Were Ab-dru-shin’s Messages inspired from Above? (Part two)

Ab-dru-shin Grail message

In part one, we demonstrated that many of the ideas found in the Grail message were shaped by the social, political, cultural and spiritual contexts of late 19th-early 20th century Germany and Austria.

We also documented that there was nothing really unique about the life history, style, and religious philosophies which moulded Oskar Bernhardt into his spiritual path.

One of Guido List’s student also had some influence on Ab-dru-shin’s train of thoughts. His name was Lanz von Liebenfels (1874 – 1954). 

Lanz was an Austrian politician, racial theorist, occultist, and a pioneer of Ariosophy – a system which subscribed to the tenets of a prehistoric golden age, gnostic priesthood and a secret heritage in cultural relics.

Lanz was born in Vienna-Penzin and was brought up by middle-class parents. During his childhood he acquired a romantic interest in the medieval past and its religious orders, which he envisioned as the spiritual elites of a remote age.

By his own account, he began developing an enthusiasm for the military order of the Templar Knights during his growing up years and steeped himself in nostalgic lore about their castles and legends. Although evidence suggests he didn’t esteem the Templars until after 1905 (J. Lanz von Liebenfels, Arithmosophikon, 1949, p. 725).

He later entered the Cistercian novitiate and was inducted into the monastic order despite opposition from his family. It was during this time that his writings began to bear the marks of knowledge gleaned from the Bible, gnostic texts and Near Eastern religious traditions (Wilfried Daim, Der Mann, der Hitler die Ideen gab [The Man who gave Hitler the Ideas], Munich, 1958, pp. 250, 252)

Lanz soon began to espouse the racist ideas prevalent in Austria – of the superiority of blue-eyed, blond-haired Aryan race – representing the good principle working for order, over other races (blacks, mongoloids etc.) who are cosmic entities working for chaos in the universe. Eventually he renounced his vows and left the Abbey.

Lanz justified his esoteric racial ideology by attempting to give it a Biblical foundation. According to him, Eve, whom he described as initially being divine, involved herself with a demon and gave birth to the “lower races” in the process.

Eventually, he embraced theosophical beliefs and merged them with his zoological and racist theories about humanity. His occult wisdom regarding the Aryans later became known as Ariosophy or Theozoology.

In 1907, Lanz founded the Ordo Novi Templi (Order of the New Templars). Four years after this, Guido List, his spiritual teacher, also established a neopagan esoteric society of initiates known as Hoher Armanen-Orden (High Armanen Order) inspired by Freemasonry.

Now, when we turn to the Grail message, purportedly received from above, one can see proofs of how the prevalent ideas in Austria and Germany served as influences on its author.

These are other examples:

German culture/race

Racial nationalism was the emerent view in Oskar’s time. German nationalists had much grievances against non-Germans whom they deemed to be inferior.

The major reason for mystical societies that were formed at the time was to exalt the German race, its spirituality and culture above all others. So it comes as no surprise that Ab-dru-shin wrote:

Among the white races, it is the true genuine German spirit in all its purity and strength which stands the highest. It has often made the essay to attain to this leading position but with the exception of single individuals, the efforts have not been successful. Single individuals must always be pioneers, they represent the qualities of their race.  (In the light of Truth, “Vocation” 1931 editon)

The German spirit is to be the pattern or model for the other races and shall be their guide during the last stage of mankind’s progress on earth. Not the German spirit as it is now, but as it is to become and can become in virtue of its abilities and certainly will be in the course of coming events (Ibid)

It is the vocation of the German Psyche to be the future leader and guider in spiritual as well as in mundane affairs (“Called” 1931 edition).

Ab-dru-shin justified his German spiritual elitism by claiming that nations were often exposed to similar gross material radiations by the stars, hence they possessed collective spiritual maturity and temperaments. Therefore:

The Germans and all Germanic people belong to this group. They stand at their awakening, prepared for action! (Vol. 3. Ch. 15 “Temperaments”)

That was a convenient rationalization, but it totally shatters the illusion of the Grail message as a divine revelation. A divine revelation would certainly not be limited to the bigoted racial, cultural or political ideas held by a specific people at a certain time in history.

