Bonnie Dwyer conducted this interview with Gerry Chudleigh in May 2014. On July 4, 2015, Gerry succumbed to a long battle with cancer. His insights are as prescient and on point today as ever.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/bonnie-dwyer/2014/05/02/gerry-chudleigh-explains-history-headship-theology
I mourn the death of Gerry Chudleigh. We have greatly benefited from his research on male headship theory. Understanding ideas, the history of ideas, how ideas can be and are incorporated into our thought and discourse, and how ideas relate to our well-established religious beliefs, are vital to our steadfast allegiance to biblical truth as we continue our journey on the straight and narrow way. More than anyone, he helped prevent the perpetration of a fraud upon the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is a sad day. He will be greatly missed.
A sad day! I can’t help wondering if God took him so he wouldn’t have to hear heartbreaking news about WO - but I certainly hope that wasn’t the reason.
The interview makes no sense to me, after perusing Adventist periodicals written during the 19th century and onward. As just one example, J.H. Wagonner in an 1878 ST issue argued that women could preach, but could not serve as “pastors” or “ruling elders.” Uriah Smith made it clear that men were to lead, and James White seemingly expressed similar views. Thus I do not understand how anyone can say that “headship” theology is relatively new within the Adventist Church.
Instead of an article to eulogize, it was used as an article to push an agenda. Pretty pathetic.
Very interesting history. As much as Adventism seems to believe that it influences the world…it appears that it has been outside influences that have infiltrated Adventist theology such as this so-called “Headship”. Thanks so much for this informative interview.
When did Gerry die? This is totally new to me.
yesterday…I am very sad, I didn’t know he was struggling with cancer. I will miss him, I already do…
Bob, if women could preach, that means they were teaching men…not possible in headship ideology!
Some of the pioneers spoke against WO but never was it a headship argument. Headship was mostly understood by our pioneers as in conjugality and home organization. Never was it used to make an argument against women becoming pastors and elders. REF.: Ellen White, Adventist Home, p. 117.
Fundamentalists are historical revisionists. This interesting insight demonstrates that this headship concept is new and more like an apostasy than any promotion of women as God’s chosen leaders.
Read what our pioneers wrote on the topic. They seemed to consistently say that women could preach, but could not usurp authority over men. They took the texts in question literally and as applicable for today, and still arrived at that conclusion.
“Neither do the words of Paul confine the labors of women to the act of prophesying alone. He refers to prayers, and also speaks of certain women who “labored in the Lord,” an expression which could only refer to the work of the gospel. He also, in remarking on the work of the prophets, speaks of edification, exhortation, and comfort. This “labor in the Lord,” with prayer, comprises all the duties of public worship. Not all the duties of business meetings, which were probably conducted by men, or all the duties of ruling elders, and pastors, compare 1 Tim. 5:17, with 2:12, but all that pertain to exercises purely religious. We sincerely believe that, according to the Scriptures, women, as a right may, and as a duty ought to, engage in these exercises” ( Comments in ST 12-19-1878 when Waggoner was editor).
Could you please explain to me how the above is not using “headship” arguments to explain why women can teach but cannot perform all the duties of a pastor or ruling elder? Since Waggoner invokes 1 Tim. 2:12, I just don’t get how you can say what you are saying.
But they still followed the practices of Catholicism and subsequent protestantism by declaring the beastly separation of clergy from the laity.
Come out of her my people that you be not partakers in her sins.
Sorry Wagonner’s argument is not based on headship. I’m beginning to think that perhaps you have not fully grasped the doctrine of the headship. 1 Tim. 2: 12 is not about headship however, it has been incorporated into the headship theology. The headship doctrine begins in 1 Cor. 11:3. Your quote above is too far a way to come near the headship theology. I don’t see any element of headship in the quote above.
Our pioneers believed that the tithe paid ministers were to be out raising up new churches, as a general rule, while the laity kept things going in the established churches. How would that be like Catholicism?
Please explain how the idea that women should not usurp authority over men in the church is not headship theology. And then please explain how modern opponents against WO differ from our pioneers on this point.
“…and for Adventists and others, the Merikay Silver/Lorna Tobler lawsuit against Pacific Press, which resulted in the federal courts ordering the church to pay women the same as men for the same work.”
I was thinking earlier today, it’s about time the SDA Church found the courage to apologize to Merikay and Lorna…40 years should be long enough to realize the church took a losing legal position, and when they lost they weren’t above retaliation tactics. Not our proudest moment by a long shot.
The headship metaphor in the Corinthian correspondence was was only between husbands and wives. Not between men and women. Whereas in Timothy, it’s about the usurp of men’s authority. The verb term “authority” is the Greek “authentein” meaning “to domineer”. It’s a subverted form of power. This happens often to many people both men and women. Contextually, the women in Timothy’s church had hijacked the men. They were domineering the men for whatever reasons. Paul puts them under silence. In a society dominated by masculine power, what do you expect? The attitude of the women invalidated their teaching. The Greek word “didasko” (to teach) can be understood from the “didaskalos” (Teacher) as in Plato, Socrates, Jesus, Gamaliel etc. you don’t expect a woman to be in such a status then! And if Paul must be understood as any form of teaching, the question is what do we do with our Women sabbath school teachers, lay workers, professors, etc.?
One thing that you shouldn’t lose sight of is the fact that Paul’s issues with females are always between women and men; not between women and the church. However, since both are in the church, an attempt to protect the men inadvertantly is linked to the church. For example: women should not teach men. Obviously you can’t teach in the church. Not talking in church. Ask your husband at home. No questions in Church.
For an information about headship, I’ve done a simple textual analysis and criticism on 1 Cor. 11. Check from here: www.cliffordowusugyamfi.com