Should Bible colleges have women serve as chapel speakers?

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SharperIron's picture
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Should Bible colleges have women serve as chapel speakers?

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Aaron Blumer's picture
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Leap

Some discussion I've seen on this leaps a bit hastily to "what this proves about NIU" and the like. There are more important questions: is there a biblical basis for restricting women from serving in this way? Is a Bible college a church? Is it consistent to have women on leadership boards but not allow them to address the organizations they help lead? Is an inspiring lecture with Bible verses in it "preaching" in the local church sense?

The answers are not obvious enough to just assume.

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My questions / comments
  • Starting with agreement with Paul: "And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence." (1 Timothy 2:12). I agree with this statement completely but observe that it applies to churches and a church context.
  • Observation #1: NIU is not a church. Say to have a female teacher teaching on various subjects like math, English, music, et cetera - no issue for me
  • Observation #2: I regularly hear women teach in various non-church functions: work, Toastmasters, work-related conferences. I don't have a problem with this
  • Observation #3: In over 28 yrs. (of secular work), I estimate that ⅓  of that time I have had a female manager (functioning as my authority). I don't have a problem with that (in fact in all my years of work I've had two terrible managers - one who tried to fire me (too bad ... I far exceeded my sales' goals!) - and both were males.
  • Observation #4: In a church setting, I don't have a problem with women teaching male children (although at about adolescence (say Jr High), it strikes me that a male teacher is much preferred.
  • Observation #5: In a church setting, over decades, I've listened to a number of female missionaries share testimonies, the nature of the work, et cetera. I don't have a problem with this
  • Observation #6: For a para-church organization, I don't have an issue with female board members (nor in the corporate / secular world)
  • Comment / question: What constitutes "chapel"? Is "chapel" = "church service" at a Bible college?  Not so sure ... see observation #1. What about "assembly"? In HS we used to have "assemblies" in the gym or auditorium with various speakers. I listened to about 7 min of the above speech ... it was interesting. I don't see the woman as a pastor. 
Ian Columba's picture
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Exegetical Questions

"I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet." (1 Timothy 2:8-12, ESV)

1. Does "every place" refer to "every church meeting" or "every situation". 

2. Does "teach" refer to any teaching or is it to be taking in conjunction with "exercising authority" as in teaching with authority (i.e. pastoring). 

I don't have time to dig into the Greek right now, but I think those are the questions that should frame the discussion.

Empathetic Apologist

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Info on Lina Abujamra
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Re Chapel at Bible College

Re Chapel at Bible College, I don't see the importance of it. Christians should be members of churches where they are taught, worship, and serve.

Assemblies for special programs ... makes sense from time time time (Ad Hoc) 

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Can 1 Timothy 2 apply to other areas outside of church?

Personally, I don't think that we can necessarily say that 1 Timothy 2 is just for the church setting. I think it is more specific to the worship ministry of preaching in general to the teaching of the Word of God over men. The preaching of the word of God in any context church or no The teaching of the word of God over men in any context church or no. A college chapel is not a church service, but it is a worship service where in a normal setting the word of God is being preached. Biblically according to this passage Northland's female preacher in this video is unbiblical and unacceptable. If it was a special "chapel" in which a guest speaker came to speak on an extrabiblical topic that would be acceptable, but from the little I listened to the given message that is not the case. Has anyone seen comments from NIU about this?

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"Revisiting Biblical Womanhood"- Bauder PPT

This link from Kevin Bauder might be of interest in thinking through the topic...

http://seminary.wcts1030.com/publications/PD2009Mar-Session2-Bauder.ppt

BTW- interesting fact, but I believe one of my wife's grandfathers actually came to Christ under the ministry of Amy Lee Stockton, mentioned by Kevin Bauder in the link I provided... She was licensed to preach by Wealthy Street (now Wealthy Park) Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, MI, a prominent GARBC church for many years...

Greg Linscott
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Interact with me a bit on this please

paynen wrote:

Personally, I don't think that we can necessarily say that 1 Timothy 2 is just for the church setting. I think it is more specific to the worship ministry of preaching in general to the teaching of the Word of God over men. The preaching of the word of God in any context church or no The teaching of the word of God over men in any context church or no. A college chapel is not a church service, but it is a worship service where in a normal setting the word of God is being preached. Biblically according to this passage Northland's female preacher in this video is unbiblical and unacceptable. If it was a special "chapel" in which a guest speaker came to speak on an extrabiblical topic that would be acceptable, but from the little I listened to the given message that is not the case. Has anyone seen comments from NIU about this?

