“Uncovering the Sheets”: A Review of June’s Eve of Poetry

Not to us, O LORD, but to your name give glory

(Psalm 115:1)

[Co-authored by Huston Malande & Julie Wangombe]

Thank God that in a world reverberating with blasphemous music and an increasing perversion of the arts, there are initiatives such as Eve(ning) of Poetry; which offer artists a platform to minister on societal issues — under the penetrating light of the gospel. I (Huston) am grateful for all those who make unknown sacrifices behind the scenes in order to make this event possible. I’m thankful to have had occasion to perform there and hope to have such an opportunity again.

The month’s event, themed “Uncovering The Sheets”, aimed to encourage, uplift, and help bring healing to those dealing with sexual temptation, addiction, and/or pain of abuse.

The guest speaker was Pastor Terry Gobanga, who shared with her audience the story of her struggle to recover from the trauma of sexual abuse and the grief of losing her husband so soon after their wedding.

terry

Her story is undeniably tragic. Many cannot imagine — let alone endure — some of the horrors she experienced and only the most granitic of hearts could have remained unmoved after listening to her recount her sufferings.

This post does not seek to, in any way, diminish the gravity of what she went through.

However, there are several issues that we (Huston & Julie) had regarding this month’s eve of poetry and Terry Gobanga’s message to the audience; which we feel compelled to address.

We know that many of these issues, far from being isolated to one Eve of Poetry event or even to Kenyan churches, are in fact worldwide historically recurring issues that concern the entire body of Christ. This makes them all the more weighty, and should make us all the more attentive, and concerned to deal with them.

Here are the four things that we think must be said:

1. WOMEN WHO CALL THEMSELVES PASTORS ARE WALKING IN DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD

From the time Christ ascended after His resurrection and all the way down through church history, it has been the clear teaching of Scripture and the obedient affirmation of Bible-believing churches that the only two offices of church government (i.e. 1: elders/pastors/overseers and 2: deacons) are reserved for qualified men. The ignorant persistence of present day ‘prominent’ women such as Joyce Meyer; Paula White; Kathy Kiuna; ‘Evangelist’ Wairimu (etc. etc.) does absolutely nothing to change the fact that the Bible is unequivocal about the God-ordained blueprint for church leadership.

The Bible not only describes this through the example of the early church in the New Testament, but also prescribes it as a direct command to all Christians. The most distinct and clear passage is 1 Timothy 2:12-14:

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (1 Timothy 2:12-14, ESV)

The most common and seemingly plausible arguments against this command are the claims that “it only applied to that specific church at that specific time” and that “God is redeeming fallen mankind through the church so there is now neither male nor female”.

On closer inspection you’ll find that these claims are utterly shattered by the fact that the inspired Apostle Paul bases his instructions on a period prior to the fall: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve”. That means his basis for commanding that men lead the church is based on God’s own perfect and infallible design. The principle therefore applies before the fall and after the fall, not just to “a specific church at a specific time”. Much more can be said about this, but that would be belaboring the point: there’s no way around this bulletproof Scripture.

The Bible is clear and if Terry and other “female pastors” love Jesus, they’ll obey His commandments, deny themselves, and humbly seek to serve Him and His people within the framework that God has declared to be honorable to Him.

2. WHEN STRIVING TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE, WE MUST BEGIN WITH GOD; NOT OURSELVES; SCRUTINIZING EVERYTHING IN LIGHT OF HIS WORD

While on stage, Terry consistently used her experiences rather than Scripture as her primary point of reference.

When teaching (and studying) the word of God it’s imperative that we begin with Scripture and draw out the meaning from the text itself (a process theologians would call exegesis).

For instance, in the first point, we have exegetically shown what Paul’s inspired words mean by closely examining the passage.

We don’t first decide what we want to say then go find the verses that seem to fit (a practice often masquerading as ‘topical studies’, the most popular ones being ‘finances’ and ‘relationships’). No, the verses tell us what they have to say, and our task in study and teaching is to find out what the main point of each passage is.

In contrast Terry only quoted a couple of passages (the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13 and the story of the woman in the Synoptic Gospels who had a discharge of blood) then retold her experience as she drew implications and conclusions that had nothing to do with the Biblical texts.

Not once did she bring out the context of Tamar’s rape: the fact that it was the second in a series of judgments because of David’s adultery and murder. The first was the death of the baby that Bathsheba bore unto David. The climax of these judgments is in the conspiracy, betrayal, and death of his son, Absalom. The chapters around the story of Tamar are not an expose of rape. The big picture is that God hates sin, and that the consequences of our sin (apart from Christ) can have more far-reaching consequences than we can imagine.

Terry loosely made reference to particular portions of the passage in 2 Samuel. For example, since she’d been left for dead after her assault, she compared that to Amnon hating Tamar afterwards and not wanting to ever see her again. This common giving of a secondary role to Scripture as personal experience and presuppositions take center stage is what theologians call eisegesis.

