Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Concerning Egalitarians and Cessationists

During a recent interview, Pastor Mark Driscoll said to Pastor Doug Wilson that there is a similar hermeneutic being used by those who support female pastors, with those who support a cessationist reading of the New Testament.

It seems to me that Pastor Driscoll has made a profound observation. Both groups take explicit commands from the New Testament and argue that the commands no longer pertain to our modern context.

What is even more fascinating to me, is the fact that both groups use the same hermeneutic on the exact same passage of scripture, even though these two groups do not like how the other group handles the very passage in question.

Egalitarian groups like the First Assembly of God, explain away 1 Cor. 14:33b-35:

“As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women must keep quiet in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, they must ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.”

Cessationist groups like many Presbyterians, explain away 1 Cor. 14:39-40:

So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But all things should be done decently and in order.

Both sides would do well to heed the command found between these texts in 1 Cor. 14:36-38:

“Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he must acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he must not be recognized.

Please Note: Red Bold and Underlined indicates an imperative in the Greek (i.e., a command).


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