Thursday, February 21, 2013

Godliness

                                                     A Call to Godliness

  Reading through the testimonies of  brave women martyr's I find myself in awe that humankind is so  easily influenced by demons. How is it that because one person does not not believe the same as another, they become qualified for the worst imaginable torments? History shows men of pagan belief tormenting those who would not bow down to their false gods. History also shows men who claim to be Christians tormenting those who also claim to be Christians (yet differing in doctrine). So you see, demonic influence not only overcomes the heathens, but also those who profess the name of Christ. 

Over a thousand years later there is estimated to be 41,000 Christian denominations world wide! Wikipedia gives a good run down on these. Here's their list of the notable/verifiable "Christian" denominations:

 

List of Christian denominations (See Wikipedia's page under this title for more info.)

  In the United States about 79.5% of adults (247 million) identify themselves as Christian. You would think that if this many people were obeying the basic teachings of Christ, America would be a heavenly City full of Brotherly love. A court system would be virtually non-existant since Christ taught to suffer the wrong- Mat 5:39   But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Mat 5:40  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
Mat 5:41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Mat 5:42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Mat 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.   Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 And Paul confirms Christ's teaching:
1Corinthians 6:6  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
1Cor. 6:7  Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
  Perhaps many of these people in America that claim to be Christian believe this is a heavenly city? Seeing how we seldom hear anything close to what the Martyr's Mirror has recorded throughout history happening here. Is it not required of American Christians to lay down their life for the faith? Is it no longer necessary for women to be keepers at home: to teach their daughters how to be brave & fearless in the midst of suffering; how to be frugal & thankful for the day of small things, how to cook, clean & sew, how to keep their minds of the kingdom of God where righteousness reigns, how to long & wait for the returning of the Lord?

  What does it mean to be Christian in America? The other Sunday I saw people that appeared to have just been to "Church" the  man & boys had on fancy suits, & the woman & young girl had on tight jeans. Is that what Christianity looks like in 2013? Or does it look like women & girls in dresses? Or is it women & girls in long dresses? Do they only dress this way on Sunday or Saturday?

  What does it mean to be a Christian in America?  Are you free to live day after day eating, drinking, & enjoying the many "Christian" entertainments? Do you really get bored? Is it really hard to find ways to use your time? Do you ever think you'll be "persecuted" for your faith?  What do you think about the history of people that have died cruel tortures simply because they did not want to compromise what they believed to be truth? Do you think we are wiser as Christians now because we've been able to avoid this, or is it just because America is a "Christian" Country? The following testimonies are from the time just before "Christianity" became the government religion. Consider the faith these women & even girls had. What do you think they did with their time from day to day before they were martyr'd (before they even knew they would suffer such things)? Were their minds on the things of this life, & then suddenly when that day came they had this notable bravery? Or were their minds on Christ, & His kingdom, the Hope of the Gospel?

If all that live godly in Christ shall suffer... 2Timothy 3:12  "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." are few American Christians suffering, because few are living godly? Sisters, Mothers, Daughters, stop wasting your lives with compromise, stop trying to fit into the crowd, stop fearing the reproach of man, take up your cross & with all humility of heart restore godliness to Christianity (I speak this to myself also). O Lord help us to walk worthy, to come out from among them & be separate, 2Corinthians 6:17  "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Cor. 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty"

  JULITTA OF ICONIA, AN HONORABLE WIDOW, AFTER MUCH FLEEING FINALLY BEHEADED FOR THE NAME OF THE LORD, AT TARSUS, IN CILICIA, A. D. 304