In his study of the introduction of volkisch ideology (which was the fountain-head of Ariosophy) George L. Mosse pointed out that the spiritual connotations of the word “Volk” denoted the national collectivity inspired by a common creative energy, feelings and sense of individuality. These metaphysical qualities were supposed to define the unique cultural essence of the German people.

This ideological preoccupation with the Volk arose for two reasons: one, this cultural orientation was the result of the delayed political unification of Germany; two, it was closely related to a widespread romantic reaction to modernity (The Crisis of German Ideology, New York, 1964, pp. 1-10).

So it was just a step ahead for the collective energy and metaphysical qualities that völkisch ideology attributed to Germans to find its way into Oskar Bernhardt’s pen for the world to read.

Gender inequality

Although there are some places where the Grail message attributes intuitive perception to women, there are some statements in it that reflect poorly on women – placing them in a spiritually and morally inferior position:

And again womanhood will have to feel the ignominy first, because her downfall now compels her to expose herself to these things. Frivolously she has put herself into a position where she will now be forced down at the feet of brutalised manhood (Vol. 3. Ch. 48 “The Destroyed Bridge” 1995 edition)

You let yourselves be duped too easily! You succumbed to the temptations without a fight! As a willing slave of Lucifer woman now directs her beautiful Divine gifts to serve a contrary purpose, and thereby brings the entire Subsequent Creation under the domination of the Darkness. (Vol. 2. Ch. 16 “Watch and Pray” 1995 edition).

Although man of Subsequent Creation has made himself the slave of his own intellect, woman has transgressed to a far greater extent. (Vol. 1. Ch. 22, “The Woman of Subsequent Creation”)

In the early 20th century, women in the West were clamouring for equal rights to vote, suffrage and child custody as men. The women of Finland were the first in the entire world to be granted the ballot. Germany and Austria conceded in 1918.

However, due to the social tensions that early feminist protests caused in the European system, anti-feminism resonated more with the taste of the elites. Dr. Goodrick-Clarke informs us that:

Women in particular were regarded as a special problem, since they were supposedly more prone to bestial lust than men. Only their strict subjection to Aryan husbands could guarantee the success of racial purification and the deification of the Aryan race (p. 97)

From July 1908 until the end of the First World War, Lanz managed to write no less than seventy-one issues himself. Their stock themes were racial somatology, anti-feminism, anti-parliamentarianism and the spiritual differences between the blond and dark races in the fields of sexual behaviour, art, philosophy, commerce, politics, and warfare, and caste law derived from the Hindu codes of Manu (p. 100).

Socialism, democracy and feminism were the most important targets for this merciless mission on account of their emancipatory force. (p. 97)

Once again, the social and political outlook of the cultural millieu inhabited by Ab-dru-shin dictated the tides of his revelation, and in this case, fossilizing gender inequality for our time.

If Germany and Austria had been a feminist clime in his time as Scandinavian countries are today, those sexist statements against women wouldn’t have appeared in his teachings at all.

Grail mythology

As have been pointed out in a post about the Grail Castle, the mythology surrounding the Grail serves as the central theme of Ab-dru-shin’s philosophies. This was a concept that evolved from the cauldron symbolism of pagan goddess worship.

A Pagan/Occult researcher explains:

“The cauldron, or dark churning belly, womb, was a widely acknowledged symbol of the Crone aspect of the Goddess. The Hindus knew it as the pot of blood in Kali’s hand; the Norse called it the pot of inspirational mead from which Odin stole his powers.

