Summary: Are their differences between men and women and do those differences matter in the church
Men and women – Equal but Different?
We live in an age where merely recognizing differences in people can sometimes be interpreted as discrimination.
Since the 1960’s it has been unlawful in the workplace to discriminate based upon race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
While that is good, and I don’t really know anyone who desires to discriminate, it is a much more difficult thing to put into practice in regards to not discriminating based upon sex.
Police fitness standards
For instance, is it discrimination to have one standard of physical fitness to be a police officer?
Most of us would say no. Until that is if in practice, that standard eliminated nearly all women from being police officers. Then there might be those who complain.
But what if different standards were made for men and women.
Would that be discrimination against men if women had a lower standard?
What if we eventually came up with standards where the exact proportion of the population was represented as police officers? Would that be free from discrimination?
But then let me ask you, who would you want coming to rescue you from a mugger?
A woman who had become a police officer because she had to be able to bench press less weight, do fewer sit ups, run at a slower pace than a man?
We all know that generally, there are anatomical differences between men and women, but where does it become discrimination and where is it just a matter of design that determines the role a person should play?
This question has been Hot to handle for a long time and I don’t expect it will change after today’s message, but we are going to attempt to tackle the issue of Men and Women and the roles we play by asking the question
Should the differences between men and women play a part in determining what role a person may play in the home or church?
Are men and women equal or are they different or can we be both equal and different and does that play a part in determining our role in the home and church?
This is by no means just some theological debate because it has very really effects on our daily life in the home and in the church depending on what we believe about this issue.
So let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about Men and women, our differences and our roles.
First, we need to understand that the Bible teaches that even though we have been created different,
Men and Women have Equal Worth
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Men and women have been created in the image of God and because of that are valuable in God’s sight.
Today, in the Christian community, except for some possibly fringe element, nobody will disagree with that. Everyone recognizes the intrinsic worth of all human beings, both men and women.
Unfortunately, however, whether or not people would acknowledge that, it has not always been practiced. Women historically have often been treated as inferior to men.
In Old Testament times, a common prayer among Jewish men would be,
“Thank you God that I am not a Gentile, a slave or a woman”
The Bible does not support the view that women are inferior in worth to men. They have been
created in the image of God like a man and
are valuable to Him
and to treat them as property or as something less than a man, is a sin that demeans the image of God.
Our God is a great God and has created nothing that bears His image as inferior.
Women have equal worth in the eyes of God and are valuable to Him and should be valuable to us just as any human being should be.
The Bible also teaches that
Men and Women have Equal Giftings
That means that every gift of the Holy Spirit is available to both men and women
When Paul writes to the Corinthians he does not indicate a difference for men or women in receiving gifts of the Holy Spirit.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.