True Power

True Power

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

1 Timothy 2:9-15 Salvation Through Birth?????

“I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women, will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety.”

The Quiver Full Movement encourages women to embrace their role of child bearer and mother. They add to this dignified position their extraordianry faith, love for all and holiness demonstrated through purity, piety, modest demeanor and dress. There is also a movement which includes women who no longer believe in the Quiver Full Movment called "No Longer Quivering." This group looks at and challenges this idea of the fulfilled Christian mother as only child bearer.

If woman is to be forever cursed by Eve's disobedience and her order of creation; I think all who adhere to this notion should thoroughly search the Scripture for complete understanding. Is a woman saved by childbirth from the ongoing condemnation of Eve's original sin? And if so, where does the crucified Christ come into play in the salvation of women?

(Below excerpts from manuscript: When Will Eve Be Forgiven?)

What does the Bible say about the importance of having children? One of the first commands given to both the man and the woman was to be fruitful and to multiply found in Genesis 1:28: “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” It is clear God intended for man and woman to reproduce, but we do not have any spoken stipulation in regards to not reproducing as being a sin.

When we look at Psalms 127:3-5 we can see with even more clarity the opinion of God in relation to having children through the words of David: “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”

We must begin with I Timothy 2:9-15 to try and decipher how Eve/woman can be forgiven. Paul states that through childbearing if they continue through faith, love, and holiness with propriety the woman can be saved. Was Paul truly saying a woman can be redeemed from her sin of being deceived in the Garden of Eden through childbirth? Paul, being an apostle of Jesus Christ fully knew the price Jesus paid for forgiveness of man that will be discussed in chapter ten. So what exactly was Paul stating woman could be “saved” from?

In the entire Bible, the Greek word for “saved” sozo (sode-zo) means to deliver or protect (lit. or fig.):- save (93x), make whole (9x), heal (3x), be whole (2x), misc. (3x) = preserve, do well. To “save” is used (as with the noun soteria, ‘salvation’) (1) of material and temporal deliverance and (1a) to save from danger and suffering etc., each use can be applied to the word saved in I Timothy 2:15. The word “saved” is used 57 times in the New Testament. Of the 57 times the word “saved” is used, 55 times out of the 57, the word has the same meaning.

In an article by Stanley E. Porter, he concludes the author of I Timothy apparently believed that for the woman who abides in faith, love and holiness, her salvation will come by the bearing of children. What importance did childbearing play in the life of the Christian woman? Were women with children viewed as less sinful than women without children?

In an article published in Salvation Through Childbirth, A Reflective Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:15, Mr. Maxey addresses a question asked by a woman:

“Brother Maxey,

Having been raised in Churches of Christ, I am having a hard time breaking away from a works-based attitude into one more grace-based. I just can’t seem to break free of this constant fear for my salvation based on the fact that I am not following perfectly each and every verse in the New Testament. For example --- I am now an older woman. My husband and I never wanted our own children for many reasons. However, now, when I read the verse about women being saved through childbirth, my heart aches over the thought that this decision of mine may be one which keeps me out of Heaven. It was a willful choice on my part not to have children, and my heart actually hurts when I contemplate where my decision may be sending me when I die, and so I lie awake at night! …any insight or help you can offer me would be very much appreciated!

This is a powerful letter to say the least. Before I write the response given by Mr. Massey to this question, I would like to look at the churches obedience to the command to be fruitful and multiply and how many Christian women are resting their salvation on childbirth.

There are many women who are Christians. I have discussed in previous blogs that women outnumber men in the Christian faith. For Christian men and women who live by the verses in 1 Timothy 2:9-15, here are statistics to the contrary.

It would be truly wonderful to live in a Christian nation that practiced what was preached, but this is not the case. Roman Catholic women have abortions at a significantly higher rate than Protestants. In 1996, about 57% of women who received legal abortions were white. The abortion rate was 55.5 per 100 live births for black women, 20.2 for white women, and 36 for women of other races.

In the Alan Guttmacher Institute it was reported in 2001 – July, 37.4% of all abortions are performed on Protestant women; 18% of all abortions are done on born-again Protestants. The survey goes on to say “born-again” believers constitute about 30% of the American adult population. The abortion index by religion during 1994-1995 was found to be: Protestants 0.69, followers of a non-Judeo-Christian religion 0.78, Catholics 1.01%, Jews 1.08, and persons who do not follow an organized religion 4.02. This information was prepared by Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, Storrs, CT, in 1995 from five Gallop polls. By these statistics alone, it is evident the limitation of conception is practiced by many Christians.

Continuing a 12-year decline, the U.S birth rate has dropped to the lowest level since national data has been available, according to statistics released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The birth rate among women of peak childbearing age has been declining. Birth rates for women in their 20’s and early 30’s were generally down while births to older mothers (35-44) were still on the rise. Rates were stable for women over 45.

In 2002, there were 4,019,280 births in the U.S., down slightly from 2001 (4, 025,933). More than one-third of all births were to unmarried women. WebMD reports there is now a new baby boom. The birth rate increased by 3% to 4.26 million between 2005 and 2006, the largest single-year increase since 1989 and the largest total number of births since 1961 which was one of the last years of the baby boom. Birth rates rose by 4% among women between the ages of 20 and 24, to 105 births per 1,000 and by 3% among those aged 40-44, to 9.4 births per 1,000. Families are now made up of more than one or two children; the ideal number of children per family seems to be three. The 1.6 million births among unmarried women represent an 8% increase over 2005 and is 20% higher than the recent low point for births in the group seen in 2002


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