“In Babylon, Siris, the goddess of fate, stirred the blue cauldron of heaven. The Chaldeans and Hittites both believed in seven heavenly cauldrons and the seven chthonic cauldrons of Mother Death…

“In Wales, Branwen owned the Cauldron of Regeneration that revived men overnight. The Irish goddess Badb had a “boiling” pot of life, wisdom, inspiration, and enlightenment. This cauldron later became a chalice or cup, and eventually the Christian Holy Grail (Deanna Conway, Maiden, Mother and Crone, Llewellyn: MN, 1997, p. 84).

However, the ideological framework with which Ab-dru-shin fashioned his spirituality comes from European pagan folklore and occultism – especially Norse mysticism.

To this Divine Sphere, which because of its close proximity to the Living Power is subjected to a pressure incomprehensible to the human spirit, belongs the actual Castle of the Grail as the most extreme outpost and anchorage, as a terminating counter-pole, so to speak! (Vol. 2, Ch. 71, “Life”)

It is the same with these descriptions as with everything earthmen do, nor was it any different with the description of the happening about Parsifal and the Grail Castle: People who become deeply absorbed spiritually are presented with inspirations which they are unable to recognise clearly. (Vol. 3, ch. 33 “The Cycle of Radiations”).

Everything was guarded and watched over by the “Elders”, i.e., the Eternal Unchangeable Ones who, at the outermost boundary in the Divine Sphere of Radiation, are able to live conscious of their existence. (Vol. 3, ch. 38 “Let there be Light”).

These descriptions of the Grail and its castle was a modified version of Norse/Germanic mythology about the great hall of Valhalla, ruled by the god Odin/Wotan. Just as a host of female deities – Valkyries – accompanied Odin, Ab-dru-shin also taught that two female vessels, among others, accompany his Grail.

The old writings of Snorri Sturluson known as the Edda contains some information about the Norse gods and mythological characters.

Snorri tells us that Gylfi, a Swedish king, made a journey to Valhalla. There, he sees three men seated on thrones placed one above the other; these men are called High One, Just-as-High, and Third. Gylfi questions the three enthroned men concerning the gods; and the information imparted to him includes a number of things that recall the Fisher King and the Grail Castle.

Among these is a lengthy list of Odin’s titles and nicknames, many of which appear to relate to the Fisher King or to closely-linked Grail themes. Of these, “Spear-thruster” and “Spear-Shaker” suggest the spear or lance that accompanies the Grail.

It may be significant that Odin owned a magic spear, Gungnir, whose thrust was said to be unstoppable. (Alby Stone, Bran, Odin, and the Fisher King: Norse Tradition and the Grail Legends Folklore, Vol. 100, No. 1, 1989, pp. 31-32).

The occult societies founded by List and Lanz were modelled according to this pattern and their rituals also revolved around Grail mysticism:

In front of these sat the Treasurer and Secretary wearing white masonic sashes, while the Herald took up his position in the centre of the room. At the back of the room in the grove of the Grail stood the Bard in a white gown, before him the Master of Ceremonies … At this point [in the ritual], the Master seized Wotan’s spear and held it before him, while the two knights crossed their swords upon it … With the ritual personifying lodge officers as archetypal figures in Germanic mythology, this ceremonial must have exercised a potential influence on the candidates (p. 130)

List was known to take his followers on several pilgrimages to the pagan sanctuaries dedicated to Wotan/Odin including the cathedral catacombs where he had first sensed his presence.

List most probably derived his occult conception of the Templars from a masonic source, but his notion was also coloured by the poetic grail-mythology of Parsival which inspired Lanz. (p. 112)

Lanz taught that the Grail was an electrical symbol of panpsychic powers of the pure-blooded Aryan race. In his Templar-like cult, the Grail was a metaphor for strict eugenic practices of the Templar Knights to breed god-men. This was his “Grail message.” (Ostara I, 69, 1913, pp. 12-16 cited in The Occult Roots of Nazism).

Ab-dru-shin merely put some incing on the esoteric cakes of these occult societies in his own works, there was nothing original about his ideas. This is what some religious scholars have termed as the “evolution” of religion and its rituals from their ancient forms to their surviving stage.