When Diocletian's persecution was at its highest, a certain widow of Iconia tried to flee from it; wherefore she went with her child, which was three years old, from Lyconia to Seleucia, and from there to Tarsus, in Cilicia. But she could not remain concealed there from the heat of the persecution; for Alexander, the Proconsul who had jurisdiction there, apprehended her. After many vain efforts to persuade her to renounce the Christian faith, lie caused her to be scourged with tough cowhides.
In the meantime he endeavored to quiet the frightened child, called Quiricus, by many pleasant and coaxing words; but the child resisted with hands and feet, refusing to be caressed by the tyrant, and finally ran to his mother. However, the tyrant caught him up again; but this did not turn out very peacefully or pleasantly, for the child scratched his face, and kicked his sides, so that the pain quite enraged him. He therefore took the child by his legs and pitched him head foremost down the stone stairs. The mother, seeing this, thus addressed the tyrant, "Thou needest not think that I am so timid as to be conquered by thy cruelties; for the tearing of my body shall not intimidate me, nor the racking of my members move my spirit; neither shall the threats of the fire, nor death itself be able to separate me from the love of Christ.
Page 182 The greater the torments are with which you threaten me, the more acceptable they are to me; for I hope thereby the sooner to come to my dear son, and to receive with him the crown of righteousness at the hand of Christ."
Upon this confession, the Proconsul had her suspended to the torture-stake, her flesh torn with iron combs, melted pitch poured over her naked body and fresh wounds, and finally caused her to be beheaded. Acta Fidelia, per Metaphrastem, compared with A. Mell., 1st book, fol. 140, col. 1, 2.


THEODOSIA, A GOD-FEARING MAIDEN OF THE CITY OF TYRE, WHO CAME TO COMFORT THE BOUND MARTYRS, DROWNED IN THE SEA AT CAESAREA, A. D. 306)

When the fifth year of the tenth persecution had come, on the second day of the month of April, the Sunday of the resurrection of our Saviour, Theodosia, a God-fearing maiden of the city of Tyre, about eighteen years old, came to some bound martyrs at Caesarea, as they were standing before the tribunal, to receive their sentence of death. Her reason in doing so was affectionately to greet them, and to comfort them in their extremity.
Thereupon she was instantly seized by the soldiers, and brought before the Proconsul, who forthwith caused her to be maltreated as though he had been bereft of reason; for he did not have her tortured with all manner of dreadful torments, on her sides only, as was generally the custom, but he also caused her breasts to be torn open to the very bones, and then cut off. All this she suffered steadfastly and with a happy countenance; but when by reason of the intensity of the pain she could scarcely draw her breath any longer, so that it seemed that she would soon cease to live, the Proconsul had her thrown into the sea; and thus this faithful heroine of Jesus Christ was numbered among her slain fellow brethren and sisters. See A. Mell., 1st book, fol. 124, col. 2, 3, from Euseb., lib. 8. Also, J. Gys. on the name Theodosia.
Page 183


THE SIXTH YEAR OF THE PERSECUTION, COMMENCED A. D. 307

From among those who were put to death in the sixth year of Diocletian's persecution, we have selected the following.

ENNATHAS, A CHRISTIAN MAIDEN FROM THE CITY OF SCYTHOPOLIS, BURNED ALIVE IN PALESTINE, FOR THE, CONFESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, A. D. 307

When some Christians, in their zeal  for the truth, had reproved Firmilian, the Proconsul of Palestine,  for his great idolatry, and were: put to death on this account, on the thirteenth of November, A. D. 307, a certain young maiden, named Ennathas, a native of the city of Scythopolis, came there on:the same day, not of her own accord, however, but through compulsion, and, together with the others, boldly laid down her life for the name of Jesus Christ. She was at first most unmercifully treated, nay, in a manner too shameful and horrible for description. Finally, when she remained steadfast nevertheless, in the confession of her faith, the judge pronounced sentence of death upon her, namely, that she should be burnt alive; and thus this pious martyr pressed through the strait gate, leaving her flesh on the posts; which the Lord shall afterwards crown and reward with glory and majesty. See A. Mell., 1st book, fol. 125, col. 4, from Euseb., J. Gys., fol. 26, col, 4.

CATHARINA, AN HONORABLE MAIDEN OF ALEXANDRIA, BEHEADED AFTER MANY TORMENTS, FOR THE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, A. D. 307

It is stated that on the 25th of November of the same year, Catharina, an honorable maiden of Alexandria, was beheaded, for the faith in Jesus Christ, after having suffered many torments. J. Gys.; fol. 26, col. 4.

