Has Church Doctrine Become Culturally Conditioned? (PART ONE)


I think most reading this blog have a pretty good idea on how to define Biblical Christianity–but just in case, here’s but one definition:

Biblical Christian (Luke 8:15); a person who trusts in Christ alone for salvation.  As a result of a SAVING FAITH, has the desire to be obedient to God’s principles out of the overflow of a grateful heart (see Romans 1:5).  [ See Footnote {i} ]

And then there is the Cultural Christian definition:

Means, pursuing the God we want instead of the God Who is.  It’s the tendency to be shallow in the understanding of God, wanting Him to be more of a gentle grandfather type who spoils and lets them have their own way.  [See Footnote [i] ]

SCRIPTURE 1 Timothy 2:12 (ESV):


Have our Churches today become Culturally Conditioned?  Should women teach men in the Church?  Should women lead men in the Church?

Paul the apostle seemed to say, “No way!”  And in this blog, it is his teaching, empowered by the Spirit upon which I want to focus.

From the Spirit to the Apostle, to the Believers of All Time –

There is a way to find the perfect will of God.  And, there’s a way not to find that will.

There is a way to know exactly what God says and wants–and there’s a way to arrive at a system of guesses.

Many believers, some even known as “scholars”, have fallen into the trap of guesswork, based on culture, history, and semantics.  The statements I make in this blog will be based on the words given by the Spirit, the apostles, and prophets.

God’s Way of searching for answers is even prescribed in the Scriptures:

Psalm 119 for example, says it in 176 different ways: the written Word of God is our source.

eg. V. 2:  “Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek, inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart.”

V. 30:  “…Your ordinances have I set before me.”

V. 31:  “I cleave to your testimonies;…”

V. 42:  “…for I lean on, rely on, and trust in Your Word.”

V. 75:  “I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right and righteous…”

Many such sentiments given by the Psalmist, are then coupled with the wise words of the apostle Paul to his son in the faith, Timothy.

2 Timothy 3:15, 16 (NIV):

[15]  and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  [16]  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”


…and the  strong warning in chapter 4:1-4 (there isn’t a break in the original document):  “I CHARGE you therefore…Preach the Word…for the time will come when they will not endure sound teaching, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears…they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned to fable…”  (NKJV).

Thus, “God’s way” is to see the clear statements of Scripture and find in the Bible, examples and patterns written expressively for us through the men of God.

This discernment of the Spirit will reveal, that the tendency to want more or less than the prophets have spoken, is from the one who appeared in the Garden so long ago, who spoke to our first parents:

“Did God REALLY say that? Oh my,

he actually MEANT this!”

His LIES are so convincing and only a few care to challenge them and cling for dear life to what God has said.

So why is the Church today looking for “explanations” of the passages regarding female leadership?

Are we somehow afraid of political powers that now reign in the World?  What is wrong with the Scriptures as they are and as they have been believed all these many years?

Some folks reading this may feel the questions I bring up are a bit too harsh a way to introduce the subject at hand; which many I’m told, believe to be a topic of relative insignificance.  I stand with the tone of my words based on the following grounds:

#1.  Every Word of God is pure–Proverbs 30:5:  “Every word of God is tried and purified…”

And Jesus, in Matthew 5:19 says “Whoever then breaks or does away with or relaxes one of the least [important] of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least [important] in the kingdom of heaven, but he who practices them and teaches others to do so shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”  (Amplified Bible).

The Holy Spirit still quickens His Word to the hearts of men.  Whatever He says is PURE and HOLY.  Let no one despise even the smallest of the commandments of God.  And yes, in dealing with the topic at hand…we’re dealing with commandments and not suggestions of true prophets and true apostles.

Let every mouth be silenced as He speaks!

#2.  CONSIDER how important this topic is, even in the Word.

FIRST, there are direct statements in the Genesis Record, she was taken out of man, he shall rule over you.

1 Corinthians,  Let your women keep silenced as the law says (14:34), and 1 Timothy,  I do not allow a woman to teach (2:10).

