Next month, the acting head of the Baptist Union of Western Australia will be coming to preach for us. Speaking with them at the annual pastor’s conference a few months ago, however, they told me they thought that only about 25% of Baptist churches in Western Australia would be open to the idea of them coming to preach. Why? Simply because the acting head is a woman.
Many Christians have been taught that the Bible rejects the idea of a woman having authority over a man. But is this actually what the Bible teaches? Jesus taught us to pray to our Father that His kingdom would come and that His will would be done here on earth as it is in heaven. But what is God’s will in this matter? Is it theological faithfulness to not allow women to teach men? Is allowing that a sign of the world’s ways of thinking creeping into our churches? Or is refusing women the right to teach or lead a sign that the world’s way of thinking has infected our churches? Is it theologically faithful to allow all Christians, regardless of their gender, to use their spiritual gifts to build and encourage the church?
This weekend, we’re going to be spending some time looking at one of the most important passages on this subject – 1 Corinthians 14. As we do so, we’ll discover the importance of working hard to discover exactly what the Bible says and means. The Bible was written for our benefit, but it wasn’t written to us. It was written to people in a different culture, with a different language, and a different shared social history to ours. As such, we have to translate not just the literal words, but also the cultural assumptions and ideas that are relied upon.
One of the benefits of looking at difficult passages such us this, is that we learn how to read the Bible better, so that we can discern God’s will and, with His help, seek to live according to it.
1 Corinthians 14:26-40