  • As I indicated above, I listened to about 7 min of it (time constraint that I had). Her topic was "it's Ok to fail" (I speculate that the direction was ... give all to God ... see what He may do (not a bad idea!)).  My recollection is that she had not gotten to any text up to the time I stopped listening (may have been less than 7). Suppose she had not used any text at all! Would that be OK? 
  • Suppose you have a woman talking on any topic (pick one ... for the sake of argument the topic is "The Cake Flopped and I Cried" (a newlywed story). Suppose at the very end she throws in Ephesians 5:28, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her". And she said, "I learned an important lesson today ... even though my cake flopped, my husband loves me ... reminds me of a devotional study Ephesians 5:28 ... et cetera). Does that constitute preaching (I'm sure that is deep for some IFB preachers Smile
  • Take the female missionary observation I made earlier. Here is a very very smart female Bible translator Here she has a blog post that deals with a translation issue. Suppose she shared that on a Wednesday night. is that preaching?  Or is it only appropriate that she speaks to a non-Biblical topic of "Domestic animals in Chad"?
  • Or take an ABF class (I sometimes teach young adults ... mixed gender). You know people generally come completely unprepared to a Sunday School class - they are barely awake! Suppose during a discussion time a woman (horrors!!!!) cites another verse that cross-references the lesson of the day? Preaching? Does she need to stick to messages like "The cake flopped and I cried")?
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male / female roles are part of creation

While our society has overthrown much of the "traditional" western view of male/female roles, the issues are rooted in God's purposes in creation. The relevant passage, 1 Tim 2.12, for example, is supported by an appeal to creation, 1 Tim 2.13. See also 1 Cor 11.2-16 and other passages.

Our society is pushing back against the created order on all sorts of fronts. While I don't get too exercised by female leadership in society (i.e., politics, the workplace, etc.) it is still contrary to the created order. The fact that female leadership is a minority exception is something that tends to support the notion that "nature itself teaches us" about these things. (Of course, feminists have said it is the evil male patriarchy, etc.) To date there has never been a female president of the USA. Canada has only had one female prime minister, and she didn't last long. There have been some female leaders at lower levels of political office (governors, premiers, cabinet level positions), but they are still in the minority overall.

The church (at large) is heavily influenced by the world. So it is no surprise to see Christians caving in on this issue, but it is one issue that must be heartily resisted in every Christian venue. It really doesn't matter that a college isn't a church - it is the activity that is a usurpation of God-created roles. It is the usurpation of God's order that causes us to notice this.

I would refer everyone to the work of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (an organization that has some problems on a ecclesiastical association level). They have produced some excellent resources that provide well-reasoned exegetical support to the Creation mandate. You can download pdf copies of some of their resources here, at no charge.

As for NIU, specifically, I don't have much to say. Their whole direction is on a trajectory that I don't follow. Given their history of fundamentalism, I have regrets about that decision, but what more can we say about them than has already been said?

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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In my opinion preaching isn't

In my opinion preaching isn't necessarily using a text. (good preaching is) but based off of a sermonic proposition such as God says this so therefore you MUST do this. Teaching about God would be using texts and teaching about them. She definitely was telling her audience what God does and does not want one to do.

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?s For Don Johnson
  1. Does  your church support female missionaries?
  2. Do they speak before the church?
  3. Do they use the Bible?
  4. Is it teaching? 
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Probably NIU could have handled it better

Probably NIU could have handled it better:

  • Separate the genders for the hour
  • Have Lina address the women & 
  • A male speaker the men

 

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No to female missionaries

Jim wrote:

  1. Does  your church support female missionaries?
  2. Do they speak before the church?
  3. Do they use the Bible?
  4. Is it teaching? 

We don't support any single women missionaries. I have specific views on this, but don't want to derail the thread. However, as long as I am pastor, this position will never change.

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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similar to what I said before

similar to what I said before, is it a presentation or is it authoritative? A female missionary presents her ministry and can use the Bible to show how Scripture has impacted her ministry. Once it crosses the line from a presentation of her ministry to a proposition from the word of God it has crossed the line into authoritativeness.

