Snatching Ambiguity From Clarity

Snatching Ambiguity From Clarity

During the Judge Kavanaugh’s hearings, the Judge gave an interesting phrase “snatching ambiguity from clarity” as he discussed textualism, the theory that the interpretation of the law is based primarily on the ordinary meaning of the text when it was written. He was referencing those who want to find every reason why what the law actually says is not what it actually means.

Unfortunately, it seems that we have the same issue in the Church today where too many people want to take what is so clearly stated in the Word and twist and turn, reach and hypothesize, all to conclude that they know the mind of God on matters clearly written in God’s Word and they have discovered that God’s mind is the opposite of what is clearly stated.

This is especially true concerning modern biblical womanhood where, of course, modern Western thinking is said to have nothing to do with their conclusions as they stretch for ambiguity to try and upend God’s intent with the plain meaning and make it say the opposite of what God clearly says. In other words, the are “snatching ambiguity from clarity.”

Amiguity means “doubtfulness of uncertainty of significance; double meaning.” Some women love to make other women doubt God’s clear commands and cause them to be uncertain and question if they are true and relevant for today. Clarity means “clearness” which God’s word is to us; most often clear as can be!

I teach women to be submissive to their husbands as it is clearly taught in the text of the word of God but it amazes me how many now love to make it ambiguous. They love to cast doubt on what God has clearly commanded by giving all of the ifs, buts, and exceptions.

“God wouldn’t command women to be submissive because it can lead to abuse!” Is your husband abusing you? If so, quickly seek help. A wife’s loving and willful submission does not include subjecting herself or her children to abuse. But if your husband is not abusing you, stop using this excuse to wipe out the clear teaching of God’s word.

“What if a husband asks a wife to sin?” Is your husband asking you to sin for him or with him? If so, just say no. Submission does not mean we go against God’s clear word and sin.

“That was written only to one church, not to the whole church of God!” No, it was written to all churches. Six epistles clearly state that a wife is to be submissive to her husband’s leadership. Four were to specific churches who were told to pass them around to other churches, and two were to two of the apostles who were Paul’s main proteges, Timothy and Titus, and both were responsible to lead multiple churches.

Perhaps nothing creates more ambiguity with the text than the cry for “mutual submission.” God says one time, “submitting yourselves one to another.” “See! We don’t really have to be submissive to our husbands at all!” They have snatched ambiguity to overturn the clear meaning of seven verses on a wife’s submission by appealing to one verse that also tells her to be submissive! That’s right, “submitting yourselves one to another.” How can such a clear verse now come to mean: “I do not have to submit at all”? These women have in their minds created doubtfulness, uncertainty of significance or a double meaning, and ambiguity; all in an effort to excuse why they refuse to accept the clarity of the text.

The worst case of creating ambiguity with the clear teaching of the word is the massive attempt to justify women holding places of church authority and teaching men in the church even when the plain text says, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:11-14).

“Women were the first to preach to the disciples about Jesus rising from the dead!” How much more ambiguity can you find than a simple message of the resurrection turned into a speaking engagement? Actually, wasn’t it an angel who preached to the women and told them to go tell (not preach) to the disciples that Christ had risen?

“What about Deborah, Junia, and Priscilla!?” All great women used by God but we have not one instance of any woman preaching in the churches or a scrap of any message they gave. Did you miss the part where all the priests of the Old Covenant and all of the apostles were men?

“Junia. She’s an apostle!” Or maybe she was “of note among the apostles”(Romans 16:7)? Or maybe she wasn’t a she at all but Junias, a man? But for those looking to snatch ambiguity from clarity of God’s Word on these matters, they have found enough. They have muddied the waters just enough to create a whole theology for women preachers/teachers and leaders in the churches all out of an ambiguous text.

“Those commands were cultural and only for that church.” Yes, it is the only possible ambiguity that is not dishonest, but it also is not part of the the actual text. There is no place in scripture that God tells us that one day women would lead the church and do it better than godly men can do it. An appeal to the texts being cultural and no longer applicable to our day presumes that Western culture is superior to all other cultures and that God in all His ambiguity could not have clearly given us instructions for marriage and the Church that could endure throughout the church age. No, what was good for almost 2,000 years is no longer good for today as feminism has freed the church from its yoke of biblical culture.

