Titus 2:3-5 again with the emphasis on ages of the women in question:

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that a Biblical literalist. I believe in interpreting the Bible as literally as possible unless it something like symbolism in prophecy or poetry.

But there are times when the Bible places an age restriction on something, and other times when it simply mentions age as an assumption.

We see an example of age restrictions when it comes to the church taking in widows that it would support and they would serve the church:

“A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man”

I Timothy 5:9 (NASB)

So a widow could not be brought in to be supported by the church and to serve the church full time until she was at least 60 years of age.  So here the age mentioned is not just an assumption, but a specific command.

But it is an error to connect this verse from I Timothy 5:9 with Titus 2:3.  They are talking about two different subjects.  One is talking about widows serving in the church and the other is talking about older woman teaching younger women how to be good wives and mothers.  Might some of these widows who were supported by the church does this very thing? Yes.  But Titus 2:3 does not restrict the ministry of women teaching other women to this group of women.

Paul’s command about aged women teaching younger women does NOT restrict teaching only to older women to younger women.  It was only an assumption that in most cases older women would be teaching younger women. The point of his statement was to allow women to teach other women how to be good wives and mothers according to the Word of God.

Yes God does restrict the exercise of the office of Pastor or elder to men who are not novices:

Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.”

I Timothy 3:6 (KJV)

This is talking about the position of Pastor or elder – official positions in the church.  Also being a novice has nothing to do with age but rather spiritual maturity.  In either case this would not stop a young teenager whether they be a young man or young woman from sharing the Word of God with their friends.  In fact they ought to and we should encourage our young people to do so.

But God does not restrict his gifts or his callings by age as Paul states:

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

I Timothy 4:12 (KJV)

Are we to believe that while we are not allowed to despise the exercise of spiritual gifts by young men that we are allowed to despise the exercise of spiritual gifts by young women? I think not.

My 14 year old daughter expounds upon the Scriptures all the time at school to her fellow teenage girls.  She teaches them about the Gospel and how God wants women to live their lives. I would never dream of despising her for exercising her spiritual gifts.

Now as I have stated here and elsewhere throughout my blog men and women need to exercise their spiritual gifts within the bounds of God’s commands for each gender.  So that means women cannot teach or take authority positions over men in the church.  Women must exercise their spiritual gifts under the authority of their father or husband.

What about conflicts of authority?

The Bible never says we can only learn about the Bible from one source whether be men or women.  The Catholic Church taught this doctrine for centuries there was only once source for understanding the Bible and that was the Church.  They forbid anyone but the clergy from reading and interpreting the Bible for themselves.

I thank God every day for the brave men of the Protestant reformation that stood against the spiritual tyranny of the Catholic Church. If they had not we might not be having these discussions about the Bible – we would not even have Bibles unless we were clergy.

But what about when spiritual authorities conflict? Really it is very simple. If you are a wife or daughter and your father does not want you listening to a certain blogger, author, or Pastor  on a certain subject or if they do not want you listening to them or reading things from that all you obey your spiritual authority.

But what Darlock and Deep Strength are essentially arguing for is a spiritual “lock down” approach to how husbands and fathers teach their wives and children.

They are teaching that a father or husband must not just teach their wives and children the meaning the Word of God – but they are the ONLY people that can teach their wives and children the Word of God.  I have shown here in this article that their position is contrary to the Scriptures.

Think about it in practical terms and let’s take gender out of the equation. If my wife is sitting in a church service at my church and my Pastor teaches something that is contrary to what I teach her from the Bible (and he does from time to time) – should my wife and children have to stick their fingers in their ears or leave the room? Of course not. To do so would be utterly absurd.

Instead after the service when we get home I will take the Scriptures and explain to my wife and children where I disagree with the Pastor on the subject and why I do.  This is an exercise in maturity for my wife and children in learning that good Bible believing Christians will have disagreements on interpretations and this is the right way to handle it.

