Scripture: Romans 16:1-7; 1 Corinthians 14:33-36
This Sunday we continue with our new sermon series Parallax. A parallax comes from the Greek term parallaxis, which means alteration. The goal of this series is to explore how two different people can read the scripture and walk away with completely different interpretations of what it means. For this series, there will always be two pastors preaching about the same topic. This Sunday, Judy and I will be preaching about whether or not women should be allowed in worship.
The 1 Corinthians text is what has been used to silence women in the church. There is really no subtlety behind these verses where Paul tells women to be silent. But the context of the Corinthian church does matter to understand why Paul wrote those verses. From what we can tell, the church of Corinth was very diverse. It included people from a variety of different classes and backgrounds – wealthy and poor, free and slave, educated and non-educated. This diversity did not come without its problems because, as humans are apt to do, people began splitting into factions. Scholars believe that some of these factions were led by women who were speaking against Paul’s teachings, which may have inspired this verse on women.
What’s interesting about Paul’s letter to the church in Rome is that he never mentions women. That’s because women weren’t a problem for Paul at the church in Rome. In fact, Paul has nothing but good things to say about women in his letter to the Romans. What this shows us is that Paul is being inconsistent, which is something that we all do. We act differently around different sets of people, which raises an important question: can we really ever know what Paul truly thinks about women holding leadership positions in the church?
Judy and I will hopefully come to a conclusion about this issue during our sermon on Sunday. I hope that you can be there because it will be a good discussion. Everyone really enjoyed the sermon TC and I preached last week, I think you will enjoy this one as well. Have a great weekend and enjoy your time with family and friends!