We can get used to randomly quoting Scripture as Christians, but God expects us to “tremble at His word” (Isaiah 66:2). We ought to be careful not to use God’s word as a rubber stamp for what we want to put across. Simply having a moving testimony doesn’t mean that you’re “rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

 3. IT IS UN-BIBLICAL TO DEMONIZE SIN

There is a practice amongst even true believers of demonizing our sins. We create demons according to our particular struggles. Ergo, we talk about demons of lust, anger, greed and so on. When sharing her testimony, Terry referred to rape as a demon.

Now, we believe that demons do exist. The Bible tells us so. We also believe that there are territorial demons and others that can torment humans in certain ways. The Bible tells us that too.

However save for “Legion, and Beelzebul/Lucifer/Satan”, nowhere in the Bible are we made privy to the names of demons.
What’s more, directly relating the struggle with sin to demonic activity is a deception. Even in the passage Terry referred to in 2 Samuel where Tamar is raped by Amnon, there is no direct reference to demonic involvement!

We should heed what the book of James has to say:

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:14-15, ESV)

Our worst enemy is not somewhere outside of us. Our worst enemy is our own indwelling sin, for without it the external luring of the evil one and his minions would be completely ineffectual — as it was with Jesus.

This is why Paul commands us to kill our flesh, not demons.

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13, ESV)

Saying that sexual sins are demons is to teach a lie and the reason why this lie is so dangerous is because it has misled some true believers into thinking that since they struggle with a besetting sin, it means that they must be possessed by some overpowering demon or the other.

The Christian can rest assured that the Holy Spirit resides in them, and we cannot see how the temple of the Holy Spirit can simultaneously accommodate the devil. But more importantly, Scripture doesn’t teach it. So… Neither should we. In fact, the truth about our struggle with sin can be found in Romans 7. In this passage Paul cries out:

“Oh wretched man that I am”

Oh. Wretched. Man. That. I. Am.

Indeed. 

4. THE SOLUTIONS WE, THE CHURCH, OFFER TO THE WORLD MUST BE GOSPEL-CENTRIC; NOT SELF-CENTERED

As Terry wrapped up her message, she ended with an exhortation that was based on the woman who had a discharge of blood. In a nutshell, she said that there is a process to healing, and that for one to truly find it they have to stretch out and touch Christ despite the shame and guilt that they may feel.

Bottom line? It is up to me to get up and go get the healing, and if I haven’t found healing, it’s my fault. I haven’t stretched out far enough, I haven’t let go enough, I haven’t had faith enough.

Aside from victimizing the victim, this paradigm also goes against the grain of the gospel – which is about how God must reach out to us because we simply cannot reach out to him. He reaches out to us not because of our own actions but by His (unmerited) grace and through faith in Christ – the kind of faith that God placed in the woman with an issue of blood.

The Gospel begins with God’s sovereign deeds and our utter helpless state (whether regarding sexual sin or not) in the face of God’s righteous requirements.

The Gospel dictates that God’s sent his Son, Jesus Christ to the world to live the perfect life men could not; die the gruesome death men deserved; and after 3 days, God raised this Jesus from the dead, proving that He was in fact, who he had claimed to be. The Son of God. The Savior of Israel. The great I am. The Lord.

The Gospel is a summons to radical repentance from our unbelief and idolatry towards a pursuit of the infinite worth of this Christ.

The Gospel states that if we do this, if we repent, if we put our trust in Christ to save us, he will. He will regenerate us – change us from the inside, out – by his Spirit and for His Glory.

The gospel was the most important story in the room during Eve of Poetry that night.

It is the one story powerful enough to bring ultimate, eternally effective, fundamental healing.

And sadly, it’s the story we didn’t hear.

37 Comments

    • I skimmed through your article.

      It goes around the matter at hand by employing cheap rhetoric, then plays fast and loose with the texts it perceives to be in its favor. Flawed hermeneutics at best.

      Even your use of the word “heretic” indicates you have no idea what it means, let alone the weight it carries. I don’t guarantee that I’ll respond if you write an article against this one, but I’m curious to see how you’ll handle the Scriptures in an attempt.

      • I will stay in my ignorance seeing i don’t even know the weight of the word heretic let all it’s meaning. i will not bother writing a response that might be skimmed through seeing you might find me fast and loose with scriptures going around the matters raised with flawed hermeneutics,

        so here is your brilliance. bravo. i am “sure” God is very proud of you for writing about Pst Terry’s experience. he considers this article to be his message to the church. since teachers of the word will be judged more strictly, i “know” you will be rewarded for sharing God’s love and heart with this piece.

        bravo!

  1. Insightful piece. I think sometimes we get carried away by the “I” and “we,” and we lose the focus -which is the Gospel.

    However, it would be disrespectful of you to put up such a piece; without the knowledge of the person you have drawn examples from. I hope you tagged her on it, so that she could also learn and know what to change or correct…for the sake of future forums where she’ll be sharing her story.

    At the end of the day, it’s about Kingdom growth. Not so much in numbers, but in terms of hearts.

    My two cents.