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Clarity?

I guess I'm not surprised by NIU having a woman speaker in chapel.  After their Redeemed rock band fiasco and all of the other philosophical changes they've made, should any of use be surprised by this.  But hey, at least now there's more hope for the gospel now more than ever, right?

At a time when NIU needs to provide clarity of who and what they are so that people can start to develop a sense of confidence needed in order to send their kids to NIU, having a woman speaker in chapel isn't helping their cause.  The changes keep coming and coming.

On the one hand should we be surprised?  No.

On the other hand, you still wonder when are the changes going to stop.  Just when NIU needs to provide certainty in order to have a sustaining enrollment, this does not help.

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@Greg Linscott

Thanks for the link. Is there an audio file that accompanies it?

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Don't Know

I don't know, Brenda.

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In my opinion preaching isn't

In my opinion preaching isn't necessarily using a text. (good preaching is) but based off of a sermonic proposition such as God says this so therefore you MUST do this. Teaching about God would be using texts and teaching about them.

I don't want to get this too far off track, but can you defend this notion from Scripture?

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I think I found the audio

The pdf of the slides appears to accompany this audio

http://seminary.wcts1030.com/resources/mp3-audio/203-evangelical-feminis...

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Along this line of thought,

Along this line of thought, what is the dividing line for women in the church then. Someone has mentioned missionaries, but what about music? We have women sing music individually and in groups. Since this isn't for entertainment purposes, doesn't it fall under the "leading in worship" umbrella? What about having a woman give testimony? If this is for edification of the gathered saints, is it substantially different from presenting a lesson? What about "leading" in prayer?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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The dividing line is

The dividing line is authority. If something is authoritative it is wrong. I don't think missionary presentations are using the Word of God authoritatively, I would say that is true for music as well as giving testimonies. 

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The dividing line is

The dividing line is authority. If something is authoritative it is wrong. I don't think missionary presentations are using the Word of God authoritatively, I would say that is true for music as well as giving testimonies.

I don't know if this is an answer to me or not, but if it is, it is a non-starter. Can you defend the notion that preaching is authoritative and teaching is not from Scripture? In other words, can you use Scripture to show that preaching is authoritative and teaching isn't?

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Oh the irony

The Zichtermans must find this direction so ironic and affirming of the some of the issues they expressed disagreement with so many years ago.

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Looks & Sounds Like a Duck

Just watched about 10 minutes of this chapel speaker.  I've never heard of her before.

Sure looked/sounded like preaching to me.  Doesn't matter if it is in a church setting or not, i.e. a church retreat or at Bible camp.

If she had simply given her testimony and a presentation of her ministry with a bible verse that was an encouragement to her - no problem.

But that was not at all what she was doing.  She sounded/acted/spoke just like any other regular chapel or church preacher I've ever heard.

NIU, what are you doing?  What's next, a student body dance?  As long as the music is Christian and we are celebrating Jesus, it's ok, right?

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Earlier

Well, things were going better earlier in the thread. I think there are some entirely legit. theological and philosophical questions. I had several female profs at BJU back in the day and of course they used Scripture in the classroom occasionally... and maybe even got a little 'preachy' now and then. There is a difference between the authority of an instructor and that of a local church pastor/teacher. Chapel isn't quite classroom but it isn't Sunday morning worship either.

I'm for letting folks do what they believe is right in this area and let the Judge of All the Earth do the judging.

(Lately, I feel like I have bigger problems to handle than getting worked up about what one school or another does w/its chapel hour)

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not worked up at all

But this story is two things:

  1. It is news about NIU
  2. It is a matter of significant debate in evangelicalism, has not really been a matter of debate in fundamentalism, with possible gray areas being the "missionary testimonies" and classroom instruction as you mention

I'm not particularly worked up about this story, but it is interesting. The ensuing debate shows, I think, that it isn't a slam dunk among us like it used to be.

Maranatha! Don Johnson Jer 33.3

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NIU

I reached out to some highly placed people at Northland and they are going to get back to me.  I'm not sure that this is a clear case of NIU deciding to have a "woman preacher" speak during chapel and would be floored - floored - if that was the decision they made.  NIU does not hold to an egalitarian position on headship and theological leadership.