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Christian Couple Faces $135,000 Fine

sweet_cakes_top_img_by_g-f_017-764x460

It should awaken all believers to what has happened to this nation that was founded on Christian principles, that in the year 2015, a Christian baker and his wife have been ordered to pay $135,000 for supposedly causing “emotional, mental, and physical suffering.”

Sometimes it takes persecution to make us stronger, to make us stand together, and perhaps this is why God is allowing this new type of attack on Christianity in our modern times. I pray that Christians will awake, as a sleeping bear, and not only financially support Christians like this, but also go to the voting booth to vote for conservative candidates telling them we want no more of this. We need a revitalized new religious freedom amendment, since our original first amendment has been so bastardized by the court over the last few decades.  It needs to be so word specific, that they can find no loop hole, and no way around it.

Aaron and Melissa Klein ran a small bakery called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” for seven years in Gresham, Oregon, but had to shut down their store in 2013 after Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman filed a civil rights complaint against them. Administrative judge Alan McCullough ruled Friday that the funds will go to Cryer and Bowman for “emotional, mental, and physical suffering.”

Samaritan’s Purse is raising funds to assist the Klein’s and others like them who face financial distress and are punished for their sincerely held religious beliefs, convictions and conscience.

“They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone,” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said. “I believe that Christians across our nation will rally around Aaron and Melissa and their five children.

“Please pray for Aaron and Melissa, and pray for our nation. When our judges are punishing Christians for practicing what they believe, that’s persecution, plain and simple.”

-Samaritan’s purse, http://www.samaritanspurse.org

I am thankful that men like Franklin Graham have had the courage to speak out on these issues, and his organization is going to help this couple.  They are taking donations through their persecuted Christians fund here.  I encourage all brothers and sisters in Christ to donate.

Is it wrong for a man to be a gynecologist?

A gynecological examination.Shooting a real doctor's office

Are all men that go into gynecology secretly perverted? Should gynecology be left only to women? Do male gynecologists get turned on when they do gynecological exams? Do men have an “on and off” switches for their sexual arousal?

Previously I wrote a post reviewing an essay by Pastor Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Temple, Arizona. The full post can be found at http://www.faithfulwordbaptist.org/lust.html.

In part of this post, Pastor Anderson states this about male gynecologists:

“And, you know, here is an area that is not popular. It has never stopped me before. It is not going to stop me now. But here is another area that is not popular. But, you know what? Women who go to a male doctor and just disrobe in front of a male doctor. Why? Because they don’t believe that nakedness is a sin. Because he is not lusting, supposedly.

Because we all know what is going on inside his mind. He takes a polygraph detector test right before and after every visit.

“I had…my mind is as clean and pure as the driven snow.”

Yeah, right. Good night. He is a man. He is a red blooded man like anybody else. Do you know what every male gynecologist ought to do? He ought to take a scalpel and a lancet and cut out his own eye and throw it in the trash. That is what the Bible says. He ought to just remove his own eye. I am not kidding. He has got all the tools to do it. He ought to do it.”

The Facts about male gynecologists

Before I tackle the issue the morality of a man(Christian or otherwise) being a gynecologist let’s look at the facts about male gynecologists.

FACT #1

Even with half of all gynecologists now being women, most women don’t care if their gynecologist is male or female

“There has been a significant gender shift in OB-GYN over the past two decades. In 1990, 22.4 percent of all OB-GYNs were women. In 2010, nearly 49 percent were women,” Jeanne Conry, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said in an email. She pointed to figures showing bigger changes to come: “In 1990, 49 percent of all first-year OB-GYN residents were women. In 2012, 83 percent were women.”