“In our modern time many will find it unreasonable to believe that worship as we know it evolved from such naive beginnings,” says a scholar, “on the contrary, the origins were quite profound they have in fact left their influence upon worship all through the ages. The meaning behind the sacrifices the chants and litanies the rituals and rites the ceremonies and ceremonials together with the sexual symbolism have persisted until our present day.” (Marcus Bach, Strange Sects and Curious Cults, Dodds, Mead & Co., 1961, pp. 9-10).

Every researcher will realize that almost every branch of the occult ties into one of the old mystery religions one way or the other. They don’t just emerge out of nowhere. There is often a spiritual force involved in their evolution and it’s not from the God of the Bible.

Man himself is not capable of continuing the traditions of these old mystery schools or keeping them together all these years. It requires a degree of spiritual influence perpetuating this continuity or evolution of occult worldviews all through the centuries.

There is ultimately a spiritual component where an older knowledge is being perpetuated spiritually. The secret societies that we know today are being sustained and propagated by controlled communication with spirits, channeling, appropriation of pre-existing ideas and fantasy.

Did Ab-dru-shin receive his messages from God? From the weight of historical, logical and biblical evidence, the answer is, no.

Beyism: An Old Religion in a New Age

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The first time I learnt of the Atlanta-based National Church of Bey (or “Beyism”); I figured it was more than just a celebrity obsession gone awry. Some have dismissed the group as a joke, but if history is a reliable witness, new religions founded by self-styled gurus whom many thought were comical farce have gained much influence and spread across nations.

While Beyism was greeted with widespread criticism and public outcry in 2014 for mimicking some elements of Christianity, one of its members Taniya Hattersfield, committed suicide beside an altar erected to Beyoncé in her basement. In her suicide note, she offered herself to Beyoncé whom she addressed as her “lord and savior”.

Cults usually revolve around a false deity, false scripture and a worship structure that diverges from the general, orthodox expression, and Beyism meets up with this criteria. Ergo, it’s more than a satirical fringe group.

Cults and new religions don’t just spring up from the blues; they are built on the foundation of pre-existing ones.

For instance, the origins of Freemasonry, Wicca, Eckankar, Grail Message and New Age spirituality demonstrate that they have their roots in ancient Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Indian, Celtic, and Native American religions.

Similarly, Beyism has its spiritual dynamics. The founder of the group, “Diva” Pauline John Andrews said:

Deity’s [sic] often walk the Earth in their flesh form. Beyoncé will transcend back to the spirit once her work here on Mother Earth has been completed. As our congregation continues to swell, we ask that you consider what is more real; an invisible spirit on high, or a walking, talking breathing Goddess who shows you her true form daily? Beyoncé spirit is entrancing. We know that she was sent to this place to spread love, peace, and joy. While we do not believe Beyoncé to be the Creator, we recognize that she still sits among the throne of Gods.

Four years after this statement was made, a church in San Francisco, Grace Cathedral held a mass to honour Beyoncé on April 25, 2018.

The service featured “hymns” of Beyoncé music, Bible readings, prayer and communion. Rev. Yolanda Norton, a black feminist theologian, says that the service “uses Beyoncé music as a tool to engender positive, empowering conversations about black women.”

These folks are simply repeating old concepts with new words. The worship of “the divine feminine” is not novel; it’s a concept crystallized into various cultures for centuries.

Bey devotees may couch their version with modern feminist clichés but the weight of cultural signification attached to feminity underlies it:

(1) Pagan cultures viewed women as a metaphor for life and were believed to uphold social balances with physical activities. They are considered to have an intuitive knowledge of how physical and metaphysical energy can be manipulated to change things in the world [1].

Thus, supernatural connotations were attached to women’s bodies. Their womb was believed to symbolize creation of life and the breasts, motherhood.