  2. Interesting piece, thought provoking. I dont agree with 2 of the points postulated.. for many many reasons.. Alas, we are all but human, including the writer, the truth is like a chandalier, describable from many angles. Thus, the post can also be taken as just the writers opinion, the same way.. the writers who’se “gospels” were edited into the bible are their own views and opinions of the Jesus they got to know.. the God who anointed them.. the same way he anointed me, you and others.. to be a witness and testify. I believe.. if the God of Adam and Esther.. had meant for women to be stupid.. no-argument, he would have done so.. since he is the maker of all things. But he didn’t.

    If a family, a church, a community lacks a “leader” just like Esther, Magadalene, Mary, Rachel, Rahab and many countless ladies from the bible, it is likely that other women will heed the calling and answer it. Its probably a moot point for us mere humans to claim a full understanding of Gods divine plan and intention for us.. all of us who he made in his own image (despite gender). There is alot as christians we do not know, its probably better to strive to understand and practice the word of God rather than point fingers at others.. forgetting that four are pointing at us.

  3. first statement about women not exercising authority is based on the words of Paul a man brought up in a culture that subjugated women to a degree that it assumed that they were second class citizens. Eve was “deceived by a serpent ” in a mythical talking creature in a babylonian origin story where human beins are formed from ribs. I hope it is not lost to you that humans are not the only creatures with male and female . Therefore the premise of that statement is faulty and hence rendered illogical.

    next you talk abou relating God to his word not our experience. In your explanation of Tamar’s plight you attribute the happening to David’s sin. So this God punishes a man by getting his daughter raped? a kind loving god uses rape to punish but wait he is the one who sanctioned mass killing and rape elsewhere in the bible numbers 31:7-18. If anyone were to pull such atrocities today it would be Hague time for them. I hope you see my point of a god who sits by as sexual violence is used to achieve ” his purposes” . That is sad and insulting to Terry and would never wish that on my worst enemy. these words you have written do not reflect the love in the teachings of Jesus. Rape is a big deal and before you write about a victim take that into consideration.

    The bit about God sending his son to be tortured and die for our sins is also leads me to ask this. When we are wronged by our fellow human beings we forgive them verbally no blood sacrifice or torture required. However the supreme creator of the universe needs to see some blood before he forgives? I know you are not taught to think critically about the bible and I do not say this from a position of ignorance . I was once a sola scriptura person “contending for the faith” and I respect that book but am dismayed at the way you have used it in your arguments. instead of inspiring hope and love this article paints it as a tool to subjugate women who are as much human as we men. On top of that you give a picture of a god who uses rape and violence for his ends.

    I guess you thought this article somehow earns you points with your God but really shows you need to learn a lot about being human . I am usually kind on these matters but when you pummel a rape survivor using a book that is just wrong!

    I am just trying to “speak the truth in love” Jesus taught to love your neighbour as yourself not love the words written a book and use them to diminish others. Hope I have given you food for thought .

    • I’m sorry do you understand that all the parties to the post – authors and Terry included, claim to believe in this God? The One who sent His Son- to die? Do you realize that Terry herself has dedicated herself to working in the service of this God? You would like to depict Christianity as a misguided religion that seeks to subjugate women – arguably, that’s your right – yet you conveniently ignore or fail to contend with the fact that Terry subscribes to the very same religion. Claims to love, the very same Jesus who you so casually dismiss. Claims to preach the very same Bible you claim to be a fallible/erroneous document. Correct me if I’m mistaken but it appears that what you would like to do here is protect Terry- from her own faith. A faith she is free not only to believe or not believe – but to defend/preach or not preach.

      Yes, the fact that we, all four of us, claim to believe in this God means that we, all four of us, for better or worse, have a common reference point from which we can argue/discuss matters of faith – a common constitution to which we appeal and submit ourselves when it comes to the governance of the corporate body to which we believe we belong – the Church. All of us are free to leave that faith, all of us are free to relive ourselves of the burden of belief (you need not remind us of that – Kenya’s constitution guarantees our religious freedom) – but so long as we do profess Christ, so long as we are ‘willingly bound’ this is how our internal affairs are managed- through the Bible.

      I do, however, find it interesting, to say the least, that you find this post, which called into question neither Terry’s experiences nor her testimony, nor her undoubted strength and resilience (and the strength and resilience of many women like her who have survived and, moreover, thrived despite the various abuses to which they have been subjected) – to be insulting. Yet you don’t find it insulting that you have oh so casually slandered, denigrated and dismissed, the same beliefs and the same Jesus Terry claims are the basis for her own personal healing and comfort.

      So what is it that you’ve succeeded in portraying Terry as? A naive; misguided woman who has dedicated herself to serving the Omnipotent God she believes allowed (if not ordained) her sufferings? And why is it that you can excuse her naive belief in this God, and not Huston’s, Cornell’s or my own (whose stories you know not of) because she’s what? irreversibly disoriented by her experiences? mentally wrecked? can’t be trusted to make her own decisions/speak for herself? or, heaven forbid, just a fragile woman?

