Friday, June 28, 2013

Women in the Assembly and 1 Corinthians 11 and 14


Many women’s roles discussions hinge on what to do with 1 Corinthians chapters 11 and 14.  They each say something about male spiritual leadership, and they each say something about women’s roles in light of that reality.  But at first glance, they seem contradictory, leading some people to feel like they must alter the natural understanding of one or the other.  My best understanding, however, is that there is a way to understand both to mean exactly what they say, without having to strain the language of either passage.  Unfortunately, not understanding how they could fit together has led some churches to almost entirely dismiss some very clear teachings of Scripture, based on what I believe is a not-so-great-rationale, but I’ll explain that as we go along.  First, the issue itself…

1 Corinthians 11:5 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35


The first part of 1 Corinthians chapter 11 discusses male spiritual “headship,” and says that women were supposed to wear head coverings to show that men were the spiritual leaders of the church.  We don’t entirely understand the head covering issue, and most people understand it to have had a cultural meaning in those days that Paul was encouraging them to acknowledge and uphold.  Maybe we’ll try to figure the head covering thing out another time.  But for now, notice what it says women were to do:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

If You Teach Obedience in Details,

Does That Mean You Are Legalistic?


Every now and then I hear someone say something like: “That church is legalistic, they’ve got all these details about what is right and wrong.” 

I sometimes hear this accusation about churches of Christ.  Churches of Christ are more detailed than most religious people about what they believe is right and wrong, so they must be legalistic, or so they say.  I’m not so sure that logic is correct.  In fact, it’s my experience that most “religious people” tend to confuse legalism and obedience, thinking they are one and the same.  Biblically, they are not. 

So does a pursuit of detailed obedience mean you are legalistic?