Artemis of Ephesus is pictured having many breasts symbolizing the regenerative power of nature. Asherah, often depicted nude, was said to nourish kings “from her breasts as they had been by the goddess in Sumeria and Egypt.” [2]

Most images of African goddesses like Oshun, Idemili, Onishe etc. are also shown with accentuated breasts. In some traditional occult mysteries, like the Ogboni society, members ritually suck the breasts of the brass images (edan) of their mother goddess to receive “blessings.”

(2) Women’s bodies were deemed symbolic of the cosmos hence women’s fertility was also linked to fruitfulness of the land. Ritual sex with women was presumed to stimulate the gods to favour the people with fertility.

From this delusion emerged fertility cults with ritual prostitution and wild orgies which made ancient and modern goddess worship appeal to many.

According to a reference work, “By joining in the activities of the cultic sexuality, common people could participate in ‘stockpiling’ fertility energy, which ensured the continuing stability of agricultural as well as human and animal productivity. Archaeological excavations in Canaanite locations have uncovered temples with chambers where sexual activity took place.” [3]

It must be noted however, that Beyoncé stage persona has already presented the triple forms of the great goddess to her audience: as maiden, mother and crone. That isn’t a coincidence.

Her sensual lyrics, erotic dances and flagrant display of her voluptuous (“bootylicious”) body convey the image of a wanton, seductive maiden.  Her identification as the “queen bee” which feeds and rules over all bees in the hive gives off a motherhood mien. Her introduction of “Sasha fierce” – her alter ego – to the public reveals the dark form of the goddess.

Carl G. Jung, an occult psychologist postulated that there are archetypal images or formularies which existed deep in the subterranean unconsciousness of people – “the Collective Unconscious” – from which humans derive their images of deities. Thus, the Goddess archetype can emerge in any form in the minds of the devotees if it exists in humanity’s consciousness. [4]

He also believed that myths have a life of their own and that even if they weren’t literally true, if enough people believed in them, they were invested with a formidable, archetypal power of their own.

Carl Jung is regarded as a “patron” scholar of Neo-Pagan/New Age movements, because his writings provided much of the philosophical underpinning for modern occultism.

So, it’s common to find initiates of goddess religions claiming to have initially encountered an archetype of the goddess in someone they knew at some point in their lives: a mother, teacher, mentor or a celebrity they loved.

That’s why persons can evolve from their devotion to the Roman Catholic “Virgin Mary” to that of the Yoruba Yemoja or Voodoo Erzulie or vice versa – and in some cases, combine them in syncretic adoration. One archetype makes way for the other.

Thus, it can be deduced that Bey’s devotees worship an archetype of the old pagan goddess.

Beyoncé herself has poetically talked of crowning three goddess forms: Yemoja, Oshun and Nefertiti. In other words, she offers them her devotion, dedication and loyalty.

In some pagan systems, “Few goddesses and gods were confined to a single mode of manifestation, since they were immanent [present and involved in all of nature] divinities and could appear in any context that called them forth.” [5]

Since these deities are believed to symbolize universal principles, processes or life forces, ten different god or goddess forms can emerge from a single one.

This is why no limit can be set to the forms of expression the occult takes. It is like “the adulterous woman” in the book of Proverbs, “her ways her unstable, that you cannot know them” (Prov. 5:5).

As you are pinning it down at one point, it morphs into another one. In a bid to trap more souls, Satan keeps creating newer versions of false worship suited for each generation. Talk about old religions for the new age!

They have been here and they will emerge again in another form. The names their objects of worship will take is immaterial, the real deal, as Pauline Andrews puts it, is that “invisible spirit on high” that “walking, talking and breathing” demon goddess that turns many souls away from the Living God and drags them into eternal perdition.

Notes

[1] Abimbola Adelakun, The Ghost of Performance Past:  Theatre, Gender and Cultural Memory, Religion and Gender Vol. 7, no. 2, (2017), p. 13.

[2] Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess, Penguin Books, 1991, 454.