Some of you may not be as...forgiving...as I am, but I do think this is a huge PR problem at a minimum and don't want to assume the worst without getting their side of the story first.

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. - Proverbs 18:17

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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sorry

Larry wrote:

The dividing line is authority. If something is authoritative it is wrong. I don't think missionary presentations are using the Word of God authoritatively, I would say that is true for music as well as giving testimonies.

I'm sorry but that is not what I meant. I do believe teaching is authoritative. What I was saying is that preaching isn't defined by using a Scripture passage in a response to a post above.

I don't know if this is an answer to me or not, but if it is, it is a non-starter. Can you defend the notion that preaching is authoritative and teaching is not from Scripture? In other words, can you use Scripture to show that preaching is authoritative and teaching isn't?

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Dan Patz

Daniel Patz put this on his blog (reproduced in full):

College Chapel and “Women Preachers”

Posted on April 23 in Northland, Theology

I shared a version of the following statement to Northland’s Faculty and Staff this morning. I also shared this with Dr. Lina AbuJamra, and she is supportive of me sharing this with you.

Earlier this semester, I asked Dr. Lina AbuJamra to share her testimony for the benefit of our students; she did so on Tuesday, April 22. Dr. AbuJamra has an incredible story.  Her family emigrated from Lebanon when she was a child, and her life was powerfully impacted by Northland Camp both as a camper and as a staff member.  She is a brilliant and godly woman.  She is a pediatric ER doctor in Chicago, a Christian author, a popular women’s speaker and a Northland board member.  Dr. AbuJamra is both fiery and passionate and serves as an outstanding role model for our students as a disciple of Jesus. I shared with Dr. AbuJamra my position on women and preaching; she agreed and told me that she would not preach. I trust Dr. AbuJamra’s heart. She is a godly woman, and I have much respect for her. She has a great message to share, and she shared some very needed things with our students and staff yesterday.

Apart from being personally jealous of how good of a communicator she is, I do agree that the tone and direction of her testimony was more than I anticipated and expected.  I am not referring to its rich biblical content, but that it was closer to what we call preaching or heralding the Word than I was comfortable with in that setting. This is true especially given how we have traditionally used chapel in the history of Northland.

While the Lord used this to bless many students and staff (they have shared this with me), I also know that there have been some concerns.  Are we embracing a form of egalitarianism? Are we going to encourage our lady students to be preachers? No. We are, however, wanting to teach all of our students, including women, to think well, to love God’s Word, to serve others, and to connect with others in all types of settings.

The college chapel setting is not the church; this is different than a local church congregational gathering. Often we consider chapel as a type of convocation. This was communicated in the introduction (not on livestream) to students on Monday and Tuesday morning.

However, I am concerned that we don’t practice or communicate something that we most certainly do not believe. I do not believe God has called women to the primary teaching and preaching ministry of the church as elders/pastors. I believe this, because I believe everything that Paul taught in the NT on this subject. I am strongly complementarian in conviction, and I do not believe women should preach in Northland chapel. I do believe that God does brilliantly gift women to know God’s Word and to communicate it effectively in so many ways.

Dr. AbuJamra wanted to minister to students from the testimony of her life and the Word of God. I think she blessed many, many people. Dr. AbuJamra shares my complementarian conviction as well. If there is anyone to blame, it would be me for not better considering the setting and context – both to her, as well as to the students and staff. I am grateful for God’s faithful and patient teaching as I strive to lead for His glory.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Well that should clear things up!

Well that should clear things up!

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Can we all agree on this:

 

Regardless of what anyone here thinks of the content of Dan Patz's blog post, can we all agree that he writes with a style of grace & transparency that is refreshing (and is all too often lacking in similar communications)?

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Insecurity?

The Bible prohibits women having authority over and teaching men (although we make exceptions for certain academic subjects). The Bible says nothing about women chapel speakers.

