These are some of this “issues” with which I have been wrestling for a while:
- Why are we so inconsistent in our teachings and practices on certain issues?
- We say women cannot speak in the “formal” assembly, yet they can say whatever is on their mind in Bible class or devotionals – neither of which are biblically authorized. So they can speak in mixed company about spiritual things in a classroom in the same building, on the same day, just at a different time – then a bell rings, we switch rooms, and suddenly they can’t do a thing?
- Why do we say that women can’t pass communion? They can sit in the pew and pass it to the person next to them – no problem. But is it suddenly taking a position of authority for them to stand in the aisles and pass it? Seriously?
- Why can women not say public prayers? If someone is praying in front of a group, they don’t have absolute authority over anyone. We have our own power to change the words of someone else’s prayers – we can choose to agree or disagree.
- At the same time that we say women can’t pray publicly, we sing many popular songs written by Fanny Crosby, Twila Paris, and others, and we have absolutely no problem with that.
- Why do certain people feel that God is pleased with one set way of worshiping Him? What if we do, indeed, have more liberty to express our love and devotion to Him than we typically think?
- I think that maybe certain leaders in our churches are guilty of the very same sins of which the Pharisees were guilty – being white-washed tombs, binding heavy loads on all their followers, calling things sins which are neither condemned nor condoned by God in scripture, tithing of mint, dill, and cumin, but neglecting the greater things of the law – love, mercy, grace.
- Why are we so obsessed with getting to heaven? Wasn’t the whole point of Jesus’ ministry to bring heaven here through the work of his followers?
- I think that instead of using the word “Christian” as an adjective, we should use “Christ-like”. A lot of things would change.
- Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. What if the same applies to the church? Maybe the church was made for man, not man for the church.
- And finally, to quote the brilliant author, AW Tozer: “If you are not seeking the kingdom first, you are not seeking it at all.”
i often feel the same way and want to know how to fix everyone so they we can all just get along.more thoughts here:http://kateel.blogspot.com/2008/06/above-all-love-each-other-deeply.htmlkeep challenging the conventional and traditional but \”above all, love\”1 Peter 4:8
You forgot to mention…Often we sing songs with a female lead or solo part where after the song leader starts the song, he drops out, leaving only the females of the congregation singing. As long as a male starts the song, this is deemed acceptable even at many \”conservative\” congregations.
By the way… Have you heard the story from Dr. Monte Cox about the elders of a group in Africa?They were trying to decide how to distribute the communion, and decided that the kids should do it so that all the adults could partake fully. They also met to take communion about 30 minutes earlier than the worship service so that any visitors wouldn\’t be confused by the ritual.I would challenge anyone to prove that this wasn\’t also scriptural.
I agree that the Church does not have everything right all the time and that there are some issues that we should study more closely to the point of change. But, there are some notable flaws in some of your statements.Women, according to scripture, can not lead public prayer.I Timothy 2:8 – I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting Scripture then goes on to say in verses 11 and 12 of the same chapter,Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.I Corinthians 13:34, 35 – Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.God’s issue with women leading public prayer is not only focused on the authority, but also that women are to keep silent. Public prayer is not silence.Also, you stated, “Wasn\’t the whole point of Jesus\’ ministry to bring heaven here through the work of his followers?”Christ’s teachings always focused on ‘the kingdom of Heaven.’ Our ultimate goal is Heaven, it is our aim and focus. Treasures in Heaven not treasures on earth is our attitude.Luke 12:51 – Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. One last point, never seek God or the Church for what they can do for you but rather how you may serve them. When we serve the Church and God we then gain the greatest blessings.
Kyle, Thank you for simultaneously not listening to me at all and proving the points I was trying to make.Those verses you quoted from 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians – did you think that I didn\’t know those? Those were the exact verses I was referencing. I was merely stating the inconsistency in letting women speak their mind in Bible class or Sunday school (neither of which are biblically authorized…sounds like the same argument used against other church practices) yet we disallow them to speak in the \”formal\” assembly which is in the same building on the same day among the same people. I just find that inconsistent.I won\’t even get started on how Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:5 says, \”Every woman who prays and prophesies…\” Nor will I begin to try and explain that \”silent\” also means quiet, or peaceable, and is commanded of the men as well as the women (1 Timothy 2:2).I will also not take this time to explain how the \”kingdom of heaven\” is here and now. It is also \”there\” and \”later.\” If you have trouble understanding that I will try and explain it as well as I can in another post.But for now, I just want to make it perfectly clear that if you continue to listen to people with the sole purpose of finding something wrong, you will succeed every time – and you will get so caught up in finding the bad that you will completely miss the beauty and truth which so easily eludes those who are looking at trees instead of the forest.Please, for the sake of God and Christ and your fellow Christians, please realize that you must not take it upon yourself to prove everyone wrong. If you keep that mentality you will end up the most correct yet most unsatisfied man in the world.
Dan…I\’m glad you\’re thinking and questioning these traditions. They\’re the same questions I\’ve had over the years, especially whenever I moved to a new congregation. You\’ll find when you leave the Harding bubble that you may have even fewer choices of places to worship, especially if you want to get a job at one specific congregation. Just remember what Mom always says, \”It\’s not up to the preacher, song leader, or that nay-sayer legalist sitting down the pew from you… to make sure you worship God.\” I also look to my husband as a spiritual guide on what is proper. Just make sure you are being that for your wife too. She\’ll need it if ever anyone questions her actions.