Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Women in Leadership = Slavery???

A very brand new reader of this blog recently asked: 
Women in leadership and slavery are very similar subjects. If we can on the basis of two scriptures forbid women from assuming leadership roles, can we on the basis of Paul REGULATE slavery?
The statement that "women in leadership and slavery are similar subjects" is not only false but it is quite misleading. There is absolutely no sane similarity between a slave living his/her life away in drudgery, and a woman fulfilling the duties of mayor of a city, a position that she was elected to do. The entire thing is illogical.

Is this writer is trying to compare carrots and cows because both are found in a field? His comparison of them tells me that since they were both found in the bible and they are both in epistles from Paul they must be inexorably tied to each other. I write a lot about things I find in the bible, but in other venues I write about railroad history, does that rock solid connection mean that railroad history can be found in the bible?

Paul's letters to Timothy spoke of not putting women in a position of teaching men are just one part of his instructions on how a congregation is to conduct itself. Not how society is governed but how the body of Christ worships their savior. There is nothing that says or implies "This is how the secular world must operate in their mundane affairs." It is clear this person was reading 1 Timothy 2:12, taken out of context, because that's the only way one can come up with a meaning that they chose to assign to it. 

Clearly some people don't like Paul's admonishment that women are not to teach men when in worship. The word Paul used that we translate to "man" is "anēr" (ἀνήρ) which can mean man, men, husband, male fiance, group of men, or even a group of people which includes men and women.  (Kind of like the word "man" is used to day. Stunning.) Since Paul is speaking of group worship I'm going to assume that he means all of these definitions of ἀνήρ, and because I am not God's editor (I'm his worshiper) I will use all those definitions too because this entire chapter is instructions for a congregation to conduct themselves. 

As for slavery, there's no hint anywhere in the bible that says the church or a congregation would hold slaves. The bible does not discuss the legality of slavery, in fact, many members of the congregations that Paul taught were slaves. As a whole, all true Christians ARE SLAVES to Christ so I guess in a theological matter slavery is not only condoned, it's expected - spiritual and emotional slavery to Christ that is, not chattel slavery to another man

In the mundane world slavery not a church matter. Back then it was the law of the land and nowhere in the bible does it say that Christians are above the law of the land. You may want to review Romans 13:1-7 before you argue that point.

The only thing that I can assume is a bit of confusion on the part of the questioner about what Paul said about slavery. Many people assume that the church endorses slavery because they are given a verse out of context and either make that assumption or are told to make that assumption. When looking at a verse you want to use to advance or condemn a point you should really read 20 verses before and after that single verse you want to use. 

Many people gasp and say that Colossians 4:1 approves of slavery, but if you go and read the entire paragraph, Colossians 3:18-25 and Colossians 4:1, you will see that it gives instructions on how Christians should act as Husband, Wife, Child, Servant, and Master. How people should act and treat each other. The same is true with Ephesians 6:5, which is also a cudgel that is often used as a weapon against the church when one wants to claim that the Church is pro-slavery. 

Of course the reader was probably thinking of the racial slavery conducted for two centuries by the US and Europe, I don't know if he was thinking about the horrific sex slavery trade that is rampant all over the world or the slavery that is practiced among radical Muslims, nor did he mention that Islam allows slavery. Isn't that a wonder. I have actually met slaves, men who are imprisoned by economic skulduggery on the part of their employers and were working hard to buy their way back home to their families.

In the mean time we should pray for those that fall prey to those that misconstrue the bible and try to pass off false messages as truth. Be The Berean!

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