My head is spinning.
For nearly two months, I’ve given my precious reading and writing time over to studying for a course I’m taking through Moody Bible Institute. We’re considering the roles of women in the church. Specifically, is it Biblical for women to lead and teach a gathering where men are present?
What do you believe? What do I believe? I’ve asked myself that question over and over as I’ve bounced back and forth between books and essays written by both egalitarian (yes) and complementarian (no) pastors, teachers and writers.
As I said, my head is spinning. I thought I knew what I believed when I began tackling the assignments. I considered myself complementarian-turned-egalitarian as the course began, but now I’m not so sure. My fear is that I’m so loosely rooted in what I believe Scripture says (1Timothy 2, 1Corinthians 11, 2Corinthians 14) that I’ll continue swinging back and forth, depending on the last interpretation of Scripture that I read.
Because that’s precisely what I’ve been reading — interpretations. Translations, yes. Exegesis, of course. Traditions, certainly. Opinions, definitely.
So what do I believe today? I believe that I need to sit with the Word and prayerfully consider what God says to me. The truth is that none of us know without doubt what the inspired writings of Paul are telling us about a woman’s role in the church today. At least, that’s how I see it. Cultural influences, contradictions in the text and confusion about the source make it impossible for me (or any of us) to declare without a shadow of a doubt what exactly God meant when he gave the words to Paul.
I do know this: we are not condemned if we get it wrong. We’re only condemned when we know what is right and true, but turn to what is wrong and false. My study of the Scriptures on this topic has been guided by very intelligent, passionate human beings and that study has left me confused. So today, I’m going to the source alone. Just me and God. Past experience tells me He’ll show up and lead me toward a right understanding of His Word. At least right for me — I count on that.
(Thank you for letting me get this off my chest today. Please don’t preach at me or condemn me. We’re on this journey together.)
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
I wrote for five quick minutes today on the one-word prompt “believe.” I’ll do my best to write each day this month on other one-word prompts. For more essays by other writers and bloggers, drop by Five Minute Friday or visit Write 31 Days to jump in on the challenge to blog every day in October.
To read all of my posts in order, visit my Write 31 Days Page here.