Sunday, 10 November 2013

Forgotten Heroes - Rom 16:1 - 16 Part Three

In weighing the different scriptures, people may come to different conclusions. Having enquired with honesty and integrity, we may to have live with those differences.

There may be those who cannot decide. In that case they should turn to God, and ask God to reveal Himself. Now of course God is chiefly revealed in Jesus, and we get a very good idea of Jesus (and hence God) through the gospels. Of many incidents we could turn to, lets pick the resurrection story.

Women came to the tomb and found themselves meeting the risen Christ. Jesus tells them to go and bear witness to the resurrection. No remember that without the resurrection there is no Christianity!

So Jesus commissions these women to go and be 'apostles' - in a simplistic Christian definition an apostle is someone sent to witness to the resurrection. Yet that is a stupid thing to do! In those times a woman's testimony counted for nothing. In a court of law they could not give evidence.

THERE IS THE GOSPEL! Right there, Jesus says to the women 'YOU QUALIFY'!

That is surely a big decider: the gospel is not bound by culture but transforms it. Once again Jesus turns things on their head. Women can now join men as equals in proclaiming the things of God.

This is therefore a Gospel Issue. And its a justice issue too (potentially affecting 50% of the human race!). That is why it is important. I think Paul understood this, which is why he wrote up women as well as men as heroes in places like Romans 16, e.g. citing Junia as an apostle in the full Christian sense of the word.

To allow structures or thinking in place that might prevent women being co-workers with men would make those like Junia, Pheobe, Priscilla and others impossible. It is also a tragedy for the church, since it means consigning yet another generation to the ever increasing category of forgotten heroes.

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