Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Men and Women in Ministry

Anyone who was a teenager/young adult in the 90's would remember Pat on Saturday Night Live. We weren't sure if Pat was a she, he, or an it. The subtitle of the sketch was "Adventures in Androgyny." Androgyny is literally the combination of the Greek words for Man (andros) and Woman (gune, pron. goon-ay). In being both, someone is neither.

In a very challenging and timely book, Women's Ministry in the Local Church, Ligon Duncan and Susan Hunt attack the egalitarian approach to ecclesiastical androgyny.

We need to help Christian women appreciate the manifold areas of service that are open to them in the chrch and to equip them distinctively as women to fulfill their ministry. But this will never happen if our approach to discipleship in the church is androgynous - -that is, if it refuses to take into account the gender distinctives of the disciple. And it will never happen if we are not brave enough to address the Bible's teaching on male-female roles and functions in the home and church. (p. 38)

The standard egalitarian text that supposedly teaches that "a woman can do anything an unordained man can do" is Galatians 3.28
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
This passage in context is setting out the radically unified ontology of those who are in Christ Jesus. They have access to the gracious promises of God to Abraham and are marked as part of the visible covenant community via baptism (which in the Old Covenant, the sign was only placed upon males for obvious reasons.)

To do justice to our gender, as we must with Christ our Lord who was fully male though celibate living a life of deadly service for his Bride, we must disciple men and women to be Godly men and Godly women, not Godly Its (or as we joke at our house about non-anatomically correct mannequins, "smoothies").

The Bridegroom calls us to respond to him as a Bride. Husbands are called to die like the Bridegroom. Wives are called to live like the Bride. Single people are to be committed to the Lord, freed from the cares of pleasing a spouse. This could be called "Adventures in Particularity" living for Christ in "the state in which you were called." (1 Cor. 7)

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