Saturday  July 20

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Position Statements
Equality of Gender and Race

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In spite of 2000 years of distortion by many church leaders, God never intended women to be servants to men. On the contrary, it was God's intention for us to be equal and to complement one another.

Galatians 3:16: "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."

Matthew 19:4-6:"Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ' FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

1 Corinthians 11:11,12: "However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God."

Elizabeth, Mary's aunt, was the first to deliver a prophecy to Mary that her son, Jesus, was the Messiah: "What an honor that the mother of my Lord should visit me." (Luke 1: 42-46) When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to be dedicated to God, they met Simeon who gave them another prophecy that their son was the Son of God. But not only did a man prophesy over Jesus, but also a woman prophetess by the name of Anna. We have here both a man and a woman serving the young Jesus on an equal basis (Luke 2:25-38).

Inspired women as well as men, exercised the gift of prophesy in Israel as God's chosen spokespersons. Among the women were Miriam, sister of Moses (Exodus 15:20); Deborah, leader of Barak and his army (Judges 4:4); Huldah, adviser of Josiah; Noadiah, who spoke for Sanballat (Nehemiah 6:14); and Isaiah's wife (Isaiah 8:3). In the early church there were women 'filled with the Holy Spirit of God' speaking to the crowds at the temple, as foreseen by Joel (Joel 2:28,29, Acts 2:18). Philip had four daughters with this gift (Acts 21:9), and Paul recognizes the woman who 'prays or prophesies' in the church (1 Corinthians 11:5).

Anna then, does not stand alone, but joins a long tradition of gifted women who were able to speak for the Almighty God to His people. The Holy Spirit gave her the insight to recognize in Mary's child the eternal Son of God. Finally she was empowered to speak about the child to the Jews gathered around her (Luke 2:38). Perhaps the first Christmas sermon to be recorded in church history was preached by a woman. (Arthur Lewis, "Anna, Prophet of God," Priscilla Papers, Summer, 1997, p 10)

Paul's first convert in Europe was a woman, Lydia (Acts 16:14,15). When Priscilla and Aquilla realized that Apollos needed more training they worked together to provide it (Acts 18:26), and there is an implied meaning here that Priscilla played a more dominant role than her husband. The early church consisted of many women, and it seems that they certainly were as influential and in charge as were men in the new churches that were established by Paul (Acts 16:14; 17:33; 18:19; 21:9).

In 1918, noted evangelical author and preacher, G. Campbell Morgan wrote:

There are one or two simple facts which, if borne in mind, ought to settle the question whether women should teach or preach. First, In Christ there can be no male and female. Second, fitness for ministry in the church consists in the possession of a gift bestowed by the Holy Spirit. Third, the Spirit bestows His gifts upon each one severally as He will. If the Holy Spirit bestows upon some woman a gift in the ministry of the Word, no ecclesiastical organization has any right to prevent her from exercising that gift, and there certainly ought to be room in the churches for the exercise of every gift bestowed by the Head of the Church through the Spirit, without reference to nationality, social position, or sex, for these things are abolished in Christ.

(This Was His Faith: The Expository Letters of G. Campbell Morgan, Baker Book House, 1977, p 120. Emphasis added).

According to Scripture, both men and women are equal in the eyes of God and there was never any intention for them to serve the other. Although God is frequently referred to as Father in the Bible, God is neither male nor female. He made both male and female in His image and gave different qualities to each. He took a number of His own qualities and gave some to men and some to women. These qualities when combined in the union of marriage create a oneness in relationship that is capable of reflecting the nature of God. None of these qualities is intended to be dominant over the others.

God exists in a dimension separate from sexual gender and as humans we will never be able to comprehend this. We may understand it better when we reach Heaven and receive more perfect resurrected bodies. In fact we are told that our physical and mental capacities in many ways will be like Christ. God's love for us as well as His expectations are equal for both men and women, and anyone who tells you otherwise is selecting certain passages from Scripture and interpreting them out of context in order to establish their own agenda. In some situations God might select women to lead and in other situations He might choose men to lead. Each individual occurrence will depend on the spiritual gift required to accomplish God's will in a specific situation, and in those situations both men and women should be willing to assist one another in achieving the common objective.

Men who feel the need to dominate women are generally insecure, and they would do well to understand that by such behavior they are cheating themselves out of a healthy relationship with their spouse, their girlfriend, their boss, or even their mother. The same of course would hold true in the case of women who try to dominate men. Neither men nor women were designed by their Creator to be dominated. We were all designed by our Creator to love and be loved. Domination on the part of a man often leads to physical or sexual abuse. Men feel they can take out their anger or satisfy their sexual lusts by overpowering a woman. These are symptoms of a person who is probably feeling and experiencing a deep sense of hurt and/or anger and is taking out those feelings on someone who is weaker and not physically capable of resisting. This attitude must be condemned and women must come to realize that selecting a man to spend the rest of their life with requires a great deal of work, effort, and counseling before the marriage. A physical attraction to the man or woman of your dreams is a great thing to feel and experience, but it is not the stuff on which to build a marriage. The Bible can show you the way to a healthy relationship both emotionally and sexually if you will seek its wisdom. If you don't, it's very likely that you will not enjoy the happiness and bonding that marriage should bring.

Having established that God is neither male nor female we can go on to state that neither is He black, white, red, or any other color. Nor is He Asian, African, European, or American. God is Spirit and is genderless, colorless, and without nationality. It should therefore not be difficult to understand that God has no favorites among the people of the world. God loves to create and He created a beautiful world and filled it with people of many different colors, sizes, and places of natural origin, and he made them all male and female. He created beauty and it is only mankind that looks at these differences with fear and resentment. God sees beauty. If the world followed and lived within the will of God, it would see beauty as well.

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What else we believe:
God's Promises  |  Doctrine  |  Religion  |  Judgment/Eternal Life  |  The Church  |  The Great Divide  |  Our Roots

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