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    • By Jim_Alaska in Jim_Alaska's Sermons & Devotionals
         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Women working outside the home


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Titus 2:5
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Notice how it doesn't say keeper of home, but AT home.


Not to mention that many jobs require the woman to be a crossdresser, aka wearing pants.

Deuteronomy 22:5
The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.


Yes there may be cases where work may need to be done outside of the home in poverty and etc, but that should be a rare exception, not the norm.

If you are able to go on a computer, you have more than most people in the world, I doubt you would NEED to work outside of the home.

Rice x 3 a day, thats what many people around the world survive on.
In most cases you do not NEED a car.
You do not NEED a big house, most people can survive in much smaller spaces.
The list goes on.

From what I've seen most women who choose to disregard that verse is because of the desire for luxury and not basic necessity.

The problem arises is when you compare yourself to people in America, and say you're poor. Versus true poverty found in India and etc.

In Canada from what I understand someone is considered to be in poverty if they make under 30 000 a year. Pure hogwash.


1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.


Matt 6:19-21
19Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Seems most are laying up treasures on earth.


Heb 11:24-26
24By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

Sometimes you must suffer to obey God.

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Just think, in the days Christ walked on this earth many had a one room house with a dirt floor and no windows to clean. Wonder if the women owned a feather duster? Hey, they didn't even had Pledge.

Slept on a pallet in the floor, when they got up they woudl fold up their pallet and put it up to use the next night.

I don't suppose they had closets or close hangers either.

Katy-Anne, No doubt, we all are to much world like and not enough Christ like, we all spend to much time with people of this world.

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As much as I really don't want to, I will have to work outside the home just to take care of my HORRIBLE student loan debt. I'm going to have to pay at least $800/ $1000 a month. I genuinely regret going to college because of this. Most likely, my husband will not make enough $$ for at least a few years to allow for us to both pay our debts and live in a tiny apartment. My parents didn't really give me any guidance (they are atheists) about what to do about college. They didn't say anything. They never said, "We would rather you not go b/c of they money." But they never really said, "We want you to go to college." They make slightly too much for me to have received and aid from the government and but they did not have the money to help, so I got stuck with nasty bank loans the whole way. I'm praying for a miracle if kids come into the picture sooner than expected. When I signed up for all this junk, I was young and immature and no one informed me about what I was getting into. I feel that college debt pigeonholes a lot of women into the working-to-the-bone outside the home model.

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There are many woman who are by themselves with children that have no other recourse than to work. There are also many families that both parents need to work. We as believers need to be to be sensitive to these needs.


Yeah. If the whole world followed Christ's commandments then no one would find themselves in these bad situations in the first place. If people didn't leave their wives and if people actually GAVE to the poor like they are supposed to, we wouldn't have half these problems.
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Yeah. If the whole world followed Christ's commandments then no one would find themselves in these bad situations in the first place. If people didn't leave their wives and if people actually GAVE to the poor like they are supposed to, we wouldn't have half these problems.


Yes, it's a fallin world....hence the need for the Savior and God's redemption plan and work!
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I seem to remember in the Proverbs that the virtuous woman worked out in the fields which I would consider "outside the home" for that day......



Prov 31:16
16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.


They own the vineyard, she is not working for someone else.

Home is just not the inside, it's the outside of it also. If a family is blessed with a vineyard no problem with gardening in it.

Much different then having a career or taking orders from a man at some job.
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Prov 31:16
16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.


They own the vineyard, she is not working for someone else.

Home is just not the inside, it's the outside of it also. If a family is blessed with a vineyard no problem with gardening in it.

Much different then having a career or taking orders from a man at some job.


I'm thinking you may want to consider the historical and cultural contexts.
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I seem to remember in the Proverbs that the virtuous woman worked out in the fields which I would consider "outside the home" for that day......


Do you think she dropped her children off at day care 5 days per week? Or just worked in the field occasionally and may have been taking care of her children at the same time?
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As much as I really don't want to' date=' I will have to work outside the home just to take care of my HORRIBLE student loan debt. I'm going to have to pay at least $800/ $1000 a month. I genuinely regret going to college because of this. Most likely, my husband will not make enough $$ for at least a few years to allow for us to both pay our debts and live in a tiny apartment. My parents didn't really give me any guidance (they are atheists) about what to do about college. They didn't say anything. They never said, "We would rather you not go b/c of they money." But they never really said, "We want you to go to college." They make slightly too much for me to have received and aid from the government and but they did not have the money to help, so I got stuck with nasty bank loans the whole way. I'm praying for a miracle if kids come into the picture sooner than expected. When I signed up for all this junk, I was young and immature and no one informed me about what I was getting into. I feel that college debt pigeonholes a lot of women into the working-to-the-bone outside the home model.[/quote']