BIBLIS, AQUILINA, AND FORTUNATA, THREE GOD FEARING CHRISTIAN WOMEN, PUT TO DEATH FOR THE DIVINE TRUTH, IN PALESTINE, A. D. 308
Among various other martyrs who suffered for the testimony of Jesus Christ in the seventh year of Diocletian's persecution, we have noticed that there were also several honorable Christian women who, from love to their Saviour, did not hesitate to give their lives for the truth. They were called Biblis, Aquilina, a girl of twelve years, and Fortunata, a maiden of Caesarea; who together laid down their lives for the truth, in Palestine. 1. Gys., fol. 26, cot. 3, compared with A. M., fol. 131, cot. 3, ex Mart. Rom. Memol. Grec. MetaQhrast. 13 Junii.


TWO SISTERS AT ANTIOCH DROWNED IN THE SEA, BECAUSE THEY WOULD NOT RENOUNCE CHRIST THEIR SAVIOUR, A. D. 309

In the eighth year of Diocletian's persecution, that is A. D. 309, there were at Antioch two sisters, young maidens, of modest manners and pious life, intelligent and well-informed in the way of godliness; so that the world was not worthy, to contain them any longer. They were apprehended and examined, and, clinging steadfastly to Christ, cast into the depths of the sea, and drowned, by the servants of Satan. See the above-named author, in the same book, fol. 129, cot. 1, from Euseb.

IRENE AND HER TWO SISTERS, BURNED ALIVE FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, A. D. 309

In the records written, through the clerk of the criminal court, by the Proconsul Dulcetius, concerning some pious martyrs, there is pronounced, at the close, a certain sentence of death over three sisters, who steadfastly continued in the truth of Christ. The last part of the afore-mentioned records contain, in regard to this, the following words, "And when he (Dulcetius) had demanded paper, he wrote this sentence of death.: 'Whereas Irene would not obey the decree of the Emperors, and sacrifice to the gods, and does still remain a Christian, therefore I command that she be burned alive, as her two sisters were.'"
When the criminal judge had pronounced this sentence upon Irene, the soldiers took her and brought her upon an elevated place, where her sisters had died; and when they had built a great fire of wood, they made her climb upon it; and there, after singing sweet psalms and hymns of praise to the honor of God, she was consumed by the flames. A. Mell., fol. 130 and 131, cot. 1, ex Act. Tier. Proconsular. aped Metaph. Also, Actca cognitionis novissime diei.

 Ephesians 5:16 & 17 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.   Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Meekness

  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
 Matthew 5:5

Meekness is a virtue that as a whole is no longer being taught in America. As you can see it has not prospered the country or the people to be without this virtue. Moshe (Moses) was known for this quality, Numbers 12:3  ("Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.").  Mashiyach (Christ) is also described in Matthew 11:29  ("Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." ) as possessing meekness.  To women it is described as an ornament, 1Peter 3:4  ("But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.")  



Here are some notes from one man's definition I copied years ago. It seems no matter how many times I read, copy, & study these notes I need to do it again until I lay ahold of this completely. After you read this definition consider applying this virtue to your dealings with your husband (for those of you who have one). For it is our husbands that we are to reverence with meekness as we would ha Adon (the Lord) Ephesian 5:22  ("Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.")


Πραότης  this is the modern Greek spelling. I could not find the exact spelling for the word that is pronounced, prah-oo’tace which means mildness, humility, meekness. Praetes denotes “meekness”. In it’s use in Scriptures, in which it has a fuller deeper significance than in non-Scriptural Greek writings, it consists not in a person’s “outward behavior” only; nor in his relations to his fellow men; as little in his mere natural disposition. Rather it is an inwrought grace of the soul; the exercises of it are first chiefly towards God. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good & therefore without disputing or resisting.
 It is closely linked with the word tapeinophrosune (humility), & follows directly upon it, Ephesians 4:2  “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;” Colossians 3:12  “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”

It is only the humble heart which is also the meek, & which, as such does not fight against God & more or less struggle & contend with Him. This meekness, however, being first of all meekness before God, is also such in the face of evil men, out of a sense that these with insults & injuries which they may inflict, are permitted & employed by Him for the chastening & purifying of His elect.

