You wrote: It is possible, Mike, for Paul to be a passionate fighjter for
Christian freedom yet to have a blind spot for certain things. After all,
many of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence were, and
remained, slaveholders, including Patrick Henry ( "give me liberty or give me
death!") and Thomas Jefferson ("all men are created equal").
Paul really was a strong advocate of Christian freedom. He pointed the way.
May be we have to go down roads that he was not prepared to go.
The point you make seems quite reasonable. However, I remain convinced that
the text of scripture itself strongly indicates that Paul was a very strong
promoter and defender of full equality of the sexes within the Christian
Paul was the same man who said that, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave
nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:28)
And we know that Paul accepted both women prophets and women deacons. (Acts
18:26; 21:9 Romans 16:1) And, we can't help but ask, how did Paul expect
women to serve as prophets if he did not allow them to teach or even speak in
church, as 1 Cor. 14:34 and 1 Tim. 2:12 would seem to indicate?
I believe that a thorough examination of all the evidence clearly indicates
that the words written by Paul which are most often criticized as being
"sexist" did not reflect his own beliefs about how women should be treated in
the Christian Church, and that Paul was, in these passages, quoting the words
of false teachers in order to rebuke them and show how their way of thinking
Patrick Henry's and Thomas Jefferson's holding men in slavery while they
wrote eloquent words about liberty and human equality was nothing less than
total hypocrisy. But that's OK. They were not personally chosen by Jesus
Christ to do more work in establishing His church than any other man who has
ever lived. They were not inspired by the Holy Spirit to write most of the
New Testament. The apostle Paul was. Though the USA was founded by hypocrites
I do not believe the apostle Paul was such a man.
But that is just my opinion. Everyone else is welcome to their own.
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