Errors at The Junia Project – Part 2

Part 1 of this series can be found here. Now, let’s really begin the review of a recent blog article entitled God Sends Both Men AND Women by Susanna Krizo published at The Junia Project.

question_markI have always liked to ask questions; questions that are often considered impertinent by those who don’t believe in asking questions (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

Starting off the article in this manner is just appealing to emotion. She wants you to think that people on the other side of this issue “don’t believe in asking questions.” You might as well play scary music in the background and act like this is some great Christian conspiracy to oppress women.

For example, as a young Christian I wondered why women could become missionaries if they couldn’t teach in the church. The answer—if a man is not available, God doesn’t mind sending women (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

Missionaries are not the same as people who teach in the church (pastors and elders).  In fact, some missionaries sent by the local church do not even have as their primary role to teach or evangelize at all (for example, medical missionaries or missionaries that build houses, churches, water systems, etc.). Conflating the different categories of missionaries and teachers in the church just confuses the issue. In the following text, the Bible identifies several different categories of individuals that God calls for the work of ministry:

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Evangelists as described in this Biblical text are probably most similar to the idea of a missionary implied by Krizo in this blog article (yet she will later try to equate missionaries with apostles rather than missionaries). But even the term evangelist does not encompass all the modern uses of the term missionary. We could perhaps consider all evangelists to be missionaries, but definitely not all missionaries are evangelists. In either case these evangelists are different from both apostles and shepherds and teachers.

If the Bible uses distinct categories for ministry then we should too. An evangelist is not an apostle. An evangelist is not a pastor or elder. The God-defined distinctions are important. Just as the God-defined distinctions between men and women are important.

The answer—if a man is not available, God doesn’t mind sending women. I didn’t like the answer then, and I don’t like it now. (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Womenl).

Whose answer was that? Krizo does not say. Perhaps she did hear that answer in the past. But receiving a non-Biblical answer from someone in her past would not justify her giving another non-Biblical answer. And it does not matter if she does not like the answer. The question is whether or not it is Biblical.

But the American church of the 19th century didn’t have a choice. Ron Boehme, from Youth With a Mission (YWAM), visited our church recently and told our congregation that women, single and married, became missionaries in the late nineteenth century because most of the men of their era were gone. The Civil War had wiped out nearly an entire generation of men; there was no one to send (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

civil_war

This is a pragmatic argument not a Biblical one. Plus, the facts do not support their premise at all. An estimated 620,000-850,000 soldiers died during the Civil War. In 1865 at the end of the Civil War, the US population was estimated to be at least 31,000,000. That means that at most 2.7% of the US population died during the Civil War. Assuming that all of the dead were men and that men make up 50% of the total population, then at most 5.5% of all men died during the Civil War. Basically 1 man in 18 was lost. Even if you expand the men lost to include casualties (estimated to be 1.5 million total) the percentage of men lost only increases to only 9.7%.  Surely this was a major impact on those men who were of the age to both go to battle and go to the mission field, but it is hyperbole at best to say there was “no one to send.”

Even if the facts were true that there were no men to send, the church still had a choice. Let’s assume that the church, under God’s command, could only send men as missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. If 100% of the men were wiped out under the sovereign control of God during the Civil War, then so be it. Does Krizo reject the sovereignty of God to fulfill his purposes? Does she reject God’s commands when she feels it becomes necessary to meet some good goal? Besides, the Bible does not mandate the number of missionaries that must be sent each year. So we cannot even change the argument to say that there were not enough men.

The nineteenth century brought a freedom and release to women in missions that greatly impacted the history of the world evangelism (Krizo,God Sends Both Men AND Women).

Did you notice the use of inflammatory language? Women had previously been in bondage, but now had been freed! Krizo is again appealing to emotion rather than making Biblical arguments.

Well, that is it for Day 2. To this point the article Krizo not used the Bible to defend her position, but she has used emotion, pragmatism, inflammatory language and bad facts. Jump to Day 3.

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14 Comments

Filed under Christian Life, Church, Evangelism

14 responses to “Errors at The Junia Project – Part 2

  1. Tim P.

    Hi there! One factor that I think you missed is the historical and linguistic connection between apostleship and missionaries. When the Bible was translated from Greek into Latin, the equivalent of apostleship (being sent in the name of Jesus) was mission. This Latin loan word came into English as “mission” and “missionary.” Thus historically the Church has viewed missionary work as apostolic work. You seem to equate the term with “evangelist” (euangelistes) in Ephesians 4, which I can see why. However, both historically and linguistically, missionary work has been viewed as apostolic work. This is why the Junia Project author connects being a missionary with apostolic work, and why she is on solid linguistic and historical footing to do so.

