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Old 07-25-2008, 04:07 AM   #17
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Default Concerning the Sisters


I'm not really feeling like I've got a whole lot to share on this topic of the "proper role of sisters" but it's obvious to me that there's a whole lot to discuss and this thread needs a home.

So, trusting that Admin or Helper will move all of the sisters-related fellowship from the "89 brothers" thread to this temporary abode of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, I offer the following.

I found the quote about the heresies.

The "law" in verse 34 refers to the books written by Moses (Matt. 5:17; 7:12; 11:13). In Moses' writings, Genesis 3:16 charges the woman to be subject to man's rule. This is God's ordination.

First Corinthians 14:34 should not be understood in isolation from the rest of the Bible. On the contrary, we need to interpret the Bible by the Bible and with the Bible. According to the teaching of the entire New Testament, sisters may prophesy, but they do not have the authority to define doctrines. This must be left to the brothers. Furthermore, it is a fact of history that some of the most serious heresies have come in through women.

Witness Lee, Life-Study of First Corinthians

So, Lee's word is technically not that ALL the worst heresies came in through the sisters. Still, the implication is obviously that the sisters are just too unreliable.

Here's another interesting quote:

We who are used to the church life are truly under Godís blessing, not only spiritually and mentally, but even physically. All of the church people are so healthy because they are under Godís blessing through the church life. Many of the church people can testify that before they came into the church life they were weak and sickly. Many were sick mentally, but after being in the church life they became sober and healthy. This is the blessing. This blessing comes as a result of offering Christ to God through the cross. Sisters, if you want to be healthy, you need to experience Christ and to offer Him to God through the cross. If you live this way for awhile, you will see how strong you will be and how mentally sober you will become. Every young sister who lives this way will be healthy both mentally and emotionally. Most young women are sick either emotionally or mentally. No psychiatrist can help them. However, if you live the church life, the very Christ whom you offer to God will heal you. He is better than any psychiatrist. Do not go to a psychiatrist - come to Christ and offer Him to God. Then you will be healthy, sober, and emotionally balanced. Since the church life is the proper life, it brings in Godís blessing. Peace, joy, love, sympathy, kindness, normal living - all are signs of such a blessing of life which comes by the experience of Christ
through the cross.

Witness Lee, Life-Study of Genesis

Just one more for now.

Let us now go on to consider 3:1-7 verse by verse. Verse 1 says, "In like manner, wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, that even if any disobey the word, they will be gained without a word through the manner of life of their wives." The phrase "in like manner" refers to the subjection of the household servants to their masters, as described in 2:18. Therefore, as a household servant submits himself to his master, so the wives should subject
themselves to their own husbands. This kind of word is certainly contrary to the emphasis of the so-called women's liberation movement. That movement is against the Bible, for it is against God's ordination in His creation with
respect to male and female. Using Peter's expression (3:7), God created the females weaker vessels. What country would use women as the main fighting force in the army? Females are weaker physically and psychologically. For
this reason, it is easy for women to shed tears, which are often a sign of weakness. Furthermore, it is easy for a female to be troubled in her mind or emotion. All these are signs that the female is a weaker vessel.

Witness Lee, Life-Study of First Peter

Opposition to the "women's liberation movement" (When was the training for 1st Peter held?) is pretty clearly a reflection of a cultural normative belief, although Lee rather boldly uses the Bible to prop up his opinions here. The relationships between husbands and wives and even the restrictions placed upon the sisters within the assembly are at least within the domain of legitimate teaching on the topic.

To read verses like Genesis 3:16 and 1 Peter 3:1 as Biblical injunctions against feminism in general borders on preposterous. These verses clearly relate back to the relationship between husbands and wives, especially the believers. How do they at all implicate a woman's right to seek, for instance, domestic violence, maternity leave, voting rights or equal pay? I think the answer is fairly simply that they do not and Lee was incorrect in such opinions.

I suppose the kindest thing to say is that Lee just didn't really understand women's lib, probably due to his own cultural background. But that's all the more reason he shouldn't have even said anything about it.

I'm certainly not about to hold forth on rocket science or brain surgery since those are topics I know nothing about.

Not that I'm saying that understanding what women want is that difficult
Let each walk as the Lord has distributed to each, as God has called each, and in this manner I instruct all the assemblies. 1 Cor. 7:17
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