In  Galations 5:23  (“Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”) it is associated with enkrateia, “self-control” The meaning of prautes is not readily expressed in English, for the terms meekness, & mildness commonly used suggest weakness & pusillanimity (=cowardliness) to a greater or less extent. Whereas prautes does nothing of the kind. Nevertheless, it is difficult to find a rendering less open to objection than ‘meekness’, ‘gentleness’ has been suggested, but as prautes describes a condition of mind & heart, & as gentleness is appropriate rather to actions. This word is no better than that used in both English versions. It must be clearly understood, therefore that the meekness manifested by the Adon (Lord) & commended to the believer is the fruit of power. The common assumption is that when a man is meek it is because he cannot help himself; but the Adon was “meek” because He had the infinite resources of God at His command.

Described negatively, meekness is the opposite of self-assertiveness & self-interest; it is equanimity*of spirit that is neither elated nor cast down, simply because it is not occupied with self at all. In 2 Corinthians 10:1  (“Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:”) the apostle appeals to the “meekness of Mashiyach [Christ]” Christians are charged to show all meekness toward all men Titus 3:2 (“To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”) For meekness becomes “God’s Elect”  Colossians 3:12 (“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”) To this virtue the man of God is urged. He is to follow after meekness for his own sake.  1 Timothy 6:11  (“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”) And in his service, & more especially in his dealings with the “ignorant & erring” he is to exhibit a spirit of meekness 1 Corinthians 4:21  (“What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?”) Galations 6:1  (“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”) Even they that oppose themselves are to be corrected in meekness.  2 Timothy 2:25 ( “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”) James exhorts his “Beloved Brethren” to receive with meekness the engrafted word James 1:21 (“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”) Peter enjoins meekness in setting forth the grounds of Christian hope
 1 Peter 3:15  (“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”)

*=Noun- Mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, esp. in a difficult situation.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Worth Reading

Daughters of Sarah
Daughters of Sarah
Author: Genevieve White
ISBN-13: 9780916573898    
Publisher: Brentwood Christian Press
Book Type: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0916573893
Publication Date: 1991




This is a book I read when I was a single sister. The focus of the book is on wives, but I found that even as a single sister the thoughts Mrs.White presented applied to me as well. It is a short book, easy to read, & it brings forth good convictions to the heart of a woman. If you have not read it I hope you will take the time to seek it out.





Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Keeper's At Home




The Sisters' Corner That they may teach the young women . . .

 

At Home with Usefulness

Leora Schmucker

Greetings in Jesus precious name! Truly we have a Great God who is worthy of all our praise and even our whole lives. Because of His love and mercy to us, we are bound to thank God always! And yet my prayer is that our love among the brethren may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that we would approve things that are excellent; that we would be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God!
It seems we live in a time where there is a lot of confusion concerning God’s Word. Things that are acceptable are mixed up with things that are not acceptable (or things that will hinder us from being fruitful). One thing I’ve been pondering this last while is about the young (and old) sisters working away. I’m not talking about sisters helping other mothers, but rather having outside jobs. So, because of this I decided to do a little research on this topic, and I thought the things I found were interesting and worth sharing with my sisters. Our prayer is that you will be encouraged to continue serving the Lord in the light of His word.

The Bible says …

Titus 2 :3-5
(3) The aged women likewise, that they may be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
(4) That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
(5) To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
1 Timothy 5:14
(14) I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
Here are a couple of key words and their meanings:
Keepers at home—a stayer at home, i.e. domestically inclined (a “good housekeeper”). It also means working at home.
Discreet—prudent; wise in avoiding errors or evil, and in selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose; circumspect; cautious; wary, not rash
Chaste—pure from all unlawful commerce of sexes; free from obscenity; In language, pure, genuine, uncorrupt; free from barbarous words and phrases, and from quaint, affected, extravagant expressions.
Blasphemed—to speak impiously; to use speech to bring down another’s value, honor, due-respect; to injure another’s reputation in the eyes of others.

