Charles R. Rettig

It is unfortunate that people so easily misrepresent what another says.  But, it happens on the internet quite a bit, and Mr. Charles R. Rettig is right there with the best of them.  Mr. Rettig and I had an email dialogue (its entirety is reproduced below) in which we discussed the United Methodists' position on homosexuality and women ordination/eldership.  I did not know at the time that he was the pastor of a friend of a friend (Brandon) who were both at my house a few weeks ago.  If I would have known that the person I was e-mailing was connected with Brandon's friend, I would have tackled him with a bit more clarity.  Anyway, the email dialogue did not go well as you can see below (where I reproduced our email exchange).  CARM reserves the right to do so as is clearly stated in the emails.  Mr. Rettig never requested that I not use emails.

At first Mr. Rettig wanted to correct me on my view of the United Methodist Church and homosexuality.  My earlier research, though incomplete, led me to believe that the UMC supported homosexuality.  I am grateful to Mr. Rettig for setting that straight by providing documentation from the official UMC website regarding this.  I then modified my article to represent the information.

Afterwards, our discussion moved toward the women in ministry issue.  The email exchange was rather interesting because he seemed to read things into what I was saying.  One example that he stated I said is,

"On the subject of women in ministry, the only thing I have seen so far is your argument that 'Churches which believe in Women in Ministry are led to commit the sin of authorizing and condoning the practice of homosexuality.'"

That is not my argument, and that has never been my argument.  I believe women are not to be pastors and elders because the Bible forbids it, and I stated so by quoting three verses in the emails.  Furthermore, it is my opinion that, generally speaking, when the church and/or denomination compromises on the issue of women pastors and elders, it generally follows within a generation or two where that church and/or denomination will then support homosexuality.  I stated in my research that this is not necessarily the case, but that it seems to be a pattern followed by the majority of churches who first adopt women pastors and elders.

I continued to point Mr. Rettig to these scriptures:

  • Titus 1:5-6, " For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife (Greek:  man of one woman), having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion."
  • 1 Timothy 3:2, "An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife  (Greek:  man of one woman), temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money."
  • 1 Timothy 2:12-13, "But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve."

But, he did not exegete these verses.  He did not examine them in thier context, and he did not respond to me regarding them except for the basic, casual dismissal.  Our conversation continued to digress.  So, I called Mr. Rettig to believe the word of God--which is what he needs to do.

Afterwards, I discovered that my friend Brandon knew what was going on and pointed me to Mr. Rettig's facebook page.  I was appalled at what I found.

Here is the screen capture of his facebook page located at http://www.facebook.com/#!/CRRettig?ref=ts

 

I would like to comment on his post.  First of all, to highlight important information I added red underlines.  Second, in his first paragraph he commits the fallacy of "poisoning the well."  This means that he has attempted to attack me and/or my argument preemptively by bringing up a false teaching about Gnostics and then comparing me to the false teaching.  Essentially, it is attacking the person rather than the argument.  Notice how he uses the phrase "superior class of beings."  Then in the second paragraph he attacks my person and associates me with this "superior class of beings."

I do not consider myself superior to anyone.  I am saved by the grace of God.  However, I do stand on what the word of God says and make no apologies for that.  If Mr. Rettig wants to tackle the issue of women pastors and elders, then perhaps he might want to seriously look at the verses I cited above in Timothy and Titus and actually deal with the issues instead of dismissing them.  This is what I asked him to do more than once, and more than once he failed to do it.  So, he has no business attacking me in such an ad hominem manner.

Third, at the end of the second paragraph in reference to me he says,

"His private e-mails were simply, 'I have God's truth, and you are stupid for having some other opinion.'  That type of arrogance scares me."

Mr. Charles R. Rettig is again in error.  Read for yourself the email exchange below and you'll see.  I never said I have God's truth and that he was stupid for having some other opinion.  I simply was calling him to examine the word of God seriously and to believe what it actually says.  Is not arrogant to believe and stand on and promote what God's word says.