The NIU bashers will enthusiastically accept this as another sign that NIU is heading toward destruction. Meanwhile, Dan Patz's reasonable response places him on the high road.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

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Intent

This is NIU's information about chapel from their Student Life link:  http://www.ni.edu/campus-life/chapel/

Four mornings each week, the entire student body gathers to worship the Lord and to focus on the truths of His Word. Chapel is central to the Northland experience and encourages students to refocus on eternity in the midst of the distractions of life and the busyness of academia. Chapel provides a great supplement to the core Bible classes as students apply passages practically to their lives and hearts. Chapel is also a great time of praising God through music, focusing minds and hearts on eternal matters rather than the things of this world. These services encourage students to run the race that God has given them, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,” and to praise Him who “is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). Archives of chapel sermons can be accessed via Northland’s Sermon Audio page.

In addition to preaching from Northland’s own Bible faculty, chapel services often feature sermons from a variety of guest speakers, including missionaries from all around the world. These visiting preachers impart knowledge from their years of ministry experience across America and on foreign fields and encourage students to join them in going “into all the world” with the Gospel. Each Thursday, Northland’s Student Council members lead chapel, with activities ranging from lighthearted skits and games to uplifting times of praise songs, student testimonies, and fervent prayer.

 

NIU makes it clear that the chapel time is a preaching and worship service.  Anytime the Bible is opened, whether in a church, chapel service, conference, etc. there is an inherent authority due to the fact that it is God's Word.

“Is thine heart right, as my heart is right with thine heart? If it be, give me thine hand.” -- John Wesley

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Question

Do women ever "minister the Word in song" in your churches? Just wondering. I was in a church where the "silent women" practice morphed from women being allowed to sing solos but not to speak before they sang to the consideration of prohibiting them from singing solos all together.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

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singing authoritative

I do not believe singing or playing music is authoritative. I would say the same about Scripture reading or praying. Although a question does arise if the writing of music text in use of Worship is authoritative. I have not thought through that yet myself, but if it is authoritative that raises some interesting questions.

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1 Corinthians 11

Here's where I think 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 applies.  Although the finer points of the passage may be debatable, the point is clear.  Whenever a woman finds herself in a position that could be construed as teaching or exerting authority among a group of believers, she is to be very careful to indicate submission to authority.  In the case of the Corinthians, that was accomplished by a veil, which directs attention away from her and symbolizes submission.

Veiling does not communicate the same way in our culture (let alone hats or skull-caps)  - we don't really have an equivalent. Therefore, women in our churches must be even more cautious in how they present themselves and in what situations they do so. A woman singing a solo, for instance is not necessarily wrong, but must be done in such a way that it is not drawing attention to self.  How many times have you been distracted by the manner in which a woman "performs"?  Maybe I'm just super-sensitive, but I find the toss of the head or strutting on the platform to be repelling.

In my opinion, the manner of communication is where the chapel message at Northland went wrong.  It wasn't necessarily wrong to have a woman speak (very carefully).  However, it seems that the manner of her speaking crossed the line into authoritative communication (as Daniel Patz acknowledges). 

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Either / Or

Pastor Doug wrote:
This is NIU's information about chapel from their Student Life link:  http://www.ni.edu/campus-life/chapel/

Four mornings each week, the entire student body gathers to worship the Lord and to focus on the truths of His Word. Chapel is central to the Northland experience and encourages students to refocus on eternity in the midst of the distractions of life and the busyness of academia. Chapel provides a great supplement to the core Bible classes as students apply passages practically to their lives and hearts. Chapel is also a great time of praising God through music, focusing minds and hearts on eternal matters rather than the things of this world. These services encourage students to run the race that God has given them, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,” and to praise Him who “is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). Archives of chapel sermons can be accessed via Northland’s SermonAudio page.

In addition to preaching from Northland’s own Bible faculty, chapel services often feature sermons from a variety of guest speakers (emphasis added - Jay), including missionaries from all around the world. These visiting preachers impart knowledge from their years of ministry experience across America and on foreign fields and encourage students to join them in going “into all the world” with the Gospel. Each Thursday, Northland’s Student Council members lead chapel, with activities ranging from lighthearted skits and games to uplifting times of praise songs, student testimonies, and fervent prayer.

NIU makes it clear that the chapel time is a preaching and worship service.  Anytime the Bible is opened, whether in a church, chapel service, conference, etc. there is an inherent authority due to the fact that it is God's Word.

