“Old School” Church Bashing to “New School” Church Acceptance
As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. I Corinthians 14:34
Submission in the kingdom of God is by “choice”; submission according to the world’s view is by “force”. The Church has majored in “forcing” their women into submission for centuries, and the Jewish culture’s perspective even goes back further. Paul, once Saul, the Pharisee of Pharisees, falls back into his pharisaical past by quoting “as the Law says” to justify his judgment. Paul, what happened to the “grace” of Jesus Christ? The “living” Jesus always extended “grace” rather than “judgment”; ask the woman caught in adultery, the woman at the well, the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, Mary Magdalene, and so many more recorded in the four gospels… gosh, they were all women who were extended grace.
What happens if the Holy Spirit decides to use “women” in its next movement of God? He has used them in the past! Acts 2:17-18 records the prophecy found in Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. You sons and daughters will prophesy…. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
Christ’s Time: It amazes me that we, men, fail to recognize that in Christ’s time it was the women who had faith in the resurrection while the men doubted the resurrection’s validity having to “see it to believe it” (Mark 16:11, Luke 24:10-11); that women had hearts of a servant while the men argued over authority rather than servanthood (Mark 11:35-37); women were forgiven and free to forgive (Luke 8:1-3) while men judged rather than forgive (Luke 8:36-39). It was the Sanhedrin’s duty to pressure a women “suspected of unfaithfulness” to confess, then stone her, yet Jesus “forgave” a women “caught in adultery” eliminating every male from throwing stones at her.
Men, why are we still throwing stones at our women when Jesus forbad the practice centuries ago? “He who is without sin” may throw the first stone. Jesus, a sinless man, has been the only male to qualify, yet he chose “grace” over “judgment”. If we are men of God, followers of Jesus Christ, then we should follow his lead and drop our stones and pick up our women in grace and acceptance.
20th Century: In a country where culturally women are “forbidden” to lead, South Korea, Pastor Cho finds himself in a dilemma for his men are not responding to the Holy Spirit’s call for small group leadership in his local church, but the women do! They start leading “small home groups” and the church explodes to over 750,000 people attending just one church! I wonder how many of his peers quoted I Corinthians 14:34 to him then? He became a model for “mega-church” growth!
21st Century: The “twenty-teeners”, as I call them, those who will be active in the Church in their twenties & thirties during the years of 2013-2019, communicate horizontally. Going through the hierarchical structure of “authority” and “rule” does not impress them, nor influence them. Papers and church rulings over procedural positions passed at church conferences or handed down from men in high church positions is superfluous to them. They see Christianity from a horizontal prospective of relationships (I John 3:16) rather than a vertical prospective of authority by position. They see that we are not only to be “hearers of the Word”, but “doers” and recognize and follow the “doers”, not the talkers or dictators. They don’t care the sex, race, social position, or occupation of the “doer”, but they just recognize and respect him/her for “doing”. This is a different mind set for the establish church. The “twenty-teeners” look at pyramidal structure as “Egyptian” and relational structure as “kingdom of God”. If forced to choose, they will choose horizontal relationships.
21st Centuries view of women: If the “twenty-teeners” look horizontally then “authority” by position becomes a nonentity. Who cares about “positions of authority”? If women are serving, they are servants. If they have a following horizontally through relationships, then they are leaders because, by definition, a leader is only a leader if someone is following them. I “follow” several Christian women who “blog”, so by definition, they are leading me, challenging me, prying me, prodding me along through Christian dialogue, sharing their faith journey with mine. There is no “authority” question in their blogs. By blogging on the internet, they are no longer in a “church building”, so by I Corinthians 14:34 standards, they don’t have to be quiet and only allow their husbands to blog. Like in Jesus’ time here on earth, they still have faith, still serve, still financially support, and still forgive and tell it through their faith stories, their journals of their faith journeys, their blogs.
Today: Today’s Christian women “chooses” to “submit”, give of herself, to her husband, her Christian and non-Christian friends with whom she has built a relationship out of her relationship with Jesus Christ, not out of the bondage of authoritative hierarchical dictatorial authority from men cramming I Corinthians 14 down her throat, not as her peer or even friend, but as a power move of authority. Church, when the winds of revival blow, the “old school” bashings need to stop, stone throwing must cease, and we must yield to grace through our relationship with Jesus Christ. “He who is without sin, throw the first (I Cor. 14:34) stone……”