“Liberated” from God’s way

It is interesting to note that only about 160 years ago it was a very rare thing to have a woman in the workplace, let alone holding government offices. It seems that in the early 1800s many changes started taking place here in the U.S. concerning “women’s rights.” It is recorded that as early as 1848, women in the North began to join the paid workforce to seek higher educational opportunities and to receive a “new sense of selfhood.” These changes began around the time of the Civil War.
During this time many women had to work away because the men were at war. But after the war, many of the women did not want to go back home. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony were some of the women behind the push for more “rights” for women. Until the late 19th century, women had been excluded from higher education because it wasn’t deemed a necessary qualification for wives and mothers. However, since these changes came around the time of the Civil War, the North and South were still divided afterward when it came to “women’s rights.” The Southern virtue was in danger from the influence of the immoral, outspoken women of the North. The preservers of the Old South put the Southern lady on a pedestal where she would act as a preserver of Southern religion and morality, and as an inspiration to her husband and children. The United Confederate Veterans (the South) literally placed young, prominent virgins from each state on a pedestal at their annual reunions to portray the ideal woman who is loyal, obedient, and trusting solely in the protection of their men. The Southern ideal held that men have public voices while a lady’s influence should extend no further than home and church.
But many things slowly began to change. Beginning in the mid 1800s, our country had its first lady journalist for the Capitol; the first lady holding government office; the first lady to wear bloomers (which were like baggy or loose-fitting pants); the first lady to cut her hair shorter than what was acceptable in society; and finally, women gaining the “right” to vote in 1920.

Usefulness at home

But doesn’t Satan still tempt us mothers with thoughts such as desiring a “sense of selfhood” or “usefulness”?
Wow! I’m sure there were other details, but what a major drift in only a few years! A lot of these things seem very far from us, but doesn’t Satan still tempt us mothers with thoughts such as desiring a “sense of selfhood” or “usefulness”? Sometimes maybe we feel we are not doing enough. But are we content to serve our husbands, to raise our children for the Lord, and guide our homes according to the Word of God? As we can see when the movement started, “women’s rights” began with women just wanting to be in the workplace. But small things quickly turn into large things if they are not addressed. That’s how I see it with allowing our sisters to hold jobs.[1]
But all praise to our God, we have the blessed privilege to worship and serve our God without persecution and hindrances. Instead of sisters seeking employment in the general workforce, what about seeking employment by the only true God? If we look around us there are many opportunities to do service for Jesus. Maybe we don’t know what it is God would have us to do specifically. If we don’t, we can go to Him in prayer to seek and know His will. It is His will that we know what our calling is.
Perhaps we pray one time and God doesn’t answer; then let us pray until He does answer, as with the parable of the persistent widow. Are we persistent? Perhaps we mothers get weary in guiding our homes and desire to do something different? What about rising early and writing a letter to someone needing encouragement? Or, a simple text can quickly brighten someone’s day. What about preparing a meal for someone, or allowing guests to lodge in our homes without complaining? What about being a doctor to our children, or a teacher to them? If you are a keeper at home, you are very privileged because you can have so many occupations!
Remember, whenever we start going away from the truth of God’s Word, things will not turn out right.
For the young and single sisters, the opportunities to serve are numerous. The question is, are we 100% willing to lay down our lives for the cause of the kingdom? I do want to bless all of those that are doing these things, but at the same time to challenge those who are not to move ahead to higher ground, to more pure and lovely things. If we are being fruitful in these things, we will not have time for worldly lusts and pleasures. “The friendship of this world is enmity with God.” Remember, whenever we start going away from the truth of God’s Word, things will not turn out right, even if we convince ourselves that they will. ~
[1] I am not referring to a family business where the family is working together to make a living.
This article was copied from:
 http://www.ephrataministries.org/remnant-2013-01-at-home-with-usefulness.a5w

Friday, February 8, 2013

Woman's Place


I. Counsel to women
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:3-5

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 1 Corinthians 11:5-6

Let us instruct our young men in the lesson of the fear of God. Let us guide our women toward that which is good: let them show forth their lovely disposition of purity; let them prove their sincere affection of gentleness; let them make manifest the moderation of their tongue through their silence; let them show their love, not in factious preferences, but without partiality towards all them that fear God, in holiness. Clement of Rome (A.D. 96) ch.21
Let us teach ourselves first to walk in the commandment of the Lord; and then our wives also, to walk in the faith that has been given unto them and in love and purity, cherishing their own husbands in all truth and loving all men equally in all chastity, and to train their children in the training of the fear of God. Polycarp (A.D. 69-156) ch.4 
 
