Reviews - What do customers think about The Biblical Role of Women in the Church?
Unbiblical Role Feb 20, 2008
I've mentioned before that when it comes to writing Christian books, especially on such delicate topics like this, one has to carefully consider both their handling of Scripture and their tone. Although I always have and always will find the complimentarian doctrine laughable in the face of Biblical evidence, I've still come across many complimentarians who I greatly respect, even when defending their beliefs as such. Unfortunetly, this author is not one of them.
What I find interesting and rather unpleasant about Joda Collins is not only his ice-cold view of egalitarianism and women pastors, but the way he seems to occasionally bounce between attitudes and aggression levels. I'm wondering if he recognizes or realizes his true feelings on this matter. In the opening of this book, for instance, he acknowledges that he is passionate about this matter and asks the reader to please not mistake this passion for either anger or arrogance. He also says that he genuinely respects those who honestly disagree and goes on to mention all sorts of disclaimers, such as "we all see the Bible differently" and "we're all hypocrites, more or less; only God is unblemished truth". Wow, powerful words and apparently quite humble. However, let's compare this to his words on the back of the book, where he states:
"I propose sixty-four reasons that those who support female leadership in the church offer as justification for their position. By scholastic analysis of Scripture, I then dismantle, destroy, and relegate to the dung heap all of their rationale."
Dismantle and destroy? Dung heap? On the back of the book alone, Collins, in his own words, expresses utter contempt for egalitarians and female leaders of the church in one of the most aggressive ways possible. What he says, in other words, is that the egalitarian position is contemptible enough to deserve the dung pile and that he himself will single-handedly rip it apart and fling it there with his very own Scriptural analysis (this is followed by his claim that "no one can say they don't understand the Bible after reading his book"). I must say, this is possibly the first time I've seen the words "dung heap" in a scholastic work. Maybe it's just me, but I see a great deal of both anger and arrogance in those words.
For someone who acknowledges that others hold different opinions and that "everyone is a hypocrite", Collins certainly sounds confident of his own analysis and rather intolerant of others'. The main problem with Collins's tone, other than the clear hostility towards egalitarians, is that he speaks not as someone who's presenting his own personal theory, but as one who has absolute authority on the subject and who cannot be questioned anymore than Moses upon returning from his personal conversations with God. In just the first few pages, he states, "Women are not given the gift to preach. Women are not called of or equipped by God to pastor." Okay, this is almost amusing. Collins has blinded himself to both Biblical and present proof that women are very much called and equipped to pastor. Not only are his words blatantly untrue, but the wording, simple as it was, is offensive. He might as well have said, "Girls, you are NOT allowed to pastor. You just don't have what it takes". I have yet to see a complimentarian outrightly claim that women don't have what it takes (most are too polite), but I sometimes wonder why Collins and his like don't just say this? Either they believe women just aren't capable of pulpit talk, or they think God gave them gifts to be suppressed; neither position makes sense (and the former has been proven false), which is just another reason this entire doctrine hasn't a leg to stand on.
Speaking of suppression, it's interesting to note how the entire doctrine of complimentarianism, in all its different aspects, often seems like one big suffocating shield for women. Not only do the most severe corners claim that women must have a male "head" perpetually their whole lives, but according to Collins and those of his mindset, allowing women to speak God's Word behind the pulpit is an unkind and inconsiderate thing to do to women. Why? Because it leaves them "unprotected". Frankly, I find that to be a load of bunk. We're not talking about shipping women off to Iran as soldiers or missionaries, we're talking about letting them speak God's Word in a CHURCH. What's risky about this? Surely Collins and his type don't believe that women need more spiritual protection than men? Physical, yes, but spiritual? There is absolutely no Biblical grounds for this, whatever else your feelings on this matter may be; the Bible never suggests that women are spiritually weaker, more vulnerable, or more prone to attack than men. Besides, isn't Christ protection enough? When a woman speaks in a pulpit, she speaks before God Himself, right beneath His wings. Why should a man of flesh and blood be superior protection to this? God protects His daughters more than adequately and there is certainly no reason to assume that women need male spiritual protectors because God somehow offers less spiritual protection for His daughters than for His sons.
