The Gospels reveal that Jesus emancipated first-century women from second-class citizenship in God’s Kingdom; he challenged the dominant culture of his day and overturned the accepted interpretations of the Hebrew Scriptures.
For Jesus, we see in the Gospels that his radical inclusion of women and his elevation of their status in society was in keeping with his overarching ministry to defeat Satan and heal the destructive consequences of the Fall.
So why have so many in the church failed to accept women as equals? Is this really a conservative versus progressive issue? And what about those restrictive verses in Paul’s letters (1 Cor 14:34-35; 1 Tim 2:11-15)? Did the Apostle Paul believe and teach in accordance with Jesus and his example?
A couple weeks ago I preached a message entitled, It’s A Woman’s World… Too: A Christ-Centered Case for Women in Ministry.
This message has seen more traffic than I usually get with sermons, so I thought I’d post it to the blog for those who are interested.
Click here for sermon audio and link to slides.
Here are a few excerpts from the message:
“When we look at the ancient world of the Scriptures, whether we are talking about ethno-centric theology (racism), the evil institution of slavery, or the oppressive view of women in a male-dominated society, the clear trajectory set forth by Jesus and the apostles (particularly Paul) is one of liberation and equality. I think this is an important point that antagonistic Bible skeptics and extreme feminists need to understand about the New Testament. Both Jesus and Paul see themselves making all things new in the midst of a fallen humanity that is in full stride with practices that don’t line up with God’s original design for creation.”
“We would do well to look not for those things in the NT that reflect first-century patriarchal society, but those places where Jesus and Paul are breaking from the norm and patiently infusing the leaven of the Gospel into what were already accepted social structures.”
“So, the trajectory of freedom is there, if you’re paying attention to the original context. Then you can see the raging current of equality that Jesus began in his life and ministry.”
It’s a Woman’s World… Too
(last preached on November 26, 2017)
D.D. Flowers, 2016.
June 20th, 2016 at 8:56 pm
Amen, brother! Also, in light of that Jewish prayer that Paul probably prayed before his conversion, it is interesting to note that the church at Philippi began with a slave (girl), a Gentile (jailor) and a woman (Lydia).
June 20th, 2016 at 10:42 pm
Right on. Thanks, Rich!
June 20th, 2016 at 10:49 pm
Great presentation; you represent! I wish more people were aware of the realities and truths you point out here.