But that still leaves plenty of men pursuing gynecology as a profession…

70 percent of women said they had no preference when asked if they preferred a male or female gynecologist. Of the nearly 30 percent who did, the majority preferred a female gynecologist…”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/12/09/are-male-gynecologists-creepy.html

FACT #2

Male Gynecologists admit they are sometimes sexually aroused by their patients

“Of all the specialties in med school, I was sure gynecology was the one I wouldn’t want. As a straight male, I didn’t want to ruin my love of the vagina. Years into it now, I’m never more professional than I am with a patient. The vagina is so desensitized to me, I hardly notice anything about it. But if a woman is attractive, I do have to fight that part of my brain. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. I’ve had patients legitimately hit on me — one immediately after her abortion, and another right after a pelvic exam.”

http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/09/10-men-explain-why-they-became-gynecologists.html

FACT #3

Some Male Gynecologists have sexually abused their patients

“Of 10,000 physicians surveyed, 1,891 responded and the result was that fully 9% admitted to some sexual contact with one or more patients. (Sample included 344 gynecologists.)”

http://patientmodesty.org/sexualmisconduct.aspx

ARGUMENT #1 Sexual Misconduct by Doctors

One of the most common attacks against the idea of male gynecologists is the possibility of sexual abuse. In the survey I cited above, 9% of physicians admitted to sexual conduct with patients. But we have to be careful to separate out what would be “unethical” sexual conduct, verses “criminal sexual misconduct” by a doctor. The reality is that the vast majority of sexual conduct between physicians and patients is actually consensual, even if it does violate medical ethical rules.

But from a Christian perspective, it would be wrong for man to engage in sexual conduct with any woman outside of marriage, so from our perspective we would say that 9% of physicians admitted to sexually immoral behavior with their patients(regardless of whether it was consensual or not).

While it is a sad fact of the sinfulness of man, that 9% of physicians engage in unethical and sexually immoral conduct with their patients – this means that 91% percent of physicians do NOT!

So basically we have people attacking the concept of male doctors treating female patients because of the possibility that less than one out ten of those doctors may engage in unethical or immoral behavior with their patients (and even a much smaller percent would engage in abusive behavior).

I can sympathize with women who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of their male physician. I realize that even if less than 5% of male physicians engage in sexually abusive behavior with their patients, that makes little difference to these women – they would never see a male gynecologist ever again.

But we cannot “throw out the baby, with the bathwater”. I believe if we look at this from an objective standpoint, the sexual misconduct argument against male gynecologists does not warrant the elimination of male gynecologists.

ARGUMENT #2 Female Gynecologists

The truth is by every measure, there are more and more female gynecologists every day. Now half of the OB-GYNs in the United States are women. Even higher numbers of female OB-GYNs will be coming through medical schools over the next decade.

So why shouldn’t women, Christian or otherwise switch over to female OB-GYNs? The truth is there is a doctor shortage in this county, whether it is in the OB-GYN practice, or even just general family practice. If women started going exclusively to female physicians those doctors would be overrun and the waiting lists would be astronomical.

So yes let’s as Christians push more women to enter the medical field and become OB-GYNs so women won’t have to see male gynecologists. This would solve the problem right?

But aren’t we forgetting a very important issue from a Christian perspective?

Being a physician of any kind, whether that is an OB-GYN or some other kind of doctor, is a very demanding job. It takes almost a decade of schooling and residency with long hours and a lot of commitment for anyone to accomplish this feat.

For most female physicians, they are not even able to start a family until they are well past their prime child bearing years and even when they have children their children spend a great deal of their time being cared for and raised by people other than their mother(their father, their nanny, or other child care professionals).

Now if you are an Egalitarian or Christian feminist and therefore reject the Biblical doctrines of Gender Roles, then this is not a problem. But for those of us who believe God created men and woman for distinct and different purposes, then these commands of God’s Word would seem to discourage us from pushing more women to be doctors:

“…teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-5(KJV)

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

I Timothy 5:14(KJV)

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

Proverbs 31:27(KJV)

While the Bible does not forbid a woman from working outside the home, it does make clear that a woman’s primary place is in the service of her husband in their home caring for their children and household.

A woman cannot be in two places at once, either she will give the majority of her time and energy in service to her husband, her children and her home as God had designed her to do, or she will give the majority of her time and energy to others outside her home as she pursues her career outside the home.

So on the female gynecologist argument, I have shown that for two reasons this argument does not hold up when put under closer examination. There are not enough female physicians to service all the women that need medical care. Also from the perspective of Biblical Gender roles, we must cannot, if we accept God’s Word on the nature and design of woman, encourage more women to be OB-GYNs.