Fourth, he errantly stated,

"the only argument he advances for not allowing women to be ordained was that it leads to homosexuality being in the church, and a couple of proof text Scriptures pulled out of context."

As I stated above, this is not my argument.  Apparently, Mr. Rettig read nothing on my website about the real issue.  Instead of reproducing the whole thing in an email, I simply went to the heart of the matter and cited three verses for him.  If he wants to assert that they are out of context, then let him do it by examining the context, determining the previous in post contextual information, examining the texts, and then providing an explanation for what they mean.  This is what I do when I write articles, and this is what I expect from someone who publicly attacks my person and "refutes" my arguments.

Fourth, in the last paragraph he improperly insinuates that I'm claiming to believe that "I am the possessor of how the Scriptures understood and everyone else has lesser knowledge . . . "  This is a downright insult and misrepresentation.  To say such an incendiary and false thing and assert that it is my position borders on libel which is using the print media to harm someone's reputation.  My reputation is important to me--not for reasons of ego but because I try to properly represent the word of God before Christians and non-Christians alike.  Mr. Rettig is impugning my motives and my ability to properly exegete Scripture.

Fifth, he insinuates that I hold the position that women are second-class creations who need to be subjugated by men.  This is not my position at all, and I consider this to be a gross misrepresentation of my real beliefs!  On my radio show and in my writings I say that women are underappreciated and need to be elevated, loved by their husbands, and protected by men in general.  However, I state that it is the word of God that restricts women from being in leadership positions within the church (the three verses cited above).  You may or may not disagree with me, so I leave it to you to read through my arguments to see if they are sound or not (see the section, Women in Ministry).  Mr. Rettig's statements are simply appalling.

Sixth, Mr. Rettig actually implies that because of my position that women are not to be pastors and elders in the church, I don't love my wife as Christ loves the church.  Now, I will be the first to admit that my ability to love my wife as Christ loves the church is in much need of improvement.  Christ is, after all, a high standard to follow.  But, I love my wife, and I support her a great deal. For Mr. Rettig to imply what he did is simply sick. 

Mr. Rettig is to publicly apologize to me, but I don't expect it.

Below is the email exchange copied and pasted here, so you can see for yourself what was actually said.

===================================

Re: Women in Ministry

From: "carm.org ([email protected])" <[email protected]>View Contact
To: Chuck Rettig <[email protected]>


so . . . you can't tell me anything about the verses.

You are failing.

Now, from one ordained minister to another . . . before God . . . get it right!

Judgment!!!

Do NOT go by your feelings or popular vote or political correctness.

you have a choice to make. God's word . . . or the world's message.


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From: Chuck Rettig <[email protected]>
To: carm.org <[email protected]>
Sent: Sun, September 12, 2010 5:59:03 PM
Subject: RE: Women in Ministry

Matt,
The apostle Paul told two people how to run the r local churches--Titus and Timothy

You interpreted the m by saying that Paul’s teaching to two people is a universal truth applicable to all relationships at all times. As a Greek scholar do you not have to interpret the meaning of the word based on it’s context in the sentence.

As a human being you do not have the power to know the meaning of every text contained in the scripture, but so far that is all I’ve heard out of you, no willingness to admit that you can misunderstand a bible passage. That is arrogance, bordering on narcissistic personality disorder, and Gnostic theology where by you have the truth and that makes you superior in your understanding.

I can give you a number of o the r scriptures and your first response will be, but you are pulling those out of context, and the y were not meant to apply today. Off the top of my head I’m thinking about the command to go and dash babies against the rocks, and a few o the r ones. Biblical literalists are usually selective in the ir literalism.

Have a great life,
Rev. Charles R. Rettig
Elder
The United Methodist Church



From: carm.org ([email protected]) [mailTo:[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2010 6:44 PM
To: Chuck Rettig
Subject: Re: Women in Ministry

i didn't interpret them.

I stated what they said.

You're a reverend. you are supposed to represent the truth of God's word.