But here’s the “cultural” catch. The apostle Paul’s justification for why a woman was not to exercise authority over a man or teach him predates culture. Paul takes us back to a time before culture began and only Adam and Eve were in the garden. Did Paul lie to us? Or was God giving us His will and His way in a clear manner explaining why He wants male leadership in Christian homes and churches? And if you say Paul lied or was mistaken in his words, you have just opened the slippery slide that will take you away from all of the churches’ teachings leaving you with nothing more than the red letters of Jesus. All these years the Bible could not be trusted by the Church, and you just discovered that for us by all your ambiguities? I do not think so, and we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) who founded His church upon His apostles as stated in His word.

We live in a culture where everyone has an excuse and a justification for why they will not do the right things in life. Divorce is rampant. Children are left in daycare are all day. Debt is skyrocketing. The unborn are being killed for getting in the way, and every form of sexual sin is being thrust upon us by a pleasure-seeking society where everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes. But some of you want us to believe that this culture is so much better than the culture that Peter and Paul preached to and admonished. That we have progressed to an evolutionary point in the church where we can adapt the Church to this sinful culture and make it better. This world needs Jesus and God’s instructions to us more than ever. Don’t throw out God’s clear admonitions but embrace them as a people called to be separate and holy, set aside for God. His ways are always best.

God is clear what he wants for the role of women in the churches and it is for our good. The clarity of the plain speaking word of God is far more valid than any ambiguity can challenge. Take God at His word, dear women. The New Covenant teachings begin in Acts when the Church was established by the apostles. Everything we need for life and godliness is found in God’s word, not in wishful thinking and a stretch for ambiguity. The New Covenant and the New Testament are our guide giving us all we need for life and godliness. Let us not allow culture to dictate what God’s word says, but rather let us allow God’s word to influence us to stand firm against modern culture by studying it and obeying God!

20 thoughts on “Snatching Ambiguity From Clarity

  1. This is indeed a culture if entitlement and instant gratification, with no thought at all about how one’s decisions affect those around them! Children of broken homes and divorce are brainwashed to feel THEY are the ones in the wrong when they remain loyal to their fathers, instead of mom’s boyfriend, and grieve the loss of their intact family! The therapists say to the parents’ “they’re not accountable to you, it’s all about what you want, not your own children…” and yet, the children pay the price of their parent’s instant gratification and selfishness! People say, we want to hook up and it’s our RIGHT, and then cry and whine for charity when they pop out an unwanted kid or two! People have decided addiction is a “disease” and the junkies are the victims, not those they caused pain and left behind! Etc…Etc…

  2. Thank you for your blog Lori. I have been blessed by it for a few years.
    Though I am still confused by what is the womens role in the church? I have served along side my husband in our church for years. We been on the prayer team together, taught children’s Sunday School classes, as well as children’s church. I have served on the Womens Ministry for years also. Am I going against the role of a biblical women by serving in this way? I truly want to please God. To be a Titus 2 women and teach other women the same, but for years I have been confused about what is my role in the church. I would love some clarity from your point of view. Thank you in advance and be blessed.

    1. It’s clear that women are not to teach men nor be in authority over them, plus they are to be silent in the church services, Kristine. It doesn’t sound like you are breaking any of those commands. Women are called to serve in the churches where there is a need but not in any leadership or teaching positions over men. Concerning Women’s Ministry, I believe this should mainly be focused upon biblical womanhood as stated in Titus 2:3-5. Unfortunately, most younger women aren’t being taught it at all.

      1. I’m not at all saying Kristine is doing this but concerning prayer teams. Some women feel it is fine to pray with men. In my understanding women are to be silent in the church including leading prayer. I wanted to make that distinction because I have seen it happen in a few churches.

        For myself I don’t pray with men present at all. If there is a Christian man in the room I remain silent during prayer even outside of worship services. If I’m leading an American Heritage Girls meeting and there are fathers present they will be called upon to open us up in prayer.

          1. I am sure she is referring to a church service or a gathering of believers together. The men almost always say grace before our meal but I am sure it’s fine for women to say grace before meals!

          2. I let the men say ask for the blessing on the food as well. My husband always prays for our family when he is present.

            I don’t judge other women who choose to say Grace or what have you, I just personally don’t find it necessary and it is in keeping with my beliefs of a man showing headship in our family.