I completely realize that my argument against more female doctors could play right into the “doctor shortage” problem. If we have less women doctors, then we would have less doctors and create a larger problem. I agree that it would under the current system.

But there is an easy way to solve this problem. We need to do a better job of establishing different levels of medical caregivers. We need to encourage the training of more male physician assistants and male nurse practitioners, men who do not have to have all the training of a full a doctor. This would greatly alleviate the pressure on doctors and allow them to handle the cases that truly need a fully trained doctor.

ARGUMENT #3 Sexual Arousal

Finally we will address Pastor Dave Anderson’s argument from the point of lust.

Light switch. 3d illustration isolated on white background

Let me first say where I agree with Pastor Dave – men don’t have an “On and off” switch for sexual arousal. Many male gynecologists will privately admit they are sometimes turned on by their patients, if they find them attractive. But let’s also be honest with the fact that for every patient that is attractive to a male doctor, there will be several that are not attractive.

As I have pointed out in my previous post addressing Pastor’s Dave’s “Lust of the Eyes” essay – Sexual arousal is NOT lust. Please review that post examining the scriptures on this very crucial point. If we error by believing and teaching the false doctrine that mere sexual arousal is lust, then Pastor Dave would be right that no man should ever be a gynecologist from a Christian perspective. But if we follow Pastor Dave’s perspective, men ought to look at the ground everywhere they go, for fear of seeing a beautiful woman and becoming sexually aroused (and therefore lusting).

It is not sinful for a woman to disrobe for her physician, as Pastor Dave asserts. As long as she is not setting out to purposefully make him lust after her (as some female patients do with their doctors), then she has committed no sin by disrobing in his presence for a medical examination. Contrary to Pastor Anderson’s assertion – Nakedness is not always sinful, see my post “Why Nudity is NOT always shameful?”.

In the same way, it is not wrong for a male gynecologist to have his female patient disrobe for an examination. It is not sin for him to examine her in a medical and professional way. It is also not sin for him to be turned on by her beauty if she is attractive to him.

What is sinful, is if he either thinks of ways to get her to have sex with him outside of marriage (lustful thoughts), or he actually engages in sexual behavior with her. That is the truth of Scripture.

Conclusion

91% of gynecologists never engage in inappropriate sexual behavior with their patients. There are not enough female gynecologists to serve the needs of all the women out there. Christians should not be encouraging more woman to leave the duties of their home to be physicians. There is no sin in a woman disrobing for her male doctor, or being medically examined by him. A male gynecologist is not sinning if he is aroused by an attractive female patient in the course of his duties. The sin comes in what he does with that arousal. Based on these facts, it is not wrong for a Christian woman to see a male gynecologist, and it is not wrong for a man to be a gynecologist.

 

 

Is it wrong for Christians to pose nude, or paint and photograph nudes?

nice portrait of a young woman with naked shoulder posing inside a frame

Is it wrong for Christians to pose nude for painters or photographers? Is wrong Christians to take nude pictures of models, or paint nude models? Is wrong for Christians to be involved with nudity at all?

The lust argument

Many Christians would say –“Duh – ya! Of course it is wrong for a Christian to pose nude, or take nude photos, or paint nudes or to have any involvement in nudity at all”.

The reasons for this common belief among Christians are:

  1. If a person poses nude, there image will be used to cause others to lust.
  2. If a person takes nude photography, or paints nude – they may lust themselves after the model they are painting or photographing and/or cause others who see the photograph or nude to lust.

I would not argue with the fact that if a person poses nude, they might cause others to be sexually aroused by their beauty. While this could apply to women as well, it would primarily apply to men because men are usually much more visual than women.

But the fact is, the Bible never condemns sexual arousal, it only condemns sexual lust. While sexual arousal and sexual fantasy can lead to sexual lust, they do not have to, any more than our hunger for food has to lead to gluttony.

