Errors at The Junia Project – Part 5

This is the 5th and final post in a series reviewing a recent blog article entitled God Sends Both Men AND Women by Susanna Krizo published at The Junia Project. Here are the links to parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this series.

More than one woman found herself [after the Civil War] without a suitor—and a purpose for her life (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

Straw-manOur purpose in life is to glorify God—whether married or single. Many women (and women) desire to be married, but do not believe they have no purpose for their lives. Again, it appears the Krizo has set up another straw man argument that she can easily attack. On the contrary, the apostle Paul was single, did not lack for purpose in his life and even commends the unmarried:

But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I (1 Corinthians 7:8).

The Bible never teaches that a woman without a suitor (or a man without a wife) has no purpose in life. On the contrary, the Bible makes it clear that the unmarried have some advantages in being able to better focus on serving the Lord outside of their families:

But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.  This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).

Returning to Krizo’s article:

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 (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

I agree that perceived necessity must never be a guide for our morals—this is pragmatism. Unfortunately, Krizo has employed pragmatic argumentation at many points in her article. But which beliefs and practices are against God’s will? I think she is referring to the belief and practice that women cannot be missionaries. But, because she has brought in the subject of marriage and used inaccurate definitions of apostles, it is not immediately clear what belief and practice she is arguing against. Nor has she demonstrated from the Bible how any particular belief or practice is against God’s will.

If a woman can choose missions and remain single for life, is a woman’s created role, her purpose, solely that of a wife and a mother? How can it be? (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

Again, who is Krizo arguing against? Are there people who argue that a woman’s sole purpose  for life is to be a wife and mother? Perhaps. But that position can be easily refuted from Scripture. Also I do not understand the mixing of missions with singleness. How is that relevant?

Singleness is a gift from God. It allows people to follow God wholeheartedly without distractions (1 Cor 7:32-25). But when marriage is presented as the only success story  for Christian women, it is almost impossible for those not married not to view themselves as failures. Of course family is an important part of life, but it isn’t the only thing, nor was it meant to be. The church needs women willing to shoulder responsibilities where married women with young children cannot; there are more opportunities available than there are hours in a day. If marriage was the answer to all of life’s problems, God would have told us so. But he didn’t, so why insist he did?

Now, I am not sure who is teaching that marriage and family are the only success stories for Christian women. Nor have I heard anyone teaching that marriage is the answer to all of life’s problems. Such a person could not have ever been married and could not have actually known any married couples! Unfortunately, Krizo provides only a reference to her own book here, so I cannot comment on the possible sources of these comments.

Let’s not waste any more time. There is so much to do, so little time. Dear sisters, if you have heard the voice of God, embrace your calling, your place in the Kingdom. The church needs you, the world needs you, and God is more than willing to send you. Why shouldn’t you go? (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

Agreed. To a point. There is much to do and so little time. However, we must remember that this blog article was posted at The Junia Project. They are teaching that “women are called to serve at all levels of the Church.” There are countless unique callings available for both men and women. However, it is always within God’s guidelines. For example, since no woman can be a husband, that means no women can be pastors or elders or deacons. No matter how badly it may appear that the church and the world needs them. No matter how strongly it feels like God is calling them or gifting them for that type of service. No matter what percentage of so-called “Christian” churches may be putting them in their pulpits today.

targetNow, this may come as a surprise, but I believe that both married and single women can serve as Christian missionaries, as long as the specific missionary tasks and roles are not specifically prohibited by Scripture. We have to define what we mean by missionary. My point of this series was not to argue against women serving as Christian missionaries, but to point out the poor method of argumentation used in this particular article. We need to understand how to think rather than just be told what to think.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Christian Life, Church, Evangelism

5 responses to “Errors at The Junia Project – Part 5

  1. Interesting perspective on the post, and I can appreciate the philosophical differences between you and the author. I did want to address the question you posed: “who is Krizo arguing against? Are there people who argue that a woman’s sole purpose for life is to be a wife and mother? Unfortunately, there are people who seem to argue this, or at least make public statements giving that impression. For example, Owen Strachan, the Executive Director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood made this comment in 2010: “To be a woman is to support, to nurture, and to strengthen men in order that they would flourish and fulfill their God-given role as leaders.” (see http://juniaproject.com/response-complementarian-view-of-women/ for the source and rest of the interview). Unless you’ve encountered it, it’s hard to believe, but many people do hold this view.

    • Hi Gail!
      Thanks for posting my original article on the Junia Project! The website is so needed in an era in which people claim that men have been given a different role in life than women. And I think we can agree that we have a lot of work still ahead of us, but with God’s grace we will press on! And maybe brother Dale will join us?

  2. Hi Dale!

    You know, I’m not sure what church you go to, but I praise God that you think like egalitarians as far as women’s role in life is concerned!