Tell my sisters to love the Lord and to be content with their husbands in flesh and in spirit. In like manner also charge my brothers in the name of Jesus Christ to love their wives, “as the Lord loved the Church.” Ignatius: to Polycarp (A.D. 35-105) ch.5

But make these words known to all your children, and to your wife who shall be as your sister; for she too refrains not from using her tongue. Hermas (A.D. 150) ch.11
 
Nor are women to be deprived of bodily exercise. But they are not to be encouraged to engage in wrestling or running, but are to exercise themselves in spinning, and weaving, and superintending the cooking if necessary. And they are, with their own hand, to fetch from the store what we require. And it is no disgrace for them to apply themselves to the mill. Nor is it a reproach to a wife - housekeeper and helpmeet - to occupy herself in cooking, so that it may be palatable to her husband. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.283
Not to deck and adorn herself beyond what is becoming, renders a wife free of calumnious suspicion. while she devotes herself assiduously (=with care and persistence; ) to prayers and supplications; avoiding frequent departures from the house, and shutting herself up as far as possible from the view of all not related to her, and deeming housekeeping of more consequence than impertinent trifling. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.379

We do not say that woman's nature is the same as man's, as she is woman. For undoubtedly it stands to reason that some difference should exist between each of them, in virtue of which one is male and the other female. Pregnancy and parturition, accordingly, we say belong to woman, as she is woman, and not as she is a human being. But if there were no difference between man and woman, both would do and suffer the same things. As then there is sameness, as far as respects the soul, she will attain to the same virtue; but as there is difference as respects the peculiar construction of the body, she is destined for child-bearing and housekeeping. "For I would have you know," says the apostle, "that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man: for the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. For neither is the woman without the man, nor the man without the woman, in the Lord." For as we say that the man ought to be continent, and superior to pleasures. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.420

Christ is the Head of the Christian man - (for his head) is as free as even Christ is, under no obligation to wear a covering, not to say a crown. But even the head which is bound to have the veil, I mean woman's, as already taken possession of by this very thing, is not open also to a crown. She has the burden of her own humility to bear… Therefore a woman, taking counsel from the apostles' foresight, will not too elaborately adorn herself, that she may not either be crowned with any exquisite arrangement of her hair. Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.3 pg. 102

"You are bound to please your husbands only." But you will please them in proportion as you take no care to please others. Be you without carefulness, blessed (sisters): no wife is "ugly" to her own husband. She "pleased" him enough when she was selected (by him as his wife). Every husband is the exactor of chastity; but beauty, a believing (husband) does not require, because we are not captivated by the same graces which the Gentiles think (to be) graces: an unbelieving one, on the other hand, even regards with suspicion. Why are you eager to please either one who is suspicious, or else one who desires it not? Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg.20


II. Examples of godly women

Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Hebrews 11:11 

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Luke 1:45-47 

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 1 Peter 3:5-6 

Through envy, those women, the *Danaids and Dircae, being persecuted, after they had suffered terrible and unspeakable torments, finished the course of their faith with steadfastness, and though weak in body, received a noble reward. Clement of Rome (A.D. 96) ch.6   *( these are the names of the two women who were persecuted.)

Many women, also, being strengthened by the grace of God, have performed numerous manly exploits. The blessed Judith, when her city was besieged, asked the elders for permission to go forth into the camp of the strangers, …and the Lord delivered Holofernes into the hands of a woman. Esther also, being perfect in faith, exposed herself to no less danger, in order to deliver the twelve tribes of Israel from impending destruction. Clement of Rome (A.D. 96) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol. 1 pg.20
[I speak of] Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who is laid to rest at Hierapolis. I speak also of his two daughters, who arrived at old age unmarried. His other daughter also, who passed her life under the influence of the Holy Spirit, lies at Ephesus. Polycrates (A.D. 2nd cent.) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol. 8 pg.773
It is related in the Gospels that there were certain women who had been healed of their diseases. Among these was Susanna. From their own possessions, these women provided the disciples the means of support. Origen (A.D. 240) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg. 426