“That’s it!  just two verses?”

These concepts are backed up with a multitude of examples throughout Scripture which we’ll look at in this Series.

#3.  CONSIDER also the great numbers of women affected by this teaching.

As the spirit of lawlessness continues, especially in the Western Church, more and more women will be drawn into this desire of authority over men.

#4,  CONSIDER the effects of this teaching on men.

A strong woman in a local church will put male leaders in the background.  Many of them will not rise up and take their place in the secular world.

#5.  A feminized church can’t model the marriage of Christ and His Church.  A feminized church cannot picture the Fatherhood of God.

Oh God, give us the men to stand up for Christ!

#6.  Even if this teaching were but a “little truth”, is it not a truism when “little” lies become embedded in a congregation, it will not be long before bigger ones are at home too?

#7.  If any reader still believes this all to be a “minor” issue, let them hear Isaiah’s sadness over backslidden Israel (3:12):

[12]  “Youths oppress my people, women rule over them.  O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path”  (NIV).

Let’s CONSIDER now, the Scriptures.  Surely the Lord hasn’t left us without GUIDANCE on such a serious matter.

Let us investigate the Truth by searching the beginning of ALL things.

It was here that JESUS sent His disciples when questions arose concerning MARRIAGE.

He sends us here too, for MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP is the heart of the matter.

To understand MARRIAGE is to understand the role of the WOMAN at home.  And…to be secure in that RELATIONSHIP is to solve the Church issue as well.

Before SIN came into the world, God created FIRST, a man.


Then in response to man’s need, and out of man, God created woman– woman is from man, woman was brought to man.  Woman was to be a HELPER for man.

THAT IS THE DIVINE ORDER.  All else falls short of His glory!

We must remember that this was before the CURSE!  When that CURSE came, the natural submission of women to men became law.

Now in Christ, the CURSE is done away with.  Men are to “rule” in LOVE and WOMEN return to natural and holy submission, as before SIN came into the world.


The error into which women fall in our day is the departing, not only from the days of the CURSE, but from the very order of Creation.  This, the apostle Paul tells us, cannot be in the true Church.

Paul’s Letter to the Corinthian Church lists some straightforward commands.





Few of us would not have a problem with any of the above.

In the middle of all of this, the command giving (Chapter 14), is the command of equal authority (verse 34):  

“The women should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but should take a secondary and subordinate place…”

Oh my!  We have a serious problem with that one.

“That was cultural; that was historical; that was temporary.”  I’ve heard all three of those particular explanations.

Oh, a multitude of “reasons” are lifted up to truth status by those who would excuse the woman teacher, for this is not an age when one wants to confront WOMEN’S RIGHTS!

Now that’s a good place to pause and take up the conversation in PART TWO.


Footnote [i] :  Patrick Morley, Charisma News. “Are you a Biblical Christian or a Cultural Christian?

Photos:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified bible, except where noted in the text.

Spotting “Out-of-Bounds” Wolves Isn’t Easy

Scripture Reading in Acts 20:28-31 [Amplified Bible]

[28] Take care and be on guard for yourselves and the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you bishops and guardians, to shepherd (tend and feed and guide) the church of the Lord or of God which He obtained for Himself [buying it and saving it for Himself] with His own blood.  

[29] I know that after I am gone, ferocious wolves will get in among you, not sparing the flock;  


[30] Even from among your own selves men will come to the front who, by saying perverse (distorted and corrupt) things, will endeavor to draw away the disciples after them [to their own party/side].  

[31] Therefore be always alert and on your guard, being mindful that for three years I never  stopped night or day seriously to admonish and advise and exhort you one by one with tears. 


When an apostle says farewell and addresses leaders in the next spiritual generation for what he thinks as the last time, a  “farewell monologue” is in order.

As Paul reviews his past as a model for the Ephesian elders’ future work and charges them as Spiritual-appointed pastoral overseers, we can be quickly aware Luke intends his message to ALL church leaders in every spiritual generation (Acts 20:13-17).

