Summary: This sermon discusses the different roles assigned to men and women in the church and explores the biblical basis for those roles.
A. Phyllis Trible wrote an article titled, “If the Bible’s So Patriarchal, How Come I Love It?”
1. In the article she recalls a story from her childhood when a woman missionary came and taught her Sunday School class.
2. The missionary was teaching the girls about the creation account and was helping the girls notice that everything God created got better and better and more refined and more sophisticated as each day of creation progressed.
3. Then the woman missionary asked the girls, “What was the last thing God created?”
4. Immediately, in unison and with much vigor the girls said, “Man!”
5. The teacher gently corrected them, “No, the last thing God created was woman!”
B. In recent years, there has been a liberation movement in all churches, including churches of Christ.
1. The liberation has to do with the role of women in the church.
2. Proponents of this movement labels as sexist any attempt to differentiate between the roles of men and women.
3. People who hold this view promote a doctrine of sameness in which women should be allowed to exercise the exact authority as men and hold any position a man can hold.
4. This movement has called for a reinterpretation of the Bible and in some cases a rejection of any part of the Bible that is Patriarchal (families, groups or governments lead by men) or misogynistic (a hatred of women).
5. Sadly, some have even rejected the Genesis account of creation because they can’t believe in a God who would create men first and women second.
6. That’s why I really liked the story I opened with which suggests that God’s creation of things were in a positive progression culminating with God’s final and finest creation…woman!
C. Ultimately, what matters is not what you or I think about this subject, but what God thinks about it.
1. That’s why it is so important for us to look to the Bible and allow it to say what it says about this subject, whether we like it or not.
2. So, what does the Bible teach about the roles of men and women in the church? That’s what I want us to consider today.
3. In all honesty, I can’t provide an exhaustive answer to that question in one sermon, but I want to give us an overview of what the Bible says, and then look at two primary NT texts.
I. A Biblical Overview
A. First of all, the Bible reveals that God has created both men and women in His image.
1. The Bible says: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen. 1:27).
B. Second, the Bible makes it clear that all who are in Christ are equal in value and spiritual benefits.
1. The Bible says: 26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26-28)
2. This is a favorite verse for those who push for removal of a differentiation of gender roles.