Our sexuality, our sexual nature, is a part of who we are as human beings, this true for men and women. As men, we are much more sexual in our natures, due to having 10 more times the testosterone in our bodies. Our brains are bathed in testosterone while we are in the womb, and this makes us have highly competitive, aggressive and yes sexual brains.

As believers, God wants us to channel our sexuality in positive ways that do not break God’s law. While all acts of physical sex are reserved for marriage between a man and woman, this does not mean we have to suppress our sexuality until we are married. It also does not mean that after marriage all of our sexual energy, and every sexual thought must be about our spouse.

What it means is we are not to fantasize about trying to get someone to sleep with us outside of marriage, whether we are single or married, that is the very definition of lust. Lust is fantasy to possess something that does not belong to us.

Lust is NOT being sexually aroused by the sight of a beautiful woman.

Lust is NOT being wondering what a woman looks like with her clothes off.

Lust is NOT having a sexual dream or fantasy about a woman you are not married to.

The “no arousal” argument

There may be some Christians (and non-Christians) that think it is OK to paint or photograph nude models as long as there is no arousal. Every time I hear this theory, it makes me want to chuckle. I don’t dispute that in 95% of cases, especially for men, the site of a nude model that is even semi attractive would cause sexual arousal.

Now can men learn to hide their arousal? Certainly. But we as men are hardwired for visual beauty, it’s a fact. To say otherwise is a biological lie. But again as I said above, there is no sin or immorality with being aroused at the site of a beautiful woman. It is what we do with that sexual arousal that will become sinful, or not sinful behavior.

Let me review some principles from my article “Is Nudity always shameful”:

  1. As a general rule, God wants people to be clothed. In most circumstances, to be naked is to be shamed.
  2. We are not to uncover the nakedness of anyone involuntarily, or for the purposes of having sex with someone we ought not to be having sex with (anyone outside of lawful marriage).
  3. Most instances of nakedness being a shame in the Bible are of involuntary nakedness such as being captured in war and being stripped, a woman being raped, or someone being in poverty and losing one’s clothes. A person having their clothing taken from them against their will is shameful and disgraceful.
  4. In some instances, when clothing is removed voluntarily, and with specific purpose for limited time, it is not a shame or sinful to do so.

So once we understand that lust is not sexual arousal, or even sexual fantasy, but is instead thoughts and fantasies about actually possessing someone that we cannot have, or having someone outside of marriage, then we need to look at principles for nudity.

God wants us as believers to be clothed, generally speaking – see my post Why God meant people to be clothed.

However, when someone disrobes voluntarily, for a specific time, and for a specific duration for the purposes of being painted or photographed – no sin has occurred.

Song Solomon shows the beauty of the human body, along with a wife painting her husband’s body with words (Song of Solomon 5:10-16), and a husband painting his wife’s body with words (Song of Solomon 7).

The husband of Song of Solomon calls his wife’s body, “The work of the hands of an artist” in Song of Solomon chapter 7:

“How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter!

The curves of your hips are like jewels, the work of the hands of an artist.

2 “Your navel is like a round goblet which never lacks mixed wine; your belly is like a heap of wheat Fenced about with lilies.

3 “Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle.

4 “Your neck is like a tower of ivory, your eyes like the pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath-rabbim; your nose is like the tower of Lebanon, Which faces toward Damascus.

5 “Your head crowns you like Carmel, and the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads; The king is captivated by your tresses.

6 “How beautiful and how delightful you are, my love, with all your charms!

7 “Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters.

8 “I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree, I will take hold of its fruit stalks.’ Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, And the fragrance of your breath like apples,

9 And your mouth like the best wine!” “It goes down smoothly for my beloved, flowing gently through the lips of those who fall asleep.

Song of Solomon 7:1-9(NASB)

Conclusion

I completely disagree with those who are Christian, or even non-Christian (such as Muslims) who believe that nudity must be covered at ALL times (except for between a man and woman in the privacy of their own home).

Both from a Biblical perspective, as well as practical perspective, how does it make sense that God has made the human body so beautiful, especially that of women (“the work of an artist”), only for it to be hidden away?

