Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Many people I know think I'm crazy to not support women as Elders, Deacons, or Pastors. My parents included. I'm two centuries behind; I'm a young, Christian woman; seemingly fairly intelligent; what is wrong with you? they all argue. Then they whip out Galatians 3:25-29:
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.
In the past, I've never quite known what to do with this argument, it is right there in the Word of God - black and white, but so is 1 Timothy 2:12:
I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.
and how to reconcile the two? Is the "it was written to a certain culture" argument a fair one? So, I have generally kept my opinion to myself and don't discuss it much.

Our church has begun a study for women preparing us to follow the instructions in Titus 2:
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
Our first meeting was last night, and we addressed this issue in our discussion. This was the best explanation I've ever heard:

We confuse our identity and our role. Our identity is in Christ: we are co-equal, co-heirs of the Kingdom. However our tasks, duties, role are different and defined differently. There is plenty for us to do (if you wonder about that, read the overwhelming Proverbs 31:10-31). This has practical implications in the world too. How many of us (including myself all-too-often) identify ourselves by our job? I'm an HRIS Specialist at work, but isn't there more to me than that? My husband is a Programmer, but there is so much more to him than that. Our role is a small subset of our and others' identities.

Wow. That was such a fresh clarification to me!

If you're interested in our texts, we're using Becoming a Titus 2 Woman as a general guide for our study. We're also using Susan Hunt's Spiritual Mothering and Women Helping Women as reference books.

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