Over the last two weeks, we have worked hard to understand what is universal and what is tied to a particular time and place from 1 Timothy 2: 8-15. Paul is writing to Timothy about how men and women should interact in the public worship assembly. Digging in to this passage has afforded us 2 helpful tools for studying the Bible:
- The Principle of History affirms that God always spoke his word in particular historical and cultural settings: the Ancient Near East (Egyptian, Hittite, Canaanite culture) is the background for Old Testament revelation, Palestinian Judaism is the background for the Gospels, and the Graeco-Roman world is the background for the rest of the New Testament. Every word was spoken in a cultural context. Our task in the 21st century is to ask which things were tied to that particular time and place and which are normative for all times and all places.
- The Principle of Harmony affirms that when God spoke these words, He did not contradict Himself. Thus, the conclusions we draw from reading 1 Timothy 2: 8-15 have to ‘harmonize’ withe what God teaches about the interaction between men and women in the rest of the Bible.
The passage is preached in 2 parts. Part 1 deals primarily with verses 8-10 and Part 2 gets in to the leadership and teaching roles of women that are discussed in verses 11-15. Feel free to offer comments or critique below!
In part 2, I attempt to concisely state my position on the leadership of women in the church. I include it here as a means to understand how I have chosen to lead Restoration.
I believe the Bible teaches that both men and women are given gifts by the Holy Spirit to equip the saints for the work of ministry and to build up the Body of Christ (Acts 2:17, Ephesians 4:13, Romans 12:3-8). The Bible teaches that the church is the household of God (Ephesians 2:19, 1 Peter 4:17). God has called men to have caring responsibility (AUTHORITY) for their household (Ephesians 5:22-23, Colossians 3:18, 1 Peter 3:1). Christ is the head of the household of God (the church) and He is the model for how men should have caring responsibility for the family household and for the church.
A church with hierarchical authority (that is, one with pastoral offices that submit to each other– such as presbyter to bishop) is best positioned to both have a male head of household AND to create an environment where women can flourish as leaders, teachers, and in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I believe the Bible teaches that women can be deacons, presbyters/pastors/priests, rectors, and bishops, serving under the authority of a male head of the church.
Restoration facilitates a monthly conversation for men called ManUp and a monthly conversation for women called Women Unscripted. ManUp meets tonight at 7pm for dinner and then a program start of 7:30 sharp. Women Unscripted meets next Tuesday (October 21) at 7:30pm. Both of these conversations are open to anyone. Bring a friend. These are issues that affect all of us, that can give us hope, that can stir up pain, that remind us of our need for a Savior who delivers us and offers the possibility of reconciled partnership in the Gospel.
Grateful to be in this with you,