      I know Terry is strong and quite frankly your post, sir, is what I find to be insulting.

  4. I won’t even address the misogyny that your first point carries. Someone has already pointed it out.

    NOW, Tamar’s rape was a consequence of her father’s sin??! This is how your god, a god, who supposedly is a god of love, ‘teaches lessons’?!? By ‘allowing’ innocent women to get raped!?? I think I’m too incensed to be coherent. Gitts in his post said what I’m thinking. For shame!

  5. What I see in this article is pure absence of grace. The one thing Christ taught was love, He says love sums it all up. So ask yourself this question, is there any love when you tear down so publicly a woman who was raped? Even if I agreed with any of your thoughts, the lack of love in this article removes it all. Because if u can speak in tongues or even prophesy, then you are nothing!

  6. This is what happens when the theology in men’s mind overrules the love (if any) in their hearts. Or as someone succinctly put it, when people decide to worship theology instead of God.

    Before Paul there was Jesus who dined with sinners and tax collectors, let women touch him and wash his feet with oil and healed on the sabbath. Because Jesus didn’t give a damn! He was after the heart. Remember the parable of one lost sheep? Correct theology would have dictated that the shepherd ought to sit with the 99 and teach them how to interprete scripture “correctly”. But Jesus wasn’t like that. He went after that one lost sheep.

    Jesus listened to his mother, a woman and performed his first miracle. The son of God (according to the Bible), was compelled to oblige a woman’s wishes. If that isn’t a woman exercising authority over a man, I don’t know. Since God knows and controls everything, I wonder why he let that happen.

    The snide comment responses say it all, I shall be praying for the hearts that will be drawn away from God because of your lack of love.

    That is all.

    • Kellie I am shocked that you would sit through Pastor Ken’s sermon on Sunday and agree to this guy, just remember this God is an absolute truth, He is a reality that we will have to learn to live with and the thing is that we have sinned against Him, and His wrath is what we desirve(the wages of sin is death-Romans 6:23) you may try to fight for you rights from this God, but the only right we desirve is His wrath, God is not obligated to give us anything (The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein-Psalm 24:1).

      So if you want rights for women and for yourself, give yourself breath, life a body and get a universe of your own, because this God is stubborn for His Glory, and it’s either you rebel and face His wrath forever or submit and enjoy Him for eternity, He is not giving anyone any rights, never ever, Lucifer wanted the right to be “god” in heaven, now see were he is, he is busy waiting for his destruction in hell.

      So I hope you may one day see this God who is coming full of wrath and submit that He is God and not you, and that you may repent and believe upon Christ, as your sin bearer and that through Him, God may be a treasure to you, a treasure worth living and dying for. That’s my prayer to you.

      • Hahaha! David, yes, I sat through Pastor Ken’s sermon, and I didn’t agree with a lot of the things he said, and thankfully, he is just human like I am, so I can disagree and still love him.

        God’s wrath? I guess you missed that part where Jesus paid the price. I am free David, when I reflect upon my salvation, I am grateful and I am enjoying God’s love. I hope you one day get to experience and enjoy it too. I am not bound by my past or by my sin, Jesus’ redemptive power is LIMITLESS! God has no wrath towards me my dear.

        About women’s rights, like I said, I am free and not under any man, so I don’t need to fight for rights. I speak with authority over men every day and guess what? They listen and learn from me, in fact, I just came from a session where I spoke to one for over 1 hour straight. God’s gifting of knowledge and intelligence isn’t limited to men, so I have no apologies to make to you for that. And God isn’t mad at me for using the intelligence he has given me.

        Like I said in my comment above, Jesus didn’t give a damn about doctrines, he demonstrated this severally in how he dealt with doctrine rich Pharisees. I’m sure if he’d found a woman preaching, he’d have shut all the Pharisees up and let her preach. He didn’t give a damn!

      • Hahaha! David, yes, I sat through Pastor Ken’s sermon, and I didn’t agree with a lot of the things he said, and thankfully, he is just human like I am, so I can disagree and still love him.

        God’s wrath? I guess you missed that part where Jesus paid the price. I am free David, when I reflect upon my salvation, I am grateful and I am enjoying God’s love. I hope you one day get to experience and enjoy it too. I am not bound by my past or by my sin, Jesus’ redemptive power is LIMITLESS! God has no wrath towards me my dear.

        About women’s rights, like I said, I am free and not under any man, so I don’t need to fight for rights. I speak with authority over men every day and guess what? They listen and learn from me, in fact, I just came from a session where I spoke to one for over 1 hour straight. God’s gifting of knowledge and intelligence isn’t limited to men, so I have no apologies to make to you for that. And God isn’t mad at me for using the intelligence he has given me.

        Like I said in my comment above, Jesus didn’t give a damn about doctrines, he demonstrated this severally in how he dealt with doctrine rich Pharisees. I’m sure if he’d found a woman preaching, he’d have shut all the Pharisees up and let her preach. He didn’t give a damn!

