Friday, January 20, 2017


Scripture teaches the legitimacy of role distinctions, even within the Trinity:

·       But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3 ESV)

This doesn't mean that the Father is greater than the Son or even that He is more important. This merely means that there are role distinctions.

It should also be obvious that there are role distinctions between parents and their children. This doesn't mean that God loves parents more than children, but that He has designated parents as authorities over children.

Likewise, there are role distinctions between elders and congregants and even between wives and their husbands:

·       Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:22-25)

Likewise, the Bible prescribes role distinctions between male and female within the church:

·       Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (1 Timothy 2:11-14)

This distinction is not grounded in the alleged unruly behavior of certain women but, instead, in both the creation order and in the Fall.

Paul even specified that this distinction applied to all the churches:

·       As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. (1 Corinthians 14:33-35)

Nevertheless, there is room for interpretive disagreement about the meaning of "keep silent." Perhaps, it only applied to contentious talk? Certainly, it was permissible for women to pray and sing in church, and even to prophesy.

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