    • Hi Tim,

      I think you will see that there is a greater problem that will be addressed in part 3 tomorrow – the confusion of the many uses of the term apostle in the New Testament. I have not read most of The Junia Project’s writings, but if they think that modern missionaries are equivalent to the apostleship of Peter and Paul (authoritative, able to write Scripture, able to perform miracles) then there is an even bigger problem.

      Dale

  2. Tim P.

    Hi Dale: Thanks so much for responding. I think you are using the noun apostolos in a rather narrow fashion, to just describe those who wrote Scripture. Here is a quote from Hans Dieter Betz in his entry on the “apostle” in the Anchor Bible Dictionary:
    “Chronologically the earliest use of the term in the NT, apostolos is an administrative designation for envoys, delegates and representatives. Their title and function are given in 2 Cor 8:23 (cf. Phil 2:25) as “envoys of the churches (apostoloi ekklesion), that is, envoys appointed and sent out by the churches to represent them…In other places, the term “apostle” is understood in a more religious sense as a missionary and preacher of the gospel. Acts 1:21-26 and 13:1-3, passages describing the appointment of different types of ‘apostles,’ show that such appointments do not exclude divine intervention and authorization. The tasks of these apostles could vary but they seem to be centered on the proclamation of the gospel and the founding and administering of new churches (see 1 Cor 9:5, 12:28, Eph 2:20, 3:5, 4:11; Rev 18:20, Didache 11:3-6)” (Volume I, pp. 309-10).

    Thus, history is not on your side in this case, since the earliest Western Christians (who wrote theology in Latin) used the verb missio and the noun missionary to describe apostolic activity. Unless you are sweeping aside the writings of the church from the second to the fifth century for no apparent reason, it would seem that missionary activity has been understood by the Church as apostolic for a very long time.

    Moreover, Romans 16:7 includes Junia as an apostle (hence the name, Junia Project). Early English translators changed this name from the feminine Junia to the masculine Junias in a clear effort to avoid the clear meaning of the Greek text that a woman held the title apostolos (see for example the 1984 NIV, corrected in the 2011 update). Based on the biblical evidence, it would seem that your claim that the term apostolos is only used to describe Peter and Paul and others who wrote Scripture would be inaccurate and fail to account for the full biblical data.

    Excellent conversation. Thanks for bringing it up. Grace and peace be upon you.

    • Tim,

      That is misleading at best to say that English translators changed the name to avoid the clear meaning that the name Junia in Romans 16:7 is feminine. There has been debate since the early centuries of the Christian church as to whether or not Junia was a female. It is not always easy to identify a person’s gender by their name. The most famous Dale was a female, but I am a male. It would be impossible for you to know my gender if all you knew was my name. (And yes, I know English is vastly different than Greek, but I am just making the point that names can be misleading).

      I was also NOT claiming that there was only one meaning of the term apostle. Just the opposite. It is the writer of the article that I am responding to that flattens the meaning of apostle into one generic term and appears to lump Junia with Peter and Paul.

      Regards,

      Dale

      • Tim P

        Hi: Thanks for responding. When you say you know that Greek is vastly different than English you answer your own point. Unlike English, Greek is an inflected language, which means that grammatical markers (such as gender, especially in adjectives and names) are indicated by suffix inflected on the end of the word. English has nothing like this, which is why “Dale” is gender ambiguous. However, in Greek the suffix -ia is female and the suffix -ias is male. Hence Junia is always a female name and Junias is always a male name, because they are the same word with different suffixes inflected on them. The reason translators some translators changed this is because a woman bearing the title “apostle” went contrary to their assumptions. Hence, rather than changing the assumption, they changed the biblical text in translation by giving the impression that Junia was a man rather than a woman. Being a Biblicist as it appears that you are, I would assume that for you the most important data is what the biblical text says. In this case, it clearly says that a woman named Junia bore the title apostle. Peace.

      • Junia is a Latin woman’s name. All Roman women were given their father’s name in the feminine form, hence Julius became Julia, and Junius became Junia. Junias as a name doesn’t exist, has never existed and will never exist. Junia on the other hand is a common Latin woman’s name, and has existed for over 2000 years. Since the letter was written to Rome, it would make eminent sense for the people to have Latin names.

  3. Hi Dale! Thanks for your insights, now let me respond.
    (I’ve put your text in quotation marks)

    “Starting off the article in this manner is just appealing to emotion. She wants you to think that people on the other side of this issue “don’t believe in asking questions.” You might as well play scary music in the background and act like this is some great Christian conspiracy to oppress women.”