  7. @Gitts, there are other arguments in this article, but you have brought about some “interesting” perspectives. I will not address the main issues that this article raised, but rather the issues you have raised in response to this that have wider implications.

    The reality of the matter is that there are countless injustices that have happened world over, both in the times of the Bible and now. In the times of the Bible, many have an issue especially with where it is said God sanctioned it. In the modern day, we question why God allows it if He is truly in control. At the end of the day, the conclusion that therefore that part of the Bible is false/ untrue is a slippery road whose only conclusion would be that we throw away the whole book.

    After all, it is Christ Himself who said in Matt 5:18 that For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Christ was aware of the writings in the OT. He denied none of them. We cannot say that we believe in Christ, but He lied about some things. If He lied, we should not believe Him at all. You say that you “respect” the Bible, but have pointed out it’s “lies”, even going as far as questioning the cross! We may not all ever agree with God’s approach on things, and why He is the way He is, but would you now be the point of reference for justice and righteousness? What is your point of reference/ your standard? You can also not say that you accept part of Christ but reject part of Him. As He said, hot or cold. Accept or reject.

    There are many things that are concerning about the path you have taken, but it would take an essay to do so. I feel that Col 2:8 applies here – See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. I believe you have been reading some “authoritative” “historical” books that were written to discredit the Bible as much as possible. Have you cross referenced any of those writings? Some of these theories have also been tackled by Christian scholars, of which I am not. I would advise that you take both sides of the story before sliding much further down the slippery path you have taken.

  8. I was giving you some food for thought. I know most Christians are sincere in their faith because we all want a better life for ourselves. Over the years Jesus message of love and grace has been lost over layers of theology instead of helping ends up hurting .

    How does this polemic portray love and grace to victims of sexual violence and women who are restricted from living to their full potential?

    We are humans and use our experience to teach and inspire one another . the bible itself is replete with life stories too but in the back of it was written by men whose thoughts influenced their worldview . Today we can still use our own experience to relate that to our relationship to God.

    My intention was not to insult and I apologize if I did but to question the misuse of religion and personal interpreration. Faith is good when used for good but when used to hurt others the meaning is lost is my point . As for Terry she interacts with God where she is at and as much as she preaches the bible I ask her as I do all christians to look not just through the lens of literal interpretation of a collection of books but from a critical point of understanding humanity, nature and it’s history.

    Clearly we differ philosophically and I would encourage you to question what you have been taught because learning always continues

  9. Point 1 on the allusion of misogyny on the part of Paul, the culture in which Paul was referencing, and by association God – I know it feels like women occupy a thankless and worthless position from a cursory reading of the Bible. Look closely though … Eve consented to the lure of the serpent and yet the Bible says “From Adam came sin and death”. Not from Eve. Grace point 1 – her sin is apportioned as man’s sin. When God saves men because of their righteousness, he saves their wives too (Noah, Abraham, etc); Grace point 2. When Ruth and Naomi suffered destitution through the death of their husbands/sons, they were not just provided with a second chance through Ruth’s marriage to the rich Boaz, they were grafted into the lineage of Jesus Christ; Grace point 3. When the Israel nation needed to be saved He appointed that Esther should be the instrument; Grace point 4. The first disciple to go out into a new city proclaiming the good news was a woman (the Samaritan by the well); Grace point 5. The first witnesses to the resurrection were women; Grace point 6. The Bible says that the sins of the FATHER are visited on the children, but nowhere does it say that the sins of the MOTHER have bearing on the kids; Grace point 7. I could go on and on …

    To Gitts: I may not agree with Huston and Julie’s take, but to other points you’ve raised:

    On the Consequences of Sin
    I don’t know if you’re a parent, but you’re conversing with one eye closed. Where in the Bible does it say that God “got Tamar raped”? God is without sin, and even though He forgives when His pardon is sought, the consequences of sin work themselves out. So the rape is not hoisted on Tamar by God, but by the forces that gain access/license through the open door of sin. If you have a child and they get sexually active and preggers at age 12 say, you wont love them less, and you will no doubt forgive them. But your child is preggers, and you can either terminate it or help your 12 year old carry her child to term and then take care of both kids. You have been a present dotting parent and yet because your child has free will, the consequences will definitely see themselves through.

    On Blood Sacrifices
    I do not know how much of the Old Testament you have understood (not merely read) but from my reading of various Hebrew texts eg the Midrash and the Talmud you come to understand that even in the OT, acceptable sin offerings were only those offered in deep contemplation while presenting an animal without blemish (the ‘offerer’ immersing themselves in the contemplative knowledge that the animal thus slain was in full taking their place, so that instead of the sinner dying, the animal died in their place. Why is a death necessary? Because sin produces death. And it can be yours or it can be anothers in your place; you choose. God doesnt need to see blood to forgive. But you do need to be a wise man to understand that you can take on the full consequence of your sin, or another (animal in the OT and Jesus in the new dispensation) can take it for you.