I'd be curious to see the last time that webpage was updated.  IIRC, when I was at NIU (in the late 90's), Chapel was not always treated as a church or worship service (certainly nothing like BJU treats their chapel, which definitely does have a church type atmosphere), although 99% of the time it was.  We also had very 'un-worship' type chapels where they were definitely treated more as a student convocation (as Dan Patz acknowledges in his blog post) than they were 'church'.  Since Patz's statement is from yesterday, I'm inclined to give him the preference over a website that may be several months old, especially since he's the President of the school.  

Just as an FYI - Faith Pembine has an auxiliary service on Sunday and Wednesday nights that ~IS~ (although I should say was, since it may has changed since then) expressly identified as a 'church service'.  It was run as an extension of Faith Pembine, not as NIU's own church.  It was lead by a Deacon of Faith Pembine who received significant input and help from NIU since not all students could make it off campus (especially for students in one or two week block / intensive classes).

Personally, I think this says a lot more about how many are anxious (or maybe even eager) to attack NIU than it really is about anything else.  That being said, NIU should have been aware of how it looked about 30 seconds after chapel concluded...a point Dan mentions in his blogpost, and I'm glad they put something out to address the controversy so quickly.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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What I think is most vividly

What I think is most vividly highlighted in this discussion is the question of whether worship services may properly be conducted outside the local church at all.

As Jim sort of hinted.

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Regardless of how you feel about women preachers...

...should anyone refer to the ministry aspect of their lives as the "sexy" part of what they do.  Is this language that is appropriate in the pulpit, whether it be in a church OR in a Christian college chapel service, by a man OR a woman?  (it's at the 3:20 mark of the audio)

TylerR's picture
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Don Johnson's remarks

Don's blog on this is spot on. I encourage all to read it. 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

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The Answer Is Yes

I enjoy discussions like this that are going on here at SI.  Thanks for the forum of ideas.

The question of this forum is "Should Bible colleges have women serve as chapel speakers?"  My answer, after contemplating what I have read in the New Testament and from what I have read in this forum is a resounding, "YES!"  

Bible colleges/university's are not local churches.  Let each local church decide its platform policy based upon their understanding of the New Testament's teaching.  Some may have single lady missionaries others will not, some will allow women to give testimonies or sing specials others will not.  No problem.  Each church is autonomus.

Bible colleges are not local churches.  If we are to say that women are never to teach men, what do we do with Aquila and Priscilla instructed Apollos.  God does not rebuke Priscilla.  Philips 4 virgin daughters were prophesying in Acts 21.  Again, Paul does not rebuke them.

Christians are both male and female.  Female believers have important contributions to make to the Body of Christ.  I was encouraged to faithfulness in listening to a lady missionary to the Philippines who was a survivor of a Japanese prisoner of war camp during WWII.  (I believe here name was Darlene Rose).  I am not charismatic; but Corrie Ten Boom's testimonies have increased my faith.  I have never been called of God to suffer for Him like Gracia Burnham (I probably slaughtered her name; but I have been enriched by her faith) was in the Philippines.  Elizabeth Elliott's radio ministry helped me grow in Christ (she is one of my favorite radio 'preachers')

My point, without giving up God given roles for men or women, without even leaning towards a woman pastoral role, I believe that believers can be and will be enriched in their faith, their walk, their worship by godly women.

May God give leaders wisdom in when, where, and how to use godly women for His glory and our good.

 

paynen's picture
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your ignoring 1 timothy 2

1 Timothy 2 talks about the preaching and teaching ministry relating to the Word of God, not the pastoral ministry. Women are forbidden from teaching men about the Bible and preaching anywhere.

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Jealousy?

I agree that women are not to be pastors, elders, or have authority over men in the church. However I took some time to compare her "speech" to some of the sermons of her critics and her "speech" was better than their sermons. (BIG SMILE WITH WINK!)

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Jim Welch's picture
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not ignoring

I am not ignoring I Tim. 2.  I take it very seriously within the local church context.

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Vociferous disagreement

The question of this forum is "Should Bible colleges have women serve as chapel speakers?"  My answer, after contemplating what I have read in the New Testament and from what I have read in this forum is a resounding, "YES!"  