For such was the charm of Jesus’ words, that not only were men willing to follow him to the wilderness, but women also, forgetting the weakness of their sex and a regard for the outward propriety in so following their Teacher into desert places. Origen (A.D. 240) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg. 468
There are blessed women, too, who are established with you in the same glory of confession. For they have maintained the Lord’s faith and are braver than their sex. Not only are they near to the crown of glory themselves, but they have provided an example to other women by their constancy. Cyprian (A.D. 250) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.5 pg.407


III. The woman’s role in the church

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
 1 Corinthians 14:34-37 

You instructed your wives to do all things with a blameless, becoming, and pure conscience, loving their husbands as in duty bound; and you taught them that, living in the rule of obedience, they should manage their household affairs becomingly, and be in every respect marked by discretion. Clement of Rome (A.D. 96) ch. 1 

The wise woman, then, will first choose to persuade her husband to be her associate in what is conducive to happiness. And should that be found impracticable, let her by herself earnestly aim at virtue, gaining her husband's consent in everything, so as never to do anything against his will, with exception of what is reckoned as contributing to virtue and salvation. But if one keeps from such a mode of life either wife or maid-servant, whose heart is set on it; what such a person in that case plainly does is nothing else than determine to drive her away from righteousness and sobriety, and to choose to make his own house wicked and licentious. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.432

Accordingly he says in a letter: "Have we not a right to take about with us a wife that is a sister like the other apostles?" But the latter, in accordance with their particular ministry, devoted themselves to preaching without any distraction, and took their wives with them not as women with whom they had marriage relations, but as sisters, that they might be their fellow-ministers in dealing with housewives. It was through them that the Lord's teaching penetrated also the women's quarters without any scandal being aroused. We also know the directions about women deacons which are given by the noble Paul in his second letter to Timothy. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Miscellanies, book III ch. 6

It is not permitted to a woman to speak in the church; but neither (is it permitted her) to teach, nor to baptize, nor to offer, nor to claim to herself a lot in any manly function, not to say (in any) sacerdotal office. Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg.33
(Women) - that is, married women - are at length elected, but "mothers" to boot, yes, and "educators of children;" in order, forsooth, that their experimental training in all the affections may, on the one hand, have rendered them capable of readily aiding all others with counsel and comfort, and that, on the other, they may none the less have travelled down the whole course of probation whereby a female can he tested. Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg.33
In the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: “Let women be silent in the church. But if any wish to learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home.” Also to Timothy: “Let a woman learn with silence, in all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to be set over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not seduced, but the woman was seduced.” Cyprian (A.D. 250) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.5 pg. 546



IV. The woman’s role in heretic and pagan religions

Teach Minerva and Diana the works of women, and Bacchus the works of men. What seemliness is there in a woman's girding herself with armor, or in a man's decorating himself with cymbals, and garlands, and female attire, and accompanied by a herd of bacchanalian women? Justin Martyr (A.D. 160) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.271-272

It appears probable enough that this man possesses a demon as his familiar spirit, by means of whom he seems able to prophesy, and also enables as many as he counts worthy to be partakers of his Charis themselves to prophesy. He devotes himself especially to women, and those such as are well-bred, and elegantly attired, and of great wealth, whom he frequently seeks to draw after him, by addressing them in such seductive words… On the woman replying, "I have never at any time prophesied, nor do I know how to prophesy;" then engaging, for the second time, in certain invocations, so as to astound his deluded victim, he says to her, "Open your mouth, speak whatsoever occurs to you, and you shall prophesy." She then, vainly puffed up and elated by these words, and greatly excited in soul by the expectation that it is herself who is to prophesy, her heart beating violently [from emotion], reaches the requisite pitch of audacity, and idly as well as impudently utters some nonsense as it happens to occur to her, such as might be expected from one heated by an empty spirit. (Referring to this, one superior to me has observed, that the soul is both audacious and impudent when heated with empty air.) Henceforth she reckons herself a prophetess, and expresses her thanks to Marcus for having imparted to her of his own Chaffs. She then makes the effort to reward him, not only by the gift of her possessions (in which way he has collected a very large fortune), but also by yielding up to him her person, desiring in every way to be united to him, that she may become altogether one with him. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 334-335