Even if Collins had some credible points Scripture-wise, I would still assert that in the matters of church and Christian history, he is surprisingly lacking knowledge. While introducing his anti-female pastor arguments, he says, "Women are more limited in their roles in the church, not because the church has been chauvinistic, but because our Sovereign God says so." Two problems here: one, many churches HAVE been extremely chauvinistic. Unless you've had your head buried in the sand for some time, you'd see that both historcal churches and many present churches prove this. Secondly, our Sovereign God says no such thing. From the beginning, He told woman (Eve) that her desire would be for man rather than God and that man would use this to rule over her. The Bible shows the evidence for this truth: in less than a millenia after Adam and Eve were banished, the world was rampant with male-only tyranical rulers and female prostitutes. Already, women were relying on men for their lives and men were barring women from authority and using brute force alone to determine rulers. Around this time, only a few good men were found; further on in the Bible, God continously broke the patriarchal rule that He predicted would occur and raised women up as leaders, judges, and queens. No, Deborah was not an exception, as much as Collins and his ilk love to claim; this pattern of God breaking through male rule goes from Deborah straight to the New Testament. If God indeed ordered men to never share their positions with women, He certainly made this hard to understand, with His own example as well as His original words of the equal rule He would ordain in Genesis.
Not only is natural female strength a mystery that author Collins cannot seem to grasp, but he seems to alternate between seeing egalitarians as offensive blasphemers and fuzzy-minded children. He labels them as people who only partly understand the bible and use patches of it to justify their beliefs, without either really understanding it, being able to defend it, or really caring about the fact that they're in the dark. Maybe this is why I've never heard of this book before: not only does Collins give women less than a quarter of the credit they deserve, but he doesn't even begin to understand egalitarians or their position. The egalitarian doctrine, when fully explained and held up to Scripture, is unblievably clear and beyond true challenge. I'd ask Collins to consider this about his own position: complimentarians are not even able to agree about all of their beliefs. Some believe women are only forbidden to pastor, whereas others say women can't speak in church at all. Some believe women are only barred from leading churches, whereas others claim they can't lead countries, cities, or governments either. And how could every single female leader in the Bible be an "exception"? It's a desperate thing, trying to explain those Biblical women away, and even on this complimentarians can't always agree. Either they were only chosen because there were no good men around, or they were exceptions, or they were chosen to lead in order to shame men, or a strange combination of all three. One thing is certain: to these people, woman's victory and leadership is man's shame. That says a lot to me. When everything is taken into consideration, it's very clear that women in leadership is a natural design by God and every attempt to deny it comes off as painfully transparent and desperate excuse.
Collins mentioned two very interesting things about himself personally: one, that he spent a good deal of time around one or more female pastors and secondly, that few people who know him are aware of his "passion" on this issue. I wonder where his anger and vehemence on this topic came from? At times he was very polite and humble, while others he would seem, often suddenly, to be dripping with contempt and aggression. Why should he be "passionate" to the point where he refers to the dung heap as a place for egalitarians' rationale? Why so determined (and convinced) that he can and will destroy the entire egalitarian system with this book alone?
Unfortunetly, arrogance plays a large part in this book and Collins' narrow believe systems. In the book, he not only directly implies that egalitarians are religious hypocrites and heretics, but at one point, he states that he is "outraged" at the fact that egalitarians expect people of his mindset to avoid making a racket about female pastors. He says, "To insinuate that we, who hold to the biblical revelation, must be passive while heresy rules is absurd." You get that plain statement? People who agree with Collins are the only ones who hold to Biblical revelation, while allowing women to speak is heresy. More of Collin's shameless and ridiculously sexist claims include the following:
1) Women were made to reflect their husband's wills (i.e., men are God's mirrors but women are men's mirrors.)
