Sunday, February 25, 2018
Organized Religion & its Effect on Women
2 Thessalonians 3:4: And we have confidence in the Lord touching you that you both do and will do the things declared [to] you 5: And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patient waiting for Christ 6: Now we charge you brethren in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ withdraw yourselves from every brother adelphos: fellow-believer whether male or female [who] walks disorderly and not after the precepts which [were] received of us 7: For yourselves know how you ought to imitate us for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you
 The hierarchal flavor of 2 Thessalonians 3:4, [using the word "command"] in virtually all Bible versions, is completely out of step with the message and tone of the New Testament as a whole. The Greek word, paraggellō, must be translated according to context, and the context in this verse, does not permit the word to be translated as, “command.” The New Testament Church is not a hierarchal organization but rather a living organism. Members are bound by faith and love, first to God and then to one another—but not by law (excepting the Law of Love). The Old Covenant Priesthood was doomed under the reign of the Messiah, and that is why the religious ruling hierarchy plotted to have Jesus put to death. In a manner of speaking, organized religion hi-jacked Christianity early on. Organizing into a religious hierarchy was the only way for men to wrest control of the early Church away from the Holy Spirit, for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. Most Christian fellowships, today, understand this and *would not dare "command" their members. Paul understood this as well. In this verse (and others), The Greek word, paraggellō, in reference to Christian instruction, should be never be translated as command.
*They often resort to more subtle [psychological] methods, employing guilt and fear as methods of control.
 Second Thessalonians three verses four through seven, are examples of erroneous hierarchical filters through which even modern translators view scripture texts. As we will show, it suits them to do so. This commentary replaces hierarchical language with alternatives more in line with the context. The hierarchical approach to New Testament Greek translation is deceptive and detrimental in a number of ways: 1.) It demands the creation of organized religion and disregards the voluntary nature of the love relationship that exists uniquely between Christ and every individual believer, all of whom, together, compose His Church—which is not an organization but rather a living organism. Does this mean Christians should not form church fellowships? Of course not. But it does mean that extreme care must be taken to not to violate the voluntary, and very personal nature of the, relationship between believers and their Savior. Christian leaders are called to be examples and shepherds—never commanders 2.) Hierarchy benefits organized religion by giving clergy undue control over laity. Depending on where one lives, this can take [and has taken] the form of governmental control, where the law of the land cannot be separated from the law of the church. This has happened under both Roman and Greek Orthodox Catholicism and Protestant reformers. Even without governmental controls to enforce “Christianity,” hierarchical organized religion, wields undo emotional influence over believers, which often translates [through guilt and fear] into physical influence. Jesus, our ultimate example of non-organized, non-hierarchical, religion, had serious words to say about the concept of clergy over laity being put into practice within His Church. He said he hated it Revelation 2:6. 3.) Early on, organized religion [which of necessity must be hierarchical], marginalized the ministries and contributions of emancipated New Covenant women. Joel chapter two foretold the emancipation of God’s daughters, and Peter announced the fulfillment of this prophecy in Acts chapter two. Hierarchical organized religion was an absolute necessity in order to bring emancipated Christian women back under the complete control of men. This latter goal, that of male headship, is still so strong today, that within mainstream Christianity, even the Eternal Godhead has been turned into a hierarchal triad, with the express goal of putting [and keeping] women in eternal subjection to men. Hierarchical language, used in reference to the relationships between members of the Body of Christ, must be rejected. Compulsion and autonomy are mutually exclusive, and attempts the blend the two—in any manner—are oxymoronic.
Posted by Jocelyn Andersen
Jocelyn Andersen is a domestic violence survivor, a Bible teacher and ordained minister. She is outspoken for functional equality of the sexes, and a publisher of Christian books.