November 24, 2014

Cause and Effect

I know, the Bible has been called God's love letter to humanity - but let's face it, it's a very indirect book. Instead of a simple poem like "Roses are red, violets are blue, My name is God and I love you." We get a story that starts thousands of years ago and ends thousands of years ago.

Either you can read it like a book that tells the story of how God knew humanity was trouble, made them anyway and chose to find a way to save them no matter what. Or you can put yourself into every book, every chapter, and every verse. If you do the latter, then you make the commandments it contains apply to you. If you keep your end of the deal, God will keep His.

But what do you do when something in the Bible is pretty much opposite of everything outside of it? Take 1 Corinthians for example, some churches believe that its orders for women to be silent applies today, not just that, it applies for all time, all places, and to all cultures. The context of the verse isn't just about telling women to shut up in church, it's also telling them to ask questions at home. Two thousand years ago, the sum total of a woman's education was how to cook, how to clean, how to raise children, and how to honor your husband. Reading, writing, arithmetic, or theology for that matter were not a priority. Christianity offered unparalleled freedom, allowing these women to participate in Church more than in any other religion. That's why Christianity was 'a religion for women and slaves' ... the two groups of people with the least social status had respect and a place just for them in Church. Now women are educated are they still under the obligation to be silent? What is the purpose of education but to teach others?

I would say that the order to keep silent was a temporary command meant to keep order in the church long enough for the world to change it's mind about the status of women. What is a better tool for the Churches' enemy than for a majority of the church to be sidelined as cheerleaders, leaving only a handful of men to carry on alone and without back-up? We need all hands on deck to carry out the Great Commission. The only thing that this Great Omission will do is accelerate the burn-out of those allowed to be on the field. Have you ever seen burnt-out players? They often do as much harm to their own team as they do to the enemy - being burnt-out comes with apathy and that is only a barrier to the Gospel. Now is a time when relief is needed, fresh players to turn the tide of the game and pick up momentum for God's glory. Only diversity can thwart our foe's playbook, which was written for that status quo.

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