I have used this example before, and I think it very applicable to this issue beauty as well as nudity.

Single Orange Tree

Imagine that a man plants a beautiful orange tree in his yard. It grows and blossoms with beautiful fruit. But people walk by and look at its beauty, and this bothers him, because he reasons “that tree belongs to me, and its beauty is only for me”. So he hires a construction company to build a 20 foot wall around it with a door so only he can enter and see its beauty.

Now most of us would find this utterly ridiculous, but this is how some men see their wives, and some wives think they should be treated as wife. They see a woman’s beauty as something to be hidden, and only enjoyed by the husband in private.

Using this same tree, continuing our analogy, what if the man did not build the wall but allowed the beauty of his tree to be enjoyed by all his neighbors, and all who would drive by his home?

If the tree represents his wife, there would be no sin people walking by and enjoying the beauty of his “tree”, then the only sin would be if someone were to come and touch that “tree”, and take from its fruit – for that tree belongs him and him alone.

Although God wants us to be clothed as we go about our daily lives, there is a place and a time for nudity and the display of the art, the beauty and sexual allure of the human body. There is a place in Christianity for artistic as well as erotic nudity. But as Christians we must always exercise our expressions of art and sexuality within the bounds of God’s law.

See these other related posts in this series on Biblical Nudity:

Why did nudity become shameful after the fall?

Why God meant for people to be clothed

Why nudity is not always shameful for a Christian

Why nudity is not always shameful for a Christian

Why nudity is not always shameful

Is nudity always shameful? Some would say yes. They could point to many passages of Scripture that associated nudity with shame. I believe that as a general rule, God meant for us as human beings to be clothed. He did not intend for us to just go naked everywhere we went, whether it is for shopping at the store or going about the daily business of our lives.

There is a time and place for everything under heaven

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” – Ecclesiastes 3:1(KJV)

Are there times and places for nudity? Some might say there is never a time for nudity (outside of nudity between a husband and wife in marriage), but the Scriptures show otherwise:

Job’s humility before the Lord

“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not…” – Job 1:20-22a (KJV)

Job – after losing his children and everything he had, tore his clothes fell to the ground naked before the Lord. This a great act of humility – and the Scriptures are clear, he did not sin in becoming naked in this instance.

David’s praises the Lord naked

“14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod… And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart…

20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord. 22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.

23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.” – II Samuel 6:14 & 16 & 20-23(KJV)

David danced for the Lord and worshiped him naked. His wife, Michal, was angry and jealous of his dancing in front of other women being naked. God blessed David for this, and he cursed Michal with barrenness for her jealousy.

God orders Isaiah to preach naked

“At the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.” – Isaiah 20:2(KJV)

While Isaiah preached naked as a sign to Egypt and upon Ethiopia that they would be conquered by Assyria and brought back naked and barefoot, the issue is that God did sanction nakedness here.

So we have three distinct instances of nakedness that were clearly blessed and condoned by God. Job’s nakedness in his humility toward God, David’s nakedness in his worship of God and Isaiah’s nakedness in preaching in the Word of God.

All three instances of Biblical nudity have some things in common

All three of these instances, besides being condoned by God, have people willingly becoming naked. All three of these instances also have people becoming naked for a specific purpose, and not nudity was not their normal way of life.

Nakedness is like marriage

God designed man and woman for marriage. Specifically, God designed woman for man, and he created marriage as the protection for that physical, emotional and spiritual relationship. But God makes exceptions to his general purpose that men and women should marry. He calls some men and women to celibacy, he gives them this gift of celibacy for his service.

In the same way as marriage, we can see throughout the Scriptures that God’s meant as a general rule for people to be clothed. God clothed Adam and Eve in the Garden, he designed our bodies to be clothed (as our bodies are not meant to brave the elements). He often speaks of nakedness as a shame, but yet we see three instances in Scripture where God sanctions nakedness.

