Thursday, July 3, 2014

Women Pastors And Galatians 3:28

This is not a post which makes a case for or against women pastors.  Not that I don't think scripture is clear on the matter, but I want to take a look at one favorite scripture used by some of my brethren who seem to be just as clear on the matter as I am, yet stand on the other side of the chasm.

Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  NASU
My point here is not to make a case for what this verse does mean, but to make a case for what it can't mean.  If we are going to approach scripture, we must approach it with consistent methods of interpretation, or hermeneutics.  We can't, for example, look at one passage written in the first century and dismiss it as pertaining only to first century culture, then use another scripture that can be applied to the same subject, and written in the same century, to make our case that the former ought to be dismissed.  Here is a case in point:
The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. (1 Cor 14:34-36 NASU)
On the one hand this passage is dismissed in our present day as a cultural issue of the first century.  OK, all well and good but we can't then look at another passage and interpret that passage as if it is timeless when applied to the same subject.  We must, it seems to me that logic would dictate, interpret these two passages in light of one another.  Either Paul was not making the case in Galatians 3:28, that he was wrong in 1st Corinthians, or, he was teaching two different and opposing truths in the same age.

There is a third choice that I can think of.  Paul could have been teaching one truth to one culture, Galatia, and another truth to another culture, Corinth.  But this choice is worse for this would imply that culture dictates the interpretation of scripture.  Western Culture, for example, has embraced homosexuality as righteous and good, and deems those who oppose it as wicked and evil.  If we were to buy into the "cultural-filter method of interpreting scripture, I must say, they would actually have a valid point.