2) Woman was made to be a crown to man's head, thus complimenting his power. Oh yes; Collins literally says that women were made to be men's crowns, in order to reflect men's glory and authority! Men are the kings and we women are their crowns, and just as the crown is built only to reflect the king, so are women created to reflect and glorify men. I have a better idea: why don't we just glue ourselves to men's cars and be displayed as their hood ornaments?
3) The entire reason women are commanded to be silent in the church is because they were made to submit to men: wives to husbands, daughters to fathers, etc. So this is the deep, sought after reason why women allegedly can't speak in church: we're men's crowns, servants, helpers, etc. and therefore should be quiet like obedient children in public with their parents and dogs on their masters' leashes. Why didn't you just say so, Collins? You would have saved yourself the trouble of writing this entire book.
4) Women were ordered to wear veils in Biblical times because of their subjugation to men. Any woman without a veil over her head was indicating to the world that she was not under the protection and authority of a man and that she was sexually available. In other words, we ladies belong to men and veils used to be our collars representing men's ownership of us. A woman without a veil was like a dog without a collar: a stray and possibly dangerous, out of control creature. I wonder, then, if this is the Biblical way, what in the world is happening now, with women wandering around without veils 24/7? Good heavens, I guess we're out of control! What unbelievable, sexist nonsense.
5) Collins accuses those who support female leadership in the church-not feminism, not abortion, not lesbianism, but female leadership-of being used by Satan to destroy the family unit. After all, he claims, if women can have leadership over men in the church, they just might start wondering what it would be like to live as partners and not subordinate housekeepers to their husbands! How very horrific. Collins is not only convinced that God's only natural way is for men to be heads and women to be subordinate, but that Satan is the one causing encouragement for female leadership and that this female leadership, this practice of women being true partners with men and using their gifts to the fullest, is evil and will destroy families. Of all the things that this man has said, this is by far the most sickening and painful. What kind of a person believes that uplifting women to be teachers and leaders will destroy Christianity? What kind of religion promotes this stifling? And what kind of man uses this as a spiritual threat? Collins is no less than a threatening fear-monger. His hatred of female leadership and the paranoia he hopes to create with this hatred is unbelievable. His comments don't stop there; he goes on to say, "If you are a pastor who encourages female leadership in the church, you will become known as one of the early spiritual leaders who brought about the downfall (of church and family). Is this you? What will you say to Jesus when you see Him face to face?"
My God. These words perfectly echo the clank of chains that have bound women for centuries and threatened to break their hearts if they were not stifled and silenced. What will you say to Jesus, Collins? How will you explain your paranioa, rampant fear of female leadership, and malicious fear-mongering and spiritual bullying to spread that fear and hatred to others?
At one point, Collins boasts that he convinced four out of five men to change their minds about this topic. This rather brings to mind John Rice's far more severe book, "Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives". John Rice had the same amount of self-assurance that Collins possesses, boasting that he personally changed the minds of others on this issue, though his position was far more extreme. The difference is, though, that Rice's contempt and arrogance for the opposing argument was not in the least concealed. Collins, however, seems determined to be humble and unquestionably authoritave at the same time. What stands out to me is his cloaked anger towards women pastors and those who support them. He even boasts that his dear wife felt a "conviction" that women were never meant to lead men in prayer, even before she had Biblical evidence (or her definition of Biblical evidence) to support this. What was he expecting us to do after hearing this? Applaud his wife for accepting the confines of a sexist collar before she even had a valid reason to believe the Bible said to?
