An Interview with Paul Jacob

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

Hey Paul! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your life with us at EgalMag. Can you start out by telling us a little bit about yourself, where you live, maybe how God first truly broke into your life, etc?

I have lived in various Racine County locations all my life. I was raised Catholic but did not really start serving the Lord until my first year of college at UW Parkside. I got involved in a campus group, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and soon turned my life over to Jesus. I have never looked back. Through this group and another college age Christian fellowship, I was mentored and given opportunities to serve and lead.

On the personal side, I have been married to Linda for 35 years and we have two grown children and one grandchild. I have worked in manufacturing management most of my career.

What would you say is your main area of spiritual gifting? How did you figure that out and how have you walked out/used that gifting?

For most of my Christian walk I have not been too concerned about “what’s my call” or title. What I focused on is doing what I felt God wanted me to do. This has played out in being a voracious reader and then teaching what I learn. This teaching gift has been well received throughout the years and in many settings. I was also asked early on to take on various church leadership roles and continue in this through today. I am also on my third stint as a Church Treasurer. This is not my calling, but there has always been such a need for someone to do this function with excellence – and it ends up being me.

My earliest memory of meeting you was when you were teaching a Sunday school class years ago from Lee Grady’s book, Ten Lies the Church Tells Women. Was that the first time you taught on egalitarian issues? 

I was teaching about women in ministry for a number of years prior to that class. The Sunday school class was the first larger group and longest series I had done. It was well attended and caused a lot of discussion at Racine Assembly of God. As a byproduct of that class, the congregation approved a change to its constitution & bylaws allowing women to be leaders in the church in any position.

How would you define the word “egalitarian” when used in the Christian context?

A Christian egalitarian affirms and promotes the biblical truth that all believers - without regard to gender, ethnicity or class - must exercise their God-given gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility in church, home and society. They envision a future where all believers are freed to exercise their gifts for God's glory and purposes, with the full support of their Christian communities.

I know you’re a guy that is puzzled and bothered (in a good way) about certain disconnects within the Church. Currently, there seems to be a disconnect between who and what women can be and do in the church versus who and what those same women can do in the home. Can you tell us a bit of your thoughts on this and perhaps you have a good resource or book you can recommend for those who want to learn more?

I see a HUGE disconnect for those who believe women can be in any ministry position, yet they feel women are to be subordinate in the home. These are not two separate issues but one and the same. Either the Bible teaches a gift-based model of leadership or a gender-based model of leadership. How this plays out in the church, home or society is one biblical argument, not two. I blame the poor teaching on this subject by most Charismatic/Pentecostal leaders for causing such a paradoxical belief to even exist – this has been a tragedy for our Spirit-filled churches!

For books, the two I recommend in my article are good place to start on marriage.  

I’m curious what opposition you face, if any, as a man, as you continue to speak out and teach about egalitarian truths founding the Bible. Have you ever had to deal with hurt or rejection or false accusations? 

My Church involvement has been mainly with Charismatic/Pentecostal groups and I am usually well received, even though the topic makes many people nervous because it challenges their “religious” training.

I have had my views rejected by some but it was not by people who are close to me or people who can impact what I do, so it has had little effect on me.

What kind of response do you get from other men and women after they’ve sat through one of your teachings? I feel like most will be happy and appreciative and spurred on to know more, but I’m particularly interested to know if there’s a general difference in their responses to you, male vs female listeners. If so, what are the general responses? 

Men in general get nervous because people in positions of power rarely give up their power freely. Most women are excited to hear they are valued by God in the same way as a man. This egalitarian message also requires changing the way we are and change is never easy for anyone.

I have found some women like the perceived security of their husband being in charge because this frees them from taking responsibility. The Biblical view forces women to take responsibility for their marriage, family and spiritual life in the same way as a man. This can be very hard for some.

I have experienced many times where people tell me something to the effect, “I didn’t think you could say anything to change my mind on this topic, but after listening to you, I feel my eyes are now opened to new truths.”

Another common reaction is that people are truly thankful to hear there really is a Biblical reason for equality. Many couples have tried to ignore the Church’s traditional teaching and just live like equal partners. Now for the first time, they have real Bible answers letting them know this in fact is God’s will.

What is your hope for the Body of Christ? What lie or practice would you be happy to see dismantled or broken through?

I believe the tide is turning in the Church to the egalitarian position. The majority of Bible colleges now teach an egalitarian viewpoint except for the Southern Baptist and a few others. However, individual churches have not caught up with the change that has taken place in academia. It has taken a long time for the truth to overcome the lies, but truth is transformative and the Church is being set free. As an example of this change, in 2016 the Complementarian (traditional) side finally admitted that they invented and propagated a false view of the Trinity for the last 40 years to support their subordinate view of women. Most have now returned to a historic Trinitarian doctrine as taught in our creeds. Still most complementarians remain in their traditional views but their doctrines are being dismantled. Their false views will continue to crumble as they are built on the consequences of sin and not God’s plan for his people as taught in the Bible.

If people want to access your resources or read more of your stuff, where can they find you on social media?

Unfortunately, I have no material for anyone to access. I do provide, to those who take my “Discovering Biblical Equality” course, a 70-page summary of the course.  I have also emailed this material out to individuals who are seriously engaged with me on the topic and wanting to know more.

The first resource I recommend to everyone is to go to the Christians for Biblical Equality website or Facebook page and explore the vast resources they make available on this topic.

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