    Since you are unfamiliar with my writing style, I’ll forgive you for making assumptions about my intentions that appear nowhere in the text. I didn’t say that people on the other side (those who believe in a hierarchy) do not believe in asking questions. I said SOME people do not like questions. Why do you assume that I meant complementarians?

    “Whose answer was that? Krizo does not say. Perhaps she did hear that answer in the past. But receiving a non-Biblical answer from someone in her past would not justify her giving another non-Biblical answer. And it does not matter if she does not like the answer. The question is whether or not it is Biblical.”

    You say I’ve created an non-Biblical answer because I didn’t like the non-Biblical answer given to me. Why do you not ask the right question: why wasn’t my church able to give me a biblical answer?

    “Missionaries are not the same as people who teach in the church (pastors and elders).”

    You are absolutely right, the apostles appoint overseers.

    The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you (Titus 1:5 NIV).

    “The nineteenth century brought a freedom and release to women in missions that greatly impacted the history of the world evangelism (Krizo,God Sends Both Men AND Women).

    Did you notice the use of inflammatory language? Women had previously been in bondage, but now had been freed! Krizo is again appealing to emotion rather than making Biblical arguments.”

    Dear brother, this is a quote from Boehme Ron (The Fourth Wave, Taking Your Place in the Era of Missions [Seattle, WA: YWAM Publishing, 2011], p 90), as is the idea that the church had to send women because there was no one else to send after the civil war. I quoted his book, and the article makes it clear. Perhaps you would like to re-visit my article, for you wrote,

    “Does Krizo reject the sovereignty of God to fulfill his purposes? Does she reject God’s commands when she feels it becomes necessary to meet some good goal?”

    In my article you’ll find, “Necessity should never be a guide for morals, for truth must be obeyed regardless of circumstances, yet, sometimes necessity forces us to give up beliefs and practices that are against God’s will.”

    So no, I wouldn’t say that I use inflammatory language, or that I use emotional arguments, and as far as the facts are concerned, you’ll have to take that up with Mr. Ron from Youth With a Mission.

    • Susanna,

      Your quote about asking questions was in the same paragraph discussing the roles of men and women, in an article about the topic of roles of men and women, and posted on a blog dedicated to the egalitarianism. It certainly appears that you are painting the other side in a particular light since you use similar tactics in other places in the article.

      I understand that the quote was from Mr. Boehme, but you have used it in your article and as part of your argumentation. If you think Mr. Boehme should not have used such inflammatory language regarding “freedom” and “release” then you should not include it in your article. As the author you become responsible for your content. I do not have to take up the issue with Mr. Boehme because it is your article.

      I also think you are continuing to blur the lines about apostles.

      Regards,

      Dale

  4. “Well, that is it for Day 2. To this point the article Krizo not used the Bible to defend her position, but she has used emotion, pragmatism, inflammatory language and bad facts.” And you, dear brother, have constructed a sad edifice out of straw, and on the sand no less. Krizo has been kind and gracious to respond as she has.

  5. Don Johnson

    On the term apostle, it means “sent out one” and then the obvious question is who is doing the sending. When it is Jesus directly, then we say they are one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and then one gets subtracted, one added and then Paul gets added in as special. The others called apostles in the NT were sent out by a local congregation and not directly by Jesus.

    In any case, any of the 4-fold leadership ministry (some say 5 fold) in Eph 4 are elders or overseers. If you do more digging in Scripture, this is fairly easy to see, but if you need help I can recommend some books.

  6. Hi Dale,
    Since you so kindly invited me into this discussion by publicly naming me in your article, I would appreciate if you would be continue to be kind and accept what I write without adding your own thoughts to my words. I have already stated that I do not desire to paint “the other side” (as you call it) in any particular light, and I would appreciate if we could finally begin to talk about the subject at hand instead of continuing a he said/she said discussion that leads nowhere.

    Yes, I quoted Boehme, for I thought he had a good argument, and no, I don’t consider his language inflammatory, nor do anyone else who is connected to YWAM, an organization that sends tens of thousands of women apostles out into the world annually. Do you not believe women should be missionaries? Do you not believe it was a good thing that thousands of women joined the missions-field in the late 19th century? Do you believe women shouldn’t preach the Gospel?

    It would be really helpful if you would define what an apostle means to you, since you believe I’m “blurring the lines.” I have, quite frankly, no idea how I’m doing it, so if you could take a moment and define an apostle for me, that would be greatly appreciated, and if you could give the proper Bible references, that would be great too. Thanks.

