Bruce Ware recently spoke at the Denton Bible Church as part of a series on Complimentarianism. Some of his quotes from this sermon should make us all wake up and consider what some of these SBTS professors and others are really teaching our next generation of pastors. Frankly, I have been concerned for sometime what Russell Moore, Wayne Gruden and CBMW have been teaching about women and their ‘role’.
For the sake of clarity, here is a link to the podcast of Ware’s sermon: DBC’s podcast.
When referencing 1 Timothy 2, Ware said a woman "shall be saved in childbearing," by teaching that the word translated as "saved" always refers to eternal salvation.
He goes on:
"It means that a woman will demonstrate that she is in fact a Christian, that she has submitted to God's ways by affirming and embracing her God-designed identity as--for the most part, generally this is true--as wife and mother, rather than chafing against it, rather than bucking against it, rather than wanting to be a man, wanting to be in a man's position, wanting to teach and exercise authority over men," Ware said. "Rather than wanting that, she accepts and embraces who she is as woman, because she knows God and she knows his ways are right and good, so she is marked as a Christian by her submission to God and in that her acceptance of God's design for her as a woman."
My friend at undermuchgrace calls this an addition to the five solas. The sixth is Ware’s own “sola gravita”
Of course, Ware will tell us that is not what he means... that woman are saved by bearing children (staying in their role)... but where else could this teaching possibly lead us? He gives himself an out if the ‘works’ heat becomes too great from fellow Baptists with these words in the first sentence: --for the most part, generally this is true—
Who gets to decide if the woman has submitted to God’s ways or not? And where is the comparable work of salvation for a man?
Oh, I know many will say we did not understand Ware and we are misquoting him but those are his words. But I have been reading Ware, Moore, Grudem and CBMW for a while now and I happen to know this is exactly where they are headed: Full blown Patriarchy. I really do believe that they have made 'authority' and submission an idol. Even within the Trinity.
My dear ones, there is NO work of salvation for women. It is free but the blood was NOT cheap. There are no specific ‘roles’ for women because a role is something you ‘play’ or ‘pretend to be’. To be saved is to be in Christ. As Paul said: To “live” is Christ.
Just look around you and ask yourself if this could possibly be the right interpretation of this verse. We have drug addicts giving birth to children they do not want. We have deeply spiritual woman who cannot have children and are so very wounded over that lack in their lives.
What Ware is teaching is not only false but cruel. God designed it so that fallen humans, saved or not, pro-create. It is an immutable law, like gravity, that affects the saved and the unsaved alike. To link salvation to a ‘work’ of childbirth is an insidious twisting of God’s Holy Word.
If you are interested in a scholarly look at this passage in the context of the entire book of 1 Timothy, please go here for a verse by verse exegesis. Cheryl Schatz has done some very intensive research on this and other issues. I highly recommend her DVD series: Women in Ministry: Silenced or Set Free. Here are some links to previews on youtube.
As always, be a Berean in all things and pray that the Holy Spirit will illuminate His Truth to you as you read His precious Word. My our Lord correct me if I have gotten anything wrong.
But one thing I know for sure: Salvation cannot be earned. But, as my friend Bob reminded me: It costs you your life.
Other blogs discussing this sermon:
DennyBurke- Be sure and read the comments. Some have not been deleted…yet.