by Ed Rowell

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A Gift Worth Giving to God (5 of 5)
Ed Rowell
1 Corinthians 14:26-40
September 3, 2000

Just like last week, the EXAMPLE Paul used is more interesting to discuss than the underlying PRINCIPLE, but let's look for a moment at what was happening in Corinth that caused Paul to write these warnings. In a nutshell, it was this - They tolerated CONFUSION and DISORDER in worship. There were three groups whom Paul gave warnings to:

- Those who spoke in TONGUES.
- Competition between PROPHETIC preachers.
- Women taking advantage of their NEW FOUND FREEDOM by being disruptive.

Last week we talked at length about the first two, so you might want to get the tape if you weren't here. I'm not going to deal with this last issue in great detail this morning, because, again, we're focusing on the principles, not the specific issues. But let me say two things about this passage.

1. God makes no distinction between male and female when He hands out spiritual gifts.
2. When interpreting passages like this, we must decide if they are DESCRIPTIVE of that particular cultural context, or PRESCRIPTIVE for the churches of all time.

Which is this? Many Godly people believe this clearly is PRESCRIPTIVE, that women are to never speak in church, period. But we need to remember that 150 years ago, people used that same process of interpretation with passages like Col. 3:22, "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything," and Col 4:1 "Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair. . ." to justify slavery. They said that since the Bible did not condemn slavery, it was part of the Divine Plan. From our perspective, we can see that it took 1800 years for the implications of the Gospel to confront an immoral social practice. So it's hard to take the literal perspective on this passage without opening a bigger can of worms.

Also, in just about every letter Paul wrote, he mentions women who were clearly leaders in their churches. In fact, Paul founded the Corinthia ...

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