Spiritual Watchfulness in the Church…it’s NOT a “one-man show”–

In a day when individualism, authoritarianism or simple economic necessity turns the pastoral responsibility so we may promote TEAMWORK in pastoring or shepherding of the local flock.

LEADERSHIP must be spiritual:  “the Holy spirit has appointed you [“overseers” – KJV] to take care of and watch over the whole flock (verse 28).

Paul’s WARNING to the ELDERS…even some wolves will show up from amongst the leadership (verse 30).

The Bible tells us our ENEMY isn’t so easy to spot.

Where is the WOLF?

When we think of our enemy–we may tend to think, some guy standing around in a red suit with a tail and a pitchfork.  But 2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us “…for Satan himself MASQUERADES as an angel of light.”

*  He looks almost righteous.

*  He looks almost religious.

In other words, you’ll not always know he’s evil and how he looks.  Even FALSE TEACHERS don’t always show up with snake oil and a handlebar mustache.

JESUS warned us in Matthew 7:15, they look like the flock and they have wool just like all the other sheep.  And here in Acts 20, Paul warns the church elders, some of those wolves would show up from amongst their leadership:  “Even from among your own selves men will come to the front”  (verse 30 a.).


“WOLVES” tend to look like everyone else, feeling that they are in the right.   AND…they are willing to destroy anything in their way.  So let me backtrack a bit.

The WOLVES Jesus and Paul talk about look like us.  You can tell who the Jehovah Witnesses are: They’re the ones with the green bibles and the funny looking tracts.

You can recognize the Mormon missionaries:  They’re the ones riding their bikes, wearing white shirts and ties.

BUT these wolves look like us and that’s because they often ARE us.  They’re often “part of the family”; could be an Elder, a Preacher, a Teacher…it could be ME…it could be you.  AND that’s scary.

Often wolves don’t even realize they’re wolves; so convinced that they’re right…nothing else matters.  So we might actually end up being wolves without realizing it.  And THAT’S SCARY!


WOLVES may look “cool” in a TV Documentary series, but I don’t want to be one.  JESUS didn’t call us to be wolves…He called us to be SHEEP. [Sheep and wolves by the way, are natural enemies].

BUT…if WOLVES can “get out-of-bounds” by arising from among our number, and IF those wolves could end up being you or me, how do we recognize when we’ve stopped being a SHEEP and become a WOLF???


FIRST– I’d know I’d stepped over the line (“Out-of-Bounds”) when I find myself consumed with power and influence.

Paul tells us that these wolves will come forward “saying perverse (distorted and corrupt) things, will endeavor to draw away the disciples after them [to their own party]”  (verse 30 b.). 

These folks want the church run “their way” and the rest of the church be THEIR disciples, and IF they’re not… they’re either fools or heretics.  The one phrase often repeated is “This is MY church!”–it belongs to them and should be run THEIR way.

But there’s a big problem with that phrase.  The problem is…it isn’t THEIR church, not your church, it isn’t MY church.  IT IS CHRIST’S CHURCH!!!

Paul tells the Elders from Ephesus:  “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with His own blood” ~ verse 28 b.

But if WOLVES don’t think that way…if they can’t get their own way…they tend to forget whose church it is.

ILLUSTRATION:  Years ago in one particular church located in southern California, the Pentecostal movement began to take shape within the church body [early 70’s].

It started slowly at first, and then it began to take hold, led by their senior pastor.   Murmurers,  even malcontent also began to take hold in the membership.

One Sunday morning, the pastor decided to inform the body of the new direction and how he was led by the Holy Spirit to do so.  He also said that not all of the leadership approved, but the calling of God was so strong in his spirit, there would be a change in some doctrinal teaching.

In the following weeks of the announcement, over 50% of the church split–leaving and going to more “evangelical conservative” denominations.

The “nipping” and “biting” of WOLVES before the kill…

I’m not saying the reasons for their leaving were right or wrong.  What I am saying is what occurred in the interim.  The people who left tried to get the balance of the church to leave by writing letters of disapproval–notes were passed to the unknowing, all fairly nasty.  And although no one else left and the church grew in number…scars were formed in those who stayed, and those who left that were hard to heal.