    You wrote:

    “Our purpose in life is to glorify God—whether married or single. Many women (and women) desire to be married, but do not believe they have no purpose for their lives. Again, it appears the Krizo has set up another straw man argument that she can easily attack. On the contrary, the apostle Paul was single, did not lack for purpose in his life and even commends the unmarried.”

    Brother, you can do me a favor? Can you post this comment of your on the Council of Manhood and Womanhood’s page, and enlighten our brothers and sisters?

    https://www.facebook.com/CBMWorg

    You see they labor under the misunderstanding that the purpose of the woman’s existence revolves around being a mother and wife. Since this is “a straw man argument that can easily attacked,” please do so!

    You wrote:

    “I agree that perceived necessity must never be a guide for our morals—this is pragmatism. Unfortunately, Krizo has employed pragmatic argumentation at many points in her article. But which beliefs and practices are against God’s will? I think she is referring to the belief and practice that women cannot be missionaries. But, because she has brought in the subject of marriage and used inaccurate definitions of apostles, it is not immediately clear what belief and practice she is arguing against. Nor has she demonstrated from the Bible how any particular belief or practice is against God’s will.”

    I’m still waiting for response to my request from yesterday:

    “Since this is day 4, could you be helpful and give us a biblical definition of a missionary and the exact role as outlined in the Bible?”

    It’s beginning to look really odd that you keep on telling me that I haven’t demonstrated from the Bible how any particular belief is or isn’t against God’s will, after I’ve posted, I don’t even know how many responses by now! Have you not read any of them, or did you write this series BEFORE I wrote my responses to your argument? It really doesn’t matter, you have not answered any of my questions, and I’m beginning to wonder why. You say I haven’t supported my argument that missionaries are the equivalent of biblical apostles, although I’ve given you verse after verse as a support. Yesterday you asked me what singleness has to do with being a missionary, and today you write the purpose in life is to glorify God and the single can do so with greater ease (as I also pointed out yesterday). What does a missionary do other than glorify God? I didn’t say a missionary had to be married, only that a woman who is married cannot choose to leave if her husband isn’t willing to go; single women have all the freedom to follow God to the end of the world.

    “Again, who is Krizo arguing against? Are there people who argue that a woman’s sole purpose for life is to be a wife and mother? Perhaps. But that position can be easily refuted from Scripture.

    Once again, amen and thrice hallelujah! I hope you’ll preach this from the roof tops brother, for it is a message that must be heard in every corner of the world!

    Anyways, it’s been a pleasure. Thank so you much for inviting me to have this conversation, I hope we can do it soon again.

    Blessings,

    Susanna

    • Hi Susanna,

      The full 5-day series was written well in advance and scheduled for automatic posting. And, unfortunately, my work and family schedule turned out to be way too crazy this week. I have not had time to even read most of the comments the last few days. I am actually responding to your comment while taking a break from having to work on Saturday (which just makes me all the more behind at work!).

      Perhaps more importantly, my purpose in the series of the posts, as I tried to note in day 1 and in day 5, was not to argue against your position, but against the methods used to present it. Unfortunately, it seems that most everyone (including you) expected me to defend the other position when that was never my goal. Thus, most everyone seemed to miss the whole point of the series, and that must be my fault in not communicating this clearly. I do think that emotions played a role in this as well. In this series, I was not asking for you to defend your position Biblically, but rather pointing out that you did not do so in the original article. Yes, I did challenge the position you took in the article, but based upon the poor foundation it was being built on. I never stated that was the only foundation you could provide, but that it was the one provided. For example, the Civil War argument was not a good one.

      No matter what position we are taking on an issue, we must always strive to avoid logical fallacies, arguments from emotion, errors in data, etc. I am not immune from these either, but we must always strive to avoid them. Neither side of any doctrinal debate benefits when these are employed. I am sure you disagree, but I still feel your article wrongly contained many of these problems.

      I do appreciate the time you took to respond and the kindness with which you have done so. To be honest, I never expected more than a handful of people to read my series as that is my normal blog traffic. I was amazed how quickly you even became aware of the series! The wonders of the Internet are displayed again.

      I have certainly learned some things in doing this series that I think will help the next time I write a similar type of review. I would actually like to find an article from the complementarian side that has the same types of errors (if you have a suggestion, let me know!). Again, I was not trying to argue the conclusions, but the methods used in the debate/discussion. Again, neither side of any doctrinal debate benefits when the arguments are based upon logical fallacies, pragmatism, faulty data, etc.

      Best regards,

      Dale

  3. Hi Dale. Just thought I’d mention that the reason we became aware of your series is that you linked back to our blog. Whenever that happens we get a pingback message notifying us and showing where the link was posted. Blessings!