Titus 1:5-6, " For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife (Greek: man of one woman), having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion."

1 Timothy 3:2, "An overseer, the n, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife (Greek: man of one woman), temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money."

1 Timothy 2:12-13, "But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and the n Eve."
WHAT DOES THE WORD OF GOD SAY?

this is a serious question. What does it actually SAY?

How is it possible for a woman/elder/pastor to be the husband of one wife, literally a man of one woman?

What do you do with where Paul says he doesn't allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man . . . for ADAM was created first? Please tell me how this is NOT a created order mandate. Tell me how it actually means a woman CAN exercise authority over a man.

Remember, 1 Tim. 3:15 Paul is tell us how things are to be done in the household of God.

I am very serious . . . 1 Pet. 3:15 tells you to give an answer to everyone who'd ask you.

I'm asking.

Tell me what the se verses really mean if the y don't mean what they say.

Matt


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From: Chuck Rettig <[email protected]>
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
Sent: Sun, September 12, 2010 4:04:26 PM
Subject: RE: Women in Ministry

I agree with the verses, but not your interpretation, nor application.

Words simply do not have fixed meanings that remain the same over time. As a Greek scholar you know that.

I have said to you repeatedly that I have no desire to change your mind, merely to understand.

I have also said 'good-bye' and 'have a nice life' but you seem compelled to "______" I will let you fill in the blank.

In order to actually understand anothe r person, both sides have to listen to the o the r. I told you we will simply have to disagree. I hope to see you in heaven some day.

Good-bye,
Rev. Charles R. Rettig
Elder
The United Methodist Church

-----Original Message-----
From: carm.org ([email protected]) <[email protected]>
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2010 4:51 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Women in Ministry

what i quoted you was from the Greek.

I've had 4.5 years of Greek in college and graduate school . . . so yes, I know what it says . . . and that IS what it says.

seriously, I'd like your response to the verses I cited. Do you agree with the m or not?

. . . tell me how you, as a united methodist, deal with this important issue?




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From: Chuck Rettig <[email protected]>
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
Sent: Sun, September 12, 2010 3:21:26 PM
Subject: RE: Women in Ministry

Matt

Good bye!

Chuck

P.S. Have you read the se texts in Hebrew and Greek?

-----Original Message-----
From: carm.org ([email protected]) <[email protected]>
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2010 4:04 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Women in Ministry


It is easy to appear arrogant and narrowminded when the word of God sets the stage and you stand upon it.


The foolish are those who claim to be Christians and do not affirm what God has declared.

Titus 1:5-6, " For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife (Greek: man of one woman), having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion."
1 Timothy 3:2, "An overseer, the n, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife (Greek: man of one woman), temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money."
1 Timothy 2:12-13, "But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and the n Eve."

As you can see, the Scriptures teach that an elder is to be literally in Greek, a man of one woman. Please tell me how a woman can fit that description.


Likewise you should be able to see from the Scripture number three above that a woman is not to teach or exercise authority over a man but remain quiet, for it was Adam was first created. This is tied into the created order and has nothing to do with cultural norms.


If you want to tell me that women can be pastors and elders, the n you absolutely must deal with the Scriptures above. If you ignore the m, our conversation is over. If you try and read into the text was not the re, our conversation is over. I stand on the word of God and do it proudly, and boldly.


This is why I am so confident in the issue. It is because I believe that the word of God says and I refuse to adopt political correctness in theological liberalism.


Matt

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From: Chuck Rettig <[email protected]>
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
Sent: Sun, September 12, 2010 1:32:54 PM
Subject: RE: Women in Ministry

It is simple. When one does not wish to explain one's rationale based in reason and a willingness to be humble resort to short angry declarative sentences. All of the world is deceived but me. May the Lord bless your coming and going. Your truth will follow you.

Chuck



-----Original Message-----
From: carm.org ([email protected]) <[email protected]>
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2010 2:13 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Women in Ministry

It is simple . . .

elders are to be men of one woman.

woman are not to exercise authority over men in the church . . . because Adam was created first.

this is not cultural.