[3] International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, Vol. 4, p. 100.

[4] Janet and Stewart Farrar, The Witches’ Goddess, Phoenix Publishing, 1987, 57.

[5] The Myth of the Goddess, 254.

Are Women authorised to Teach?

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The role of women in the church has been a hotly debated subject for decades.

On one side are those who use selected Bible verses to demean and mistreat women, and on the other side are those who not only champion women’s rights but also treat men in the very exploitative and degrading ways that they have been treated by traditional religion.

In the latter category are critics who use certain bible verses to attack Christianity and the Bible as being sexist and misogynist.

Even within the church, some troublesome passages in the New Testament have led to different denominational positions – some forbidding women to teach or preach and some allowing them to do so. Let’s look at two examples:

1 Corinthians 14: 34-36

Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says, If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with you [Corinthians]? Or are you the only people it has reached?

In this chapter where Apostle Paul tells women to be silent, he had already told two other groups to be “silent”: those who spoke in tongues and who prophesied (1 Cor. 14:28, 32, 43).

No one takes “let him keep silent in the church” in the other two verses to mean a man cannot preach, pray, sing or testify in church. That is why the context of the word “silence” in the text should be understood.

These instructions were intended to bring order, propriety and politeness to the church services – not to silence the people forever or prevent them from teaching and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the text, Apostle Paul appealed to the law to validate his stance. Some commentators believe he was referring to the Old Testament law – well, not exactly.

“He appeals to it in the context in 14:21 and also in 7:19 and 9:8-10 (cf. Rom. 3:19; 7:7). The problem is that he does not cite a text from the law, and no Old Testament passage instructs women to be silent” (1 Corinthians’ Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 2003, 672).

Indeed, not all OT prophets were men. Miriam, Deborah, Huldah and Anna were also prophets (Ex. 15:20; Jud. 4:4; 2Kgs. 22:4). Even Elizabeth and Mary the mother of Jesus prophesied (Lk. 1:42-55). So we can surmise that God used women in ministry just as He used men.

It appears that those who spoke in tongues, those who prophesied, and some of the women in the Corinthian church were disrupting the congregations and lacked self-control.

They were uneducated (men were more educated than women in that era) and asking questions at inappropriate times or weren’t using wisdom to know when to speak out.

It should be noted also that many of them in Corinth had been involved in pagan worship which involved wild feasts and untempered activities, so it seems some of the women reverted to this conduct.

From the context, it’s clear that the women were being admonished to be subordinate to the authority present, just as others were expected to do.

To cite an example, let’s say, some youths in several churches were always chatting and laughing and asking wild questions which engendered confusion during services.

If a church leader now writes a letter to tell the youths to be quiet in the church and reserve their questions till after service, or ask their parents at home, of course, no one would take it to mean that youths must be absolutely silent.

It’s difficult to know exactly what was going on when Paul wrote the letter to the Corinthians, but to conclude from this verse that women are forever forbidden to speak in church would conflict with other passages. For example: 

1 Cor. 11:5 says “And every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head…”

Prophecy involves reproving, admonishing, teaching and comforting. If women are required to always keep silent in the church, then they wouldn’t be praying or prophesying. They would not be singing, reading the Bible out loud or making announcements.

In Colossians 3:16, Paul says “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…”

This teaching could not be limited to men, since the church doesn’t consist of only men.

Similarly, 1 Cor. 14:13-26 addresses “the whole church being come together” in which “every one” could take part – with a revelation, song, doctrine or tongue to edify the entire church.

1 Cor. 12:11 says the Holy Spirit distributes His gifts to “every man” as He wills. At the upper room during Pentecost, women were present there (Acts 1:14, 15).

If women didn’t need the power to effectively preach the gospel, they wouldn’t have been included in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

In the OT prophecy foretelling this experience, both men and women were included as recipients of the Spirit of God (Joel 2:28, 29).