Biblical Principles for Clothing and Nakedness

When we compare these instances with the rest of Scripture, I believe we can establish these principles:

  1. As a general rule, God wants people to be clothed. In most circumstances, to be naked is to be shamed.
  2. We are not to uncover the nakedness of anyone involuntarily, or for the purposes of having sex with someone we ought not to be having sex with (anyone outside of lawful marriage).
  3. Most instances of nakedness being a shame in the Bible are of involuntary nakedness such as being captured in war and being stripped, a woman being raped, or someone being in poverty and losing one’s clothes. A person having their clothing taken from them against their will is shameful and disgraceful.
  4. In some instances, when clothing is removed voluntarily, and with specific purpose for limited time, it is not a shame or sinful to do so.

One application of these principles would be – it is not wrong for a woman to disrobe for her physician(even if he is a man). This is temporary nudity, for a specific purpose and there is no sin in this.  This is our third article in the series “Biblical Nudity”. In upcoming articles we will apply these principles for clothing and nudity to more real life situations.

See these other related posts in this series “Biblical Nudity”:

Why did nudity become shameful after the fall?

Why God meant for people to be clothed

Is it wrong for Christians to pose nude, or paint and photograph nudes?

Why God meant for people to be clothed

Why God meant for people to be clothed

I believe that it was God’s intention for man and woman to be clothed whether or not Adam and Eve ever sinned – the proof is that we will be clothed in the eternal state.

Humans have no natural protection from elements

We as human beings in our natural state are exposed, and thus we are meant to be clothed. Clothing protects our skin from extreme temperatures (hot and cold), and from being cut and scraped. This why we wear clothing and shoes.

Symbolic Purposes for Clothing

It is clear from the Bible that God loves symbols. Marriage while have practical purposes in this life, is also a symbol of the eternal relationship between God and his people. Yeast was symbolic of sin. Boaz redeeming Ruth was a symbol of Christ’s redemption of all mankind. There are countless symbolisms in Scripture, and clothing is no exception. While clothing has practical purposes that we have previously pointed out, clothing also has symbolic purposes.

Being clothed separates mankind from all other creatures

God could have designed people with a super durable and protective exterior to the extent that we did not need clothing, but he did not. The reason was that he wanted to separate us out as special from all his other creations. Every other creature on this planet does not need clothing, but they are given custom clothing by God himself. Birds have feathers, bears, dogs and cats have fur. Some creatures have scales, while others have extremely thick skin. Turtles have shells.

In the Scriptures God made a man to be like an animal for sinning against him:

“The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.”

Daniel 4:33(KJV)

King Nebuchadnezzar sinned against God, and God made him go about as an animal for a time, because of his sin. The phrase “his body was wet with the dew of heaven” is acknowledged by many commentators as meaning he was naked. He replaced his clothing with excess body hair, in the same fashion as an animal, or more specifically like eagle’s feathers.

As we saw in the first section, the temporal reasons for clothing are practical ones.

Clothing is symbol of righteousness, while nakedness is symbol of shame

In Revelation chapter 19 we see that clothing is a symbol of the righteousness of the saints:

Job shows us that his righteousness was a clothing:

“I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.” – Job 29:14(KJV)

John tells us in the book of Revelation that clothing was symbolic of the righteousness of the saints:

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” – Revelation 19:7-8(KJV)

In Revelation chapter 3 we see that clothing covers the shame of nakedness:

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” – Revelation 3:18(KJV)

Clothing is a symbol of salvation:

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” – Isaiah 61:10(KJV)

While clothing has many positive symbolisms in the Bible, nakedness is often associated with poverty or shame:

Christ spoke about nakedness as symbol of poverty:

“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” – Matthew 25:35-36(KJV)

The scripture also see nakedness as symbolic of shame:

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” – Revelation 16:15(KJV)

Conclusion

In this third second article in our “Biblical Nudity” series, we have established why God always meant for mankind to be clothed (even if the fall had never happened). We can see that unlike other creatures in God’s creation, man was not made with a natural and durable covering to brave the elements and protect his body from damage. We can see there is great symbolism in man being clothed, and it separates and distinguishes us from all the rest of God’s creation on earth.