  3. M. Thank you so much for your comment. I had the same situation happen to me at church on Wednesday night. I emailed Ms Lori about yesterday. Perfect post!

    1. I encourage you to study 1 Corinthians 14 where Paul is giving instructions on how the church service should be conducted. He mentions prophesying, prayer, speaking in tongues, teaching doctrine, etc. then concludes this passage with “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” Therefore, I believe women should not do any speaking in the church during a service. Yes, they may sing and worship the Lord but it is clear that they are to be silent during the church service.

    1. I believe women can absolutely be a part of small groups but if there are men in attendance, then the women should be silent and learn from the men since women are forbidden from teaching men.

      1. I have heard it argued that it’s OK for women to speak in small groups (even when men are present) but for me that’s impossible to justify.

        The early church had no “formal church” buildings to meet in. They were gathering in small groups, mostly in peoples homes just like most of our small groups meet in today. The first church buildings did not start to appear until the early 200s.

        It’s clear that these small groups meeting in peoples houses (or other types of buildings that were not designated churches) was exactly what Paul had in mind when he penned 1 Corinthians.

  4. I have a question for other church attendees. I attended a Christian funeral this past weekend where they had a man and woman lead in the congregational hymns. We also stood for all the singing. I’m a woman who believes in headcovering, and that my hair is my glory, not my covering. Of all the women there, only 4 had their heads covered where 50 years ago, all the women would be covered. I consider myself to be a conservative believer. We don’t have women lead in any area, always within the auspice of a man being in the oversight, and probably 80% of the ladies cover. So, is this a normal practice within other churches where a man and a woman are co-songleaders and where every song is sung standing? Also, is headcovering somewhat regularly practiced at your churches?

  5. Another great post. It was a joy to read your insight.
    I think that not only are you correct in the direction you are guiding people, but that you should even go a step further. You inserted a caveat:
    A wife’s loving and willful submission does not include subjecting herself or her children to abuse.

    1 Peter 2:13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

    18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

    The Bible teaches that we are to submit to those in authority over us, and Christ was in fact our example when He, being innocent, was beaten, mocked, tortured, publicly humiliated, and even killed for us. The Bible says that we have even been called to this enduring of abuse, for the sake of Christ, as He first endured abuse even past the point of death for us. Elsewhere the Bible talks about turning the other cheek, and overcoming evil with good, so this is not an unusual passage, just a highly ignored one. And it says that women are to submit to their husbands, even unbelieving ones, “likewise”.

    Everything anybody doesn’t like gets labeled as abuse these days. If I touch somebody it is physical abuse, if I say something it is verbal abuse, if they just feel bad because of me that is emotional abuse, if I disagree with them that is mental abuse, if I look at them it is (leering) visual abuse, if I’m of the opposite sex it is sexual abuse, you get the picture. I’m not even allowed to think without somebody possibly claiming abuse. As you can see if you give a free pass for abuse, everybody will want to use it, and will use it. Jesus didn’t give a pass for abuse, he took great undeserved abuse for us, and the Bible tells us that was as an example for how we should also endure abuse for His namesake and in keeping with other things God has commanded us to do. Nobody wants to hear that they are called to endure unjust abuse.
    Matthew 7:14 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
    We are all human. If we can’t endure a little “abuse” we can’t get along well with others, and marriages and families will not stay together, we would throw our kids out, or they would run away. The beautiful part to remember is that you are not enduring abuse because you are condoning the behavior, or because the abuser deserves it, you are doing it for Christ that his word will not be blasphemed on your account as you desert your marriage, and to put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. You are being counted worthy to suffer for Christ just as He first suffered for you. It seems entirely foreign to us in our self-serving culture.
    Hebrews 11:35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection;
    It is said that you can tell how strong a person’s faith is by how much they are willing to suffer for it.
    James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

    1. It depends on the extent of the abuse and what it is. Any emotional or physical abuse a woman is enduring, I encourage her to seek guidance from a godly, older woman. No woman should have to endure being beat up by her husband. With this, I will never agree with you and she should seek protection from authorities immediately. Some women are enduring severe and even not so severe emotional abuse from their husbands and need help and encouragement from a godly, older woman in how to handle it or what actions she should take. I understand that we are promised persecution as Christians, but if we can flee the persecution and find protection from it, we should!

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