Society of Siblings

Meredith and I came to the Truitt Memorial Baptist Church in 2002. The weekend I was called to serve as pastor was full of activities and meetings. Saturday night was given to a town hall style meeting where congregants were given the chance to ask any question they wanted. I was literally interviewed by the whole church. One of the theological questions I was asked was about women in ministry. I later found out that a number of church members came from Penetcostal backgrounds that allowed women to serve at all levels of church life, a few even had "preaching grandmothers." I told the church then what I believe now. I think that scripture allows for the full participation of women in ministry. I have never pushed this belief as an "issue" as our entire church can attest. I don't even use the term egalitarian to describe myself. I have not come to this conclusion from a liberal perspective. You may describe it as a Holiness/Pentecostal/Sandy Creek Baptist perspective if you must label it.

In preaching through Romans 16 Sunday night I was called on to share my heart on this issue again. At the very least Romans 16 and a truckload of other biblical passages should give pause to the complementarians that so easily decare "what the bible teaches" on this issue. They can, for sure, offer an additional list that causes me to hold my position with humility. We all should embrace an irenic spirit because this issue is not a matter of dogma.

Charles Talbert of Baylor University (his father pastored FBC Pearl for a number of years) made some comments about this issue that I think are golden. I want to offer them to you for your consideration -

At the same time that one acknowledges the involvment of women in ministry in earliest Christianity, it is important to note that for Paul the offosite of partiarchy was not egalitarianism but something else! Paul's vision was for a society of siblings in which only God was called Father, in which there were differences among members and in which each family member used his or her strengths to enrich the quality of life in the family of God. Within such a family, contributions were not determined by one's sex, one's ecomonic status, or one's race. They were determined by the "measure of faith/responsibility/trust" (Rom 12:3b) God assigned to each. Within such a family, the measure of responsibility assigned by God as a gift of grace was not aimed to enhance the recipient's status but to build up to community. Egalitarianism is based on rights possessed, just deserts to be received, and aims at the enhancement of the status of the one who possesses such rights and who is granted such just deserts. The family of God is based on God's gracious gifts to each of His children regardless of sex, status, or race, which gifts are to be used for the enchancement of others. Egalitarianism is based on power! Christian community is based on human transformation by divine agency: on God's enablement of our transcending our Adamic nature.

1 comment:

Rick said...

Testosterone is not a spiritual gift.

Rick

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