I have been reflecting a lot about gender in relation to the gospel lately, and there is much greater room for discussion than I initially realized.
I have a couple questions swirling in my mind.
1. What does it mean to understand submission? Do only women submit?
2. If a woman has a spiritual gift, and others prevent her from using that gift, who recieves the consequences? Are there consequences?
3. Likewise, if a woman is practicing her spiritual gifts and she is unsure of God’s plan for her life, so long as she listens as responds to the voice of the Holy Spirit, as any Christian should, what problem does walking out her calling present, even if it is yet unclear?
4. Is leadership the opposite of stewardship, or the same? When a man does it? When a woman does it?
5. If God loves all people equally, and he presents gifts to all sorts of people based solely on his will, is it more important to limit who can practice a gift, or teach that person how to use it for the glory of God, based on a thorough understanding of the gospel?
6. What does more look like, when it results from overflowing love? Is the desire for “more” something the holy spirit can inspire? If so, what are its fruits?
7. Why do we prioritize limiting who has understanding than letting our actions, words, and faith become cymbals that proclaim good news, instead of the empty cymbals in 1st Corinthians?
If sin wasn’t a thing, this conversation wouldn’t even be necessary. If all people allowed God to work in and through them fully, I wonder if it would be. It would be a pseudo heaven, without the second coming. God has already made it clear that he wont do that, but the whole bit about every tongue and heart confessing him as Lord is still a curious metric to shoot for. If we know we can’t get there without the Holy Spirit in Christ, and we have recieved both, is it so crazy to think God would use us to create peace here, as his children? It can’t be perfect, but through Christ, it will be anyways. No sense in not participating, especially if that participation gives more joy than any other thing imagineable. And yet self centeredness still stands, certainly in my heart.
Some of the consequences of covering up for wrong choices and hiding from God are reminscent of Adam after the apple, of Job, of Jacob hiding from Esau, of Jonah and the giant fish/whale. If men are called to be courageous, is men all of us? Women have plenty of courage. We could be courageous together.
I think we all crave courage, but it’s rare that we get there. I know there is more strength in working towards goodness together rather than alone. I don’t see why gender still segregates so much of spiritual gifts, and practicing them. It doesn’t make sense, coming from a God who already knew what he had to do to bring about the saving finale anyways.