When persecution broke out in the early church, women were also imprisoned (Acts 8:3, 9:1-2). That implies they were also teaching and preaching the gospel publicly.

Of the 39 co-workers that Paul mentioned throughout his writings, at least one-fourth was women.

In Romans 16:7, he wrote, “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me.” That’s another woman, and she couldn’t have been arrested for being silent.

In Philippians 4:2-3, Paul encourages Euodia and Syntyche to keep cooperating and states that they had toiled along with him in preaching the gospel.

The Corinthian church may have been dealing with a troublesome woman or some women who had an unscriptural attitude towards authority, but all women shouldn’t be permanently punished or kept from participating in teaching God’s Word for it.

1 Timothy 2:11-12

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be silent.”

Again we are faced with another directive to women to learn in submission and not exercise authority over men. But this time around, nothing in the text suggests it applies to a church setting.

Let accept for the sake of argument that this instruction to Timothy applied to a church situation. We must realize that there are absolute truths in Scripture and there are certain instructions that must be understood in a specific, limited sense.

The early Christians largely congregated in one another’s homes. But that later changed as they owned property and had buildings since the late second century. Does this mean that Christians meeting today in church buildings are violating God’s Word? Some people believe so.

In 1 Timothy 2:9, Paul said that women should adorn themselves modestly and appropriately without elaborate hair arrangements, gold, pearl or expensive clothing. Does this mean that any woman today who wears gold or pearls is disobeying God’s Word? Some Christians believe so.

If we took first century Greek or Roman culture as divine precepts, we would all be dressed in tunics and writing on parchments and greeting everyone in our churches with a nice kiss.

That something was done in a certain way at a period of church history doesn’t mean it must always be done at every stage of history – especially when there’s an allowance of cultural exceptions.

If we applied 1 Tim. 2:11-12 in an absolute sense, then it would mean that women cannot even be school teachers! But in the world today, women are politicians, judges, policewomen, professionals and lecturers and they exercise authority over men.

However, from the context of this passage in Timothy, it’s referring to married women accepting the headship of their husbands in the home and not usurping his authority (see Col. 3:18; Eph. 5:22).

Unlike the passage in Corinthians, it doesn’t apply to a church setting. It refers to order in a marriage.

Those who advocate for women to be silent in the churches accuse those who differ of “rejecting Scripture and subjecting it to the personal inclination and creativity of the reader.”

This line of argument can be also utilized in other issues on which Christians respectably disagree (e.g. baptism, Lord’s supper, music etc.), thus it’s irrelevant.

One thing I’ve observed in some denominations where women are forbidden from teaching, preaching or pastoral roles is that, women are allowed to be evangelists and missionaries in foreign nations. Fair enough, but they are still teachers and preachers!

And you can’t insist women must remain silent in church and then have them lead prayer services, teach Sunday school or teach a congregation via Skype or YouTube.

If men alone have the authority to teach, then men alone should take the responsibility for teaching. But as it often turns out, that is not so.

Priscilla and her husband , Aquila, had a church in their home and her being mentioned equally with him may suggest she pastored the church along with him (Acts 18:2-26).

We are also told of Philip’s daughters who were prophetesses (Acts 21:9). In Romans 16:1-2, Paul asked the church in Rome should receive Phoebe a female “minister” with all due respect and honour.

Note that the Greek word for “minister” (diakovos) used for Phebe was also used for Timothy (1 Tim. 4:6), Epaphras (Col. 1:17) and Paul himself (Eph. 3:7-8).

The Lord instructed us to pray that He would send labourers into the harvest (Lk. 10:2). He didn’t say “male labourers.” He didn’t limit the preaching of the gospel or proclamation of His Word to a gender.

We can’t tell the Holy Spirit what ministerial gift to impart to whom. The Holy Spirit guards His own sovereignty and if He wills, He can call and appoint some women into positions that conflict with our denominational traditions.

These ministers are accountable to Him, not to us, and we have no right to dictate to God what gender He must use to fulfill His purposes.