Clothing, for the most part, has a very positive symbolism in Scripture being symbolic of things like righteousness, salvation and prosperity. Nakedness on the other hand, is often associated with shame, disgrace and poverty.

In our next article in this series, we will discuss “Why nudity is not always shameful”.

See these other related posts in this series “Biblical Nudity”:

Why did nudity become shameful after the fall?

Is it wrong for Christians to pose nude, or paint and photograph nudes?

Why did nudity become shameful after the fall?

Whynudityshame

Why did nudity become shameful after the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? Was it because they realized what sexual attraction was? Was it because of the potential for lust that God clothed them? Or were there other reasons that God clothed Adam and Eve, and nakedness became a shame after Eden?

There was no shame about nakedness before the fall

The Bible says this about Adam and Eve right after they were created by God:

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” – Genesis 2:25(KJV)

Shame felt for the first time

In Genesis 2 – God had told Adam not to eat from the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Then we read in Genesis 3 that sometime after God created Eve for Adam, and brought them together in the first marriage, Eve was deceived by the Devil. He promised her this “knowledge” that God was hiding from her and told her that she and Adam could become gods by eating the fruit.

Eve ate the fruit, convinced her husband to eat it and the Bible says:

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden… And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” – Genesis 3:8-11

The Bible tells us “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked” and they sewed leaves together to cover their nakedness. They instantly knew after eating the fruit that they were naked, and needed to be clothed.

The reason for Adam and Eve’s shame

The source of Adam and Eve’s shame was not some new knowledge about sex or lust as is many times presented by various theologians and writers. The source of their shame was not even knowledge of evil, but it was in fact a new and expanded knowledge of what is good.

What is often overlooked is the fact that the tree was not just a tree of the knowledge of “evil”, but also of “good” (Genesis 2:17 & 3:22). Most people only think of the tree giving Adam and Eve knowledge of sin and evil, but the fact is, it also gave them a more complete knowledge of what is good.

When we see little one and two year olds running around the house naked and unashamed, we call them “innocent”. But we know Biblically that children are born sinners, and they sin just as adults do, just in different ways. Little children lie, steal and hurt one another. What we really mean when we call that naked two year old running around “innocent” is, that they are “ignorant” of the fact that as human beings we are not meant to be naked at all times, but we are meant to be clothed.

Just as babies and one and two year olds are ignorant of their nakedness, and the need for clothing, so too Adam and Eve were ignorant of this need for clothing as well, this why they felt the shame they did about their nakedness.

If nakedness were truly a symbol of innocence, then when we get to heaven and when we dwell with God for eternity, we would again be naked. But look at what God says in the book of Revelation regarding clothing:

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” – Revelation 7:9(KJV)

In the eternal state, we will be clothed in white, not naked. We will once again be completely innocent from sin, yet we will not be naked.

Who told you that?

What was God’s first response to Adam and Eve’s knowledge of their nakedness?

“Who told thee that thou wast naked?” – Genesis 3:11(KJV)

Let me give an example to illustrate from a parents point of view. Imagine you have a 6 or 7 year old child, and they find out at school from some kid in their class about sex. Any parent would reasonably ask “Who told you about that? It’s not that the knowledge of sex is bad thing, it is simply that it was not yet time for the child to have this knowledge. This is exactly what happened in Eden.

Make no mistake, God was angry at the way Adam and Eve gained the knowledge of their nakedness through sin, and not in the way he intended for them to find out, from him and in his perfect time.

God did not clothe Adam and Eve because of the presence of sin. He did not cloth them because of some new knowledge about sex or sexual lust.

He clothed them, because they were always meant to be clothed.

This has been the first article in our series on “Biblical Nudity”. In this first post we talked about the shamefulness of nudity, in other posts in this series we will cover topics such as “Why God meant for people to be clothed”, “Why nudity is not always shameful”, “Can Christians pose for and paint nudes?” and other related topics to Biblical nudity.