As I was saying yesterday, even though all scripture is truth and good for doctrine, it is true and binding for only those for whom it is intended. For instance, before Abraham, no one was circumcised. The Church, after the fifteenth chapter of the Book of Acts, does not require it either. In fact, it was not intended for the Church Age at all, but it took the early Christians a while to "come up to speed." Circumcision was a requirement for the fourth and fifth dispensations, both having to do with the Jews. The fourth was the Dispensation of Promise, which began with Abraham, and the fifth was the Dispensation of the Law which began with Moses. The Church, the sixth and a separate dispensation, is not bound by the Mosaic Law.
We are not bound by the customs of previous societies either. Our weddings and funerals do not follow those of the Jews during the time of Christ. Our church services do not divide men and the women. There is no mention of musical instruments in the early Church. We do not meet daily, nor do we "break bread from house to house." There are no Apostles. The Bible is complete and in the vernacular. There are some who are opposed to women wearing pants because they are commonly viewed as man's clothing, but men did not wear pants in the first century either. In fact, many of the customs which we as Americans hold as binding are not practiced in other cultures today. And yet, Christians from those cultures are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit as are we.
I find it ironic that the Apostle Paul, who spent a great deal of time challenging those who insisted upon following the traditions and laws of the Jews, would be the one we quote in supporting our "new traditions." Nevertheless, his writings are Scripture (2 Pet. 3:15-16). Before I try to present my view on women in the Church and their ministry, I need to address "the slippery slope." People think that if they give in on issue A, it will lead to issues B, C, etc. eventually being changed as well. Pro-abortionists believe if we succeed in prohibiting partial-birth abortion, eventually all abortion would be outlawed (as it should be - it is murder of a life God has created). Parents are reluctant to add time to their child's curfew for a "really good reason," because there are sure to be many more "really good reasons" in the future. I remember one church forbidding a woman from passing out bulletins because eventually, she would want to be a deacon - hard to believe, but true. The "slippery slope argument" should not be considered when deciding an issue. Each issue should be debated based upon its own merit.
In beginning to address a woman's place in the Body of Christ, one needs to begin with the day the Church began: Pentecost. In Acts 1:13-14, the eleven, the women, Mary, and the siblings of Jesus were together in the upper room. On the day of Pentecost, all the people who were about to become the Church were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the languages of those around them (Acts 2:1-12). When some thought they were drunk, Peter told them that the Spirit has been poured out on sons, daughters, men, women, servants, and handmaids whom the Scripture said would prophesy (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:13-18). To be continued.