Over the past several months I have received numerous emails and questions from inquiring minds regarding articles I posted concerning women’s roles and how they relate to teaching. Both publicly and privately I have been accused of holding positions that I do not hold as straw men have been established and quickly torn down. Some of my writings have been taken out of context or misunderstood due to a lack of clarity. Thus I would like to clarify my position and attempt to answer some of the questions posed by sincere minds.
The following article was written and published in the O.P.A. in April of 2002. We call it back from the pages of history for the consideration of our readers and the proclamation of God's truth.
In recent years there has been a growing trend for young people in the Lord's church to attend "Christian" universities when they go off to college. It is the feeling of many that such "Christian" universities are "safer" than sectarian schools and will help promote Bible principles. It is out of deep concern for the welfare of many souls and the future of the Church that I urge people to consider the following quotes from men such as N. B. Hardeman, W. W. Otey, G. H. P. Showalter, and J. N. Armstrong concerning the "Christian" colleges in the 1930's-1950's. These preachers believed Bible colleges were Scriptural in nature (I disagree; the Scriptures neither imply, mention, nor approve of such innovations) yet they had great concerns about "Church of Christ Colleges" such as David Lipscomb University, Harding University, Abilene Christian College, and others. The concerns these preachers had about "Christian" colleges paled in comparison to the reality of what is now being taught in each of these universities.
Preaching Publicly on Facebook and in Other Public Settings: Men's and Women's ROles by Nathan Battey
The apostle Paul wrote the following words regarding men's and women's roles:
1 Timothy 2:8-12
I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
A doctrine once criticized and and ridiculed by the religious world is now earning a second look. The issue is not new; it divided the Lord's Church over a hundred years ago. When Brother Jerry Cutter debated Hiram Hutto over the issue of Bible classes, many ridiculed Brother Jerry and labeled him as an "Anti" for taking what they considered to be an "extreme" position. The same was the case when Brother Waters debated Brother Porter on the same issue years prior and when Brother George Battey debated the issue years later. Yet the tides are turning in the denominational world as the fields are being harvested.
Why is it that people are beginning to reconsider the issue of a divided assembly? Because the fruits are rotten. Jesus taught, "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit." (Matthew 7:18) Youth movements and Sunday Schools are not accomplishing what they set out to accomplish because they do not have Bible authority for their foundation. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches that God thoroughly equipped us for every good work - thus we conclude that since the Bible does not authorize Youth Groups and Sunday Schools they must not be good works. Many denominational leaders are beginning to admit that Youth Groups and Sunday School classes not only lack Biblical authority, but are also detrimental to the spiritual health of young people and churches.
I encourage everyone to watch the movie "Divided" that has been posted to the end of this article. Though I do not have any connection with the creators of this movie, and do not agree with them on other doctrinal issues, I believe they are spot on when it comes to this subject. Don't take my word for it though; open up your Bible, follow along, and be honest with yourself as you consider this vital topic.
Two final thoughts:
1- This video is not an exhaustive study of the issue, though it does provide lots of great material. If you are interested in studying the topic further, I highly recommend listening to the Cutter - Hutto debate by clicking here.
2- This video should be a reminder to those of the Lord's church who are being tempted to give into innovation that we don't want what the world has to offer. Sunday School is not the solution to educating our children - it is part of the problem. Let's get back to the Bible and stand on a "Thus saith the Lord."
Here is the same video with Spanish subtitles.
is an evangelist of the Church of Christ in Arlington, Texas.