For we do not train our women like Amazons to manliness in war; since we wish the men even to be peaceable. I hear that the Sarmatian women practice war no less than the men; and the women of the Sacae besides, who shoot backwards, feigning flight as well as the men. I am aware, too, that the women near Iberia practice manly work and toil, not refraining from their tasks even though near their delivery; but even in the very struggle of her pains, the woman, on being delivered, taking up the infant, carries it home. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.420

Another woman, the maiden Philumene (whom we have already mentioned), who herself afterwards became an enormous prostitute. Having been imposed on by her vigorous spirit, he committed to writing the revelations which he had learned of her. Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.3 pg. 257
I must not omit an account of the conduct also of the heretics - how frivolous it is, how worldly, how merely human, without seriousness, without authority, without discipline, as suits their creed… The very women of these heretics, how wanton they are! For they are bold enough to teach, to dispute, to enact exorcisms, to undertake cures - it may be even to baptize. Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.3 pg. 263
The consequence is, that a viper of the Cainite heresy, lately conversant in this quarter, has carried away a great number with her most venomous doctrine, making it her first aim to destroy baptism… so that most monstrous creature, who had no right to teach even sound doctrine, knew full well how to kill the little fishes, by taking them away from the water! Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.3 pg. 669

But the woman of pertness, who has usurped the power to teach, will of course not give birth for herself likewise to a right of baptizing, unless some new beast shall arise like the former; so that, just as the one abolished baptism, so some other should in her own right confer it! But if the writings which wrongly go under Paul's name, claim Thecla's example as a licence for women's teaching and baptizing, let them know that, in Asia, the presbyter who composed that writing, as if he were augmenting Paul's fame from his own store, after being convicted, and confessing that he had done it from love of Paul, was removed from his office. For how credible would it seem, that he who has not permitted a woman even to learn with over-boldness, should give a female the power of teaching and of baptizing! "Let them be silent," he says, "and at home consult their own husbands." Tertullian (A.D. 198) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.3 pg.677

There is one place where a man may not go, and there are some that are sacred from women: it is a crime needing atonement for a slave even to be present at some ceremonies. Some sacred places are crowned by a woman having one husband, some by a woman with many; and she who can reckon up most adulteries is sought after with most religious zeal. Minucius Felix (A.D. 200) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg. 187

He, that is, Jupiter… has rejected the male sex, and, as Celsus observes, employs the women of Dodona for the prophetic office. Origen (A.D. 248) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg. 613

There arose among us on a sudden a certain woman, who in a state of ecstasy announced herself as a prophetess, and acted as if filled with the Holy Ghost. And she was so moved by the impetus of the principal demons, that for a long time she made anxious and deceived the brotherhood, accomplishing certain wonderful and portentous things, and promised that she would cause the earth to be shaken… Here also she deceived one of the presbyters, a countryman, and another, a deacon, so that they had intercourse with that same woman, which was shortly afterwards detected. For on a sudden there appeared unto her one of the exorcists, a man approved and always of good conversation in respect of religious discipline… Yet that exorcist, inspired by God’s grace, bravely resisted, and showed that that which was before thought holy, was indeed a most wicked spirit. But that woman, who previously by wiles and deceitfulness of the demon was attempting many things for the deceiving of the faithful, among other things by which she had deceived many, also had frequently dared this; to pretend that with an invocation not to be contemned she sanctified bread and celebrated, the Eucharist, and to offer sacrifice to the Lord, not without the sacrament of the accustomed utterance; and also to baptize many, making use of the usual and lawful words of interrogation, that nothing might seem to be different from the ecclesiastical rule. What, then, shall we say about the baptism of this woman, by which a most wicked demon baptized through means of a woman? Can it be believed that either remission of sins was given, or the regeneration of the saving laver duly completed, when all things, although after the image of truth, yet were done by a demon? Fermilian (A.D. 250) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.5 pg. 393