Head-coverings, authority, submission, gender roles, and gender…easy topics, all covered in one sermon (LOL!). 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 is some of the most difficult theological sledding that can be done. A simple reading of the text doesn’t make sense (unless you believe that head-coverings a universal command). And knowing history, culture, and changing times, makes this anything but easy.
However, one thing I am clear about, is that God’s word is clear on issues of gender. God has assigned to each gender. It’s in His kindness that He’s done this. And gender is designed by God to complement the other gender. It’s been this way from the beginning and it will be this way until the Lord Jesus rolls up the scrolls of history.
Now, with this in mind, let me just add a few things here that either I didn’t have time to cover in the sermon or things that I’ve noticed along the way.
From the cutting room floor:
- I had very little room for quotes yesterday, but here are a few from the various places I studied:
- “The principle is this, people, get it, authority and submission pervade the whole universe. In the relationship between man and man, there is authority and submission. In the relationship between man and God, there is authority and submission. In the relationship between God and God, there is authority and submission. Now, listen, it’s simple. Think of it this way: if Christ does not submit to the Father, then redemption is not accomplished. Man is lost; he is doomed; and God is at war with Himself if the Son does not submit. If man, on the other hand, does not submit to Christ, then man is lost. His destiny is denied, and judgment falls on him. If woman does not submit to man in the family, the family is shattered, and society is wrecked. So, God is saying, “These are the principles, everybody. There is a submission principle between man and man, between man and God, between God and God. It pervades everything.” John MacArthur
- “The gender differentiation that is a condition for human identity as man and woman therefore finds different visible, public, symbolic expression in different ways of exhibiting respect for God, for “the other,” and for the self (as self-respect or respectability) in public worship. Yet Paul insists no less that gender difference nurtures mutual respect, not domination on one side or manipulation on the other.” A.C. Thiselton
- “Furthermore, it would seem that in cultures where women’s heads are seldom covered, the enforcement of such in the church turns Paul’s point on its head, by calling unnecessary attention to the women that should be reserved for God alone. In any case, the fact that Paul’s own argument is so tied to cultural norms suggests that literal obedience is not mandatory for genuine obedience to God’s Word, and in many cases might create an opposite, attention-getting response.” Gordon Fee
- As to angels: As I mentioned Sunday, the angels have to do with revealing authority/submission in the created order. But there are other ideas:
- Since angels “long to look into our salvation” (1 Peter 1:12), we, as humans are instructing them to some degree. And when a woman reveals her gender and gender role by dressing in a way that reveals her femininity, angels are looking into that.
- Paul already mentioned in 1 Corinthians that we will one day judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3), then humans need to live in a manner that reveals God’s order, while we’re on earth.
- Angels are in submission to God as revealed in Isaiah 6 and they covered their heads and feet with their wings revealing this, women are to cover themselves showing their submission.
- In the Godhead and in Creation:
- It is remarkably important for us, as Christians, to remember, God is the One who lives in and reveals to us, authority, submission, and roles. And when He created us, He created us in His ‘image’ or ‘representatives’ of His nature. And part of that nature is authority, submission, and roles.
- And every institution that God has created has authority, submission, and roles in them…because God gave them to us. Civil government, marriage, and business, as examples.
- Sin has distorted gender roles and gender. It’s created chaos in authority and submission. It’s created dictators, usurpers, rebellion, and abuse.
- Christ has come to redeem us from sin…but not from gender or gender roles. Rather, He has come to restore to us our ‘true humanity’.
A few years ago, we asked Rick Gamache, a friend of CLF, to preach about God’s Design for our genders. Here is the link to those sermons: https://clfroseburg.com/sermon-series/by-design/.
We must admit that much of the confusion about gender and gender roles is not because God is not clear or that God has not spoken. It has to do with the Church misapplying or even in some cases, abusing the truth. This has created an overreaction in our world to these abuses or misapplication (not in every situation). The Church, must not only correct these misapplications and abuses, but we must live lives in our manhood and womanhood for the glory of God and the good of others.
The reason there is so much confusion over gender and gender roles is because the author of confusion, Satan, is at work. And, he’s tempted the Church into false attempts to be relevant that has led some to compromise the truth of the gospel. In my opinion, the confusion of the day, allows for us, as the Church, to stand out clearly as we seek to live according to God’s design.
From the Cheap Seats:
- Very proud of our UVC soccer guys. In this COVID shortened season, they’re currently undefeated, playing for the District championship on Tuesday, March 30 and have already qualified for the state playoffs which begin next week. And our guys (lots of CLF young men on the team) and coaches, have handled themselves with great class along the way. Great job guys!!
- Oregon State in the Elite Eight of…basketball??? And you thought the COVID year was weird. When UofO beats OSU in baseball on the same night that OSU beats UofO in basketball, you know that the world is upside down.
- Sergio Aguero’s time at Man City will come to an end at the end of this season. All-time City goal scorer and the owner of the most goals by a foreign player in Premier League history. Quite an accomplishment. He has been at City for the greatest 10 years in the history of the club. And, he’s a really good dude.
To watch or listen to the sermon described in this post, please click here.
Have a great week enjoying all that God has provided you.