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From: Chuck Rettig <[email protected]>
To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
Sent: Sun, September 12, 2010 10:45:22 AM
Subject: RE: Women in Ministry

Matt,

I actually have no desire to change your view on "Women in Ministry." I do appreciate you honesty that your mind can not be changed on that issue. I am grateful for your acknowledgement that the connection to the slippery slope toward homosexuality is not a nessary plank in you reasoning.

My desire was to understand the presuppositions, upon which the foundation of your reasoning was laid and upon which you built your views. I am always leery of rigid statements that do not allow for the possibility we may have a log in our own eye that is preventing us from seeing God's truth.

There are many ways to get to a position where we deny the ordination of women. One way is similar to the Mormon position that women can not be saved without the male. Another way is the way of the abusive male that women are lesser creatures and men are superior creatures. Another is the gnostic (heretical) view that God has imparted secret knowledge into a chosen few who simply know that God ordained males and only males for leadership in the church. Then the re are the cultic males who simply chose to control women as sexual objects. So, I was curious what you were teaching young men. It was sounding a lot like the Moslem teachings on male / female.

Have a great life.
Respectfully
Rev. Charles R. Rettig

P.S. Don't let your experiment with a handful of people override your research and reason. There are bad examples in every group.



-----Original Message-----
From: carm.org ([email protected]) <[email protected]>
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2010 11:06 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Women in Ministry



(Note: CARM receives many e-mails daily, so please excuse our tardiness in
responding. Also, I sometimes use speech recognition software to answer emails
and I occasionally miss typos and grammar errors produced by the software. Thank
you.)

The argument is not a necessity. In o the r words , my research has shown that
denominations which move towards women ordination often follow with the support
of homosexual behavior

as an acceptable lifestyle. He does not mean that every church that ordains
women will necessarily follow with the support of homosexuality.
My experience with United Methodist Church has rarely been positive. I remember
my first encounter with a United Methodist pastor was when I went to pass out
tracts at the Christian science lecture. It had been advertised and I thought I
would go the re and pass out literature, hoping, by God's grace that perhaps
information might bring people out of the non-Christian cult.
To my utter surprise the lecture was being held at a United Methodist Church . I
passed out literature anyway. The next day I made an appointment with the pastor
of the church to talk to him about his support for this non-Christian cult. To
make a long story short, after he told me that the y were decent people and had
the right to the ir view, I asked him if he was born again, if he was Christian.
He told me I had insulted him and threw me out of his office.
The one who was insulted was God. The so-called pastor should never have allowed
a non-Christian, anti-Christian cult to use his facility for the purpose of
promoting antichrist material.
I have had o the r experiences and others have communicated to the vast
liberalness of the United Methodist Church . Honestly, whenever I encounter
anyone from the United Methodist Church my first assumption is that they're not
Christians. I have to, carefully, inquire and find out what to believe. The most
common experiences that they're extremely liberal and not dedicated to God's
work.
However, just recently met one individual who attends a United Methodist Church
and informed me how completely orthodox the pastor and staff were. This is,
unfortunately, the exception rather than the norm.
Anyway, as far as women being pastors and elders, the Scriptures clearly tell us
that that is not to be the case. You will not be able to convince me otherwise
since I've done a great deal of research and have drama conclusion based upon
God's word.
However, I do thank you for your endeavor to point me towards the facts
concerning your denomination.
Matt


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correspondence, and research. If you do not want your email's used in such a
manner, then please state so.
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[email protected]





________________________________
From: Chuck Rettig <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Sent: Sun, September 12, 2010 9:47:40 AM
Subject: Women in Ministry


Matt,

On the subject of women in ministry, the only thing I have seen so far is your
argument that "Churches which believe in Women in Ministry are led to commit the
sin of authorizing and condoning the practice of homosexuality." Could you
direct me to more of your research, so that I can respond to it?

Respectfully,
Rev. Charles R. Rettig
Elder
The United Methodist Church


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