Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thoughts on gender and authority in the church

only one man can lead the church. Jesus.

this has something to do with the order of creation, HE is the new adam

his bride should obey him by receiving his grace and gifts.

those gifts don't confer ontological status, but different gifts are given to the church through different people, and that is a good thing. That is, people, are equal, but different.

we complement each other, whether we are male or female

it is incredibly difficult to map current church practices onto 1st century practices, and so everybody has to do some hermeneutical wrangling when applying scripture today (there is no 'simple' reading, whatever anyone says, they are simply equivocating)

everybody is inconsistent at some point, you just have to figure it out in different contexts.

college lecturers who don't buy the 'equal but different (and we will tell you how you are different)' mantra should let rip a little more often on the people who push it, if only to get rid of crazy arguments from primogeniture and to expose unbiblical assumptions.

appeals to courage in the face of...(the nasty secularist world, or oppressive patriarchy) are attempts to bias a discussion by smearing anyone who disagrees with you. Your discussion is usually with other christians, not the world.
I believe we need to learn to love each other.


alison said...

This is very good thought provoking. I like this post.

Mike W said...

thanks alison, you should start submitting some of you posts to eternity magazine, like your latest one on the stolen generation. You are a very readable writer.

Mike Bull said...

There is no simple reading, but one is far simpler than the other. So simple in fact that church maintained the same practice for 1800 years.

Our bodies are still symbols. They point to the spiritual realities more than ever, not less.

Mike W said...

Hi mike,
sure, some readings are simpler than others. Still, what we call preaching, gathering,teaching, prophecy, leading and even church are likely to be different to their meaning in 1st C palestine.
That doesn't lead automatically to any position on womens ministry. But once you figure out what the texts are saying, you then have to figure out how that applies to our current practices as a whole

Mike Bull said...

Check this out, from Doug's new book:

"Traditionalists are fighting a rear-guard action, trying to keep women out of a post that they clearly more qualified for than men are. Feelings can run high in the debate, but the debate is essentially over whether men only or women and men both should occupy the post of an essentially feminized office. If anyone has the temerity to suggest that we return to the older view of a genuinely masculine office, then both sides in the contemporary debate will stare at him aghast. And it will remain this way so long as girly-men complementarians persist in trying to keep girly women from getting their share of the effeminate action. Because of how we have been backed into a corner, the egalitarians have a real point if they were to say that exclusion of women from ministerial office is arbitrary. When we think of how the modern ministerial call is defined, it is arbitrary, but if we recognize that the Word of God not only excludes women from becoming women ministers, but also excludes men from becoming women ministers as well, we will be on the road to recovery" (Why Ministers Must Be Men, p. 43).