Message from the Editor

I relocated from Southern Illinois to Western Pennsylvania since the last issue of Water & Fire appeared. The move is not yet complete. It might never be complete. I still have "stuff" in Alaska and in Idaho that I havenít yet completed moving, so I have no idea when what I need wonít still be in Illinois.

I seem to be part of a reverse migration. After having gone west as far as I could go without leaving the continent--I have fished commercially far enough West in the Aleutians that I looked into tomorrow; it looked like today--I turned around and started working my way back across North America

The move is part of the reason this issue appears later than it should. Beginning a church in this area is another part. Returning to carving wood, a more physically demanding activity than teaching Composition, is another. But the primary reason concerns the role of women in the greater Church. I have been reading rebuttals of the Apostle Paulís instructions to Timothy that he will permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men. Most of the rebuttals read like the latter three and a half chapters of Paulís epistle to the saints at Galatia. The articles figuratively throw the kitchen sink at the wall to see what will stick. Their authors have used the shotgun approach to arguing: load a musket with buck Ďn ball (which is a load of buckshot over a single large ball) and touch off the charge. Whatever is in front of the author gets hit, but seldom hard enough to kill the subject. Only the single ball will kill cleanly.

The single ball Paul used against the circumcision faction was that he had a revelation from God that for Gentiles to become spiritual Israelites, they didnít need to first become physical Israelites. Paul labels the teaching that Gentiles must first become physical Israelites an accursed gospel. But the circumcision faction had Scripture on their side (Gen 17:1-14). Paul was having to refute Scripture without having his epistles recognized as Scripture. And instead of simply commanding the saints in Galatia to knock off the nonsense of adult circumcision, he had to construct an argument. But his argument deteriorates into figuratively throwing the kitchen sink by the middle of the second chapter. There is good stuff in the sink, but that stuff doesnít develop or further Paulís argument in a consistent manner.

However, the single ball needed to kill how English translators have rendered Paulís instructions to Timothy was in the sink Paul threw in his epistle to Galatians: "But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:25-28).

If every disciple baptized into Christ puts on Christ and is a son of God, regardless of whether that disciple was originally Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, then as a son of God the disciple cannot be commanded to be silent. The disciple has the authority as a son of God to teach that which the Son of God taught. After the high priest and the council commanded the Apostles not to teach in Christís name, and had the Apostles beaten and sent on their way, the Apostles "every day, in the temple and from house to houseÖdid not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ" (Acts 5:42). The sons of God cannot cease teaching and preaching Christ.

This issue of Water & Fire contains one short article that addresses the issue in a tangential way. Further issues will deal with the subject typologically, for the recorded phenomena in the book of Acts forms the physical shadow of the work of the endtime Church in the spiritual realm. The role of women or the silencing of women is the spiritual reality of the shadow cast by the Circumcision Faction and physical circumcision of spiritual Israelites. In all things, the physical precedes the spiritual. The sons of God need not have foreskins clipped. The physical or carnal argument was over whether actual knifework was necessary. The spiritual argument is over whether a penis is necessary. Same argument against Scripture. Same need for a revelation to rebut Scripture. Same accursed gospel--any other gospel but that there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female is doubly accursed.

I invite you to join with me in reading further issues as the revelation unfolds.

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