Sermon Summary from Aug 23rd ), “Pastor Paul” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
A few years ago a daughter of the church decided with her fiancé that she could not be married in her home church because the pastor was a women! And I remember my Dad going back to his home church 35 years ago and disapproving of the woman pastor leading the service.
My Dad was born in 1915, he wasn’t ready for change. (He did admit she did a pretty good job.) But the other couple was born in the 80s (1980s). He was from a fundamentalist denomination that wouldn’t even allow women to usher. I would say they abused the Bible. (They’re now divorced. I think he abused her too.)
The passage in question (1 Ti 2:9-11 and one similar in 1 Cor), specify modes dress, ask for silence and prohibit teaching. They are abused by taking them out of their cultural context. (Do we demand inerrancy even out of context?) In addition, we do not look at the entire Bible? In other places Paul says, “when woman speak; when women prophesy.” We need to look deeper.
Further women are prominent leaders throughout the Bible: Rebekah, Deborah (a judge, leader of the whole nation), two women with books named for them, the prophetess Hulda whose proclamation change the course of Jewish history. And then in the New Testament, the women who followed Jesus were disciples without name. Lydia was the leader of the church in Philippi. Pricilla was prominent in Corinth and Ephesus. Jania was an Apostle!
Then the culture. Ephesus and Corinth were cities in shadow of Temples of love goddesses: Aphrodite and Artemus. The temples and their emissaries (the temple girls) dominated the culture. Do you suppose they wore braids and pearls? Do you suppose they were dominating? Do you suppose Paul’s instructions were that proper behavior was what they were not?
The final thing is that our God needs to look like Jesus, and our church like Jesus’ church. If it doesn’t we need to again look deeper. Paul’s message was simple and clear: Preach Christ and him crucified; and don’t get tangled up in word’s and myths. Let us keep and practice the faith as Paul calls us to do. Amen.