Saturday, July 26, 2014

Gender Equality

by Gregory A. Johnson Jesus' day and the days of the early Pauline church, women were not recognized or treated much better than animals. There are still parts of this world where women are not allowed to get an education, vote, or even drive a car.

The apostle Paul taught that women were to be silent in the church and could not hold some leadership positions. In the early Pauline church, women would sit on one side of the church and men on the other. I love the apostle Paul, and I believe his writings are inspired of God. He is one of my heroes of the faith, but I must take my understanding of his teachings within the boundaries of the teachings and actions of Jesus. If I do that, I can properly interpret the Scriptures. If I don't do that, my theology will become unbalanced and the result will not look like the Kingdom according to Jesus.

Throughout church history, the male-dominated leadership of the church has ignored the words and actions of Christ when it comes to gender and has utilized the teachings of Paul outside of the boundaries of what Christ taught and did. Church doctrine and policies were developed and practiced over the centuries that have been discriminatory of women. Things are better than they have been in the past and some churches and denominations do better than others, but there is still room for improvement. Gender equality must spread through the church house, flowing outward into the community and the workplace. How can we ever expect gender equality in the community and workplace if it is not found within the church?

There is gender equality in the Kingdom.

Excerpted from the book, The Kingdom According to Jesus by Gregory A. Johnson. Copyright © by Gregory A. Johnson. All rights reserved.

Know that you are loved,