    • Hi Eva. Thanks for the comments to gitts. His last comment (at 12:59pm) is clearly a throwing up of hands. I hope he’ll come to see God’s word as perfect and binding.

      I’d like to reply to your comments on the first point though.

      1. You imply that the authors believe that the Bible has a low view of women. That is simply not the case. The matter at hand is not the value and worth of women. The issue is the role of women in church leadership. That’s what we’re seeking to expound on in the first point. In fact, what we’ve shown from Scripture is the only way we can honor women in God’s eyes in this particular issue, not by causing them to stumble against God’s clear commands.

      2. In the article, we felt that it was sufficient to quote only the first half of Paul’s basis (1 Tim 2:13). Verse 14 gives the rest of Paul’s basis for the command:

      “and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” (1 Tim 2:13, ESV)

      What this means is that Adam, though He knew what God had commanded, and though he was to be the leader (by virtue of being created first and given the commandment) and head (shown by the fact that he gave Eve her name too, “woman”, just as he had named every living thing), and though he knew that the serpent was lying, he let it happen. Yes Eve was the first to bite the fruit, but Adam sinned first by neglecting his leadership duty, coveting the fruit, letting the serpent disgracefully address his wife rather than him, and letting his wife disobey God on his watch.

      What Paul therefore shows us in that passage is that the reason the whole world fell is because God’s design was ignored by Adam and Eve, setting them up to be in a position that led to disobedience to God. Millions will spend eternity in hell because of that one slip-up. This is the same danger we put Christ’s church in when we ignore Paul’s inspired words.

      3. As for the women you’ve mentioned, the exceptions prove the rule.

      4. Isaiah 3:12 says…

      My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths. (Isaiah 3:12, ESV)

      Implication? When God let women lead Israel, it was a judgement and disgrace to them.

      I must say that genuine Christian men love women. Totally cherish them. Can’t imagine a world without them! We are co-heirs with them in Christ, with an equal standing and worth before God. They are our sisters and mothers and wives and companions and friends. They are a great encouragement, a joy, a treasure. Like Christ, Christian men highly esteem women. They wouldn’t dare treat God’s blood-bought daughters any lesser. But also, like Christ, they seek to honor God in how they relate with them. Jesus loved women, but he didn’t have to ignore God’s perfect will and pick a lady among the 12, or 72, in order to prove it. We would be wise to follow both His example and his command.

  10. Let me just clarify that last point I made here:

    Among the MANY OTHER THINGS sin produces, it produces death. Some consequences will continue to see themselves through. But you can choose whether the death consequence will be borne by you or by another.

  11. Again gitts, this whole post aside, your own interpretation is intensely personal. Are we talking about the same Christ who referred to people as hypocrites, vipers, used whips in the Temple? Who called people children of the Devil and claimed to the Son of God? Is it His love and His Grace that you are referring to. You cannot take Jesus in parts or see some of his attributes in isolation. His Love, His Mercy, His Righteousness, His Holiness, His Justice, His Truth, His Goodness, His Wrath all his attributes must be seen together.

    SO,

    Which is less ‘living up to full potential’, I, a woman, not becoming a Pastor, or Jesus who is God, becoming and living as a man? If ever there was someone not ‘living up to their ‘full’ potential – Jesus was it! What humility!

    And what could be more Merciful than Jesus, who was perfect – and sinless, replacing men on the cross: sinners, deserving of death!

    and what could be more Just than God’s punishing Jesus for the sins of those who shall come to trust him – and punishing those who will not for their own sins?

    You ask about why not just forgive (as we, supposedly, do here on earth) and yet I doubt that, here on earth, either of us would be content with a judicial system that ‘just forgives’ murder, or ‘just forgives’ theft. And if we as humans feel the need for retribution and punishment when the law is broken and we are sinned against or our rights infringed upon, how much more, in your estimation, should God , who is perfect and holy and the ruler of all things; whose anger is a righteous anger – met out capital punishment to those who have broken HIS law?

    And if here on earth even we, being human, recognize the powers of mercy that the President holds, how much more is it Our Creators prerogative to acquit who he will; when he will; as he sees fit. (and how amazing that this acquittal is not release for good behavior’ – which we could never attain – it’s just release!!)

    And what could be more Kind and Truthful and Gracious than God in whose eternal debt you are, letting you know that you are a sinner, walking and living in contravention of the Truth that he has revealed? Rejecting his Son- whom he proved to be God through the resurrection – Heading to hell and in need of that ‘release’ (acquittal)

    And what could be more Gracious than an invitation to repent and believe in Him and recieve that acquital?

    Free, no strings attached, release?

    There is the message of love, at its bare minimum, there is Jesus message of Grace.

    He can save us.

    That is the message we never, ever, ever, want to be lost.

    So you may urge me to question that I might further my education.

    but I urge you to believe that you might be saved, gitts.