  7. Hi Dale!
    You wrote,

    “This is a pragmatic argument not a Biblical one. Plus, the facts do not support their premise at all. An estimated 620,000-850,000 soldiers died during the Civil War. In 1865 at the end of the Civil War, the US population was estimated to be at least 31,000,000. That means that at most 2.7% of the US population died during the Civil War. Assuming that all of the dead were men and that men make up 50% of the total population, then at most 5.5% of all men died during the Civil War. Basically 1 man in 18 was lost. Even if you expand the men lost to include casualties (estimated to be 1.5 million total) the percentage of men lost only increases to only 9.7%. Surely this was a major impact on those men who were of the age to both go to battle and go to the mission field, but it is hyperbole at best to say there was “no one to send.””

    I thought about this math problem that you presented and I have answer. There are currently about 1 million missionaries, 60 % of them are women. There are about 7 billion people on the planet, which means the number of missionaries amount to about 0.15 % of the world’s population. It has become much safer to travel, medicine has made it possible to survive an introduction of a foreign bacteria/virus, and the internet has made it easy to keep in touch. In the 19th century, missions was a dangerous business, people died often on the journey. If 5 % of men died in the civil war, and missionaries accounted for less than 0.1 % of the world’s population, not just the US, the church would have had a hard time finding men willing to go.

    My second thought is about this comment of yours:

    “Even if the facts were true that there were no men to send, the church still had a choice. Let’s assume that the church, under God’s command, could only send men as missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. If 100% of the men were wiped out under the sovereign control of God during the Civil War, then so be it. Does Krizo reject the sovereignty of God to fulfill his purposes? Does she reject God’s commands when she feels it becomes necessary to meet some good goal? Besides, the Bible does not mandate the number of missionaries that must be sent each year. So we cannot even change the argument to say that there were not enough men.”

    In this paragraph you do two things: 1) You say the church was wrong in sending women because there were not enough men, because 2) your basic premise here is that women should not be missionaries. If you did NOT have a problem with women being sent to missions, you would not have a problem with my article; instead you would be praising God that women were willing to go! As your arguments stand, you claim that 1) missionaries aren’t apostles, 2) missionaries do the work of apostles, wherefore women should not become missionaries, 3) women should become missionaries , because missionaries aren’t apostles. Now, I know that hierarchical theologians try to have it both ways. In “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” the writers disagree with each other on every single important point, because they are trying to give to men what they take away from women. You cannot claim that women should become missionaries and then claim that they should not do the work that they were sent to do, which is to preach the Gospel and plant new churches.

  8. 1) You start your article with quoting Suzanne and claiming: “Starting off the article in this manner is just appealing to emotion. She wants you to think that people on the other side of this issue “don’t believe in asking questions.”
    God told us not to judge by outward appearance, and what could be more outward than a single sentence? Starting of your article in that manner is not a Christian thing to do.
    2) You also say: “Missionaries are not the same as people who teach in the church (pastors and elders). In fact, some missionaries sent by the local church do not even have as their primary role to teach or evangelize at all.”
    It seems to me that you and her both conflated missionaries here: She, by her argument, probably thought of missionaries who teach and lead church, but used the word missionaries without specifying that. You seemingly conflated them with those among them who do not teach, as you never said how missionaries who teach converts differ from “people who teach in church”. (I would say a missionary who teaches one or more(newly converted, in some cases) believer(s) is a person who “teach in the church”, because the gathering of 2 or more believers – the missionary and one convert – is church.)
    3) You said: “Did you notice the use of inflammatory language? … Krizo is again appealing to emotion rather than making Biblical arguments.”
    Is any of this this inflammatory language or an appeal to emotions?: “She wants you to think that people on the other side of this issue “don’t believe in asking questions.” You might as well play scary music in the background and act like this is some great Christian conspiracy to oppress women.”
    4) You said: “This is a pragmatic argument not a Biblical one”
    Should we judge every sentence and paragraph in your article if it is Biblical or not? If, say, you talk of her appealing to emotion, should I say: “That is a mere observation of yours and not a Biblical argument?” If you give numbers on the dead in the civil war, should I say you are not being Biblical, as the civil war is not in the Bible?

    Conclusion) Matthew 7:2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    • My point 1) may have been clearer if the second sentence was stated like this: God told us not to judge by outward appearance, and what could be more “judging by outward appearance” than judging Suzanne’s motives (“She wants you to think …”) by a single sentence of hers?