Seems the things is, once the wife starts working the man and wife will always have to have both incomes, its hard to find a stopping point after its started. All of us can think about what we could get if we just had a bit more money.
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I've been a stay-at-home wife for 4 months now, and I can't say it's ever been boring! There's always something to do, and if I run out of housework, that just gives me time to bake cookies or something! Maybe it's just because I love to cook. :smile

Anyhow, I don't have a dishwasher so washing dishes takes a little bit of time, and then doing laundry is a chore because the washer is in our apartment but the dryer is in the empty apartment downstairs (we only have room for a washer up here unless we get a stackable sometime... it's a unique situation lol). Doing laundry and dishes and cooking and de-cluttering the house keeps me pretty busy! :cool

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Do you think she dropped her children off at day care 5 days per week? Or just worked in the field occasionally and may have been taking care of her children at the same time?


Perhaps the former or the later. I know that back then keeping a field was all part of the economy for making a living and supporting oneself and family. Today we have a different economy and supporting oneself and family is done differently. Most people living in a big city, don't have fields to farm...thus they earn money other ways to pay those that do farm for their food. :thumb

In our home, my wife worked very hard within the home and stayed at home with the children. We sacrificed and went without many things that others had. We lived with only one car and on our knees depending on God to meet the needs. Once the children were raised and on their own, my wife worked outside the home for a while. We had an empty nest for about 1 1/2 years. Then her parents got sick, we built an addition on our home and she quit her job outside the home and came back to work inside the home being the full-time caregiver for her 80 year old father, which she currently does. Her mother passed away in February.

While we prayed and believed God wanted her to be at home to raise the children; it was never anything I commanded or forced or controlled. It was God's leading in both of our hearts and she truly loves that role. Now we have had eight grandchildren and they all come in and out of our home and love their "Memsie." She (and I) are now helping to raise the next generation.

While I say all of this, I want it to be very clear......I believe there are certain principles given in God's Word and the practical application and carrying out of them in a couple's/parent's life is something they/he/she answer to God about. Yes, there are commands and it is expected to obey God in those matters. Once you are in the area outside the commands, it is my opinion that I do not judge another man's servant. I don't have the wisdom to go there. I can discern what I believe to be right, wrong and sin in those areas for me and "my house." If asked, I am more than happy to share my thoughts; but it is not my calling from God (and God does call some I'm sure) to be the one constantly correcting others.
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Perhaps the former or the later. I know that back then keeping a field was all part of the economy for making a living and supporting oneself and family. Today we have a different economy and supporting oneself and family is done differently. Most people living in a big city, don't have fields to farm...thus they earn money other ways to pay those that do farm for their food. :thumb

In our home, my wife worked very hard within the home and stayed at home with the children. We sacrificed and went without many things that others had. We lived with only one car and on our knees depending on God to meet the needs. Once the children were raised and on their own, my wife worked outside the home for a while. We had an empty nest for about 1 1/2 years. Then her parents got sick, we built an addition on our home and she quit her job outside the home and came back to work inside the home being the full-time caregiver for her 80 year old father, which she currently does. Her mother passed away in February.

While we prayed and believed God wanted her to be at home to raise the children; it was never anything I commanded or forced or controlled. It was God's leading in both of our hearts and she truly loves that role. Now we have had eight grandchildren and they all come in and out of our home and love their "Memsie." She (and I) are now helping to raise the next generation.

While I say all of this, I want it to be very clear......I believe there are certain principles given in God's Word and the practical application and carrying out of them in a couple's/parent's life is something they/he/she answer to God about. Yes, there are commands and it is expected to obey God in those matters. Once you are in the area outside the commands, it is my opinion that I do not judge another man's servant. I don't have the wisdom to go there. I can discern what I believe to be right, wrong and sin in those areas for me and "my house." If asked, I am more than happy to share my thoughts; but it is not my calling from God (and God does call some I'm sure) to be the one constantly correcting others.
:goodpost:

Something that we all need to remember is that each man is the head of his home, and this kind of decision is his to make.
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[quote="Jerry80871852"][quote="missfiddlyn27"]As much as I really don't want to, I will have to work outside the home just to take care of my HORRIBLE student loan debt. I'm going to have to pay at least $800/ $1000 a month. I genuinely regret going to college because of this. Most likely, my husband will not make enough $$ for at least a few years to allow for us to both pay our debts and live in a tiny apartment. My parents didn't really give me any guidance (they are atheists) about what to do about college. They didn't say anything. They never said, "We would rather you not go b/c of they money." But they never really said, "We want you to go to college." They make slightly too much for me to have received and aid from the government and but they did not have the money to help, so I got stuck with nasty bank loans the whole way. I'm praying for a miracle if kids come into the picture sooner than expected. When I signed up for all this junk, I was young and immature and no one informed me about what I was getting into. I feel that college debt pigeonholes a lot of women into the working-to-the-bone outside the home model.[/quote]

Seems the things is, once the wife starts working the man and wife will always have to have both incomes, its hard to find a stopping point after its started. All of us can think about what we could get if we just had a bit more money.[/quote]

I understand this fact. Believe me, I really really do not want to work like a man but I have no other choice. If I don't pay back my student loans, (which are huge) my parents loose their house. It seems that college expenses trap a lot of ladies who don't really know what they got themselves into. I have no desire for a fancy or a big house. I want to keep my car until it falls apart and get a used one again. I dislike computers and I make most of my clothes. We really don't require a lot of "stuff," but we do like our bills to be paid. As soon as my husband lands a good enough job, I'm definately quitting whatever I'm doing.

As a side note, I know an interesting family that built a totally self-suficcient cabin on non-taxable property ( some kind of thing where it was in the family for years and years or something) and they generate their own electricity and heat their own water which comes from a nearby lake. They have no bills so they have been able to send their kids to really nice private schools and colleges. Talk about putting your children first!

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HappyChristian is right in that a man's family is his jurisdiction. However, a man still has to take his orders from God. Our family does believe that God has said a woman is not to work outside the home, so therefore it does not matter what my husband wants, it is still wrong. However, if he TOLD me to go out and work, I would because God tells me to submit to him and I know that God would protect me and hold my husband accountable for violating His word.

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[quote="MrsW"]HappyChristian is right in that a man's family is his jurisdiction. However, a man still has to take his orders from God. Our family does believe that God has said a woman is not to work outside the home, so therefore it does not matter what my husband wants, it is still wrong. However, if he TOLD me to go out and work, I would because God tells me to submit to him and I know that God would protect me and hold my husband accountable for violating His word.[/quote]
Good post, except that the man wouldn't necessarily be violating God's command. There are principles throughout scripture that indicate otherwise. (the virtuous woman TOOK her garments to the sellers...leaving home to do business; Lydia was a seller of purple, and she didn't just sell it at home; Priscilla worked beside her husband...and the Bible doesn't indicate whether they were at home or at a separate workplace).

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[quote](the virtuous woman TOOK her garments to the sellers...leaving home to do business.[/quote]

Yes but I don't see ANYTHING that says that she stayed there and sold them in the store herself. She took them, sold them to the sellers, and went home, leaving the seller to do the work of selling it to the individual customer. I get so sick of people trying to say that the virtuous woman works outside the home. Besides, the virtuous woman wasn't any woman in particular, it was a list of things that a man should be looking for in a virtuous woman, among other things. Doctrinally it's actually talking about something totally different and my pastor has preached on it but I am not going to get into the doctrinal discussion. Just a pet peeve of mine regarding the virtouos woman.

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[quote="MrsW"][quote](the virtuous woman TOOK her garments to the sellers...leaving home to do business.[/quote]

Yes but I don't see ANYTHING that says that she stayed there and sold them in the store herself. She took them, sold them to the sellers, and went home, leaving the seller to do the work of selling it to the individual customer. I get so sick of people trying to say that the virtuous woman works outside the home. Besides, the virtuous woman wasn't any woman in particular, it was a list of things that a man should be looking for in a virtuous woman, among other things. Doctrinally it's actually talking about something totally different and my pastor has preached on it but I am not going to get into the doctrinal discussion. Just a pet peeve of mine regarding the virtouos woman.[/quote]


The Bible doesn't say she went home...although I agree with you that she most likely did. And yes, she wasn't any woman in particular, and that's what makes it so wonderful. She was a woman who helped her husband...and that is what women are to do. Help their hubbies. Wherever he needs that help. As far as doctrinally meaning something else, this list is still what a virtuous woman was to her husband, no matter what a person might want to get doctrinally out of it. It is specific in that her husband and children are mentioned, as are the townfolk (the husband sitting at the gate).


BTW - one thing we need to remember is that the injunction to be keepers at home is given to the younger women...because they have children in the home. If there are no children in the home, there is no sin in the wife working outside of the home - unless she is doing so out of rebellion toward her husband.

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