  12. I will end by saying I have been there done that and moved on. I used to talk and think exactly like you do and see where you’re coming from. So yes my opinion is very personal and as much as I learnt much in that phase of my life I also am unlearning a lot.

    have a good day

    • @gitts if you used to think this way and have CHANGED then truly you have met the Holy Spirit. he is the one who changes people. i pray you grow in love for God is love.

      if this article is from God then i don’t serve that God. i reject Him and the people who share such a “gospel”even if an angel from heaven came and preached this “gospel” i will reject it and may i be condemned by it.

      if this article is not from God then may the authors be cursed.

      may the God i serve send judgment to the authors and their families in this lifetime and in the time to come unless they repent. may the angels who preach this be judged by God. may this be your condemnation

      • @alex, so you agree with @gitts, who expressly doesn’t believe that the Scriptures are the infallible word of God — putting himself and his philosophy above it as God cowers under his microscope. You even say he’s therefore truly met the Holy Spirit. You say you don’t serve this God who was sovereign over what occurred to Tamar, who wiped out entire nations at the hand of Israel, dashed infants to pieces before their parents’ eyes, and beat his own son to pulp on a cross because His hatred for sin is immeasurable.

        I now see why this article is the one that’s heretical. Q.E.D.

    • hi @huston. i don’t know @gitts. i simply agree with him that if he used to believe this and now has changed then he has met the Spirit of God who is the spirit of truth who leads all men to know all truth. as you know it is the Spirit of God who brings all men to truth and repentance.

      just to be clear this is what i said and i stand by it;

      “if this article is from God then i don’t serve that God. i reject Him and the people who share such a “gospel”even if an angel from heaven came and preached this “gospel” i will reject it and may i be condemned by it.

      if this article is not from God then may the authors be cursed.

      may the God i serve send judgment to the authors and their families in this lifetime and in the time to come unless they repent. may the angels who preach this be judged by God. may this be your condemnation”

      this is a personal prayer for we shall all be judged by truth as individuals.

      if God told you to say the things you have said about Pst Terry to the church, he will vindicate you now and in the time to come. if not he will judge you and your family in this lifetime and the lifetime to come.

      if ever you examine yourself and see fault in this message from God, do not harden your heart as many people used to who didn’t know God. be willing to repent.he (the Helper) will teach you all things pertaining to life and godliness.

      PS: on the infallibility of the bible, since this is an extra-biblical language word(infallible), be very careful how you apply it having understood it’s origin and why and how it was used in the first place. if you are a lover of church history, i need not educate you on this, plus if you doubt i know the meaning of the word heretic, i don’t think you will read my track on it:-).

      here is a thought though, to say “the bible is the word of God” is to put the bible in the-God head (trinity). This you know is false since the bible says there are three that testify-Father, Son and Spirit. and the three are one

      we know Jesus whom the bible, creation, history etc talks about is the word of God; who became flesh and is the eternal living word as the scriptures testify to whom all things (our thoughts, things present, things to come) should be and will be brought under his subjection/ruler-ship.

      things will not be brought under the ruler-ship of the bible.

      you receive Jesus into your life, not the bible.

      or should i say, the bible will not save you, Jesus will.going to church will not save you, Jesus will. the bible is useful in your devotion to God for it contains words (prayers, prophecy, history, poetry etc) through which we can meet God.

      if you never read the bible, the Spirit of God would still draw you to him and you would still have communion with him. the sad thing is people become very narcissistic when they read and write and forget that faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. this word (Jesus) who is living and active. this word who is saving men from their sins and who all creation testify of. this word (Jesus) who stands at the door of your heart knocking and dines with whoever lets him in.

      The Holy Spirit has not led me to see Jesus works of redemption or the Father’s heart in your message from God plus even a simple bible study would show the contradiction of your message. but i am sure God has seen this and he will defend himself.

      Grace and peace

  13. My sincere best wishes on your journey, Gitts. What you knew then and what you know now cannot both be true positions as they are diametrically opposed to each other. One path is true. The other is not. Someone once said of truth seekers (Chesterton, I think) that the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to close it eventually on something solid. Travel well and arrival safely.

  14. Gitts, there are many opinions in this thread but yours is the saddest of all. I pray that God may lead you back to the truth. You are on some humanistic philosophy which unfortunately is counter to Christ. Julie Wangombe put it all perfectly. I would suggest that over and above the literature you have been reading (for surely they must inform some of your theories), you also read Christian apologetics who seek to counter some of the arguments you have bought into. http://www.christianapologeticsalliance.com/

    Unfortunately Bw Alex has been blinded by his rage regarding the issue of Terry (who I know personally – both her and the husband). He has therefore gone on a tangent without weighing the matters at hand and gone ahead to “curse” his brethren on this dispute. Alex, take some time and reflect, agree to disagree, but do not throw away the brotherly love that you are meant to display. I’m quite sure that Tonni Gobanga would respond more graciously in this matter!

    • @edmeister please re-read my position in case you are in doubt whether i agree or disagree with this heresy or message from God depending on how you find it.