Distortion of the Truth…

Paul also tells us the WOLVES “distort the truth” (verse 30).  

TRUTH is often one of the first victims of a lone wolf, or… a wolf pack.  Sometimes that DISTORTION comes in the form of FALSE DOCTRINE…and,  too often that same distortion comes in the form of character assassination.

So, WOLVES seek to have their own way…they often play fast and loose with the TRUTH…AND they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

Notice Paul’s words in Acts 20:29:  “…ferocious wolves will get in among you, NOT SPARING THE FLOCK.”

They don’t care who they hurt.  JESUS said  “…the WOLF attacks the flock and scatters it” ~ John 10:12.

* They send out nasty e-mails…

* They try to peel off church members to follow them as their disciples…

* They’ll find ways to attack the pastor’s character, elders, or anyone else who opposes them.

WHY?  Because the FLOCK isn’t as important to the WOLVES.  Getting their way is what’s important.  They don’t really care who they hurt as long as they accomplish their objective.  They’ll even tell you they LOVE Jesus!–but they don’t.  They don’t because they don’t care for His bride (the CHURCH).

In order to get their way, they drag the BRIDE of Christ thru the streets, shred her wedding gown and throw the pieces in the mud, stomping on it. All because–they’re right…that’s what matters!

The Concern with the “What IFS”…

“But…now wait a minute Mr. Word Detective.  What if the leadership of a church is heretical?  What if they’re teaching false doctrine?  Or, if they’re allowing immorality to run rampant in the local church?”

Dealing with it must be done in a biblical way, and HERESY and IMMORALITY can’t be ignored in the assembly.  BUT you want to be careful how you handle it–because you’re still dealing with the Bride of Christ.


That above phrase sounds familiar.  It’s finding someone in Scripture who handled something very similar in their midst.  A man who understood the mind of God.


Did David ever have to deal with a leader who was immoral?  Dis David have to deal with a man who directly disobeyed God?  Did David ever have to deal with a man who was tormented by demons?  He certainly did…

A MAN NAMED KING SAUL sought to kill David in 1 Samuel 24:1-13:

NOTICE when you read the referenced verses, David confronted Saul in his WICKEDNESS:

Heresy or Immorality MUST BE CONFRONTED and must be called out for what it is.   BUT, if you are in the position of church leadership, use your position to deal with that SIN with responsibility–perhaps even removing such people from the fellowship.

Being Careful…CAREFUL IN responsibility.  

DAVID in the story refused to destroy SAUL…even when it was in his power to do so.  Even when what Saul was doing was clearly wrong and identified this kind of behavior with EVIL.  As the old saying goes,  “Out of the WICKED comes forth wickedness; but my hand shall not be against you”  (24:13).

DAVID withheld his hand because SAUL was the “Lord’s anointed.”

In the same way, every Christian is ANOINTED by God! (1 John 2:20, 21; 2 Corinthians 1:21).

When we become Christians, the Spirit of God came and resides inside our hearts–spirit, mind and soul.  His presence confirmed our RELATIONSHIP with God the Father.  So IF I hurt or damage another Christian in what I say or do, might I be GUILTY of wrongdoing?

But how could David do that?  How could Davis just stand back and let Saul get away?

Well, he could do that because he TRUSTED GOD (1 Samuel 24:13).  

When David said this, he was quoting Deuteronomy 32:35:  Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, I will repay (KJV). 


When we have the AUTHORITY to discipline a wayward brother or sister in Christ, we should do so, but being careful how we deal with them and the circumstance… because we may find ourselves opposing God in getting His way.  We might even find ourselves becoming WOLVES in the process rather than who we are supposed to be…the  SHEEP.


 So, are there WOLVES in  your midst, or there but SHEEP?  Keep watch, for they’re sometimes hard to identify!


Photo Credit:  Photo Pin.