Priscilla speaks. Was she in the right? Or was one of the most influential couples in Paul’s ministry circle also living in sin?
I believe God answers this question in a dynamic way. How could he not? His answer and clarity for the purpose of women must battle severe aggression, pagan disdain, and thousands of years of sin corrupting the image of God in men and women as individuals and consequently in marriage as well. If his message must be this powerful then it cannot be hard to find, and here is where I feel that my reasoning differs so strongly from many evangelical Christians. The “issue” of women in leadership, women in ministry or equality in marriage cannot be as complicated as it has been made out for God is not the author of confusion. But if his answer to my question about Priscilla is clear and easy to understand then you might wonder why we have missed it.
Often the simplest answers are the most easily ignored and overlooked. Augustine wrote volumes on these topics, pastors and theologians have wrestled with it for decades, wives and mothers and daughters have wrestled with it, and what has resulted? The oppression of women still reigns powerfully all over the world and men continue to struggle with their masculinity in a search for strength without fear and tenderness without being insulted for it. Recall, that we have an Enemy. This Enemy’s sole purpose is to corrupt the image of God in humanity and doom us to eternal separation from our Creator and Caregiver. God, however, has given us a powerful weapon, a tool of great depth but also great of simplicity if we can bring ourselves to look at it, to take captive our thoughts and hold them true to the plumbline of scripture.
In order tofollow my reasoning you must be open to the pure and unadulterated simplicity of Scripture and endeavor not to complicate it by adding ideas which are not present in the context, or by focusing on the theology rather than fact. The latter of these is all too easy to fall prey to in our thoughts. Fight against it and ask yourself again and again, “What does it SAY”. Not what does it mean or what did God intend. STOP, and allow yourself to consider first and foremost just what it says. From this position we can then reason forward and establish for this and MANY other points what are the commands, intentions and character of God. With that I’ll lay before you my plumbline from Genesis 1 & 2 on the image of God in humanity.
(Continued this week in Priscilla Speaks part 3: A Counterpart for the Dirt Man. Read ahead in Genesis 1 & 2 to prepare!).
(photo’s courtesy of Church Whisperer and Featurepics.com)