      “if this article is from God then i don’t serve that God. i reject Him and the people who share such a “gospel”even if an angel from heaven came and preached this “gospel” i will reject it and may i be condemned by it.

      if this article is not from God then may the authors be cursed.

      may the God i serve send judgment to the authors and their families in this lifetime and in the time to come unless they repent. may the angels who preach this be judged by God. may this be your condemnation”

      this is my earnest prayer in love.

      Jesus said if anyone is to deceive his children it is better for him/her that a rock be tied on his leg and he be thrown in the deepest sea than when judgment day comes.

      we condemn ourselves when we claim to be speaking on behalf of God and we are not. so i will repeat for your sake, if this is what God says regarding Pst Terry and his church then i am among the condemned who reject it. but if it is not from God, the authors condemn themselves and may God send judgment to them.

      there is nothing for the authors or those in support to worry if this is a message from God. we shall all be held accountable for preaching and practicing God’s truth, or perverting his truth or rejecting the truth of God.

      we are therefore blessed or cursed by the same word of truth.

      Please don’t imagine i am blinded by anger and that i don’t know this truth (that we are either blessed or cursed by God’s word).

      it is great that you know Pst Toni and Pst Terry personally. may you keep being a good friend to them. since you don’t know me, i hope you at least understand my position in this matter.do you need i repeat it?i think the authors have got it and we shall see the outcome in this life and in the life to come.

      grace and peace

  15. There are 7,183 Unreached people groups in the world, totaling 2,903,853,000 (2.9Billion) individuals who have NEVER EVER heard the Gospel that saves.
    FACT: 86% of all Hindus, Muslims & Buddhists do not know a Christian…let alone hearing the Gospel…
    There is a decline in Christianity world-wide…In Europe alone,the percentage has declined from 70% to 20% christian in under a century.

    Yet where are the Christians??? …here they are, having ‘foolish arguements’ on a social media. Billions will perish,while we comment and ping-back. We were clearly given our ONLY MISSION by Christ-The Great Commission…to go and make disciples…
    Pst Terry is doing so. I know that she and her flock WILL be in heaven… Because her salvation,is fundamentally founded on the TRUTH…

    BILIIONS of people PERISH because they havent heard & believed the GOSPEL FUNDAMENTALS…i.e. Christ, in love, died for all,and they who believe in Him will have eternal life. God dont want perfect christians in heaven…God wants men. PERIOD.

    Have we lost the mark…Me thinks we have…

    PS: Facts all from http://www.joshuaproject.net . U can visit it for more heart-wrenching facts

    • I’m all for frontier missions, and I’ve spent weeks witnessing in places where Christ is completely unknown.

      That aside though, you present a false dilemma then shoot yourself in the foot by joining this dialogue.

      Is it by coincidence that the letters in the New Testament (including the 7 letters in Revelation) were written specifically to the church and its leaders?

      “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Col 1:28-29, ESV)

      There’s more to the faith than simply giving people a “get-out-of-hell-free” card. In fact, if we are not careful about what gospel we preach and what faith we affirm, what are we calling people to?

    • One more thing…

      You conveniently truncated Christ’s commission. He said:

      “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, *** teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you ***. (Matthew 28:19-20, ESV, emphasis mine)

      Christ is building His church, and He gets to define how. Thank God He has.

  16. When I read this article, I somehow feel bad. I feel like we are the only army that KILLS its WOUNDED soldiers instead of focusing on the ENEMY. This might be as well as the latest SCHEME used by the enemy… to distract what is intended. The time it took to draft such could have been meaningfully used on probably a door to door in one of the campusses. My view.

  17. I will try to ignore the attack on Terry the person and concentrate on the Biblical issues you’ve raised.

    I have nothing much on the first point since the Word is clear, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. Galatians 3:28. If women are not supposed to be pastors and all, why would Jesus directly send the women to go and tell the disciples about His resurrection? I’d also let you know that we preach everyday to our surroundings. You two are also preaching here. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1

    Maybe we need to define what a ‘testimony’ is. One testifies to the Lord’s doings. Mostly this is a physical thing that we others can relate to e.g. a sickness, a job etc. The reason Jesus always spoke in parables is because it is easier for people to relate to things and situations in their environment. I also think Terry used her experiences a lot because she was just putting the sermon into context of the evening; to encourage, uplift, and help bring healing to those dealing with sexual temptation, addiction, and/or pain of abuse.

    I tend to agree with you on the part of not demonizing sin since everyone gets tempted and some are able to overcome and others are not. I however want to tell you that some sins are as a result of ‘spiritual interference’. For example when God says “…am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me” in Exodus 20:5, it means that unless that curse is broken by entreating God, the children must fall into it! Same way Jabez had this ‘spirit’ that made his life bitter despite being honourable among his brethren.

    On the last point I will draw your attention to John 1:12 that states “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name”. You have a responsibility to ‘receive and believe’ Him. He told the disciples to ‘go out and preach and to those that ‘believe’ baptize them…’ Of course there are those that He saves forcefully like Saul the Paul but to others He gives a choice. That is why it is called a relationship with God, a fellowship, a walk. He gives you the choice to accept Him or not. That is how the blind Bartimaeus was healed!

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