One of the great follies in Christianity is the tendency to take a situational text and build a doctrine around it. When this happens, religion builds a stronghold that rivals anything the devil or our thought lives can construct. In my last piece, I illustrated how religion uses Scripture on tithing to hold Saints in bondage, because there is no New Testament command to tithe. In today’s installment, I want to deal with something equally constraining.
Women in Ministry. Or the prohibition, thereof…
Over centuries, a general patriarchy was constructed that reduced women to second-class citizens. Women have been reduced to servitude; their intellect and ability either muted or underutilized. Nowhere in history is this truer than in the church.
Yeah, the “Christian” church. The one founded by Jesus and spread by His Apostles.
Before we get too far down the path, let’s establish a Scriptural baseline:
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)
We see, here, that Paul is speaking of a general baseline or anti-hierarchy in Christ. All are equal in the Kingdom of God. If only all of Christendom could hang their collective hat here, there would be no need for this article!
Now, the Gospel is Good News. In fact, that word “Gospel” is not a mere descriptive, it is a hyperbole – it literally means “too-good-to-be-true news!” But, as it is with so many things mankind puts its hand to, something always gets twisted, like wicker furniture and baskets; wicker and wicked have the same etymology!
Here is the key Scripture that is most commonly taken out of context:
34 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. 35 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. (1 Corinthians 14:34-36)
First and foremost, context must be considered. Three questions must be submitted: 1) Whom was Paul speaking to?, 2) What was he addressing?, and 3) What was the cultural and societal climate?
More to come in my upcoming book, “Deconstructing Religion”
© 2013 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)