My answer is a resounding NO! Biggrin

Whether you like it or not, a chapel setting - and I don't think that "college chapel" equals "church" - is inherently a position of spiritual influence. Having a woman to guest speak in chapel would run perilously close to a violation of 1 Tim. 2:12-14 in my eyes.  Ephesians 5 makes is clear that the men, not the women, are the spiritual and overall leaders in the home.  Adam, not Eve, was confronted first on their sins as the person ultimately responsible (Genesis 2:18-3:9).  I would have a difficult time ever putting a woman on the platform in an explicit chapel setting the spiritual "OK". That would, of course, exclude student convocations or classrooms.  Where NIU ran into issues was having a student convocation in the same environment that they have chapel, but the school doesn't really have any other way to do things.

That being said, Dan Patz says that they explicitly called this a "student convocation", not "student chapel", and said that the parameters were made clear beforehand to the speaker, the staff, and the student body.  He also said that he and the speaker explicitly agreed that there was to be no preaching, and I have no reason to believe that he'd lie.  So while I was made uncomfortable by it - to the point where I contacted the school to find out what was going on - and I would disagree with it personally (although I don't know how I would have handled it differently aside from making sure the disclaimer got embedded in the video), I think that they tried to handle this the right way, and I certainly believe that Daniel Patz walked out of NIU's convocation that morning more than a little surprised at how it went.  I also think that he probably heard from some of the Bible faculty as well, but I have no evidence that that actually occurred. ;)

I am writing this off as an unfortunate and unforced error by the school.  Daniel Patz says things will be handled differently in the future, so I'll take his word and move forward.  I don't think that anyone needs to be fired or disciplined or that NIU should lose any donors or support over it, although I can certainly understand why people would be shocked and surprised if all they did was look at the video.  I appreciate the fast response from the school, the apology by Dan Patz (Don's criticisms aside), and the attitude that has been displayed by them, and am sure that things will be handled better in the future.  That's all I can really ask for at this point.

I also will admit that I wish I was as passionate - or as passionate in appearance - about Jesus as she clearly is.  You can tell she loves Jesus. Biggrin

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Worship Service & Preaching

Jay,

Good post!  I think I'll go with your comment that this was an unfortunate and unforced error by the school.

I think you can have true Biblical preaching in a non-church setting.  What about say, NIU's men's heart conference?  A men's retreat?  BJU's bible conference?

Would we have a woman open up the bible and . . . . . "give a testimony" at men's retreat - at BJU's bible conference?

We can call a setting a convocation, a gathering, or whatever, and the speaking a testimony, a speech.  But at the end of the day I feel when you gather together in a group to pray, to sing unto the Lord, and to hear someone open the Bible and speak from it, about it, and from it tell us how we should live/think - that is a worship service and the speaking part is preaching.

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Exegetically

Going back to the biblical principles at stake, the question is really not whether a non-church gathering is a worship service or whether there is ministry of the Word present. The question is whether the NT prohibitions in the pastorals are meant to govern church life in particular or Christian life in general or both. Given the contexts of these epistles, we're not really approaching this question from neutral ground either (they are called "pastoral" for a reason).

(To focus the question a little more, do the passages in question forbid women in general from having "spiritual influence" over men in general or do they instruct women not to engage in authoritative teaching in the ministry of the church? I'm happy to say that lots of women have been a spiritual influence in my life and I don't think were disobedient in doing so.)

Someone may have already posted this observation, but KBauder's most recent Nick is helpful in this regard. If we don't have a link to it in Filings yet, it'll be there soon. But understanding how teaching authority works in the church is foundational to how to understanding teaching ministries that operate outside the auspices of a particular church.

But in addition to the exegetical questions--the meanings of the relevant texts--there are practical considerations, too. One such consideration: in my experience, talented and insightful Bible teachers among women are not in very short supply relative to what we find among men. So though the speaking role may seem, to some, to be unfairly/unbiblically male-dominated, the church--in the broad sense--needs all the help it can get raising up and training able expositors of the Scriptures. If I were running a school, that alone would be reason enough for me to use male speakers, with very few exceptions.

Other practical considerations come to mind as well... another post maybe. 

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She makes a comment about NIU being open next year

At just past the 29' mark she makes a comment about Northland being open next year and how it could affect the students and their parents.

She says about student's parents, "And their biggest concern with what if Northland doesn't stay open next year is, Oh, what am I going to do with my son or if my daughter have to move back home . . . ."

Interesting comment coming from a board member.