January 13, 2016 at 12:27 am #4814
Jack Exum JrParticipant
Probably not without a “riot.” Women preaching?! “Outrageous!” “Un-Scriptural” “It ain’t gonna happen here!”
Well, this article is NOT promoting women preaching. No that was not a disclaimer. The matter is, I am uncomfortable with the idea myself. But, perhaps if we had some unbiased, decent, unemotional re-study of the matter…willing to simply go where the Scriptures lead, instead of just “writing the whole idea off” along with those who speak of it. A better attitude and openness to study or re-study this “issue,” and others as well might just be helpful in preserving unity in a bond of peace.
What do I mean? Well, I think this is not the only “issue” which the body of Christ is facing. However, I do believe that we cannot continue to face “issues” with the “hair trigger” divide and dis-fellowship idea on our minds as being our first move. This attitude simply shuts people up, and hinders open Bible study, who would ask honest questions and who seek to understand God’s Word more fully.
We are blessed with more Colleges, and Universities, Preacher Schools around the country and these Colleges and Universities are hiring scholars with a lot of time invested in studying Bible background, Bible cultures, and original languages of the Scriptures. Perhaps they might have more information, helpful information to help us all. Perhaps we just need to encourage an atmosphere of “let’s study together!”
Just because we have always taught this or that, may not be enough as far as reasoning is concerned, to answer the questions of sincere, truth searching brethren.
Yet without a willingness to sit down and examine these things, we will chase good people away with them thinking, “they are not even willing to study.” Without a willingness to sit and study, We will continue to be defined as divisive people, with more and more dissatisfaction within our ranks.
I was always taught that “truth has nothing to fear.” Why then do we act like we do? Why it is a “no-no” to “search the Scriptures” or for brethren in our Bible Classes to ask questions.
If someone says “I have done some in-depth studies and learned that we may have been wrong on this or that… What should we do? If what we have traditionally believed something, and we find that Scriptures don’t uphold our tradition, what should we do?
On the other hand, what if (as I believe they do) the Scriptures teach women may not preach because of what Paul says in I Timothy 2.9 or I Corinthians 14.34-35), then it is on the other person’s shoulders to prove their point Scripturally. Not only this, but the one believing something unsupportable by Scriptures should then be willing to accept that and conform to what Scriptures teach and be thankful for the help, without causing splits or division within the church. If the traditional belief is proven false, then we should rejoice in learning the truth more correctly and be equally willing to change and be grateful.
Consider Aquila and Priscilla. They approached Apollos with the gentle spirit, not in an attempt to publicly embarrass him, since he was teaching the baptism of John. If he simply refused to accept what they said then he would have been wrong. However, when they approached him with the attitude they did, took him aside and studied the Scriptures with him, taught “more perfectly” about Jesus and the new birth, his attitude was… “Thank you!” Thus they helped an already great preacher, become even more effective.
Do we know everything there is about the Scriptures? Is there nothing more to be learned from advances in archeology, or discoveries of new manuscripts, which hopefully will be discovered? Shall we not rather have the attitude of those who “searched the Scriptures daily to see if those things are true” growing and learning together?
I guess this article is calling for more of the Aquila and Priscilla attitude. A better attitude and willingness to sit and study and even publish deeper studies done on these things instead of just digging in our heals and refusing to even study with each other. If we disagree with each other.. keep studying, keep searching. You don’t have to agree with me, nor I with you, but we are blood bound to love and respect each other as brethren.
Are the churches of Christ in for some kind of “revolution?” I hope not. Are the churches of Christ doomed to divide until we can barely keep the doors open? I pray not.
Keep on growing in grace!
What indeed defines us?
February 26, 2016 at 6:36 pm #4971
My change of mind on this topic came about quite unexpectedly. I am confident in my understanding on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so there is nothing vague or ambiguous about that understanding I say the presence of the Spirit was palpable as I began my reading about eight years ago. It was uneasy, but I was mindful that understanding, accepting and doing the will of the Lord has little or nothing to do with whether or like it or it feels good. My crucifixion with Christ, as an example, is a daily living reminder of that reality.
What I was led to understand is how much of my/our study is based on a verse here, a verse there and forever remain oblivious to Artemis. Yahweh was to the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea what Artemis was to the Gentiles in Ephesus and Asia. Paul wrote five of his letters to individuals and churches in Asia, seven if we include Titus in Crete where his and Timothy’s ministry battle was fought under the shadow of the temple of the female goddess Artemis. How major was the focus of the Holy Spirit this work that Paul himself was twice prohibited from proclaiming Jesus in northern Asia no differently than he gave instruction for the women to be silent. We are correct, even if we do not examine it, that the prohibition on Paul of proclaiming Jesus is never said to have been removed. Yet, how do we so blithely assume that the same was not so with respect to our sisters too?
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