Just a few months ago, I saw a computer-altered image of a ram with sharp fangs and glaring eyes. The image was most likely made to illustrate the description of a wolf in sheep's clothing. What chilled me to the bone, however, was not the idea of a wolf wearing sheep's fleece, but the other idea that the image presented: a ram with fangs. Sheep are herbivores, created to eat grass, but this ram sported a bloodthirst that defied its very nature. Its fangs grinned in a hideous smile and its eyes, rather than being cast down, burned with something between a glare and a leer. It was this, the idea of a carnivorous sheep, that repulsed me more than a wolf wearing fleece. In some strange way, I think Joda Collins resembles this ram. He's not a hypocrite, or a wolf wearing fleece, but appears more as a person who should have the nature of a sheep and instead has veiled hostility. I don't think his motives are impure, but I do think what he calls passion is, indeed, anger. He may be a proclaimed lamb of God, but his teeth have truly been sharpened on this matter.
Early on in the book, Collins asks for correction if he needs it, so I hope he finds it from someone more experienced than I. He also asked that if we disagree, we do so based on Scripture and nothing else. Believe me, sir, I do. I take strong note of Biblical women meek to God and strong in spirit, and I hope those searching for true womanhood will do likewise rather than trusting this book.
I can't imagine how many women have been and perhaps still are bruised by this book's way of thinking. If you are one of them, I entreat you to please read "Woman: God's Plan" by Joanne Krupp. Please open yourself to the truth and freedom it offers.
A great book May 30, 2005
A clear explanation of what the Bible has to say about women and their role in the church. As a young Pastor I have used many principles from this book (and others by Dr. Collins) many times.
Principles of Being Blessed May 25, 2005
In reading The biblical Role of Women in the Church, I was struck with the application of these truths to all of the Christian life. If God wants to bless us and we want to be blessed, then the conditions of being blessed must be met. Those conditions are to live biblically. So many Christians (and churches) are not being blessed today because they are not in a position to be blessed. The principles put forward in this well thoughtout book forces us to consider how we have allowed the world and political correctness to lead us into a position where we cannot be blessed of God. Dr. Collins has done the church and all of Christianity a great service by pointing us back to a place where we can once again know the blessing of God in our lives and in the Church.
Biblical Teaching About Women - In Y2K English. May 25, 2005
I am a mother and a wife. I have been active in church, read my bible and been under power and life-changing preachers and teachers from birth. However, it was not until I read "The Biblical Role of Women in the Church" that I clearly realized what God expected of and had in store for me as a woman in His church, the home, and the world. This book shed light on how I could have avoided many previous and hurtful mistakes. "The Biblical Role of Women" has helped me make educated and godly decisions about every-day life. Those decisions have brought wonderful blessings I didn't even know God has in store for the obedient woman. Reading this book will forever change the life of any woman who is a sincere seeker. I do not see how any man, who is called of God to pastor, could do an excellent job of leading the women in his church without the knowledge found in this book.
Reviews by Dr. D.James Kennedy, Dr. Paige Patterson, Dr. Richard M. Fales, Dr. Philip Roberts, & Author. Used by permission. May 13, 2005
The following recommendations appear on the cover page of the book:
"...a hard hitting exposition of the arguments heard so often today about the leadership role of the male and the protests of modern feminism...." DR. D. JAMES KENNEDY, Senior Minister, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
"...an accurate account of the biblical teaching on the role of women in the church. For the busy pastor...this book will greatly assist." DR. PAIGE PATTERSON, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas.
Author's Comments: More and more women are assuming positions of church leadership, including the office of pastor, on the basis of "no gender distinctions." This is the result of social forces and great ignorance of the Word of God. God made men and women different. The Bible is filled with timeless distinctions based upon gender. The differences are intended to serve humanity as one gender complements the other. The devil hates anything that is of God and will do everything he can to destroy it. I propose sixty-four reasons that those who support female leadership in the church offer as justification for their position. By scholastic analysis of Scripture, I then dismantle, destroy, and relegate to the dung heap all of their rationale. There is no doubt this is a controversial subject. However, no one can say that he or she "does not understand God's Word on the subject" after reading my work. -Joda L. Collins-
"...an excellent work that disarms carnal church members previously capable of ruining churches and destroying pastors." DR. RICHARD M. FALES, President, Shepherd University, Los Angeles, CA.
"...an outstanding resource...." DR. PHILIP ROBERTS, President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO.